We All Have to Start Somewhere

If you happened upon this post, you know that gym shopping was an intimidating experience for me. I mean I love you muscle heads and all, but sheesh! When you feel like you have (or had) pillars for legs and saddlebags a plenty, it’s hard to see all those tight, chiseled, arms, firm glutes and six packs everywhere.

Then I started to think about this woman I saw on a local documentary recently.  The show is all about people who undergo cosmetic surgery to feel better about themselves. This lady went from a whopping 275 pounds to a slim and sleek 160 through clean eating and exercise, specifically weight training, power walking and Pilates.  The segment focused on this lady being set to undergo cosmetic surgery to remove the excess skin from extreme weight loss. I recall her talking about the first time she walked into a gym when she hit rock bottom, and knew she needed to lose the weight. Let’s just say, she wasn’t exactly made to feel welcomed. Some gym patrons snickered, laughed and whispered as she went by in the locker room. They were not whispering so low that she couldn’t hear the insults though. She said she felt so humiliated and distressed, she didn’t return to the gym.  On her way home, she stopped at the grocery store and bought a box of Pepper ridge Farm cookies. As she remembered the hurtful words that cut like a knife in that gym locker room, she ate the whole pack.  There could have been a much better outcome here. Of course, it was a happy ending. She initially started a home gym and did end up losing weight and later joined a gym.

This really sickened me. When I see obese people in my gym, I always am encouraging. This is my duty as someone who has embraced health to encourage others in their journey and struggles. The gym is not a place for physical elitists. It is not the place to make fun of someone who is trying to make life-altering changes and is probably feeling vulnerable to begin with.  It is not a place to be rude, disrespectful or hurtful. I was not obese, but I felt frumpy, lumpy and yes, dumpy. I have struggled with emotional eating, and to this day a poor body image. Everyday is a struggle to affirm something positive about my physical progress, but I do. I have to. If someone who has a weight problem is at the gym, they obviously have come to the realization that it time to make some lifestyle changes. So if you see someone who is a beginner to fitness, try to encourage, not discourage, try to build up, not knock down.  Whether we are a size 4 or a size 24, we are all there for a common goal. There is one thing that binds us, we are all striving for wellness.

My tips for fitness newbies.

  • If unsure about equipment, ask a trainer or floor staff for help. Remember safety must be considered first.
  • If you are able, hire a personal trainer. They will get you on your way and devise a workout plan that is specific for you. Also, they will monitor your workouts to ensure safe form and your progress.
  • Visit the resident dietician to help you along the way with your eating plan. This service is often covered in your health benefits. They will advise you about how and what you should be eating. If you do not have health benefits, your family doctor can help you with nutrition.
  • Do not attempt an intense class like Tabata or Insanity right way. It is not safe for beginners, and will only discourage you. Ask a gym staff member about suitable classes for all fitness levels, and work your way up in intensity as you become fitter and stronger.
  • Utilize the buddy system. Find a friend to join you on walks, workouts and to keep you motivated.
  • Take one day at a time.
  • And lastly, keep your eye on the prize. You are there for you, not anybody else. If someone happens to make a rude remark, that is their insecurity, not your problem. Keep on working out, and don’t stop because of another’s ignorance. Enjoy the fitness train because once you board, you will never want to get off.
  • Visit the phenomenal link below to see some more stunning transformations, success stories and tips.
This girl is on Fire!
This girl is on Fire!

Photo source: http://www.weightlossphotos.net/weight-loss-before-after-photos-1-50/

10 thoughts on “We All Have to Start Somewhere

  1. Drastic weight loss is scary, yet at the same time exciting. For me it was unexpected but I have had to pay a nasty price and live with a nasty gallbladder that still has to come out. I’ve lost 45 lbs. since Nov/2012 and I’m in the worst possible health right now. On the other side of the coin, it was a ‘gift’ to be given the chance to ever be 135 lbs again, which was probably my weight in high school some 40 years ago!

    Love your blog.


    1. Thank you so much for sharing and your encouragement, Deb. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time on your weight loss journey. Strength and perseverance is so motivating to me. Best wishes.

  2. Awesome post. The gym can be very intimidating at first. But, I always remind myself….they (other fitness center members) started once too!

  3. The craziest part about the people that usually laugh or make fun is that they actually look STUPID doing most exercises. They are usually the men bicep curling in the squat rack. They are the know-it-alls that actually no nothing! Basically they are insecure.

    Everyone has to start their fitness journey somewhere. And whether or not you are coming in to lose weight or train for a professional sport, your goal should be respected.

    Great tips for the newbies!

    1. Thank-you. That is it exactly. Respect is what we all deserve, no matter what the stage in the game. I have seen those know it alls who know nothing. Not a good place to be.

  4. This was a great post. The gym is a little scary and I don’t have a lot of weight on my body and it is still a turn off to me. I am glad that she did not let the miss hap steer her wrong and she just did the next best thing and that was to make a home gym. Excellent post and I do plan to share on my blog.

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