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Article Fitness

Gym-phobia is real and here’s how I’m trying to get over it

July 3, 2017
nola-likes-gymophobe

I joined the gym in April and had only been once when I started writing this post.

It took me precisely seven weeks to get my butt through the door, and that was just so I could sort out my free PT session! Honestly, part of me still can’t believe I actually turned up for it the week after.

Anyway, my relationship with the gym has been pretty non-existent for several reasons.

  • I’ve been blessed with a naturally slim figure and a high metabolism
  • I don’t enjoy exercise
  • I’m lazy AF

My disinterest started off with those simple reasons but then as everyone around me suddenly got obsessed with the gym life, I found something else creeping in as well.

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THE FEAR.

I felt like if I went into the gym everyone would know I’m a fraud who hates it, that they would laugh at my obvious inexperience and my complete inability to work the machines.

Imagine if I ended up being in one of those viral videos about idiots who don’t know what they are doing and just seem to be in the gym to be seen.

Those are the types of fears that had been holding me back for much longer than they should have.

Plus I just don’t enjoy exercise that much, I never have. I was always taking the lazy route in P.E. lessons, I never did any sporting activities in my spare time after school and I just don’t enjoy going on runs or walks.

My saving grace growing up was probably the fact I had trek up a hilly common to and from secondary school every day and I pretty much spent all my time dancing.

But as I’ve gotten older and work/life has got in the way, something as simple as going out and having a boogie has become a rarity in my life. Mix that with my IBS struggles and the fact the whole world seems to be on the fitness train right now and suddenly I found myself feeling like a fool for not working out too.

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Fast forward a few years and I volunteered to do a fitness challenge with work in 2015. The free personal training sessions, free protein and the dread of ‘Before and After’ pictures SHOULD have been enough to get me motivated. Sadly, I still hated every minute of my time in the gym and didn’t bother to keep it going once I done.

So what’s a girl to do?

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TRY A PERSONAL TRAINER

Nothing will make you stick to your new gym life more than a PT.

For those of us with THE FEAR, it’s a pretty sensible way to learn about gym life, ensure you are doing the right thing to achieve the results you want and just a chance to have someone to force you to stick to your new routine.

Obviously PT’s don’t come cheap but each session probably costs the same amount we splurge out on a fancy meal in the city so what’s it gonna be? Fit bod or yet another plate of dinosaur ribs and chips?

Actually, don’t answer that. Lol.

FIND A GYM BUDDY

The other obvious thing to try would be to try and go to the gym with a pal who knows what they are doing. It’s always better to work out with someone else so they can motivate you and keep and eye on your form. Plus you save on the PT fees!

If you have a friend you can team up with then DO IT. But I know how hard it is to align schedules to do this on a regular basis.

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TRY OUT CLASSES

My job also saw me head out to Australia for six months and it shouldn’t be hard to guess why I ended up joining a gym out in Sydney.

There was literally a Fitness First or some other gym on EVERY CORNER. I kid you not, it was easier to spot a gym that it was to see a McDonald’s or StarBucks. It’s like a whole other world Down Under. Ha.

However my three months as a gym member didn’t change my attitude to the gym floor. I still get THE FEAR like no man’s business… especially when surrounded by lots of super fit Aussies. But I started going to classes and I loved it! I did body pump, boxing, body combat, TRX workouts, all of it.

Sadly, I have been struggling to make it to classes now I’m a member of the London gym due to work and the demands of my social life. First world problems, I know!

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WORKOUT AT HOME

If option one, two and three didn’t work out then you might as well save your pennies and just go for it at home.

I think a key thing that helps people want to go to the gym is the fact they enjoy exercising and want to challenge themselves to do more and to work harder.

If you are literally at the bottom of the exercise scale, there’s nothing wrong with doing things at home first before you level up to the gym afterwards.

There are so many fitness programmes, guides, DVDs and such like floating around on the internet that you are sure to find something that works for you.

Kayla Itsines, Ashy Bines and Anna Victoria are just three of the Insta-fitness girls with access to (good) free workout guides, while Joe Wicks seems to be the best bet to help overhaul your diet and fitness programme in a way that doesn’t ruin your life.

I’ve also got a few favourite YouTube channels that feature workout videos that I actually kinda enjoy.

Fitness Blender, Tone It Up, Jessica Smith and the ‘Danielle Peazer workouts’ on Icon UK are all pretty awesome.

Yoga is also a good option, even if it’s just a way start the day with a clear mind or stretch out the stress  after work.

I’m no pro but I do tend to grab my yoga mat from time to time and follow a free session online.

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Just find what makes you happy

The gym isn’t always for everyone and I’m starting to embrace the fact I might never be that girl who rocks up and does a two hour session for the love of gains.

However, I will do my best to add more exercise into my life and conquer this self imposed fear of the gym because I know my body will thank me for it in years to come.

Maybe when I get to a happier place with exercise in general, I might find my attitude to the gym making that miraculous change that you always see people talking about.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Until then, I’ll be posting about my progress and sharing tidbits about my favourite classes and workouts for those of you who are a freak like me and can’t quite get your head around the “gym thing”.

Are you a gymophobe? Have you found a way to love the gym? Please share any tips you have below, I need all the help I can get!

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