Ya girl has been bustin’ her booty. I think it’s the fall season that’s got me all sorts of motivated. There is something so refreshing about this time of year that’s got me wanting to look and feel my best. Plus, I gotta put in a little extra work so I can fit in all the pumpkin spice while I can. 🎃
It’s sure been paying off! I have never been as happy with my body as I am now. I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to show off my progress and wear something cute and comfortable to the gym.. so I pulled out the dreaded crop top from the back of my closet with a sigh.
Crop tops are so in right now but they were never a friend of mine. I let my insecurities beat me down. Even in the Florida summer heat, I always wore layers in hopes that my flaws were hidden from the world. I was so scared of being judged, and because of it I put up with some extra sweaty, uncomfortable summers.
This one particular crop top of mine has been tried on plenty of times. I’ve twisted and angled my body in so many weird ways in front of my mirror, making sure any little bit of body fat didn’t peek out to say hello. A few times I had convinced myself I looked just fine and made it past the bedroom door only to turn around and say, “nope, just not yet. Not today.”
Well. It finally happened. Thank goodness for my supportive fiance. Poor guy had to go through the whole reassurance portion of our morning, telling me how great I looked and “no, that crop top does not make you look fat!” for the millionth time.
Guys. Not only did I make it out the bedroom door. But I made it out the front door.
Take that, insecurity!
The whole situation left me wondering about the real reason I was so hesitant about wearing what I wanted.
I’ve been going to the gym for yeeeeaaars now. I’ve conquered so many different machines and exercises. I’ve finally made friends with the stair master and the foam roller. I feel like I know my way around pretty well. But one thing I haven’t completely conquered is the mental side of being in the gym.
The whole thing reminded me of what it was like being a newbie and walking into this grunt-ey, iron-ey, slightly scary new world, especially at my current gym. You feel like an outsider, like you’ll never fit in. Even worse, you feel like everyone in there is judging you.
So there I am. In the gym in my crop top for the first time ever, feeling like an outsider again and wishing I brought a hoodie because I kind of changed my mind.
You know what happened? Nothing. Nobody instantly dropped their weights to point and laugh. Nobody stared. Nothing.
Actually, I did get a compliment. Said I was doing really well and that I looked great. Win!
I almost let the fear of being judged stop me from doing something that ended up boosting my confidence.
Here are some reminders to get you through that gymtimidation.
How to get past gymtimidation
Everybody in the gym is focusing on themselves
They are watching themselves in the mirror, they are counting their reps and sets, and they are probably a little self conscious themselves. Their main concern is not what you do and how you look, it’s what they’re doing and how they look.
Do it anyway. The more you do it, the easier it gets
The only way to get over a fear is by doing the exact thing you’re afraid of. And once you do it that first time, do it again. With time, your worry will go away! Remember how nervous you were when you were first learning how to drive a car? Now it’s second nature. How about when you applied for that job? You do it every day now with no problem. This is just like that. Get over that first scary hump and turn that fear into excitement to try something new.
Everybody has their own insecurities
None of us are perfect. We all have flaws that we try to hide. You’re too small. Too big. You got a little extra chunk in the trunk. You don’t have enough chunk in the trunk. We all have something we don’t like about ourselves and none of us are perfect… remember that when you’re walking into the gym. Just like the first point, focus on you and improving yourself and working on your own insecurities.
You are there for you!
We’re all there for the same reason- we’re all trying to improve ourselves in some way, whether it be healing after an injury, losing fat, gaining muscle, improving balance and coordination, etc. There are too many different goals going on in the gym for you to be concerned with anybody else’s but your own. You are not there to fuel anybody else’s workout. You are there for you! Keep your eye on the prize, and your focus on what you came to the gym for.
We were all beginners once
Nobody was born on a bench with the knowledge on how to perfectly chest press with one-hundred-pound dumbbells. We all start somewhere and look kind of silly from time to time while trying out a new machine, but that’s okay. That’s part of learning. If you’re nervous about trying something new, ask questions! Gym-goers love sharing their knowledge, and employees are there to help you. Nowadays, there are plenty of how-to videos and fitness blogs that will walk you through an exercise as well. Just do your research before your workout and you’ll be a pro in no time.
Remember that it’s all in your head. Don’t let yourself stop you from throwing that cute crop top on with confidence or being the best you can be!