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Posts Tagged ‘gym anxiety’

Warning: Fat Girl at the Gym

Posted by nattya61 on May 15, 2012

Since we moved, we now have a free membership to the local YMCA. Since it is super close and they provide free childcare, which Nick absolutely loves, I figured I might as well start working out. My goal is not to lose weight. I know that if I have that as my goal, I’ll just get frustrated and quit. Plus, I’m honestly not bothered by my weight. I was born a fat girl, and as I’ve grown up, I’ve learned to be ok with who I am, and that includes not being a size 2, or even a size 10. I’ve seen what weight obsession can do to people, and trust me, it’s not pretty – it’s sad. My goal is to be strong and have energy and stamina. I want to be able to take Nick to Silver Dollar City when he’s 4 and to Disney World when he’s 6 and be able to walk around the theme parks all day and not be sore, tired, and out of breath. If I happen to tone up in the process, that’s just a bonus. In the past week, I’ve actually worked out five times.

Walking into the gym, I still feel like that awkward teenager in gym class. I really hate gyms. I hate the sweat smell. I hate the testosterone that permeates the air. I hate the people with the “look what I can do!” attitude when they are lifting weights that are too heavy just to show off for the skinny bitches in their tight spandex and full make-up, not a hair out of place. However, here I am, at the gym, probably soaking that gym-smell into my clothes and my brand new white and purple Asics.

I always head to the trusty treadmill first. I don’t like the trendy elliptical machine. It’s too bouncy for me and makes me dizzy. The stair master looks like a torture device, so I don’t even attempt that machine. I mean, seriously, think about it. A never ending set of stairs sounds like something out of a horror movie. I thought about trying the exercise bike, but that looks like it would make my ass hurt, so I decide against that too. The treadmill it is, and I walk my mile. Eventually, I figure I’ll work my way up to two miles, then three, but for now, I’m proud of myself for doing just one. Thankfully, these treadmills have a television attached to them. King of the Hill is on, which gives me a good distraction so I forget that I’m starting to sweat as I walk faster and faster, up a bit of a hill. I assume I’m probably the only one in the place not focused on Fox News. This is Springfield, after all.

Next, I stretch. This is where I really feel out of place. I don’t have a machine and a television to put me in my own little world. I find an empty, relatively secluded place, and do the stretches I remember from gym class. I’m not near as limber as I used to be. This fat woman used to be a fat girl who could do the splits and lift her leg over her head. Not anymore. I do what I can, and it’s off to the weights.

There are rarely more than two females over at the weight machine “room” in the sea of men that seem to live there. I’m fine with that as for some reason I’m able to ignore the guys in the room easier than the girls. That’s probably because I know the guys are comparing themselves to the other guys more than they are noticing that I’m even there, haphazardly trying out the machines. The girls at the gym, on the other hand, seem to watch everyone. They watch the boys because they want to see who’s watching them, and they watch the girls because they want to judge and compare. The more times I go to the gym, the more comfortable I become with the weights. Today, I can do 10 more pounds on the lat-pull than yesterday. The weights make me feel strong. They make me feel like I can do anything, as long as I keep trying. They also make me feel like I could take someone out if I had to…I like that feeling.

I usually do a circuit of weights. Bryan taught me how to do my arms and chest one day and my legs and back the next. I haven’t actually gotten up the nerve to do any of the back weights or exercises. Honestly, some of those machines just look so unpleasant, so for now, I’m sticking with what I know and what’s fun, and when I feel like I haven’t done enough, I just go do the rowing machine for a bit before it’s time for my cool down which for me is nothing more than taking a few laps around the indoor track.

When I’m all done, it’s time to go get Nick. So far, he’s been excited to see me, but not really excited to leave. I’m thinking that in another week, I’ll probably have to drag the boy out of there. I’ll go watch him from their little viewing window and have noticed that he’s pretty much king of the castle in that little playroom. Someday, he’ll probably be one of those preening boys out in the weight-room. I just hope that I teach him enough to be like his daddy, to just do his own thing and to not be a douche about his abilities.

I’m proud of myself for working out. I can already tell that I have more energy. I don’t think I’ll ever not feel out of place at the gym, though. I’m at home at the library, surrounded by books and computers with the smell of paper and coffee everywhere. But, at least I know what I’m doing and know that what I’m doing is my choice, unlike the horror of school gym class where I was forced to participate in activities and pushed by manly gym teachers who had nothing better to do that to try to figuratively beat the Daria-ness out of me. I’ll always be that chubby nerd who would rather read than do anything that could make me sweat, but hopefully I’ll end up becoming a chubby nerd who can sweat when she has too and not feel like she’s dying…and also kick a little ass if need be.


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