Posted by: DW | 2009/03/10


I have recently joined a gym to loose the extra unwanted kgs that I have gained over the last couple of years. I have gymed before, (about 4/5 yrs ago) and I was doing the ' Body for Life'  program which I did enjoy.

When I was first gyming, i was gyming with friends, and we motivated each other and helped each other.

Now I live in a different city due to work location, where I do not know anyone. I now battle to go to gym, or motivate myself to go. I am a very shy person, and I am always thinking people are watching me and laughing as I am very unfit. Most people are with their friends.

What would be the easiest way to motivate myself to go everyday like I have planned? I know it sounds stupid, but any advise would be appreciated.

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Our expert says:
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It's not stupid at all, it's a very common problem. Difficult one though, and you've experienced what the answer would be - finding people to train with you. That's probably what I would have said had I read only the second part of your question and not known about recently moving. But perhaps there is still someone who you can find to train with you? It's an opportunity to make a new friend, at the very worst?

The other thing is to manage your time so that yo utrain when it is quiet. That would at least help with feelings of being looked at. I'm not sure if that's possible, but if the big barrier to training is feeling watched, then train when you can't be watched!

Finally, you need a goal. It sounds as though the goal at the moment is to get fit and lose a few kilograms. And that's great, keep it. But it will help you a lot to find a purpose, a target to shoot for now. For example, you might say you want to run 10km by the end of April, and then start preparing for it. That way, you have a goal that drives every session. As always, those goals are best shared, so perhaps the best thing to do is to find a friend who'll run 10km with you and then go for it together.

Sorry I can't be more helpful - you just have to work around the problem and be creative about how you tackle it.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: Boyscout | 2009/03/12

Hey DW!

Well done man! Youre on the right track!

Here' s what worked for me:

1. Get a photo taken of yourself topless, full body from the front and keep it next to your bed. Assuming you train in the morning, when your alarm goes off for gym and you really dont feel like getting up just turn the lamp on and look at that photo and tell yourself " I can get up and go to gym or I can sleep longer and look like this photo (or worse) for the rest of my life." 

2. Get an iPod for your training sessions and put your favorite music on it....when you' ve got those tunes blasting in your head you wont care about anyone else.

Also remember, even the people that you see at the gym with their friends who seem to be " in shape"  have insecurities, they probably think people are looking at them because of those insecurities...its all in the mind.

If they were totally happy with the way they looked they wouldnt be in the gym in the first place. Remember that!

PS - point 1 (the photo) works because when you look in a mirror its almost not a true reflection (excuse the pun) of what you look like, photos are powerful tools. Use them to track your progress too....they will motivate you to push harder and further!

Good luck, go out there and give it horns!

Reply to Boyscout
Posted by: Really | 2009/03/12

Congratulations for deciding to be fit and live more healthy.

You need to remember why you are at the gym in the 1st place...FOR YOU not for all the other people that you think are watching you. Being alone sometimes can be demotivating, but you know what , the benefits you will rip out of there will be far greater than the stares that are probably not fixed on you.

I also started gyming last year and when I started, I was very unfit... on top of this, I had just broken up with my long term partner and since I am nearing my 30ts, I also was suffering from hormonal acne... take that...

I was unfit, fat, depressed and looked like a freak show from hell... whenever I walked into the gym.. I felt like everyone was looking at me and believe me.. they were.. but I told myself.. I was not there for them.. but for me.

I did not have any friends...even though I do chat to a few people at the gym.. no one motivates me to go to the gym than myself.. since I started, I have lost a total of 6kgs and I feel and look great...even though my acne is better... I still get stares from hell about the pimples and blemishes I get frequently.. but you know what...I feel great after leaving. I still have 3kgs to loose to reach my goal weight.

Keep smiling :-)

Reply to Really
Posted by: Tes | 2009/03/11

Well done for joining a gym! You are one step closer to your goal... just carry on going!! Don' t worry about what anyone thinks because i guarentee you, they aren' t even looking at you! People only go to gym for themselves, not to stare and judge unfit people! So stick with your program and don' t worry about those others! You' re doing it FOR YOU!!!!! Nobody else.

Reply to Tes
Posted by: Nazgul | 2009/03/11

Hi DW, I must tell you that I have more respect for an unfit person showing up at gym day after day, than anyone of those meatheads that think they are well built and fit, which they most of the time are' nt

Keep going, as soon as you start feeling good when you walk out the gym all tired and sweaty, you' ll keep going. DO NOT worry about people with friends, if they were alone, they' ll not even go to gym!

Good luck!

Reply to Nazgul

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