It’s amazing the number of people who avoid exercise because of being self-conscious. It might be their weight, their lack of fitness, or distant memories from school physical education classes that prevents them from starting to move their bodies more.
I read a very sad account by a woman who joined an American gym, only to stop some time later due to the feeling that she wasn’t good enough: not fit, not young, and not in great shape. She was self-conscious. Did the gym place create this sense of inadequacy? Probably not, but she nevertheless felt this way.
The question was why?
- Other members at the gym were young and fit.
- The focus of their exercise offerings was to help this woman change her shape.
- The change-rooms were filled with banks of mirrors.
- The shower facilities offered deodorant, shampoo, hair-dryers, and make-up lights.
It all sounds good, right? Actually, the message this lady got was that her appearance was more important than her health. She felt that she couldn’t measure up to other members or to expectations.
Of course, it may be that this gym was simply not the right fit for this woman, and that she’d be more comfortable at a different gym. Unfortunately, her perception saw her stop exercise – and all the very real health benefits it offers – altogether.
Starting something new can be nerve-wracking. Even the thought of setting foot in a gym can, for some, be enough to make them crawl back into the safety of bed.
Rather than relying on the ‘bravery’ of the moment, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions to help get your mind into the right place to follow through on good intentions:
- Why do you want the results you’re after?
Understanding the power of your ‘why’ is what will help get you started and keep you going.
- When thinking about your current lifestyle, what needs to change so that your ‘why’ becomes a reality?
You know that if your body is to change, some of your daily habits need to change. Which habits will you change?
- What support network do you have that will help you start and continue with your new lifestyle?
Going it alone is rarely successful, so having people around who’ll help and support the changes you’ll make can make all the difference. These could be family members, friends, or staff in the gym.
- Why is this time different to all the others in the past?
Most people have tried something new before and then stopped. Find the mindset, the place, the activity, or the strategy that will help you best for where you are now in your life. Who knows, it might be where you least expect it.