Working out while Overweight: How to Overcome the External and Internal Pressures
For a lot of individuals dealing with obesity, the initial step of working out poses numerous obstacles for the novice exercise trainee. New and heavier individuals deal with external issues such as judgement from more seasoned fitness practitioners. One might also deal with internal struggles stemming from insecurity regarding how they belong in the gym, looking out of place, or the apprehension of appearing ignorant while using equipment.
Regarding external issues such as judgement, there are a few ways to go about circumventing the stares and the sometimes overt criticism of other gym goers. Easier to ignore, short and punctuated stares can be dismissed simply by focusing on the workout. Bringing along music also helps with focus and attention by diverting one’s thoughts to the sounds of what’s being played. If the stares remain ongoing and even downright persistent, a great amount of boldness may be required to forge one’s way forward. The novice gym goer can either confront the individual or, more safely, speak to the staff about the issue. The staff at most (and supposedly all) gyms understand that it is their duty to ensure the comfort level of every customer paying for the right to better their physical health.
Insecurity about attending the gym poses harder challenges to tackle and likewise halt. A deeply psychological phenomenon, insecurity stems from complex and sometimes hard to pin down places. If one’s fears manifest as insecurity about belonging to the gym, the solution to that problem may be difficult to find. However, a simple way to ease this emotional pain has to do with practical observation. Not everyone at the gym possesses that hard, steely, or even chiseled body society tells its people to lust over. A greater percentage of gym attendees possess normal but healthy and health-seeking physiques. Simple observation may pacify some of this form of insecurity and make going to the gym a lot more pleasant. This suggestion also applies to looking out of place. Though the gym sometimes can be a haven for gym rats or gym fanatics, most places of fitness such as Planet Fitness, Snap Fitness, and the YMCA generally attract the non-zealous. These are people who simply want to lose or maintain a homeostatic weight that doesn’t go beyond the norm. As far as ignorance toward equipment, the novice gym member has to understand that unless one pays for a fitness expert or trainer, looking ignorant with gym equipment happens to everyone. Even with a trainer, one’s form can be imperfect. A simple way to understand this concept is to join fitness blogs, google “ignorance toward gym equipment”, talk to other gym goers or speak to the staff, engage others as much as possible, or simply observe. It doesn’t matter how many videos on form a newbie watches, it is in practicing that one achieves perfection.
While external and internal factors dealing with working out while overweight may seem to hinder the novice trainee, in reality, all these fears can simply be assuaged. Talking to staff as well as simple observation helps to lessen in intensity these negative feelings that may threaten to jeopardize one’s weight loss journey.