FEAR. It is one of the strongest emotions we have and one of the most complex. It can change a positive outlook into feelings of doubt, failure and insecurity. It can keep us from trying new things or achieving our personal goals, specifically those related to health and fitness. In fact, according to an article at SHAPE online, fear of judgment is the number one reason women give for not working out.
But is fear really worth sacrificing your health, or your dreams of having the body you know you truly deserve? The first time I stepped into a gym was my freshmen year of college. I remember the insecurities I experienced and my preconceived notion that the gym would be FILLED with chiseled, tanned bodies, strutting their stuff looking absolutely FABULOUS in the latest styles from LuluLemon! The truth is, I could not have been more wrong! The gym was filled with ALL types of bodies at various levels of fitness. Furthermore, I realized everyone sweating on the treadmill, or swinging a kettlebell was there for the same reason I was: to transform their bodies and create a better version of themselves.
We all go through that awkward phase of not knowing the difference between a dumbbell and a barbell. We’ve all stood next to some Arnold Schwarzenegger-looking type and thought, “why am I even here?” We’ve all gotten lost and walked right into the women’s locker room…okay maybe that was just me! The point is, rather than focusing on your doubts and insecurities, focus on your priorities. What’s driving you? What do you want to accomplish? If you want to re-design your life, what’s holding you back? What is your biggest fear?
Are you afraid it’s inconvenient? I know for some of you the idea of fighting for a parking place, and waiting on machinery at a crowded gym after an eight-hour workday, can be discouraging. Fortunately, many of our favorite activities like indoor cycling, barre, rowing, and Pilates have branched away from big box facilities to create “boutique” fitness studios that specialize in their practice. These studios allow their clients to enjoy many of the same classes offered at the larger gyms, but in a small, intimate, and supportive community.
Are you afraid that you won’t know where to start? Try personal training. A good personal trainer will tailor a workout to your specific needs, as well as instruct you on proper form and technique. Having someone who is reliable, educated, and knows how to consistently challenge your body is a valuable tool. Plus, a personal trainer can help with your accountability to make sure you stick to your commitments. There have been times when I felt like staying in bed, but knowing that I am paying for a service is sometimes is all the motivation I need!
Are you afraid you don’t have the time? I get it---life happens. We have jobs, kids, schedules, etc. If you are in a time crunch and can’t make it to your favorite exercise class, don’t worry--there’s an app for that! The folks at PC Magazine recently listed 25 of their favorite exercise apps that can do everything from track your outdoor run to provide you with intense, seven to eleven-minute workout plans that you can do in your hotel room! Hey—they don’t call ‘em “smart” phones for nothing! Now you REALLY don’t have an excuse right?!?
Whether you choose to start with a gym, a boutique studio, a personal trainer, or simply your smartphone and a pair of running shoes, the point is to start somewhere! Remember, we are all on different paths, and for some of us the road may seem long, winding and full of obstacles. But at the end of it all, what matters is that YOU are doing what you once thought impossible, and you’re achieving what was once just a dream.
So slip on a pair of headphones, rock out to your favorite song, leave your fear and uncertainty at the door, and hold your head high! Don’t forget to tell yourself, in the words of my girls of Fifth Harmony, “Baby I’m worth it!”
Words of Wisdom:
“Nobody is perfect, so get over the fear of being or doing everything perfectly. Besides, perfect is boring. Today, instead of picking yourself apart in the mirror or with friends over drinks, start seeing your "imperfections" as unique traits that give you character and dimension—because that's exactly what they are”
– Jillian Michaels, Fitness Expert