At some time or another, we’ve all made a promise to ourselves to get healthy and shed those extra pounds. You’ve got your whole workout planned, with your water bottle, and sweat towel in hand; but, as you stroll past the mirror on the way out the door, you’re reminded you aren’t the typical “gym babe.” The fear of sticking out like a sore thumb among a group of gym buffs constricts you enough to make you want to quit altogether.
So how do you overcome this feeling of doubt that’s been holding you back, making it tough to reach your fitness goals? Louise Green, nationally recognized “Fit and Fat” advocate and founder of Body Exchange, shares her seven tips for managing physical apprehension as well as mental fear and the peanut gallery upstairs.
Number One: Take a Leap of Faith
When we live in a society that often forgets about the specific needs of the plus-size audience, venturing into fitness land really does take stepping through fear and taking a leap of faith. Take the leap. You are worth it, you will find your tribe along the way. And when you do, it will change your life. I promise.
Number Two: Do Your Research
This is your body we are talking about, priority number one. This calls for all hands-on deck to find the best fitness resources available. Remember, fitness professionals are working for you, so interview them and make sure they share your philosophy on what health and fitness looks like.
Number Three: Abandon What Used to Be
I often hear people talk about what they “used to be” and how they’re disappointed they “let themselves go.” Life happens. This takes up a lot of headspace; it’s time to put on your big girl pants and recognize that today is your new benchmark for moving forward. Don’t let the past drag you down. Chronic, internal, mental negativity generally doesn’t foster high achievement and met goals.
Number Four: START
I see so many people stop and start with thousands of justifications, mostly fueled by fear. People often don’t give themselves the gift of what could be possible; work, kids and traffic often negates dedication to self. Here’s the thing; if you really, truly want it, then do it. The stop/start is actually more labor intensive than just starting and mapping out what works for you. Further on that, our kids don’t want to be the reason we didn’t follow our athletic dreams or otherwise.
Number Five: Get to Know Your Internal Banter
There’s often a sabotager inside our minds that for some reason doesn’t want us to succeed. Often it’s because it can sense fear and wants to stay safe. Get to know this voice, but don’t buy in because this voice is the culprit for many dreams lost. When you hear it, bounce back with a positive thought. Over time, your mind will more intuitively take the high road until the sabotager is silenced for good.
Number Six: Don’t Make it Global
There will be set backs and it’s okay. Don’t make it global. What I mean by that is, just because you have one set back doesn’t make your entire being a failure. Tomorrow is a new day to kick butt.
Number Seven: Rise Above
If you do not fit the “gym scene ideal,” you may get some judgment or surprised reactions to you rockin’ the fitness routine. We can’t really blame people when society and media messages don’t show a diverse range of bodies can be healthy and fit. So I am asking you to rise above until the social shift catches up. You exercising with a body outside the “ideal norm” is revolutionary. You are a representative of changing times. Rise above and embrace it. You are a wonderful human being who deserves the best life possible. Exercise can be a striking, positive force and the vehicle to an endless list of benefits. Will you leap?
Photo by Mark McElroy | Shutterstock
Latest posts by Tanasia Kenney (see all)
- To STEM-finity and Beyond with Saura Naderi - April 1, 2015
- What is Easter? - March 30, 2015
- Keeping Your Head Above Water: Tips For the Novice Female Entrepreneur - March 23, 2015