Me, My Anxiety, and the Gym (#SH17)
This is about to get real awkward and vulnerable, fancy faces, but I swore to keep it real, so here goes…
I have a thing. An anxiety thing. Anything that pushes me outside of my comfort zone triggers it. Sometimes I can manage it and other times it’s a challenge, which is part of the reason why I’m such a top flight procrastinator. On this journey to svelte-heauxdom, the gym is what gives me the most anxiety these days, and after all these months I still haven’t managed to conquer it.
In May I noticed that I was getting stagnant. I’d lose and gain weight, but within the confines of the same two numbers, over and over again. My body got used to my new, healthier diet and begun treating it like it was nothing, while I’m here like *pokes belly* ‘Fam, I ain’t had ice cream for a whole month, so...
*Belly jiggles in response*
I was merely maintaining my new weight, but that wasn’t how this shit was meant to go. I haven’t missed out on all this bread and pasta to still be fat, the fuck! So I enlisted the help of a personal trainer to up my viva.
Two months later I am definitely fitter, and although I’m still within the same numbers, there has been more muscle gain and weight loss (I can fit into stuff I couldn’t before), but I’m frustrated with myself because I know I can do better, miles better, but I haven’t applied myself enough, and the reason I haven’t applied myself enough is because I have these weird ass mini bouts of anxiety every fucking time I have to go to the gym. You know when you know you’re being dumb and you have a chat with yourself to talk yourself through your dumbness and try to make yourself see sense, but then you still don’t follow through because unfortunately for you, dumb is life? That’s me, pretty much every time.
With the classes, it’s not too bad. It’s one of the rare times when I don’t mind being told what to do (literally, this only really runs in the bedroom), plus, there are people there to struggle through it with me. With my PT sessions, I’m given set workouts via an app that connects me and my trainer, that I have to go at alone. My trainer recommends that I work out 5 times a week. A bitch is still around 2-3 times…or sometimes (rarely) not at all because my discipline is low key trash.
So what’s my issue?
I have a fear of working out alone on the gym floor and the weight room because I have a fear of being watched.
Look at dumb!
Me, who styles myself like an extra in Ru Paul’s Drag Race so that I can go out and people can witness my eleganza extravaganza, who does mini-photoshoots to plaster all over social media, who spent several years shouting about dick and millennial nonsense on YouTube, who is broadcast on Radar Radio’s Facebook live feed once a month, who holds talks and guest stars on panels in front of a live audiences –I am afraid of people watching me.
It’s ridiculous, I know it is, especially as once I actually get over my bullshit and get in the gym, I’m (sort of) fine. Once I’m inside, I get on with what the fuck I came to do because I know that people in the gym are not paying their big, big monthly membership to come and watch me awkwardly try to figure out how to do a push up without revealing how much upper body strength I don’t have. It comes down to my ego and a sprinkle (indulgent ass helping) of narcissism, that entertains the thought of me being so fucking interesting that everyone wants to watch my every move.
The truth is…I’m afraid. I’m afraid of them judging me.
Exercise isn’t something I‘m good at (yet). My form is kinda crap, my breathing sounds like struggle, I am doing one of the things I hate most- sweating, I jiggle when I move, my feet are heavy when they hit the ground, I tremble uncontrollably when the weights are too much or I’m nearing my rep limit, and I am quick to grant myself a rest before I continue rather than pushing through…because I am fat.
All of the issues that come with being unfit and overweight reveal themselves upon exertion. Doing exercise in front of people makes me hyper aware that I am fat, so I can’t help but think that it’s all they see.
I am scared of them seeing it and judging me for it.
Look at more dumbness.
I don’t magically become fat when I get inside a gym. I am fat all the time, but when I’m not in the gym, I’m fly with it. It makes me uncomfortable not to feel like a fierce fat babe. I live for fucking shit up in these skreetz, flab and all.
Maybe the reason that the gym makes me anxious is because my armour falls away here. I’m not ‘perfect’ here. I’m below average here and because of that, there is nothing that feeds my ego and makes me feel special here, so I freak out. There is no hair, makeup and extra ass outfits for me to hide behind, only sweat, jiggle and struggle.
But I was better last month. I forced myself down to Fitness First and I got those PT workouts done. There were some sets that I’d skip and substitute with an exercise that made me more comfortable, but I was there and I was doing it, and I was growing into working out alone in front of people.
This month, that changed and once again my anxiety was to blame.
A part of the reason I could do my workouts last month was because, when necessary, I figured out hiding places; people would have to look for me to see me. Yes, I know, it’s weird, but it was part of my process.
This month my PT sent me new workouts and got rid of my old ones. This new routine landed me smack bang in…the weights room. If you’ve been to a gym before you will know that the weights area/room is basically man-land. It’s their domain, their pissing contest grounds, their testosterone territory. I have been to the weights room all of three times since I joined Fitness First, and each time I was accompanied by a man -twice with Mr and once with a male personal trainer who I was trying out. The times with Mr were fine, and it was cool with the PT too…until I got a comment on my ‘leggings’ by some guy in there whilst I was squatting.
Why do men ruin everything, please?
I already had a fear of being watched for being fat and now there’s that weird, ‘you’re perving on me while I’m working out, and you feel comfortable enough to open your mouth and make me, the awkward potato, aware of it.’ Needless to say, I have not been back in there since that day.
This also means that I have not attempted this month’s workout. It’s double anxiety and it feels like too much, even though I know it’s nothing.
I need to get out of my head, get my shit together and just do it. Just say fuck it and just fucking do it. I’m not a wasteman, I’m a boss bitch (excuse my aggressive affirmations lol) and boss bitches ain’t scared of nothing and no one. Boss bitches get shit done! They get out of their comfort zone, they take on their fears and they fuck shit up.
The longer I sit here afraid that someone will look at me (god, I feel even more ridiculous saying it. What is anyone looking at me going to do?) or I worry about men making me feel uncomfortable, is the more money I waste (and bitch I’m paying £101 a month in total for this shit, so really, ain’t nobody got time or coins for irrational fear), and the longer it takes me to reach my goal.
Can you relate? Do you get anxious about working out in public? If you do, what are you afraid of and why? If you used to, how did you get over it (because bitch I need all the help I can get)? Let me know in the comments section below.
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Fancy something a little more daring? Read chapters 1-4 of my sexy, award-winning urban romance, Running Wilde (new chapter posted every Friday)
Until next time, fancy face
Love Scotty x