Most of my adult life I’ve been aware of my size and conscious about often being the biggest person in the room. I notice this in my job, social life, in my circle of friends, at church, you name it. I would sometimes imagine the worst outcome when it comes to trying something new, then talk myself out of doing it because in my mind it wouldn’t be worth the embarrassment of being seen.
Once I made the decision to include regular exercise as part of my bid to get healthier and fitter, I remembered that I enjoyed working with a Personal Trainer called Lizzie years ago who would come to my house and help me exercise in my tiny lounge in Wigston. At the time I couldn’t face being seen out in public doing exercise. I imagined people ridiculing me, laughing at the sight of a large woman out in public, huffing, puffing and sweating.
Lizzie and I worked together for a few weeks until she managed to coax me out of my house into Victoria Park, where she set up simple pieces of equipment for me to use. My mind racing with thoughts about someone seeing me and laughing at me was probably a greater challenge than the exercises set. I eventually stopped working with Lizzie (I honestly can’t remember why, but I never forgot about her.)
Fast forward to 2018, I found out that Lizzie had opened a fitness studio Griffin Fit. She was my first choice as a Personal Trainer because of how professional, fun and warm I remembered her being. I started with Griffin Fit in July 2018 and have never looked back.
Overcoming unhelpful thoughts
“I’m gonna be the biggest person there and everyone’s gonna be looking at me!” – So what? People are there to get fit themselves, they’ll be too busy to be watching you!
“What am I gonna wear? I can’t wear those cute, matching crop tops and leggings women wear. What about my rolls, ‘thunder thighs’ and visible cellulite?” – Wear what you feel most comfortable in. It’s not a fashion show! A long, loose t-shirt with joggers will be fine!
“What if I can’t keep up with everyone? I’ll be embarrassed and feel pathetic!” – Work at your own pace. Any decent Personal Trainer will be mindful of what your body can do or any physical limitations you may have (imagined or real!). They will suggest adjustments or alternatives so you get the most out of your session.
If you want to start getting fitter, try different things until you figure out what you actually enjoy and what is getting you the results that you want. I’ve tried swimming, walking, salsa and Zumba over the years and enjoyed them at the time, but have finally found something that sparks joy in me! We’re all different – find what works for YOU and BE BRAVE!
Here’s a link to Liv’s blog page to keep reading her story.