To See and Be Seen

June 14, 2011

PhotobucketI’ve been wanting to make a post about this subject for awhile, but was unsure of how to properly express my feelings about it. I have always felt self-conscious whilst exercising and I have a feeling I am not the only one.

During college when I had access to a gym I was about 100lbs overweight. I wanted to work out, but always felt that the people on the treadmill next to me were judging my body as it jiggled, and my inability to actually move at a quick pace.

Despite having lost a lot of weight, and working out several times a week, I still feel conscious of being observed. I have no idea why, because I am not overly self-conscious doing any other activity, but exercise carries a certain stigma for me.

There are a lot of articles on the subject. I especially liked this one from Everyday Health which suggests wearing clothes you are comfortable in (i.e. not spandex), finding a workout buddy you feel comfortable around, and picking the correct environment.

For me the trick was comfy clothes, meaning not shorts, because I am self-conscious of my legs. Not working out in a gym setting, and also setting specific goals for incentives. I have always wanted to take a martial art or fighting technique class, but didn’t want to be the slow person dragging everyone down. Now that I am in better shape, I’m planning to sign up for Krav Maga as soon as the nice weather fades. I also do really ridiculous things, like walk six miles with old-lady hand weights. It makes jogging feel a lot more normal!

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