Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Fat Girls Guide for Surviving the Gym

I've been trying to lose weight probably since I was 10.  I honestly have at least 100 lbs that I need to drop to not just look better but to actually be healthy!  My attempts always ends with me getting frustrated and giving up but now that I'm older and know what I want out of life, I really have a fire inside of me to get this done.
So I started going to the gym before work and started really watching what I eat.  It's still a work in progress, I've really only been motivated for a month or so but already I've learned so much!
Before you even begin working out it's important to choose a gym that's right for you.  I loved the idea of going to a gym that had a bunch of classes and decided it was worth it to spend the $50 a month for that option instead of the $10-$20 for a local planet fitness.  Shortly after I joined I realized that most of the classes didn't work with my work schedule and the ones that did I didn't enjoy!  So I was spending $50 for what I could have gotten for less than 1/2 from another gym.  Ultimately, I choose Planet Fitness at the black card level ($20 a month) because this way I could use the gym near work in the mornings and the one near home on the weekends.  It has the cardio machines I want, the weight machines I need, and the price and locations can't be beat.  Think about what it is you want from a gym and weigh your options so that you can end up at a gym that's best for you and isn't blowing your bank account.
While choosing a gym is essential to sticking with your program and actually getting results, the #1 thing that I've learned is to not worry about what others are thinking!  I used to look around at all these svelte men and women working out and think, "They're watching me and laughing because I'm so fat and disgusting."  (Sweat literally pours off of me when I work out, it really is not a pretty picture.)  Then it finally occurred to me that they don't care.  They're there for them, not for me.  They don't care what I look like or what I'm doing, and if they do, they're horrible people!
Going along with that you cannot hold yourself to the same level of capability as the other people in the gym.  If they're thin, they're possibly in better shape or have been doing this longer.  Don't look at the girl next to you who's running at 7 mph and think you have to do it too!  Don't be ashamed to run slower or even walk!  Do what you are capable of doing!  If you keep at it, you will build up to what the other gym rats are doing.  Your only focus should be you, not everyone around you!
It is also absolutely imperative that you wear comfortable clothes, that fit!  While no one should be looking at you and judging, we can all be honest that it is never tasteful or appropriate to wear clothing that is too tight or that leaves you hanging out all over the place.  I have rolls and I know no one wants to see that.  At the same time, try to find clothes that still look good (I know it's hard for big girls, I'm always on the hunt for cute clothes that fit!)   It sounds silly but I feel better and tend to work out harder when I'm in a "cute" workout outfit as opposed to just some frumpy sweats and a tee shirt.
Always go in with a plan!  There is a man I see every morning at my gym that clearly has no clue!  He does 5 minutes of cardio, then 2-5 reps on each machine- he never adjusts the seat or the weight, and never wipes them down.  He's just running around like he's on some kind of a high that he's trying to work off.  Honestly, it's entertaining and annoying to watch!  (I know, I know, I shouldn't be watching!  But it's hard to ignore!)  My point isn't to have a plan to not annoy others, my point is to have a plan so that you're getting the most out of your work out.  Make sure you're doing enough cardio, at the right heart rate for maximum fat burn, but don't neglect your muscle tone and leave out the weights.  No one wants to look like a muscle builder but if you want to get toned you will want to do the weights, plus it helps burn even more calories.  I have spoken to some friends who are nutritionists and they've made some suggestions for me that might work for you (I'll be sharing them soon) but in the mean time ask your doctor, ask the trainer at your gym, or do research online for routines that will be helpful to get you started before you can start planning your own work outs.
Now that you're confidently working out, and looking good, take pictures!  You'll want to have it documented as your body begins to change and improve.  You don't have to take a picture every day and you don't even have to take them at the gym, and you certainly don't have to post them to social media!  These are more for you than for anyone else, so that you can look back and be proud of what you've accomplished.
I'll be posting more about working out and attempting to lose weight as I get further along on my journey.  I'm hoping to post more tips, recipes, and progress reports.  I'm sharing some pictures on instagram with the hashtag #lessfatmorefun2015.  Please feel free to follow along and share your progress as well!  I love having the support and motivation but also love giving it to my fellow gym and weight loss "newbies."
Are you in the process of working to lose a large amount of weight?
Do you have any advice to add to this?
Would you be interested in a weekly or monthly link up for a progress report?

I'm also helping share a giveaway this week! Hurry, the offer ends 12/15/2014!
Whew! What an awesome giveaway! The Owner of the Etsy shop, SecondHandGoddess, has put together a huge giveaway for her fans! Enter to win below for your chance to win an item from Second Hand Goddess. The best part? You get to choose! Also, there will be not one, but TWO lucky winners!
Good luck to all who Enter!

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  1. Good luck with the goal! You'll do a great job! These are great tips.

    1. Thank you! You're always so supportive!

  2. Great post!

    Good for you to stick to your plan & realize that you needed to change the gym to make it work for you.

    For me, I realized I'm motivated by group fitness, so I stair climb with November Project Boston every Wed morning and get in free fitness classes whenever I can through SweetGreen's passport program & Yelp Boston Fit Club.

    (And I'm still on a weight loss journey myself. I lost 24 pounds with Weight Watchers in 2013 & kept it off this year. My 2015 goal is to lose another 24 pounds through strategic working out & tracking food/fitness with my Fitbit flex.)

    1. That is awesome! Congrats on your weight loss and good luck with your next goal! Do you like your fitbit? I really want one or something similar for Christmas but i'm not certain which one to ask for.

  3. Good Luck with you goal. I'm work my way up to run 13.1 mile. I have until March to get them.

    1. Oh gosh, that is awesome!!! Good luck and thank you!

  4. These are great tips! It is important to not to compare yourself to someone else and how fast they are running or much they are lifting!

  5. That is really nice to hear. thank you for the update and good luck.
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