Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
Moderators: melkor

Embarassed to work out in front of "co-workers"

Quote  |  Reply

I want to join a gym. The only gym I can afford is the YMCA, as they provide financial assistance (I'd really prefer to go to a gym where they offer a  female-only workout room).

My sister already goes to this gym, and she says she sees a guy who works where I do there every so often.

I really don't want this to hold me back, but I just keep on thinking about how embarassing it would be to be in mid-workout, sweating, red faced, body jiggling every which way, then to have him see me. I feel a lot of anxiety thinking about it, and it makes me not want to join at all. (For the record, it has nothing to do with the person himself, I would feel this way towards anybody that worked where I do if they saw me.)

What can I do to get over this bad anxiety and fear??

16 Replies (last)
Quote  |  Reply
The YMCA by me has some equipment in the women's locker room. A treadmill, elliptical, weights etc. Maybe the one by you has something similar that you can start on until you feel more comfortable.

One of my co workers goes to the same gym I do. I used to go there on my own before but he joined it a few months later than me. At the start I was super embarrassed but as it continued on I started to realise that I didn't really pay attention to him and he didn't pay attention to me because we were both working out ourselves and focusing on what we were doing. It ends up being that you'll talk to the other person maybe once or acknowledge them at least and then go straight back to focusing on your own work out.

Please don't let that discourage you from joining a gym. There is absolutely no need to be embarrassed when working out or being seen sweaty. If anything you should feel good about yourself for making the effort and doing something healthy for your body!! Besides, pretty soon you may want to show of your body!! :) Everyone has to start somewhere! :) good luck!!

I used to work out at our local YMCA when my kids were younger because they had stuff for the kids to do. Honestly, other than those people who work out together, and some of the teenagers hanging out, rather than working out, people didn't really take any notice of others, except to politely change out on the equipment. I never fely like anyone was watching, or judging me. Everyone was interested in doing their work out and getting out of the gym.

You can go to the Y for the day and pay the day rate. Why don't you try that for a few times to see if you get more comfortable before you sign a contract that you have live with for a set time.

Ask yourself how much you want to do this. Honestly if you have the motivation, a little sweat is not going to put you off. And frankly. I always go really red in the face whenever I exercise, so I would know if people were going to look, because they would be looking at me. I know personally my feeling is that if we are all exercising we are all doing something good for ourselves and who cares what you look like while doing it. For the larger ladies and gentlemen I have nothing but respect because it takes them a lot more courage to put themselves out there than for the people who are already fit.

This used to be an issue with me too until I realized that everyone at the gym is there for the same reason. To get healthy!

I jiggle quite a bit myself. It's not like it is a surprise to anyone I workout around. So it's not like I'm going to shock them with my Jabba-like physique ! They already see that I'm fat! lol

I'm still too self conscious to wear tiny little workout clothes but I also take it like a challenge. I think I will feel super proud as each time I drop a couple clothing sizes my clothes will get tighter too! So I can show off my progress!

This might sound harsh but I notice that guys at the gym tend to be watching the super hot chicks and barely even pause to blink at the less fit girls.

Not to mention that at the gym most people are totally focused on their own routine.

You're at the gym to look good.... who gives a cr@p about anyone else!

"This might sound harsh but I notice that guys at the gym tend to be watching the super hot chicks and barely even pause to blink at the less fit girls"


That actually helped hahaha.

For some reason it's just the thought process that goes through my mind, about what might be going on through HIS mind, when he sees me. I guess I just have to learn to let go of what others will think of me. I don't care what strangers think about me.. it's just the people that I know I get anxious about. Bah...

The only way to get over your anxieties and fears is to meet them head-on! Come on, it isn't like your entire workplace goes to this's one guy. You can do this! I think you should go for it.

Original Post by clampers:

The only way to get over your anxieties and fears is to meet them head-on! Come on, it isn't like your entire workplace goes to this's one guy. You can do this! I think you should go for it.

You are so right...

My gym is in my work building and exclusive to employees - I work with everyone there.  I chose to be glad for the convenience it provided, but I will admit it was a little weird undressing in front of my boss.  Now I work for a dude in another state :) Much better.

Honestly, I think most people at the gym are far too concerned about their own selves to be paying much attention to anyone else.  I was self-conscious at the start as well, because I decided to lift "heavy", and was usually the only woman in the free-weights area of the gym.  But after a couple sessions seeing the guys watching their biceps flex as they did curls in front of the mirror... I realized no one would be paying attention to me and I can go do whatever I need to do. :)

From my perspective and the gym I go to, the guys watch the girls in the free-weights area because they're so rare.  It's like we're watching wide-eyed at an endangered species...and then we realize we're staring, so we turn back to what we're supposed to be doing Smile

(Of course, that's not to say that all the guys are like this.  I work out at my college campus so there are still plenty of crass no-social-filter jackasses who ogle the girls)

The point is that, like others have said, people who are there for a serious workout are too focused on themselves than to notice anyone else.  And on the flip side, working out seriously means that you're too focused on yourself to be concerned with who's watching you.

Besides, let's look at this realistically.  If a person is concerned about being at the gym and others seeing the jiggly bits, does that mean that those other people have never seen what that person looks like?  Whether it's a lycra/spandex work-out outfit or a suit, clothing still hugs the body and the overall body shape and type are still evident.  None of it is really a surprise.

It's only a source of shame for our own self-consciousnesses.  And the operative part of that term is "self-."

And really, if you're not sweating and getting fatigued, then you're not working out.  Anyone who's gone to a gym and seen the person with perfect hair or make-up, busy texting on the stationary bike or Facebooking on the leg press knows that that person isn't actually working.

At the gym last night, I saw both.  While lifting weights and watching my own form in the mirror, I glanced back and saw a girl on a stationary bike behind me lazily pedaling and playing with her phone.  Next to her was another girl who was pedaling like her life depended on it.  I was more impressed with the 2nd girl and had to consciously stop myself from staring at her and return to my workout. Smile

So work your tail off.  It'll do you better in the long run AND you'll get more positive attention that way, contrary to common fears. Wink

I would think of it this way:

Would it be more embarrasing for him to see you in a gym, all sweaty...or more embarrasing for him to see you reach 300 lbs?

It might be easier for you if you try using the cardio machines that are on the outside ends, you might feel less exposed that way until you feel more comfortable working out in front of people.  And again just like others have said, most people are to concerned with what they are doing to be watching you.

Quote  |  Reply

I guess you could tell yourself that this co-worker is no better than anyone else including yourself and why would you give someone else the power to dictate whether or not you workout? No one deserves that kind of power. This is about you and getting healthy and yes that means sweaty and jiggling...oh well go for it! All you have to lose is pounds and inches.

I agree with all that you shouldn't be embarrassed to go to the gym - but there are plenty of exercises you can do at home or outside, too.  There are lots of threads here about equipmentless workouts, home workouts, walking workouts - if you find you can't overcome your intimidation of the gym, it's still possible to get exercise.  Good luck to you!

16 Replies