Written By: Emma Grosskopf
I made up my mind to lose weight this summer.
I shook my own hand and made a pact, and now I’m sticking to it.
I can walk to the gym from my room, so accessibility isn’t an issue. So why do I have a sinking feeling in my gut when it’s time for me to strap up and get my fitness on?
I’ll tell you why. It’s hard to be body positive in the gym. Take it from me: I jiggle when I jump rope, my shorts ride up when I’m on the Elliptical and it’s hard to remember to suck it in when I’m focused on NOT DYING during my workout.
And what’s harder still? Walking into the fitness center and seeing all of these other people that look like they have their lives and their fitness sorted out. Girls in just their sports bras and leggings doing curtsey lunges and goblet squats and pretending not to see the muscleheads that are checking them out.
Or the muscleheads themselves: beefy guys who sweat on all the equipment and grunt a lot while lifting more weight than seems humanly possible.
Or the people who don’t ever seem to be working out, but are just there to take selfies and check out everybody else’s workout.
It’s a struggle when you’re just a gal trying to be a skinty queen and get your health on. It’s intimidating.
I think it’s just really important to remember that you are at the gym for YOU. Not for anyone else. I know it’s hard when the grunting beefcakes and the girls with the perky bums are closing in around you and getting into your head.
I get it. The gym is a zoo. Really, it is. But everyone there had the same purpose: to better their physical health. Your health is no one else’s business but yours. I know it’s easy to say, “just ignore everyone,” but I personally think that the key is to get a good, upbeat playlist that makes you feel like a bad bitch (try anything with Beyoncé or Cardi B), get some good noise-cancelling headphones, and have a mantra. Wear workout clothes that you’re comfortable in. If you only want to wear a sports bra and leggings or running shorts, go ahead. If baggy basketball shorts and cutoff tank tops are more your speed, go ahead, girl.
It’s all about what will make YOU comfortable and what will make YOU feel like a bad bitch. You’re doing it for you, so don’t worry about being intimidated by the other people getting their fitness on. Just own your body and your mindset and make like Nike: JUST DO IT.