While I feel like I have a pretty healthy body image from day to day, when I enter a gym I have a mental breakdown. The gym at BYU-Idaho is free, so it's where I've always gone when I feel like getting into shape. But I HATE that gym with everything in me. Everyone fit and skinny on campus goes to the campus gym to work-out and hit on each other.
There are mirrors EVERYWHERE so you have stare at your fat thighs as they jiggle, confused why you're causing them so much pain. Not only do you have to stare at yourself, you also have to stare at the skinny-minny girl running 10X faster than you on the next treadmill. There she is, something out of a music video. There you are, something out of a biggest loser audition tape.
So you nix the treadmill thing and head to the weight room where a bunch of beefy bro's are grunting and insist on telling you your form is wrong (even though your form is WAY better than theirs).
You decide to sign up for a personal trainer who is not interested in helping you because, quite frankly, you're wearing a wedding ring and therefore won't be able to give anything "worthwhile" in return. They hand you an exercise plan they did as an assignment for health and fitness 101 and tell you good luck.
The gym is crowded at all hours of the day. Morning, noon and night. There is no escape from watching said bro's hit on the girls who have been cycling for 3 hours and can still smile and chat.
And everyone says: "oh Carrie, no one is watching you" but I KNOW this is not true because I watch everyone. It's so crowded, you really can't help it.
So now you decide "I'll join a class." And this sounds really fun and free. But the yoga instructor doesn't know the difference between yoga and regular stretching and the aerobics teacher doesn't show up. You try the Abs That Rock! class, but guess what? There's mirrors in that room too. And the same skinny-minny girl is crunching her tight tummy while you are struggling not to roll into her. By this point, your self-esteem is hanging as low as your belly button.
You grab your water bottle, your towel, and what's left of your self-image and leave the gym exhausted. Not physically, but mentally exhausted.
Because I'm sick of being the same weight I've been forever, I've decided to go back to the gym. But as hard as I tried to will myself to do it, I couldn't go back on campus. So, we moved some money around and I now have a membership to Anytime Fitness. There's never really anyone there, and I'm excited to get going.
Today was my first day, and feeling overwhelmed, I just hopped on a treadmill. About one mile into dying, a 125lb beauty from one of my classes jumped on the treadmill next to me.
I felt betrayed.
But there's no mirrors at Anytime Fitness, and I was able to have a pleasant chat with her. She made me feel comfortable and told me how she had started at exactly my weight. She also shared with me her own gym anxiety and hatred for the BYU-Idaho gym.
"I used to be so worried that someone would see my butt jiggle while I ran that I just did the bikes instead..."
I think we're going to be friends