At my gym, every now and then a woman will shuffle from the showers to the lockers naked, giving new meaning to the term “indecent exposure.” Bags, sags or stretch marks, no matter. I’m guessing these ladies have high self-esteem.
Me, I dress and undress in one of the changing rooms. I can’t imagine ever being comfy enough to do so out in the open, thin or no. But I don’t have any problem sashaying from the showers to the room wearing only flip-flops and a bath sheet.
No, not a towel. Bath sheet. If I tried to cover up with the average-sized towel … Well, let’s just say there wouldn’t be much left to the imagination.
Laugh if you must; I don’t care. I love my luxurious bath sheets and appreciate the additional, um, surface area. They’re not included in traditional towel sets and cost quite a bit more since they’re about 6-feet wide. It will be several months before I can comfortably secure a regular towel around me, and that’s just fine.
Yes, I’m self-conscious about my weight, but I make adjustments to ensure nothing interferes with my workouts. Some days it’s a struggle figuring out what to wear to the gym because I refuse to buy more clothes. I have one pair of black sweats and one pair of ankle-length exercise pants (like leggings, except by Champion), and a bazillion t-shirts, most with holes (just not really big ones).
I did, however, run out and buy a new t-shirt this morning before heading to the gym. The hole in my sweats has become embarrassingly large, so my only option was the exercise pants. But see, they’re Lycra – quite form-fitting – and I needed a t-shirt long enough to cover my behind. I have several tall tees – think oversized, over-long, “thug life” tees – but I use those as nightshirts and for schlepping around the house. All my other tees are standard length, and I’m just not bold enough to go waltzing into the gym with only a taut veil of Spandex separating my behind and an otherwise unsuspecting public.
So I drove about five miles to Ross Dress for Less, and snagged an XXL Nike shirt in the men’s section for only $8.99 that, unfortunately, fit me perfectly. More importantly, it provided adequate posterior protection. (Yes, I’d sworn off spending for awhile, but it was either buy a shirt or pass on the gym for the day, because I was out of time.)
Do I care it was a men’s shirt? Heck no. It’s a simple gray deal, with a little embroidered Nike logo, and it was loose and comfy.
Being self-conscious in the gym is a choice. If you’re constantly worried about attracting negative attention, then you most assuredly will. If you’re focused on having a great workout and a good time, then you will. Yes, I believe it’s that simple.
Besides, I believe I and my wardrobe are providing a public service. Like the lumpy, bumpy, bare-naked ladies in the locker room, my ancient t-shirt collection should make anyone feel really good about what they’re wearing.
That’s a good thing.
FEAR is an acronym in the English language for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch
Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.