Anyone Else Self-Conscious at the Gym?


I’ll be off to the gym in a few minutes, and I want to try running on the treadmill, but I’m a little scared. I mean, when’s the last time you saw a 265-pound woman run anywhere? (I hear snickering.)


For all my self-esteem work – and I’m going to need to dust off my workbook after this (sorry, Tanza!) – I still fall victim to old gym-class insecurities when I want to try something new.

I haven’t been to the gym since last week because I’ve been dealing with some cooties, and the anti-cootie meds are so strong they make me nauseous and sleepy – two things you don’t want to be on a treadmill. But I did my share of overeating the holiday weekend and I feel like a slug.

I have seen some seriously overweight women jogging, recently. Well, one. I saw her a few weeks ago while driving by, and I was in awe. She looked like she could have been my size, and she was holding her own there on the sidewalk. When I reached the stop sign about 400 yards later, I looked back, and she was still at it. My sense was that she was working out to get back into her former, runner’s shape.

I want to jog, but the idea of someone watching me is . . . paralyzing.

Yes, I know how juvenile that sounds. I love my gym, have no problems going in there and having a great, sweaty workout or even jogging in the pool. The thing is, there just aren’t that many big women in the gym. Most are quite fit or only slightly overweight – and I count people needing to lose 30 pounds or less in that group.

If anything, someone who sees me jogging maybe 30 seconds or a minute at a time might actually cheer me on.

This is why I always say losing weight is 90 percent mental.

So I’m going to try it, anyway. And I’m going to wear my Komen 5K t-shirt, which has “Run or walk for the cure” on the front. I can walk three miles in heat and humidity, surely I can jog a tenth of one. My birthday is August 30, and I want to be down another 20 pounds by then – a total of 50 pounds, which also marks the halfway point of this yearlong, weight-loss journey. That’s my present to myself, along with permanent eyebrows. (I still hear snickering.)  But I don’t think I can lose another 20 by then unless I shake things up, literally, by jogging.


Please wish me luck, and advice, as always, is welcome.

I don't think jogging is healthy, especially morning jogging. If morning joggers knew how tempting they looked to morning motorists, they would stay home and do sit-ups.  ~  Rita Rudner


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Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.