Going to the Gym When You're Obese

Chef Krista Health Guide
  • When I first went to the gym after my wake-up call I was 250lbs and very unhealthy. See for yourself:

     


    I remember being in a panic over what to wear; it took me over an hour to pick out a baggy tee shirt and black leggings  I wanted to cover up the fat as best I could and still be comfortable. My goal was to blend in, but still look put together. Honestly, getting dressed as a fat woman is one of the most frustrating experiences a human being can experience. Out of at least six tee shirts I only liked one, and that one shirt became my new uniform for the next few months. It was navy blue, not too long, not too flashy, not too tight; it was perfect.

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    I got into the workout room which was large and full of the typical equipment. There were weight machines, free weights, spin bikes, treadmills and elliptical machines. I felt overwhelmed and intimated, I didn't know where to start. I saw a woman on the elliptical trainer, and thought to myself, um, yeah, I'll just do that for thirty minutes. My iPod had some good music on it, so I cranked up the volume and tried my best to not to feel completely self-conscious. As I began the exercise I tried to lose myself in the music and the rhythm, but insecurity was a harsh voice. My attitude and demeanor remained guarded.

    After fifteen minutes I was done. The tendons in my ankles and knees were on fire. Not wanting to risk self-injury, I got on the treadmill and walked fifteen minutes to finish out my self-prescribed 30 minutes of cardio. I started walking at a steady pace, my body finally warmed up and my mind finally able to relax (I gave myself permission to swing my arms to the music—you go, girl!).

    Tears began rolling down my cheeks and a warmth filled my chest. This was the right place, and I was doing what I should be doing. I wiped off the tears with my towel and finished the workout, sweaty and tingly. I left the workout room without making eye contact with anyone. On went my coat over my sweaty clothes and I left the gym.

    At that time my information about exercise was limited. I was under the impression that three days a week was enough to change my body, so at first that's what I did; me and my navy-blue baggy tee shirt, black stretchy leggings, glasses, hair pulled back in a barrette, and my iPod. I was shy, performing my workout and speaking to no one. In fact, I didn't even walk over to the weight training area of the gym for the first four months, sticking to the security of the treadmill, stationary bike, and elliptical trainer.

    After the fist two weeks, I became familiar with the club, and began to let myself relax as I listened to my headphones. I started to recognize the same people, which helped the gym to feel less scary. And since my baby was only a year old, blasting the Chemical Brothers' Setting Sun at crazy volume was something that could only occur on my iPod in the privacy of my own workout.

    There was something magical about hearing my music, it transported me back to the pre-mommy time in my life when I was happy and felt free.


  • -Krista tip-, I highly recommend taking the time to put together a special playlist—music is a powerful medium and motivator.

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    Anyway, that first month I felt ... I want to say proud of myself, but I wasn't ... I just knew it was the right thing to do. Let's just say I felt a sense of comfort knowing I was on the right track.

Published On: April 09, 2010