Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Fitness Anxiety

This is a subject I feel a little uncomfortable, or of course, more suitably, rather anxious about discussing. I suppose it's something that's been lurking on my mind for probably a few years now, but I've only recently come to terms with what I think I'm dealing with. Fitness anxiety is a phrase I kind of coined up myself last week, though upon a little Google search, I can see there are a handful of posts of similar vein.

It's only been in the past three-four years that I've come to terms with the realisation that I am an anxious person and have relatively mild anxiety. When I reflect upon my past, so many things make so much more sense now that I have a 'name' for the feelings I have. I remember back when I was at primary school (elementary for my international readers) I wouldn't be able to sleep the night before a class assembly because I would be panicking and fretting about a room full of people watching me. I'd arrive at school that morning in complete tears, unable to convey my feelings. I'm also a huge over-thinker, and am constantly thinking 'what if' with any situation, more often than not thinking about all of the worst case scenarios and assuming they'll happen to me. These anxious feelings carry on through all aspects of my life too...

Since cancelling my gym membership a year ago now, my fitness levels have most certainly dropped, though I've tried to maintain some sort of fitness by dipping into a variety of exercise. Walking has always been my favourite - I used to purposefully get off the bus several stops early or take the longest route home just so I could be on my own, listening to music, and simply walking. I've always enjoyed pilates too, and in the past year really began to enjoy yoga, mainly thanks to a lady called Adriene. Going to the gym used to give me a real buzz, and I was unashamedly a fitness and gym freak. This was, however, at a time when my health wasn't its greatest, and trips to the gym was more often than not a little too frequent. 

The changes it has to your body when you stop going to the gym can be pretty upsetting at first, especially if you're still eating the same amount as you were when you were going. Weight gain happens, and it's often not very pretty! So naturally, over the past year, my weight most likely has gone up (I refuse to weigh myself), and my figure has certainly changed. 

Fitness anxiety then comes in as I'm now at a point in my life when I'm fed up of feeling down about what I see in the mirror and now have the energy in me to start going to the gym again, or go to classes and get fit. No longer am I fussed about going purely for a figure identical to Rosie Huntington-Whitely's, instead I'm focussed on it boosting my overall health and on the great feeling I get following a workout. 

What's stopping me from actually going into a gym and asking about a membership is this 'fitness anxiety'. There is this uncontrollable feeling that has completely taken me over that is preventing me from popping down the road and starting up my new fitness journey. Are people going to judge me based on the size of my thighs? Even writing that makes me just realise how completely ridiculous I'm being and I know that no one is even going to be looking at me like that, unless they're just very insecure and have nothing better to think. It's perhaps being in a totally alien environment and in what has always felt like a competitive environment. Its too easy to begin comparing yourself to others when it comes to fitness, as after all, we're all striving for the best, regardless of whether that's for us or not. It feels like a combination of a lack of confidence in myself both physically and mentally, and the fear of the unknown too. Yes, you never know until you try but it's getting past the hurdle to even attempt to try that can seriously freak me out.
I'm such an ambitious person and set myself such high standards through all aspects of life, so perhaps my lack of confidence when it comes to my current fitness that is throwing me off and preventing me from achieving what I want, but it is just the weird sense of anxiousness that I just can't shake. 

What I'm trying to say is help me. I feel so fortunate that I have such intelligent, cool, sane readers who leave such brilliant comments on my blog on a regular basis and I just know that you'll all give me a boost of support that, probably, is all I need. I have a burning desire to hit up some fun gym classes (rather than go to the gym purely for the equipment - I'm totally over that as I gain nothing out of it!), and be in a motivated environment. I just have this inexplicable panic that comes over me when I even attempt to take action on that desire. 

So whether you've got some wise words that will just kick me up the bum and get me making the first steps of my future fitness, or whether you've actually been in a similar situation and can relate somewhat, I'd love to hear from you. I cannot wait to report back here soon and tell you all that I beat my anxieties and said 'screw you!' to fitness anxiety.

Any thoughts or contributions you have to this big old ramble would be much appreciated! Have you ever experienced fitness anxiety? Or have you ever felt any similar experiences of anxiety in your life, and what helped you to overcome those feelings? 
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1 comment

  1. Lucy I just want to give you a big hug! I get being anxious and daunted at the thought of starting something new I am veryuch the same. How about going to a class that's a bit fun and wacky. Like Zumba or a Salsa class. Where everybody will be concentrating on keeping up and getting their moves right they won't have time to notice you?? Aqua aerobics is another one. Half your body is under water, so you ditch your towel before quickly getting in the water and no one sees your insecure body. Muscle has memory so it won't take many sessions before you start to tone up and feel a bit better about yourself. I hope this helps. Sammie xx www.feastingisfun.com

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