Gymphobia and low self esteem, you're going DOWN (AKA: Lifting. ABOUT DAMN TIME.)

In 2012, I lost 18 pounds, ran my first 5k (actually did 2!), and learned a lot about myself. While I'm proud of that success, it stemmed from a lack of self-confidence--I was in the middle of acnegaddeon: worst breakout of my life, which lasted for about 6 months, and was so bad I was getting comments (most trying to be helpful, but some downright rude) from customers at the retail store where I worked. I felt like all people could see was my pizza face, and I'd never had anything like this happen before, even in high school, so I had no idea how to combat how it made me feel. So I did something to make me feel hot in spite of that: Lose weight and workout.

Terrible motives, because it had a little to do with getting healthy and a lot to do with altering myself to boost my self-esteem, but with myfitnesspal and a new exercise habit, I actually did it. 

Now, I've been wanting to start weight training for almost a year. However, all we have at home are an elliptical, treadmill, recumbant bike, a few dumbbells (2-8lbs) and dad's bowflex. Lots of stuff that worked alright for just learning to move and run, but not so great for my goals now. And the last 2 times I tried to get into my college's weightlifting course, I've sat on the waitlist.

So. I'm sick of waiting. Which means I have to join a gym. 

I've been afraid to because:

  1. Germs/viruses. Not in a germaphobic way, though, but for what impact they may have on my family. My mom had a bone marrow transplant for her leukemia this last summer and there's a lot of precautions she's STILL under because of her weakened immune system. She has to wear a mask and disposable gloves in public, she can't use public transport, she can't eat food that's been under heatlamps or out for more than 5 minutes because of bacteria, vegetables have to be washed in chlorinated water or cooked before she can eat them, our dog can't sleep in her bed anymore, and she can't even be in a room while it's being dusted or vaccumed. My 25-year-old sister (with whom I work as a CNA with 20 hours a week) has cerebral palsy and the lungs of a 5 year old. So we're talking two immune-compromised people in my family, and if I'm compromised, it can be life or death for them. 
  2. Form. I don't know what I'm doing yet and I really don't want to do something incorrectly and hurt myself.
  3. Awkward...ness. I've never worked out around other people and I'm a bit afraid fo the social aspect. Gym etiquette, people possibly being rude cause I'm a new girl in the weights area, things like that.

But I still want to learn to lift and I'm sick of waiting for that class at my college! So here's my game plan:

  1. Go to the local rec center 1/14/13 for a weight room orientation. Get a feel for the place, make sure they have a squat rack, allow deadlifting, etc (and if not, hey, at least there's the other gym in town, too).
    ETA: Did it! And they allow deadlifts and even have chalk. AW YEAH.
  2. Get at least one session with a personal trainer just for form instruction. I'll be using the New Rules of Lifting for Women program.
  3. Go! 3x a week, either Mon/Wed/Fri, Sun/Wed/Fri, or Sun/Tue/Thur. I'm thinking 5:30am or early afternoon (and just whenever on Sun), but it really depends on when I work with my sister. And/or when my friend goes. Speaking of said friend,
  4. Yeah, I do have a friend who lifts, though she's more into bodybuilding, but I'm going to try to hit the rec center when she does so I at least don't feel so alone in the weights area! Yay solidarity!
  5. I may bring my own antibacterial wipes (they don't work for viruses, but it's something) to wipe down machines, and will definitely wash my hands there. Lots. And I'm probably running from coughing people. 

I also want to get my nutrition in check, so I'll try to follow the program in NROLW as well. I don't know if I can easily eat as often as they suggest (5-6 times a day), but I want to learn to track macros and at least get enough protein. I'll use myfitnesspal to keep track, since I'm used to it already.

And as for the building self-confidence goal, I don't have anything specific planned at this point, besides ditching the scale. I honestly think it'll happen naturally if I just care about what I can accomplish, as opposed to what I look like. I just want to approach this with a mindset of getting stronger and overcoming fear as my goal, not, "if I fit in ___ size pants, I'll be happier about myself," which was kind of where I came from before. I was surprised that I actually stuck with the calorie-tracking and running, so I do know that when I get over the fear aspect, I can do it!! 



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