Moving Past the Fear: Going to the Gym

After a little bit more than a month of pulmonary rehab, I am now moving on to phase two of my health transformation. What does phase two consist of, you ask? I’m glad you asked! Phase two for me consists of no longer attending the pulmonary rehab classes twice a week and moving on to exercising on my own. There are a few reasons that I’ve moved through rehab this quickly, including my new hours at work that make it a bit difficult to make it into rehab. But I didn’t just quit this process of pulmonary rehab just because of a change in my work schedule. I promise I’m not done working towards my goal of having a set of lungs that are as healthy as they can possibly be. In fact, I’m actually getting to a point where I am ready to work harder. It’s been about three months since I was in the hospital, and I’m getting stronger every day. So after talking with the nurse that I have been working with at rehab, we came to the conclusion that I can handle my program on my own as long as I am patient and listen to what my body needs.

So while one chapter ends at the pulmonary rehab center, another one opens into a completely different world: the gym. I don’t know if any of you have ever had a gym membership, but I’m just going to come right out and say that I am total newbie. I’ve thought about joining a gym many times as I’ve struggled with my weight, but I’ve always found some excuse to not do it. I know that a gym is not the answer to fitness for everyone, but for someone with asthma with environmental triggers it’s a good idea to have a place that is indoors to work out when conditions aren’t so great outside. For a while I kept telling myself that I couldn’t afford a gym membership, which is true for many of the gyms around where I live. I also tried to use the excuse that I wouldn’t have the time to go that often, so paying for a membership wouldn’t be worth it. I don’t know why I felt the need to come up with any excuses, especially when they were only excuses for myself. No one else really cares if I have a gym membership, but I still found myself finding reasons for why I didn’t get one.

If I was to be completely honest with myself, the real reason I didn’t want to go to a gym was because I was pretty sure that people would look at me and think “she’s too fat, she doesn’t belong here.” I’ve finally come to realize that that is completely false, and even if someone did think that it doesn’t matter. The first night I went to check out the gym, I realized something kind of awesome: no one cares what you are doing. Everyone is too busy focusing on their own routine to pay attention to you. Then I realized another thing: by simply walking into a gym immediately contradict those insecure thoughts and stereotypes about people who are overweight. Some people may think that because someone is overweight that they must be lazy and not care about their body. By walking through those doors and doing any sort of exercise, I get to prove that I don’t fit those thoughts. I may not be as fast as the person on the machine next to me. I may not be able to lift as much weight. I may not know how to use all of the machines. At least not yet. I’ll get there. No matter how long it takes I will get there. I will get that new set of lungs. Just wait and see.

Whether it’s to lose weight or to get in shape, what are your favorite ways to work out? Do you prefer a gym or would you rather do something outside or in your own home? Comment below and let me know what works for you, what you may be reluctant to try, or maybe something that you’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t gotten around to yet. I’m always looking for new things to try and work into my workout routines, so let’s start brainstorming! Plus I have no idea what to do with my time at the gym other than a few basic machines, so any tips would be great!

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