I’ve never been a gym rat or even cared for working out especially as a young adult. As a child and teenager I had a high metabolism and an active lifestyle, although I knew I was too skinny, I was at least somewhat healthy and played a lot of sports and enjoyed P.E. However, the second I went to college that stopped, I continued eating like shit, but didn’t put in the work to keep active.
I didn’t really put on weight until University and that was when my metabolism stopped protecting me, I gained weight, I started to finally understand why people complained about their weight and felt fat for the first time ever. I know I’m coming from a place of ‘skinny priveledge’, or at least I had that when I was younger, but it was like I’d been slapped by reality and realised that food stays in your system. I was always an intelligent child, but I always lacked common sense, so I was somehow an idiot as well.
Skip to 25 year old Fatima who has been working in an office and not really moving a lot outside of commuting, and you can already guess where this is going. I gained a lot of weight, I was weak and honestly I needed to do something. So I asked one of my closest friends who also started working out, and we got our asses to the gym. Now I’m still very early on in this ‘working out journey’ thing, so this isn’t a fitness advice blog, but entering a gym for the first time was weird.
I always knew it would be weird, but it didn’t really hit me until I was there. People just look like they know what they’re doing, they working on these machines, running, doing cardio and it’s just a place where everyones just focusing on their body goals. Men also tend to do this thing where they grunt loudly when doing certain excercises, and that’s weird and amusing. I think the reason I found it weird though was because it sort of felt like I was entering a place I had no place being in.
I’m not a fitness person, nor am I someone who knew how to use any of the machines. I know you can get a personal trainer, but personal trainers came to my work and called us all morbidly obese, so I have a personal issue with working with them at the moment (yes I’m still petty about this, I know most personal trainers are lovely people). I know I can get self conscious about anything and everything, but somestimes I forget I feel like this about my body, so working out for the first time in a gym had me feeling all of the self conscious feelings.
Realising how weak my arms were was a humbling experience. I knew I was weak but I didn’t know I was THAT weak!
Overall it wasn’t a bad experience, I’m glad my friend took me with her, and showed me the ropes. She even gave me a tour of the gym and made the place feel like a safe space – so this makes me understand why people have gym buddies. You don’t even have to workout together, but having someone you’re comfortable with there just helps.