Beating Gym Intimidation

For many of us, the new year means new resolutions and hitting the gym and losing weight, are on many of our lists.

But what stops us? Many of us have the perception that everyone in the gym is thin, fit and ‘perfect’, whatever that means.

3 of us from TippFM have teamed up with Xtreme CSC in Clonmel in January to take on a 12 week weight loss and fitness challenge. 3 of us with very different lifestyles, very different fitness levels and very different eating habits.  And while Tipp Today Producer, Lynda is a regular gym go-er, both Fran and I, shudder at the very thought.

So why take on a 12 week weight loss challenge then?… Well, while having tea and biscuits in the canteen (ironically) before Christmas, and once again telling each other that, next year, will be our year (again!), we got chatting as to the reasons we’ve failed in the past. And the collective reason seemed to be INTIMIDATION. Scared to go to the gym or to exercise!  Afraid that people would be looking at us, judging us for being overweight in a gym, terrified we’d not be able to use the machine and way too nervous to even ask for help. And with those thoughts in mind, we realised that we’re not alone in thinking that, and in actual fact, there are lots of people just like us.

So, with that, we took on a challenge, to move our bodies more and try cut out the junk food. We’d be led by personal trainer (and saint for listening to us everyday), Jola Nowasada. We we’re giving meal plans and training schedules and all in theory sounded great. But we were still to overcome one big obstacle, going to the gym.

It’s now nearly 4 weeks since we started and what have we learned?


  1. Going to the gym and getting fit is though for everyone
  2. Most personal trainers have their own stories to tell and have their own daily struggles
  3. it IS intimidating to go into a gym when you’re plus size. But you can either be put off and never go, or psyche yourself up and go for it
  4. NO ONE is looking at you
  5. Focus on your own training, not anyone else’s! There is nothing you can do about what anyone else around you is doing. It has nothing to do with you. Someone running faster than you or lifting heavier weights than you or being able to do more circuits than you, is none of your business.
  6. You won’t get fitter overnight! No really you won’t! But every workout you do, will accumulate to give you more stamina and fitness.
  7. Get a personal training session! If for nothing else, to show you how to use the equipment! You’d get braver and braver and will eventually want to try out new thing.
  8. And lastly, burpees do not get easier!!!


By Siobhan