You’ve done it. You’ve made the decision to be healthier, to be happier, to be a fucking supermodel. But that’s the easy part. The hard part?
Learning to be okay in spandex.
Or learning to be okay around other people in spandex while you’re flooding sweat from every cellulite dimple you’ve so lovingly earned over the past 27 years.
When I first started going to the gym [I work at a University where I am constantly surrounded by 20 year old size zeros who look amazing and never drop an ounce of sweat] I was really self-conscious. Like I had mentioned before, when I first started this journey I wore a pair of cotton capris that I bought at Wal-Mart and any old cotton shirt I could find that didn’t cling to any spare muffins I was carrying around. There’s nothing wrong with cotton, but it’s really not conducive to keeping sweat away from you. It gets all wet, and clingy then starts yellowing, and well, I sweat like a man. Being self-conscious those first few months, I always made sure that the majority of my butt was covered. I just felt it was far too wide to fit into anything form fitting and be flattering. I really ended up making myself more miserable the first few months at the gym than I should have. Why?
Because I was more concerned with what other people would think of me than what I should have been concerned about.
Getting my sweat on.
The truth is you don’t have to wear tight fitting clothes to the gym to get your sweat on, but it’s one of the perks of feeling like a ‘true workout warrior’[at least for me] when you can slide on a pair of skin-tight capris and think “Damn, now that’s an ass I can bounce a quarter off of.”
And I do. I bounce quarters off of it. Okay, fine, I don’t, but not because I haven’t tried, it’s just really hard throwing quarters at your own ass. And it never fails someone sees you try, and explaining that? Awk.ward.
You can wear whatever you want to the gym and as long as you are consistent with your efforts, you will see results. 90% of the time I wear capris because of chub rub. The other 10% I’ll wear shorts, but only on days I know I won’t be running. Like if I’m doing weights. Or in an Oreo eating contest. [What? It could happen.]
You see that outfit? I obviously have gotten past my fear of looking like an idiot in the gym.
If at 200 lbs I can get past my fear of jiggling in front of others, I have no doubt you can too. So, here’s me – helping you – work on that. Just go with me on this.
Make a list of everything you love physically about yourself. See what tops that list. Chances are it’s going to be something like your smile or your eyes [you do have really lovely eyes, by the way]. And then when you’re done, make a list of things you want to put on that list. Did you putt perkier butt? Or sexy legs? Or pointy elbows? [What? I don’t know. This is your list.] and then…
Go look at yourself in a mirror and repeat this, “I am a bad ass. Tamara says so. She is awesome. God, she’s so awesome. I wish she was here right now. Sigh. Wait, where was I? I am a bad ass not a fat ass. BAD ASS. I can do this. This is my journey, not anyone else’s and if they have an issue, they can eat my sweaty cotton t-shirt. I will get <insert pointy elbows here>, dammit!”
Once you’re done pumping yourself up in the mirror [you, sexy beast, you] I want you to beeline it to the gym. When you get there, find a spot that’s really great for people-watching [like on the janky looking bicycle in the back corner.] And for the next 15 minutes I want you to count the number of people who you see actually turn around and watch you. Like not peek up for a second when you walk by them, but like turn and watch you.
What’s your number? Is it closer to zero than closer to a 100 [which is what it felt like for me] You know why? It’s because no one cares. No one cares that you have a little extra junk in the trunk in those pants, they are all far too worried about their own problems than to care about yours. That may sound a little harsh, but it’s true.
The only person who can make the change that you want is YOU. Stop making excuses and just push that voice of insecurity down. Push it down as many times as you have too and eventually, it will stop getting up.
And when it does, you’ll pull on your spandex capris, you’ll turn and look at that bounce-tastic ass in the mirror and you’ll say, “Damn, Tam was right. I am a bad ass. Now where the fuck is my quarter?”