To go to the gym at 20st(126 Posts)
I’m going through a bad time in life and have never been through the doors of a gym.
I could desperately do with the weight loss but I would also love a place to go for some solace and there’s a pool and steam room.
Am I insane to consider going at my size?
I won’t take offense, I’d really like to know before signing up as I’m not in a position to lose money if I’ll be laughed at or jeered.
You are absolutely FINE to go to a gym. Hold your head up high and stride in there. We ALL start somewhere, all have our own goals and anybody who judges you can get to fuck. Good luck.
Some people have deluded ideas of what overweight people can manage.
I went to the gym at 21st. Now I'm 17st.
Nope, just go for it. There are all shapes and sizes at my gym, and I regularly go with a friend who's a size 18-20 - she's by no means the largest person who goes there, and no one bats an eyelid at anyone's size or what they're wearing. We're all there for the same goal. You're going there to get fitter and improve your levels of well being. Just go. You'll love it. Especially the steam room/pool.
Go for it. As a fatty, I found that no one else cares what anyone else is wearing or looks like
Definitely go! Have a look round first, you’ll generally find that the people in there aren’t all skinny with perfect bodies. The majority are working on their own imperfect bodies at all ages and not paying any attention to what others are doing. I’d ask for a programme to be set up to make the most of it, most gyms offer that free of charge
That's amazing to want to make changes to be healthier and fitter
No one (worth anything) will judge you except to think 'good on her' I expect. Good luck
Get yourself there - it’s not just the physical benefits but the mental ones too. I had a breakdown and part of my treatment was gym membership (had to go so many times a week) - I credit it with a huge part of my recovery.
And you have every right to be there - enjoy!
Do it! I am in week 3 of going after 3 years of doing no exercise at all and piling on weight, no idea what I weigh but am huge. After just a couple of weeks I feel like a different kind person, the feel good factor affects every area of your life and I wish I had done it years ago. I wear a big baggy t-shirt and gym trousers and yes, I am the biggest one there but am determined that will soon change as the weight comes off. Honestly you won’t regret it OP, you will feel really proud of yourself xx
People REALLY are not that interested op, most are far to busy beating themselves up about not going for 6 months, /will they have time to wash their hair before work /doing their shopping list...and a thousand other things..........
Of course you should go and enjoy yourself, you will be fine..
I've seen lots of larger people at the gym. Also older people who are very slow etc.
I was 16st and didn't feel out of place (bannatynes).
I've been to all kinds of gyms. The ones I've felt the most comfortable have been the council run gyms. You tend to get all walks of life in there and all abilities. They also seem much friendlier and far less intimidating.
Go for it OP if you feel the appeal of the sauna why not! In all seriousness I was 17 stone when I started I took the view head held high I was there for a purpose not to look good (big red tomato face when exercising 😂). Away I went and I had no bother - I should say mine was also a mainly male gym (boxing) and there were a lot of "preened" fellas there 😂.
Of course you should go. It'll make you feel good.
Go in with confidence and in the unlikely event anyone laughs or jeers then tell them (also with confidence ;) ) to go fuck themselves!
Some people have deluded ideas of what overweight people can manage.
I was overweight, 4 stones heavier than I am now and I was very fit. Granted I wasn't doing my joints or heart many favours but I was fit nonetheless
fitter than i am now
There's such a mix of people at my gym, just go for it!
Yeah. Council gyms are more likely to have all sorts in and nobody cares. Fancy gyms might be a little intimidating but I still don’t think anyone cares either.
Oh definitely go. The more I'm exercising the easier I find it to make healthy choice too so win win.
Op the best workout is the one you do not the one you think about.
There is a lot of useful stuff on YouTube but always be wary ans watch out for the risk of injury.
Wow, you are fabulous . Gyms can be really daunting places to new people, especially if they feel as though they stand out. I'm hugely impressed you're considering this and really hope you go and that you catch the fitness bug. Why not have a tour of a couple of different gyms, have a chat about what's available in terms of inductions, gym programmes, classes and ongoing support. Also see how you feel in there and if the natives smile at you
Fabulous first steps OP, it's great for your physical health, mental health, confidence and hopefully social life. If you try to go at the same time each day, you'll probably see the same faces and that's lovely. All the best!
I'm 18st and have started going. Good for you! As a previous poster said, everyone is there to better themselves so there is no need to feel uncomfortable
Absolutely do it! I am about 4 weeks in to going to the gym, and I am the heaviest I've ever been. No one pays any attention to me and I feel so good at the end! My gym is full of people of every shape and size so please don't worry. Good luck
I've been to lots of different gyms. One thing I've noticed is no one even seems to glance at anyone else!
I promise you this - everybody at the gym is far too busy with their own workout to notice anyone else. Also remember that many people there will be, or have been overweight themselves. You can do it!
DH & I go to the gym together. We are both overweight, he weighs approximately 20st, down from 23st. We are getting healthy & losing weight together. I've lost a stone, albeit from a lower starting weight. Ours is a council run gym. It's great.
Bollocks to what anyone else thinks. You are making this change for you.
I also agree that council gyms are less intimidating. I don't notice what other people look like or wear.
Go for it . You have nothing to loose. There are all sorts at my gym and I’ve never even stopped to notice anyone. Get a session or two with a trainer if you can and get yourself a programme to start off and before you know it you will be flying. Good luck
Of course you’re not insane! We all have to start somewhere. If anyone even noticed your size the vast majority would just be thinking ‘good for you’ for trying to get healthier! Good luck!
I go to a fancy dan gym and there’s all sorts of shapes and sizes, no one cares. Go for it!
In fact one of the instructors is a big lad but I went to one of his boxing classes and nearly died he could out sit up the rest of us by miles!
OH was about 24st when he joined. He lost 8, but has put four on since we have been together so we are both looking at joining a local gym
Please go for it! After the first visit, you'll be fine. Do they have Aqua classes, these are great, particularly if you like being in the pool. Good fun and get your heart beating.
Go for it. In 6 months, a year and longer you’ll be glad you did.
YANBU- go for it and don’t feel self conscious, you’re going there to improve yourself. Stand tall and proud!
Go for it! Everyone is there for the same reason, and the place definitely won’t be full of people who look like Olympic athletes. People will respect you for getting off your backside and making some positive changes in your life.
There's a woman at my (local council) gym who is morbidly obese. She swims several times a week and goes to the gym; I just think good for her for doing something about it.
You definitely should do it! You will feel AMAZING!
I’ve recently joined a gym. The first time I went I managed 10 lengths of the pool, just. I tried to do day 1 of couch to 5k on the treadmill and couldn’t do it. I was just so unfit, despite walking miles a day. Now I can swim 50 lengths some days, but only 20 others. Still hate the treadmill but improving. I weigh 10 stone. It’s not about how big you are, it’s about fitness. I felt ridiculous until I realised nobody else cared. They were all doing their own thing. And it has helped my mental health a lot.
I’m so glad I posted.
I used to love being active and I do actually walk the dogs for an hour a day (though I wouldn’t admit that to anyone or they’d wonder how I’m this size!)
I had turned to comfort eating and gained a incredible amount of weight quite rapidly.
I’m so glad to hear you all say go in with confidence because lately I feel I’m apologizing and ashamed of my very existence because of how big I have gotten.
If I’m going I want to go unapologetically.
Thank you so much!
In my experience most people are so into their own routines they don’t notice people around you. If your not a usual gym go-er or never been into fitness I would recommend a fitness instructor. I thought it was all about the tread mill and other machines but my gym instructor gave me a very varied routine involving weights, push ups (which I’m rubbish at!) boxes, use of the ball and on the mat excercises as well as using the machines. I saw a huge difference in just a matter of weeks and felt great!
OP I am sixteen stone and also have an obvious leg deformity that has been known to make toddlers at the pool cry on occasion , if I can get in the bloody pool and on the treadmill I promise you can to!
I know it's hard but once you do it a couple of times it will get so much easier and you'll feel so good about yourself afterwards! I promise you most people are so wrapped up in what they are doing they won't even glance your way. If anyone judges you for trying to better yourself then fuck their opinion, quite frankly.
Plenty of much larger people at my gym/pool trying to get healthier. Go for it. I am slim because I am ill and I’m sure you have more energy and are fitter then I am!
Absolutely you should go! Be sure to ask a member of staff how to use the equipment. Most gyms offer a free 30 minute session on how to use everything. Good for you.
There’s no chance I would be too heavy for certain machines? The treadmill or seated bike?
I would die of shame if they had to approach me and tell me I’m too big
This girl can!
At my gym there is a woman's only room. I don't know why but I walked in and thought "this will be my home..."
All ages, all sizes and no one bats an eyelid at my gym.
Just googled it and high end (which gyms will have rather than a flimsy home version) are between a 300 to 500 lbs weight limit. 300 lbs is about 21 stone so you are below even the lowest limit.
I think you would be fine - equipment t in commercial gyms caters to a large weight range. I remember the threadmill I used at a 500lb limit.
Go and have fun.
Definitely go. I started at the gym about 6 months ago and I am currently LOVING it. I have toned up lots. There is a small ladies only bit at my gym, more often than that I would have it to myself! And now I go to classes and they get easier and easier as I continue.
I would never laugh at anyone doing exercise - no one will notice but anyone who laughs at someone exercising is seriously stupid!
Please go. You have as much right to be there as anyone else! Gyms are full of people of all ages and sizes, and thats something that should be applauded.
It's actually very bad form amongst the gym-going community to ever criticise or ridicule the status or efforts of others in the gym. Remember that girl from a few years ago who secretly filmed another gym user and uploaded it to SM with the intention of humiliating them? Quite apart from the legal ramifications, she got torn apart by the online community for her total lack of support and understanding towards the purpose of trying to improve one's health.
I fell off a treadmill in he gym once, hit the wall behind me. Everyone was so caught up in their music and excercise they didn’t even notice!! No one helped me get up, or even sniggered!!
I daoubt anyone will would noice or care what weight you are. Please don’t feel self conscious. There is no need.
That’s the point of a gym. If you do have a bad experience (hopefully you won’t but there are some horrible people in this world) don’t let it put you off. You have just as much right as anyone else to work out.
OP, I’m in my mid twenties and a trim size 10! I go to the gym with the girls to work out and take pics...etc. The type who are often cast as the reason someone like you would feel uncomfortable going!
Every time we see someone large we’re all very much like ‘bloody good on them’ - it’s so easy to get into a bad state but so hard to do something about it!
I wouldn’t worry AT ALL about what anyone thinks as it’s probably far more positive than you imagine.
However, please do talk to an instructor before just ‘hitting the gym’ as your fitness and weight will impact what kind of work out is best/safest for you! Plus some of the machines require a masters in engineering to operate 😒😂
Maybe book a couple of personal training session to begin with and then copy the routine on your own!
I'm currently 10.5 st (but only 5 ft 3) and have been putting off going to the gym because I look and feel horrendous in leggings. I wish I was brave enough to go and not give a damn. I had an eating disorder as a young teenager and still suffer from body image issues/self-consciousness. But I really understand what it feels like to fear people judging you based on your body. Hope you go, op.
When I used to go to the gym I literally just focused on what I was doing.
Not at all! Go, it’s a good habit to have and you’ll feel bettter for it.
I started going to HIIT classes at about 17st and all anyone was thinking about was how to keep going, whatever size they were.
Good for you! Definitely go to the gym and don't worry to much about anyone else. I'm not sure if your area does leisure passes but I have one that gets me in to swimming, gym and health club at the local leisure centre. Its great as I often go for a swim if I'm not feeling up to the gym
I have been a gym user for over six years and I have never looked twice at anyone who is overweight. I know as well through meeting a lot of people at the gym that the general consensus is “good on them”
I’ve been to commercial gyms, powerlifting gyms, council gyms and hotel gyms. All the same.
A guy did make fun of me once for using an MP3 player though when ipods first got popular so not devoid of arseholes.
No one looks at me, as a fatty, at the gym. Honestly people of all shapes and sizes are there. They can judge me at McDonald’s which is next to the gym but not in the gym 😂
Don't worry about what other people think. Most gyms do an assessment to see what you want to achieve through your workout and create a personal programme. It is also beneficial to show you how to use the equipment correctly to avoid injury and get the most from your sessions. If you're worried, try calling beforehand to arrange to meet a member of staffwhen you go in.
There are women of all shapes and sizes at my gym.
Nobody bats and eyelid and we all encourage each other.
Some of those who might weigh heavier are every bit as fit as the lighter people, and they can lift and squat more than I ever could!
I was almost 11st when I started weighing myself in October (I had been going to gym long before that but not for weight loss) and to say I weighed 9st 4lb.
I love the feel good factor of the gym.
If you're on Instagram follow some of the motivational people. I find formerfatgirlonfire and laylas_adventures_in_fat_loss good!
Sarah Sephora is great too, she's American (as is formerfatgirl) but their journeys are incredible!!
You got dis!!
Do it! I joined a local facility last January and have been made welcome and supported by every single person I’ve come across. I’ve lost weight and made loads of new friends too! I even do weight lifting classes now with the guys!
Definitely no judgement, go for it! I would recommend maybe looking up some tips before you start if you haven't exercised regularly before, you don't want to start too gung ho and pull a muscle or something
not speaking from experience. Also don't be afraid to ask the staff for help using the machines, some of the weights ones are impossible to figure out first try. Good luck!
Tessy March into that gym with your head high! I agree with others that the gym crowd are a not a judgemental crowd. Why would anyone criticise someone who’s clearly trying to improve herself?
Also, most gym staff go out of their way to help and advise you on how to meet your goals.
You will have an induction where they show you how to use stuff. They can tell you if you are worried about weight limits. Usually gym machines are sturdier than home machines.
Get some advice re low vs high impact. You can eg use the treadmill for walking uphill rather than running (I'm 17.5 st so know how it feels) - gets you puffing at the right level without straining joints or making big noise pounding away to begin. Exercise bike, cross trainer and rowing machine also all good.
I would invest in a nice supermarket pair of gym trousers to help you feel good. Don't waste money on special tops though
Go and be proud of yourself! I'm never going to be a 6ft supermodel and I'll always be the colour of a beetroot when I exercise but I'm still here and I'm strong.
Don't worry about your size, there will be men bigger than you who won't think twice about being in the gym.
Enjoy the sauna and the pool. After the first few times you will feel like your muscles are about to tear themselves apart and you will be walking very carefully but it will pass. Don't be discouraged, recover and try again.
Sorry CBA to rtft but any time I ever went to the gym, the only people I ever thought badly of were the posers and if I saw someone overweight and/or red in the face and/or huffing and puffing (last two apply to people of any size) I might have thought "good for you" if I thought anything at all.
Anyone who feels the need to say anything unkind is not worthy of your head space. Go for it!!
Not a gym but same principle. I walk a lot and about a year ago started noticing regularly a very large lady, pushing herself along, head down with what was obviously a huge effort. My first thought was that’s brilliant, not sure I would have had her determination. A year on, she’s literally half the woman she was, power walking, head held high in the most magnificent fluorescent gear 😁 I see her most days, rain or shine and admire her enormously, as most people at the gym will admire your efforts to. Go for it, you’ll be so glad you did.
I’m a size 16/18 and have often been the biggest person in a class and when I’ve had a moment of crisis about that have always reassured myself that I’m actually at a class at the gym and not sitting on the sofa eating crisps. Whenever I see someone larger person out running I always want to give them a little cheer because they’re out there having a go and doing something positive. Give it your best shot OP - make the change you want.
Personally, if I do happen to notice a larger person at the gym, I admire them for taking steps to lose weight. I'm not overweight, but quite unfit and felt really self conscious at first but as other posters have said, everyone is too busy with their own thing to notice. Good luck OP.
I used to go to the gym with my friend who was 23st. No one batted an eyelid.
March through those doors with pride!
When I joined the gym I had the same concern. The wonderful fitness instructor who showed me round said “everyone is here to improve their body so you are the same as everyone else”. That really stuck with me and I’ve found other gym members nothing but supportive.
Honestly, no one will care, everyone’s too busy getting on with doing what they need to do in my experience. I was pushing 18 stone at my biggest.
Once you’re familiar with the place and what you want to do, get some cracking tunes on your phone, earphones in and enjoy working out and feeling better about Yourself!
Another saying yes, go. Think not about where you are now but where you will be by the summer/ Christmas/ this time next year.
Swimming is amazing exercise especially when you are quite overweight, it's true all over exercise. It's what I would do (if I could swim and wasn't scared of water!). I do look at others in the gym because I'm nosey and for inspiration (I often checkout how fast people are going on the treadmill...usually a lot faster than me) but the only ones I think in any way negatively about are the grunting weightlifters (why so loud?!) and the full makeup and false lashes wearing TOWIE wannabes, mainly because they chatchatchat to each other non stop and seem to come to the gym to socialize and pose/ take selfies...never seen any of them break a sweat yet! But anyone over weight (as I am myself) I just think good for you for taking that first step.
Go. Thinking gyms are only for fit, buff people is like thinking dentists are only for people with perfect teeth.
I agree. Go! I go to a council gym and there are people of all ages, shapes and sizes there.
im the same op overweight but cant face a gym i have noone nearby to go with so i just dont
id love to swim but cant find a costume to cover everything-anyway i do hope u go it might spur me on too
The whole point of a gym is to get fit! Good for you. I’m sure people would be kind and encouraging. You should have an induction when you join anyway. They’ll be able to advise you how to build your fitnes up. Good luck x
Do it! My gym doesn’t have a lot of bigger people, but I am one of them, and as unfit as I am, there are others who struggle as much. I only do classes though because I need direction. I’d love to be able to afford the personal trainer.
Some nights I go just to get out of the house -I don’t get out much-
You’ve all spurred me on so much, my mouse is hovering over the join button!
I don’t have any council gyms near me unfortunately and only one with a pool and really good deal, it seems great though and there’s lots of success stories on their Facebook page.
I’m most excited (and terrified) about swimming so have been looking at costumes, they do full on swimming outfits these days!
I’m just going to go for standard togs though I think!
It took me a year of learning about exercising and watching YouTube videos before I built up the courage to go to the gym. I’m fairly average sized but was very shy and unfit and was embarrassed people would laugh at me and I would stand around not knowing not what to do. However I can 100% say it’s not like that at all! I now go regularly and don’t bat an eyelid at anyone remotely big.
My top tips would be:
- Follow fitness accounts on Instagram or YouTube to familiarise yourself with excersises and also as motivation
- Start off small. My first day I only went straight to the treadmill because I figured that was easy, I ran slowly whilst watching everyone around me and seeing what they were doing. I built up my courage to start trying other machines after repeatedly seeing people use them and then going home and checking YouTube for how to do that specific exercise.
- Wear big obnoxious headphones, they make you feel as though you don’t care what anyone thinks. Fake it til you make it!
- Go in the off peak hours when it’s less busy and if your gym has a ladies section, give it a go.
- Make sure you’re eating healthy and ensure you eat an adequate amount of protein after exercising as your body needs it to heal the muscles it’s torn through whilst working out (in simple words!)
Nope, go it and be proud. You are there to get fit and healthy, and that’s what the gym is for.
Good luck xo
I agree, go for it! I used to be the beetroot coloured girl in the back corner of the class. Now when I see a new person, all that I think is 'good on you'. Any shyness passes. Good luck
Go for it OP. There have been all shapes and sizes of gym goers in the several gyms I have frequented over the years. Make sure you book an induction to have an instructor show you how to use the equipment safely and make you up a programme. You will see and feel results fast even by going a couple of times a week.
I’m not sure about the cover all swimsuit. It’s very unusual. I can imagine the scenario where you might catch people doing a double on your swimsuit and you worrying they are looking you over!
Hold your head up high and go
If you are feeling very fragile go mid morning and mid afternoon
Do it! 😊 It’s good fun when you get into a routine and it’s great for mental health as well as physical.
There’s all sorts of people at the gym, not one standard type. Do you have a variety of local gyms? It might be worth shopping around to find one that you like. Here in my town we have about 5 gyms - they range in size not all have pools some have different class timetables and different clientele.
Most gyms offer an induction to help you learn how to use the machines, some will also create a programme too. Take all the help you can get - it’s so worth it! I’ve been going for years but I still learn new things when I use the pt services.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy it 😊
You can get some nice modest costumes now that cover your thighs etc if you’re not feeling confident but honestly don’t worry. Once you’re in the water no one can see you anyway. The more you go the more confident you’ll get x
Of course you can OP. I went when I was at my heaviest at 16 and a half stone and no one batted an eyelid. Good luck and good for you for doing something positive!
At ours you can take your towel (and shower stuff) through and leave it on hooks by the pool, so the walk in your costume can mostly be done hiding behind your towel, then just last couple of steps to pool, but our pool is usually so quiet no one is standing around looking. Good luck
Now and then I come across reddit posts between people who take gym work very seriously indeed. When overweight gym users are mentioned, those people have never expressed anything but admiration for them.
Deffo do it. I'm another one who always thinks "good on you" when i see obvious newbies at the gym (my gym has quite a lively oldies clientele - and I genuinely mean in their 80's). But that's to the extent I think anything at all - I'm usually on the treadmill with my headphones on listening to a podcast and thinking about something else, as will be every other person there.
My top tips: sort out some ok clothing. It genuinely doesn't have to be fancy (yet - that will be your reward down the line!) I would go for some basic leggings, a few long line vests (vests are really useful to cover things up when you are stretching/raising your arms etc) and then any old T shirt can go on top. You don't need fancy shoes for gym work but I really recommend proper socks that wick away "moisture" - our TK Maxx always has good packs of these. In fact TK Maxx is v good for sportswear. YOU NEED A SPORTS BRA.
The other thing is that the staff are there to help you and will be happy to do so. My trainer said its quite a dull job if they don't interact and they like to talk to people. Ask them to set up a basic programme - every gym will do that for free. It really helps when you know the staff, just to smile at or exchange a few words with. It cements the fact that you "belong". And you do - the gym is for everyone. Good luck.
Go for it OP! I don't go to a gym but it's more a fitness centre that holds classes into the evenings. I only started going this year on 3 classes a week, but loved it so much I'm now unlimited and there a lot!
Everyone's really friendly and it's really fun (although hard work) and if you want to go, you may be surprised how much you enjoy it like I did.
Judgement at gyms is reserved for people who drop heavy weights noisily, people who hog equipment whilst texting or scrolling, people who don’t wipe down, people who use squat racks for presses and people who don’t put equipment back in the right place.
And, if I am really going to be honest those people who dress up in matchy matchy outfits, especially if it includes a crop top. Real gym bunnies tend to look like they dressed in the dark because they frequently have.
If you go to a gym with classes I'd really recommend trying them too, again filled with people from all shapes and sizes.
And, if I am really going to be honest those people who dress up in matchy matchy outfits, especially if it includes a crop top
@LemonTT Why? How someone dresses to go to the gym
or anywhere is no one else's business and has no affect on you.
Find a gym you feel comfortable in op. That's half the battle.
I love mine. I was 17 stone. Down to 15 now.
I pay a bit more to go to David Lloyd but I honestly love it. The trainers are great.
I think you will inspire people who see you come and lose weight. When you are a bit bigger it will come
Off quite fast!
Good luck xx
I'm quite small and pretty fit, I would NEVER judge anybody else in the gym, I don't really even look at anyone else. One of my best friends was probably a similar size to you and she has gone nuts exercising, there's nothing she won't try, she has got smaller which is great for her as that's what she wanted but more importantly she is now super fit (fitter and stronger than me!). I think she is AMAZING and have so much admiration for how hard she's worked and I don't mean that in a patronising way, more in a 'Fuck me she's fit, wish I had her determination'. That's all a bit rambly but what I'm trying to say is 'Go for it!'
I wouldn't judge anyone in the gym and I don't, I started off as an18 now a 14 and never experienced anything negative. If anything they'll be thinking good in you for doing it. Plus gym leggings are probably the most flattering trousers I own!
What a lovely thread. Of course you should go OP! Maybe also get some one to show you the ropes and give you a simple routine to follow just until you're comfortable there. Ive always found that gives me confidence to keep going. Good luck!
Nope - I go all the time.
20st 2lbs and a size 22
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.