Guest Post on Put the Blinders On!

Did you see my guest post on Running With Sass? If not you should head over here and read it because well.. I’m awesome!

From Running With Sass

Well friends, an amazing trip has come to an end. We are on our way home, but will take back with us a lot of very fun memories of an amazing race and lots of time with friends. Once again, I can’t wait to share with you all! Since I am traveling today, please enjoy this guest post from Hayley. She blogs at Today she will be talking about working out when you are overweight, and the fear that can come with walking into a gym or class full of super fit people, and what you can do to feel confident! Remember, working out if for EVERYONE! Just get moving!

Put the blinders on!

That’s what a very nice lady told me today in my training program and it’s been resonating with me ever since.

I joined a training program / competition at my gym called “The Biggest Winner” which started 4 days ago. It’s been brutal, mind-blowing, painful and worth every ounce of sweat. I’m in a group with 5 other people, all older than me and the majority much more athletic that I am. They’re just here for the weight training – I’m here for the weight loss.

Any gym can be very intimidating when you’re overweight. The minute you set foot in the room it’s uncomfortable as you watch incredibly fit bodies running effortlessly on the treadmill, lifting hundreds of pounds overhead without breaking a sweat and performing yoga poses as simple as walking. Basically, everything fat people can’t do – but you can! You just need to put the blinders on!

I remember the first time I took the abs and lower back class at my gym. At 300 pounds, the instructor (who may have been a 110 soaking wet), told everyone to lie down on the floor and put our feet in the air. She then directed the class to do the “air bicycle” while alternating crunches. Um…. No!

I know I’m not the only person who has ever laid on the gym floor watching an exercise instructor perform some sort of contortionist move worthy of Cirque du Soliel while sitting quietly and just staring and become well….depressed!

When you’re heavy, exercise is tough because you’re battling not only the extra weight but the added level of extreme uneasiness in the presence of fit individuals. We’ve all felt it and what you do with these feelings will make all the difference.

In order to succeed, you must get out of your comfort zone and try. For me, I found great success in modifying moves to do something I was able to do that was still challenging and kept me moving. A very wise Zumba instructor once told gave me the best advice ever … “I don’t care what you’re doing, just keep moving, preferably in the right general direction.” I’ve made this my motto moving forward because it’s the truth.

Let’s go back to that lovely Ab/Lower back class. Was I uncomfortable? Oh yes! Was it literally killing me? No! What do I have to lose if I try? Weight! GAME ON!

I put my all into the class. If she wanted me to do crunches with my feet in the air, I put one foot up and did as much as I could and then switched. If I couldn’t do their crazy contortionist moves, I just did crunches or ran in place. I kept moving, trying and doing my best. I ignored what the other people in the class were doing with ease because it didn’t matter. I was going to do what I could and not give up! That’s truly what matters most. Did I look like a fool? Probably! Did I care? Nope!

So what happened as a result of overcoming my fear? I got rid of nearly 50 pounds in six months, made new friends at the gym and gained a tremendous amount of self-confidence. From one fat girl to another (or guy), the first mountain you must conquer is your fear. Once you climb to the top there’s no looking back and your possibilities are endless.


Hayley and daughter Arabella

I’ve learned a lot about myself through this journey and even more about how to encourage others. If you want to succeed you must:

· Find the right gym for you. This doesn’t mean the one that’s closest to your house or work or even the cheapest – you need to have the right hours and most importantly … be comfortable working out there. Avoid pick-up gyms like the plague unless you have the body of a goddess. Don’t be afraid of the geriatric gyms, they tend to have some of the best and most helpful people!

· Hire a professional nutritionist. They will get you on the right diet and provide exercise tips. Most insurance companies will offer this free of charge or extremely low-cost. Check with your provider and local gyms to find one you can afford. An expert will make a world of difference in your success.

· Training is a must! If you can hire a trainer – do so! Even if it’s just one day a week. Look for packages or group training sessions to decrease the cost. If you can’t hire a trainer – get an app! There are amazing apps for Smartphone to help you. I love the Couch25K app (free) that will give you high intensity training over your music. All you need to do is follow the directions!

· Get a friend! You’ll do much better with a friend to motivate one another. If you can, find a friend who has a similar amount of weight to lose so you can help each other.

· Try! It doesn’t matter if you walk 0.01 of a mile or 26.2 miles, you’re lapping everyone on the couch so just get up and try!


Before: July 2012 Now: December 2012


What an inspiring story, thank you so much for sharing Hayley, best of luck to you as you continue on your journey!

QOTD: Have you ever felt uncomfortable at the gym? What did you do?


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s