Getting over the fearAs a fitness instructor I am grateful to be in a position to inspire people and to show them how simple it can sometimes be to take that first step.  But the truth is, it’s not that simple.  Starting a fitness regimen can be daunting especially if one wishes to do so at a gym.  All of a sudden you feel that everyone’s eyes are on you because you’re overweight or might feel like you don’t belong in that dance class.  I’ve been teaching Zumba® Fitness classes for a number of years.  The great thing about this format is that it gets people through the door and opens them up to someday try something else. Spinning, kickboxing, etc.  Sure, it’s all fun and good but how do you get there when you’re afraid to get in the car and drive? ” Is my outfit OK”?  “What will they think of me?”   “Will the instructor even notice?”  “What if I’m terrible and they laugh?”  “What if I don’t like it?”

There have been many instances when I have received emails and messages as well as phone calls asking about my classes. What are they like?  Do you accept beginners?  And there’s always someone who makes it a point to tell me that they never work out, they hate it and they are overweight and hate that too.  It’s my job to put them at ease and convince them.  But the truth is if the seed is already planted because a friend told them about it or they don’t like the way their clothes fit or they have to keep their vitals in check after their latest physical, then my job isn’t all that difficult.

So if you are someone who has been thinking about hitting the gym because working out at home is just not cutting it but you’re intimidated think of this:  Even the fitness models with the killer bodies were once in your shoes.  Nervous and feeling inadequate.  It takes a lot of mental commitment to finally say “OK, I’m going!”  Once you’re out the door and you get there ask questions.  Talk to the trainers.  Have them recommend a great fitness instructor if you want to try a class.  And if you are not immediately taken care of get back in your car and go somewhere else.

The bottom line, we as health and fitness professionals are here for YOU.  Your only job is to get to us and once you do you will realize that there was no reason to feel inadequate or intimidated or weird.  So, regardless of whether or not you have 30lbs or 200lbs to lose if you don’t start NOW you are missing out on a better YOU.  We must retrain our way of thinking.  Our thought process can take us from feeling amazing one minute to feeling upset the next.  And that’s OK.  Don’t let anxiety or fear keep you from trying something new.  Fear is the belief in something that will never happen.  We flood our brains with thoughts and what-ifs.  Making changes can be scary but realize that all it takes is a few small tweaks to get you started.  Take that first step.  Exercise releases the hormones and chemicals that make you feel happy.  It boosts confidence, helps you sleep and jump-starts your metabolism.  Get to a fitness class.  Get in touch with a trainer.  Update your daily menu.  You will see in time that feeling great is 100% attainable.