Dealing with a depression of sorts


#1

I wasn’t sure where to post this, but I am hoping this subforum can help. I posted about this on a fitness forum, but all they offered was advice in losing weight, and I need adive for something else.

I have recently started exercising to lose some weight. It is my goal to get to 10 pounds under my ideal weight so I can have some wiggle room when hubby and I are pregnant, and I don’t have to worry about my weight. Anyway…

As it is now, I am overweight and horrendously ashamed of it. I have always been a very trim athletic woman until I went through a sturggle with anorexia, now I am struggling enormously with being overweight. Funny how that works…at any rate, I have been exercising for 2 weeks now and have actually gained weight from this. I know this is normal, but…going to the gym is getting harder.

I go to my school’s gym where lots of really fit and far more attractive women exercise. I have noticed the guys checking them out while they exercise, and I am suddenly aware of how much bigger I am than they are. I am so paranoid working out, and when I slip into a modest 1 piece bathingsuit and hit the pool, it’s even worse. When I leave the gym, I leave feeling inadequate, embarassed, and that old fear of food creeps back into my heart. I’ll spare you the details on that.

How do I deal with people looking at me and judging me for how fat I am? It’s making me feel so trapped. I want to exercise and lose weight, but I feel like I can’t go to the gym until I lose enough weight to not be a freak.


#2

I don’t know the answer to this, but it is not the question you discuss in your post. your question seems to deal with your own attitude about your body, not that of others, so that is the place to start. exercise helps maintain fitness but by itself it is not the only or even best way to lose weight. If it has been a problem in the past see your doctor to rule out health issues and eat for optimal health. we can’t give medical advice here so if you have other issues, such as those rooted in your past, or depression as your title suggests, work on those with a doctors help as well. Dr. Dianne Schwarzbein says you eat and address other health issues to get healthy, and when your metabolism and rest of you health improves, you will gradually reach your correct wt. That is the opposite of eating to lose weight. her books have been enourmously helpful to me and others with wt and body issues.

as for the gym and pool do what us old folks whose bodies are a mess do: let 'em look at the chicks who come there to be looked at, and enjoy the freedom to do your own thing, cuz they are probably not looking at us anyhow.

If you enjoy being athletic and want to get back into what activities you enjoyed before, do them without apology to anyone else.


#3

When my wife had that issue (too much concern over what other people think), she went to Curves, which is women-only. Now, we both go to the YMCA.


#4

Since you have had anorexia in the past, you must know how dangerous it would be for you to deal with weight issues without being under medical supervision.

God Bless.


#5

I also have to put in a plug for Curves, they got me moving again after several surgeries and helped with enough weigh loss (along with following my own diabetic diet) to lose 20% of my body weight, enough to chuck 2 meds, and fit enough to walk and swim again, and do my other activities

but I think OP goes to her school gym or fitness center which is probably free to students, but you could select the machines and do a Curves type circuit intersperesed with running in place or stepping


#6

I thought about Curves, but I can't afford their membership. With the gym I am at now, I am required to pay for it as part of my tuition, so I can get financial aid to help with the burden. Unfortunately for at least the next two years when I graduate and get a job, it's this place or nothing. :S

ABout the medical supervision thing, I have been speaking with my doctor regularly, and I am seeing a counsellor. I intend to bring this up at the next session.

I just wonder if anyone else out there gets this insecure and bummed after working out, and how you overcome it.


#7

Yeah, I kind of know what you mean. When I start working out again after a break, it makes me more self-and physical-conscious, so I do start noticing things more. I need to remind myself to be patient and not compare myself with others.

My worst experiences have been with Beach Body products that focus on building muscle before fat burning occurs...so for a few weeks my thighs get HUGE because it pushes the fat out before it starts burning off and trimming down.

I hope your counselor is helpful, and good luck! :)


#8

I took up a vigorous walking program (5+ miles/day usually outdoors) and lost weight and toned up before I started working out at a gym. I kept careful track of my time and distance and pushed myself to do better and better. Between the exercise and charting my progress and the weight loss my self-esteem soared. I enjoy weights and exercise machines, but walking out of doors is still my favorite form of relaxation and exercise. It offers a better environment for meditating on the wonders of God than looking at Brad and Muffy’s butts.


#9

If you have to go to a gym, maybe bringing music to take your mind off what you think others are thinking would help. I ran out of time for the gym, so I bought an eliptical and work out at home…I understand that financial constraints may limit your options thou. Walking or running outside might work for you, or a wii fit if you can, or even just doing arobics at home, a stepping block for step arobics doesn’t have to be expensive (you might even find one used) and they do give a great workout! Hang in there, and remember weight loss should be made up from lifestyle changes, and nothing else.

Also, we tend to be our own worst critics. Others aren’t likely viewing you as harshly as you think they are.


#10

Remember that you are at the gym to get, and stay, healthy. I know it is hard seeing all the “super models” on the equipment next to you. Be proud of yourself for working out at the gym. Speaking from experience, it is a lot harder to work out when you are heavier because you have more weight to carry around. So stand proud for working out at the gym. Around January and February there are always a lot of new people at the gym and many of them don`t last long. So applaud yourself for sticking with it.

Try using the super models for inspiration. I don`t mean you should aspire to look like them. But sometimes I will watch someone on the stair master and admire how they stay on it for so long. Or I will admire a woman working out with weights in an area where it is almost all men. And when I am at home and am not in the mood to go to the gym, I remind myself that the super models are there right now and I need to get off the couch and work as hard as they are if I want to be healthy.

When all else fails, get on a safe piece of equipment like an eliptical and close your eyes! Besides, you don`t want men looking at you like you are a piece of meat!

Hang in there. Don`t let them intimidate you. Stay with it.

Sincerely,

Maria1212


#11

If your schedule allows you to work out in the morning, that can lift your spirits to carry you through the day. I am a runner and have been addicted to the runner’s high for 30+ years, since junior high. I have always been self conscious, and have never been really confident, but through running, I find I can always get through just about anything and I don’t dwell on what I’m not.

Find a mode of exercise that makes you happy and something that you will stick with. Walking outside or on a treadmill with incline can really get you into shape if you go at a high enough intensity. It also elongates your legs, which will make you look thinner. Like was mentioned before, music helps keep you motivated and will keep your mind off of those around you.

While those perfect little bodies can be intimidating to work out around, it doesn’t mean that they are necessarily happy or content with their lives. They might be suffering inside too, so don’t equate physical beauty or perfection with happiness. As you get more physically fit, work on your spiritual fitness as well and learn to cherish the special gifts that you have and the blessings that you have in your life.


#12

I would recommend looking into Crossfit. There are local gyms and there is a main website that can help you out. For beginners, starting with a crossfit affiliate is highly recommended, the staff and especially the members are very encouraging no matter what body type or age. It takes a lot of the superficial nature of gym and works on actual functional fitness, competing against yourself and ours in the gym.
Any beginner information or frequently asked questions:
www.crossfit.com
My wife and I attend this specific gym:
www.oceansidecrossfit.com
Or just send me an email or message to this account for specific questions.


#13

I imagine you are aware of this, but muscle weighs more than fat. As you exercise, especially if you include weight training you may find your weight staying the same or fluctuating. You just need to stick with it, slow and steady is always the healthy way to get in shape.

For example after my second child I had plenty of extra weight to lose. Eventually (maybe when she was two) I decided to try and lose it and started to exercise and keep an eye on what I was eating. I only lost ten pounds but I went down 2 dress sizes and almost 3 before I got pregnant again!. My body changed shape with the exercise but my weight stayed steady due to muscle.

I hope to finally get back on the exercise wagon later this year as my third is almost 4!

I would also second momor's comment. If you are at a college I imagine there are resources such as the counseling center where you could get some support to make sure you are doing all this in a healthy way and not punishing yourself. You definitely don't want to be "ten pounds UNDER your ideal weight". That makes no sense and also could prevent you conceiving. Remember our whole being is a gift from God, we would not be a human being without a body. Jesus had a flesh and blood human body. Don't be disgusted by your beautiful body. Befriend yourself, your embodied self.

God bless you Whitacre_girl


#14

[quote="Whitacre_Girl, post:1, topic:195126"]

I have recently started exercising to lose some weight. It is my goal to get to 10 pounds under my ideal weight so I can have some wiggle room when hubby and I are pregnant, and I don't have to worry about my weight. Anyway...

[/quote]

This is not a good idea....research shows that women who are underweight having problems when trying to have a baby. You should be within your weight parameters, not below or above. And actually some studies recommend about 5lbs ABOVE. I can dig some up if you're interested. Please don't worry about gaining too much weight while your pregnant. If you follow guidelines you should be fine. "Eating for two" is not a literal guideline, you're not going to literally eat for two. You're just eating while keeping in mind that your choices affect your baby is all.

Also, please don't take offense, but are you aware that you must increase your folate intake well before you conceive? Dieters often miss a lot of folate, and that can be very very bad. it is so very important that I just wanted to say it even though you'll probably be mad for insulting you.

And another thing, at the risk of having you pound me, while I know you're not a goat or a cow :o , they also do much better when they're within their weight parameters. Being underweight or undernourished can give goats singles, when if they're more nutritionally healthy, they're more likely to have twins or triplets (again, not that you're a goat...just saying...even the animalees have to be heathy before they conceive). Cows also have trouble conceiving outside their parameters. :blush:

[quote="Whitacre_Girl, post:1, topic:195126"]

As it is now, I am overweight and horrendously ashamed of it. I have always been a very trim athletic woman until I went through a sturggle with anorexia, now I am struggling enormously with being overweight. Funny how that works.....at any rate, I have been exercising for 2 weeks now and have actually gained weight from this. I know this is normal, but...going to the gym is getting harder.

[/quote]

Have you considered getting an evaluation by a dietician or exercise consultant?

[quote="Whitacre_Girl, post:1, topic:195126"]

I go to my school's gym where lots of really fit and far more attractive women exercise. I have noticed the guys checking them out while they exercise, and I am suddenly aware of how much bigger I am than they are. I am so paranoid working out, and when I slip into a modest 1 piece bathingsuit and hit the pool, it's even worse. When I leave the gym, I leave feeling inadequate, embarassed, and that old fear of food creeps back into my heart. I'll spare you the details on that.

How do I deal with people looking at me and judging me for how fat I am? It's making me feel so trapped. I want to exercise and lose weight, but I feel like I can't go to the gym until I lose enough weight to not be a freak.

[/quote]

It sounds like you're way distracted and have some performance anxiety (maybe you're anxious about others watching you workout?). Is there something wrong with working out at home? There are a lot of really good home exercise programs. I can't do my favorites anymore because I broke my leg years ago, and my ankle is fused now, so it's hard for me to find a program to adapt to my current limitations. But if you have no limitatations, I'd be happy to recommend some really good programs for you...? I really wish I could do them again :(


#15

I overcome it by finding a workout buddy to work out with. Also working out at home helps.

You know, I’ve always felt exactly like you. You know what happened? I started teaching step aerobics classes :stuck_out_tongue: isn’t that funny? I couldn’t workout in the gym because I felt people were watching me and here I go teaching a class of 60 people. And under duress I’d teach low impact too. I’ve always hated high impact though. They’d have to seriously do some begging for me to teach that…

I truly miss it. Please keep working out because when you can’t, you’ll miss it.


#16

The workout buddy makes all the difference! I second what the other posters said. Hang in there.

Sincerely,

Maria1212


#17

[quote="Rence, post:14, topic:195126"]
This is not a good idea....research shows that women who are underweight having problems when trying to have a baby. You should be within your weight parameters, not below or above. And actually some studies recommend about 5lbs ABOVE. I can dig some up if you're interested. Please don't worry about gaining too much weight while your pregnant. If you follow guidelines you should be fine. "Eating for two" is not a literal guideline, you're not going to literally eat for two. You're just eating while keeping in mind that your choices affect your baby is all.

[/quote]

Well, my ideal weight is not at the bottom of the "normal" phase. I'd actually have to lose 15-20 pounds more than the 10 under I want to be to be "underweight." The idea for this is I want to maintain that weight for however long until we start to want to conceive, at which point I will start eating folate-rich and good fat rich foods. I actually want to gain that 10 pounds back eating really really bulky healthy foods to lay really good groundwork for a healthy pregnancy.

Also, please don't take offense, but are you aware that you must increase your folate intake well before you conceive? Dieters often miss a lot of folate, and that can be very very bad. it is so very important that I just wanted to say it even though you'll probably be mad for insulting you.

That's not insulting, its good to know!! :)

And another thing, at the risk of having you pound me, while I know you're not a goat or a cow :o , they also do much better when they're within their weight parameters. Being underweight or undernourished can give goats singles, when if they're more nutritionally healthy, they're more likely to have twins or triplets (again, not that you're a goat...just saying...even the animalees have to be heathy before they conceive). Cows also have trouble conceiving outside their parameters. :blush:

REALLY not going to get mad at you here. Promise!! I actually want to be at my ideal weight when I conceive. I want to be a little under up until the time when we start trying to conceive. The main reason for the 10 pounds is I want to feel mentally like gaining the weight won't kill me, and I know about 10 pounds under ideal is where I personally feel comfortable. However, if my doctor gets mad at me for it, I will certainly not go that low. But seriously, the 10 pounds under ideal weight is still 10 pounds up from being underweight. I actually know my ideal weight for my build and height is 145-155 pounds. I want to shoot for between 135-140 because that is where I feel comfortable and I can gain weight when trying to conceive without worrying about it too much and risk flaring up my fear of food. I'm terrified I'm going to get pregnant, see myself getting bigger, and get my fear of food back. It's scary enough when I am responsible for my own health.

Have you considered getting an evaluation by a dietician or exercise consultant?

I have thought about it. It's hard because it seems like everyone is trying to sell something. This has led to a lot of bad advice. I am currently looking into a nutritionist that my health insurance will cover. It's not going well, but if all else fails I'll just mae sure to stick to the general principles of high fiber, low fat.

It sounds like you're way distracted and have some performance anxiety (maybe you're anxious about others watching you workout?). Is there something wrong with working out at home? There are a lot of really good home exercise programs. I can't do my favorites anymore because I broke my leg years ago, and my ankle is fused now, so it's hard for me to find a program to adapt to my current limitations. But if you have no limitatations, I'd be happy to recommend some really good programs for you...? I really wish I could do them again :(

I am terrified of having people watch me work out. I feel like everyone is always watching me all the time and judging me when I am at the gym. I try to pump the music and close my eyes, but if I close my eyes I get dizzy. THankfully, the cardio equipment at this new gym has TVs on them that I can watch. Those help.

I would love to do a class, but my gym charges for them and I can't really afford to go to a different gym.

As for at home workouts, I have already found that unless I actually go to a gym to workout, I just won't do it. I'll workout for 5 minutes at home, get distracted by the mounds of housework and end up doing that instead.

I just need to learn to cope with the other women around me. It's really hard. The gym I am at now is a phenomenal gym. I have never worked out at a better facility. It's just filled with skinny, in shape, beauty queens. I never have got a better workout, but I've also never fel so judged. It's weird.

I am really sorry to hear about your ankle, by the way. That sounds horribly painful. :(


#18

[quote="Whitacre_Girl, post:6, topic:195126"]
I just wonder if anyone else out there gets this insecure and bummed after working out, and how you overcome it.

[/quote]

Indeed, I do. That's also why I don't like dancing in front of other people, no matter how much I love doing it; I always think that I'll look silly because of my size. But I always just remind myself that I like doing it (yes, I like working out too) and that I'm not there to be leered at. And even if I were, I wouldn't the attention of someone who didn't find me attractive before any weight loss; that just shows how shallow they truly are.

Sometimes you just have to push on and think about your end goal. If that fails, don't close your eyes for the music, but maybe try to put together your own video for it in your head. It never fails to help me drown out and forget my insecurities and to just enjoy the chance that I have at bettering myself.

Good luck!


#19

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