The Gym is for EveryBODY

Somewhere in time an idea was planted in my head: that the gym was just for athletic people. Maybe it was due to my own battle with my weight and worrying about what others were thinking of me, but I just felt I didn’t belong there. Unfortunately, I know I am not the only one who falls into this mental trap. Our mind likes to tell us that we don’t look like the Instagram fitness influencers and our muscles don’t look like the bodybuilders flexing in the gym mirror. For some reason it seems like everyone’s eyes are following me like the busts in the Haunted Mansion!

When I discovered that I was going to have to work out to slay Hashimoto’s Disease, I knew I was going to have to overcome my fear of working out and people judging me just because I might not be the fittest person at the gym. Not that I didn’t like working out or eating healthy before being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, but I didn’t push myself like I could have.

Just like the church is a place for the sinners looking for hope, the gym is a place for those who are wanting the best for themselves. I noticed when I starting working out more consistently, people honestly were focused on one thing, themselves. Everyone is focused on their own goals and they’re not concerned about where you are at in your own fitness journey. The bodybuilder you see with the ripped muscles had to start somewhere. It’s similar to the Christian faith: everyone’s walk with God is different, just like everyone’s journey at the gym is on different levels.

Everyone is on a journey: I might be going to the gym to combat my autoimmune disease, they might be working on a weight loss goal or maybe someone else has a dream to compete in an Ironman competition. No matter what your goal, you are not going to bench press 300 pounds on your first day in the gym; you aren’t going to run a half marathon your first time on the treadmill. It’s okay if you aren’t the fastest or the strongest, it’s okay to be nervous going to the gym. Don’t let the fear of judgement hold you back from living your best life. We only get one body in this lifetime, it’s okay if you don’t have a 6 pack, what matters is being kind to your body. Being healthy is more than a picture perfect body, it’s about feeling good in your own skin and treating it kindly by doing things to help prolong your life, such as eating right and working out.

Everyone is beautiful in their own way, and everyBODY is welcomed to the gym. Be kind to your body no matter where you are in your health journey. My biggest hope is that you take away that no matter where you are in your fitness journey, going to the gym is not as scary as we make it out to be in our heads.

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