Why The Gym Isn't Just For Skinny People

If you feel that your body is less than what it should be, gyms can be terrible places. It feels like they are specially designed torture chambers made to make you feel even worse. To hold you there and make you work until you are 'okay,' until you are 'better.' This was certainly the case for body positive blogger, Jes Baker. She claims to have experienced "zero joy" while exercising, but one day that all changed. She says, "one day I transcended my sordid/ugly/angry/punishing relationship with exercise; it was the day, a couple of years ago, that I had a meltdown. A legit, sobbing, unable-to-fully-understand-what-was-going-on, shaky-body kind of meltdown... and it was all over a dance class." Baker had been invited, by a friend, to an African dance class. But about an hour before she was supposed to go, she was full of anxiety, fear and doubt. She said, "my system suddenly realized that I had just signed up for a very new-to-me and very public exercise class, and I went into total shock. Guys, I freaked the f*ck out. I felt like I had a momentary break and lost control; it was so unexpected, and at the moment I couldn’t even have told you why." She began a series of Facebook messages with her friend trying to get out of going. She knew she should go and that if she didn't she would sit at home all night on her "fat ass" knowing she didn't go and that she was just the worst for it. The anxiety was so great, she couldn't see past it. I'm sure this struggle sounds familiar. Being overweight is hard. You feel judged. You have to fight not only physical barriers but mental ones as well. Everything feels more difficult. You feel like you owe it to society to lose weight and fit their definition of what you should look like. It hurts. But where would any of us be without supportive people? Baker's friend, Jade, told her that the class was full of all sorts of people from children to seniors. It was difficult for everyone. But after taking the class, Jade said, she felt like she'd "had a dozen orgasms." She told Baker that she understood how hard this was. How difficult it feels but that she should do herself a favour and not go for the weight loss, go for the orgasms. jes-baker Baker says, "So, 'for the orgasms' I went. The night turned into a spiritual experience, one that really altered my perspective. Jade is incredible in person. Her infectious energy reminded me that it’s important to love others, and even more important, to love yourself." She continues, "I allowed myself to make mistakes, friends, and a fool out of myself. I wasn’t worried about the steps, for the most part, because I had triumphed over my biggest insecurity just by being there." It happens so often, women feel pressure to lose weight and then can't seem to find a comfortable place in the fitness community. It is like entering a contest that you are destined to lose before you even begin. It can promote shame and self loathing. It is a brutal cycle that is hard to break. Baker writes, "I was convinced I would fail that night. I would have bet everything I had in my bank account on it. But I DIDN’T FAIL! I finished the entire class and loved every single minute of it... Sweat was never so rewarding, and I had a lot of it. Well, we all did. I am lucky to be able to see my “before” and “after” emotions and realize that none of this is about obligation, weight loss, or skill sets. It’s about feeling good." And as Baker notes, those feel good endorphins are for everyone, not just the thin and perfectly toned. She says, " I don’t have to be perfect, and I don’t have to go for the purpose of changing my body. I can go because I want to. Because I like to work the machine I live in. Because I want to feel amazing. Because I deserve to feel amazing." If you are someone who wants to join a spin class, yoga, swimming, aerobics, dance or pilates but are feeling that sense of dread, that fear of failure, Baker has a piece of advice for you: "Don’t go for the weight loss. Go for the orgasms." Go to feel good. The rest will take care of itself. Do you experience anxiety over the gym? Share your story with us. Source: Shape Do you follow us on Instagram? [caption id="attachment_114150" align="alignnone" width="100"]snapchat code @BodyRockTV[/caption]

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