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Thinking of joining gym- help!

S: 23st9lb C: 21st5lb G: 16st6lb Loss: 2st4lb(9.67%)
Hi all

I'm thinking of joining a gym because I really want to be fitter and of course lose weight. I'm sick of worrying about whether or not where I'm going will involve loads of stairs etc.
Have anyone of your gone to gym before? Does everyone look at you thinking "oh my god" lol I'm super paranoid!
What should I wear? if there a dress code?
and and (sorry for all questions) what kind of equipment should I use, I'm thinking of mostly treadmill but I guess I cant hog that for an hour.

Any advise would me MUCH appreciated

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Silver Member
G: 14st4lb
I can't advise as I'm in a similar position, and really want to know the answer. I've thought about joining one of those women only circuit gyms where it's 30 mins to go round - bit like curves I think. I'm terrified I'll be too heavy for the equipment though. :eek:

I'd love any advice also. Sorry for crashing your thread Katey!
C: 13st9.5lb
The time i joined the gym and lost 7 pound in 3 weeks:
I did

20 Mins walking fast on treadmill
15 mins on bike at weight loss level (Level 3)
and if i had time i use to go around do weights for arms, legs etc

When you join you get assesed and they show you how to use everything so dont worry about that.

As for what to wear, clean pair runners, tracksuit bottoms and i wear a polo top cause its loss on me
Go for it!
I was in the same position as you last year,I wanted to go to a gym but was terrified that I would be stared at or would be too big for the machines. But in the end I went along and joined and Ive been there since last summer (only started my diet on Jan 10th 2010 though ) I LOVE it!
Seriously no one has ever stared or made any comments and thats because people there are too busy doing what they are there to do.
And all the machines at the gyms are more 'sturdy' than the ones you can get at home! So you will be fine.

I would suggest that you book a session with a gym instructor so he/she can set you up a programme. They will discuss with you what you can/cannot do and will set you up a workout based on you.

As for dress code,our gym just says....shorts or jogging bottoms,t-shirt and trainers. Oh and a towel so you can wipe down the machines after you have used them.
I was scared that I would look out of place at the gym,I thought everyone would be there dressed in lycra/crop tops and things like that lol But nope,everyone is just there in what they are comfortable in.
I wear a pair of jogging bottoms from sainsburys! And old band t-shirts I have.
A good sports bra is also a must,even if you are just walking on the treadmill,trust me you still need one!

So yeah I say go for it and have a great time. I go with a friend and we chat and have a giggle all the time we're there.
Good luck if you decide to join.

Claire x
Last edited:
S: 132.1kg C: 132.1kg G: 100kg Loss: 0kg(0%)
Ohh, I want to reply to this, but what I have to say basically echoes what Blue Butterfly said. I used to go quite regularly until I had a (non-gym related) problem with my wrist, so had to pack it in for a while, and then I've recently moved, etc etc. But anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it, as it was an hour of 'me' time.

Firstly, if you haven't already, go and visit, they should be more than willing to show you around. They are a business after all, and should take the time to encourage new members. Go and talk to them.

Dress - a pair of tracky bottoms, t-shirt, trainers. Perhaps take a hoody or sweatshirt until you warm up. No dress code as such, you just need things you can comfortably move in. And take a water bottle, and a small towel. (As BB says, so you can politely wipe down the equipment after your use, or after someone else has use the machine you want to use, if they've not been so thoughtful.)

When you sign up, gyms ought to book you in for an 'induction' session, and will set you a programme appropriate for your current fitness level, and your future aims. Again, being a business, they will not want you to injure yourself, and so are under an obligation to show you how to use the equipment properly. There should be people on hand every time you visit, so if there's anything you're unsure about, someone should be about to show you. You will not be made to do anything that you cannot do - they will not want you keeling over! (And on a personal note, aside from a brisk warm-up walk with an incline, I usually passed-over the treadmills in favour of the rowing machines ;). Me? running? that's just undignified!)

And lastly, don't worry about people looking at you. Everyone started at the beginning once, and they're there for their own workout. With the best will in the world, there is nothing so special about you that will make people stop and stare. You're not obliged to get changed on front of other people, nor shower in front of other people. Actually, out there in the real world, thinner people have just as many self-image issues as the rest of us.

If you do join, (and I hope you at least go and have a look) make sure you get your money's worth. You're not just paying for the use of the equipment, but also the knowledge of the staff.

If you don't get the induction (which should be given at least for safety reasons), or anything else 'bothers' you about the place, take your money elsewhere. Don't sign up to a place you're not comfortable with. Cos then you'll end up not going.

Best of luck with it. :)


wants a dancer's body.
S: 15st0lb C: 14st0lb G: 8st3lb BMI: 38.3 Loss: 1st0lb(6.67%)
Kateykate why not buy some exercise dvds and do them at home? I find Leslie Sansone and Kathy Smith have worked wonders...


Silver Member
S: 16st12lb C: 16st12lb G: 12st12lb BMI: 33.9 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Some areas have a GP referral scheme (this used to be available at the YMCA in a nearby town) which can give you a short programme (6 weeks I think) and reduced fees. Worth looking into if you want to keep costs down.


Gold Member
S: 23st4lb C: 10st7lb G: 8st0lb BMI: 27.8 Loss: 12st11lb(54.91%)
lalala my dream post to reply too!

i walked into my gym when i was 23 stone maybe a lil more.. this was feb just over a year ago... i hated it , within five minutes i was a red mess out of breath and , i looked around thinking everyone was gonna glare at me but no noone was looking at all... there isnt just skinny people in a gym and even if they are there... everyones there for same reason... to improve health ect..

wear what you feel comfy in , trainers are a must , but baggy jogging bottoms loose t-shirt.. hoody , jumper whatever you feel comfy in and can move freely enough..

if people stare just stare back and think whos going to be laughing in the end.. YOU will.

i go daily to teh gym now , made some of the best friends ever... feel important in my gym as everyone knows how far ive come and i know without the gym i wouldnt be a sucess... so dont wait


Full Member
S: 24st0lb C: 18st4lb G: 9st6lb BMI: 40.1 Loss: 5st10lb(23.81%)
My sister was an avid AquaFit girl but during their refurbishment started using the gym so she didn't sit idle for 3 months and eventually convinced me to go.

When I started in January I was practically close to tears at the thought of going because like you, I expected lots of stares, lots of snickering behind hands and generally feeling like I should have stayed at home with the ice cream. But, I went, I had my induction, there was only really one machine that I was a bit "too heavy" for and that was the stepper, (one day I will conquer that thing!), so I kept sinking lol, but the gym instructor didn't even really bat an eyelid over it. I followed my sisters plan but at lower levels to start with, but generally it was 5min warmup on the treadmills, dynamic stretches, 15mins on the bike, 10mins on the sci-fit machine, 15mins on the treadmill on the "hills" setting and then 5, (normally 10 for my sister), mins on the cross trainer....my true nemisis! Then finish that off with cool-down stretches and collapsing in the car!

It seemed really daunting when it was on paper but I actually found it much more manageable chunk by chunk than I expected, 5mins flys by...15mins on a bike reading the subtitles of Corrie and suddenly the ad-breaks on and oh, you're done...I was chuffed at myself every time and even though not one person truly stared or even seemed to care, the fact that there were other people around actually stopped me flagging out more than once. Believe me, when you've watched the lycra clad bottom of some size 6 blonde bounce around on a cross-trainer for 25mins you do tend to start thinking, "If I quit, everyone will know", and boy does that keep you going lmao!

I'm not able to go to the gym anymore because I have no way of getting there without my sister who can no longer go, (not brave enough to go solo just yet), so I'm sticking to AquaFit instead now - which btw is fantastic! Look for a class, you won't regret it! I refused to go for a long time because of how I'd look in a swimsuit plus I have psoriasis but I have a pair of those skintight leggings, (just the plain old wet look fashion ones), that I wear under my swimsuit, which has a skirt on it that makes me feel just a little more comfortable hiding my belly and everyone there are all sizes and shapes anyway.

The leisure centre I go to also does the GP referrals that someone else mentioned before, much lower cost etc, never did it myself but my sister started that way until she "outgrew it" lol, so have a chat with your doctor.

Basically, my long-winded post could be summed up to "Do it, you won't regret it and believe me everyone is so focused on their own bodies they won't give two toots about yours!"

S: 21st13lb C: 21st13lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 52.7 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Have to agree with the others....if you have't already joined the gym, DO IT!

I was borderline phobic about the thought of setting foot in a gym...all those lyrca clad perfect bods staring at me wobbling around, puffing and panting. I was sure I'd be the first person to ever actually die of embarrassment.

It was my 34th brithday last week and, at my request, my OH bought me membership of a local health club. I officially joined on 31st March and in the 14 days that I've been a member, I've been every day except 2...I even went on my birthday...I love it!! I got the teensiest bit of smug satisfaction when the personal trainer who was helping me establish my routine had to admit that I am much fitter than he assumed on first meeting me, and that I'm already fitter than many 'skinnier' people he's trained. So don't assume that you'll be the most unfit person there either. It's good to know that all the dog walking and sessions on the Wii have not been in vain!

I can assure you that no-one will be staring, laughing or sniggering....everyone is too focussed in what they're doing to give more than a passing glance to anyone else. Wear what you feel comfortable in - I wear a loose fitting t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms.

I couldn't go to the gym yesterday as I simply didn't have time and now I can't wait to get back there tonight. I definitely think I'll be able to get to my goal weight much quicker now. My only regret is that I didn't join sooner.


New Member
S: 23st0lb C: 23st0lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 52 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
HI Katey

I know how you feel so I joined our local pool and go whenever I can, took Hubby the first time to check the shortest path from changing room to pool, once in people dont notice me and i feel more comfortable in the pool as I hate people seeing me sweat and there im wet already, plus im not a bad swimmer so dont feel the gap between me and others is so big. But what ever you do you only have to be brave the first couple of times then your old news lol
S: 33st0lb C: 21st13.5lb G: 15st0lb BMI: 46.8 Loss: 11st0.5lb(33.44%)
I know this thread goes back to February and you've probably already decided whether to join or not but thought I'd add my thoughts.

Two years ago my husband bought me membership at JJB (now DW) for my birthday, this wasn't some dreadful hint from him but he knew I'd like to go swimming again and couldn't face the public pools. The first day I sat in the car for about 2 hours stuffing my face as I watched all these slim fit people walking in and out and I couldn't find the courage to go in. I told myself I'd go tomorrow and it would be different!

About a week later I decided sitting in the car was just ridiculous but I was sure the stares and whispered comments would be too much to deal with and gave myself the excuse that if I felt uncomfortable on the first day then I'd never return.

I was very surprised. Sure people glanced, that's human nature when you see a 30+ stone woman heave herself into a swimming costume and get in the pool but it was nothing more than I get going shopping or where ever so I swam as long as I could, it wasn't alot at that point and then stood in the pool wondering how I could get out without people noticing lol but it was so quiet during the day there were few people around and I knew none of them so they could think what they liked!

As it turns out during the day my gym is full of retired folk (think they do a good deal on oap's) who seem far less judgemental and threatening. I go swimming nearly every day, I can't manage anything in the gym yet as I have various problems and disabilities but once I have the strength and less fat to haul around I'll go in there too. Maybe people will look, maybe they won't. It's a hard thing to learn and has taken me years and still often fails me but I sometimes the only way I get things done is to think '**** them all, let them think what they like because until they've lived in my body and had experience of my messed up head they can't even begin to understand or in fact hate it more than I do!'

Since I've got to know some of the older ladies who I do an aqua-aerobics class with I've realised they often feel just as on show as I do even though they look 'normal'. People who go to gyms are into being healthy of course and they'd probably rather see us sweating and looking a mess in there than seeing us in a restaurant stuffing ourselves.;)

Laura x

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