How Going to the Gym Helped Me Gain Confidence I Didn’t Know I Had

Most of us have probably been in this situation: it’s January 1st, and you need (okay, well maybe not need, but definitely should have) a resolution. You tell yourself you’re going to “be healthier.” But what does that mean? Maybe dieting, exercising more, or trying a juice cleanse. For me, I was sick of my lack of confidence in my body and I decided for 2018 I would conquer that lack of confidence by toning up and losing weight (and also eating vegan as much as possible, which helped me feel super healthy, but that’s another story).

Going to the gym as a newbie can be very intimidating. I was pretty athletic growing up, dancing, playing soccer, and swimming, and thought that I could handle working out on my own. But the gym is a whole different kind of experience, with all of the machines and weights, and if you aren’t doing the exercises properly or isolating the right areas while working out, you won’t see the results that you want. So, I grabbed a friend who had been hitting the gym for quite some time and had him teach me just about everything he knew.  It’s not like I had never stepped foot in a gym before; I usually ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes and then maybe did an ab workout if I was feeling good, and then I left. But in order to tone up, my friend told me I should start lifting weights. This scared me a lot at first. Every time I had been to the gym, there were mostly big, strong guys in the weights section of the gym, and all of them looked like they knew what they were doing. 

But I trusted my friend, so I started lifting weights the next time we went to the gym; it was chest day for him, so I just followed along. I was super intimidated and worried everyone would be watching me, but with a little encouragement, I did the workout anyway. After I was done, I was sweaty and tired, but felt strong and powerful as well. This pattern continued for a couple of weeks, and gradually I was able to do the workouts on my own, and I quickly learned that nobody really cared what I looked like or what I was doing at the gym, they were all focused on their own workouts. 

After about a month, I started seeing small results: I felt a lot healthier and my arms, stomach, and hips were starting to tone up a little! I was excited, and this excitement fueled my energy to find time to go to the gym every day. Now, I am eager to get to the gym each day, because I have more confidence, it helps me relax, and after seeing results, it’s a lot more encouraging to go. Lifting weights and doing squats with weights make me feel really powerful and confident because I know how to do the exercises now and know that they are helping me get stronger and feel better about myself. Deadlifts, where you lift a bar with weights on it from a standing position, are my favorite exercise because I feel like such a badass doing them, especially with a lot of weight (would definitely recommend trying some)!

If you find your confidence in a rut, I strongly suggest going to the gym! If you feel intimidated, do a little research about exercises you can do there; a quick Google or Instagram search will give you plenty of workouts to do! Lifting makes me feel confident and strong, but it can be different for everyone. Try different moves, machines, and weights out, and if you don’t like them try another! I have definitely noticed a change in my mentality and confidence after consistently going to the gym for about 3 months now, and wish the same on everyone trying to find their confidence as well.