Top 5 Reasons For My Gym Anxiety (Week #4)

Sometimes I look in the mirror and I say, "Are you becoming one of them?"

One of "them" are those exercise-y people. I'm not a total sold-out avid exerciser, but I'm working on it thanks to Sean Millhouse of Fitness 101. We are partnering together in a blogging/personal training set up. Twice a week, I receive personal training from him. I am supposed to go up to Northwest Personal Training Center two other times to do cardio or I can do that from home. This is my fourth post on my fitness journey. You can read the other posts here, here and here. My goal is to lose at least 13 pounds in 4 months. Actually, the goal is to lose inches, but you know what I mean. So far, I have lost about 4 pounds. If I didn't eat a slice of my mom's pound cake with some ice cream this weekend, I probably could tell you that I had lost 5.

(Was the cake worth it? Yes.)

I was never an exerciser. In middle school, I played softball. I exercised then. I realized in high school, I couldn't hang with those softball girls. They were tough stuff. They were, like, really strong. So, I switched to dance, which was also exercise, and I continued to do that in the beginning years of college. I exercised when I was forced to exercise.

I should actually give myself some credit. I would exercise for extended periods of time when I was forced to exercise. It's not like I didn't exercise here and there on my own sometimes. I have exercise VHS TAPES from Cindy Crawford and Denise Austin! (My dad still quotes Denise Austin. I would exercise using those tapes when I still lived at home and all he can remember hearing blasting from the living room was Denise Austin saying "cuppa more" to which I probably yelled, "I CAN'T DO 'A CUPPA MORE', DENISE. CAN'T YOU SEE ME SUFFERING OVER HERE? I DON'T WANT TO HIKE MY LEG UP LIKE A DOG PEEING ON A TREE ANYMORE. LET'S END THIS THING!") I also had some Tae Bo tapes (or were those DVDs?) and have exercised using Wii. Once I even stopped it on an exercise TV channel and joined in for about 5 squats before I settled on a "Family Ties" re-run. I have also gone to the gym. So, there. It's not like I've always chosen to eat Kit Kats instead of getting on a treadmill.

But, yeah, I've not been a great exerciser or gym goer in a long, long time. I think this is partly based on the anxiety I get when entering a gym, which I covered a few years ago here in the Break Room. I think it is interesting to see my state of mind back then...

Top 5 Reasons For My Gym Anxiety
1. KIDS' AREA- I felt like I might as well have been dropping my 2-year-old son into a the pit of a volcano. I didn't know these people. I wasn't positive how hot they'd make that room when I left. How did I know that the toy chest didn't contain glass shards, razors & machetes? On top of that, what type of activities were available for the children?  Would they teach him to speak Cantonese, write in Urdu, make swans out of thin pieces of paper and how to paint with water colors using only his toes like I do at home?
2. DUMB BELLS- Great name.  I was nervous that I'd accidently let go of my .5 pound weight during the class & hit the instructor in the eye.  Actually, maybe I should've done that.  I could've made it where it hit her LEFT eye & then stood on her left side during the class.  She wouldn't have seen me every time I only did 4 repetitions instead of 15 or refused to lift my feet off the ground during crunches.

3. MIRROR IN THE EXERCISE ROOM- This interfered with a couple of things, including: A) My fort-building from the yoga/exercise mats.  Every time I tried to duck into my fort to escape her relentless repetitions, she'd see me and B) My self-image.  Did they buy that mirror from a carnival "fun house" garage sale?

4. WINDING STAIRCASE- Leading from the first floor to the sea of elliptical machines & treadmills on the second floor is a winding staircase. Although I know people are absorbed in their own calorie-burning worlds & not watching me, I felt like a flabby, gym rookie on display. As if it wasn't bad enough trying to move my tree trunks up each step without tripping, once I made it to the top my indecision, despair & inexperience was obvious to anyone watching. WHERE DO I GO?? WHAT'S AN ELLIPTICAL?!?! AHHHH!!!

5. TREADMILL- I am quite sure I was walking a fine line between walking too stinkin' fast and running.  Was I really supposed to be walking at that blasted speed?  Was I annoying the girl next to me because I kept looking in her direction to watch the Bravo channel her TV was set on?  "Top Master Chefs" was much more interesting than the stock market coverage on CNBC on my TV.  It was much more fun to see critics spew venom over the chutney not being flavorful enough than to hear about Dow Jones.

I think I have come a long way since then. Truly. I mean, I'm not sweating when I walk through the door anymore. (I'm definitely sweating when I walk out of it.) I know this is entirely due to the fact that Sean is there to help me figure out what to do with all of those machines. He is the first personal trainer I have ever worked with and he is awesome. If you are in the north Houston area, you should really give him a try for personal training and/or his boot camp. He held an outdoor boot camp yesterday (Labor Day) and there were over 75 people that attended! I didn't attend because I'm still in the baby stages of working out and I would have fallen flat on my face and had my picture taken and put on the internet for all to mock.

If wasn't for having Sean as my personal trainer, I know I would have fallen off the wagon already. There are always things I could be doing instead of going to the gym. I am working a lot more now, I have two boys in football, I need to cook, I need to clean, I need to do this and I need to do that. Not once, however, have I left the gym and regretted being there.

I think now my anxiety stems from Sean telling me to do a "cuppa more".

He's starting to get tough, y'all.

About Sean, the Personal Trainer Man:

Sean Millhouse is the program director and owner of Fitness 101. He is also a partner in Northwest Personal Training Center (Northwest Houston’s largest Personal Training Facility). Sean and his businesses have helped more than 3500 clients meet their goals through the development of healthy fitness and eating habits.

Sean has been an ACE certified Personal Trainer for 14 years and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Houston- Downtown. Through ACE, he is also an Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist.

Through his multiple Personal Fitness Programs…Sean has worked with several local celebrities and successful business owners in the Northwest Houston area. His focus is on helping people who have lost control of their lives. Sean teaches that if we start practicing moderation, we can achieve balance and live a healthy lifestyle.

To help change lives through fitness…Sean offers his knowledge for lunch and learn opportunities, health and fitness seminars, and various charity functions.

Sean also publishes a Blog at and weekly e-newsletter “Fit For Life” that help readers stay current with health and fitness topics. Archived articles are available on the blog.

Tell me...what was your week like? What did you do to work out? What did you eat that was really good and low-fat and all that good stuff? Any tips you want to share?