Why joining a gym will improve your self esteem, regardless of your size


I've recently joined a gym, I always thought I didn't need one, but that changed when I moved out and realised that it's pretty difficult to move enough when you don't have many friends or opportunities nearby.

I was happy with my body before joining, which I think is important because you shouldn't attach your self esteem to a number on the scale or your current size.

You see results very quickly as a beginner, and it's tons of fun to build muscle. I've started to mainly hit legs since I'll need them for winter sports, and they've actually decreased in size as I got stronger.

Don't just do cardio, incorporate weight training too, it'll help you see results much faster. Also, it'll help motivate you, because it's difficult to go to the gym just to go run on a treadmill in my honest opinion.

Why joining a gym will improve your self esteem, regardless of your size

Enjoy getting stronger, improving your endurance and overall fitness, and don't focus on getting smaller or bigger - simply accept any changes that will happen to your body OR do something about those changes if you wish to do so. Eating enough food is very important for your muscle recovery, so make sure you're fine with that and don't restrict yourself too much, thinking it'll make you lose weight, as this won't work in the long term, it's not sustainable.

Why joining a gym will improve your self esteem, regardless of your size
Why joining a gym will improve your self esteem, regardless of your size
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  • 2Wheels

    Great share! 👏

    I think a huge reason why people hate going to the gym and never see results is because they're doing things that are just wasting their time.
    I see more than half the people in gyms I go to doing this. Unless they just love being there and don't care about results then go for it!

    Put your phone down and put some effort into what you're doing. Are you there to hangout or there to workout? Key word in there is "work". You have to work to see results.

    Also, consistency is a big help. If you go 3 times a month and do 100 exercises half assed, forget ever seeing results.

    Overworking your muscles. This will hit hard to most gym rats.
    People think you have to kill yourself to see anything happen. Not true. Overdoing it can actually make your body say, heck no!
    Listen to your body. If it says to stop, then stop.

    Last but not least, take into account of what you're eating on a daily basis. Are you eating good solid foods or pasta and fries?

    Eat well, sleep well and most importantly have fun! ✌️

  • MCheetah

    Yeah, I joined a gym. Been in and out of the gym for years. Honestly, you want to know why I never stick with it?

    One, no matter HOW MUCH sh*t I do in there, I literally NEVER see or feel any results or progress. I already despise being in there, and the whole not seeing any gains thing makes it feel especially useless.

    And two, I'm short. To put it bluntly, there's nothing I can do to improve my body anyway, because of that. It's like having a car with no engine, thinking changing the cylinders and tires will get it running again. No. I'm short; there is literally NO REASON for me to go to the gym because my body is already defective and useless because of that. F*cking 180 cm; I might as well be literally handicapped, instead of just feeling like it.

    So going to the gym, over the years, ONLY ever made me feel like sh*t and severely LOWERED my self-esteem, if not worsening my depression. The ONLY people who ever benefit from the gym or feel good about it, are people who never had any problems, to begin with. You rarely see formerly fat people at the gym. Only tall and already fit people there.

    I first joined a cardio gym in 2006; Bally's Total Fitness. Then another gym in 2010; Planet Fitness on their 10/10/10 day special. Then I started doing martial arts, Judo, in 2012. Then Muay Thai in 2013 while working as a bodyguard. Then American boxing in 2015 for a few years. Then joined a local gym, 12th Street, in 2016 to start doing cardio again. Then an MMA in 2018 (pretty damn good one too, but I just couldn't keep up). Then COVID happened and I was on and off in 2021. Not ONCE did I literally EVER feel "stronger, more durable," or like I had "better overall fitness."

    The gym, besides women themselves, was probably one of the biggest causes for my depression at the time. I LOATHE the f*cking gym and still do. Maybe if my body wasn't already sh*tty, useless, and short, and I actually made progress from it, I'd have a reason to keep going.

  • SEL195

    I agree. I didn't start excersising to become super thin or stuff. I did it becuase i felt the results in my body. My brain functions better. I have more energy and patience. I also see it in my body. I have less neck and back pain and my body is toning which is nice.

    I feel good after excersise. I started at a gym and now i train at home. I don't always want to train, but then i tell myself you have to look at how good you will feel afterwards. No pain it is quite something.

  • Truthatanycost

    No need for the gym. You can build an Isometric chain and board to do all traditional lifts which is scientifically proven to build muscle, as well as superior for cardio Vs any of those gym machines. Gyms are just to steal your time and money! In fact, if you were to commit to a proper routine with what I just mentioned, your results would be superior. That's why Bruce_lee used the same design...

  • misfittoy

    physical activity that improves your all over mental health, besides your shape. Working in healthcare the hardest part is getting people to be motivated enough to work out even a little bit then once they do they normally love it, improves everything

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely! Once I realised that working out affected my mental health in such a positive way, I was more motivated too.
      I just wanted to focus on self esteem here (which is heavily tied to your mental health anyway) since I often hear/read on social media that people are unhappy with their bodies and HENCE work out. I don't think that's a good starting point, because it's quite likely that you'll then attach your self worth to your "new weight" or "new shape" (for women, it's often about losing weight, and for men, it's often about gaining muscle).
      All too often, people then fall into a deep depression over their looks when they get sick, are unable to go to the gym for some time, when something happens in their life that causes them to be stressed and over/-undereat etc.
      So I truly believe self esteem should not be attached to your current size, shape or weight. It should come from within.
      That's body neutrality, you don't have to say that you love your love handles or your fat rolls (body positivity highlights these things as something we HAVE to embrace), you can simply accept that they're there without having to highlight their existence. Just move on. That's what helped me accept myself.

    • Anonymous

      Also, I'm not overweight, I'm in a healthy weight range and have been for most of my life (I was underweight during my growth spurt), but I grew up with a mother that ALWAYS cared about her weight, although she's a very strong, beautiful woman. She never learned that it doesn't matter if she's 150lbs or 180lbs.
      She'd force me to eat less, simply because "women your weight don't eat that much".
      She'd tell me to exercise because "your face is starting to get fat again".
      I totally understand parents who encourage their overweight/obese children to lose weight, because being obese when you're young gives you very bad chances of not being obese/overweight when you're an adult, but you should always do it in a loving, caring way without beign condescending.
      For me though, whenever I wanted a second plate of her healthy, fresh, fat free, sugar free and salt free food, my mom would lecture me on portion size. That's not okay lmao.

    • misfittoy

      it also builds stability if you keep the routine, like me personally come from a traumatic backstory and for me that routine is my stability ever morning 2 mile walk before work. 100 percent it will change your outlook. it shouldn't be pushed go to the gym to look better or have a bikini body but to change your life in so many other positive ways. telling people go to the gym lose weight puts so much stress and expectations, to want that and expect that when we work out. no matter what your size it all starts with your well being emotionally. plenty of skinny people are out of shape as well its called skinny fat. you are stuck with who you are in this life, i learned that a long time ago, so make the best of it and enjoy it because life moves very fast. and im proud of you girl, keep going!

    • Show All
  • MoniqueTLC

    Love this. I remember when I first started the gym, I was so nervous and uncomfortable to enter the weights section. Now, it's literally my second home, and keeps me sane! Physically and mentally <3

    • Anonymous

      That's amazing!! <3

  • OddBeMe

    Just be wary…90% of gym profits are from unused subscriptions.

    And tumblr is replete with DIY gyms at home. Also, I paid thousands for a personal trainer. We did more mat work like leg raises and burpees than use million dollar equipment.

  • exitseven

    Yes, i have been a gym rat my whole life. It really transformed not only my body but also my attitude.

    • Anonymous

      How has it changed your attitude?

    • exitseven

      I don't let anyone push me around and I have decided that I have no limitations except the ones I put on myself.

  • MAC1983

    I think every sentence is pretty sound advice, and I would put it any better, so: 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🙌🏻

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! I'm all for improving yourself without being toxic about it (i. e. I need to lose x amoung of weight in x amount of time). It's important to love yourself while being realistic & honest about your health!

  • genericname85

    "joining" a gym does nothing. you gotta go and work out xD that's what does it. not the act of joining.

  • BJP21

    I dont gauge how much I weigh anymore as to how I feel. If Im horny, feeling good about myself... I go.

  • This_Is_My_Opinion8

    If you are consistent in your work, eventually yes your self esteem will improve.

  • bigpauly

    Great take! It also feels great and is a good escape

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  • SayCheez03

    I just started taking working out seriously

  • Anonymous

    Gym is just a place. You can workout anywhere. That's just like saying using public toilets will improve your self-esteem

  • Anonymous

    I joined the gym two months ago and honestly at first I felt like people were judging but as I started going more often I learned to ignore everyone around me and just focus on myself. The gym does do something to your self esteem.. it does improve it with time whatever size you are it really does.. it motivates you more and really it’s just something good that more people should start doing whether your goal is to lose weight or not it’s a healthy activity.

  • Anonymous

    I think what you need to keep in mind is you're there bettering yourself regardless of your size. F*** anyone's judgements. It's been my experience that most people are supportive. But you're always going to have a few tools in every group. Just remember you're bettering yourself so props to you!

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