newbie here

Aug. 3rd, 2011 09:40 am
maab_connor: (Default)
[personal profile] maab_connor posting in [community profile] anxietysupport
Hi, i've been a lurker for a bit, but i feel the need to speak up today, so i'm introducing myself.

question for you guys: any tips for the gym?

basically i've decided to change some stuff that really needs changing in my life and one of those is weight. started at the gym today.

panic attack started first thing. i was doing pos. self talk by the time i was brushing my teeth. i did baby steps. "now i will pack my bag. now i will drink my protien shake. now i will get my keys" the whole way. was able to get myself into the car. i nearly didn't make it this morning. i was able to push through with pos. self talk... but how do i get there tomorrow?

all i want to do now is curl up and hide the rest of the day. i'm at work, but there's still that aweful low-thrum of anxiety and i feel like i could burst into tears right now.

facing one of my biggest triggers - ppl who can see me. as well as new stuff and a new schedule... i don't want to fail at my goals. i need to keep moving forward and making pos. changes... i know that... i KNOW it... but how do i keep going back when all i can feel is the panic?

Date: 2011-08-03 01:59 pm (UTC)
amadi: A bouquet of dark purple roses (Default)
From: [personal profile] amadi
Two gym specific ideas: can you go at a time when it's less crowded? Also, can you find someone to go with you who can distract you from the anxiety-making aspects and help you focus on other things? (The exercise, conversation, shared goals?)

Date: 2011-08-03 02:10 pm (UTC)
vass: A running shoe with a foot in it (Walking)
From: [personal profile] vass
Oh god, gym fear. You have my deepest sympathies. I know this one well.

Here are some hints:
1. Give yourself a break. When it's bad, tell yourself you'll just do one set of everything then leave again. You can change your mind if you feel better once you've in there.
2. If it's really bad, try some other form of exercise than going to the gym. I personally find swimming really great for anxiety, because immersion in water gives me the illusion of solitude, particularly if I manage to get a lane to myself. Also, being horizontal reminds me of hiding in bed.
3. If necessary, particularly at first, consider working out at home. There's lots of HIIT exercises you can do in your own home, and if you get some adjustable dumbbells, you can do a lot without leaving the safe zone.
4. If you're like me, remember that it's perennial. You might have a few months of being fine with the gym, then one week, bam, the fear is back. Equally, the fear itself won't be this intense all the time. Being gentle with yourself (while still doing what you can) is key.

All of these

Date: 2011-08-03 02:36 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Tight shot of a woman's back (Krista of stumptuous) as she does a pull-up. (strength -- pull-up)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
3. If necessary, particularly at first, consider working out at home. There's lots of HIIT exercises you can do in your own home, and if you get some adjustable dumbbells, you can do a lot without leaving the safe zone.

Just to add to this: [community profile] lifting_heavy_things is a great comm that has lots of resources for stuff you can do at home (even without any equipment).

Date: 2011-08-03 02:31 pm (UTC)
zillah975: Painting of my Night Elf, Tyrnathera Stormcaller (Default)
From: [personal profile] zillah975
Congratulations on getting there to begin with! That is AWESOME, and you are brave as anything for going. Even though you feel anxious and wanting to hide now, and even though it was hard to get there, you went and you deserve ALL THE CREDIT for that! I really admire your courage and determination, and am cheering you on!

Amadi and Vass both have good ideas, I think. And if you can't find someone to go with you, what about distractions you can carry in your pocket? Can you read on the treadmill? or maybe bring an iPod or something you can watch videos on, or at least listen to musicor audiobooks? Maybe use a stationary bike and close your eyes while you listen? That helps me sometimes.

And I really like Vass's idea about telling yourself that if it's bad, you'll just do one set of everything then leave again. Or even one set of one thing, if it's super bad. Sometimes if I just remind myself that getting there doesn't mean I have to stay, it's enough to get me moving, and then once I get there, if I remind myself that doing this set doesn't mean I have to stay and do another will let me get through that set. And the next. And maybe even the next. And so on.

Also, remember to do your breathing. I mean, now, as well as at the gym. I'm perpetually forgetting that, and it's so important. Nice, calm, deep, easy breaths.

Sending all best thoughts to you!!

Date: 2011-08-03 03:03 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: (strength -- pudgy)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
how do i keep going back when all i can feel is the panic?

Does it help to tell yourself that it won't always feel like this? If you keep going back, you'll almost certainly find that the anxiety diminishes, especially as the place stops feeling scary and unfamiliar. As [personal profile] vass said, it may flare up again at some points, but generally, it won't be as bad.

i nearly didn't make it this morning. i was able to push through with pos. self talk... but how do i get there tomorrow?

Do you have to go every day? On both the physical and mental levels, it's a pretty good idea to give yourself some recovery time between gym sessions and ramp up the intensity gradually. You made it to the gym for the first time, and that's a huge deal and deserves lots of congratulations, not to mention cutting yourself a bit of slack. Doing something scary and new for the first time will take it out of you, and it's okay to give yourself a break.

If you're sure you want to go back again today (or if not going would feel like giving in to the panic), maybe you could keep it light, and tell yourself that at this stage the point is just to practice going to the gym and being there, and you only have to stay a short time.

Date: 2011-08-04 03:28 pm (UTC)
iosonochesono: (Default)
From: [personal profile] iosonochesono
Other than the locker room I don't get too much anxiety about the gym, though I do get overly concerned with what other people might be thinking about me, I guess.

I used to be incredibly anxious about driving, but as others have said, exposure eventually dulls the anxiety. I only get up to about half as anxious as I used to about driving, and even then mostly just when driving less familiar areas or am in a more stressful situation. Likewise, I find some months that I don't really care about the locker room and other months I'm terrible about it, especially if I take really long breaks.

Anyway, congratulations, and don't be overly critical of yourself. Everyone has different limitations.

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