Excuse: “I Don’t Want to Look Dumb”

Excuses are probably the biggest roadblock people have when it comes time to lose some weight.  Excuses are easy to make–real change is hard work. I’m no stranger to excuses. I used all of them when I was 250+ pounds.

“It’s genetic.” Some things CAN be changed.

“I’ll always be fat.” If I keep doing the same thing I’ve always done.

“I don’t have time.” If I have time for Twitter, Facebook and TV marathons, I have time to work out. (Read this post: Too Busy to Exercise)

“I’m too tired.” I’m tired because I don’t eat healthy and  I sit on my couch binge eating.

See what I mean? Excuses abound! Once I finally decided that I couldn’t make any more excuses, I stopped. Reality set in, determination got focused, and I was ready to work through the excuses. I know I’m not alone in the excuses department. What are some that you make for yourself?

I’m going to do a short series of posts addressing some of the excuses. The emails I get from people most frequently are questions about how to start losing weight. I wrote a post, I Don’t Know Where to Start, addressing that. The other question I get is HOW did I get into a swim suit at 250 pounds and go to the local pool?

The reason I get this question so much is because people are embarrassed, shy, timid, reluctant…plug in whatever word fits…to go out in public when they feel vulnerable. You bet I was anxious about getting in a swimsuit! I was even more anxious because I had so far to walk from the locker room to the pool and I felt like everyone was watching and judging. In reality, they really weren’t. Most people are self-absorbed and not paying attention to anyone else. It was all in my head! And once I got over that and toughed it out those first few times at the pool, it got a lot easier.


No one wants to feel like they are being laughed at. I talk to a lot of women that don’t want to work out at a gym because they are self-conscious because men are there. My suggestion is to check out those women’s only gyms. There might not be that many to choose from, but it’s worth a shot.

Excuse: “I Don’t Want to Look Dumb”

Suggestion: Work out at home first. If the idea of going to a gym and working out with people around makes you cringe, try working out at home for awhile. Watch some videos on Netflix, some yoga or P90X DVDs, try the Nike Training Club App. Get used to the idea of working out so that when you’re feeling more confident you can make the move to a gym.

Suggestion: Get with a trainer. If it’s a matter of just not knowing WHAT to do and you’re afraid you’ll look dumb if you do it wrong, sign up with a personal training. There are TONS of options. You can get private sessions (sometimes they will even come to your house, or you can meet at a high school track), you can do group training sessions, or sign up at a gym. A good trainer will be patient with you and help you learn how to do the exercises.

Suggestion: Stay in the back of the room in fitness classes. This is totally me. Even now. I’m fit and active and confident in my abilities but I still hate going to classes and I hate being in front even more. I make sure I’m at the class early so I can get a spot in the back.

Suggestion: Choose solo activities. Instead of group activities or gym workouts that are out in the open, try an activity that’s kind of reclusive. Swimming is a good option. Once you get in the pool, no one can really see your body and you can escape into your own little world. Yoga is also a good one because the lights are often dimmed in classes. Spin is another good one –get on a bike in the back of the class!

Suggestion:  Wear clothes you’re comfortable in. Sounds pretty simple but you’d be amazed at how a good-fitted outfit can improve a mood. If I don’t feel comfortable in my workout gear, I tend to be more timid, anxious about my stomach, pulling on the shirt to cover my stomach, etc. Good workout gear can make you feel confident and happy!


Oh and don’t be THAT guy. 😉

Final Suggestions

Lastly, focus on change and positivity. If you focus on the goal you want to achieve, you’ll start to think less and less about how you LOOK doing it. And remember, no one is really paying attention to other people in the gym.

QUESTION: How did you get over the “I don’t want to look dumb” feelings?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

11 thoughts on “Excuse: “I Don’t Want to Look Dumb””

  1. I love this post.. I am one of those crazy self conscious bigger people who had the hardest time going to the gym due to worrying about what other people think but I find it helps to be in the back of a class and start with one. Also when I work out on the machines I plug in music and focus on that, it helps to tune out everyone else! But I love the idea of getting with a trainer!

    Some of my daily excuses are.. I’m tired after a long day at work, I need to clean my house and I feel guilty for not spending time with my dogs or cat! Can’t wait for the excuses posts!!
    K @ Finding a skinnier me recently posted..Falling in love again…

    1. Thanks for the comment! I understand the feeling of being the big girl at the gym. It was DEFINITELY hard for me to get into the pool. Once I did it a few times, though, it got easier and easier.

  2. I started by working out with my husband. Having my own cheerleader who knew my abilities helped me build my confidence. I recently left LA fitness and joined a local powerlifting gym where I’m one of 4 girls at team trainings! As far as not feeling dumb, it helps that I love my gym, team and sport. But man was it intimidating to walk in for the first time! Best choice I’ve made in my road to weight loss.

  3. This is SO true. I’m really looking forward to this series!

    When I first started working out, I definitely had the “I don’t wanna look dumb” thoughts nagging in the back of my head. Especially because I work out in a college gym, surrounded by 19 year olds! Eventually, I got over it and now I don’t care what I look like, ha!
    Alex @ Brain, Body, Because recently posted..“Life Things” + We Got a CAT!

  4. I just had to do it and ignore whatever I felt. I decided what someone thought of me wasn’t going to stop me. I had a hard time wearing cycling clothes at first because I felt they were showing off all my flab and loose skin. Then I realized that even if any actually did notice me – what they thought of me wasn’t *my* problem, but theirs. And honestly, people usually don’t notice and if they do it isn’t the monstrous thoughts I was putting in their head.
    Lori recently posted..BOW – Crossbow and knots

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