Overthinking at the gym

February 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm 1 comment

The other day, I wrote about my tendency to sometimes overthink tasks I have to do, such as cleaning the house, so that I come to dread those tasks. There is another place I tend to overthink, which zaps my energy: the gym. This is also related to my February resolution to stop comparing myself to other women at the gym. I guess it’s time to give this resolution some space.

I am sure when I really think about it, there are many ways I compare myself to other women when I’m at the gym. But there are two main ones: how long they’re exercising, and what type of exercising they’re doing. Let’s go one by one here, shall we?

The first one, how long other people exercise – or how long I think they’re exercising – or, really, if I think they’re exercising longer than me, comes up a lot. Especially on the days I am only doing light cardio to give my body a rest. And since I am trying to take it easy, it’s particularly frustrating when I get upset about the length of someone else’s work out – I know it’s my rest day, but I feel the urge to run up to the other people and tell them that. I think it’s also a challenge with my resolution to use more weight machines – I don’ t feel like it’s a real work out, so I don’t like to do them. Of course, this is ridiculous and I need to learn how to not be bothered – or distracted – by what other people are doing. Although, this is something I’ve struggled with my whole life, so how this is a huge undertaking.

The second way I compare myself to other women at the gym is the type of exercising they are doing. Here is the thing: there is an infinite number of ways to work out, especially when you throw in weights, machines, cardio, abs, and the combination of any of or all of those. It’s insane. Sometimes, seeing what another woman is doing inspires me to try it or I can use observing her to learn how to use a particular machine. That is a good thing. Usually though, I start doubting myself – what I am doing becomes not good enough and I become an out-of-shape failure.

Really Steph?

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to stop these thoughts dead in their tracks. They honestly ruin a workout. The best I can do so far is to think about how to stop them, and usually I get distracted. Unfortunately, that’s not very satisfying. So the honest answer is that I don’t know what to do about these annoying, energy-draining thoughts. But, even though it’s not satisfying I will say it is important that I recognize what I’m doing as it happens, and that’s probably a good first step. And maybe writing about it will help me realize how silly these thoughts are. Here’s hoping, since I’m off to the gym right now!


Entry filed under: Sustainable Energy. Tags: , , , , , .

Speaking of Busier but Happier… A new take on cleaning

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Workout Fail « Undefined Ambition  |  February 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    […] yesterday – cut my workout short and leave the gym. However, considering I just posted about overthinking at the gym, I felt like I was in a pretty good place to make this […]


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