Thank you, The Locked Box Boutique, for sponsoring this post, 5 Tips for Being More Confident at the Gym. I was selected for this opportunity by The Locked Box Boutique; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Gyms can be really freaking scary. I didn’t ever really realize this until (and I know this will sound silly) I went to one. It was really not until after college that I made my steps into a real gym and committed to a consistent workout routine. I was shocked to see tons of super-strong looking people lifting weights, running at seemingly lightening speed, and sweating all over each other. My first go-around was with a girlfriend and it made the experience so much easier to learn how to use the equipment and get acclimated to the whole experience.
Then my husband and I moved to the city and found a nice, super quiet gym attached to our apartment complex. This is really what caused my anxiety from here on out. It was this gym per say; however, every other gym since then has just not seemed like the right fit. This gym was quiet, empty for the most part and private. I loved it and became super used to its atmosphere. When we purchased our home back in the suburbs, we shopped around the best gym for both of our workouts and ended up with a membership at Gold’s Gym.
I honestly can say that I love Gold’s Gym now for multiple reason; however, for someone who doesn’t know their way around, the scene can be pretty frightening. And that’s not even taking into consideration the whole locker room situation that happens after your workout is over or before it has even begun. Then there is the cinema room, classes, free weight area (with guys grunting and yelling)… Yikes. With all of this in mind, it’s no surprise that “gymtimidation” is an actual thing that gets in the way of people’s ability to exercise with confidence.
I felt really comfortable there until my first pregnancy and then the anxieties happened all over again. I went from feeling like the girl that was attempting to “walk off” my “beer gut” aka first trimester belly to the girl that was really pregnant and just got the basic “she’s-at-the-gym-do-you-see-how-pregnant-she-is” side eye. Regardless, neither was comfortable for me.
So I have put together my list of five tips that have helped me be more confident at the gym during my pregnancy, and hopefully they will help you maintain a fit pregnancy, too!
1. Invest in a belly support band.
This is my number one thing when feeling good about myself at the gym while pregnant. Why? Because during my first pregnancy, I would feel self-conscious even showing up and then I would manage to finally get there in the frigid temperatures of winter to discover that my hips were hurting or my belly felt too heavy. It was super defeating for me. This would quickly force me to end my workout early and feel ashamed, regardless of the reality of the situation. I would also struggle more the next time around.
I highly recommend getting yourself a belly support band to help with this. I wear mine from Bao Bei Maternity almost every day, even not at the gym. I own a Cool Mesh band and a ProBump band which are both great. They support the abdominals, take pressure off the low back, and eases common discomforts of pregnancy especially during a workout!
2. Do not worry about consistency.
This was a huge issue for me. The perceived judgement from those fit girls that work at the gym behind the counter just killed me. I knew that as soon as they would scan my badge they would know that I hadn’t been in over a week or two and it would make me not want to go anymore. I also would 100% get in my own head about the folks around me. I always think that the people working out next to me is thinking “Where did this girl come from?” or “I haven’t seen her in weeks!”
But let’s be honest. I do not think that much about the people around me. Additionally, the gym is just one way to workout during or outside of pregnancy. What has really spiked my confidence level is switching up my game at home with my Expecting and Empowered pregnancy workouts and checking in with my Tone It Up community. Believing in myself and truly knowing that I am staying active has helped me put these thoughts at bay during that check-in process at the gym.
3. Find a podcast or book that you enjoy.
Once you are at the gym, keeping my mind off of my pregnancy has been a major help. This allows me to ignore some of the minor aches and pains as well as the occasional stare from the person walking by who is trying to determine if I really am pregnant or not. I prefer podcasts because I can get too lost into a good book; however, I know books help tons of people stay motivated to stay on that treadmill an extra ten or twenty minutes. Some of my favorite podcasts are Coffee + Crumbs, Drops of Inspiration, Risen Motherhood, The Mom Hour, The Next Right Thing, and The Simple Show.
4. Join a pregnancy support group.
Joining a pregnancy support group was great for me during my first pregnancy but has really, really helped me stay motivated during my second. Not only do you have folks to regular check in with and encourage through those workouts, but you also have a new set of friends that are pregnant alongside of you! One of my favorite things about completing the Expecting and Empowered pregnancy workouts is the online Facebook group that you get to be a part of. This group helps you understand the workout guide if you need it, support you through aches and pains, and is there to answer questions if you have any around having a fit pregnancy and beyond! It really makes a different seeing folks of all different shapes and sizes investing in themselves and their babies during their pregnancies.
5. Wear your wedding ring.
It sounds simple, I know; however, I feel so much more confident in the gym with my wedding ring on. I have never been one to wear my ring at the gym; I did not want to lose it during a workout nor did I want to have it damaged along the way. Thankfully, I found the most reasonably priced silicone bands at The Locked Box Boutique recently and they have been great. They come in multiple colors, shapes, and sizes to fit your style and have allowed me to stay confident throughout my workouts.
These rings are perfect for the pool, gym, or wherever you please really! They are designed to protect your fingers from a ring avulsion injury, are made of medical-grade silicone, and are far from boring! The best part about it is it lessen my “gymtimidation” inside and outside of pregnancy. Having the ring on during my workouts have lessen the annoying “bro-who-lifts” walk up to me during my workout and try to have a “casual chat”. (I’m rolling my eyes a lot here.) Let’s be honest, nobody wants the additional pressure of being hit on during a workout and especially if you are pregnant. Although the further along in my pregnancy, the less this happens, wearing my silicone wedding band has boosted my confidence level immensely! My husband says the same thing about wearing his!
On a side note, I highly recommend checking out Locked Box Boutique for other cute, adorable items. I have their Hinged Ring Holder Necklace paired with their Wave Ring that I love. It is perfect for date night and will be so ideal if my fingers swell in my last few weeks again where I cannot wear my wedding ring. I have been also eyeing up the Hinged Ring Holder Necklace for my girlfriends that can’t wear their rings because of their nursing jobs.
Want to learn more about The Locked Box Boutique? I sat down with the owner, Sarah, to have her answer a few great questions around her shop.
How did you get your shop started?
When shopping around on Etsy for my wedding, I realized there were a lot of jewelry items I could make myself, as I have been in the industry for over seven years and also take bench jewelry classes on the side. After doing some research and purchasing a variety of tools, the Locked Box Boutique was born. I later branched into some additional divisions, including AquaDazed — which specifically designed around my silicone wedding bands. However, in order to simplify, we have now consolidated all of our shops into the original Locked Box Boutique.
What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
I would say the hardest part is trying to keep up with all of the designs. I am inspired on a daily basis by everyday things, so I may have a brilliant idea that I’m certain I’ll remember… but if I don’t jot down some notes or draw a simple sketch, then when the time comes to make it, I draw a blank. Another difficulty I’ve had is setting aside the fun designs or production stuff to actually do important (but more boring things) like bookkeeping. When you open a small business, you think there is no way you could be this busy.. because you may not take in a massive amount of orders every day — but frankly, there is always something that needs to be done, no matter “how busy” the production side of things are.
What is one thing unique about you?
I would say one unique thing about me is my experience. I started in the retail side of the jewelry business, and actually still work full-time in this area. However, I am so enthralled by the jewelry industry, that I am literally trying to soak up every little thing I can. I am studying at GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) to be a Graduate Gemologist. I take regular classes at my location visual arts center to better my bench-jewelry skills, and I am constantly trying to learn new crafts online. There isn’t much that you can’t get through the Locked Box Boutique, and everyday I am working to expand that even further.
What is the best part of owning a shop?
The best part of owning a shop is seeing people genuinely enjoy your work. I never thought I would be where I am today, and to think things have moved along simply because people truly loved my handmade items… it’s simply amazing.
How did you get your shop name?
When I originally opened, the only person who knew of my plan was my baby sister, Morgan. I remember sitting on my bed with her going over possible shop names. I wanted something simple, so it would be easy to remember. I honestly cannot say there was some awe-inspiring moment, but when I said the “Locked Box Boutique” out loud, it just felt right. When I later opened our separate silicone wedding band department, AquaDazed, the name was inspired by our first child that I’m currently expecting. He is due in March and his birthstone is Aquamarine.
What is one way that you keep organized?
I have to keep a “to-do” list. You go in thinking, “oh this is important, there is no way I will forget about it”, but later you realize that describes literally everything you need to do! If I don’t write it down, I will forget. Not permanently, but it will slip through the cracks for a day or two. I also have to give credit to my husband. He really helps to keep my shop tidy with the inventory neatly put away. My best friend, Kaaryn, has also been very helpful in keeping me organized.
How do you balance family life and work life?
This has been a learning process for me. When I originally opened, I was a few months away from my wedding. Darrell (my husband) and I got married in late October, and we came back from our honeymoon to dive head first into holiday orders. I was so excited for the business to be doing so well, but didn’t always recognize that I was coming home from work and going straight into my shop, not leaving much room for quality time. However, I was able to figure that all out, as my husband goes into work easier than I do, so I try to get up with him and accomplish what Locked Box needs for the day. That way, when I come home from my other job I can spend time with him!