Weight Loss NHS
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feel self conscious exercising - and ideas?

a friend of mine has suggested we do something together on a Monday evening as we are both free then - the problem is that I feel too fat/too unfit/too lazy to do anything! I feel like this is a good opportunity to start doing something as its only once a week and with a lovely friend, she has suggested swimming which I used to enjoy but I feel really self conscious. I keep making the excuse to myself that i'll start getting more active when I've lost loads of weight but I know that's unlikely to happen any time soon!

I'm a stay at home mum to three (7, 5 and 1) and the only exercise I get is walking the school run three or four times a week (school is just over a mile away)

I literally don't do anything else, and I feel really vulnerable and self conscious if I'm out and about without a pram or pushchair in front of me! how ridiculous does that sound!

6 Replies

Hi Rokki,

This is a totally normal feeling, YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE! I battled with this for a while too, but once I treated myself to some new workout gear and reminded myself of WHY i wanted to lose weight, I lost all care for what everyone else thought of me and committed to doing it for myself.

It is a big step, but the pro's definitely outweigh the cons. People will respect that you are up and about trying to get fit, and if they don't it, doesn't matter because you were never doing it for them anyway! :D

Try and start of exercising in the company of friends this eases the pressure, and once you feel more confident, you'll be able to go at it alone!

Best of luck!

Babykcal x


Hi rokki,

I certainly know how you feel, I am very large and have been worried in the past about taking my clothes off to go swimming. I am not sure how big you are but you could check out some online plus size retailers for more flattering swimsuits. I know one site even does womens swimming shorts which come down to your knees.

Why not check out the baths and see if you can take your towel in with you or just attend a ladies only class. The truth is that no one is really interesting in looking at you, I know it doesn't necessarily feel that way.

I am currently trying to walk up a steep hill where I live without stopping (I am getting there), I am conscious of cars driving past me as I nearly pass out trying to walk up the hill at a snail's pace, but do these drivers really care, and why should I care even if they do?

Please don't let the possible opinions of total strangers put you off. Do want you want and put your health first.

I am sure your friend will look after you too:)


Please don't underestimate the amount of exercise you are already doing. From what you say you do a 2 mile walk 3-4 times a week, and when you're not walking you're looking after 3 children no doubt bending and picking up the youngest not to mention the amount of bending and lifting involved in generally looking after 3 young children, it seems to me you do a lot of exercise! I do understand how you feel about going swimming and it's easy for me and others to tell you not to worry about it but I know it's not that easy, I think it may be a good idea to check out the local pool first, get a feel for the place so you know where everything is, it may make you feel more comfortable but it's something you will need to do in your own time. Good luck, I'm sure you will achieve all you want to, one step at a time you can't do it all at once.


Its not ridiculous we all have fears and insecurities. Just think with swimming its only getting in and out anyone sees you. The rest of the time you are fully submerged and no one will be watching you. Especially if you find an pool that has adult lanes, no one is there to judge you. If its what you want then go for it, starting with a friend is a great way to get you out there. Give it a try, im sure you will like it


Hi Rokki,

I agree with what others have said, you are not alone in how the idea of exercising in front of other people makes you feel. I personally took 9 months into my, up to now 18 month, weight loss/healthy eating plan journey before I had the courage to go swimming in a 50 plus session.

I'm not sure what weight you are now, I was just under 19st then (down from nearly 23st), one of my big fears was what type of step the pool would have. I thought I would be able to get down straight down steps but would I be able to pull myself back up them, luckily they had one set of angled steps. This is somethings you might want to check out with your friend.

Until you decide that your are ready for trying swimming I wonder if I could make a couple of suggestions. As you are already walking quite a lot, what about taking your 1 year old out in the pushchair for longer walks during the day, when your other two are at school, this will be nice for both of you. You could always end up at a park and get some extra exercise pushing your little one on the swings.

Secondly if you don't want to go out to do exercise what about you and your friend trying out exercise or zumba dvds at one of your homes on a Monday night. This way if you need to you can get more fit before you try classes with other people.

All my best wishes for your journey to feeling fitter.

Ros xx


oh my gosh ladies, thank you all so much for your replies - quite overwhelming and made me very emotional over my (tasteless without loads of syrup lol) porridge. Think my hormones are still a bit to blame! I think I will try the swimming - I used to enjoy it a lot, and you're right my friend will look after me :) I know no one's really bothered what I look like, but after years of family telling me how fat I am and constantly commenting on anyone else who is (in their opinion) overweight, its difficult to get over.

I do quite a bit of walking already, and there's a steep hill on the way to school (well it feels steep to me anyway!) and with doing both school runs a day its nearly 5 miles a day! But I only do that 2 or 3 times a week, when its not raining or have other commitments. I could start going for similar walk during the day's I don't walk the school run, but little one has a long nap during the day (10 till 2!) which is lovely for getting things done in the house, but bit restrictive. As she gets a bit older though she wont sleep in the day so much

I'm currently 15 stone 8 (that's so hard actually telling anyone - not even my husband knows my exact weight!)

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