I read an interesting article the other day, which discussed a study that found that the number one reason women don’t go to the gym has nothing to do with the actual working out part … but rather, the locker room. Specifically, changing in the locker room.
It can be an intimidating place – and one we’ve been had to face ever since they started making us change clothes for gym class way back in middle school (perhaps that’s where my teenage-years aversion to working out came from? Or perhaps it was that gym was always my first or second class of the day…) Regardless of how fit or otherwise a person is seems to have little to do with how they feel about locker room exposure.
Now, I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m still doing, as the article refers to it, “the dance” (replacing one garment with another as quickly as I can, showing as little skin as possible). I’ve been a consistent gym-goer for about a decade. I’m in the best shape of my life. Yet I still feel that people are looking at me, or judging me, and seeing the “flaws” that I see on my own body – even though I’m sure they have better things to do with their time than check me out.
The women on the opposite side of the spectrum are the ones that will always puzzle me, though. I mean, I’m all for loving your body for what it is – I wish that I could be more accepting of my own – but really, is it necessary to walk around the locker room COMPLETELY naked? (And you know the only ones that do are either a., ones you really wish would cover up, or b. too old to care). First off, there is nothing more uncomfortable than turning a corner and seeing … everything. Beyond that, even if you’re fresh from the shower, it’s unsanitary (I don’t even want to know what has been on some of those benches or counters – I refuse to let my bare feet touch the ground outside of Pilates or Piloxing … which are meant to be barefoot).
It’s funny, though, that most women fall into one of the two types – you’re either doing “the dance,” or letting it all hang out. I just think it’s sad that something like a locker room could be keeping women from becoming healthier and more fit. But I guess there are still no excuses … you could always change at home and avoid the locker room!