Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

Most women have it, even if we don’t ad­mit it. Hands up­who has put off buy­ing that gym mem­ber­ship un­til we’re fit – and most im­por­tantly thin enough – to show off our bod­ies? Yes, ridicu­lous as it sounds, few of us are con­fi­dent enough to tackle our muf­fin top or work out in a pub­lic gym for the fear of be­ing judged.

The list of daunt­ing ex­cuses not to go are end­less: we’re scared of the gym junkies think­ing we’re fat (even if we are, it’s the rea­son we’re there, for good­ness’ sake!), the train­ers, the equip­ment or the very tight kit that clings to all the curves we’re try­ing to lose. It’s a phe­nom­e­non whose name I prob­a­bly should have coined, be­cause I’ve al­ways suf­fered from gymtimidation. And I’m far from alone.

Nearly half of women – a stag­ger­ing 47 per cent – suf­fer from such low self-es­teem, from be­ing bom­barded by self­ies and un­re­al­is­tic images of the per­fect body, that they be­lieve they’re not good enough to be­long to a gym. Thanks to Pho­to­shopped pic­tures of celebri­ties, ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns and self­ies taken from flat­ter­ing an­gles with fil­ters, we nor­malise looks we can’t pos­si­bly hope to achieve. ‘It is the same sort of cul­ture,’ says one ex­pert, ‘that makes young peo­ple anorexic.’

It’s dan­ger­ous, es­pe­cially in a country with an obe­sity and di­a­betes prob­lem where we need to get and keep in shape for the sake of our health. Luck­ily, our spe­cial re­port on

page 34 gives ex­pert ad­vice on how to tackle your fear of the gym so you won’t find it so in­tim­i­dat­ing.

Letme know what you think of this fea­ture and the rest of the is­sue. Un­til next week,

The­listofEXCUSESnot­to­go­toth­e­gy­mareENDLESS: we’rescaredof gymJUNKIES­think­ingwe’reFAT(it’swhywe’rethere, for­good­ness’ sake!), theEQUIPMENTortheTIGHTkit­thatCLINGS­tothe­curves

Karen Pasquali Jones Ed­i­tor kpasqual­i­jones@gulfnews.com

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