Tomorrow I'm going to take a spin class at a new gym. So what if I know the instructor and know what to expect. So what if I regularly take classes with her twice as long as the one I'll be taking tomorrow. So what? The other people don't know me. They'll see a girl walking in (I can't say fat girl anymore) who is clearly packing some extra pounds. There is a good chance they'll make some assumptions about my abilities. It causes me some anxiety. But, the bottom line is: I got nothin'. Nothing to prove to anybody there. Nothing to prove to anybody, period. Except myself.
I recently talked to a friend who was worried about going back to the gym after having been gone a while and gaining back 20lbs, and worried that people would notice if she couldn't keep up or do what she did before. I have to remind myself what I said to her. "You're not there competing against anybody. Your routine workout isn't done before a panel of judges. The only person you're competing with is yourself."
And at the same time, the only person who needs my approval is me. Somebody recently asked me if it would be okay to skip spin on her birthday, as she was worried she'd be letting people down. I told her she doesn't need permission from anybody to skip the gym, whether it's her birthday or not. Do what you have to do for yourself. If people want to judge you for it (and yes, we ALL know there are people who do) it's fine. The only person to prove anything to is YOU.
I'll try to use that concept to fill in the chip on my shoulder before I get to the class tomorrow.