Why I’m No Longer Afraid of Wearing Shorts to the Gym

Disney usually isn’t at the forefront of my mind when making references but for some reason, I got a vivid idea when coming up with this post.

In “The Little Mermaid,” all Ariel wants is some legs.She wants to be where the people are, she wants to walk on the street, she wants to dance. Ultimately, she gives up her voice to gain some legs. Not the choice I would make if I was a mermaid, but that’s ultimately another point: we all want what we cannot have but i’ll get to that later.

When Ariel thought about legs, she didn’t dream for “the perfect set of legs” she was just given some (and this is a movie, so she could have had anything..)

Most likely unknowingly, Disney wrote in some sage advice and a realistic story line. Ariel had to deal with what she got, as do the rest of us.

We don’t choose our body parts. If we did, I’m guessing a lot of us women would look a lot the same. We are gifted limbs that are a combination of our parents own–limbs that did them just fine, and will do the same for you.

I used to be afraid to wear shorts to the gym. My legs are big-I’m Quadzilla! My thighs rub together and are jiggly from when I was overweight. My shorts ride up and they dig in right in the worst spot. They might move, I might chafe, someone might think I was gross. The list goes on and on.

Then I realized, do I care when other people wear shorts to the gym? No. Actually, it’s the opposite. I admire them for not thinking the way I do and having the confidence to put on those short shorts and rock them.

So, I bought a pair of short shorts one day and wore them to the gym. I pulled a little, tugged a few times but mostly due to insecurity not because I had to. I left, hopped in my car, and went and bought three more pairs.

When I actually wore those shorts to the gym, I realized no one was looking. The only persons whose gaze was down at my thighs was my own. My legs? Well, they actually looked really strong when they were uncovered. And my butt? It was highlighted by the shortness in the back. My ability to move easier and feel cooler? 100% better.

Of course there are days when I am still nervous–insecurity doesn’t go away instantly. While my legs are strong, I sometimes wish they were leaner. That my quads didn’t pop so much, that my knees weren’t aligned kind of weird. But the days where I feel confident are slowly shifting to be the more likely scenario.  We all want what we can’t have, right? Things can of course be changed, but that isn’t instant either.

Rock what you have–build on your insecurity and make it confidence. Who cares if your arms jiggle in a tank top or your shorts ride up in the middle? First of all, remember that you aren’t alone. Even the people we look at as inspiration have cellulite or stretch marks. Secondly, the only person concerned is you and the only person that can change that? You.



One thought on “Why I’m No Longer Afraid of Wearing Shorts to the Gym

  1. Maggie says:

    I’ve worn shorts before when I didn’t want to too. But for me, I just figured that it was my own damn fault if I looked crappy in shorts, and I’m sure not going to feel compelled to do anything about it if I wear big ol baggy sweatpants or pants where I don’t have to own it.
    Don’t want or expect to be perfect, but I’m in my early 40’s, and I’m too young to have to wear sleeves like my grandmother bc I don’t like my arms. I need to eat better and be active. Seeing my fat thighs in gym shorts and flabby arms in tank tops helps me remember I need to get off my butt and put the donut down.


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