Here’s the latest installment of Loni Works It Out, where OK!’s Beauty and Health Editor Loni Albert chronicles her trials and travails as she attempts to slim down like a superstar. Follow her on OKmagazine.com every week and on Twitter!

Today, I will be temporarily stepping off of the treadmill and onto the soapbox. Something has come to my attention that is too important not to discuss. Recently, when I was hanging with some of my buds, someone mentioned that they hate going to the gym. NOT because they despise the elliptical, NOT because they hate lifting weights, but because of a whole, other animal of a reason — they’re too self-conscious.

The list of reasons to be self-conscious included: I look fat in gym clothes, I’m always afraid I’m not doing things right, I look stupid, I hate being sweaty in front of people, everyone is staring at me, and so on.

Now, I’ve had these thoughts from time to time as well, but for them to be so overwhelming that they stop me from working out? That’s just silly. My friends are probably just crazy, obsessive and weird—I mean they do hang out with me after all.

So I asked my family and colleagues about this too. The answers were disturbingly similar. My mom, who is extremely young and gorgeous has no problem running miles on the treadmill, but bring her over to the weight section and she’s all shy and out of her element. Why? “Because this is for guys.” Um, really Mom? Do men pay higher membership fees than you to have this exclusive area of the gym where chicks are not allowed? I think not.

tredmilAre you all keeping in mind where I work out? It’s DavidBartonGym. There are celebrities around me. There are really gorgeous people who look like celebrities around me. There is often a live DJ playing house music in a giant, disco ball near the leg machines (no joke) and yeah, sometimes, it’s intimidating. I don’t strut around there in high-end athletic apparel—I usually wear one step up from pjs. I don’t know exactly what I’m doing all the time. I sweat a lot and I’m sure I make weird faces and noises when I’m doing a thousand squats and such. I know that I look funny and don’t bend my knees right when I’m running. But honestly, when I’m there, I don’t care what other people think, and neither should you.

You’re at the gym to improve yourself. To get better, stronger, faster, slimmer, bigger—whatever your goal is. It’s kind of like trying to judge a building while looking at a construction site. Hello?! Work in progress here!

But even more so, you should be focusing on yourself while your there. Plug in your tunes, take a deep breath and channel all of your thoughts, all of your energy into your workout. Push yourself as far as your can. Bump up the speed and the incline on the treadmill. Add 5 pounds to your weights. Forget how people may see you. Forget what they may or may not be noticing. EVERYONE has sweat stains! EVERYONE is making ugly faces and awkward noises! EVERYONE is out of breath! And if someone is really taking that much interest in what you’re doing you should smile and say ‘hi!’. You may just end up getting yourself a hot workout partner!

Loni AlbertIf you have any questions hit me up on Twitter @LoniWorksItOut and I’ll answer anything — promise!

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