It's probably been a while since you've been to the gym. Maybe you've never been at all. It looks intimidating. Everyone there looks like they know what they're doing. They must know how to use all of the equipment. They must know how to reach their fitness goals.
Don't be afraid.
Don't compare yourself to the people working out next to you. The comparison will kill you.
Don't be afraid to look yourself in the mirror. Why are you really here? What are you trying to accomplish?
Start with small, attainable goals. Don't think, "I want to lose 20 pounds by the beginning of summer." Instead try goals like, "I want to feel stronger at the end of my work out." "I want to learn how to use one new machine every time I come to the gym,' or "I want to be active for at least 30 minutes every day."
Know your limits. Running for an hour is not realistic for someone who has never trained to do so before. Doing too many reps is going to cause you to burn out. If you can't walk or even move the next day you're going to start missing workouts and lose your momentum.
Ask questions. The gym is staffed with trainers to help you stay safe and reach your goals. Ask other members to give you tips. You'll learn something new, and will meet new people that can keep you accountable.
Think about your life outside of the gym. Are you eating enough food to help your body recover? Are you eating the right foods? Are you drinking enough water during the day? Make sure you aren't denying yourself small indulgences. Eat what you want, but pay more attention to serving sizes.
You don't have to go to the gym every day. Your body will need time to recover, especially in the beginning. Skipping days doesn't make you a failure. Slipping up on your diet doesn't make you a failure.
Try to make your workouts as enjoyable as possible. Make yourself a playlist that fits your mood. Throw on your headphones and block out the rest of the world. Allow yourself to forget everything and think only about yourself. Forget the hundred other things that need to be done. The world will still be there when you're done.
When your muscles ache and your lungs burn remember your strength. Power through that last rep. Allow yourself to feel proud when you finish a set. Find confidence in your strength.
Don't attach your confidence or self-worth to your weight. Look at your body when you want to see results, not the scale. The results won't be immediate and other people will probably notice a difference before you do. Take a picture in the beginning and compare the differences every month. You'll be surprised what you'll see even if the scale doesn't move.
You're stronger than you think. You have everything you need to make a positive change for yourself. You can reach your goals. Don't be discouraged if things don't go as planned.
I'm right there next to you trying to change my life too.