Struggles at the Gym

Discussion in 'Problematic Sexual Behavior' started by jrm61, Oct 25, 2021.

  1. jrm61

    jrm61 Fapstronaut

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    Hello all,

    I’m currently at the gym and have noticed myself taking second glances at woman. While working on not practicing PMO, I’m also trying to figure out how to deal with lustful thoughts. Does anyone have advice on this matter?

    Godspeed,

    J
     
  2. Budd S

    Budd S New Fapstronaut

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    just recently, I began the "Spot, Stop and Swap" approach. The instant I become aware of (Spot) acting out - lusting, ogling, staring, moving into close proximity, brushing up against, touching, fantasizing - I immediately Stop (I push that thought/image/fantasy out of my mind) and Swap that thinking for some rote memorization (I am learning to read music so that is where my mind goes. I close my eyes, mentally push out those images/thoughts that promote acting out and start to visualize the F clef staff and naming my notes.

    If music is not one's thing then maybe closing eyes and just praying for relief from the lustful thoughts, or doing math in your head, or composing an email in your mind. For me, I must find some thing to divert my attention.

    BTW: I have been called out at the gym for ogling (staring too intensely at a woman). It is very uncomfortable to have somebody in your face, pointing out that they caught you. The shame feeling is strong.

    Now that you are aware of your actions (and your thoughts), stop them immediately the next time they pop up in your mind. Good luck to you.

    Post your solution.
     
  3. modernstore99

    modernstore99 Fapstronaut

    Definitely tricky because people that go to the gym are typically really attractive, and the clothes women tend to wear to the gym often make them look good. Nothing wrong with feeling attracted to them! They probably look great.

    It is a problem though if your tendencies and compulsions are getting in the way of your workout or making people uncomfortable. When recovering from porn, especially in the early stages, it can be really triggering to be around so many good looking girls. Even if you go in there really looking to work out, your porn starved brain might be a little uncontrollable.

    There are two ways to limit lustful thoughts for women that aren't your partners during PMO. The first is the willpower strategy, where you try and develop mental strength to resist lust and urges when they come up. For example, whenever you encounter something arousing, you continue what you're doing and try to ignore whatever it is that is arousing you. For example, this would include going to the gym and trying as hard as possible to not look at girls' butts and focus on your workout.

    The second strategy is the environment strategy, where you limit environmental factors that could lead to arousal. Instead of constantly resisting urges to PMO, you put yourself in situations and engage in activities that have low or negligible chances of arousing you. This can include limiting internet access, not using dating sites, avoiding certain people you're attracted to at work/school, etc.

    Both strategies are important, but have their drawbacks. The willpower strategies are useful for discipline and developing the habit to resist porn and other sources of artificial of arousal, but the more you rely on willpower to resist porn, it takes exponentially more mental energy for minimal output. If you're concentrating on not getting aroused 24/7, you're going to be exhausted mentally, and actually more at risk for a relapse.

    Limiting environmental risks is also important because it's much more passive; if you stop using Instagram, it's really easy to not get aroused. However, the more things you limit yourself from, the more impractical the methods get, and the more you risk isolation and unsustainable living practices. You can completely cut off internet access so you can't even get any porn, but you're gonna limit yourself from plenty of social opportunities, important events, and just laods of fun stuff.

    You need to employ both strategies in moderation for best effect. If you find yourself mentally drained from resisting porn and urges, you should try to change your environmental factors to help. If your environmental methods are making your life hard and impractical, ease up but bring in some discipline for recovery.

    Since you're relying mostly on willpower to resist getting aroused and distracted at the gym, I think you need to employ some environmental strategies, particularly avoiding the gym or the first stages of your reboot. It's just not practical for you to go to the gym and risk distraction/ogling. There's plenty of ways to stay in shape and keep gains up without going to a crowded gym. Plenty of parks and rec centers have calisthenics bars and areas outside that you can use. Running and bodyweight workouts are also great for staying in shape during reboots. I started a thread about running a little while ago Beginner Running Program for Your Reboot (VERY EASY AND HELPFUL!!!).

    Overall, I'm not sure what your workout regime and fitness goals are like, but I would first of all suggest taking a break from the gym if you find it overstimulating and distracting with lots of good-looking girls around, especially if you think you'll make people uncomfortable. There are plenty of alternative ways to stay in shape and put on muscle (if that's what you want to do) without being around dozens of girls in spandex.
     
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  4. tonyk1982

    tonyk1982 Fapstronaut

    Stare at your shoelaces in between sets. that simple.
     
  5. A Naija boy

    A Naija boy Fapstronaut

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    Lol
    That’s so simple
     
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  6. CaptainStrat

    CaptainStrat Fapstronaut

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    You might want to look into working out at home. I’ve been doing it for years. BOD membership is competitive with gyms and you don’t need much room and only modest equipment.
     
  7. jrm61

    jrm61 Fapstronaut

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    Thank you to everyone who has replied.
    At the beginning of my recovery, I would not have been able to be at the gym and maintain a sober mind. However, after a very long recovery and sobriety journey, I feel like I'm able to go to the gym and not have severe lustful thoughts. Right now I'm just curious if anyone has personal tips or tricks they have used to maintain focus on their workout. This can be anywhere from prayer, meditation, staring at shoe laces, or whatever.
     
    Fantareality likes this.
  8. jrm61

    jrm61 Fapstronaut

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    Emphasis on severe lustful thoughts
     
  9. A Naija boy

    A Naija boy Fapstronaut

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    You can do ur workouts facing the wall….
     
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  10. heretochange90

    heretochange90 Fapstronaut

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    The problem for me is that yoga pants are a powerful pmo trigger. Obviously at the gym there's a lot of it so it gets hard for me to stay on track.
    I've found it's good to try and find some men to train with. You can work on your bodies in a non sexual way and you are more likely to train hard to keep up.
     
  11. Reborn16

    Reborn16 Fapstronaut

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    I cancelled my gym membership when COVID started, but I think I will go back, just not yet. A change of environment is helping me through my healing process for now.

    Last 2 years of working out at home using a bullworker I've actually made better gains, thanks in part to being motivated to do it more times per week thanks to zero travel time/effort to gym.

    I've also had zero distractions from women, and zero insecurity from body builders putting me to shame lol.

    Yes you do want to build mental resilience to attractive women, be able to comfortably be around them, talk to them, and even flirt with them.

    But I think at recovery stage it's a lot easier to get comfortable at shops, parks, even a dance class.

    I know that's a separate thing, but it can often be connected. The more comfortable you are with women and the more you socialise with them, the less women at the gym should distract you.

    But if you want to continue at the gym, all power to you - here's what helped me when I last went:
    I always looked past/through women when they were positioned opposite me on a machine.
    When I caught myself checking someone out I would change up my exercise and move.
    And I would deliberately make eye contact and smile with most people, rather than stay 'zoned out' and ignoring people.
     
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  12. silentmike

    silentmike Fapstronaut

    If you Weare glasses then take them off at the gym. Also get yourself headphones with some music or better audiobooks on which you will try to focus.
     
  13. Reborn16

    Reborn16 Fapstronaut

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    This^

    Being short sighted helps a great deal with avoiding ogling AND social anxiety. Side note for anyone short sighted who struggles with public speaking, leave the glasses off and talk to an audience without reading their expressions 100%.
     
    jrm61 likes this.
  14. CaptainStrat

    CaptainStrat Fapstronaut

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    Yes, I’m blessed with lousy eyesight. It helps.
     
  15. MarioCorrelos

    MarioCorrelos Fapstronaut

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    Here another one that needs glasses. At first I didn't wear them so that I could clean my sweat easily, but I soon discovered it's a great way to avoid distractions.
     

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