Tips for Overcoming Insecurities in the Gym

I’m really excited to be partnering with Gillette Venus on this post about overcoming insecurities in the gym. The Gillette Venus Swirl razor has been a daily part of my routine since sixth grade. Sixth grade! That’s just about 16 years for those counting. I first begged my mom for the razor mainly because I thought it was so cool that my BFF had one and I’ve stuck with the brand ever since because it’s hands down the best razor on the market in my experience. (And this is coming from a girl with thick, dark body hair and super sensitive skin. I know, I know, the best combination. 😣 If you can trust anyone, you can trust me on these matters.)

Venus Olay Cream

College Prepster Gym

When I started going to my gym last year, I was overwhelmed with anxiety and fear. The gym felt so big, and everyone there seemed like a total pro. During my first week as a member, I saw a man set up an obstacle course in the central area where he LEAPT over a stack of equipment, and I thought to myself, “I don’t belong here!” Fast forward ten months and I am officially a “regular.” I love my trainer, I have a group text with the women in my fave class, and I get a wave from the guy at the smoothie station every day. Oh, and that man who did the big leap? I’m on a first-name-plus-a-high-five-basis with him.

Despite being a regular, I still get insecure in the gym from time to time.

Carly Prepster Working Out

Here’s how I combat it:

1. Wear something you feel confident in! Isn’t it amazing how many options we have for gym clothes now? The athleisure trend has been good to us. The great thing about this is that there are tons of stylish and comfortable things to wear in the gym. You don’t have to buy anything new, of course, although I do find new gear to be a great motivator, ha. But make sure what you do choose to wear, it’s something you feel confident and comfortable in. For me, I try to avoid things that have itchy tags or too-tight waistbands. I try to choose pants or shorts with a flattering design and a cut that won’t get in the way, especially if I’m doing yoga. Don’t let how you feel in your clothes hold you back from a great workout.

Venus Razor Review

2. Pack a gym bag with the necessities! If you’re already feeling a little insecure in the gym, there is nothing worse than realizing that you forgot to pack or do something. For example, I always keep tampons, deodorant, and extra ponytails in my gym bag.

Shower & Shave

The worst thing to forget? To shave. This happens to me at least once a week, and it’s a mortifying feeling if I don’t catch it before class. The yoga classes are always tight quarters, and it’s not a good feeling to do a sun salutation and realize that I forgot to shave my underarms! Or when I’m in my strength training class and my partner has to grab my ankles for leg lifts and my legs are prickly. I don’t have too many insecurities about myself, but body hair is the one thing that I get super self–conscious about. I am all about hair removal.

I’ve tried everything throughout the years (waxing, electrolysis, cream removal lotion), but I always go back to my tried and true Gillette Venus Swirl razor. The Gillette Venus was my first razor (circa 2001), and it continues to be the best for hair removal. It’s the only brand that doesn’t irritate my skin, and it gets me the closest shave ever. For real, I’d rather have hairy legs than even attempt to use a “good enough” razor.

I keep a Gillette Venus Swirl razor in my gym bag at all times, so I never find myself in a hairy situation. The FLEXIBALL technology is essential for getting all those hard to reach places and curvier parts (like the extra tricky knees), especially if you’re running a little behind before class. If you want to try the Gillette Venus Swirl for yourself, you can pick one up at your local WalgreensI also tried the Moisturizing Shower & Shave Cream for the first time (smells so good!!!!) and highly recommend it.

Gillette Venus Razor

Best Razor

3. Go in with a game plan! Another insecurity that creeps up on me is feeling like a fish out of water in the gym. If I’m not heading to a class where the instructor is going to lead us through a great workout, it can feel overwhelming to see all the gym equipment and not even know where to start. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to do, and I freeze up and forget it all when I get there. I’ve started printing out workouts that I’ve found online or writing down a plan recommended to me by a trainer friend. Going in with a plan, in print, ensures that I walk into the gym feeling confident that I know what I’m doing.

Forgetting to shave at the gym

4. Bring noise canceling headphones. My last piece of advice for dealing with insecurities in the gym is to tune everything out. I promise you; everyone is paying attention to their own workout. No one is thinking or looking at you, even if it feels that way! I know that is easier said than done. When I’m working out by myself, I like to use noise canceling headphones so I can tune everything and everyone out. It’s the best way to “get in the zone.” Once those endorphins start pumping, with the right playlist blasting in your headphones, you will feel your absolute best self!

Shaving Legs

Thank you Gillette Venus for sponsoring this post. 

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I don’t know if this is really a “tip” but I found that listening to my own thoughts about others at the gym made me feel better. I realized that if I’m sitting here thinking positive thoughts about others (“She’s doing a great headstand!” “Wow, she’s a fast runner.”) they probably aren’t thinking critical thoughts about me, either.

Hannah @ AndThenWeTried

I totally agree that going in with a plan is crucial. I was so overwhelmed by my gym when I started but I met with a trainer and she gave me a week’s worth of workouts to cycle through. Now I feel confident heading in knowing exactly what I’ll be doing that day. Plus, it’s been a great way to try new things!

Bridget Sciscento

Hi Carly!
I love this post! I have been using the Venus razors for years, and I have the same sensitive skin/ dark body hair issue. They really are the best! I love your tips for the gym as well. It is so helpful to go in with a plan and feeling confident. I love all your features of J Crew Sport…I want everything!


I love these tips! Great timing for me, since I have been getting my butt back in the gym more often, lately, and I still have those days where I don’t want to go and don’t want anyone to see me.
Also, I LOVE your navy sneaks! Could you please share the style, I am on a mission to find some navy sneakers to match everything I own!


Carly, you look great! Your gym time and tips are paying off and I love that are so honest whenever you share information about your workouts. On a side note, where is the jacket from in the second picture? It is so cute – much like your usual gym attire.


I work out usually five days a week and I only remember to shave or wax my legs maybe once a month. Sometimes I can
feel the breeze in my long leg hair!! Doesn’t bother me in the slightest, even in partner workouts. But for some reason, the second I have a hint of stubble in my underarms I’m worried everybody notices and is judging me! Hard to get over that worry! Thanks for sharing your tips!


I don’t have a problem going to gyms -it’s yoga studios that freak me out.
And I am the person is the gym watching you work out, because watching tv with the closed captioning on AND reading a magazine AND listening to music in my headphones ISN’s enough to distract me from how much time I have left in my workout.


I used to shave my legs and underarms every day until my sister told me about cold lazer. I had tried everything and nothing worked until this. After 2 weeks after my first treatment, I didn’t have to shave for the first time since I started shaving!!! Now, after a few months I hardly shave at all! Truly a miracle. If you’re in Chicago I can tell you where to go or I can get more info if anyone wants – life changing!


Mikel’s Hair Salon, 4023 Oakton in Skokie. The gal that does it is Sharon. 847-675-9200. Zero pain and amazing results!!! Also had a keratin treatment done there – best I’ve ever had! Totally reasonable prices too – check out groupon, they sometimes have a coupon! Good luck 😉


I used to go to a gym in San Francisco that was an old movie theater, so lucky for us all it was kind of dark! Haha! I wouldn’t, however, venture to the scary part of the gym, ie the heavy weights and equipment, because I mostly stuck to the cardio and classes. I was definitely intimidated by the HUGE men working out (some of whom had chests as thick and I was wide) and also that I would be the only woman in that part. It can be scary, and I didn’t want anyone looking at my booty! Haha!

Jill Guilliams

Do you use that razor on your face, too? I’ve been using a tiny electric razor on my upper lip, but it never truly gets that close of a shave. And something about using a straight razor on my face as a woman makes me feel weird. Don’t know why, maybe that’s my own insecurity?! Lol


I wish there were a solution for face hair for women! I have thick, blonde upper lip hair. I try to manage it but have found no great solutions.


Have you ever tried threading before? It is very accurate because of the angle/view they have, they’ll remove all the hair, and your skin will be very smooth. Most threading salons upper lip will only cost ~$6.

Ashley Barker

I just hate having unshaved legs!! That’s one of the worst things for me too.. even in winter. I know the majority of young ladies don’t shave regularly (or some at all!) in the colder months when you aren’t showing your bare legs.. Not only does it help ME feel better but the feeling of tights or jeans on hairy legs? No thanks
You look amazing Carls and that workout outfit is just fabulous! Loving the new (ish) Jcrew line.


Does your gym not have signs that say “don’t shave in the showers”? Kind of gross to think of shaving in public showers.


I’ve never heard of that being an issue! Our gym provides disposable razors so they definitely don’t discourage it.


I love all of these tips! I’ve been trying to start going to the gym myself but I always feel so self conscious, so these tips will help! Thank you for sharing them!
Also, that sports bra is so cute!


I’ve been reading your blog for a good 3 years or so and love hearing your daily advice. This post, however, was obviously an ad for Gillette and I’m sorry to say that it really turned me off to your voice as a public figure. Just wanted you to know that although I know you’re making your living through blogging, these ads may eventually turn other people off as well. Just adding my two cents. I hope you have a great day Carly!


Last tip was my favorite. It’s a must for me when I go to the gym. Is there any playlist in particular that you listen, that you could share with us?