At gyms across America and abroad, overweight women continue to feel “intimidated” by those with the so-called perfect bodies.

The term “intimidated” is a catch-all word that means anything from awkward, jealous and angry to sad and depressed — when women who’ve been struggling to lose weight land eyes upon women with the perfect bodies.

I’m a former certified personal trainer and have two killer solutions.

I used to carry some extra pounds years ago. I had a somewhat husky or “solid” look; or as some would say, “big boned.” I ate way too much, and during those days, I didn’t know the science behind maximal fat-burning.

I’d see women in the gym with hot bodies — or what were considered hot bodies, anyways. There were two reasons I didn’t feel intimidated by them.

The first was that I believed I was physically stronger than them. The ultimate adverse interaction with those “perfect bodies” would have been a physical fight.

Since I believed I was stronger, and therefore could beat any of them up, it didn’t make sense to feel intimidated — even if the “intimidation” were psychological (which is actually the case for overweight women when they see those with enviable bodies).

But you get my point. If I could beat someone up, how could they mentally intimidate me?

If you’re an overweight woman reading this, who feels awkward around svelte, small-waisted women at the gym, who even believes they gawk and snicker at you — see what happens when you tell yourself: “I am STRONGER than they are. I am more likely than they are to be able to fight off a mugger.”

What if that woman with the perfect body can bench press more than you?

Many women who have what is considered a great body are no stronger than overweight women who are new to gym workouts.

This is because it doesn’t require strong muscles to have what’s considered a great bikini body. It requires toned muscles, but not strong muscles.

On the other hand, it’s entirely possible for women with bodies you’d sell your soul to have, to be quite strong. I’ve seen this over and over: Size 6 or 8 women lifting very impressive amounts of weight.

But most of the beach body women who “intimidate” you at the gym, rest assured, aren’t much stronger than you, especially if they focus mostly on cardio!

The second solution to overcoming gym intimidation by women with so-called perfect figures is to actually make yourself strong.

Every so often, I see a fat woman lifting hard, shirt sweaty. I say to myself, “Keep that up, and six months from now, you’ll be unrecognizable.”

Plus, there’s an air of confidence about these women that’s absent in the overweight women who don’t lift heavy and hard.

Another distinction is that overweight women who strength train heavy have a firmer, fitter looking body than do their pink little dumbbell counterparts, even though visibly, they weigh the same.

Get Strong!

Lifting heavy weights will not enlarge fat cells! It will shrink them, making you SMALLER. You’ll increase lean muscle tissue, but at the same time, shrink fat cells. Fat will melt away and your clothes will become baggier and baggier.

And as you increase your strength, even if it’s from deadlifting 45 pounds to 65 pounds (which is still considered very light), that’s nevertheless an increase in strength that you can be proud of.

You’ll get hooked. You’ll be driven to continue getting stronger and stronger. You started as a size 20 and are now a size 14, knowing you can lift those Barbie dolls over your head!