Before reading the forum, I never considered that women's only spaces could even be a thing. I have a join-quit relationship with regular gyms, mostly because I quickly get uncomfortable being there with gigantic, sweaty men staring me down.
I dreaded putting on workout clothes, and always felt like I had to dress "appropriately", so as not to get leered at. News flash: no amount of clothing is going to stop weird men from looking at you with weird predator eyes.
It was always a matter of entering, making sure to not glance at ANYONE while exercising, and leaving quickly. I'd do workouts completely alone, even when in a group class. It builds no sense of community and quickly gets depressing. Trying to go to gyms with my friends always fizzled out quickly, for the same reasons.
The women's only space I joined actively tries to create a community of fitness-minded women! I'm now actually able to talk normally during training, ask for help, and enjoy my group classes with attentive teachers.
There's no male-centered "grindset" atmosphere, just a simple understanding that exercise helps us be healthier and happier. The focus isn't on "gains" or rapid weight loss, it's simply on building healthy habits and growing as people. The classes range from Yoga to Crossfit, and I'm enjoying the variety that I simply never got from running on treadmills and lifting weights by myself.
I finally feel like I can enjoy exercise again, and this time I'm committed to sticking to it!