Have you ever felt like you have to GET into shape before you go to the gym? I think we all have and it’s important that you feel good while at the gym so that you’ll feel empowered to keep it up! There are mirrors everywhere you turn in a weight room and it’s really important to watch yourself lifting weights so that you can watch your form. It’s inevitable that you’ll have to look at yourself in the mirror, so feel like you look good while you’re there!
I’ve learned with everything we wear we have to accentuate our positives and underemphasis our negatives. We all have both. We are not perfect. We can’t be. I used to think that when I tried something on that didn’t fit well that there was something wrong with me. It made me feel insecure about myself…I must be too fat. Not true! That item just doesn’t fit ME! We all have different bodies and we have to find clothing that looks good on us.
So, shop around. I found my workout gear at TJMaxx. When you find a pant that you like, for instance, shop all the TJMaxx’s in your area to find another pair. Or if you’re like me, you’ll utilize your friends in different areas and ask them to look for them for you! Buy enough for each day during the week that you work out. Have an outfit for every day of the week that you go to the gym…No excuses! When you have all you need for every day of the week, you can’t use that as an excuse not to go to the gym AND it will make your life easier so that you only have to do laundry on the weekends. The picture to the left is the one I sent to Shawna to look for some for me in her area….These and most of the workout pants at TJMaxx are $15-19.99. The bottoms in the first photo are old and worn and I finally threw them all away because they had been washed so much they faded. They are the yoga series at Victoria’s Secret.
Not only do you have to feel like you look good, but you have to be comfortable. I still remember the times I’ve worked out and my clothes didn’t fit well and I either felt uncomfortable about the way I looked or I couldn’t move comfortably enough to lift well. I’ve had shorts too tight in the legs so that when I try to squat they dig into my legs or ride up…both awful. When you try them on the fitting room, move around, squat, lunge, sit down, stretch and see how it feels. Can you move comfortably?
Undergarments are very important as well. I personally have tried all kinds of undergarments and my favorite for bottoms are boyshorts. Again, you need enough to go with every workout for the week. So, Underarmour for me was out of reach because of cost. So, I went to Target and found some GREAT boyshorts! For me, these are great to move and lift in, including lower body workouts. I hate panty-lines and wedgies! Who doesn’t? And, a thong to workout, with as much movement as is involved in squats and lunges and running can sometimes pull and chafe. So, find what works for you. These come 2/$9.99 at Target. I love them.
You have probably thought about your sports bra so I won’t go into much detail. There are many resources out there for well-indowed women. I’m not one of them so I can wear pretty much anything. I do tend to double and triple layer so that I don’t have “headlights” if you know what I mean while at the gym. I would prefer to minimize attention towards myself so I cover that up. There is probably a sports bra that fixes that but again, I have at least 5 so that adds up when you start talking about getting expensive, special sports bras. If you do have a large chest, there’s no way around it and you MUST invest in nice sports bras. I got my sports bras in college at a Nordstrom Rack in Denver for under $5 each. I still wear them and love them. I’d buy more if I could find them. They fit me like a glove! I love them.
Workout tops also need to be comfortable and for me, I vary my attire depending on what I’m working that day. I have shorts that I love that I found at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I wear those only on days that I work legs. On those days I usually wear a t-shirt for a top because I don’t need to see my arms while I’m working legs. My favorite t- shirt is a 2xist shirt that I found at TJMaxx in the men’s section. Their small is perfect for me! I love those!
On upper days, I always show my shoulders and arms. I have some men’s undershirts that I have cut the arms off and tuck under the straps of my sports bra and I have some great Lucy brand tanks that I got on sale at the Lucy store in Dallas. Those were regularly $40 and I got them on the sale rack at around $15 each I think. I also found some great spandex tanks at Old Navy one year on discount for $5 at the end of a season. One of my Lucy tops is on the first photo on this blog.
Your hair also must be out of your face for you to be comfortable. Depending on my hair day, some days I put on a no-slip hair wrap to hold the hair out of my face. Other days I completely wrap my head in a bandana! Even when my hair was long, I put on a non-slip headwrap to keep the “whispies” out of my face.
Shoes are also very important. And, this is a personal decision based on your feet and what you’re using them for. You should have a pair of shoes that is JUST for working out. Don’t run errands and mow the lawn in them, just for working out. And, if you’re a runner, you should probably have a pair for running and another cross-trainer for lifting. I just bought Asics based on a recommendation from a few friends. I should have bought a size down though so that after they stretched they’d still fit. Mine fit perfectly at the store and now they’re too big. 🙁 Lesson learned. Also, pay attention to the arches of the shoes. I swear by inserts! I have spent a lot of time in Foot Solutions and bought very expensive (to me) inserts for all of my shoes. Also, on the weekends and elsewhere I wear Birkenstocks (the cutest that they make, of course) just becuase of my ridiculously high arch!
Good luck on your quest to feel good, look good and be a badass at the gym!!!!