We all do it. Every year when the calendar turns back to 1/1, we determine to take full advantage of the fresh beginning a New Year brings. We set out to fulfill our bucket lists, spend more time with our loved ones, beef up our savings, and get in shape. For some of us, it may look like a continuation of the same routine we began last year, and for others, creating brand new habits we hope will stick. One thing is certain - we all have goals when it comes to a healthier lifestyle!
I’ve been on an interesting health journey over the last few years. I spent time in dance and theatre in college and never had a problem moving and staying active. When I got married and moved to Colorado in the summer of 2012, I began a stay-at-home position as a Virtual Wardrobe Consultant. All of a sudden, an active lifestyle wasn’t part of my day-to-day and I had to look for ways to evade turning into a couch balloon. I started attending Zumba and Barre classes at a gym down the street.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2018, and I’m on a strict diet and workout plan for the month of January. Who knew someone like me would care about diet and exercise?? I was never one to run a treadmill or lift weights until early spring of 2017 when my husband and I put together a plan to get in shape for an anniversary trip to Jamaica in May. He wanted to lose 20 pounds, and I wanted to feel sexy in a 2-piece. If it wasn’t for the mental images of soft, silky sand between my toes and a Pina Colada in my hand, I don’t think I would have stuck to the new routine…
Upon returning from the trip, we resolved to keep up our new lifestyle over the summer. But with late summer nights and a kitchen remodel to distract us, we soon fell off the band wagon. Our “routine” looked more like a casual trip to the gym once or twice a week during the evening.
Why the strict diet today? Surprise surprise…a breezy beach daydream has made its comeback as we plan for a family trip to Mexico in early February! I felt SO good last spring on our anniversary trip that I craved the same feeling and reward again. But this time I knew it would be especially difficult. Waking up at 4:30a, saying no to a glass of red wine, and avoiding carbs would be no easy task after several days of sleeping in and “holidaying” with friends and family.
I started preparing mentally for the change. I put together a Pinterest board of 20 carb, sugar, and dairy-free recipes to cook during the month of January. Nick and I pulled our gym bags out of the dusty corners of our closet and packed up the night before our first workout. I was SO proud when we woke up to our alarms at 4:30a on January 2nd. I began to believe we could actually do it!
That first day back at the gym wasn’t quite right, though. Well obviously…the holiday baggage was sure to show up as I ran the treadmill. I felt exhausted after about 10 minutes of work. But besides that, I knew I needed to do one more thing to properly prepare for the month ahead.
Something I truly despise. And you’d be surprised what it is…
Gym clothes shopping. Yes, I hate shopping for workout clothes. I’d much rather spend my money on new booties…an oversized sweater…a new high-rise jean (my favorite!). BUT my workout gear from 2017 was seriously lacking. My go-to grey workout pants had leftover paint from a time I forgot to come home and change before working on the kitchen (insert sheepish grin). The few tanks and tees I rotated between were washed one too many times, stained, and a size smaller (HEY they shrunk…). I felt pretty pathetic going to the gym, and trust me, it’s a whole new level when you’re a personal stylist (I experience clothing shame too!).
I realized there was a direct correlation between my workout clothing and the outcome of my workout. Yes, you heard me correctly. Waking up and putting on stained, paint-covered clothing didn’t make me feel very good about myself. And every time I glanced at myself in the mirror during my workout, I was reminded of the way I felt.
Late in the afternoon on the day we re-launched our beloved routine, I hit up TJMaxx and prepared for the worst. Small dressing rooms. Harsh lighting. Changing in and out of layers and layers of clothing. Putting on tight, clingy, and form-fitting clothing again and again. Tugging on leggings. Trying to avoid creating deodorant marks on stretchy tops. And 2 solid hours of trying on way too many options in a sweaty dressing room.
But heavens rejoice! I ended up finding a brand I love. I picked up 3 pairs of pants, 2 workout tanks, and of course a whole lot of other miscellaneous items because TJMAXX CHECKOUT LINE.
Was it worth it? I resented the $100 I had to spend on workout gear (I KNOW, it isn’t much at all) but hoped it would pay off the next day at the gym.
I wiggled into my new leggings the next morning and pulled on a new workout tank. Ok… I was feeling a little better already. During my workout that morning, I felt more powerful than I did the previous day. I found that when I liked my image in the mirror, it energized me and I began to involve myself more in the moves. I could better see the muscles at work and felt rewarded as I saw my body reacting to the exercise. I felt stronger. And the investment I made in my image caused me to care more about my workout. Also BONUS! I was no longer worried someone would ask me what I do for a living…
You may feel sexy in a baggy off-the-shoulder tee or a breathable sweat pant. Perhaps your go-to is mesh shorts. But never underestimate the power of flattering clothing; you’ll feel that much better after your workouts at the gym! It’s created a more fun, rewarding, and exciting workout for me, and I believe it will do the same for you.
Start by tracking the workouts you enjoy the most (if enjoy is even a thing), gauge your reaction when you see yourself in the mirror, and take note of the clothing you feel your best in. I truly believe the right uniform will amp up your energy THAT much more when you go to the trouble to exercise. If you’re working your butt off, you deserve to feel your best while you do it!
What are your thoughts? Have you ever noticed a change in a workout after investing in workout wear? How does a flattering gym uniform change the way you feel about yourself?
Now if only I can get my husband to try it too…