Week Nine, Day Two
So, I have some pretty amazing news. And it's totally relevant to Operation: Get Off My Ass and Get Healthy.
Because this #bossbitch? She's headed to mother effing MIAMI for the #beingboss event in April (my birthday weekend!). Hells yeah. Why is this relevant? For one...it's in Miami. At this place:
THE PALMS HOTEL & SPA
So you know what that means? Swimming suit. Which is directly related to my fat ass losing some lbs so I can feel good in a new suit.
The second thing is - as I've said in a previous post - I DO feel better when I'm actively trying to be healthy. And I want to be feeling my best for this event because it's important to me. It's a big step in my entrepreneurial career to network and meet movers and shakers like the people that will be at this event. And when you FEEL good about yourself and in general - it's so much easier to put yourself out there!
So that's my big news of the day. But seeing as how there was nothing too dramatic or unusual about my workout today - I wanted to post about some questions I've gotten in a few emails. (You guys DO read my blog! You like me... you really really like me! *high-fives to anyone who knows where that's from*) I've gotten a few requests about my workout gear. Clothing, shoes, etc. Now, I'm by no means a fitness expert. Dude... I'm still a newb. So take what I say worth a grain of salt - but regardless, I shall honor thy wishes.
Starting from the top!
Since my hair is now ponytail length and all sorts of crazy, I wanted something that would hold my mop of hair back and in place. One of my friends posted about loving this product on Facebook, so I decided to try it and I love it too now! I present: headbands by Hippie Runner!
Stylish, funny, and useful - I LOVE these headbands. They are tight enough to stay put while doing rigorous exercise (a problem I've had with other headbands) and they add a bit of "pop" to your workout outfit. I bought four different ones - including the above one. Because really, who doesn't love/hate running?!
My most dreaded piece of clothing. The sports bra. Let me tell you - for busty gals - it ain't easy to find a sports bra that works. Because I've tried. And tried. And then tried some more. Honestly, I still don't feel like I'm at a place to say that I've found the "best" one - I'd say I've found one that I've settled for. I can't do sports bras without underwire, that just doesn't work AT ALL. I can't do the pretty bras that dip low or look sexy. Nope. This #bossbitch needs full coverage, hold 'em in style. And this is the one that has done it for me: Champion Bra: Double Dry Distance Sports Bra 6209
It's not exactly pretty, and it's real plain - but let me tell you - it holds my melons in REAL nice. I'm not sure many people realized how hard it is on busty girls when they workout - as in - our boobs LITERALLY endure a lot of pain when we workout. So having good support and decreasing pain is important. One less thing to worry about when you look at the whole picture.
Now, most people may think that tops aren't all that important - but lemme tell you. For big girls - the top you choose to workout in MATTERS. It also matters to which particular exercise you're doing. The WORST thing ever is to wear a shirt that makes you feel uncomfortable because then your whole workout is predicated on this uncomfortableness and then you're self-conscious, etc. So, yes. Tops are just important as the bra. For example, some material naturally hugs your curves more. In some cases, that's not optimal, but in cases where you're doing floor exercises or jumping - you WANT that because what baggy t-shirts are going to do is ride up your stomach, flip/flop around as you're trying to do the exercises. What you'll end up with is skin showing, flab potentially hanging out and just a general "ugh" feeling.
For me, personally, I have this thing about my shoulder and arms being covered. So even in the middle of winter, I will have a tank top style workout shirt on. I HATE the feeling of my shoulder/arms being covered...it makes me feel claustrophobic. So for me, it's almost ALWAYS a tank top. Here's two of my faves:
Pretty simple, but they have just the right amount of cling to the body so they don't ride up my stomach but they're also not SUPER clingy so you see all my fat rolls. And yes, I do a lot of my shopping at Kohls. I'm pretty obsessed with that place, actually.
Pants. For me, pants are probably the least important. I find that I can wear a variety of different things and it doesn't really affect my workout too much. I tend to enjoy the tight capri leggings the most, but as you might remember from a previous post, my husband bought me a bunch of new workout clothes and I actually kind of like the tight workout leggings. Once you get used to them, they feel pretty lightweight. Almost like you aren't wearing anything at all! Again, I think the difference in which pants you wear comes into play when you're doing different exercises. I can pretty much wear the same pants if I'm doing anything machine related, including running on the tread. I could probably get by with wearing the same things for strength/weight training, too. But running outside? When I used to do it much more often, I would want really light weight, breathable shorts. Anyway - here are a few of the ones I'm really loving:
The cool thing about some of the patterned leggings at Kohls is that they come up with matching shirts or jackets. My mother-in-law actually got me the matching jacket to those exact leggings up there. I don't wear the jacket working out (see above for reasons) but I wear it TO and FROM the gym.
We've made it all the way down to socks! Now, this is another area I don't pay MUCH attention to - but there IS something to be said for having a good athletic sock. Because if you wear cheapo socks, you'll learn REAL fast that the get holey, they don't hold your sweat well and you have more blisters and/or feet injuries. But you don't have to go sock crazy and get the really expensive kinds. But look for what style fits your liking. I HATE crew style socks. I HATE quarter and "no show" style socks. So I fit firmly in the "ankle" or "low cut" socks style. You know, the kind that are JUST visible over the top of your shoes but not much. Those are ones that feel most comfortable to me. I am in love with the PUMA brand of socks. They feel lightweight and not too heavy on my feet.
Plus, they have the whole R/L foot thing and sometimes, I just wan't to think at 4:30am. So it's nice to have a little direction ;)
Shoes. Oh shoes. Next to the bra - the shoes are probably the other most important piece of workout gear. Because they affect SO much. And probably the biggest piece of workout gear I know nothing about! Again, I'm not a fitness/running/workout expert and there are people out there who CAN give you all the info you need. And you SHOULD do that. There are important things to consider to prevent you from foot injuries and to support the other parts of your body. I've done the whole go to a shoe store, get fitted, run around the block thing, find a shoe that fits my arch, etc. I had a VERY expensive shoe back when I was running a lot more. And it was great. But I've had that shoe for-ev-er. And now that I've shifted from more of running to other kinds of cardio and will be starting a lifting regimen, I wanted something lighter. So this Christmas, my husband bought me new shoes (pictured in the last post, but I'll post here again). I'm still in trial mode with them, so I can't comment on if they're all I wanted and more, but the few times I've gone to the gym with them, I've liked them!
I can tell you that they are incredibly light weight and easy to get on and off and have a lot of movement in them. Will they be the right long-term solution? Well... we'll see.
Wahoo! We made it head to toe! Now it's time for accessories. I have a couple of things I always have on/near my body during workouts. 1. Waterbottle 2. Flip Belt 3. Headphones 4. Active watch tracker.
So, the waterbottle is kind of moot point for me because at any one time - I may take my shaker bottle that I use for pre-workout drink. Or I may have one of my cheapo waterbottles or even the waterbottle I bought at the gas station. Honestly, I don't care WHAT kind of bottle I have as long as I can drink water from it.
And there are a TON of flip belts on the market now. I just bought one of the cheapest and highly rated ones on Amazon. They basically hold all the little doodads you don't want to carry with you. Identification, cell phone, cash, house key, etc. Here's the one I got:
I think it works great - as I've had a horror story with my iPhone falling off one of the machines at the gym. Nope. Not anymore. Keeping that baby on my body at all times. Plus, with lifting, I think it will be easy for me since I don't have the luxury of having pockets in my pants like my husband does for his workout shorts. As a little bonus - it's kind of tight (at least mine is) so it helps keep my flab in ;)
Headphones! This is a biggie. The cheap, regular headphones are awful. They hurt your ears, the sound quality is shit and they fall out when you do rigorous exercise. The new Apple headphones that come with the devices are better but not by much. So, my husband invested in a good pair and well, I wanted some too! Because music is a very important and integral part of working out for us both. The investment is WELL worth it if you HAVE to listen to music when you work out. My mom got me the Bose Soundsport Headphones for iOS for Christmas. They have that little piece of rubber that makes it stay in your ears, even if you're jumping jacks or sprinting or whatever! They are a bit pricey, but as I said. Well worth it!
Honestly, I couldn't workout with no music. It's a must for me. It inspires and motivates and the better sound quality I get - means the more in my own world I go! That makes it easier to workout for me. So don't feel bad if you want to invest in your success!
And lastly, probably the BIGGEST and most expensive accessory I own (but my favorite thing of all) - my Apple Watch.
Last year, my husband bought me an UP 24 for Valentines Day. I was so excited because I really wanted something that would help me become more accountable and active AND something that would track my sleep (that's an entirely different blog post I could write). And it DID help me be a bit more active... but there were limitations to what it could do. My husband is an IT director - so, I will admit, I'm a bit spoiled in the tech department. I know a lot about computers and technology that most people don't. And I'm a bit of a snob. I like my tech to be new and the best of the best. That's just how I am, unfortunately. That being said - when the Apple Watch came on the market - I was skeptical. Even though I'm an Apple evangelist... I was still a little weary of the product. Would it REALLY make a difference? Why pay up the ass for something that the other trackers have? But then my mother-in-law got one. And she's pretty big into fitness. And she's NOT a super techy person and she loved it. I played with hers and I kind of fell in love. The UP was bulky where the Apple Watch was not intrusive at all. I typed on my laptop for about fifteen minutes and barely noticed it was there. Where it got me was that I'm a very visual person. With the UP, it didn't have the visual element of showing me my steps or reminding me. It vibrated, sure, but a vibrate is pretty easy to ignore. A vibrate, a popup message on the screen AND a reminder of where you're at? Pretty hard to ignore. Plus all the extras - like the fact that my calendar (which I live and die by) is integrated. So I can get vibration reminders of those. The full integration with my iPhone was pretty much a clencher, too. Anyway - I went back and forth on the decision until finally I went into the Apple Store and just pulled the trigger. And you know what? I'm so glad I did. I LOVE my Apple Watch and the more and more I get into exercising and becoming active, the more important it becomes in tracking and reminding me of where I'm at.
So there you go, friends. An extremely long but juicy post on my workout gear/accessories. I didn't realize how much actually goes into it until I wrote this post!
Now, I shall leave you with this: