Tips for the Perfect Gym Outfit 

Gym attire is a very loaded topic. But don’t worry, I wrote this blog post to answer all of your fit fashion questions 🙂

What should one wear when doing cardio? Should you wear sweats or leggings to lift? 

How color-coordinated is too color-coordinated?

Are your top & bottom flattering?? Will people see that you aren’t the perfect image of fitness? Is it obvious you’re actually wearing underwear??? *gasp* 

Yoga….can a single post even cover the wardrobe woes of a new yogi?

S I G H

Here is a simple answer to the question of ‘what to wear to the gym/while working out’: whatever you feel comfortable in. If you enjoy the skin (& clothes) you’re in, your confidence will complete any outfit!!

It really doesn’t matter what clothes you put on for your sweat session. If you feel great in a Lulu Lemon outfit (& can afford a LuLu Lemon outfit)- good! If you feel great in a baggy t-shirt- even better! Less money spent on gym clothes means more money for food 🙂 ….or, you know, student loans and rent… 

I usually browse Instagram/the Internet in general with fitness or food in mind… This causes me a lot of frustration for multiple reasons.. 

  1. I do not have excess money floating around me waiting for me to spend it. Okay, am I just broke, or are gym clothes expensive af?! Like why in the world would I spend $50 on a shirt I’m going to wear with the intentions of getting sweaty & smelly? I don’t even spend that much on shirts I wear to work… I’m a bargain shopper. Marshalls/TJ Maxx, Target, Fabletics (when there are sales), or the clearance rack is where you’ll find me looking for clothes I can actually afford.
  2. *not related to clothes but…* Eating nutritionally perfect meals every 2 hours does not fit my life. As much as I would love to be able to eat the best food possible at all hours of the day, there comes a time when it’s just not realistic. I would go crazy if I deprived myself of the food I want to eat just because it doesn’t fit my precisely planned nutrition goals. Can I live?!???
  3. I don’t work out in shorts and a sports bra. More power to ya if you feel comfortable in minimal gym clothes….& your gym allows you to workout in minimal gym clothes. I don’t. I would rather be in leggings and a sweatshirt, but that’s not what’s depicted by any mainstream fitness superstars. No one is ever wearing a shirt. Ever. 
  4. When I work out I do not look my best. My hair is generally just doing whatever TF it wants to do. I sweat a lot. I don’t hide it if I’m exhausted. Sometimes I smell… It’s not a picturesque scene when I exercise.. Which makes it hard to relate to the images of ‘fitness’ plastered all over the Internet & advertisements. 

   #gainsandtoast lolz
Sorry fitness media, but unlike the people you promote, I’m a normal person trying to be healthy.. To my own dismay, I’m not sponsored by an athletic clothing company or supplement brand. So I have to pay for the products I use :/ 

I know it’s awesome to step into the gym with a brand new outfit that you love. You feel good when you like the clothes you’re in- even at the gym! The new-ness of your threads gives you extra motivation.. Trust me, I know those feels. But that doesn’t mean you need to take out a loan to buy yourself some gym clothes.. It also doesn’t mean you have to wear something that makes you uncomfortable.

Time that you spend working out is your time. Make it what you want it to be, not what you think other people would want it to be. Take control of your workout. Wear & do things you enjoy. 

You’re all fabulous, no matter what the mainstream fitness bullshit says. 

The End. xo

~peace & all good~

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Runnin Thru the Gram With My Woes

*You know how that shit goes*

Social media… I use it, like we all do, but it doesn’t really add much to my life. Instagram, however, seems to be the source of all evil (I know that’s harsh, it’s for added drama). 

How many times a day do I scroll through my feed of pictures & think: 

  • ugh, why am I not making progress like that? MUSCLES WHERE R U ???!1!11?
  • I wish I had cute gym clothes 😦
  • LOL he/she looks like a human after working out, pretty sure I usually look like a cave troll
  • man I’m hungry…that looks delicious
  • haha my abs will never exist 
  • y do I work a full time job? I should just get paid to workout all day..
  • wow y am I poor I need more supplements !?!!11! 😦 😦
  • Y AM I SO UGLY UGH PLZ HELP BASED GOD

…. Many a time. It’s a bad habit I’ve developed recently that I’m trying to get rid of.  Why do I care what someone else wears while working out? I’m sure my next meal will also be delicious. I’m making progress, just in my own way!

There’s been a lot of talk about how social media is bad for self confidence/living successfully in reality. Internet stars are coming out & giving the truth behind Internet fame; the rotten things people say, the work that goes into maintaining their image, the way it provides a false picture of what life really is. All of this is relevant. It’s also relevant to think about how much time out of our day we take to compare ourselves to people on a damn screen. & the fact that kids are growing up with these ideas about health & what ‘fit’ looks like, but no one understands the toll it can truly take.. 

If someone feels badly about themselves, their feelings are valid. If someone feels inadequate because they just spent 2 hrs scrolling through pics of people with professional makeup/clothes/photo crews (who don’t mention these professionals in their posts), their feelings are valid. If someone is sick of comparing themselves to others & boycotts social media, you guessed it- VALID FEELINGS. Being bombarded with images of perfection creates a lot of confusion in our brains.. 

Maybe you don’t even exercise, but you follow fitness accounts anyway in hopes you’ll become motivated to start exercising. In reality, the posts from these accounts probably just make you sad because you just don’t want to exercise. It’s okay if you don’t like to workout! Stop trying to convince yourself that you do via social media envy. You’re choosing to reinforce an image of what you wish you were- instead of being happy with the person you actually are.

We all have some level of demons/negative self-talk that happens regardless of these Gram woes.  But it’s important to pay attention to how these images influence the way you think about yourself. When I see a fitness model who looks flawless after a workout I sort of resent the fact that I will never look that good in the gym….ever….because I don’t have a group of people whose job is to make me look great….

Not in a million years will I have a so-called “perfect” body. 

I might never eat clean for a consistent period of time. 

I don’t think I see myself working out in a sports bra anytime soon (never happening). 

I will always eat carbs.

If I ever have abs it will be a miracle. 

I know all of these things, & I’m completely content with that knowledge 98.9% of the time. But that 1.1% feels a lot bigger when I’m looking through Instagram…shiit

So the moral of the story: Remind yourself of what reality is like. Go out & realize that the average person isn’t perfect- even if they appear to be. Most people have rolls when they sit…even if they workout regularly. I can speak for myself & say that I do not look attractive when I work out, nor do all of my gym outfits match/smell pleasant.. 

It’s all good! Our flaws make us who we are!! Everyone has things they want to work on, but that’s why we’re all human.

Here’s a guided meditation for shutting down negative energy. Embrace the funk 🙂

~peace & all good~

My Problem with Cookie Cutter Fitness 

I’m sitting here thinking about what I’m going to eat later & what I’m going to do at the gym.. What clean gym clothes do I even have? Will I be able to convince myself to run today? As I’m contemplating these highly important things, images of what to avoid pop into my head. Why? In order to be fit I can’t eat cookies, but I can try to shove myself into a preconceived box of health similar to the box these forbidden cookies come in??!1?1 ~ugh~

Okay, this might seem like a strange angle to take when looking at exercise… But since starting this blog & my loosely defined ‘fitstagram’ I’ve been realizing the influence of the outside world on my own health choices. 

For instance- I was looking at a weight loss magazine in my house & it suggested to ‘invite your coworkers to do wall push ups with you in your office’. Now that would be strange. My co-workers would probably be like ‘haha okay, or we could just go for a drink….u crazy millennial’. The magazine also gave ideas for office workouts like leg lifts, chair crunches, etc. I mean…it could just suggest to move your body throughout the day, but……

Which brings me to my point: why are we so caught up in these cookie-cutter ideas of what ‘good’ exercise looks like? Exercise can be anything you enjoy that gets your body in motion. It doesn’t need to be exactly 5.3 hours of cardio a week, with 3.6 hours of weight training, plus 17.24 hours of yoga, minus 30 minutes of cardio for every salad you eat, minus 20 minutes of weight training for every pound you lose. Health is not a math problem!!! Feeling good should be the determinative factor in our decisions regarding exercise. 

This is not to say you shouldn’t include both cardio & weight training (& yoga!!) in a balanced exercise routine.. I’m in love with weight lifting & dread cardio, but I’ve found movements I enjoy that get my heart goin. I roller blade more than I run, I do jumping lunges more than I pedal an elliptical, I dance like a wild woman more than I ride a bike… I’m still achieving the main goal (incorporating cardiovascular exercise), but I’m doing it in a way I like. 

If you aren’t a fan of weight training, YouTube has a plethora of strength building workout videos you can browse. Not saying all online workout videos are created equal- but I’m sure there is something you can find that is worthwhile 🙂 

I think it’s really important to give attention to the fact that we shouldn’t do things because we think we have to. Do things because you want to. Step out of the box, or better yet- jump on & around the box! This will definitely make for a happier, healthier, more empowered you!!

Get out there & move!

~peace & all good~

Rose Water Face Spritz

It’s Sunday.. Time to treat your face! This time I’ve got an easy Rose water face toner/refresher for ya!

Hopefully I’m not too late & you haven’t started your nightly skin routine yet…… If I am, tomorrow is just a day away. Although now that I think about it- the chances that you’re reading this & have Rose Oil on hand are very slim. SO….I guess that solves that problem.

This one is extremely simple & can be taken with you wherever you go. If you think you’ll need to refresh your skin at any point during your long ass day, this is good to have on hand.

I got this idea from my sister. She would be quite mad if she saw this & I didn’t give her credit for ‘stealing’ her thing.. -__-

Anyway…. 

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • mini spray bottle
  • small bottle of Rose extract
  • H2O, to fill the bottle

You can get a spray bottle from the dollar store, or a discount beauty store. Basically, it should only cost you $2 at most. 

The Rose Essential Oil you can find at a health food store. It should be about $7-$10.. but a small bottle will last for a LOT of refills of this face toner!

Why Should You Use It?

  • It will aid in the treatment of rosacea/redness. It soothes irritated skin & gives a calming feeling to the face (or wherever you use it).
  • This spray can keep you young!!! It helps your skin maintain its elasticity by keeping it hydrated.
  • It feels great! I’ve used this spritz on my face, neck, & chest after leaving the gym & let me tell you- it made me feel so refreshed. It’s perfect to keep with you for whatever adventures (or misadventures) you find yourself getting into.

Enjoy!!

~peace & all good~

Soul Food: Hike to Heal

Hiking is a loaded form of exercise. It’s obviously great cardio, but I think there’s so much more to gain from a good hike. I might be reaching here- but bear with me!

 ~Bull’s Hill in Cold Spring, NY~

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do (although I don’t necessarily do it that often). I really enjoy the peacefulness of the nature around me, even though I usually can’t breath for most of the time I spend on a mountain… Within about 15 steps I’m probably sweating & losing my breath….but that’s beside the point!

I’ve had a lot of realizations while on hikes. Usually keeping them to myself, sometimes sharing them with whoever I’m with at the time. The main one that I think should be shared is that hiking parallels life. It takes a lot of the same things to be successful in both.

Be in the Present

The path up a mountain is not typically well-cleared. There are rocks & bumps & tree branches & other treacherous qualities about trails. It requires you to stay focused solely on the path that’s right in front of you.

If you look ahead to try & figure out what’s coming up, it’s almost guaranteed that something will trip you. Trust me, I know this from experience…& not just once…

Looking back means you stop moving forward. Of course it’s always cool to look back down the trail you’ve travelled once you get to a high point. You keep trudging for who knows how long, & all of a sudden when you turn back the place you started seems so small & far away. But if you look back too often you’ll slow down your trip & it’ll take you forever to get to the top!

  a view along the way up Bulls Hill

How is this like life? Wellllllllllllllll. If you focus too much on the future, you won’t have time to enjoy what’s going on right now in your life. Challenges you need to face in the present will pass you by & your progress will take a hit. You’ll be too concerned with what may/may not happen to truly observe & appreciate where you are now.

And if you only focus on the past….we all know that’s a bad idea. I’m sure everyone can relate to the thoughts of ‘ugh my life was so good when I had _____’ or ‘wow I was so happy when I dated _____, why can’t i go back to that? *sadface*’. Yeaa…..stop that. If you never turn to move forward you won’t get anywhere. However, looking back is great when you’ve made accomplishments/met goals because it lets you see how far you’ve come.

Determination

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Hiking is not easy…it’s tiring, can be boring in some stretches, it makes you hungry & sweaty.. But once you get to the top it’s so worth it. Imagine if you stopped right before the best viewpoint because you decided it wasn’t worth it to keep going. That would really suck because you were so close, but let the difficulty turn you away from your end goal.

In life, we have to be determined to reach our viewpoints. Whatever goals you set for yourself, you have to remind yourself of them to keep yourself motivated. It’s so important to give your determination fuel during your journey. I like the idea of vision boards- they’re a simple reminder of what’s important to you in life. Even just simply taking the time to actually think about what you want to accomplish can be super motivating. Whatever you do, keep your eye on the prize 🙂

  a little yoga at the *almost* top of Lamb’s Hill in Fishkill, NY

So, maybe this will make you want to go for a hike…I’m hoping for one soon too.

Maybe you’re going to take more time to enjoy your journey.

Maybe this will give you the extra push you need to keep working for what you want.

Maybe this just made you laugh..

I don’t know! But I hope you enjoyed the read & hopefully got something out of it!

~peace & all good~

SELF ESTEEM SALE

This Sunday isn’t the usual skin care post. It has to do with taking care, but it’s a little deeper than skin.

I’m writing this while on a break during my roller blading.. sitting on a rock, getting bit by Mosquitos, & sweating. A very pretty picture if I do say so myself (lol NOT). I decided to stop because a few thoughts popped into my head that I didn’t want to lose. As hippie-cliche as it sounds~ My mind is at its clearest when it’s in the middle of nature.


While we’re here, I have a random PSA: if you see someone coming toward you on roller blades, don’t stare at them…get out of their way.. Like I am on wheels, people. I can’t control where I go as well as you can on two feet. Also, I’m serious when I say I don’t know how to stop on these things. Please please please do us all a favor & respond when I am flying toward you & say “excuse me!!”

ANYWAYS…

I was talking to someone about a person who has low self-esteem & did something they thought would help them fit in. The person said, in regards to the low self-esteem, “well they should get some”.  My response was sarcastic as usual, something like “Ohhhhhh yea, I think Forever 21 is actually having a sale on self esteem! They just released they Fall 2015 Confidence line!!! If you go today you can get two for the price of one!!1!1!11″

OK. Two things:

  1. self esteem/confidence/faith in yourself is not something one simply goes out & acquires. You don’t go to sleep hating yourself & wake up the next day loving who you are…
  2. it takes a lot of work to build it. You have to commit to nurturing yourself in order to maintain it

I think it’s easy for people who have a high amount of confidence to overlook the challenges someone else faces when trying to be happy about who they are. Noone is perfect- but some people have a natural tendency to overlook the negative parts. Lucky them!!

We always see standards set for us by people we don’t even know, or someone who’s ‘better’ than us, or what we wish we could be. Well….fuck that! (sorry for the language) But really. No one deserves to feel badly about who they are!

The people you envy on social media because they always post flawless selfies?

  • how long do you think it took them to get that perfect picture? Probably way longer than you would ever want to spend taking pictures of your own face..
  • how many edits/filters did they apply? (to be determined, probably a lot)
  • maybe they’re just naturally photogenic. Applaud them for that & celebrate the wonderful human beings both of you are!

With all things that make us feel less than great about ourselves, we only see the end product (or picture) but never the steps someone took to get there. Everyone has struggles, some are just more apparent than others.

I have a challenge for you. You can call it my ‘sale’ of self-esteem.

Every day write down three (3) things about yourself or your life that make you happy.* Do it right now, when you first wake up, before you go to bed, or right after your first poop of the day. Whenever you want- just do it! It can be things you have control over, or things you don’t…totally up to you.

Here are my 3 pieces of happiness for the day:

  1. the sun was shining
  2. I got to spend time alone with my roller blades & my thoughts
  3. I bought a new tea that is delicious (The Republic of Tea, Be Active Teas: Get Burning Hot Cinnamon Ginger)

If you start doing this consistently, I’m sure your good days will start to outweigh the bad days. You may even start to think in a positive way & smile more & just be overall happier!!

Give it a try!

~peace & all good~

*I’ve learned this little trick so many times, but was reminded of it today at a work meeting. gotta give credit where credit’s due!

Push Up or Shut Up

[that’s not how the saying goes, but whatever]

Push ups. I used to hate them & now I do them everyday.. Why? 

The thing with these body weight lifts is that they’re more difficult mentally than physically. For the longest time I had myself convinced that (even though I could consistently lift weights with my back & shoulders) I could not do a single push up.

Once I got my mind to shut up I found out I could do a single push up! I could actually do more than that!

This whole ‘once I get out of my own way I can do anything’ situation seems to be a recurring theme in my life.. 

Anyways- push ups are awesome because you can come up with endless variations of them to work different muscles. A simple movement of your hands to a wider position creates a different experience for your muscles. The main muscles always targeted are your shoulders, upper back, & chest. 

Here’s a lovely little chart I found that shows you 12 possibilities:

  
Another helpful variation if you’re still building strength: put your knees down!! You still perform the same movements, just with you knees on the ground. This way you can get the benefits of the motion without straining your body 🙂

~enjoi~