Free People Fit. It’s a thing.

Hey.

So. Free People. They’re part of the Urban Outfitters / Anthropologie / BHLDN world. I used to think it was “overpriced boho festival wear that only looks good on skeletons.” Then when I was pregnant, I found their trapeze tops and duster-length cardigans to be quite useful. I pretty much only wore three things, and all three things were from Free People. So I’m no longer a hater. Of course, I only pay attention to like 5% of what they make. But still. If you’ve got something for me, I’m “for” you.

And now they have a fitness fashion line, so obviously, we’re checking that out immediately:

FP Fit = Free People’s fitness line

First thing I notice is this. The Shredded Tee. 1. Because it’s the big trapeze shape I know them for, and 2. Because I can shred my own damn tee shirt. And have. Also, a shirt that shredded is immediately going to get caught in your cardio machine, but whatever. Style points.

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These Turnout Leggings seem to be their iconic item. Pretty in the ballet-type colors. How those laces stay in place when you move…? I dunno.20150917105017

BTW, I love the New Balances in this shot. They have some great new colorways this season. So, props to Free People’s buyer for snapping up some good ones. More on those later.

Now: haterade.

36957264_001_aIf you can workout in this, you can also kiss my ass.

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And this? The “Be More” Knotted Tee? Tee hee. All I see is “Be more…skinny! Be more! But take up less space.” Shut up, $48 tee shirt that can’t be worn without baring abs. Go away now. Buh Bye.

$28 tiny fanny pack. Hilarious.

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And this is the best.

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I shit you not, they’re selling this as a $16 HAIR TIE HOLDER. Sorry, Hair Tie Travel Pod. Yes. When wrists, pockets, and pretty much anything that holds anything doesn’t work anymore, HAIR TIE TRAVEL POD to the rescue. You know what the problem with hair ties is? They take up no space and you can carry them everywhere without carrying anything. Terrible!  Finally. Free People brings you a way to make something that is so small, light, and wearable that it’s practically not an actual physical thing, take up space and have to be placed IN a THING that you have to place in another thing. I fucking love those ballsy assholes over there. Hoo! Always good for a laugh. They make my day.

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WorkOutFits for Mom Boobs.

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Until my post-baby boobs return to pre-baby size, my wardrobe is highly useless to me. Seriously. Everything is cut for a different body. Boobs throw EVERYTHING off. Bless your heart if you want em, but I sure as hell don’t. All of my crewneck drapey sweaters? Nope. Any sweater that’s not a cardigan, actually? Nope. Any T-shirt at all? Nope. They’re all crop tops now. I live in tanks and cardigans, just like when I was pregnant. So until those jerks go back to normal, I have to work with the few things that DO work. Stupid mom boobs. Here are some things I’m loving:

  1. Racerback Tunics because A. Tunics, duh. and B. Big arm holes are about the only skin-baring feature that I can do right now. And C. you can layer fun sports bras with them. Cute + Coverage. Boom. Done. The grey one with the neon strip on the back is from Old Navy Active. (yes, they have some cool stuff. Maybe like one cool thing I can use per season. But still. that’s not nothing. And it costs next to nothing.) The pink one is Soffee, which is at Sports Authority and also cheap as hell.
  2. My Madewell black heart sweatshirt. It’s kind of somewhere between a sweatshirt and a sweater. So it falls instead of billows like a terry sweatshirt would. Simple, but with an uncommon twist. And the giant graphic camouflages like a boss. I like it with long leggings. (Long is key because short = more gym-ish and not OK for public.) If I were a skinny minnie, it would rule with boyfriend jeans and obnoxious pointy toed heels or something. But on me, that combo would look like Grimace in drag. In this pic I was just schlubbing around the house, but i think with a black boot and a long nicer t-shirt peeking out the bottom? Or maybe a white button-down shirt tied around the waist with my Ash high tops. I just really like the idea of a greyscale, almost goth twist on athleisure. That could be a good fall go-to. You know. Until I can actually wear pants again. Sigh. Fucking pants.

The Derek Lam 10C Athleta Collaboration is here!

Yes. Of course I know there’s a Derek Lam / Athleta collab. Of course I do!!!!

And I was super excited because I buy tons of Athleta. SUPER EXCITED I SAY!!!

Until I saw it.

WAH WAH.

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Here, you can judge for yourself: http://athleta.gap.com/browse/category.do?cid=1038258&mlink=46650,10188358,HP_DL_Main_9_9&clink=10188358

But I think it’s a little basic and boring. And it sometimes makes the model look like a court jester or a character on Star Trek or someone from a really old Old Navy shoot. Not simple and chic. Sigh. These here are the pieces I do like (below). But you’ve been able to find leather joggers (If you wanted to) for a few years now, so…*yawn*.  Maybe they’ll do it again and the next collection will be better. Sorry Derek Lam. Love you. But not this. 😦

This is the good….

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And this is the bad and the ugly…I mean, I get that the color blocking on the tanks is meant to follow that of a sports bra, and that’s good and flattering, and I get that the vertical stripe is there so it’s not just a baby doll color blocking situation. But something about it just falls really frat boy from the 80s-flat. I wish I didn’t feel that way. It’s much better on the tighter tops.(see below). Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 9.28.48 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 9.28.31 AM

And I’m not sure how I feel about these. The location of the bust line feels fresher on these… And the cut is good ….

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But still,  grey and white are kind of the two worst colors to use for active wear because white will show your nip-nips and grey shows sweat in less than one second. Hey, Athleta! I know things! Maybe we should do a collab… 🙂

WorkOutFits post-baby, and what it’s like to watch your body change without your permission.

…or lack thereof, if we’re being honest here.

Here are my IG posts of workoutfits/ workout days from today back to when I was 36 month preggo.  IG = @iamaimeeschewe  Starting with today’s pic.

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Today: Day 8 of Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 4 and day 1 of Whole30. More on both of those later. 

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Self-tanner fail.

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Crunches and planks for all.

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I finally “fit” into my favorite green tunic again. And by that I mean I can put it on, but it sure as hell doesn’t fit like a tunic should. Also I lost my UP24 fitness tracker and I am TOTALLY BUMMED ABOUT IT.

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The good news is: where I live, you can throw a scarf on top of a WorkOutFit and you’ll be the best dressed lady around. That is also the bad news.

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All I want for birthday is some new fresh kicks.

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Sad about having no muscles anymore. I guess a year of not working out (basically) will do that to you. Babies. Jerks.

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I’m pretty into my purple and black tie-dye LuluLemon Wonder Under fold-over leggings. Fold-over really just means I always wear them unfolded/up over my poppin’ fresh dough. And of course, always, Nike Frees. The black tongue and laces really make this pair.  I love them to bits.

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Ah yes. This is me trying to get a feature from Fabletics on Lauren Conrad’s blog. I didn’t try very hard. Meaning I only sent in this one image. One time. But dang. Good hair day, right? Also, that is total angle trickery. Everyone looks skinny with their body cut off and from above. Try it. I do really dig that shirt though. Fabletics. Breeze top I think.

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so hipstergram.

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trying to psych up to get back into the swing of things. trying.

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Same Fabletics top. Different color. My wardrobe choices (read: what fits) right now are very 90s/ bold colors and black/ WWF/ Punky Brewster…purples, teals, black and bleachy tie-dye…not sure what’s going on. I actually wore the same type of clothes in 8th grade: tunic, sports bra top, leggings. Weirrrrrrrrd.

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See? What’d I tell you? Double black tie dye. So obnoxious. So Macho Man Randy Savage. What’s next? Zubaz?

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This is my cardio. Walking. I’m so hard core right now. Not. Can’t wait to be 100%. Srsly. 4rl.

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More with the teal. Hey, lets add neon green! Those are the mom boobs. Gotta say. I’m not a fan. I was totally fine with having smaller boobs and I can’t wait for these jobbies to go away. Oooh. Look how shiny my new fitness ball is. Ooooh. Silver.

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I was proud of my angles and art direction.

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So this was basically my all day post-baby uniform for the summer. Joggers and some kind of a baggy but with big arm holes so you see my bra type of shirt. The top and bottom are both Athleta. The top is sold out now (summer item) but the bottoms are the Metro Slouch capris and you can get them in full length for fall. I recommend them. Comfy. Not tight but not sloppy. If you have an ass, that is.

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This is me starting to work out again. And by that I mean doing my prenatal workout as my postpartum (that just means after baby, not postpartum depression) workout. Note the lack of waist and obvious tip toe leg-lengthening trick.

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Going further back in time, two months after giving birth, even less-little in the middle. Also, I braided my hair one day.

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angles and trickery!! I’m twice as wide when I’m facing forward.

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I thought I’d be using the Ergo Baby Carrier a lot. Too bad baby hated it. He likes the Bjorn.  We’ll try this one again when he grows out of that.

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This was right after my 6 weeks post-baby check up. When my doctor said I could work out again. But she also said I should go to physical therapy. So…yeah. Now it’s 6 months later and I’m basically still fixin’ to get ready to get back in shape. But that’s better than peeing myself for the rest of my life. Probably.

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And this was my belly at 36 weeks. I’m so glad to be not pregnant anymore! Love the baby. But man I LOVE being NOT PREGNANT. aaaaaah. The best thing about being pregnant is appreciating not being pregnant.

I haven’t posted a ton of pics because 1. I haven’t been working out a ton and 2. I don’t fit into much. I basically have three pairs of leggings that I rotate and two big baggy black tunics. That’s what’s comfortable and flowy and makes me the least sad when I look in the mirror. Your body changes a lot when you’re pregnant, and then again after you have a baby (and are breast feeding), and then again as time goes on, and then again when you stop breast feeding. (I hope.)

During pregnancy my waist got thicker before the baby bump showed up. And my boobs got bigger and hurt like hell. I am a pear / T-Rex (little in the middle but she got much back) with a medium-small upper body, so this was not fun for me. Me no likey big booby.  And I gained some cushioning all around. But it wasn’t too incredibly grotesque. Not as freakish as it could have been. I think the baby just took up organ space before growing out toward the world. Sure fucking felt like it. But not as bad as it could have been. I mean. I was still pregnant. It was gross and weird and a total alien parasite situation. But it could have been worse. So I’m thankful for that.

I walked a fair bit, but couldn’t do much more. I had no energy and bouncing was NOT an option. I stopped running pretty early on. It just felt like my organs were going to fall out. So…nope! I guess I didn’t do enough pelvic floor work before and during pregnancy. (be warned!)

Afterward, I wore a belly wrap corset thing and a hip minimizer (highly recommend, more on those later). And after six weeks I started walking again. And I’ve done some barre workouts, but I’ve been taking it very slowly and gradually because I’m still in pelvic floor rehab. (Long story. I’ll write a thing on that soon. I’m not “injured” any more than anyone else who’s ever carried a baby, but it’s important to rehab those muscles first so you don’t pee your pants your whole life. Other countries know this. America apparently doesn’t. Probably not a coincidence that my Physical Therapists are from New Zealand and India. )

Anyway, I’m just trying to give you an idea of what happens to your shape after pregnancy, even without workout out or watching what you eat too much. (me.) My waist is getting smaller on its own/ returning back to a more “me” shape. What isn’t changing is the boobs and upper body weight. Like the fat arms and armpits and upper back and whatnot. That’s still disorienting because it’s not my natural body shape and all of my clothes fit differently/ don’t fit because of the damn boobs. Everything is a crop top all of a sudden. It’s ridiculous. But that should change soon enough, when I stop with the breast feeding. I look forward to that.

I also don’t want you to think that not working out for 6 months is normal. (Or that I just said “Fuck it, I’m a mom!” I didn’t.) You can totally work out. And I could have gotten to this point quicker if I had been more religious about doing my physical therapy.  But I wasn’t. (I will be now, though. Promise. I’m sick of this.) So it’s taking a long time to get to the point where I can do all the fun high impact/ plank/ quick movement/ boot camp/ real exercise stuff again.  And to be able to wear my ninety seven different pairs of black workout pants.

Also, I should note that I’m finally realizing how much of this shit it is out of my control. Hormones tell your body to store fat because it’s going to use it or baby stuff and baby feeding stuff. Hormones tell your body you don’t need some of that anymore. Hormones tell you to lay the fuck down because your body needs all the energy for other functions you don’t even know are happening. I never went totally nuts food-wise or workout-wise while pregnant or after. I’ve just been normal, up and down, sometimes a total pig, sometimes not -me. Watching my waist get thicker and thinner despite my intake and output has taken some pressure off and given me a little faith in my body actually maybe deciding it wants to be smaller one day and it all happening pretty naturally. Maybe. I mean. That would be cool, right? Is that how normal people think and live? Huh. Must be nice.

But I’m for sure going to get more serious about my PT and keep on working in more working out.

And at least for a little while longer I’ll still be in tunics and leggings town. Hope you like purple tie dye and Punky Brewster…

 

Pretend Shopping Spree: Olympia Activewear

Olympia Activewear: the coolest sports bras in town by a San Francisco-based designer. Good job, Ms. Kaili Lickle.

Let’s pretend for a second that my boobs aren’t “I have a baby”-sized. And while we’re at it, let’s pretend that my ass isn’t “I have a new baby”-sized either. Here’s what I’d love to wear from Olympia.

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Tough, hardcore and beautiful. Perfect.

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Sporty with a sophisticated softness. Perfect.

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Awesome details on the waistbands and knees.

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Perfect proportions on the trim of the shorts and where the calf fabric starts on the leggings.

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And then this is actually something I could wear IRL.

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Also, cute headband. 🙂

Love love love the Olympia.

Pregnancy Workout I loved: Susanne Bowen Prenatal Barre

So you know I love me some Dailey Method. And you also know I had me a baby. Which means I haven’t been able/allowed to do traditional core work for a long time. And core work is literally 1/3 of every single Dailey Method workout. So…sad face. No can do.

But, good news! While I was preggo I ordered prenatal workout DVDs by Suzanne Bowen of Barre Amped, and they are THE SHIIIIT!!!  They’re also great for after baby.

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Suzanne Bowen’s Slim & Toned Prenatal Barre Workout is like Dailey Method lite. You get some thigh and butt and core and arm stuff, but it’s do-able. It’s perfect. She also makes sure to incorporate the pelvic floor work in your positioning. Which is key. She calls it “zipping up a tight pair of jeans.” Which is a pretty good cue, I think.

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The Long & Lean Prenatal Workout is a little weird, but it’s really gentle and gets you moving and flowing without feeling like it’s a wussy waste of time. As you get up there in months, it’s a really nice option. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to move in any plane other than forward and backward, and this gets you moving all around and keeps you limber. The movements are repetitive, but almost in a meditative way. Like moving yoga? Strengthening Tai Chi? I don’t know.  I’ve never done anything like it before. Try it. It feels good. Mostly, in my 3rd trimester, it felt good to be able to do ANYTHING other than walk. Especially since I had to pee every four minutes.  Getting some movement in  at home, near the bathroom, became key.

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After I had the kid, I kept on using the Slim and Toned Prenatal Barre workout as my post-baby workout. I still use it, actually. Mostly because it’s broken into short segments that I can A. handle, because I’m out of shape as hell and B. squeeze in before the kid wakes up / shits/ gets bored / starts crying again.

Yeah, 15 minutes of strength training a day isn’t much. But you know what? It’s not nothing. And it’s a super easy, attainable, no-pressure way start building up some consistency. One segment a day? Awesome. Then you work up to two segments a day. Sweet. Pretty soon you’re doing a whole DVD a day. Progress, man. It happens fast and it’s not that hard. Woo hoo!

I also ordered some more of her Barre Amped DVDs now that I can handle more activity, and I love them. To me, Barre Amped is just a more approachable version of Dailey/Barre/Physique 57/ Ballet Body/ whatever. Still with results. Just a hair less serious. Less intimidating. More down to earth. More Southern or something. I like it. I like it a lot.

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So yeah. Suzanne Bowen. Barre Amped and Prenatal workouts. All on Amazon. Check ’em out.