Moto Leggings for Fall

Oh My Gosh, I totally owe you guys a post about moto leggings. Sorry. I’ve been busy with day job jobby job ness. SO. MOTO LEGGINGS. Let’s do this.

MOTO LEGGINGS are probably the biggest legging trend for fall. They’ve been around for a while, but they’re reaching critical mass for fall/winter 2017. You can find them in any store you walk into. There is a version of moto leggings for any style of pant you want. Even sweats. Which doesn’t make any sense. But they exist.

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I love the look of them. I used to have a pair of grey moto jeans that were my favorites until I wore them out and split the inner leg seam in a non-repairable way. So I thought, “Sweet. Moto is back in my life!”

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UM. NO.

Moto + Jeans = cool if it’s placed on the right part of the thigh.

Moto + Leggings = a sausage-creating, super unflattering disgusting disaster.

Why? Because the cut of the moto trend right now is a diagonal across the thigh. I repeat: A DIAGONAL CUT ACROSS THE THIGH.

If you have THIGHS with a capital THUH, you don’t want lines across your thighs. The jeans I had that I liked had the moto panel starting just above the knee and were more of a knee patch/ reinforced knee kind of vibe. That works. This? Does not. Especially because they’re a stretch material so you get an extra indent at every seam. No bueno.

(These are the high waisted ankle length moto leggings from Zella at Nordstrom.)

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Zella Moto Leggings

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Now I’m not saying every pair won’t work. The ones below this paragraph are from Spanx, and they know flattery. They designed the panel to divide the thigh vertically instead of cutting across, so they’re probably good. I don’t know. I haven’t tried them on. Then again, they also draw a line beneath and pointing to the saddle bag area, so maybe not.

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BUT, I had tried some on to hilarious result, so I thought I should share the pics and warn you. Good luck finding a pair that works if your thighs are bigger than your arms. There are probably some out there BUT THEY ARE NOT SPANDEX WITH A SHEER PANEL fo’ sho. *shudder*

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Stink like a girl / Vapor Fresh sports laundry detergent review.

 

#FitGirlProblem: The stinky jacket.

The stinky jacket is the jacket you wear to and from the gym, or put on after your workout before you take a shower. The stinky jacket could also be the layer you start your run in, but eventually peel off, about three minutes after you’ve sweat into it. I have 1.5 stinky jackets. I wear them because they’re my coolest, longest, best jackets. They make me feel like a superhero badass person. They’re the ones that made me say “really? over $100 for a hoodie?” when I bought them, but I reach for them every single day and they make me realize how absolutely unflattering and shitty the cheap ones are.

But I also hate wearing them as stinky jackets because they’re the kind of jacket/hoodie things that I like to wear in athleisure situations, too. (This is where the .5 comes in. One of my stinky jackets I very rarely use as a stinky jacket, mostly as a running around jacket, but all it takes is one time and…yeah. I think it’s probably a stinky jacket.) It would be nice if stinky jackets didn’t have to be stinky jackets only, and I didn’t feel like I had to buy yet ANOTHER expensive fancy hoodie jacket thingie for everyday use because the other one and a half fucking reek. And they do. They fucking reek. I don’t think other people can necessarily smell them, but I sure can. Because they get jammed up in the armpits after workouts when I’m wearing sleeveless tops, grinding stinky deodorant wax and weight training funk all up in that fabric…not their fault. They’re armpit thongs, basically. How could I expect them to not fucking reek?

And yes, of course I wash them. I wash them all the time. And yes I use my special detergents. But that’s not cutting it. Them shits still stink.

MEANWHILE, as I was pouting about my 1.5 stinky jackets and trying not to buy another expensive workout jacket…Vapor Fresh sent me a new sample of their detergent! So I thought I’d tackle two birds with one post.
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What’s this Vapor Fresh you speak of?

Vapor Fresh by Raw Athletics (rawathletics.com, vaporfresh.com) is a sports laundry detergent that says it has stain and odor lifting technology and is designed to clean sports apparel and everyday laundry. Perfect, because that’s how I roll. I wash everything together and just use my fancy delicate detergent for the whole lot. Which I shouldn’t. See my earlier post about washing your workout wear here.

FYI: liquid detergent = usually bad for stinky and/or sweat-wicking things. Why? Fragrances, dyes, softeners and brighteners can clog fabric, trap the stink, and jam the wicking fibers so they can’t wick anymore. (Read more about it in the drop-downs here.)

What’s good about Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent:

  • not liquid
  • fragrance and dye-free, hypoallergenic
  • eco-friendly, biodegradable
  • no harsh chemicals
  • uses cold water compatible surfactants (soapy sudsy things that break down oils)
  • a lot smaller than a box of Tide or a jug of Cheer or whatever
  • can be used with regular and HE washing machines
  • made in Illinois!

Did it make your stinky jackets not stink anymore?

No, and then yes.

First pass: no. They still stunk. Then I read the directions on the package of Vapor Fresh, and it said “for heavily soiled laundry, allow laundry to soak with detergent for at least 10 minutes prior to washing.” And the website says to do it for “at least 30 minutes (!)” So technically, I didn’t give the stuff a chance to do its job on those deodorant-filled stinky jacket armpits.

So I dug out my washing machine manual, learned that I have, of course, been using it incorrectly for years, and figured out which settings have extra long soak times. Alternatively, you could just pre-soak the items in question Woolite-style in the sink like this.

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Pre-soaking is a bit of a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it to save an expensive jacket from stinky jacket doom, right? Now we know.

DID IT WORK, THEN?

YES. They came out…NOT-STINKY JACKETS!

Shit. Now I don’t get to go buy a new fancy workout jacket. 😦

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VAPOR FRESH: THE VERDICT

I know that Vapor Fresh won’t harm the performance (wicking, stretching, compression) of my workout clothes, and I am happy to report that does remove B.O. when you follow the directions. Which you think would be, like, the definition of any laundry detergent’s job, but you tell me. How many of your workout shirt and jacket armpits can you stick your nose into? Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Available on Amazon , $22 for a 5lb tub, which is good for 36 regular/ 72 HE loads of laundry.

 

 

 

#2017GoalsAF

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This is a running calendar I bought last year, by I Love To Run. You’re supposed to just X off each day that you ran. And right in the middle it says “You either ran today or you didn’t.” Super simple. Love the idea. Just like Seinfeld and his red Xs on writing days. You either did the thing that gets you what you said you want or you didn’t. You’re either moving towards what you want or you’re not. Do or do not. There is no try.

And there’s nothing like seeing the entire year laid out for you, with the evidence of your effort or lack thereof, for some honesty.

My calendar from last year is pretty pathetic. 55 runs. And it’s filled with many, MANY blank weeks. Vast stretches of nothingness. Now, I didn’t record every workout. Towards the end of the year I started to use a horizontal mark to indicate that I had done some kind of strength training or barre workout. But even if I had been recording those the whole year, it wouldn’t have changed the truth of the year.

The truth of the year was that I didn’t run much. The truth of the year is that there were huge expanses of time when I wasn’t doing anything to work toward my fitness and body goals. The truth of the year was my body was still recovering from carrying a child: my hip hurt, and my lower back got fatigued really quickly, even from walking. I had no core strength anymore to support that back or those hips. And it still felt like all of my organs were going to fall out of my body when I ran or tried to do a jumping jack. And I also had a 1 year old in day care, getting all of the day care colds, which I got, and then combined with allergies to form chronic sinus infections (yay! so cool! you should totally try them!) which meant I was sick for half the year, too.

So I had to take a step back (from where my ego thought I should be) and start where I actually was. Which is completely unAmerican and blows, and was NOT “run most of the days!” I had to do short, easy workouts, and focus on consistency instead of intensity. I did Betty Rocker’s MakeFat Cry challenge, which is all 15 minute workouts. I did the 21 Day Fix workouts, which are around 30 minutes long. (And they were really hard for me! And that made me super sad!) I did one or two segments of barre videos instead of hour long classes. I walked the dog because I couldn’t really run. It was a year of being a beginner even though I’ve been working out for almost 30 years. ARGH! SUCKS!

But you know what? It’s a year later. And now I can run. And now I can go back to bootcamp. And now I can really start building back up to where I was. It’s possible now. And now I can do jumping jacks without feeling like my organs are going to fall out onto the floor. (At least not, like, ALL of them.) And even though I didn’t lose “the baby weight” and actually gained ten pounds on the keto diet (what in the ever loving fuck, right?), I learned from that too. And I’ve pivoted, and I’m losing weight, and I’m probably pretty damn close to knowing exactly how to eat (for me) because now I’ve officially Tried All Of The Things.

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This is my calendar for 2017. It’s blank and I’m excited. I know it’s going to be “better” than last year. And I also know last year WASN’T a failure, because despite the lack of running days, I really did make progress. Invisible, annoying, base-level building progress, but progress nonetheless. And you have to go through progress before you can get to fitness, and you have to go through fitness before you can get to buffness. Which totally sucks and if I was in charge, you would lose 30 pounds every time you ran 3 miles. But I’m not in charge, so 1. progress 2. fitness 3. buffness is the only path there is. ONWARD!

I hope you have a big goal. And have figured out the exact things you need to do to get there. And I hope you get a big calendar. And use it. But I also hope you are kind to yourself, and acknowledge all of the work that happens along the way, you BADASS MOTHER BITCHES!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

About writing the Impossible is Nothing manifesto.

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Nope. Sorry internet. Muhammad Ali didn’t write this. I did.

 

Muhammad Ali was a singular, iconic, inspiring, and brave athlete, activist, and poet. It is sad that he has passed away, but it’s wonderful that the world is revisiting all of his accomplishments and what he stood for. He was right. He was the greatest. And he said a lot of smart, funny, inspiring, and just plain badass things. However, this is not a Muhammad Ali quote. The Impossible is Nothing manifesto was a long copy ad for Adidas, written to introduce the Impossible is Nothing campaign. I know because I wrote it.  

In real life, I am a copywriter. Like Peggy and Don on Madmen. I was working at TBWA\Chiat\Day (a partner agency to 180 Amsterdam) on the global adidas account, and it was my job to write a manifesto to help sell the “Impossible is Nothing” tagline and campaign, (which written by Boyd Coyner) to adidas. If it sounds like Ali could have said it, it should. I knew he was the hero athlete for the campaign, so I was writing something that had to fit with that iconic photograph of him towering over Sonny Liston. And lead into Boyd’s amazing tagline.

I’ll be honest with you. I was brushing my teeth, thinking about the tagline, and the “big word small man” phrase came to me and it wrote itself from there. I went in to work that morning, my boss said “we need a manifesto,” I sat down to write, and I handed it over to him before lunch. Sometimes that’s how writing happens. But it never happens like that without a great idea first. Boyd’s “Impossible is Nothing” was the idea. My bosses knew that was the idea we had to sell. Everybody knew that was the idea to sell. We just needed the rest of the words to sell it. So I wrote them.

I’ve been hesitating writing anything about this because, well, it’s tacky. But on the other hand, I haven’t stood up for myself enough over my career. (Maybe because I’m a woman, and we’re taught to see THAT as tacky. Or bitchy. Or both.) This ad wasn’t entered into any advertising award shows. The TV got recognition, (remember Laila Ali boxing Muhammad Ali?) but not the print or outdoor, which is what this was. Nobody in the industry even knows that I wrote this, unless they know me. And now that it’s getting more and more “internet famous,” I’m in a really weird spot. Muhammad Ali is getting credit for my work slash people believe my words came out of his mouth. That. Does not. Suck. That is incredibly flattering. On the other hand, my work is famous, but my name is invisible. In an industry that is all about publicity. So what’s an AdWoman to do? I’ve been doing nothing. But both doing nothing and doing something have their drawbacks. So what I’m doing is now something in between: I’m writing this, here, where all of five people will see it.

I mean, call me crazy, but it would be nice if my name came up in a search associated with the Impossible is Nothing manifesto. (It doesn’t.)  It would also be nice if ESPN, Sports Illustrated,  People Magazine, USA Today, , Business Insider, Goodreads, The Daily Mirror, and even David Beckham (who also had those words on a picture of HIM in the SAME CAMPAIGN!) (btw, it also ran on images of Laila Ali) did more than a google image search when researching things they’re calling quotes.

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Anyway.

Muhammad Ali had his own way with words. He lived impossibilities. He gave no fucks in the bravest fashion. He was bigger than a person. He was an idea.

What’s my favorite Ali quote? I don’t know. 1. because there are so many and 2. I really don’t want to misquote or miscredit. But, this is on the official MuhammadAli.com and they should know:

“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” -Muhammad Ali

That seems to have been his personal manifesto. Not everyone can say the first part. I can’t. But the second part, that belongs to everyone. Everyone can say that. Everyone should.

R.I.P. G.O.A.T.

Thanks for reading.

-Aimee Lehto Schewe

Education is Expensive

Hi. Sorry I’ve been MIA for a bit. I’ve had some LIFE THINGS to figure out and still have a few to go. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have a greeting card company, Brain Surgeons & Rocket Scientists, and I was going to go to the big stationery trade show in NYC this year. But then, just when I was having a freakout about how expensive it was going to be, I realized I also needed to get a new car ASAP. Ouch. OOF! The old one-two! I lost a lot of sleep agonizing about both of those things, and I’m just now popping out on the other side. I had to drop out of the show (super sad) and say goodbye to my beloved MINI Cooper S (sobbing out loud sad) and get a “real” car with “four doors” and an “actual back seat.”

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(Side note: Do not for a second think there is anything wrong with a MINI. There’s just no way in earth-bound physics that I would be able to use a rear-facing convertible car seat (non-mom translation: frickin’ huge and you can’t take it in and out) in a two door car. It sucks. I loved my MINI. I held on to it as long as I could. I hope she ends up with a fun new owner who appreciates her as much as I did. Fuck. I’m going to cry again! I can’t help it. I love cars. Especially that one. )

When I signed up for the trade show, I thought I was doing a “just jump and you’ll figure it out” move. Which often works. Just not this time. Perhaps, and I’m just spitballing here, I mean, this could be total crazy talk, but maybe…when you have a child, you can no longer live as flexibly or spontaneously as you did before you had a child. And also, you need a four door car. You idiot.

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So. Lesson learned? Or punishment dealt? All I know is I done messed up. And it was an expensive mistake. So learn from me, folks. Sometimes you actually should look before you leap. Unless you’re in your twenties. Then you need to stop being a chicken shit and go do stuff because you’ll be old before you know it.

And now back to your regularly scheduled obsession with black workout pants and protein bars and such….

 

The Cheating Myth

So here’s a lesson I keep on not learning: THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS CHEATING. As in, YOU NEVER, EVER GET AWAY WITH IT. Maybe if I write it out, it will start to sink in. Or at least help you. Here’s what I’m trying to tell myself:

1. Cheat days don’t work.

2. Cheat meals lead to binge weeks.

3. Cutting carbs doesn’t mean you can chow down on cheese and sausage and eat steaks the size of your face. Trust me. I have tested this theory quite thoroughly. I have eaten many face-steaks.

4. Starting to eat right tomorrow doesn’t mean you should eat way wrong tonight. Because how many times have you done that? All of the times. That’s how many.

5. Unless it’s a whole food, “low carb” just means “highly fake.”

6.  “impact carbs” =  “intestinal cramps”

7. Protein bars? They’re just candy bars that don’t taste as good. They’re full of weird stuff. They’re not satisfying. And they’ll make you fat anyway. And you’ll still be hungry.

11. Atkins bars and snacks? You are literally paying someone $8 to make you bloated and cause you pain. Great service! Sign me up! Here’s my money! See you in four days for some more!

12. Sugar Free Candy? It won’t make you hyper or give you a headache like real candy, but it will fill your intestines with a holy terror that will take away the next twelve hours of your life. And the life of anyone in the same building.

13. A serving is not one bag or one box.

14. Calories count. They do not disappear into thin air because they are low carb or low sugar. A bar is a bar. Candy is candy. Overeating is overeating, no matter what the ingredients.

15. And unfortunately, it still counts if you eat it in the car.

I have been spending more time cheating than not lately. And it sucks. I’m an idiot. Don’t do it! I feel terrible. All I want is for this shit to be out of my system and to go back in time and eat whole foods instead of lying to myself for the past month. I am wearing my mistakes. These lies don’t fit into my pants. Wah wah.

Whole 30…here I come…Tomorrow…Probably.