About writing the Impossible is Nothing manifesto.

IIN Vert mantra MEDIUM SIZE GOOD FOR SQU SP

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.

impossibleisnothingScreen Shot 2016-07-15 at 8.40.42 AMB96F4QMIEAEm_a9adidas-image-campaign-laila-ali-small-95947

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

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Calia by Carrie Underwood

Hey, Aimee, have you heard of Calia by Carrie Underwood?

Yes, of course I have! I pretend-shop for all the workout clothes all the time. Duh. But I haven’t written about it yet because 1. I’ve been busy with the newborn and 2. I checked it out a while back and my take was “Eh. It’s ok. But I’ve seen it all before.” However, it is sort of a big deal: it’s lovely-ish fitness stuff that’s more affordable than Lulu and very accessible. So OK. Fine, Carrie Underwood. Here you go.

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Get it, girl.

Calia by Carrie is a fitness apparel line by Carrie Underwood for Dick’s Sporting Goods. Dick’s is like Sports Authority but nicer. Carrie Underwood is known for American Idol, songs about Jesus and slashing tires, big blonde hair, lots of eye makeup, and really great legs.60553794cd84a631a91fc7988c66827a carrie_underwood2 carrie-underwood-300

She’s a vegetarian and often a vegan. She works out a lot. She tours a lot. (See legs.)  She married some hockey player and just had a baby around the same time I did. And yes, of course, she’s already rocking a mini dress. (LEGS.)

carrie-underwood-cmt-awards

Post-Baby Carrie

But she’s a celebrity and I’m not, so let’s not compare because I don’t have a staff or a tour or mini dresses to get back into. But lets do be happy that her waist looks (a teeny bit) thicker, as it should, and lets feel better about ourselves (me) that our (my) midsection is still thick four months after baby because 1. I haven’t been able to work out and 2. even Miss Carrie, who can and does, still has it. SWEET!! But lets also give much respect to the legs. THE LEGS. Bless your Barbie-worshiping, singing about Jesus driving metaphorical cars-heart. THE LEGS! Well done, woman.

She built those legs.  She did the “soft teen turns into tiny, ripped, mini-dress rocking super-star” transformation thing that happens a lot with Idol Alumnae (Katharine McPhee, Jennifer Hudson), so I say she is qualified to venture into fitness fashion. And everyone knows country = money, so congratulations, Dick’s Sporting Goods, for jumping on that obvious money train. (Darius Rucker, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Republicans, etc. etc. etc.)

Calia by Carrie Underwood lives here caliastudio.com and the Dick’s site is here. I have no problem with her #staythepath / work in working out / the gym is where you are-type messaging. Totally authentic to what she does, having to train while touring and all. The ads look nice and the pink wash matches the color pallette of the line. Oh wait, I’m not supposed to be a Creative Director right now, I’m supposed to be a fashion blogger. Sorry, I’m both. Once a MadWoman always a MadWoman.

The Clothes

Calia Tops are $30-50-ish. Sweaters are more like $80. Every single piece is something you can find somewhere else: rouched tanks, cocoon cardigans, batwing sweaters, etc. You know, basic, sort of pretty stuff. Which is why I got that meh feeling back when I first checked it out. It’s nothing innovative. It’s nothing new. It’s just a “you gotta have one of each of these kind of pieces because they sell” kind of a thing. Which is exactly appropriate. I guess. But if I had the opportunity to create a line, I’d want to try and introduce at least one iconic piece that had something interesting or different or risky going on. (Like Stella McCartney for adidas, with the chest straps.) She probably couldn’t, even if she wanted to. Big business. Blah blah blah. But that’s how I feel about it. It’s perfectly safe.

Bottoms are $40ish for shorts, $65ish for tights and capris, and they’re so boring they just put me to sleep scrolling through them. Except these. These are kind of interesting. And props for the proportions and flattering seam-lines and wide waist band (good for muffin tops).

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Calia by Carrie Essential Tight Fit Printed Capris $65

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Calia by Carrie Essential Tight Fit Printed Capris $65

Also, there’s just so much heather grey. I love grey. More than people. But heather grey is the worst color for workout pants because it’s super bump-showy and sweat-showy.

There are also some bras, accessories and panties. The balconette bra is interesting, and the accessories are pretty enough. They’re just not necessary. Does Carrie Underwood need to make a yoga mat and a yoga block and a head band (nay, 5 different kinds of headbands) AND underpants? If I have my branding hat on, I say just do a few new things instead of doing everything. Even if everything is great, it’s too much to absorb right off the bat.

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Calia by Carrie Inner Power Heathered Balconette Bra $41

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Calia by Carrie Inner Power Heathered Balconette Bra $41

That being said, I kind of like the fruit infusion water bottle and would totally try the toeless grip socks for Dailey Method, despite the creepy mannequin foot model. Dailey Method socks always slip off of me. Aaaaand I have tingers. Toeless socks are worth a shot. And shit, two pairs for $10 is great. Imma order some of those right now. Carrie wins again.

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Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.22.48 AM Calia by Carrie Fruit Infusion Water Bottle $30 and No-Toe No-Heel Grip Bottom Socks $10 for 2 pairs (!)

May & June WorkOutFits

Here are some of my recent WorkOutFits. Apparently I like two things: neon pink, and black grey black. I could wear pink on top of black or grey on top of black all week, and not repeat an outfit. Some of these look like repeats, but I swear they’re not. ha! The yellow and purple is a total anomaly. But…pretty fun I must say.

(I post everyday on Instagram, so follow me there for more. ) Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.24.19 AMScreen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.23.27 AM Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.25.02 AMScreen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.24.12 AM  Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.23.14 AM Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.24.49 AM   Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.23.37 AM photo 2Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.23.48 AM Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.24.00 AMphoto 1  photo 3 photo 4 photo 5Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.47.30 AMScreen Shot 2014-06-06 at 9.46.56 AMProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

You’ll notice I wear mostly tunics. Because I’m a pear, and it just kind of grazes over my figure. I wear a regular tank top for boot camp, because they often have us on our hands and feet jumping around, so you don’t want your shirt to fly up. I should be wearing something snug in the middle to Dailey Method. But…that’s more of a fashion show scene, so I don’t care. I bring out the good tops for those classes.

I love capris and knickers. That’s all I wear. I have been rocking a baggy shirt tight pants look since I was 13. What works for your body works. Stick with it. Like Mr. Rodgers. Plus, capris and knickers are the most supportive, easy to move it, easy to forget about things there are. Maybe shorts work for you, great. Not me. Long pants? only in the winter. They feel too damn hot. Calf sweat? Ew. I dress like a football player. Just without all the terrible color choices and ugly graphics. And white pants. Seriously, they need to cut that out. I could really help the NFL with their styling. It would actually be a dream job, so if you work there, gimme a call. 🙂 Please. I mean it.

Wining About Off Weeks.

 

red wine and grapes

Hello, lover.

I love wine. It tastes good. It’s relaxing. It’s pretty. It’s like consuming sunshine. I lived in San Francisco for almost ten years and I am all about California old style zinfandels. I love the whole “having a glass of wine” thing. And my favorite smell on earth is the barrel cellar in a vineyard. Liquor hits too hard and isn’t as delicious. Beer is totally fun but is pretty much like drinking bread so it’s kind of out. Wine is king.

So I’ve been doing my own quazi version of The Whole 30 for the last 80ish days. I called it the 100 Days of Healthy. No sweeteners, grains, soda, sugar, packaged food, beans, alcohol. It morphed to include soda, sweeteners and “cleaner” alcohols: tequila and vodka occasionally. Basically because if I didn’t give myself those, I was going to go off the rails and it was worth the compromise to keep moving forward. But I’ve stayed off of grains, sugar and beans completely for over 80 days. I literally do not want to eat grains or sugar at all. No need. So that’s really a great GREAT turn. Because grains and sugar cause inflammation in me and my whole body aches after I eat them. Like the flu. It’s super fun. So not wanting to eat them is a really good thing!

I’m starting a P90X3 Challenge next week, so I figured, close enough. I’ll take this week off before I buckle back down for another 90 days. Long story short: I’m eating whatever I want this week. (I still do not want grains or sugar.) Long story shorter: WINE!

I’ve missed it a ton. It’s 90% a habit thing. Having a treat at night. And I do really enjoy the taste. My first glass was like “oh sweet nectar of life I have missed you!!!” And it was really nice to REALLY taste it and APPRECIATE it because it was special. But I’ve been having wine all week, and I’ve learned some really good lessons.

TRUE FACTS ABOUT AN OFF WEEK

1. I feel like absolute shit. My stomach is burning. I’m extremely uncomfortable. My SWEATPANTS are tight in the waist. Bloated. Bags under the eyes. Puffy face. Total package!

2. Wine tastes good, but feels terrible pretty quickly. Namely, as soon as I finish my first glass. Headache. Uncomfortable. I feel poisoned. Wine is basically an instant hangover. Plus you get the tomorrow hangover too!

3. I’ve always known that wine is the worst as far as affecting your workout the next day. But now that I’m old old old, Wine = not sleeping. Not sleeping = not being able to do things, like function, work out, or walk around the block without shuffling like the walking dead.

4. One protein bar/ Atkins bar is not satisfying. A box of Atkins bars HURTS LIKE HELL. I knew that already, but apparently I have to keep on testing that one. Over and over and over.

5. I am not a person who can have nuts in the house because I am not a person who can not shove infinite amounts of crunchy, ready-to-eat things in my face. Ideal serving size = hand full. Actual Aimee serving size = all of them. It’s not even that I like nuts that much. It’s just the nom nom mindless shove it in my face hole enabling nature of them.  Nuts = chips.

6. It’s going to take who knows how many days to get this out of my system and start feeling good again. And I can’t wait to start feeling good again.

7. Off weeks are no bueno. Off days, probably better. Off-something: you gotta do what you gotta do to stay sane and keep moving in general in the right direction. Off-anything will definitely teach you something useful and reinforce why you actually truly like eating right and working out.

Conclusion?

Off weeks are a terrible idea. You’re welcome.

And one good thing about getting older is: it’s easier to feel like crap, so it’s easier to actually really authentically want to eat well. So you don’t feel like crap.

Big list of workout wear brands!

GOOD NEWS! Thanks to Stella McCartney for adidas and LuLu Lemon, the world has caught on and there are a million new fitness fashion lines.

BAD NEWS 😦 There are now a million fitness fashion lines.

GOOD NEWS! I’ve gathered them all with quick summaries for you right here. With a ballpark cost for a pair of to-the-ankle leggings or yoga pants. You’re welcome.

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START HERE These guys on the list have been around for a while, and were some of the first to offer cute workout clothes. So I guess we can blame the “yoga pants in public” thing on them.

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Nike shopnike.com

They’re the ones who made us think we could be athletes. Their apparel tends to be cut a little slimmer. Because that’s their gig. They’re for athletes. Their “Legend” line of bottoms is more forgiving/ flattering. Pants $Wide range of prices

Nike

Nike

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LuLuLemon lululemon.com

Official outfitter of soccer moms, barre class-attenders, and everybody else. Pants $100

Lululu lu pants

lulu jkt

 

Lucy lucy.com

A little bit more forgiving than LuLu. Pants up to $100ish

lucy pantslucy

 

Title Nine titlenine.com

T9 usually skews a little too conservative for me, but what they stand for is very very cool. If you don’t know what Title Nine refers to, look it up right now or else turn in your girl card. Their “Bounce” sports bra section is very very good. Pants $80ish

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Athleta athleta.gap.com

Owned by Gap now, so you can use your gap/banana/old navy card bonus coupons to buy workout gear. Bam! Their 2014 offerings are a major turn in the right direction. Definitely giving LuLu a run for the money. Try the Chaturanga tights.  Pants $80ish

Athleta skirtathleta pink athleta green

 

adidas by Stella McCartney http://www.adidas.com/us/adidas-by-stella-mccartney/_/N-1z13svo

This may have been the first really fashion-y fitness line. I used to write ads for adidas and got a discount on product, so obviously I went totally nuts on the first season of adidas by Stella. Fashion-forward. Vegan shoes. Definitely focused on form over function. Pants $95

stella suit stella stella pants

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BUDGET-STYLE Please do not think that you have to work out in ratty old t-shirts just because you aren’t rolling in it. All you really need is two pairs of bottoms and a few tank tops.

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Gap Fit and Gap Pure Body   gap.com

Not my favorite. Fabrics are hit or miss. The fit is not great for my body type (pear). BUT, their bras can be pretty great. Gap Pure Body tops are better, softer, more graceful fabrics in loose, flowy cuts. Pants $50

gap top gap pants

 

Old Navy Active  oldnavy.com

Can be great depending on the piece. Their pants fabrics are thin, but if you get a patterned pair, it’s OK. Also, their cotton yoga pants are a no-brainer lazy day go-to for me. (but not for butt-sweat activities) And their ribbed tanks and tamis (tank meets camisole) are great, cheap basics that are totally viable workout tops and come in tons of colors. Pants $30

Old Navy activeold navy

 

Target target.com

They carry C9 by Champion, which has very, um, “you get what you pay for” fabric. (as in: thin, as in: shows cellulite). But the newer Champion tops are getting more feminine, flowy, and interesting. Pants $25ish

targettarget shirt

 

Fabletics + Ellie  fabletics.com  ellie.com

These two subscription-optional brands claim to be budget friendly. They’re cheaper than LuLu for sure. Ellie has some super cute leggings with different textured panels for $55ish (although I’ve read that the fabric pills quickly) and Fabletics is a bit more basic/broad in style and tries to prescribe outfits for you based on a little survey you take, which to me is a waste of time. Imma dress mahself, thx.  Ellie pants $55  Fabletics pants $50

elliefabletics

 

Soffe  soffe.com

You can get this brand at Sports Authority. It’s super cheap, pretty basic cotton stuff. It’s basically what high-school cheerleaders wear to practice, so if you’re into little sexy little retro gym shorts, go nuts. They cost $7 whole dollars. But they also have a few on-trend tops and sexy little sweats that cost less than a salad. Pants $18

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NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK  (or at least newish to me.)

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Sweaty Betty sweatybetty.com

Newer on the scene. From the UK. Pretty, feminine, on trend, edgier than LuLu, a lot of dance-inspired looks. Pants $90

sweatybetty sweatyb pants

 

Without Walls withoutwalls.com

Urban Outfitters’ fitness branch. They have their own label and pick fun/flashy/ironic stuff from other brands that matches their aesthetic. I dig. Pants $74

without walls Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 6.36.03 PM--31030984_009_b

 

BetaBrand betabrand.com

You’ve seen the ads all over Facebook. Yoga pants for the office. And blazers too. Pants $80

betabrand1150x673xblack_dress_pant_yoga_pants__leggings__3.jpg.pagespeed.ic.cvmceyN070

 

 

Nordstrom + Zella Nordstrom.com

 

Has a decent selection, and their own line (Zella) is decent, AND comes in plus sizes so they get 50 points for that. Pants $60ish

zella pantszella

 

Lorna Jane lornajane.com

Australian with free US shipping. A wide variety of pretty cute stuff. Pants $100

lorna janeljane tights

 

MPG http://us.webstore.mpgsport.com/

Canadian. Somewhat basic, somewhat fashion-y. Their owners and models are muscly, and like to lift. So you gotta respect that. Pants $60

mpg back mpg

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SEXY TOWN Oh, so you like a little sheer paneling, fishnet action, and lots of cut outs? You’re a Victoria’s Secret model? That’s nice. You’ll like these brands. Also, they’re expensive.

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Michi shopmishiny.com

This is…let’s say… a more…Kim Kardashian flavor of sexy. Yes, that’s a catsuit. But there are some very cool edgy leggings up in thurr too. Pants $180

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Nesh neshnyc.com

Holy sh*t this stuff is my kinda sexy. Maybe not the pin-up tights but definitely the sheer drapey-ness of the tops. Reminds me of Stella’s first adidas collection. Pants $112

NEsh Pin Upnesh vnesh tank

 

Nina B. Roze ninabroze.com

This stuff is very feminine/flirty/approaching sexy. They have a ruffled bathing suit and leggings that have a heart shaped seam on the butt. Heart Butt Leggings $100

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 6.10.37 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 6.11.45 PM

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SPENDY Oh. You’re rich! That’s nice. Let me know how you like this stuff because I can’t afford it. Also, you’ll be wanting to look at this website: Carbon38.com

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VPL store.vplnyc.com

Lingerie meets sportswear. Yes it stands for Visible Panty Line. Get it? Pants $150 ish average

vplvpl pants vpl aggro

 

Slog slogstudio.com

Super new. Website’s not up yet. Big potential. These shorts are a snake-print leather-looking fabric. Whoa. $90 at carbon38.com

slog Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 6.23.31 PM

 

Work Out Life workoutlife.com

Did you know there’s such a thing as a hot yoga suit? There is. It’s basically a sexier wrestling singlet. And it costs $164

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 12.27.45 PMworkoutlifetop

 

Splits59 splits59.com

This brand is sold in my local Dailey Method studio and is popular with the teachers. I have one pair of capris and the quality is great, but the cut is a little too low for me at the moment. Check out their Sport Couture section. Pants $100

splits topsplits 59

SO there you have it. That’s my list. There are of course more brands. Some I just plain don’t like. Some I didn’t cover some because they just don’t have enough unique stuff. If I didn’t cover one that’s awesome, please let me know and I’ll check ‘em out and add them to the list.

 

all content (c) Aimee Lehto Schewe and Pretty-Sweaty.com 2014 all rights reserved

Welcome to Pretty-Sweaty.

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Hi. My name is Aimee. And I own 20 pairs of black capri workout pants. I am a huge fan of fitness fashion and I (obviously) buy way too much of it. Which means I can help you find the good, and avoid the bad and the ugly.

I’m a fitness fan. I’ve been doing home workouts since “Bodies in Motion” with Gilad Jankwolitz when I was 12. I’ve run a marathon (one. almost ten years ago.). And I’ve read pretty much every women’s fitness magazine and diet book you can think of. Putting it all in to practice, of course, is a different thing. That’s why I’m not here to tell you what to do, because I’m still figuring out what works. BUT I can help you figure out how to look cute and feel confident when you do whatever workout you’re loving right now.

I’m a total failure. I have been somewhere in between normal and fat my whole life. I want to be thin and strong, but right now I’m sort of strong underneath a lot of, um, fluff. I love working out, but I have yet to master portion control. What I’m saying is I’ve taken probably 150 “before” pictures and never taken an after. I’m a size ten. I’m a pear.

But that’s not the point. I’ll share with you what’s working and what’s not. And maybe as I focus on being a part of the fitness community I’ll get there. But what I’m here to do is make working out fun, and make you feel like you look good WHILE you’re doing it instead of waiting to be cute until you think you’re an AFTER.

WORKOUTS I LOVE:

  • Running
  • P90X
  • Dailey Method
  • Boot Camp / Core Training / Circuit Training
  • Turbo Jam
  • Spinning
  • I Love/Hate Zumba
  • Weight training
  • Yoga

THINGS THAT MAKE ME SAD:

  • Thin fabrics that show cellulite.
  • Performance fabric T-shirts that cling in weird spots and show rolls.
  • Beer bellies in UnderArmor.
  • Jog bras that do nothing.

THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY:

  • Anybody on day one at the gym.
  • People who aren’t afraid to work out before they’re a size two. Or 14.
  • Flowy, flattering workout tops that make you feel pretty and forget about what’s underneath.
  • Ladies with grey hair who can kick my ass.