Workout Review: The Dailey Method

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I’m going to review the three workouts I’ve been doing the most this year. Starting today with The Dailey Method. First, here’s a little bit of my history with going to fitness classes. If you don’t give a rat, just skip down to the review I won’t hate you. ūüôā Long story short: I used to hate classes,¬†but now I dig ’em. Note: being a bit pre-fit makes a huge difference in how pleasant or un- they can be.

MY HISTORY WITH TAKING FITNESS CLASSES: 

In the past I’ve been pretty anti-class. I tried some at Crunch in San Francisco, and they just made me feel fat and gross because everyone else was all skinny and fit and rocking full WorkOutFits. This was ten years ago, when I was still wearing mesh basketball shorts and before I ran a marathon. Before then, I was very into home workout videos/DVDs. And before that I did home workouts that were on TV, like Body By Gilad. I was an original Firm believer. Knew about Beach Body back when they sent out a paper catalog, did Tae Bo, all of that jazz. Then I went to the gym to do the stairmaster, treadmill, elipser, and use the weight machines. A little Body for Life. Then I got more into running. Then P90X and then I tried classes again: some spin and some yoga and some Zumba.

Spin was tolerable because it was dark so it was easier to block out the skinny bitches and avoid comparison. Zumba I started doing when I moved out to the burbs, and it was full of old biddies so I felt like a rockstar. Yoga usually draws all types so it’s generally non-threatening. FYI, the spin class I used to take in the burbs was in glaring full yellow light, with a boom box of country music, and it took place literally on a basketball court, during a basketball skills clinic for five year olds. For real. Not quite the same as the dark, cool, techno experience at Crunch in San Francisco. But highly entertaining nonetheless. Anyway, that’s my history with classes.

ENTER GROUPON…

In the last year or so, I snapped up a Groupon for Dailey Method and gave it a shot. I have a lot¬†of friends who did it in SF (where it’s from) and loved it. (I just never had the time to do it, or anything at all for that matter, when I lived there.) And I have the Physique 57 DVDs and so I kind of had an idea of¬†what it would be like.

SO WHAT IS DAILEY METHOD LIKE?

Friggin’ hard. That‚Äôs what it‚Äôs like. If you‚Äôre not strong already, it‚Äôs frustrating and painful. And even if you are in shape, it‚Äôs still going to be awkward at some point because you‚Äôre getting into all sorts of weird positions and then you’re going to be pulsing. Yep. Pulsing. Gross.

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IT’S HARD. HARD!

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Also? Dailey Method doesn’t count for hardly any steps according to my UP 24. ūüė¶ Bullshit.

But it’s also FANTASTIC. This is a rich lady sport, so the studio is clean, and bright, and colorful and feels kind of like a spa. It’s a lovely place to be. Everyone is paying out the wazoo to be there, so everyone takes it seriously, focuses on their own shit, and generally brings it in the fitness fashion department.

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I kinda love it!

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There are people of all shapes and sizes and ages and even stages of pregnancy. My favorite classmate is a proud breast cancer survivor in her late 60s who rocks the brightest tights I’ve ever seen. Every. Single. Class. She lost 30 lbs doing Dailey and didn’t change anything else in her life. She kicks all of the ass.

There’s a lot of emphasis on getting into proper position/ alignment first and then working. You work a muscle with light weights or body weight and high reps until you‚Äôre burning and shaking, and swearing under your breath. I’m serious. Shaking is a good thing in Dailey Method. It’s not the end, it’s the midpoint. Then when you think you’re going to collapse because you no longer have legs, just jelly sticks, or that flames will literally start shooting out of your quads and melt your stretch pants, you do some more. Then you stretch that muscle.

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There are a lot of planks and on-your-toes squats and plies and sometimes there’s a shitty terrible awkward position like pretzel sometimes there’s not. There’s always something that sucks to do but builds rock hard thighs FAST. And there is always a ton of core work.

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RESULTS?

Yes. I definitely got results from doing The Dailey Method, and I never went more than 3 times a week. I also bought both DVDs and use those when I need to. My results looked like this: a general ‚Äútightening‚ÄĚ of my whole torso, everything sucked in and shrunk. My thighs got BIGGER because I was growing strong quads and my butt got smaller. My arms got tighter. And the ‚Äúbottom butt‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúsecond butt‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúpooh bear butt‚ÄĚ or the ‚Äúbutt under the butt‚ÄĚ went away.

COST? 

Dailey Method is very expensive (at least $150 for a monthly pass). But if you frame it as a hobby instead of a gym, then it‚Äôs easier to wrap your head around. $150/4 weeks = $37.50 a week. How much do you spend on lunch? Or¬†on random shit you don’t need at Target? Just sayin’. It can be done. And it‚Äôs much more valuable than a lot of other crap I unthinkingly spend money on.

IN CONCLUSION:

THREE WORD REVIEW of THE DAILEY METHOD: Hurts. So. Good.

I’ll review the Boot Camp I went to next. Coming soon.

Here are some pictures from my Dailey Days.

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They’ve got home videos too.

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Dailey Method: work up a sweat standing still.

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Barre stretches feel good.

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My favorite exercise. Standing leg hold.

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August WorkOutFits

Confession: Yeah. So I’ve had a major energy problem this past month or so and haven’t been working out a ton. ūüė¶ I’ve been a lazy, carb-eating piece of shit. But like Fun says, “Carry oh-oh-oh-oh-onnn!” So I shall. I switched back to paleo and am feeling a bit more vital this past week, so…hopefully more of my workout pants will fit again soon. That’s why A. all tunics all the time and B. not many WorkOutFits to share. No work out = no WorkOutFit. I don’t take a picture every time I work out. But I promise, if I DO take a picture, that outfit got worked out in. So there’s that. I post WorkOutFits on instagram @iamaimeeschewe

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Athleta Breathe Tank top and Zella leggings.

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Old Navy Active top, LuluLemon leggings.

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Champion top, Lulu tank, Lulu leggings. Up24 fitness band.

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Champion top, Old Navy yoga pants. Borderline basic bitch gym outfit, I know. Like I said, I haven’t been feeling so hot.

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Lulu Lemon top, Nike leggings.

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Old Navy Active top, Zaggora hot pants. (they’re sauna pants. like in the 80s. Because i’m puffy, yo.)

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This was an Old Navy T-shirt that I cut and shredded.

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even MORE Old Navy. (top) Zella leggings. Shameful because I didn’t run that day. Or month.

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This was a Gap shirt to benefit Japan after the disaster. I bought it on principle. Then cut it, because it needed it.

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LuluLemon top, Old Navy capris.

 

My favorite tights: Chaturanga from Athleta

So, you know I have over 20 pairs of workout tights/capris/pants/leggings whatever you want to call ’ems. Anything dark, knee length, and thick enough not to show my cottage cheese, and high enough to hold in the muffin top, I like. But I think I just realized I have a favorite.

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I just got a fresh pair of Chaturanga capris from Athleta. I already have a full-length pair that I wear in the winter, which I love. And I just pulled these on and they’re just…so easy. So stretchy and forgiving and comfortable. I guess most of my capris are “performance fit” which means tight as hell so they squeeze you in and support your muscles and jiggly bits. So it is such a treat to pull on a pair and not feel like a sausage for once. I love you Chaturanga.

http://athleta.gap.com/browse/search.do?searchText=chaturanga

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Already had Chaturanga Odyssey Tights (looks like space dye in real life)…..Just got Chaturanga Stardust Capris. (looks like cheetah/snow leopard in real life)

Note: they are NOT thick, which I usually would not recommend. And they’re probably not great for running because they’re not performance-tight (which means they’ll probably slide down as you run). So I can’t recommend them for running. BUT I can recommend them for pretty much everything else. As long as you get a dark pair, preferably a pattern, you should be comfortable and camoflauged. Just like Imma be all friggin day in these puppies. Ahhh. Chaturanga.

They come in every length: shorties (tiny for you obnoxiously fit skinny minnies), shorts (not sure who, but if that’s your gig go for it) jammers (ditto. maybe under a skirt or something? it’s a mystery to me. but to each her own), capris and tights. In whatever pattern you could want, even crackly faux-leather and stripes. Bazam.

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Zella is stellar.

Hey, today’s the last day of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. So I apologize for being so late to the game on this, but HAVE YOU TRIED ZELLA? Zella is Nordstrom’s fitness wear brand, and they’re pretty great. My sister-in-law convinced me to try them after swearing they were “non-cellulite-showy-offy.” And at $30 a pop¬†(until tomorrow, then $44) for their super-popular “live-in leggings,” I mean, come on. Done.

I ordered a few different pairs, and even in purple, they are flattering. No celulite. Not too thick. Not too thin. Not too low. Not loose, but just tight enough. Im an idiot for not trying these before. EXCELLENT value. Pro pro pro. I’d take better pictures for you BUT THERE’S NO TIME! The sale ends tomorrow. Get it! (zella pictures are linked) And YES, Zella comes in plus sizes.

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sorry for the shitty photo. Guess my mirror is dusty.

 

How to wash your workout wear.

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OK. So. Now that you’ve ponied up 100 bucks for a schmancy high performing pair of workout pants, you need to take proper care of them to make them last.

Why? Because if you don’t, they will start to hold onto odor, they’ll stop wicking, and they’ll lose the perfect stretch and compression you paid so much for.

HOW should you wash athletic clothes? 

-In COLD water. (hot is bad for elastics)

-Only with other performance fabrics. Why? Because heavier/ rougher fabrics will beat up the sport fabric. Rough it up. Stretch it out. Cause it to pill.

-And HANG DRY. Before and after you wash. You should really hang your workout clothes up after you peel them off. Let the sweat evaporate, don’t throw them into your laundry pile all crumpled up and wet to fester and rot. Hang them to dry after washing, too. I am personally a hang dry-only freak. I hang dry everything except for sheets and towels. Because I¬†can’t handle the emotional damage that shrinking will cause. I’m dead serious about this. Do not wash my clothes. Beware the¬†wrath of the girl whose favorite whatever doesn’t fit anymore because it accidentally got thrown in the dryer.¬†You do not want to be on the receiving end of that torrent of uncut rage and tears.

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Don’t even aim a blow dryer at my shit. I will cut you.

WHAT kind of detergent should you wash your athletic clothes with? 

-POWDER not liquid. Why? Because you don’t want residue. Any residue stuck to the fibers will coat them and keep them from wicking.¬†You also don’t want fabric softeners or “optical brighteners” because they also coat fibers. ¬†So unfortunately, Woolite is out.

-This is also why “Tide plus Febreeze” or any regular wash that just adds an odor eliminator doesn’t cut it.

-Most “sports detergents” focus only on body oils and odor. Apparently, active wear really likes to become permanently stinky. Because body oils and stinks bond differently to synthetics than they do to cotton. I guess I’ve noticed that a little, but overall, I’m more concerned with keeping the wicking performance and elasticity. And I assume if a detergent is good enough to preserve elasticity, it’s probably already got the odor and body oils thing covered.

Even the most “sporty” sports detergents (Win, Sport Wash) are liquid. So despite their macho labels, high prices, and sports-store distribution, they’re totally not ideal for keeping the physical performance properties of the fibers in tact. WTF right? BUT. Good news…

There are a few powdered sports washes out there, Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent¬†(which is a good source of information, too) and Sports Suds. I haven’t tried either, but it seems like they should be good.

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I usually use Forever New. It comes in through the “fine garment care” door instead of the “odor eliminating” one. It’s for delicates and it says that it “preserves fiber flex” and “maintains elasticity.” I mean, if people wash their french lingerie in it, I trust it.

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Here, I’ve done the shopping for you!

Forever New: $14.50 for 32oz (16 washes)  on Amazon, prime eligible.

Vapor Fresh: $22 for 80oz (32 washes) + shipping on their site, same on Amazon, but prime eligible.

Sports Suds: $21 for 14oz (34 loads) through Amazon, prime eligible.

I was about to just order some more¬†Forever New,¬†but after doing this research for y’all it’s obvious that these other guys are cheaper per load,¬†so I’m going to try Vapor Fresh, too.¬†Although, I’m still not sold.¬† I don’t¬†trust¬†a detergent designed by a boy to eliminate stink to take care of lycra and preserve stretch as well as a lingerie detergent. Hmmm…¬†Either way, I’ve gotta stop using the Tide with Febreeze. My clothes just feel slimy. Bad news.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE¬†¬†The residue from liquid detergent is coating your washer too. So you’re supposed to clean it out by washing old towels in your new powdered detergent first. Not sure how this is going to work for me since we wash everything else in liquid…but…I guess we’ll just have to gradually switch from liquid to powder for everything. No reason not to.

Here’s what Sports Suds says about that:

http://www.sportsuds.com/First-Use-Information.html

So. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you you’re doing everything wrong. But now you know. And I learned some new stuff too. If it makes you feel better, I can’t do my stinky-ass laundry for a few days because I’m waiting for the¬†special detergents to get here…

 

 

Why so ‘spensive? (The rise of $100 yoga pants.)

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Oh, workout¬†clothes. You so silly. The really good pants can cost $100. And the nice tops can cost $70ish. You only wear the stuff for an hour at a time. And¬†then it’s¬†going to smell like butt. Literally.¬†Where do they get off charging that much for smell-like-butt clothes?

Well. Back in the day I would have thought it was just branding and luxury marketing and all that seventh grade stuff. Charge more and people will think it’s better. Then every yoga mom has to have a Lulu logo on her butt. ¬†But now that I actually design and manufacture stuff myself (paper goods, not clothes. bsandrs.com) and have a friend who designs and manufactures jeans (tallwaterjeans.com), I understand the work that goes into production¬†and development¬†and how much¬†quality costs. And also, the more workouts I try, and the more laundry I do, the more I appreciate high-functioning stuff.

So. Why do they charge¬†that much for smell-like-butt clothes? I’ll tell ya.

1. Quality of fabric. The fabric matters a ton. The fabric is what determines sheerness, wicking, longevity, fit, whether or not your cellulite shows, whether or not they keep their shape or stretch out, how easy they are to get in and out of, and whether or not the pants will slide down when you get sweaty. That’s why LuluLemon got big. Not just because they were design leaders, but also because of Luon fabric.

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LuluLemon

 

2. Technology. Not only do they have to be the right thickness and all of that, these fabrics have to breathe and wick and stretch both ways. ¬†They have breathable¬†panels in body-mapped places. And those silver seams? Those actually cool you down and don’t absorb your stink. (I worked on adidas for years. Trust me. I know things.) F-yeah, science.

athleta

Athleta

3. Design.¬†Designing fitted things is hard. Designing fitted things that stay in place while flexing to and fro is hard. Figuring out how wide to make a waist band and how tight or high it needs to be to keep your poppin fresh dough from spilling out is hard. Placing the seams in a way that draws the eye around your leg, cutting the strap so you don’t get armpit boob, adding a key pocket without actually adding a pocket is hard. (It adds material, complicates pattern, takes longer to manufacture…) These are the things that make good pieces good. And they’re what make you keep on choosing to wear that one top or those certain pants instead of all the others.

Splits 59

Splits59 Spinning Crops

 

 

4. Engineering. If you have more than a B cup you know you need a real jog bra, and you understand what a¬†feat of engineering that those suckers are. (Bounce. Moving Comfort.) And some workout¬†pants¬†even have built in spanx-y panels and butt lifters and stuff (Lucy). Compression patterns support your muscles and help you work longer. It’s way¬†more complex then sewing two halves of a pattern together.

Moving Comfort Rebound Racer

Moving Comfort

 

So you see, a quality piece of fitness apparel takes a lot of work and design and R&D. It’s made with stuff that costs a lot more than cotton because it has to do a lot more than cotton. And the benefit you get out of that piece (comfort, support, confidence, performance) is directly related to how much work went into creating it.

I still have my first pairs of Athleta and LuluLemon capris. They’re at least 5 years old. And I still pick those guys from my drawer before all of the rest. Meanwhile, the¬†Old Navy Active yoga crops I just bought for less than the cost of my lunch are thin and scratchy, don’t have stretchy thread, and will be busted in a matter of months. There’s cost per wear. And there’s just wasting time churning through cheap stuff when one great piece will remove “shop for gym pants” from your to-do list for years.

I am absolutely not trying to peer pressure you into buying something you can’t afford. (Hello, I wear old navy tank tops 90% of the time.) ¬†But I am for sure telling you that there¬†IS¬†a difference and you will get A LOT of use out of the¬†good stuff for a LONG time.

And yeah. It’s way cuter.

LuLuLemon

 

New Brands and wanty wants: Nancy Rose, T&F Store, Splits 59

Good News: I’ve been working out a lot latey, loving boot camp and P90X3 and love/hating Dailey Method. Starting to see some results. So obviously I’m like “I want a new fancy cute top. I deserve it.”

Bad News: At this moment, budget says NO, STUPID!

That’s why I’ve been doing all the DIY shirt stuff lately. Also: I haven’t been using all of the (bright, cheap) ribbed tanks I have. They’re right there. As long as I do a little something something with my hair and a headband, I can still make a WorkOutFit out of them…But you know how it is. Women be shopping.

So let’s pretend for a minute. Gotta get it out of my system. Here are some new (to me) brands and some stuff I’m trying not to by. ūüôā Obviously first thought is LuluLemon. But, eh. Any rich housewife can get that. Athleta, I’ve got that covered. IF I were to go shopping right now, I’d try to find some less common stuff. And let me tell you, it’s totally out there!

T&F Store. (Track and Field Store) TFStore.us

Ever wonder¬†what the epically lovely looking Brazilians wear when they work out? You know, if they choose to, because they don’t have to because of their ridiculous genetics? Prolly this stuff. T&F store liked some of my Fitstagram Pics, so I checked them out. Super cute! Unfortunately, the only US store is in NYC. But I’ll bet there will be¬†more soon. And THEY’RE WELCOME TO SEND ME GORGEOUS WORK OUT WEAR IF THEY’RE READING THIS…;)

T&F Store Run Mist Leggings: panels. Moving lines. Pleathery shiny calves. Yes.

T&F run mist back T&F Run Mist

T&F Store Sky Fitness Shorts: GOLD. SHORTS. GOLD! Somebody with the legs to pull these off please, please get them. How can you not be¬†happy wearing or seeing these? They’re gooooolllld.

track&Field sky fitness shorts

SPLITS 59

I’m still irrationally in love with these Raquel Classic Flared pants from Splits 59. Probably because they’re the exact¬†opposite of what would look good on my body type. And the colors are great, uncommon, primary colors. The green online isn’t accurate. They’re a great kelly green in real life. All of my Daily Method instructors rock these and they look so strong and lean and dancer-y. Good for them. And for you if you can pull these off. Get it.

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The other brand I learned about through the shopping rack at Dailey Method is Nancy Rose Performance. I have a pair of capris: they’re cute, high quality fabric, and fit well. They’re a little lower cut than I like, but thanks to all of the functional strength training I’ve been doing, I can wear them now. With a baggy tunic, of course, let’s not get crazy. But at least it’s not muffin top town. ANYWAY: I finally looked them up and WOW.

Nancy Rose Performance = Flattering, ballet inspired design and high quality materials. You want a nice top? Mostly you can get a tight-ass tank that shows the rolls or (like me) a tunic that flips up in boot camp. Enter Nancy Rose: Tons of different shapes and cuts with flattering lines and wraps and peplums oh my! Form fitting, without being too form revealing. PERFECT.

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WHATTTT???? Stuff for apples and pears and beanpoles, not just instructor-shaped fitness professionals! So good. So easy to wear. Thank you for existing, Nancy Rose!

 

 

Why I don’t miss sugar or wheat. And why you can’t be annoyed by that.

In the past, if you¬†told me “I just don’t eat¬†sweets”¬†I would hear “I’m a pretentious liar who can’t deal with the fact that I’m on a diet.”

Today, I would say “Really? Me too? Why? Do they make you sick?” and I’d talk to you for a half hour about inflammation and the politics of the food industry and stuff.

Today is the 100th day I have been off sugar. And of those 100 days, I only had bread once. It was inspired by the lady who documented her 100 days at the gym and Whole30. I had bigger plans, but my “Whole100” devolved¬†into just 100 days w/o sugar and wheat. I don’t care. Progress is progress and 100 days is game changer. A change has been made.

Sugar and wheat/bread/flour/whatevers make my whole body ache like I have the flu. After dinner EVERY DAY I would curl up and whine. Sometimes I’d take a bath to feel better. Like, multiple times a week. I have no idea why I accepted that existing meant feeling like crap for so long. I didn’t even think about it. I’m sure there are other things I’m doing to myself now that make me feel like crap that I should work on next. But my point is this: you can read all the books on sugar and wheat (I have) but until you have a powerful, meaningful reason to not eat them, they’re literally addictive drug-like things and they will make their way into your face. Once I realized that I felt like shit all the time, and it was their fault, making them go away was psychologically effortless.

Physically, there was a bit of effort. Yes, I went through the carb flu. And I felt like the walking dead. And no¬†I haven’t lost any weight despite not eating most carbs. (excuse me while I go have an¬†IT’S NOT FAIR!!! hissy fit…) But now that I’ve kicked the habit, I¬†just don’t want to go back to eating that shit that makes me feel like shit. Also, I don’t want to have to start at square one with the carb flu. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

People can talk about positive motivation all they want. You can say you’re working out “to be healthy” and I will still translate that statement in my head to “I’m working out to be thinner.” Sure they’re the same thing. But don’t bullshit me. “Healthy” and “Clean” and “Strong” are not concepts that motivate.

Negative motivation is more powerful. It’s real. It embraces what really matters to you, and that, my friend is what WILL GET YOU THERE.

So lets be a little more honest, OK?

I don’t eat non-produce carbs because they¬†make me feel like shit.

I’m working out because I don’t want my body to look and feel like it does.¬†I don’t want to be self-conscious, and hate getting dressed, and have a nervous breakdown when someone invites me to the beach. Basically, I don’t want to feel like shit.

Those thoughts get me moving. I am literally running away from the negative. “Better cardiovascular fitness” does not get me to put on a jog bra.

Why are you doing P90X? Because you don’t want to keep on taking “before” pictures.

Why are you running a marathon? Because you have something to prove.

Why are you going to boot camp? Because you can’t push yourself hard enough on your own.

Why are you lifting weights? Because¬†at some point someone made you feel weak. (Who can’t say that?) And you need to feel like you¬†can kick someone’s ass. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Or you’re going bald.

Why do I go to Dailey Method classes? Because my butt is sagging lower by the day and will soon reach my knees. And¬†the only way I’m going to workout hard enough to change that, is by¬†paying so much for class that I’ll feel like shit if I half-ass it.¬†(I have the Dailey Method¬†DVDs, but they lack this feature.)

So¬†if someone is honest enough to say “I’m going to spin because I feel fat” do them a favor. Don’t say “You’re not fat.” Say “That’s awesome. Do you like it?”

We’re all doing what we’re doing because in one way or another we don’t want to feel like shit. We’re motivated by the negative. And that’s a very positive thing.

 

Prana Summer 2014

So, Prana is a yoga/hiking type brand that’s been around for a while. I forgot about them. I had a pair of wicking hiking/adventure/travel whatever you call ’em pants by them a while back, and they were fantastic. And orange.

I just got their 2014 summer catalog in the mail, and besides having a model with a really good hair color that I’m going to bring to my stylist, they’ve got a few thing that made me say “hmm.” So why not share?

From Prana Summer 2014 

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