Pure Barre On Demand Workout Review

I’m a freelance writer. Which means sometimes I’m commuting to the city and sometimes I’m working at home. When I commute to the city, I spend 3.5 hours a day commuting. And when I work from home, I basically wake up, maybe walk the dog, and start working right away because I can. I never know what type of work situation I’ll be in, so a gym membership is dumb and so is committing to any kind of studio unless I only want to go on Saturdays. Also, my super-affordable, on-the-way-to-daycare bootcamp has moved and become a less-affordable F45 on the other side of town, so… I’ve been classless for a bit.

I needed a new home workout. Yes, I still like the Aaptive training app and my treadmill. But I was hungry for something new, and something that didn’t make me feel like a prisoner sweating alone in my basement. And I need to build strength and get results fast, so I researched on-demand barre classes.

Now, a good little blogger would re-do the research for you and post the costs of different on-demand barre classes here, but I threw away my notes over a month ago and I don’t feel like looking all that shit up again.

All you need to know is the best deal is Pure Barre on demand.

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What you need to know about Pure Barre On Demand:

  • $30/ month
  • Access classes on any device
  • A really good amount of classes in any length you could possibly want: 5 minute, 10-15 minute, 30-40 minute, 40-50 minute and full length 50-60 minute lengths
  • They add new classes all the time

And the classes are taught by a mix of instructors, so if you think one is annoying, you can avoid her. What you can’t avoid is stupid pretzel position, which is incredibly awkward and I really, really, really hate it. But they’re videos, so if you’re a lazy piece of shit like me, you can just say “nope” and skip to a less ridiculous part of the workout.

A lot of the classes are “live” which means recorded live in one of the Pure Barre studios. They look like they’re shot with a nest security cam, which is totally fine by me. I like how it feels like I’m in a real class. There are also more “workout video”-type professionally staged and shot workouts. There’s really a lot of content. It’s pretty great.

Here’s what the two kinds of classes look like:

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A “live” Pure Barre on demand class

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A “legacy DVD” Pure Barre class, available on demand.

 

 

About Barre

Not gonna lie. Barre sucks. It’s painful, awkward, and uncomfortable. And super hard. BUT, I’ve found that it is a really fast way to change your shape and get strong. And that’s what I need right now. I think of it more as physical therapy than a fun workout. Wow, that’s depressing, isn’t it? OK. It’s not that bad. It’s a CHALLENGE. Is that more positive? And I get to do different video every time (so far) so that makes it feel a little more special.

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All barre workouts are based on the same principles from The Lotte Burke Method: proper alignment, a large number of small movements done to failure, then you stretch that muscle group. “Failure” means your legs will not only burn, but they will literally quiver and shake, and that’s the goal. Yup. (“Shake to change” is the mantra in Barre Amped.) And all barre workouts use similar exercises and follow the same patterns (core, arms, legs, butt, abs).

 

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Look at my arm! A result! 

The vibe is a little different from brand to brand, and Pure Barre has the vibe that I like the best, but it’s up to you to see what you like. Pure Barre, for example is a little more casual/city and they work out to a beat. Dailey Method feels slightly more formal, closer to a ballet or yoga studio vibe.

They all have a little bit of equipment involved: light weights, a small inflatable ball, something to use as a “support” (barre substitute), sometimes tubing. Overall, I like doing barre at home better than in the studio because I don’t feel looked at, and most importantly, I don’t have to wear those stupid barre socks that lose their grip and become useless the first time you wash them. I hate working out in socks.

For home workouts you really only need the light weights. A ball is a bonus. I have a barre, which I ordered from Amazon, and it’s fine. But there are some moves where they hold on to the barre and lean back, and for that type of stuff you actually need a counter, so don’t feel like you have to buy a barre. But if you want one, this one’s the one I have. It’s pretty cool except you get a big box on your doorstep that says VITA VIBE. Oh hey neighbors! I promise it’s not a four-foot dildo! Link here, too: https://amzn.to/2qazoQ7

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Vita Vibe 4 foot portable barre

 

Oh, and Pure Barre sells apparel with a lot of good cuts (meaning: long, not skin-tight tanks). I would totally order some if they didn’t have Pure Barre logos on them.

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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!

 

Pretty-Sweaty on the Socials

Hello! Quick little update on the digital world of Pretty-Sweaty:

  1. The Instagram account for this blog is now officially @prettysweaty 
  2. Below are some posts from the last few months.
  3. There is a twitter account for this blog @prettysweaty1 so you can now get fitness and fitstyle-themed bitchings, rantings, and ravings in bitesize form.
  4. I still hate tech-fabric shirts, so don’t worry, there’s stability in the world.

 

Psst: Athleta Sale!

Athleta has a ton of stuff on sale, my pretties. Right here.

Scoop up some sweet clothes to sweat in for your New Year’s New You resolutions.

Please. Somebody buy cute things, because I’m 30 weeks pregnant and I can’t.. Waaaaaaah. Do it for me!

If I could fit into real clothes, here’s what I’d get: Plie Tights, Embodiment Tights, Stripe Crop Tee, Shanti Tie-Dye Tank, Bhakta Sweater, Cashmere Crave Sweater, Some grey Plattan Headphones by Urbanears, and yeah, sure, a Rope Belt for the fuck of it.

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Dressing the Fit Bump

WHAT I’VE LEARNED ABOUT BEING PREGNANT, WORKING OUT, AND WHAT TO WEAR

1. Shopping stops being fun.

So, shopping for workout wear is massively less fun when you’re pregnant. There’s no such thing as “man this top makes me feel sleek and powerful.” It’s just “man, I look like a hippo.”

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Couldn’t even zip the damn jacket.

 

2. You’re tired as shit.

Working out when you’re pregnant is massively less fun, also. First trimester I barely did anything because I was so fatigued. I mean, a walk around the block was a win. I’m not kidding. Also, your blood volume increases, which makes you feel instantly like you’ve lost all of your cardiovascular fitness. So while you can still wear your workout clothes, you can’t workout and feel like the laziest piece of shit on earth. Or at least I did.

3. Even if you want to run the whole pregnancy, you might not be able to.

Second trimester, I got my energy back, but my appetite grew. So I’ve just been growing in every way. Working out…eh. I can’t run because it feels like my bladder is going to fall out, and I’m generally pretty lazy. I walk. I’ll do a little Dailey Method. A little lifting. A few 21 day fix videos. Also, I went to spin twice, figuring “hey, no impact, perfect.” One class was fine. But another class, we did a lot of really fast pedaling, which was basically me bouncing (slamming) up and down really fast on a bike seat for an hour. Pretty uncomfortable. Anyway, workout commitment and consistency?…Not even close. Granted, I work from home, so I struggle with structure and routine. You may not be such a worthless slacker.

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This is me after spin.

4. Even though you don’t want to shop, you have to.

As far as workout wear goes: 1st trimester I just bought larger sizes of pants I liked. My Athleta Chaturanga leggings were king. They’re really soft and stretchy, not a compression pant. I also rocked a pair of seamless champion tights that I just bought huge. I didn’t feel comfortable bouncing a ton, so it didn’t matter if they weren’t tight enough to really stay up.

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Athleta Chaturangas.

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Champion seamless yoga capris.

 

 

5. At some point you WILL have to buy maternity pants. And it will change your life. 

So you might think you can save yourself some money buy just buying larger workout pants, that you’ll still need later as you’re coming back down from preggo size. Yeah. You need those. But at some point, that belly is going to grow. And even though pants fit in the butt and legs, they just get more and more uncomfortable on your gut. I went on a road trip in regular jeans before I could bring myself to buy maternity. It was a mistake. I had to lie back with the car seat reclined, pants undone Al Bundy-style, whining the whole time about how I couldn’t breathe. Don’t be vain and stupid like me. Be comfortable and get on with your life.

6. Start with under the belly.

At first you’ll want under-the-belly stuff. These basically have a big elastic waist band and slope down at the front. Very comfortable. I have some jeans and leggings. And I tried the Maternity Straight Up Pant, and Maternity Metro Legging from Athleta. The Straight Up is called that because they’re closer to a straight leg than a bell-bottom yoga style. I didn’t like them because they were tight and compression-y. The Metro Legging is a legging with seams and pockets so it’s styled like a jean. I like them because they’re slightly more pant-like than leggings, but they do tend to slide down when I’m walking.

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Athleta Maternity Straight Up

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Athleta Maternity Metro

 

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Athleta Maternity Metro.

As far as “public pants” go, I found that the J.Crew maternity minnie pants were actually LOWER rise than the regular ones. No bueno. The Old Navy fake Minnie pants (pixie) maternity are a fine substitute. And for anything in the “black stretchy pant” category,Target is fine. I have some Gap and Old Navy maternity jeans. Also fine. You could spend more, but really, you just keep on changing sizes so why? Oh, and Free People is pretty great for big flowy but still edgy-ish tops. I just wear tanks, big cardigans, big flowy tops, and the occasional blazer. I am not a dress person. I am not a baby-doll top person. They look like sad potato sacks and I just won’t go there.

7. Transition to fold over/ full belly. 

Of course I couldn’t be without my Old Navy Yoga Pants, so I ordered those a size bigger, and then quickly realized that that was pointless and ordered the maternity ones. They have a full belly panel. Which I folded over because my gut didn’t quite fill it up yet. (Now it does.) Same thing with full-belly panel jeans. You’ll want to transition, or at least I did, because while I can technically wear the under the belly stuff, my belly looks more like rolls of beer gut when I sit down and it falls over the band. With a full panel, you get a smooth line. And you can fold it to give yourself a “belly band” effect. I might try a belly band with the low panel pants to see if that works too.

As far as full-on, full-panel maternity workout pants go, I have the Chaturanga (great), some Old Navy capris (fine, but not nearly as stretchy and comfy, compression = not fun), and the Old Navy Yoga Pants. Which everyone knows you don’t work out in, (butt sweat), you just wear around the house because you don’t want to wear real pants ever. Speaking of, those fold-over “yoga leggings” that the kids wear as pants (shudder) are SUPER COMFORTABLE for pregnant times. That fold over flap just becomes a belly panel. Thanks, Target! (and no, I do not mean PINK pants. PINK is for little sluts, littler wannabe sluts and old clueless wannabes. You know better. Don’t do it.)

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Old Navy Maternity Compression Capris

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Fold over “yoga” (yeah right) leggings from Target.

 

7. Tops are depressing.

You can totally hide for a while. I just layered tanks and high-low tops and it was totally fine for the first bit. I have been able to wear regular tank tops so far. (I am a pear, though. Apples, maybe not. We get what we get.) But I’m at 26 weeks now, and I don’t think I can really wear my regular ribbed tanks anymore.  I have a stash of maternity tanks (rouched sides, extra material) ready to go. You’d think you’d want to wear baggy tops, but with me it’s kind of the opposite. Because my beloved tunics don’t flow and hide. Now they kind of almost…fit. It’s not a fun feeling.

I bought one new top at LuluLemon  (black friday weekend clearance). The Run Times Tank. They don’t have it on the site anymore. It’s another bra and breezy over-tank kind of a top, but the over-tank has a little more coverage, the bra has wider straps, and a higher neckline, and the bottom of the bra extends down further so only a teeny little bit of rib skin shows. I look like a marshmallow in it. It bums me out. But it will be a cute feminine thing for after baby. Oh, and special fun note on that top in particular: I posted a picture of me in it on instagram, and some really charming fellow who has an instagram account that posts only pictures of women with bubble butts (in thongs, and yoga pants and volleyball shorts) said, and I quote: “hahaha absolutely disgusting. :)” How did he know how I felt? He must be a real empath. Some lucky girl is going to get to marry him. Or some sex doll with a bubble butt will get to marry him. Because apparently that’s all women’s bodies are to him. Parts. Yay internet!

So anyway, to me, tighter tops are less depressing because at least you’re not adding more volume up there. And for your budget, that’s good. Because you only need a few tank tops. And the Breathe tank from Athleta is great.

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Athleta Breathe Tank

 

Speaking of breathing…good luck with that because…

8. You can’t breathe so good. 

My out of breath-ness comes and goes. But blood volume + baby taking up more and more of your body cavity = less lung capacity. It doesn’t feel that way all the time. But…it’s only going to keep getting more crowded in there.

9. Your baby squishes your stomach. So full is REALLY FULL.

And yet, I keep on eating more than I need to, every single time I eat. What’s up with that? Oh yeah, I’m an idiot with a compulsive eating problem. And hormones. Good times.

10. Your boobs get HUGE. And they hurt. Like. Hell. But not all the time.

I never wanted big boobs. My boobs were fine. Neither here nor there. Never bothered me. Now, they’re big, and it has taken some getting used to. I won’t even go from bed to the bathroom without some support. I basically live in bralettes now. My jog bras don’t fit. I bought bigger ones, but they’re still pretty damn uncomfortable. I can’t do bouncy jumpy run-y things anyway, so it doesn’t matter. I don’t need sport-level support. I bought bra band extenders for my real bras. Which kind of work. But I broke down and bought some real bras in the right size yesterday at soma. Yeah. the kind that pretty much have fabric up to your neck and stick out ABOVE your tank top neck lines? Those. Real woman bras. Not very exciting. But the holidays are coming and I will have to go out in public more often. So. Support is probably a good thing to have.

11. You can’t work out for more than 5 minutes because you have to pee every 3 minutes.

Seriously. I mean, I pee more than a puppy when I’m not pregnant. Pregnant, I pee more than I thought was humanly possible. I can’t take a walk that’s longer than 20 minutes, because, no way. And now my dog is getting fat. Even when I walk on the treadmill at home, I have to hop off every five minutes. I’m not joking. It’s ridiculous. I took a “fit 4 baby” fitness class…had to pee before, during, and after. In second trimester came the “double pee.” I’d go upstairs, walk down half a flight of stairs, and have to turn back around and go again. And now that I’m almost in third trimester, the triple pee has started. I will, I shit you not, I sweat to fucking whatever, have to pee three times in five minutes. So yeah, that’s another reason why workouts are tough. You either have to pee, or are stopping to pee. Jumping Jacks? Not gonna happen. I peed twice while trying to write this paragraph.

I could go on about all the other things I’ve learned, but there’s an entire universe of mommy bloggers for that shit. I’ll just keep it to the workout clothes and fitness stuff.

Here are some of my pregnant WorkOutFits: And yes, I had pink hair for a bit. It was leftover from Halloween.

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Athleta breathe top and maternity Chaturanga leggings.  23 weeks.

 

 

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Lululemon Run Times Tank, Old Navy Yoga pants, 25 weeks

 

 

 

 

 

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. 😦 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.