Hey Aimee, you got an end of year top ten list for us? It’s the end of the year. It’s list time. It’s what people do…
Sure, pretend person who asks me questions to prompt blog posts. Of course I can do that for you. Here you go…
PRETTY-SWEATY’S TOP TEN FAVORITE FITNESS THINGS 2015
10. FAVORITE WORKOUT PANTS: Athleta Chaturanga. Yes still. They’ll probably be knocked down a peg when I start really running again in 2016, because I doubt they’d stay up. But until then, the stretchy, never too tight, available in infinite lengths and colors and patterns, INCLUDING a new high waist version, are still my go-to. Because pants that never make me feel fat will never not be my favorites.
9. FAVORITE FITNESS TRACKER: UP2 by Jawbone. Best looking. User-friendly and nicely designed app.
8. FAVORITE PROTEIN BAR: Quest Bars, mother fucker! They taste like magic and are made of sparkles! Plus: fiber.
7. FAVORITE PROTEIN SHAKE: Sun Warrior. Chocolate flavor. It’s vegan, so it’s like you’re drinking a salad. (I tell myself.) Add spinach, psyllium husks, cocoa, a pinch of salt, and a little bit of stevia, and you’re good. It looks green, but it tastes like a Wendy’s frosty. Chocolate + Spinach works.
6. FAVORITE JOG BRA: Under Armour Armour Bra. I have faith that eventually I’ll find the Moving Comfort (honorable mention) bra for me, but it only took one trip to Sports Authority dressing room to find an Under Armor one. They’re color-coded for cup size, and they don’t have too many options, which is makes finding the right one for you quick and easy… If you know what size you are… Which I don’t because it changes every month. (Pregnancy should be considered a 2-3 year process for your body.) They have different impact ratings, but I don’t understand the point of anything that’s not rated for “Hi-Impact” (or why they don’t spell out “high”). Their H-I-G-H impact sports bra is called the Armour Bra. It’s well-engineered. Easy to get on and off (back clasps). And doesn’t cut into your armpit fat. In fact, it has special soft and stretchy bits around the armpits specifically so it doesn’t do that. VERY WELL DONE, UNDER ARMOUR! VERY WELL DONE.
5. FAVORITE WORKOUT: I still stand by a combo of boot camp and barre. Boot camp is basically the OG of HIIT. And any barre program will do. But I really like Suzanne Bowen’s Barre Amped series of DVDs as a lighter alternative to The Dailey Method. #yesiamstilloutofshape
4. FAVORITE FITNESS MAGAZINE: Experience Life. It’s put out by Lifetime Fitness, and it’s a healthy lifestyle magazine. A lot about nutrition, wellness, life balance, etc. It’s a good for when you get burnt out on Shape, Self, Womens’ Fitness, Oxygen, etc. It’s also great if you feel like you’re always swimming upstream while trying to live a healthy lifestyle. This magazine will make you feel like you’re not crazy, and not alone. (This is me: “Wait. People still eat pizza? Who? Who still eats pizza? …Wait. They still sell fat-free shit? People still buy fat-free shit? Where the fuck am I? Has nobody read anything in the last ten years? What is going on in the world???”) Also: you won’t be bombarded with fitness models and celebrities. It’s a safe space.
3. FAVORITE NEW(ISH) FITNESS LABEL: Olympia Sport. Strong, yet beautiful stuff. Goddess wear.
2. PRETTIEST WORKOUT PIECE: ALO Goddess Leggings. Who doesn’t want to look like an off-duty ballerina? Nobody. That’s who. And that’s why these leggings are just so…I don’t know…lovely.
1. FAVORITE GYM: The shittiest gym in town, whatever town I’m in. I like the cheapest, most down and dirty, simplest, nothing but machines, little shit hole of a gym available. I don’t like big gyms. I don’t like “fitness centers.” The bigger it is, the more of “a thing” it is to go there. If the gym has STAIRS and multiple FLOORS? I’m out. I don’t even like studios that offer more than one kind of class. And if people can watch your class while they’re working out? Forget it. I’m not paying to be someone else’s entertainment. I like to stay anonymous. I don’t want everybody all up in my shit. I just want to get in, do my thing, not talk to a single person, not feel intimidated, and get the fuck out. If the walls need painting, and the ceiling is leaking somewhere, that’s a good sign. That means there aren’t too many people paying too much money for too much stuff. I LOVE a shitty little gym.
P.S. Sorry/ Not Sorry for no links or pics in this post. I’m tired, I don’t feel like it, and I’ve got other shit to do. You understand, I’m sure. The beginning of the year kind of blows for everybody, right? Right. TTYL. Love, Aimee.
Yeah, baby! Goddess leggings! Much ballerina. So cutes.
The first time I saw a pair of ALO Yoga’s Goddess Leggings was on the retail rack in the lobby of my local Dailey Method studio… I gasped. So pretty! So new! Such quality! And then I looked at the price tag… I snorted. So expensive! So not something I’m going to buy! And then I saw them on the body of one of my Dailey Method instructors (read: someone who’s paid to be thin and ripped) and …I sighed. So only-made-for-the skinnies! So not for me! Wah wah.
But then, they went on sale this holiday shopping season and I was like, $60? WHAT? I have to give ’em a shot. Maybe every single one of my instincts is wrong! Maybe I can wear them!
They are as nice as they look. The fabric is thick (doesn’t show cellulite), and it holds you in without sausage-ing you, and it wicks and breathes and all of that. The leg warmer part is stretchy and doesn’t itch or get in your way at all. The waist is a little low for me, at least at my current level of fluffiness, but I think the rise is pretty typical for any pant that’s not labeled as high waisted.
And, not for nothing, the packaging was really nice too. Even the tag is printed with a rubbery coating on the paper that makes it feel nice. Details, man. Details.
But the big question: can a pear with thick-ass thighs pull these off? Let’s consult my magic skinny mirror selfies. (This mirror stretches things vertically ala Paula Abdul’s Promise of a New Day video. I use it so I don’t cry.)
From the side? Sure. Maybe. But you can’t deny that there’s a horizontal line running around said thick-ass thigh. Red flag, right there, y’all.
Oh shit. There’s the truth. You can get away with almost anything from the side. You can convince yourself of something from the front. But there’s no lying from the back. That horizontal line stops the eye and makes it bounce around in the ass-u-lar area. If I was wearing all black, the eye would just skim down all the way to the ground. I might think “Fuck. I’ve got some work to do.” But I wouldn’t think “Holy fuck, I’m wearing 30 pounds of extra ass alone. AAAA!” Both are true. But the first thought is only upsetting enough to be motivating. The second thought can make me crumble into a self-hating pile. THIS IS WHY WHAT YOU WEAR MATTERS, PEOPLE. Your workout clothes need to give you confidence and make you feel capable. But the wrong ones can make you think your worst thoughts. Dress for success, not for sadness.
SO. The leggings are great. They’re high quality. And if I don’t look at myself from the back, they kind of make me feel all dancer-y, which motivates me to have even better form when doing barre shit. BUT, I don’t think I’ll be wearing them in public for a while. They’re not the best style for my body type.
Long story short:
ALO Goddess Leggings: if you have below-the-waist thickness, wear them at your own risk. If you have a thigh gap, first of all fuck you. Second of all congratulations. Bitch. And third, yes, you can absolutely wear them and you’re going to look fucking amazing in them. Grrrrr.
So. Girl who talks about workout clothes. Are you working out? What are you doing for fitness these days? Are you trying to lose the baby weight? Like, at all? Because…yeah. You might want to start working on that. You will have to wear pants soon. Winter is coming.
Yeah. I am. For nutrition, I’m doing Whole30. Which is basically: don’t eat anything processed, and no starches, legumes, sugars, fake sugars, booze, or dairy. I do a lot of that already, but the hard part is ditching the Coke Zero, Pinot Noir and Quest Bars, and watching my portions. I basically live on Coke Zero, Pinot Noir, and Quest Bars, so…yeah. It’s going to be something.
And for fitness, I’m doing Bikini Body Mommy. I know. Worst name ever. I cringe at anything “mommy.” BUT, the program is super simple, the workouts are short as hell, they email you a link to your (free) workout every day so it’s duh-proof, and the lady, Briana Christine, is very real. She’s not skinny. She lost 100 lbs a while back, (in fact, if you’ve ever searched for fitspo or before and afters, you’ve probably seen her photo, below) became a trainer, has had kids and a miscarriage, and is just continuing the lifelong, sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller, mission to be fit. So she has expertise, and she’s done it, but at the same time, she’s in a “before” phase of her life and she’s huffing and puffing so I don’t feel intimidated. (I’m doing challenge 4.0.) Kind of a magical combo. I recommend it.
The workouts are very short, though. So I’m trying to get my steps and fit in some barre workouts, too. I stand by barre/ Dailey Method / Barre Amped / Physique 57 etc. as the quickest way to change your shape.
But the point is, I’m on turbo for the next 30 days and I’m not stoked about it because, ew. Effort. Change. Blech. Wish me luck.
So. Free People. They’re part of the Urban Outfitters / Anthropologie / BHLDN world. I used to think it was “overpriced boho festival wear that only looks good on skeletons.” Then when I was pregnant, I found their trapeze tops and duster-length cardigans to be quite useful. I pretty much only wore three things, and all three things were from Free People. So I’m no longer a hater. Of course, I only pay attention to like 5% of what they make. But still. If you’ve got something for me, I’m “for” you.
And now they have a fitness fashion line, so obviously, we’re checking that out immediately:
First thing I notice is this. The Shredded Tee. 1. Because it’s the big trapeze shape I know them for, and 2. Because I can shred my own damn tee shirt. And have. Also, a shirt that shredded is immediately going to get caught in your cardio machine, but whatever. Style points.
These Turnout Leggings seem to be their iconic item. Pretty in the ballet-type colors. How those laces stay in place when you move…? I dunno.
BTW, I love the New Balances in this shot. They have some great new colorways this season. So, props to Free People’s buyer for snapping up some good ones. More on those later.
If you can workout in this, you can also kiss my ass.
And this? The “Be More” Knotted Tee? Tee hee. All I see is “Be more…skinny! Be more! But take up less space.” Shut up, $48 tee shirt that can’t be worn without baring abs. Go away now. Buh Bye.
$28 tiny fanny pack. Hilarious.
And this is the best.
I shit you not, they’re selling this as a $16 HAIR TIE HOLDER. Sorry, Hair Tie Travel Pod. Yes. When wrists, pockets, and pretty much anything that holds anything doesn’t work anymore, HAIR TIE TRAVEL POD to the rescue. You know what the problem with hair ties is? They take up no space and you can carry them everywhere without carrying anything. Terrible! Finally. Free People brings you a way to make something that is so small, light, and wearable that it’s practically not an actual physical thing, take up space and have to be placed IN a THING that you have to place in another thing. I fucking love those ballsy assholes over there. Hoo! Always good for a laugh. They make my day.
Until my post-baby boobs return to pre-baby size, my wardrobe is highly useless to me. Seriously. Everything is cut for a different body. Boobs throw EVERYTHING off. Bless your heart if you want em, but I sure as hell don’t. All of my crewneck drapey sweaters? Nope. Any sweater that’s not a cardigan, actually? Nope. Any T-shirt at all? Nope. They’re all crop tops now. I live in tanks and cardigans, just like when I was pregnant. So until those jerks go back to normal, I have to work with the few things that DO work. Stupid mom boobs. Here are some things I’m loving:
- Racerback Tunics because A. Tunics, duh. and B. Big arm holes are about the only skin-baring feature that I can do right now. And C. you can layer fun sports bras with them. Cute + Coverage. Boom. Done. The grey one with the neon strip on the back is from Old Navy Active. (yes, they have some cool stuff. Maybe like one cool thing I can use per season. But still. that’s not nothing. And it costs next to nothing.) The pink one is Soffee, which is at Sports Authority and also cheap as hell.
- My Madewell black heart sweatshirt. It’s kind of somewhere between a sweatshirt and a sweater. So it falls instead of billows like a terry sweatshirt would. Simple, but with an uncommon twist. And the giant graphic camouflages like a boss. I like it with long leggings. (Long is key because short = more gym-ish and not OK for public.) If I were a skinny minnie, it would rule with boyfriend jeans and obnoxious pointy toed heels or something. But on me, that combo would look like Grimace in drag. In this pic I was just schlubbing around the house, but i think with a black boot and a long nicer t-shirt peeking out the bottom? Or maybe a white button-down shirt tied around the waist with my Ash high tops. I just really like the idea of a greyscale, almost goth twist on athleisure. That could be a good fall go-to. You know. Until I can actually wear pants again. Sigh. Fucking pants.
HAIR TIP! HAIR TIP! HAIR TIP! YAY!
Want loose waves? You need to know how to use a hair wand properly. Turns out I didn’t know how to use one properly and I have been rocking unnecessarily tight curls for years due to my ignorance. Derp. Here’s the tiny tip I didn’t know. (And also, my first video. Hi! )
Yes. Of course I know there’s a Derek Lam / Athleta collab. Of course I do!!!!
And I was super excited because I buy tons of Athleta. SUPER EXCITED I SAY!!!
Until I saw it.
Here, you can judge for yourself: http://athleta.gap.com/browse/category.do?cid=1038258&mlink=46650,10188358,HP_DL_Main_9_9&clink=10188358
But I think it’s a little basic and boring. And it sometimes makes the model look like a court jester or a character on Star Trek or someone from a really old Old Navy shoot. Not simple and chic. Sigh. These here are the pieces I do like (below). But you’ve been able to find leather joggers (If you wanted to) for a few years now, so…*yawn*. Maybe they’ll do it again and the next collection will be better. Sorry Derek Lam. Love you. But not this. 😦
This is the good….
And this is the bad and the ugly…I mean, I get that the color blocking on the tanks is meant to follow that of a sports bra, and that’s good and flattering, and I get that the vertical stripe is there so it’s not just a baby doll color blocking situation. But something about it just falls really frat boy from the 80s-flat. I wish I didn’t feel that way. It’s much better on the tighter tops.(see below).
And I’m not sure how I feel about these. The location of the bust line feels fresher on these… And the cut is good ….
But still, grey and white are kind of the two worst colors to use for active wear because white will show your nip-nips and grey shows sweat in less than one second. Hey, Athleta! I know things! Maybe we should do a collab… 🙂
…or lack thereof, if we’re being honest here.
Here are my IG posts of workoutfits/ workout days from today back to when I was 36 month preggo. IG = @iamaimeeschewe Starting with today’s pic.
I haven’t posted a ton of pics because 1. I haven’t been working out a ton and 2. I don’t fit into much. I basically have three pairs of leggings that I rotate and two big baggy black tunics. That’s what’s comfortable and flowy and makes me the least sad when I look in the mirror. Your body changes a lot when you’re pregnant, and then again after you have a baby (and are breast feeding), and then again as time goes on, and then again when you stop breast feeding. (I hope.)
During pregnancy my waist got thicker before the baby bump showed up. And my boobs got bigger and hurt like hell. I am a pear / T-Rex (little in the middle but she got much back) with a medium-small upper body, so this was not fun for me. Me no likey big booby. And I gained some cushioning all around. But it wasn’t too incredibly grotesque. Not as freakish as it could have been. I think the baby just took up organ space before growing out toward the world. Sure fucking felt like it. But not as bad as it could have been. I mean. I was still pregnant. It was gross and weird and a total alien parasite situation. But it could have been worse. So I’m thankful for that.
I walked a fair bit, but couldn’t do much more. I had no energy and bouncing was NOT an option. I stopped running pretty early on. It just felt like my organs were going to fall out. So…nope! I guess I didn’t do enough pelvic floor work before and during pregnancy. (be warned!)
Afterward, I wore a belly wrap corset thing and a hip minimizer (highly recommend, more on those later). And after six weeks I started walking again. And I’ve done some barre workouts, but I’ve been taking it very slowly and gradually because I’m still in pelvic floor rehab. (Long story. I’ll write a thing on that soon. I’m not “injured” any more than anyone else who’s ever carried a baby, but it’s important to rehab those muscles first so you don’t pee your pants your whole life. Other countries know this. America apparently doesn’t. Probably not a coincidence that my Physical Therapists are from New Zealand and India. )
Anyway, I’m just trying to give you an idea of what happens to your shape after pregnancy, even without workout out or watching what you eat too much. (me.) My waist is getting smaller on its own/ returning back to a more “me” shape. What isn’t changing is the boobs and upper body weight. Like the fat arms and armpits and upper back and whatnot. That’s still disorienting because it’s not my natural body shape and all of my clothes fit differently/ don’t fit because of the damn boobs. Everything is a crop top all of a sudden. It’s ridiculous. But that should change soon enough, when I stop with the breast feeding. I look forward to that.
I also don’t want you to think that not working out for 6 months is normal. (Or that I just said “Fuck it, I’m a mom!” I didn’t.) You can totally work out. And I could have gotten to this point quicker if I had been more religious about doing my physical therapy. But I wasn’t. (I will be now, though. Promise. I’m sick of this.) So it’s taking a long time to get to the point where I can do all the fun high impact/ plank/ quick movement/ boot camp/ real exercise stuff again. And to be able to wear my ninety seven different pairs of black workout pants.
Also, I should note that I’m finally realizing how much of this shit it is out of my control. Hormones tell your body to store fat because it’s going to use it or baby stuff and baby feeding stuff. Hormones tell your body you don’t need some of that anymore. Hormones tell you to lay the fuck down because your body needs all the energy for other functions you don’t even know are happening. I never went totally nuts food-wise or workout-wise while pregnant or after. I’ve just been normal, up and down, sometimes a total pig, sometimes not -me. Watching my waist get thicker and thinner despite my intake and output has taken some pressure off and given me a little faith in my body actually maybe deciding it wants to be smaller one day and it all happening pretty naturally. Maybe. I mean. That would be cool, right? Is that how normal people think and live? Huh. Must be nice.
But I’m for sure going to get more serious about my PT and keep on working in more working out.
And at least for a little while longer I’ll still be in tunics and leggings town. Hope you like purple tie dye and Punky Brewster…