Long-ass hoodies.

WHY I GO LONG.

Pregnant or not, I am a pear. And I have a long torso. And I prefer long tops over short. And by “prefer” I mean “can only buy.” Because anything that’s not “long” will hit at my hip bones, and then ride up because the waist band is naturally going to try to find its way to a narrower area, that being my waist. Which means if my jacket is not long, all it’s good for is showing off my muffin top zone. I have a few jackets that I love, but never wear, because I was an idiot and bought pretty things that weren’t the right shape for me. Don’t do that. There’s no point in that. Repeat after me: The shit must fit.

You know I love me some Athleta, but so many of their tops and jackets are short. They’re even short on the models. I always look through the catalog and think “Um. You guys can see that right? Why would I buy something that looks too small on HER?”

But guess what. This winter they’ve got a purposefully long jacket. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO PEARS EVERYWHERE!

They call it the CYA (Cover Your Assets) Strength Hoodie. I have not tried it on but it looks like it’s intended to be their version of the Lululuemon Scuba Hoodie. Which is a somewhat thick terry cloth (sweatshirt material) hoodie. I don’t consider the Scuba to be a perfect long option. I’d call it a medium length. But if you size up enough, maybe. I have a Nice Asana jacket from Lululemon that is legit-long. Long long. It absolutely covers all of your bits. It’s great. But it’s not available anymore. A very good alternative is my very first Lululemon jacket, the Stride. Also great. Stretchy Luon fabric. Fairly long. I’ve used it for workout, for a layer under my puffer, as a cardigan substitute. It’s kind of my favorite item of clothing. It’s my armor. Too bad I’m too baby-fat to wear it right now. 😦

ATHLETA CYA STRENGTH HOODIE $128

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LULULEMON SCUBA II HOODIE $108

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LULULEMON NICE ASANA JACKET – no longer available

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LULULEMON STRIDE JACKET $118

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.07.37 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.06.21 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.07.27 AMAnd I just noticed Nancy Rose featuring some long-ish hoodies on my Instagram feed, so I checked those out for you. You’re welcome. I have not tried any Nancy Rose tops or jackets myself, but I do have a pair of pants, and the fabric is good, so I’d imagine their jackets are good. $170 good? I don’t know. But that’s up to you.

NANCY ROSE FAVORITE HOODIE $148

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NANCY ROSE MOTO JACKET $168

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And finally, a jacket I actually CAN wear right now with my baby-fat ass: The humble Gap Fit Maternity Lightweight All Weather Hoodie. I had one, but had to exchange it for a different size. Yes a bigger one. Shut up. That’s on backorder until January. And they’re just plain sold out online. Which makes me mentioning them kind of useless, but hey, maybe they’ll stock up in January. I thought the fabric and cut were really great for the price. I don’t know why they call it lightweight. It’s not thin at all. It’s the same weight as a medium-weight sweatshirt. I plan to live in it. If it ever gets here.

GAP BODY MATERNITY LIGHTWEIGHT ALL WEATHER HOODIE $54.95

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And pregnant or not, here are my fit tips for long-torso/ pear-shaped long-jacket shopping.

1. Don’t be vain. If you have to size up to get the length, that’s more important. Sure, a smaller size might fit better on the waist, but it doesn’t matter if the stupid thing is going to ride up. And if you feel like you’re between sizes, or need the top from this one and the bottom from that one, let it go. It’s really worth it to wait to find the right fit. You will wear the shit out of it for years and years. I’ve had my Lululemon Stride jacket for like 5 years and it’s still my favorite and it’s still going strong.

2. Wider waist bands are better. The wider the waist band (or more accurately, band at the bottom that will be on your butt) the less likely it is to ride up. Think about it like an Ace Bandage. A skinny one will move up and down because it doesn’t have enough real-estate to pull weight vs. the rest of the jacket, especially when you move. A wider band has some magical height-to-width ratio going on and physics helps it want to stay where it is.

3. Baggy on bottom isn’t necessarily best. You don’t want the bottom to be tight. You don’t want it to be loose. You want it to be snug. If it’s loose, then chances are the whole jacket is too big and you’re going to feel shlumpy in it. Also, you’ll get air up in there, which will make you cold. Also, it will add bulk on the bottom. And the whole point is to look and feel as sleek and streamlined as you can, right?

Right. The whole point of being picky about your workout wear is so it makes you feel good and comfortable and powerful and stoked. Your workout wear should make you feel like you’re wearing your very own superhero suit. If it’s not making you feel like a badass, screw it. It’s not doing it’s job and it’s not good enough for you.

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I’m ready for boot camp now.

 

LEGGINGS OF THE DAY.

Totally don’t need these. Not gonna buy them. But I admire them very much. If you’ve got legs, please buy these and melt all of the faces with your snazzy leggy fun power.

Onzie Track Legging available at WithOutWalls.com (Urban Outfitter’s fitness division).

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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…

 

 

Gym Shirt DIY

Old Navy T-shirts make me sad. Real sad. I bought these V-necks a while back because I thought they’d be a cheaper version of my favorite American Apparel V-neck that doesn’t seem to exist anymore. But no. It’s all about the fit, and these fit as basic and sad as can be. So they deserve to die.

First I hit them with bleach and RIT dye. Then I took my Nike tank, which has a nice loose-ish long-ish fit, and used it as a template, and turned those stupid shirts that made me feel sad into easy to grab no-brainer, I know that will work gym tanks. I mean, why not? Nothing to lose.

I also tank-ified a Nike men’s T-shirt so now I might actually wear it. I just can’t do sleeves when I work out. Why?

1. I feel all constrained and claustrophobic and sweaty.

2.  I have pretty broad shoulders, so tanks help me look more balanced.

3. I’m not going to show my legs (like ever) and I like my arms, so bare arms, covered legs is my gig. Again. Balance.

 

 

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.

 

Evolve Yoga Clothing: Pretend Shopping Spree!

Well. I hate Facebook ads as much as the rest of you, but since I started blogging about fitness wear, they’ve actually started to be pretty useful! Thanks, internet, for delivering brands I never heard of, directly to my eyeballs.

Today I clicked on Kira Grace. Why? Because as I’ve said, I have over 20 pairs of black workout capris. So I’m kind of looking for a little variety. Probably not in color or pattern, because while I love that shit, it probably won’t get worn as much as something black just with a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

Like panels and cut-outs and ruching oh my!

Kira Grace Romance Mesh Ballet Legging

Kira Grace Romance Mesh Ballet Legging

The Kira Grace leggings had a sheer panel that I liked, and that led me to Evolve Yoga Clothing, which is AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME SAUCE. They’re an Oregon-based yoga apparel site and they stock fun fun things. Love love. Here are some things that I would buy right now if I hadn’t just ordered a stay-in-place sporty pretty swimsuit from Title 9 called the Rizzo.

Rizzo Tankini

Rizzo Bottoms Rizzo Tankini

 

So, here you go.

STUFF FROM EVOLVE FITWEAR I WANT TO BUY RIGHT NOW BUT SHOULDN’T BUT MIGHT: 

Onzie X-Back Fitness Bra

Is that Minnie Driver? No. But I like the moxie.

Tonic Peak Cutout Legging

Tonic Peak Cutout Legging

These, I kind of need. They’re cutout without being trashy, you know?

Teeki Clouds Hot Pant-made from plastic bottles
Welcome to fun town!!

Jala Clothing Jessie Legging

Jala Clothing Jessie Legging

Black. Pattern. Cellulite camoflage potential. Yup.

Liquido Cobra Leggings

Liquido Cobra Leggings

COBRA! WHAT??? HOTTTTTT! LOVE IT!

Teeki Balanced Traveler Hot pant

Teeki Balanced Traveler Hot pant

Wowie zowie. Too bold for my big ol’ butt probably, but somebody please buy these happy pants.

Omgirl Nomad Legging

Omgirl Nomad Legging

Aww. That’s nice…

 

LVR Ombre Terry Leggings

LVR Ombre Terry Leggings

These are terry cloth: sweatshirt material. Cozy for colder times.

Spiritual Gangster Sacred Yoga Tank

Spiritual Gangster Sacred Yoga Tank

Sure. Why not.

Jala Clothing Sari Terry Top

Jala Clothing Sari Terry Top

I am actually trying to learn this technique right now. I’m applying it to my not-flattering generic basic workout shirts so I can try to give them a chance before I just donate them for being ugly.

 

 

So there you go. Some super fun stuff I want from Evolve Fitwear. Can we all agree that we can do better than this now? K. Thanks.

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I HATE TECH TEEEEEEEEES.                          Boooo. Sad pants. 😦

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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What is a WorkOutFit?

A WorkOutFit is a LOOK you put together, thoughtfully, to make you feel powerful and confident and energetic as you head into your workout. And every time you check your form in the mirror. It’s The Men’s Warehouse up in there: You’re gonna like the way you look.

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A WorkOutFit is NOT something you just throw on that doesn’t smell too bad.

A WorkOutFit is not a baggy old t-shirt that you should have thrown away years ago, with some soccer shorts or yoga pants. However, it can include a baggy old t-shirt if you give it some diy deconstruction love…

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A WorkOutFit fits well, flatters your figure, supports your body, minimizes jiggle, and covers your bits and blobs. It is not a tech t-shirt and mesh shorts for fuck’s sake. Tech t-shirts somehow look absolutely terrible on everybody.

A WorkOutFit is not a slutty, low-cut, low-rise, jog-bra and boy shorts situation. That is distracting to women (who will glare) and men (who will stare). If you’re serious about working out, dress accordingly.

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A WorkOutFit usually works with layers, for warmth, options, and or to cover/camoflage your/ my wide ass/poofy middle.

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A WorkOutFit isn’t just a top and some bottoms. It works with balance (a tight and a loose, a dark and a bright) and maybe even accessories (sweatbands, watches, activity trackers, hats, headbands) to pull it all together.

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You’ll know you’re wearing a WorkOutFit when you start flexing in the mirror. And posing. And making faces. You’ll know it because you’ll feel it. You’ll feel the absence of “ugh, i’m a big fat floppy blob of gross.” And instead, you’ll feel strong and confident and capable and energized. It’s not about fashion, it’s about changing your mindset. Clothes matter.

Have a great workout! (and WorkOutFit.)

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