"No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up."
This one quote always seems to be lingering in the back of my mind. Every time I'm feeling uninspired or lazy, it pops up to remind me to pull myself together. I've learned it's applicable to just about every aspect of my life. It's what motivates me to put on nice clothes and do my hair each week day even though I work in a wonderfully casual office. It's what keeps me from wearing leggings and sneakers for a night out with my friends. And it's a major kick in the pants when I'm headed to the gym.
I used to wear the sorority girl uniform to the gym: Nike shorts and a baggy t-shirt. It was an uninspiring look, and I felt uninspired to be at the gym. Exercising felt like a chore back then, and that outfit was like a shield. Even though I was exercising 5 days a week, I was still insecure about my body, and I wanted to hide my trouble areas (namely my stomach and large boobs) from prying eyes. So that's what I wore. It took me a long time to find some body confidence and stop caring if there was a little extra pudge around the waistband of my leggings.
(I'd like to take a moment to thank yoga for that. There's really no time for insecurity and constant clothing adjustment when you're in the middle of sun salutations. I had to learn to let all of that go. Thanks, yoga!)
Here's the thing though. When you start wearing gym clothes that make you feel like the badass you are, you don't care what anyone else is thinking of your body. Why? Because you're too busy feeling amazing in those leggings and crushing your workout. I don't have any scientific evidence to back this up, only my personal experiences, BUT I know my workouts are more energetic, effective, and fun when I'm wearing something I feel like a total badass in.
It seems like a small thing, I know. However, I'm a big proponent that you perform better when you feel good about your appearance. The gym is a place to work on your health, and thankfully that improves your body's composition, but that doesn't mean you should go in there looking like you've been laying in bed sick for a week. I'm not saying do a full face of makeup (yuck). I'm not saying have your hair styled to the nines. I'm simply saying a good power ensemble can turn a mediocre workout into a killer one.
Plus, if you're wearing gym clothes that look great on you, then you can probably wear them out and about too. Who doesn't want to be able to do that?
For me, that killer outfit consists of a great pair of leggings (typically patterned or with edgy mesh cutouts like these Aloyoga moto leggings) and a fun tank top (Like that "I'll Savasana When I'm Dead" muscle tank). Normally I spring for an all-black or nearly black outfit just because it's my favorite color. But that's just my thing. For you, the most badass outfit could be hot pink.
Moral of the story: don't head to the gym in just anything. Sure, it might not seem like that big of a deal to wear some ratty old t-shirt, but what you wear has a significant impact on how you feel. Crush your gym attire, crush your workout.
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