Do Your Work Out Clothes Matter?

I will never forget when my client said to me “You know you would look better if you wore tighter fitting work out clothes.”

Um – excuse me. What? I can work out just fine in my big baggy pants and old ratty t-shirts. I feel fine. I work out fine. I don’t need nice work out clothes. Inside my head I was really thinking “Mind your own business. Who are you to tell me what to wear when I work out?” Very defensive and closed minded.
I carried on in my crappy clothes for a long time. But my work outs were lack luster, I never felt good in my clothes and it also happened to coincide with the period of my adulthood where I was at my heaviest and most unhappy. Coincidence? Correlation?? No way.
An article also scrolled across my Facebook feed not long after the conversation I had with my client and the point of the entire article was wearing clothes that fit well and excite you will help you have a better work out and feel better about yourself.

I thought to myself – what is happening? Is the whole world dressing up to work out? Do they not realize that you are going to sweat and there is no purpose in wearing nice clothes.

Then I ran a marathon in running shorts. The kind of running shorts where your thighs rub together and cause insane chafing over the course of 26.2 miles and cause you to walk funny for several days and you are unable to shower because even the water burns your rubbed raw thighs. I was basically forced into the world of spandex out of necessity. I could not do another marathon or running event with that as a result.
I started wearing spandex shorts and capris (always black) and ironically I started to feel a little bit better. Could it be that these people were actually on to something? I still held my ground and refused to admit that clothing could make you have an enhanced work out. But I did admit that it could prevent me from chafing and it was purely functional.
Over time my mentality started to shift. Spandex was functional because it helped to prevent chafing, but it also made me more efficient in my work outs because I didn’t have to keep readjusting my clothing and I started enjoying what I was doing. This led me to focusing more on the strength I had in my work outs than how I looked. I also realized that no one was noticing or talking about what I looked like because they were probably more worried about how they looked.
My work outs became more fun, more functional, and I started buying a wider variety of tighter pants/capris and shorts. I wore tighter pants for work, had an arsenal of black spandex for working out and was becoming more and more comfortable with how I looked. When I stopped and became completely honest with myself, I had a case of body dysmorphia going on and was I was hiding behind my big baggy clothes. The tighter the clothes got, the more exposed I felt.
But gradually this exposure became okay. I continued to be brave and wear tighter clothing. I even started to wear prints, patterns, and wild colors instead of focusing only on black. I released the idea of hiding behind my clothes and I stopped worrying about how others might view me. Because all that matters at the deep core of it – is how I feel and how effective my work out was.

Maybe, just maybe, those women had been on to something.

Just like you, I am a constant work in progress. But I no longer worry about what I look like in my clothing, but look forward to wearing my favorite pair of patterned or colored leggings and they give me an extra spunk to go kick ass in my work out.
When I met Bhawna Gupta (virtually – someday we will meet in person) I knew we would get along. She has built a line of Womens athletic wear designed around the concept that we should FEEL GOOD in our clothing, it should LOOK GOOD on us, and BE FUNCTIONAL. All at the same time!! What a concept. She noticed the gap in the market and jumped in with both feet.
Wearing clothing that you like and that looks good on you is one thing, but feeling empowered and confident about your body is entirely another. When you put on your favorite pair of work out pants, do you think “I’m so happy to be supporting a woman and a brand that has a mission to empower women to feel amazing and be confident?”
I could not be more excited to help partner with Bhawna and her company TEMA Athletics. I encourage you to learn more about Bhawna through our podcast interview her website and follow along as she and I partner together for future projects.

TEMA ATHLETICS PHILOSOPHY

OUR CORE PHILOSOPHY IS DEEPLY ROOTED IN PROMOTING WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT, ENCOURAGING BODY POSITIVITY AND FULFILLING OUR COMMITMENT TO CREATING ACTIVEWEAR FOR ALL WOMEN, REGARDLESS OF SHAPE OR SIZE. OUR COMPANY LANGUAGE FREQUENTLY USES THE WORDS “EMPOWERED”, “CONFIDENT” AND “INCLUSIVE”. WE AIM TO SUPPORT EVERY WOMAN, WHEREVER SHE MAY BE, IN HER FITNESS JOURNEY AND BE THERE FOR HER EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.

Lindsey

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