What I Wore to the Gym: Plus Size Activewear (Week 2)
I guess this is technically a week four (?) recap, although only the second post of this sort. Unfortunately, I have been fighting with a lot of back pain over the past couple of weeks. Therefore, my gym activity was significantly decreased. If you follow along on my Instagram, you might know that I am listening to my body and taking note of its pain, stress, fatigue, etc. This is especially important since I've neglected doing so for years and it almost cost me my ability to walk.
If this is your first time this kind of post, I must remind you of the following: I workout multiple times per week to build strength, endurance and honestly, a routine. This is absolutely not a weight-loss thing. If you're interested in understanding a bit more about the "why" - please take a look at my YouTube video where I discuss the time I almost became paralyzed and was hospitalized for a spinal cord injury!
OK so first thing's first: After seeing these pictures, I have officially decided to get rid of this top! It is only 1 of 3 activewear shirts I own with a built-in bra and one of those shirts that I can just grab-and-go with when my sports bras are in the laundry! Unfortunately, it no longer supports my tatas and honestly, I hate how it looks on me because of it. Due to its lack of support, I often have to bring a jacket to the gym if I spend any time bending forward, or plan to be on the treadmill. On Monday, I did both of these things. I guess I will have to finally start searching for a replacement!!!! P.S. I am sorry! I definitely forgot that I've already blogged this exact outfit, with the exception of different Nike runners (because I wore it originally 3 weeks ago).
(NOLA Activewear Jacket in-tote below)
I took to Intstagram to share a glimpse of my yoga practice and progress on Tuesday. I am finally able to do a Yoga Squat, after years and years of debilitating pain. I specifically intended on yoga because of some health issues I was having that day. I did not want to overexert myself and I wanted to be kind to my body. Therefore, Tuesday called for comfy, flowy and over-sized fitness gear. This was a lovely break from my go-to tight performance leggings. I am wearing a wide-leg yoga pant from Penningtons (technically called the "relaxed fit"). You can currently find these pants in a solid black here (retail for $46 CDN). I knew I wouldn't be wearing shoes much during this sesh because of the poses yoga requires you to get into. The grip is absolutely everything during a yoga practice, especially in positions such as: downward dog & tree pose.
My favourite part of this outfit though, has to be my shirt. It has a fully sheer (but black) chiffon back to it, which is quite the stiff fabric and was not designed specifically for fitness. It had been sitting in my wardrobe for years, and only pulled it out in 2017. I used to own a couple other tops (from the same place, Torrid) like this, but unfortunately have gotten rid of them over the years. However, it has since become about half size big on me, so it doesn't get stuck to me or rip when I workout in it. It's all about flexibility! It is really difficult to see, but it reads "Always Namaste" and has a sun on it. This is soooo "on brand" for me, you don't even know. You may have followed a bit about my gratitude journey and spiritual shift post-surgery on the blog. If you didn't but are interested in reading, check it out here.
I am trying to diversify my gym shots because even I was getting a bit bored of my pictures!
I had to stop myself mid-week and think about what I wore during my first fitness roundup here. I realized that I had repeated a couple of items earlier on in the week, so I knew I had to switch it up. Otherwise, this wouldn't be a very interesting segment, would it? I was tidying my bedroom (this week was all about the Spring Cleaning for me) and found these old-ish Aerie yoga pants (similar updated style). Aerie have totally stepped up their game in the athletic department since purchasing these way back when (check it out) and now I am obsessing over them all... UH OH. For all my curvies, listen up!!! When I was a younin', Aerie only carried up to an XL (which I am wearing here), but now they even carry up to an XXL - they know how to make a stretchy pant that would probably work on up to a size 24 IMO. Wearing these pants prompted me to take the perfect opportunity to do some yoga. I also worked on my core muscles, since I was already on the ground for the yoga. I took to the bike for a bit after, as I had chosen footwear that wouldn't provide me with much support or security (due to my sensory issues) if I were to walk/run on the treadmill or use the elliptical.
I have been to Cuba twice; as a Canadian citizen, this is a privilege that I am lucky to have. Cuba has some absolutely amazing culture, people, music and beaches! Because it is a Communist country, Cuba is not saturated by shopping centres and stores. Instead, vendors often take to their local communities (and resort communities) to sell their goods. Ironically, this shirt was not purchased in Cuba, because this is obviously an over-commercialized shirt. It is from many moons ago at Forever 21+. I am also a big fan of Addition Elle's "low impact" bras from their brand, NOLA. I am wearing last Fall's style, a reversible Red and Blue & White stripe bra here. Here and here you can shop similar style (in different colours) at Addition Elle. Shoes are Champio - Payless Shoes (not necessarily the cutest pair of shoes, but they are so comfy).
I decided to rock a bit of the Visible Belly Outline (VBO) because I am comfortable and confident in my body!
I went HAM with the weights on Thursday. I brought my own kettlebells (6LBS) to the gym because we still don't have a free-weight setup there. What the heck??? I also took to the pulley weight system to work on my balance, shoulders, chest and triceps/biceps. I also was feeling a bit of extra pep in my step that night, so I jogged on the treadmill for a while, following it up with the stationary bike (as per usual). I left the gym completely drenched on Thursday. I had to make sure I wore these runners, as they are my most supportive ones. This is so necessary for jogging on the treadmill when you have sensation loss in your feet. Support, support, support! They are on their last leg, but I am planning on picking up a new pair of Nikes this weekend!
These pants are in my "Top 3" of workout pants that I currently own, and are my favourite pair that are capris. They are from this past Summer's NOLA collection, again at Addition Elle. They are so comfortable and my bottom half feels basically weightless in these. They stay up very well, but do not have the compressing technology that many activewear bottoms do this day. Perfect for the days when I spend an extended period of time having my stomach squished on the bicycle. This old tank is a very breathable material from Gap. I bought it a couple years ago at a Gap outlet, but rarely wore it because I was self-conscious in it. At the time, I was less comfortable in my body and didn't like to wear anything remotely form-fitting. Now, I like to rock it because it's a great grey neutral!
I'm not sure if I just look silly in the photo below, but I am trying to shakeup my gym poses because they can feel quite repetitive.
I decided to step up my fitness OOTD game by snapping some better quality photographs on this day. Unfortunately, I really can only set up my tripod/camera situation in the daytime when the gym isn't as populated. I feel like it's kind of awkward to stage a bunch of fitness photos in a space where other people might be coming and going as they please. I wouldn't want to disrupt anyone or make them uncomfortable because of my camera. I was lucky that I had the Aerobics room to myself for all of these pictures. Unfortunately, a good chunk of them came out blurry (boo!).
I wrote about this outfit and experience, a little on a recent Instagram post. I worked out in just my bra and a pair of leggings I think for the first time ever? I have taken fitness photographs in bras, but never actually completed a workout, moving around in strange positions with no shirt on in public. It was unbelievably liberating! The gym wasn't especially busy that day, but I did get a couple of strange "looks" from those I was sharing the space with. I basically just ignored the narrow-minded jerks ;) In the Aerobics Room, I did some squats and exercises with medicine balls, went skipping and had some time leftover for stretching! I spent time on the bicycle and elliptical as well. I added in a few stationary weight machines at the end.
My bra is from Torrid and I am obsessed with it (similar here). When I picked it up on clearance last summer, there was only a size 2X left and I usually would take a 3X in a sports bra. Since I was just informed that I wear a G Cup, things felt a bit more "squished" than usual. However, they make my tatas look bloody fantastic (what a dramatic difference in the boob department between Monday & Friday this week). I am wearing my trusty (and fave pair of) active leggings from Svelte Shapewear.
Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day! Workout at your own pace and for your own interest. Don't prescribe to diet or weight-loss culture. This is about health, both physical and emotional! Catch you next Monday for this weeks instalment! XOXO