Thursday, April 10, 2003
posted by Julie |
When I agonized about stepping foot in a gym, or even outside to walk in my neighborhood, one of my biggest concerns was deciding what to wear. So many problems plagued me.
*My thighs rubbed together, so shorts were out, because they'd ride up by every fourth step. Besides, no one ever needed to see my thighs.
*My breasts needed to be strapped down, but sports bras cut such deep paths through my back and shoulder fat, that the bulges looked terrible under a T-shirt. And they were awfully hard for me to get into.
*I simply never wore anything sleeveless. No way.
*I could not bear to have my waist, bottom, arms, or thighs revealed.
*I got hot and then overheated very quickly with even minimal exercise.
I would give anything to be a less self-conscious person, to have been less concerned with what anyone else thought of my body. I really tried to work on that, to develop a better attitude/outlook/feeling about it, but I never succeeded, and the way I felt left me finding more and more excuses to avoid exercise.
This is why swimming became my number one exercise choice when I was at my heaviest. I could slip very quickly under water to do my early morning laps, without drawing any attention to myself. There's no jiggling, no heat exhaustion, no one looking when you're under water in a morning pool of adult lap swimmers.
But eventually, I wanted something different, and became more brave about land exercise. Here are my own solutions for workout dressing, from the bottom up. Guys, there are possibilities for you here, too, believe it or not:
*Black leggings. Cheap ones, because I wore them out at the thighs very quickly. Thick and opaque enough that I could go without underwear to avoid elastic chafing. I used knee-length ones in the summer, and long ones in the winter. Well, I still do. Never shiney, I buy the black cotton/lycra blends. Matte black absorbs light, and is the most flattering workout fabric if you have any unwanted bulges. Speedo makes excellent leggings, though not cheap, if thigh-wear isn't a problem for you. Bicycle-short lengths never work for me, because the extra skin on my thighs is too soft. The edges cut into them unattractively. I need to go to the knee. I liked to expose my calves, because like most heavy people, I had really well developed legs (advantage!), and my calves always looked great.
*Black unitards. Better than leggings for Yoga, Pilates, any mat or floor work, because these will support you all over, covering your tummy if your t-shirt slides over your head during downward-facing dog pose.
*Zip-front sports bra PLUS cotton-lycra camisole/bra. The combination battens down the boobs and smoothes the back-fat bulges. It's a lot to wear under a t-shirt, but the cami will absorb sweat quickly and help to cool you off.
*American Football Jerseys. I am not a sports nut, but these super-cool jerseys come in huge sizes, are really long, and BREATHE. And above all, above all, above ALL, they don't cling to anything, anywhere. Inevitably people at the gym mistaked me for someone who would know what the football scores were, though, and I always disappointed them. Long enough to cover all the way down to mid-thigh. A link to shop online below, but you can probably find them cheaper at a local mall.
*Lightweight Anorak. A wind layer for cool morning walks. I wore a really large men's-sized anorak. It covered everything completely, without clinging. Perfect spring and fall walking cover.
I find now that I'm at goal weight, I still pretty much wear all of these things, though I have many more options. I'm just a creature of habit, I suppose. And I like having a clothing system I can grab easily before my brain really starts to work in the morning.
Don't let uncomfortable clothing stop you from moving, my dears. Get dressed, and get on with it.
Lycra Tights, lots of sizes
Speedo Capri Legging
Zip-front Sports Bra
Scroll down for plus-size unitards
American Football Jerseys, shop by team
What I'd love to have the belly and the budget to wear, but just never will