Remember Soffe? In middle school my softball gear was Soffe brand. Fast forward to today and they make cute and affordable workout gear for all types of sports! I’m partnering with them to review a turquoise tank and patterned pants for their “The Strength Is In Us” campaign, as well as share an update on my fitness story.
First, let’s talk fashion. When I got these Soffe pants and tank in the mail, I squealed with delight. The pants are such a fun and flattering pattern, and I love the vibrant turquoise tank. I wore them together as pictured above for a boot camp video and it performed well and allowed me to move around and get my workout on (think suicides, lunges, football sprints). The second look is for yoga, below. The studio I’ve been going to for years is really fashion-forward, I see lots of cute yoga pants. I’m excited to wear this colorful pair for the next class I attend.
Now let’s talk about the reason behind these clothes – the fitness. My last Fitness Story post was almost 4 years ago so I’m due for an update. In addition, last year (2014) I went through a 12 pound weight gain, followed by a 12 pound weight loss (a gain and loss of almost two clothing sizes). My weight has stayed relatively steady for almost a decade, so there were a lot of lessons and insights that came out of that experience, especially my first time embarking on a weight loss plan in my 30’s.
Here are some of my favorite tips and lessons I learned. Please note I am not a fitness expert or a doctor, so please consult a physician before embarking on any weight loss or fitness plan.
1. Question why.
Before I attempted to lose weight, I wanted to define why. Was I responding to some societal standards that encourage us to be as thin as possible? I liked how I looked with some extra curve – almost all of it went to my butt and I dug it. It wasn't about how I looked. My #1 why? To be healthy. I knew I wanted to start working out and eating right because I felt sluggish after months of being sick and not working out. My other motivation? To be able to wear my clothes again! I was only able to fit into about 10% of my clothes, so for financial reasons, and for the ease of not having to re-buy everything, I figured it was at least worth trying to lose weight while I was on the journey to feeling healthy again.
2. Slow and steady.
I’ve always been a “hard” workout person. I like intense workouts like boot camp, long runs and hot power yoga. I was so out of shape though, those options were off the table, so I adopted the opposite approach – slow and steady. I worked out more frequently (4-5 times a week), and stuck to low-impact activities like walking on a treadmill, or doing the elliptical slowly. It felt great and to my surprise it worked like a charm. I don’t know where I got it into my head that intense workouts are the only option, but this experience totally changed my mind as I saw great results from low-impact workouts.
3. Consider keeping track.
I’ve never owned a scale, but I really wanted to monitor results so I found a scale that would tell me fat %, BMI and other stats. I didn’t set specific goals because I didn't know my stats prior to my weight gain, but I looked up some charts to determine healthy stats so I knew what range I wanted to fall in. I picked a day of the week and stuck to weighing myself only once a week - weight fluctuates through the day, but after one week you can see a result. I wrote down the stats each week so that I could see the progress, and it was really encouraging. I don’t think I would’ve had any idea how well it was working unless I had written it down and kept track!
4. Convenience is key.
There’s a commercial that says “the #1 reason you don’t work out is time” and I have to agree. I think joining a gym less than a mile from my house was a huge reason I saw results. It was so close and convenient enough that I went 4-5 times a week (a big change from years of 1-2 workouts a week). I recommend finding something that’s close by and easy to get to, or doing workouts at home.
5. Love your body.
This is a completely unscientific theory, but if you want to lose weight or get in shape I think you’ve got to flood your body with lots of positive thoughts. You can’t be your own anti-body enemy or I swear those fat cells can feel it and they refuse to shrink! When your clothes don’t fit, there is a sense of “shame”, like your body is the problem and not the clothes. That kind of thinking was not going to fly with me. I’m all about throwing my body lots of love, so don’t be shy– wear a swim suit (like I did proudly on our cruise in October), love the skin you’re in, and that love will transform you. Perhaps it’s a bit counterintuitive to love before you see any results, or maybe that’s why it works so well.
6. Buy clothes that fit today.
Shopping is one way to manifest the “love your body” principle. I had to make a few emergency purchases like jeans for NYC and shorts for our cruise, and overall I committed to not buy anything that didn’t fit my body today. I wanted to be willing to accept my body even if I never lost any weight, and not put that much pressure on myself. Besides, you can often get larger sizes tailored smaller if you lose weight.
7. Figure out your time lapse.
I’ve always had this inkling that what I do today, will show up on my body more than a week from now. I did some research, and I found that it totally depends on the individual person – your metabolism, your weight, your genetics. Weighing myself once a week seemed to confirm my theory - the number on the scale almost always seemed to reflect not the previous 7 days effort, but the 7 days before that! It can be discouraging if you don’t know how long it will be before you see results, and it can also trick you into thinking you’re doing great this week when really it was last week you were doing great. So knowing those nuances about my body has made a huge difference. See if you can tap into your own rhythms and learn your body’s schedule.
Have any tips you’d like to share? Please feel free to leave links or comments about your own journey. Soffe’s “The Strength Is In Us” campaign is all about banding together to achieve fitness goals. I hope these tips and my journey will encourage you in your journey, and I’d love to read about yours!
Here’s to an abundance of health and wellness in 2015 for all of us! #TheStrengthIsInUs
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Soffe. All opinions are 100% mine.