*This post contains talk of fitness/exercise*
I’ve been meaning to have a little natter on here about exercise and fitness for some time now but I have sometimes felt that talking about anything exercise or fitness related can seem pretty daunting in the world of plus size.
Many of us whom engage in the plus size community would prefer that our haven is kept free of any talk that may relate to the promotion of ‘diet culture’ which I am completely, 100% on board with. Lets be fair what’s more boring than hearing someone bang on about how many minutes they’ve done on a treadmill to be able to justify eating a burger? JUST EAT THE GOD DAMN BURGER! However I also feel that we are the key in being the ones to start positive conversations about our experiences with fitness and exercise within our community in order to empower others. I mean who’s best to talk to other plus size babes about getting a sweat on in the gym and being able to find cute, fat girl gym wear than a fellow plus size babe who does exactly that?
Until around 18 months ago I had honestly never stepped foot in an actual gym. I had done a few classes like Aquafit and Zumba (and still do them) but I was terrified at the thought of going and getting on the equipment in a room full of people who in my head were all going to be pointing, looking at and judging the fatty in the room, but boy was I wrong! Probably 75% of the time yes, I am the largest person in that room but no one cares. I go in, I do my thing and I come out feeling good. I’m pretty sure that’s all that anyone else in there is bothered about too and couldn’t care less about the size 24 girl strutting her way through Rihanna’s ‘Work’ on the running machine (that’s my current gym jam!).
I now try and attend my gym around three times a week whether that be all sessions in the gym, a mix of classes and the gym or a session in the swimming pool. I currently do a lot of cardio when I’m working out, my hour in the gym will usually comprise of the treadmill, elliptical (which kills me) and stationary bike which all require me to wear comfortable clothing which can withstand the high impact (especially in the breasticle area!).
When I first started really getting involved in gym finding decent plus size activewear was quite scarce so I would regularly just demote old t-shirts and cheap leggings to my gym bag. Over time though my old cheap leggings started getting holes in the thighs from all the chub rub friction and would leave me chaffed to f*ck and my tee’s would end up getting smaller and smaller from all the daily washing, drying and wearing, so the time came to invest in some proper pieces.
These pieces keep me cool when I am sweating my ass off (but don’t show off my giant sweat patches) but also keep me warm when my body temperature starts dropping (which happens quickly after a work out). I’m not sure what wizardry is instilled in these items for that to happen, however I can say that it definitely helps get you through. The Lola Getts Active empire waist top is my favourite of all of my gym wear. It has like a secondary bust lining in it which fits securely under my boobies keeping the top in place. This helps stop it from riding up and exposing me whilst working out and the drawstring around the bottom of the top helps to conceal ‘VBO’ if you’re a bit conscious of it like I am (whoever designed the Lola Getts pieces definitely gets the plus size figure). Although you can’t see it in these pictures, underneath my gym top I wear kind of like a zip-up sports vest which is a bit like a sports bra but instead is worn over the top of any of your everyday bras and keeps your boobs firmly in place even during high impact work outs, I’ve even worn mine underneath my swimming costume for Aquafit and it’s worked a treat. I’ve had mine for quite some time so I can’t find the link for it online anymore, however it is very similar to this Marika one.
I’ve also been hugely impressed with the Marika leggings as they are so buttery soft to touch and so comfortable to work out in. I’m wearing the size 24/26 in these leggings but I could definitely have sized down twice as the cut of them is quite generous.
In addition to good comfortable gym pieces to keep me going whilst exercising I am a sucker for a Fitbit. I know most of you are sick to death of hearing about them and how many steps your mate has done but mine really keeps me motivated. Even though I’m a bit of a technophobe I really love gadgets so my Fitbit Charge HR is great for giving me those visual rewards on how I’ve worked. I really enjoy seeing all the stats from the heart rate monitor to my sleep patterns! If you’re a bit of a gym newbie like me it’s a really handy little tool to encourage you to do that little bit extra and to see the impact it has on your gym time and your overall fitness levels.
If you’re a newbie to the gym, just thinking about going or are a veteran, remember that everyone’s reasons for getting involved in fitness and exercise are different, they aren’t and don’t have to be all about ‘losing weight’. Everybody deserves to feel good (and look good even in the gym) at whatever size and if exercise does that for you enjoy it! (Similarly you may have zero interest in getting involved in fitness/exercise and that’s OK too! No one should feel pressured to do something that they don’t want to).
I hope to have more conversations on here in the future about fitness/exercise and well being but I’d be interested to know your thoughts too, so please drop me any comments you have!