TEE: Shabby Apple
I’ve told you before but it never hurts to say it again, I LOVE exercise apparel. It gets me excited to hit the gym and is my excuse to wear obnoxious prints for leggings 😉 After months of owning various pieces by Cozy Orange, I still stand by my statement that it is the best-fitting gear I have owned. The thick band on the leggings creates a smooth, seamless look on your stomach and the material breaths very well. These leggings are long enough on me to pull onto my ankle for yoga or I can bunch them up with tennis shoes. I also love the little details like the criss-cross back.
I’m two days away from setting sail for the Bahamas, y’all. TWO DAYS! I’m ready to be a Bahama mama sippin’ on a piña colada. Of course I’ll take tons of pictures to share with you!
P.S.: Use code “tayloriscozy” for 15% off your own adorable new spring apparel! Ya can’t beat it!
There is very little in this life that excites me as much as new exercise gear. It sounds kind of (a lot) sad when I admit it, but what encourages you to hit the gym more than an adorable new pair of crops? Hopefully I’m not alone here when I say nothing.
When you workout in a cute fitted tank and matching bottoms, versus an old tee and shorts, you just feel better. Being more confident helps you zone out of what other’s might think about you and go for it. With all of that said, I truly think that part of beginning your health journey is investing in some great exercise apparel.
Maybe I’m overthinking simple exercise apparel (I overthink a lot, oops), but my new pieces from Cozy Orange have instantly become favorites. They combine great design with even better fit. I’m extremely picky about crops. If they feel too much like cotton or fall down at all while I’m wearing them, well I don’t wear them anymore. This pair not only stays in place while taming my tummy, but the fabric also prevents trapping sweat in. As for the sports bra, the back speaks for itself. I’m in love.
I’ve linked some of my favorite items on the Cozy Orange website right now below. I could just post it all because I love every single darling piece. Make sure you check it all out and Cozy is so generous that they gave me a discount code just for LTM readers! Use code “taylorlovescozy” for 15% off your ENTIRE purchase now through February 8! Happy shopping! 🙂
I’m a runner. Some days I’ll sprint until I can’t breathe and others I’ll casually run 6 miles without realizing that an hour has passed. I love the way it causes me to zone out of my hectic life. Running releases so many emotions for me and is the perfect, healthy way for me to maintain balance. The solid legs and thin physique it brings do not hurt, either.
It hasn’t always been that way for me though. As an undergrad in college I had a roommate on the triathlon team at U.G.A. I’ll never forget the day I decided I would go on a “short” run with her. She took me on a 3 mile trail and by the time I caught on, I would have had to run even further if I turned back. The only way was forward. I was so mad at her as I huffed and puffed my way to the end. Secretly, though, I was so proud of myself for making it that far. I always wanted to run, you see. Unfortunately, I didn’t think I would ever be able to get into great enough shape to enjoy it.
With the new year underway, I have made several jokes to my friends about the very intelligent retail stores placing workout gear at the entryway. So many people get excited and set goals to “get in shape” and “trim down” at the beginning of every year. However, when they don’t see the results they want as fast as they want, they quit.
This time last year I was the heaviest I have ever been. I was also the most insecure I have ever been. I was one of those prior-mentioned New Year’s resolution people. I would work out for a few weeks and quit after the scale didn’t reflect the number I wanted to see. However, after a ton of research and planning, I set out a plan for myself in January of 2014 and stuck with it. That makes a year of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for myself and I am so PROUD. Aside from losing about 12 pounds, I am in the best shape that I have ever been in. I don’t think about weight like I used to and I am not a prisoner of my food.
We’ve all been there (at least those who have seriously tried to lose weight). I downloaded the “My Fitness Pal” app as part of my new-found fitness journey. Tracking my calories was the best and the worst thing I ever did for myself. At first it was great. I finally broke my Chick-fil-A addiction (I swear it’s a real thing) and began eating breakfast (so important to get your metabolism going early in the day). On the other hand, after a few months of tracking my food I realized the number on the scale was dropping. I became obsessed. I cut out every last empty calorie in my diet. I started drinking my coffee black, cut out bread (which was whole wheat in the first place) altogether, and stayed home if I was invited to a restaurant that I knew didn’t really have healthy options (as in less than a few hundred calories). I tried a paleo diet that ended with me passing out in my bedroom while I was home alone. It became a serious problem. My boyfriend was concerned and we had several arguments when he tried to help me realize that losing weight is all I talked about. I followed every fitness Instagram under the sun and the happiness I had felt about my results was gone as quickly as it came.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
That ever-famous Pinterest quote could not ring more true than it did in my life. After summer came and went, I slowly started to realize that the only way I could keep up was if I allowed myself a “cheat day” every once in a while and let go of my image obsession. I unfollowed the fitness Instagram accounts (they are GREAT for motivation, just don’t get carried away) and allowed one day a week to splurge on calories. Although I do tend to “cheat” a tad bit more now, I also do a lot more cardio than I ever have. Something I couldn’t do without CARBS and energy. You can’t cut out what makes our bodies function, but you know that.
So now that I’ve given you a little bit of my story, I wanted to share with you what worked for me. Here are 10 helpful tips that I live by.
- Set realistic goals for yourself. Be honest, if you are 145 lbs and your goal weight is 125 lbs, that doesn’t happen in two months. Give yourself a healthy amount of time to reach that desired weight. If you are too hard on yourself you will become discouraged and might not have the motivation to continue.
- Stay off of the scale. One huge thing I learned is that it takes quite some time for the number on the scale to change. Often times if you begin working out harder than you ever have, you are burning fat and forming muscle. Lean muscle weighs more than fat and the scale might even jump up a bit. Stay off. If you must weigh yourself, the rule I followed was no more than once a month. It is quite satisfying to jump on after a month of hard work and see the results as plain as day.
- DIET, DIET, DIET. It is SO true that diet is 80% of losing weight and exercise is only 20%. If you burn 500 calories at the gym and then run home to binge eat those calories back, you’ve done nothing. Throughout the past year I have definitely had weeks where I’m too busy to get to the gym. I maintained a healthy meal plan and saw no change in my weight. It is essential to explore the healthy foods you enjoy (if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick to it) and consume those foods.
- Make a badass playlist to exercise to. Embarrassing secret about me: my workout playlist is entitled “tw3rk$.” Not even joking. It gets better, though. Songs on this playlist include (but are not limited to): “Work B**ch,” Cockiness (Love It), and even “Buttons” by The Pussycat Dolls. I love songs with ridiculous lyrics and fast beats. Sometimes when someone jumps on the treadmill beside me I’ll casually look over after a few minutes to make sure they aren’t jamming out with me.
- Take advantage of your smart phone. There’s an app for everything these days. I’ve already mentioned that “My Fitness Pal” is great for tracking caloric intake. My go-to exercise app is “Nike+ Running.” I love that it tells me exactly how far I have run and at what pace. If I set a goal of two miles, I can have the narrator congratulate me at every milestone. It’s great. (Have you caught on yet that I don’t function without goals?) It also tracks your route so that you can take it again if you would like.
- Stretch. Stretching is essential. We spend a majority of our day in the same posture. If you do not stretch, your muscles are continuously overused and fatigued, making them short and tight. The result is that we decrease circulation, decrease flexibility, increase the risk of tendonitis, and increase aches and pain.
- Take a picha for the camera phone. Pictures don’t lie and documenting your journey will remind you of how far you have come. Take a picture the one time a month that you weigh yourself. Don’t dwell on it, but be proud of it. As you get down, don’t hesitate to take a quick peak and keep pursuing your goals.
- Find a support buddy. When I finally decided to get serious about my health, I was lucky enough that my best friend is fitness-obsessed. She has always been there to advise me on healthy new foods and fun exercises to try. I would text her after a killer spin class and she always replied with a “I’m proud of you” or “Get it girl!” We built off of each other and it is so nice to have the constant encouragement.
- Reward yourself. As I mentioned, there was a long period of time when I NEVER “cheated” and looking back, over-exhausted myself in the gym. Make sure that you maintain a balance and continue to do things you enjoy. An ice cream cone with your girlfriends isn’t going to simultaneously put those 20 lbs back on. Be smart about it but don’t deprive yourself of life.
- Love the beautiful person you are. Last but most definitely not least, never stop loving yourself. Look in the mirror and find the things you admire about you. Build yourself up and find things to be excited about. You are who you are and you never have a reason to feel bad about that.
This time of year is simply the best! I ventured downtown for a bit today to see all of the Christmas decorations. There’s a gigantic tree in the middle of it all so I had to stop right there and snap some pics! How festive.
I’m now planning on cozying up in my pjs with some hot chocolate for the rest of the night. The TV has been stuck on ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas since the movie marathon began. Have I mentioned that I LOVE Christmas?!
This outfit was definitely a bargain. I wear black almost daily so I have to get creative with making my clothes more versatile. This simple fit & flare dress from Forever 21 was only $20 and it’s so easy to dress up! I also found the gold clutch for $17 at TJ Maxx..I’m most definitely a Maxxinista.
Favorite thing ever: these gorgeous Sam & Libby pumps that I found at Target! They’ll never stop outdoing themselves.
Be on the lookout for a fun contest coming your way next week! I can’t wait to share the details.