Don’t Be Afraid To Be The Big Girl At The Gym

As I sat on the mat, Lycra-ed legs, sports bra-wrapped boobs, I looked around and immediately noticed it: I’m the only overweight person here.

It’s funny how you can work yourself up for a great workout class, and immediately become deflated the moment you step in the room.

The culprit? Yourself. That inner voice that says, “they’re judging you.” The one that says you don’t belong.

It’s hard for most people to make themselves go to the gym. We all have things we need to do — laundry, grocery shopping, playing with our kids — or things we’d rather do — happy hour with friends, a movie with our S.O.

As a heavier person, that fear of the gym has always been in the back of the mind. Well, it’s in the back of my mind now, because after years of going to the gym, pretty consistently, I might add, I’ve gotten over it. A little. I’ve gotten over worrying about the public seeing my sweaty, red face. I’ve gotten over entering a new class where I don’t know the moves and I may look like a fool. I’ve learned to block out the other people and just do what I need to do.

Thanks to friends like Tanya Sylvan and instructors like Kelly Creel, I can learn to focus on myself for a little bit each week.

Thanks to friends like Tanya Sylvan and instructors like Kelly Creel, I’m learning to focus on myself for a little bit each week and push out negative voices.

But it’s still there. I still feel self-conscious at times. I still notice if I’m the only fat girl in the room. I still have to fight the urge to sequester myself in the “women’s only” area, where I won’t have to worry about bros checking out my thick thighs or lumpy belly. I have to build up the courage to attend classes where I know the people are more fit, thinner and stronger than I am.

I’ve written about this before because I wholeheartedly believe that there are very few people who notice me at the gym. I believe most people are more into their own workouts, or checking themselves out in the mirror, to care about me and my huffing and puffing.

And I’ve been blessed to work out at studios, or in classes and with people who could give a fuck that I’m overweight. They’re proud of me for being there, for getting my sweat on, and working to improve my health.

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And that’s why you can’t be afraid to be the fat girl at the gym. There are more people out there than you realize who are rooting for you, even silently cheering you on as you plod away on the treadmill or elliptical. There are people who understand that the gym isn’t just for skinny minnies, flaunting their biceps and abs. It’s also for people who are at the beginning of their fitness journeys, or even well into their efforts, but who are still working at it, day after day.

Plenty of people understand and will be encouraging and welcoming to you, no matter your size.

It’s your inner voice that you have to change. It’s your inner voice that you have to fight and say: “Shut the fuck up. I belong here just as much as anyone else. I deserve to work on my fitness, to become a healthier person. I will fall, and I will get back up again, but I will be here, at this gym, just like everyone else.”

Every time you are at the gym and you look around to find that you’re the heaviest person in the class, take a deep breath. Remind yourself of the weights you just lifted. Remind yourself of the hour-long dance routine you’re about to do. Congratulate yourself for getting off the couch and into your workout gear and running or walking or doing whatever you’re choosing to do to improve your fitness.

Don’t listen to those negative thoughts. Replace them with high-fives.

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Posted in Acceptance, Body Image, Confidence, Fitness, Health, Workouts | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Need A Beauty Makeover

I have to confess: I’ve been slackin’ when it comes to my hair, makeup and other beauty routines.


Earlier this year, as my wedding approached, I was on it. I carefully washed my face every night, moisturized, used eye cream. I kept appointments for regular haircuts and highlights. I even used those Crest whitening strips to help brighten my smile.

But sometime this fall, all of that went to pot. I’m not sure if I’ve been busier, or the cool weather makes me want to snuggle in bed too long each morning, or I’m simply lazier! And then my blow dryer broke around Thanksgiving, and I finally replaced it just this weekend. Yup. Two weeks later. It just seems that I’ve … let myself go.

So I need to take a little more time for myself each day, because that’s really what it comes down to. It’s not that I feel like I have to style my hair or wear eye makeup or keep my eyebrows teased. I actually want to. When I am more groomed, I just feel better about myself. It’s how I feel about a great outfit — I just walk a little taller when I want to show off a great look.


Here’s how I plan to get back on track, beauty-wise:

1. Tweeze ‘em, cut ‘em, color ‘em.
Ugh. Hair. It is such an ongoing battle for women to tame any unwanted hair, while also controlling the rest of it with pretty styles and color. I absolutely hate tweezing my eyebrows, so I often let them get a little too unruly. I’m not a huge fan of waxing; a beauty editor at a magazine once told me that pulling on the skin when waxing can cause your skin to droop overtime … which would be terrible above your eyes! So I recently started doing threading, and it’s pretty affordable! I go to Lush Threading Hair & Spa in Hoover near the Galleria, and to get your eyebrows done, it’s only $8.

I also need to maintain my hairstyle a little better, because right now my highlights are growing out and it looks pretty tragic. I plan to gradually get rid of my highlights, so I no longer have that expense to worry about. But in the meantime, I need to visit my stylist at Morgan Ashley Salon out on Hwy. 119 for a trim and plan how I can get these highlights to go away subtly.

2. Minimal daily makeup.
I know myself: I’ll never put on a full-face of makeup every day before work. It just won’t happen. What I can do is use my favorite Mac Studio Fix foundation powder, a little blush, mascara and lipstick. That’s enough to keep me looking polished and a little more “done” than just rolling out of bed!

I really need a new lipstick, though, and I’m debating about this shade. What do you think?

Revlon Color Burst Matte Balm in Sultry / via Ulta

Revlon Color Burst Matte Balm in Sultry / via Ulta

3. Wash up!
While I may have been slacking a bit on my beauty routine, I’ve always been clean! Don’t worry, I’m not rolling around looking like Pigpen.



But I do crawl into bed some nights without washing my face, and for someone who’s prone to breakout on her chin once or twice a month, that’s a no-no. I’m going to restart the good habit I established earlier this year of washing and moisturizing every night, including eye cream.

I’m also going to start doing other treatments, such as the whitening strips and exfoliating, on a more regular basis.

Do you find yourself getting lazy with your beauty routine sometimes? What one or two things do you have to do every day, or every week?

Posted in Beauty, Body Image, Confidence, Hair, Makeup | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Visit My Guest Post

I had the privilege to write for a friend’s blog today! Please visit my fellow Birminghamian’s blog, Spiffy Eats & Giggle Water, for a post on why I’m “A Rebel Runner.” This post is one of my favorites that I have written in a long time, and it may give you fuel if you’re just starting or continuing on your journey as a runner.

About to finish the Talladega Half Marathon in  2011!

About to finish the Talladega Half Marathon in 2011!

Thanks to Jessica for letting me guest blog for her!


Posted in Blogging, exercise, Fitness, Health, Running | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Clean Eating Holiday Fruit Dip

Today I have the honor of sharing a guest post with you from Jessica at Spiffy Eats & Giggle Water. She’s been inspiring me to eat cleaner, so today she’s sharing a great recipe with us. Enjoy!

It’s finally the time of year to spend time with loved ones and indulge in festive holiday food and drinks. For me, there is nothing like traveling home for the holidays. The long drive builds up so much anticipation of seeing my brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, and most importantly my nieces and nephews!


As I travel closer to my destination, be it my childhood home or my grandparents’ house, I start to feel warm and fuzzy inside. No matter how cold it is outside, I insist on rolling down the windows and taking in the smells and sounds from my childhood. I have created a recipe that encompasses the flavors of the holidays while remaining full of nutritious ingredients! It incorporates whole fat Greek yogurt loaded with probiotics, nut butter rich in protein, throat soothing honey, cinnamon to prevent high blood pressure, nutmeg and allspice. It is truly a taste of Christmas that you can feel good about!


1/2 Cup Whole Fat Greek Yogurt
1/4 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup Nut Butter (Cashew, Peanut, or Almond)
5 Sprinkles of Cinnamon
1 Sprinkle of Nutmeg
1 Sprinkle of Allspice

Seasonal fruit for dipping

Mix all ingredients together by hand until smooth. Enjoy with your favorite seasonal fruits!

You can try many variations with this dip including, nuts, dried fruit, or other spices. Have fun and make it your own! Share your adaptations in the comments! Would love to talk about your ideas on Spiffy Eats & Giggle Water!

 About Jessica of Spiffy Eats & Giggle Water:

1511051_734209583077_349596979_n-575x765Jessica is passionate about introducing people to fitness, health and clean eating. She is a certified personal trainer and spinning instructor and loves making up clean eating recipes, going on outdoor adventures and digging through piles of “junk” at antique stores. Her goal is to help folks see that clean eating and healthy living are SIMPLE and that anyone can lead an active, happy life! Please visit her at Spiffy Eats & Giggle Water!


Posted in Food, Healthy Eating, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Monday Musings: 5 Things That Are On My Mind

1. I committed the cardinal sin of fashion bloggers yesterday: I wore workout pants, a T-shirt, hoodie and sneakers to Publix, and I had no plans to work out. After running errands all Friday afternoon and before and after the football game Saturday, I had one plan for Sunday: veg. So a grocery store run called for sweats.

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2. I’m a wimp. I woke up to thunder and lightning Saturday morning and, after seeing rain gushing down my street, I decided to skip the Mustache Dache 5k. I’m disappointed because I was 100% ready for it, and it apparently stopped raining when the race started. I should’ve known that would happen! As for the miles, I’ll get them in this week!

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3. I can’t stop listening to this Taylor Swift song. I may need an intervention.

4. We bought new bedroom furniture last week, and we spent time this weekend decorating and setting it up. It’s the coziest space ever, and I’m excited to share it with y’all soon. I am, however, still searching for some special additions, such as picture frames for honeymoon photos of London and Rome and a deer head like this one. Luckily, they’re everywhere right now, but they’re selling fast because of the holidays!

5. Between walking, running, spinning and yoga that I have planned for this week, I’m dying to reward my tootsies with a pedicure, and this is the color I want. But first, the workouts! No reward without the work!

Kiss Me — Or Elf! From the OPI Gwen Stefani Holiday Collection

Kiss Me — Or Elf! From the OPI Gwen Stefani Holiday Collection

How was your weekend? What do you have planned for this week?

Posted in Beauty, Decorating, Fashion, Fitness, Makeup, Running, Walking, Workouts | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

December Workout & Weight-loss Goals

I wrote about my walking and running goals on Sunday when I declared that I would complete #25stellarmiles this month. But I also said that I wanted to add in at least one other type of workout each week, and thanks to some diligent planning, I’m confident I can meet that goal!

Trying to lose weight over the holidays is hard. No matter what we do to prepare ourselves for healthy meals and try to resist the cookies and candies that are all too plentiful this time of year, the temptation is hard to fight.

Recently my friend Javacia asked what our December goals are — her list is 5 feet long! Besides the running/walking and additional workouts, I told her that I hoped to lose 3 pounds.

The truth is: if I maintain at 251 throughout this month, I’ll be happy. But I am going to do all I can to meet that goal, including watching my eating habits and carefully choosing treats every now and then.

Thankfully, those planned workouts should help with this goal, and I have a lot of support because I have several friends who are like-minded and want to get their sweat on this month!

On Monday I attended a yoga class with my friends and coworkers. Thursday I walked with my gal pal Sherri, and today I will attend a barre class at Neighborhood Barre in Lakeview. So already that’s two workouts besides walking/running this week!

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Saturday I am doing the Mustache Dache 5k, and I have plans to walk with a coworker Monday. Tuesday my favorite spinning instructor is back at her old class at Gold’s Gym (yay!), and Wednesday I plan to try a free yoga class at The Westin taught by Kelly of Inspire Fitness.

Clearly, trying different workouts and scheduling ones with friends is helping me to stick to this goal during this busy month. As long as I stay active, I’ll be happy with whatever progress I make!

Do you have any workout or weight-loss goals for December? How do you plan to battle through the temptations of this busy month?

Posted in exercise, Fitness, Weight-loss, Workouts | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Sequins & Lace: 2014 Holiday Party Styles

If you’ve read my blog for a few years, you know that I always do a post about holiday clothes. The way I see it, every woman wants a reason to get dresses up, so take advantage of your office party, neighborhood potluck or New Year’s Eve and let your holiday glitz sparkle!

This Lane Bryant dress is my No. 1 pick this because gold. And sequins. And this shape will be flattering on almost every body type!

This chic jumpsuit is simple and elegant. I would add a pop of color with fun shoes and a little bling with a statement necklace.

Pretty dresses with embellishments and lace are my favorite for a date night and both of these from Modcloth would be fun for NYE. I love the colors — while I’ll never give up my basic black, color adds that extra something that makes a dress that much more memorable.

For an edgier look, try a pretty cranberry blouse with a leather-like midi skirt. I’d pair this outfit with black booties and gold jewelry.

An office party would be the perfect occasion for a sophisticated tuxedo pant and jacket, like this one from ASOS.

The colorblocking and cut outs on this number make it extra cool — and just a little bit sexy!

For a full-on vamp look, a slim silhouette with a pretty peplum cut will be all-out sexy and ideal for NYE with your honey.

Where do you look for holiday styles? How do you like to pile on the glam this time of year?

Posted in Clothes, Fashion, plus-size, Shopping, Style | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment