I am probably one of millions that most likely added getting fit and healthy to the New Year’s resolution plan for 2009.  In my mid thirties, my doctor says that I have to workout more…  and I thought I was doing good these past years.  

It’s hard enough finding the energy to get out of the house and spend the next hour or so sweating it out at the gym, park, lake, beach, or wherever.   You have the kids, your work, your spouse, housework, or the couch calling for your attention.  So when do you have some good quality time to invest in your health and well being?   So if you are going to hit the gym or beach, be it known that EVERYONE is looking at EVERYBODY.  

The gym is a small environment where you’re sharing sweaty benches and cardio machines and stretching in front of other people- and most likely you’ll run into someone you know.  Hips too wide, rear too round?  Arms a bit flabby, or the mommy pouch that could hold groceries if it could.  Starting to feel self conscious yet?   Where do you find the motivation to keep going?  It’s only February and you can’t quit yet.  How can you make it the best out of the situation?

My partial answer to this is to invest in some good gym clothes and a great pair of shoes.  I am a big believer in wearing clothes that make you feel good and not worrying too much about the rules too much.  But at the gym, your attire matters.  It gives you motivation to get up and go.  It will help keep you stay positively focused when your energy may be diminishing.  Plus the right gym clothes will make it  look like you know what your doing.   You wouldn’t play tennis in your jeans nor would you take self defense classes in your bathing suit.  It’s all in the clothes and your workout is no exception.  

You have to spend a little bit of money on a couple of outfits that you can rotate through and wash each week.  Quality is important in gym wear.  Find the materials with some technology built into the fabric and construction of the garment.  It should  keep you dry by whisking away the perspiration and perhaps keep bacteria at bay.  There’s nothing more uncomfortable than a cold sweaty t-shirt when you are crunching away.  

Showing some skin is in. But for us petite women, put that focus on the upper body- the neckline, arms and shoulders.  I advise against wearing shorts if possible.  I know it gets a bit hot during the summer months and even I break down and pull on my shorts when the temperature gets in the 90’s and up.  But most shorts are designed with a bigger/taller body type in mind so when a petite woman puts on the same shorts that are meant to hit at the high thigh, those shorts are now dropping longer and hitting our mid thighs giving us a stocky and shorter appearance, add to this is the line that your shoes create at the ankles, making your appearance even shorter.  But if you must don a pair of shorts, find them as short as as legally possible.  This way, the cut will hopefully sit more flattering on you and thus helping you focus on your more treasured ASSet.  I did find a pair Nike bike style shorts that were almost perfect for petites.  The inseam was a good length, not too long on a petite body.   But the problem was in the rise of the shorts which would have sit nicely on a taller woman’s hips but the waist band nearly came up to my belly button.  

Pick up a couple of dark colored long workout pants.  This will help slim and lengthen the look of your petite body.  Vertical striping will also add to the lengthening effect if you can find some.  I just picked up a pair of gym pants at Bebe Sport which are black with pink veritical stripes along the side.  They came in petite length too!   

One of my favorite memories at the gym was about a woman that I used to see every Saturday afternoon.   She would sit on the recumbant bike in a big grey sweatshirt and baggie grey sweat pants and peddle slowly enjoying her Baskin Robbins ice-cream.  Yeah no kidding.  They actually let her in the gym.  But I found it unfortunate, not for the fact that ice-cream that negated the workout effort, but that she would come every Saturday like this, with her body hidden away under all that fleece and not seeing her muscles contract and release and to be able to admire the strength and energy in her body at work.  I think it’s a beautiful thing to see the physical strength of an athlete- swimmer, runner, climber.  But our bodies are no different.  It’s a matter of investing in yourself.   If you can look the part during your workout, then you can focus on the more important things like  seeing the cut in your biceps when you do that last painful curl.  And before you know it, your arms aren’t just logs on joints and your thighs don’t slap together like they used to when you walk.  Then you can give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back and go reward yourself with a brand new workout outfit.