Fitness and Athleisure: My thoughts (and forget £100 yoga pants... I've got a better solution)

posted on: Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Alright, first things first, and suppose this is a bit of a warning before you get too deep into these pictures: I'm in spandex. Don't worry. This won't be a regular thing. I'm not planning on becoming one of those workout honeys that posts numerous pictures of their pert derriere - mainly because I don't have a pert derriere, much to my disappointment. But, I did want to talk openly about two things that have been bugging me and that I haven't really spoken about before in great length: fitness and athleisure outfits. 

Let's start with fitness. I am not a small girl. In fact, judging by how many southern men have recently commented about how large I am (why they feel the need to say that and end with a rude remark...I'll never understand), I guess you could easily say that I'm getting larger. It's not been my plan in life to increase the amount of space I take up on this planet. I think the world is crowded enough without my arse taking up even more space, if we are being honest here. But, I've never had a problem with being a bit bigger than the average human being. I'm 6'3. You could say I'm used to be larger. Even if I was a size zero, which I most certainly am not, I'd still be classified as large. It's a cross I have to bear (said with tongue firmly in cheek). However, what I do have a problem with is being larger and out of shape. THAT I have a huge problem with. 

I have always thought of myself as being a person that is very active, into keeping in shape and motivated to stay strong for as long as humanly possible. For the past two years, however, I've let that slip, epically (I wrote a piece a while ago about my weight gain and the medical reasons behind it, if you feel inclined to read). 2018, however, has been marked as my year to regain my strength, to reconnect with my feet hitting the pavement and to make way for that great zen like feeling of being active and engaging every muscle in my body to work at its best. I am a woman on a mission, and I will talk a bit more about that mission over the coming months. I promise not to be obnoxious, but I'm keen to learn new things and bring those discoveries to you as often as I can. Again, this is with the idea of getting back in shape, not getting thin. I'll be honest, I've never been "thin" and probably never will be. But I refuse to be a lady who is out of breath when climbing a few flights of stairs. Times for me, they are a changin'. Fitness is now a priority. 

And here's where athleisure comes in. Back in the day, I was a woman who was obsessed with a certain brand that was selling spandex for about £100 a pop. It was ridiculous. But, seems me taking a two year break from the action has allowed the high street to catch up with the athleisure trend, and their goods are now rivalling those of the big athleisure brands of old. This past month, I worked on a project with Marks & Spencer - soon to be featured on their site - and was introduced to their fitness clothing options. You guys, long gone are the days of spending £100 on a pair of leggings. You can outfit yourself from head to toe, including shoes, at M&S, and still have money left to go buy a sandwich. To say I was impressed is an understatement. Not only are the items fun, colourful and trendy, they are also designed perfectly for their purpose - to give you a practical outfit for working out in! I can't tell you how many times I've bought items for exercise, only to find myself in the gym pulling up my leggings or adjusting a shirt that is ill fitting. If you've been there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. 

My selections for the shoot were sporty, practical, frankly fabulous (sorry... have to say it like I see it) and eyeopeners for me on what's possible for outfitting in the exercise arena. And well, I wanted to shout loud and proud about it. Because, maybe, just maybe, you don't already know that Marks & Spencer has a fitness collection that is worth a look. But, here it is, and it's worth a look and a try. 

I'm hoping, in coming clean about all of this, you'll understand that I'm not trying to change anything here other than my ability to outrun a mugger, if need be, and my right to dress ok in the gym without taking out a home loan to do so. "Fitness and Finance", is what this piece should have been titled. Watch this space... there's more to come. But, consider this my declaration of the dawning of a new day....

Here are all the items I'm wearing from Marks & Spencer:

Fashion Foie Gras is an ambassador for Marks & Spencer.