What Are You Wearing to Gym? and The Real Reason I Don’t Overly Excercise….

In the fast paced world of got-to-do-everything-now” and “got-to-do-everything-right” I have been a slacker… I have been raising my kids full time for the longest time, and dare I say love it… but let’s face I haven’t you been achieving all those lofty goals of se7en hours sleep a night, 2 litres of water, daily journaling, not to mention finding your inner peace and well exercise has flown out the door. Not that I like that. I enjoy being fit – but to be honest it is really hard to get out the door when you are raising eight kids. Not that I am raising them alone, but let’s be honest the other half of the parenting team is at work earning the cash to run our proverbial ship. So I am home alone most of the time with eight kids, that’s the reality. We have finally gotten to an age where everyone is up and able to go a fare distance on a walk… but remember these are little people and there is a lot more stop than go!!! So exercise is really hard to come by. And if I do commit to going out before the father person leaves for work then breakfast is a disaster and at the end of the day – lets redefine suicide hour if the mother person is not home.


Time is not the Factor

So it looks like time is the scary factor that draws me away from good and consistent exercise… but it isn’t. I would happily turn our routine into chaos to get some fitness in, especially as the routine will re-adjust quickly enough. Of course, I have no confidence in this old body of mine… which is crazy really. My body got me through eight pregnancies well, and extended nursing. But still I have no confidence in what my body can or can’t do. I know I can’t do sit-ups, there are no stomach muscles at all – it is not about mind-over-matter, though I always thought it was (!), there is just no connection between my brain and some of my unwilling muscles. It looks like trust could be a problem, I don’t really know what my body can achieve, exercise-wise anymore…


Ability is not the Factor

You all know how awful I am at shopping and years ago I wrote about how hard it was to find a bathing costume to fit my then pregnant body – well I am still wearing the same costume. What can I say, it is hard to find good gear. It doesn’t help that the last time I went swimming at gym there was a mom next to me with her five and six year old boys, (why oh why do they get to be in the ladies change room – I have no idea… frankly if they are old enough to be in school then they are old enough to dress themselves and ought not be in the ladies change room) but when the young lad said, “Mom please don’t make me change next to the fat lady…” well that was the end of my swimming career.


Confidence is not the Factor

But never fear I know I must exercise and while I no longer want to achieve great things and the reality is I will never play tennis at Wimbledon or most likely do a triathlon again (don’t laugh in my head I would love too) the reality is that where do you find the gear. This is what I don’t get… if all the overweight people in the world, and there are lots of them… and I am one of them… and the message is get some exercise, get out there, just do it… Then why is there no gear available to them. This smacks of a similar clothing conspiracy that I wrote about earlier, where folk don’t want to dress their daughters scandalously – but the clothing industry doesn’t provide sweet and fun clothes for young girls (that’s a whole ‘nother story). My point is, eight kids later and years of nursing – my body deserves an award for getting through that and at least a daily dose of exercise – but where do you find the gear?


So right – no swimming and I definitely don’t think I want to do a class at gym – I no longer have stomach muscles to mention and there is always that terrifying mat work… not to mention there is the wobble factor. I need some really fine foundation wear. I took myself off to a large and leading sport store armed with cash… honestly I felt like Julia Roberts on her shopping spree in Pretty Women (not a good feeling). I have the money folks and I would love to shop… but the only gym gear in store would just and I mean only just, fit my twelve year old. Let’s not totally freak out that there is nothing to wear, I took a look at the staff to see what they were wearing… As one does. Normal sized gals in sporty kit, serving in a sport store: Let’s be rational where do they buy their clothes? They don’t shop in their own store, colour me so surprised. In fact they really battle to find gear and if they find something that fits they grab it, wherever they are. So there you go, regular size gals are not shopping in South African sport stores… in fact in their own words: “These clothes are for the athletic girls.”

Hello, so women who are larger than size 12 say, cannot be athletic. Would the clothing industry take a look at the size and shape of the real live women that are taking part in Sport’s events. These women loyally pound the pavement getting in shape and they may not be super athletes, but they are athletic.


Getting back to folk that are larger than regular… I tried to be undaunted, I phoned one of those super-size stores – you know the ones, where even a sock costs more than a down-payment on a house (yikes – clearly exercise is only for the wealthy – that is the message I am getting). I phoned and asked if they have my size (not that I know my exact size, but certainly larger than the regular store size 12) only to hear, “I don’t think they make sturdy underwear in that size.” Hello, let me say it again – I nursed eight kids through toddlerdom, I have a cleavage that I keep well hidden under baggy t-shirts, but definitely there is no chance of me doing a “couch to 5k program” without some really firm support. I am certainly not going blame my body, or myself for a retail indystry that isn’t serving the market it claims to serve. I know what I need, the mystery is just how to get it.


Frankly, my body has done me well through many ups and downs and ins and outs (literally) and I am not about to say – my body is a total failure – just because I can not find the right size or supportive gear. Honestly I don’t want spend a fortune on athletic gear. I have discovered that a leading grocery store that has an associated clothing store does have gym gear in my size – it is marketed as yoga gear… which means as long as I don’t run, jump or chase a child, everything will be fine. Slow movements folk… slow… slower still. So in my year for getting back into some sort of marginal shape… I am sleeping better, I am eating better, I am drinking water… and taking a break and getting a more or less daily amble. But that folks is as energetic as it is going to get… And until I find real gear for real people at real prices… I am stuck in the rut of a daily amble.

15 Replies to “What Are You Wearing to Gym? and The Real Reason I Don’t Overly Excercise….”

  1. Thank you for writing this! I hope someone in the buyers department is taking notice. Why would they need “sturdy underwear” for people under size 12? They don’t need sturdy underwear! The world is backwards honestly! 🙂 xx

  2. I battle with gym clothes too – I don’t want tight fitting stuff but also don’t want baggy t-shirts. So I tend to gravitate to the yoga stuff – it is just more comfortable.

  3. If you have any way of getting someone to bring/mail you some items from the USA you will find a very wide choice if you shop online from there. Try “Target” for the cheaper prices, and if you want any help with this let me know! (ideas for other stores or possible ways to get things to SA from the USA) I am not in the USA but often shop this way!

  4. Hay Tamu, Thank you for asking me about this and inspiring this post… the world is indeed a crazy place!!! When I look at the folk walking alongside us in the “Pink Walk” I have to say there is be a large market for folks in this category looking for gym clothes… You have to wonder why wise marketers are avoiding this group – it just doesn’t make any sense!!! On that note – hope your boot camp is flying by… wishing you all the best!!!

  5. Hay Laura, Yup it appears that yoga clothes it is then, they certainly are designed for comfort. Heaven help me when my kids hand me a skipping rope to skip alongside them though. I guess when they say start slow they mean really slow!!! hope you have a good week!!!

  6. Hay Ann, That is a great idea, just never ever thought of it before. Thanks for this fabulous tip!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  7. I’m so frustrated for you! It is so hard to find the time and motivation to exercise without this hurdle. Prayers for peace and guidance as you continue to try to bless yourself and your family with your exercise. I struggle with exercising because I have never been comfortable and confident doing it. So, I’ll prayfor me too.

  8. I recently had a similar shopping Expidition and came away with much the same experience. While I wanted yoga type comfort they were all too form fitting in the upper legs for me to feel comfortable. If I went large sized then the waist was wrong. I gave up. Bra shopping, I need a super high esteem day to do it. Yes, the fitness clothing or active wear company need to realize there is a giant market with real bodies, baby tummies and breasts. I think we are a good business decision. There are more of us. That is why the sale racks always only have the eensy weeny sizes left. All the real sizes sell out.

  9. Aimee you are so sweet, I wish you all the best on your exercise journey… I have to say I am surprised at how much we have been able to achieve as a family by just adding a couple of ambles to our weekly rhythm. Not exactly raising our heart rates through the roof but I am moving and my little gang of supporters is moving along with me. So that has to be good for something. Thank you so much for your comment, wishing you all the best!!!

  10. Angela, That’s exactly what I need: “A super high esteem day.” Isn’t it so crazy – such a huge market and just not addressed. We are indeed a great business decision!!! Wishing you all the best!!!

  11. I read this the other day and had no time to comment properly then.

    Just… I agree. You’ve seen my size and yet I wear large clothes because I don’t like every bump and lump accentuated 😉 I do think it’s very difficult to get healthy when there’s nothing out there.

    So let’s see. I have lots of very kind American friends who, if you buy and ship to them, would I’m sure get it sent to you. Will you browse those sites mentioned above and see if there’s anything that takes your fancy?

  12. Marcia, You are too kind… I took your advice and just wrote a post “poof” out of my head, after I dropped you off the other night!!! Thanks for all the encouragement, you are really a true friend indeed!!!

  13. Well, that leaves only your normal clothes, I suppose. Nothing wrong with that. Just even more ambling in store for you. Hehe. Show them you don’t need their stupid clothing! It’s hard enough to find normal clothing. Just stick with that! Good luck, Se7en!

  14. Thank goodness for ambles, Anel… they seem to be the only pace I am fairly good at anyway!!! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a good week!!!

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