February 18 09

I’m slightly embarrassed to tell you about my history with exercising. it looks a little something like this…

ali joins a gym. ali gets all super excited about the gym and actually! goes! ali falls in love with the inner and outer thigh machines. ali even gets brave enough to try a hip-hop class. ali cannot follow the steps. ali goes back to the machines. ali gets the plague or goes on vacation or has too many errands to run and can’t go to the gym. ali stops going to the gym. ali’s membership card sits in her wallet gathering dust. ali decides she doesn’t need the gym because winsor pilates and the 30-day shred are quick! and easy! and she can do them in the comfort of her own home. ali quits the gym.

lather. rinse. repeat. at least thrice.

until now.

i’m totally done playing games with the gym. the women’s gym is about to become my bitch. i’ve realized, over the last couple of months, that while yes, i am THIN and i wear a size 2, i am not healthy. my body is NOT healthy. step 1 was changing my relationship with food. instead of depriving myself of food and living off of rice cakes and coffee and candy and diet coke, i decided to eat good things like vegetables and hummus and quinoa and whole grains and yogurt (seriously, i had to train myself to eat yogurt. i have Miss Whoorl to thank for this….she introduced me to key lime yogurt and grape nuts. YUM!) and fill my body with things that are good for me. i want to be around for the long haul…and with a family history of things like diabetes (on both sides) and high blood pressure and heart attacks…

and now we’re moving on to step 2. Ali VS the gym.

i admit that only one day in, i have already hit some snags in the workout wear department.. when you work out at home, on your bedroom floor, you can wear – or not wear – whatever you like. but, when you work out IN A GYM, WHERE THERE ARE REAL LIVE SCARY, JUDGE-Y PEOPLE, i can no longer get away with my 6-year-old nikes that are falling apart and stained brown from the softball field. i can no longer get away with the sports bra that is at least a couple sizes too big.

so, please. help.

shoes and sports bra.

recommendations?

i must admit, i’ve been scouring shoes on the web…and am so super confused. do i need a running shoe? a cross-training shoe? what sort of shoe is ideal for working out inside of a gym?

oh, and while you’re recommending….good workout music? i may be doing a lot of watching the Young and the Restless while at the gym…since most days i’ll be getting there are exactly 4:30…but there will be times when music is necessary. so, off you go, recommend away. (please to not recommend Womanizer)

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  1. Judge me all you want – nothing better than 90s dance music to work out to. A little Blackbox always get the sweat on.

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    Comment by Teri on February 18, 2009
  2. Hi Ali! Here’s the deal with shoes: if you’re an eliptical person, maybe a little stair master, maybe even a jog on the treadmill every now and then, a cross trainer will work fine. If you have wide feet, try New Balance. If you’re running, say more than 30 minutes or so a few times a week, you might get away with a cross trainer but should consider a running shoe. And for that, spend the time and the money at a Running Room, at least for the first time. The shoes you get might cost a little more and might not be as pretty, but they will evaluate your feet and your stance and you won’t find a better pair of runners. Once you know what shoes work, you can order the same pair online for way cheaper. As for music, Lady Gaga and Rhianna are my current faves at the gym.
    Hope that helps!

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    Comment by joscelyn on February 18, 2009
  3. The best workout music (for me) is the stuff I kinda get chills to when I hear it. It’s sometimes some strange music (grunge, Rob Thomas, etc) but if it works… Or something you know all the words to so you can sing along – in your head, if you’re not as weird as me.

    lorens last blog post..Oh dear Lord, I married a drama whore

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    Comment by loren on February 18, 2009
  4. Oh yeah, and if all else fails, buy your bras slightly too small or double them up. I’ve even gone so far as to wear a real bra under a sports bra (boy, my boobs were perky!)

    lorens last blog post..Oh dear Lord, I married a drama whore

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    Comment by loren on February 18, 2009
  5. RE: shoes–I second joscelyn’s comments-get your butt to the running room! They totally know what they’re doing. They’ll assess your gait, your workout goals etc and will then recommend a shoe. I used to roll my eyes at this, but after having the right shoe I see how important it is!

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    Comment by NEWMOM on February 18, 2009
  6. If it helps with the self-consciousness, I’m as judgey as it gets most of the time, but when I’m at the gym I’m just focused on getting my workout done and going home. Like junior high, no one is watching as much as we fear they are.

    As for shoes, I like both Asics and New Balance a lot. Since I’m not a runner, I buy cross-trainers and have always done fine with those. However, I also recommend trying a runner’s store to buy the shoes at(versus a Target, for example), since they tend to be the best at fitting shoes.

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    Comment by Legallyblondemel on February 18, 2009
  7. The Running Room is great, or any specific store geared to people who work out.

    I got my shoes at the Adidas store in the States and they told me that if I was solely going to be in the gym, a “training” shoe was best. I love them.

    My bra is from lululemon :)

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    Comment by Angella on February 18, 2009
  8. The only place I go for shoes is the Running Room. But then I mostly just run and do weights.
    Depends on your musical taste, of course, but I really like Evanescence, The Killers, Madonna, Kanye West’s Stronger is great too.
    Maybe if you try to set a goal for yourself you’ll be more successful this time around. I found that choosing a race to do made me get out there and get training. If I didn’t I’d have been seriously embarrassed! One does not want to be the last person to cross the finish line…
    Good luck and try to have fun!

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    Comment by Laura on February 18, 2009
  9. Try the Bestform sports bra (I believe available at Walmart), they have underwire and ample coverage for bigger boobs.It’s an awesome sports bra! I haven’t found a better or more affordable bra anywhere-believe me! I agree with the Running Room suggestion for shoes, they really have the best footwear and the most knowledgeable staff.

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    Comment by Amberlea on February 18, 2009
  10. For running I LOVE Mizunos for shoes, heavy duty Jockey sports bras with snaps on the back (SO nice to not get sweaty and then have to pull a gross sports bra over my head, ugh), and Iron Maiden. For cross training and weights I have a pair of Nikes and covet these http://www.fitsugar.com/2489607, use a Champion Sports bra from Wal-Mart (I tend to get less sweaty and don’t mind pulling gross over my head, and they’re cheap), and like to listen to The Scissor Sisters and Aqua. For pilates and yoga classes I go barefoot, wear a bra-tank or a very lightweight jockey sports bra, and listen to chanting ;)

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    Comment by El on February 18, 2009
  11. for work out music… it’s a wee bit on the cheesy side, but the newest addition to my iPod is “Just Stand Up” – it was done for a telethon for cancer, and it’s a song by a bunch of pop stars (Mariah Carey, Beyoncé Knowles, Mary J. Blige, etc. and WAY more)…

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    Comment by jana on February 18, 2009
  12. I have no suggestions since I don’t work out.

    My sports bras are from like 10 years ago when I weighed 20 pounds more.

    I do know that unless you’re running every day, the cross-training shoe is just fine.

    Kristabellas last blog post..Blog Share 2009

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    Comment by Kristabella on February 18, 2009
  13. and by the way… I have the exact same relationship with the gym. gah.

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    Comment by jana on February 18, 2009
  14. I’m sorry I have no specific answers to your queries. However, I’m going to take this opportunity to say I’m concerned that you keep your wallet in a place where it even has the capacity to gather dust. Perhaps while shopping for shoes, bras etc., you might also look into getting some sort of purse or similar.

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    Comment by lisagh on February 18, 2009
  15. What you should do is go to a real shoe store (NOT Sport-Chek in the Promenade) where they kindof know what they’re talking about (Maybe New Balance, or the Running Room, or even Foot Locker) and tell them what you do for exercise, any conditions you’ve got and they’ll give you something good. I have tendonitis in my foot and went to Foot Locker in NY. Instead of choosing the cutest pair, which I generally do and then they suck, I told the guy my problem, didn’t look at colors or price and he gave me a few options. I have the Asics Nimbus with the gel bottoms, and while they’re ugly as sin, they’re the best running shoes I’ve owned.
    And lululemon makes the best bras, but what do I know, I could just as easily get my sports bras from Jacob Jr.

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    Comment by Tali on February 18, 2009
  16. And by the way, I swear nobody’s judging you at the Womens fitness club in the Promenade. They’re all busy adjusting their tichels.

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    Comment by Tali on February 18, 2009
  17. Oh, Womanizer — all the way! ;)

    I wouldn’t worry about the shoes. I’ve taught yoga at that gym, and it was pretty laid back in terms of clothes — then again, no one where’s shoes in yoga. So, I’m no help…. If I teach there again (sub), you better come take my class!!1

    Oh, and OMG Y&R…. So good right now. I’m even googling for spoilers — I can’t take the suspense! Will CHLOE DIE?!?

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    Comment by Haley-O on February 18, 2009
  18. I’ve tried a million sports bras since i need a LOT of support, but my favourite is a nike sports bra and then I get the lulemon shirt with extra support and that works.
    I agree with everyone who says to get shoes at running room. They gave me 3 options and I’ll admit of the 3 I chose the ones that weren’t too ugly. I went in and asked for pink shoes and they said “we don’t work that way.”
    Also, maybe it’s just my gym, but I’ve seen some crazy outfits and hair, and a couple women using fanny packs while they are on the treadmill – so compared to that, you’re style is probably fine.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Laural on February 18, 2009
  19. I bought these shoes when I joined the gym. And they are fabulous! Feels like walking on air! =] http://www.footlocker.com/cata.....%20SEARCH/

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    Comment by Whitney on February 18, 2009
  20. I joined the gym in jan and have only been a handful of times. Everytime I start being serious about it, I get sick! I was sick for two weeks and now my body feels weak. Will start again next week. I go to equinox, it costs too much money (kelly ripa and renee zelw. go to my gym), but since it’s in my office building, I can go on my lunch break. let me know what shoes are good- I may need to get them too!

    Mayas last blog post..Interview with Moi

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    Comment by Maya on February 18, 2009
  21. I don’t know if you have an iphone or an ipod touch, but there is an app that will adjust music to your workout. If you are doing cardio it will pump up the jams! Check it out! The app is called Cardio workout music and it is $1.99

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    Comment by Melissa on February 18, 2009
  22. i don’t know if you can watch dvds at the gym or not, but what i do to stay motivated to work out is i watch 24. each episode is a perfect cardio workout and i’m really strict about not letting myself watch any episodes between workouts. i started with season one, and am in the middle of season two. trust me, it really works!

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    Comment by diana on February 18, 2009
  23. I wear running shoes to the gym, because honestly- I dont feel the difference with cross-trainers or walking shoes. I love Adidas running shoes. And sports bra? I’m partial to Columbia Sportswear ones from Target, although lately they don’t give enough support so I just wear a regular VS bra.

    Not sure what to say on the music- I would’ve recommended Britney! Not Womanizer, but the rest of the album is good to work out to. :)

    EmmaElizabeths last blog post..I need more hours to my day.

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    Comment by EmmaElizabeth on February 18, 2009
  24. for shoes I always go to a local sporting goods place (Sports4, its local to Ottawa). Find a place that really knows shoes and can fit you for the right ones (I have foot issues so I need to have a sales person who understands words like plantar fasciitis and crap like that). Good on you for going to the gym. I quit my gym when I started running and recently I realized that all running and no weight training is just a bad idea. So I am trying to get my ass back into a gym. It is hard, there are only so many freaking hours in a day. I am intrigued by all the 30 Day Shred talk going around the blogosphere though. Is that strength focused? Or is it all cardio?

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    Comment by Chantal on February 18, 2009
  25. ha! Two years ago I bought a gym punch-in card. Basically I paid for twenty visits that never expire. I have used maaaaybe 10 of them. I’m cool. However I’ve started the whole working out at home thing. I’m hoping it sticks this time.

    Katies last blog post..I’m A Hurtin’ Unit

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    Comment by Katie on February 18, 2009
  26. Will promptly email you my running mix!

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    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on February 18, 2009
  27. ha! Two years ago I bought a gym punch-in card. Basically I paid for twenty visits that never expire. I have used maaaaybe 10 of them. I’m cool. However I’ve started the whole working out at home thing. I’m hoping it sticks this time.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Katie on February 18, 2009
  28. Recently, I found myself going back to the gym to get healthy – not that I’m a size 2 mind you *glare*. I don’t care what Judgy McJudgerson thinks about my work-out clothes. They aren’t fancy, my shoes are scuffed and my usual sweatshirt is about 15 years old. But I get up and am working out at 5am, so I don’t care. I don’t think you should either – you’re a size 2, they’re just jealous.

    Anyway – my favorite songs on my gym playlist are “Single Ladies” by Beyonce; “You aint seen nothing yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive (oldie, I know) and “The girl’s attractive” by Diamond Nights. They inspire and motivate me when the going gets tough.

    Best of luck to you!!

    Misagracies last blog post..Comment Luv has arrived!

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    Comment by Misagracie on February 18, 2009
  29. I have no advice, I come begging for will power. I’m slowly ruining the planet of me and the inhabitants don’t seem to care.

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    Comment by Captain Dumbass on February 18, 2009
  30. My self improvement process is slow, as I’m still trying to get into the gym, but it’s gonig to work. I started at an all-women’s gym in April and while my attenddance has eben spotty I keep the membership because I prefer it to any other type of gym.

    I am not working out so guy’s can see how hot I look. I am working out to lose wait and get muscle tones and improve myself. THat and so my husband will buy me clothes.

    I recommend CURVES for a gym, but you look liek you already might have a gym. Good shoes are a must, at least ones that don’t call apart. I tend to go with sweats of some kind and a wireless bra, maybe a tank top. A jacket of some sort if it is cold, I usually don’t go with one though since I come home afterwards.

    That’s my suggestions for zee day.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Maryann on February 18, 2009
  31. My gym also has music of its own soooo…

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    Comment by Maryann on February 18, 2009
  32. I have wonky feet and have tried many different brands of shoes. New Balance has always served me best. I tend to go for a cross-trainer but I couldn’t tell you why.
    As for workout tunes, I’m a big fan of Kanye West (but I’m not a fan of Kanye West, if that makes sense, due to his doucheyness) Justin Timberlake, old school Michael Jackson, Big Wreck (specifically The Pleasure and the Greed album), and my husband’s bass & drum stuff always pumps me up (look him up on itunes – “Fingersmoran” – he’s dreamy)
    This is all theoretical of course, seeing as I don’t actually exercise.

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    Comment by hillary on February 18, 2009
  33. I just by the lululemon tanks that have the bra built in. Easy to do when you are small. Chested. I’m not so lucky to be size 2. Thanks for asking the questions! My mom gave me money to buy runners for my birthday, 6 weeks ago, and I have yet to go shopping! Will do soon. See you at the Running Room!

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    Comment by Heather on February 18, 2009
  34. Slynnro wrote a work out clothes post a while ago. Target bras are great, but not if you have a larger chest. I love Under Armor sports bras. Shoes- I like New Balance (the cute ones). But I’ve found it really doesn’t matter too much.

    Kaleighas last blog post..Workout Wednesdays…

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    Comment by Kaleigha on February 18, 2009
  35. Shoes:
    I agree, get thy keister to the Running Room! They’ll get the best shoe for your individual foot situation.

    Bra:
    Get thee to a professional bra fitter. Seriously. This will help you get the best bra for your boobage.

    Music:
    I may be in an awesome relationship with my pervy husband, but I really get a kick out of working out to dance songs that have a “kick that man’s ass” theme. “I will survive”, “walk away”, etc.

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    Comment by Nenette on February 18, 2009
  36. I have about 10 Champion Sports Bras from Target…they’re only like $15-20 and they hold up #1 my boobs and #2 to being washed constantly…so I’m a fan.

    I am with everyone who said to go to your local running store…they typically have a treadmill they put you on with a videocamera, and they can tell you which shoe is better for your “gait”. Good Luck!

    Christines last blog post..Valentines Surprise…bowchickawowwow edition

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    Comment by Christine on February 18, 2009
  37. OK, how about “Circus”? :)

    I’m thinking I’m this close to having to put down the equivalent of a car payment to find a workout bra. My boobs are still up as I’m stepping down off the workout step. Something needs to give, hopefully before I take some poor soul’s eye.

    (try ff lemon yogurt with a few blueberries tossed in…delicious!)

    differentkindofgirls last blog post..jolly good, england. jolly good, indeed

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    Comment by differentkindofgirl on February 18, 2009
  38. So Lululemon is generally not my thing but the sports bras are the best around. Ridiculous expensive but worth it.

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    Comment by LovingDanger on February 18, 2009
  39. Like Christine I am a big fan of the Champion Powersleek sports bra. It is great for smaller boobs, soft and durable. You barely know it’s there to hold things in place.
    As for shoes I always, always recommend running shoes,even for cross training. Running shoes will give you the needed support and cushioning for every exercise. Good luck!!!

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    Comment by Chris on February 18, 2009
  40. I’m all about Saucony shoes. They last forever!

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    Comment by slynnro on February 18, 2009
  41. I have a couple plain old Nike sportsbras that are inside like a tankini thing. More like a shirt with studry holders, I guess. I like them and they seem to work, then again my boobs aren’t that big. As for shoes, again with the plain old Nikes. I’ve gotta ask, I’m on like day 5 of the 30 day shread, did it do anything for you or did you just not like it?

    Diannas last blog post..What do you think?

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    Comment by Dianna on February 18, 2009
  42. I can’t recommend a sports bra, or shoes (although I have Asics that I like and my physio wife picked out), but you should listen to Saul Williams’ “List of Demands” over and over. You want something that makes you feel like a superhero, or maybe just a ‘roided out linebacker.

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    Comment by Pants Wearer on February 18, 2009
  43. I order my sports bras from Title9.com but I’m not sure if they ship to your foreign land. I like that the bras are broken down by support level and cup size. And even if they don’t ship to Canada, most of the brands aren’t exclusive to them, so you might be able to find them online at other places.

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    Comment by regan on February 18, 2009
  44. I have no boobs to hold up so I’m not help in the bra dept.
    But I do LOVE love LOVE my shoes.
    I wear Saucony Grid Roadsters and also Asics GelKinetics. They’re a bit speny but SO worth it when you feel like you’re wearing clouds on your feet while you workout!!
    I’ll email you links to them.

    Christines last blog post..The Infamous 25

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    Comment by Christine on February 18, 2009
  45. sweatpants i can recommend, exercise-wear? what’s that?

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    Comment by gorillabuns on February 18, 2009
  46. I will only wear Asics…best brand ever!!! My all time favorite song to run to(really for any intense cardio) is Lose Yourself by Eminem, really, try it.

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    Comment by Tara L on February 19, 2009
  47. Seether by Veruca Salt
    Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk
    E-Pro by Beck
    Black Eyed Peas in general

    MAKE THAT GYM YOUR BITCH! :)

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    Comment by Moose on February 19, 2009
  48. Shoes – I’m a devotee of Asics and Nike. And my thought is to always go for the running shoe. For me, running in cross trainers feels like running in rubber boots.

    As far as sports bras go I’m all about the Under Armour. But I’m also not the most well-endowed girl out there.

    I just checked out my gym playlist and realized that a) it has Womanizer on it and b) desperately needs to be updated. I am with Tara on Lose Yourself by Eminem though!

    Juliennes last blog post..Weekend update.

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    Comment by Julienne on February 19, 2009
  49. I love my Nike Pegasus’ sneakers for running.

    I too am looking for recommendations for music to listen to while working out. I was able to steal a couple of ideas from the comments here :)

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    Comment by erin on February 19, 2009
  50. buy an adidas sports bra. best.
    thing.
    ever.
    and you will feel like superhot-athlete-women who are brave/stupid enough to work out only in a sports bra.

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    Comment by brooke on February 20, 2009
  51. oh, and asics tennis shoes. they will last a lot longer than any other brand, and my podiatrist says that almost all doctors recommend them since they are the best for your feet.

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    Comment by brooke on February 20, 2009
  52. I would never have known this if I hadn’t had a $50 gift card as a wedding present, but the best sports bra I have ever owned was actually from Victoria’s Secret. I’m normally a $10 bra girl, but I went over there after striking out at every walmart and target. At the time (pre-preg) I was a C cup and I either was getting squished too flat to breathe – forget about sweat ever breathing out – or I was comfortable only when standing still and miserable when the bra did nothing to stop the bouncing. I went to VS to try on something frou-frou and saw the sports bras, tried them on, and never looked back.
    Also, I don’t wear sweats any more because if they fit my hips, the rise is always too high, and I could just hike them up over my boobs INSTEAD of a bra. I switched to wearing velour track pants all the time. I heart them. My favorites I got at JCPenneys (woohoo sale day… $10 for $35 pants) in the petites section no less, so they actually FIT and don’t make me trip while I exercise. I mean, wouldn’t, if I DID exercise.

    Dellas last blog post..Response to HBM, again

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    Comment by Della on February 20, 2009
  53. I too just started going back to the gym. There’s one that stays open until 11:00 at night – perfect for me since either I go at 5:00 or 8:30 after the kids are in bed.
    RIght now on my iPod I have:
    5 For Fighting
    Maroon 5
    Death Cab for Cutie
    Dashboard Confessional
    Modest Mouse
    The Postal Service

    Its a nice mix.

    Shoes – I need to go shopping myself, there’s a local running store that I plan to go to soon.
    Sports Bra – pretty much anything works for my itsy bitsy titties.

    I pulled up the first time at my new gym, and just sat in my car and sent text’s to my friend telling him how scared I was to go in. I don’t think I made eye contact with a single person the whole time.
    Nex time, tackle a machine or two. Maybe.

    Good luck. Keep us apprised on your progress.

    monstergirlees last blog post..Hot (Pink) Fun in the Summertime

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    Comment by monstergirlee on February 21, 2009
  54. don’t know what your foot is like, but i have a very high arch. best shoe for me after many experiments is the Adidas Supershock. re sportsbras, i love lululemon bras, and they come in fun colours

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    Comment by amreen on March 1, 2009
  55. Next on the list for Jordan, who plays off a handicap in the mid single figures Rory McIlroy, who has been invited to play in the member/guest event at Jordans home club in south Florida next week.

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    Comment by Cheap Christian Louboutin Shoes on May 10, 2013
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