NFL and MLB pro-athlete Deion Sanders once said, “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good.” When my son was younger, my husband would take him shopping for new gear before the start of every sports season. And he’d remind him of this philosophy.
One day, it occurred to me: This saying could also apply to my workouts. Every day, I was dressing in a big, comfy T-shirt, loose shorts and plain-old sneakers. I’d throw my hair up in a pony tail, skip the makeup and head straight to the gym after dropping off the kids at school.
Of course, at the gym, there were always women dressed like me—then there were those wearing “cute,” coordinated outfits. I had a hunch most women secretly wanted to be part of that stylish set.
When I really started to get into my weight training, I decided to go with the philosophy. I was going to look good, feel good and train hard. And I was training hard! Which upped my confidence, and made me not want to hide under baggy, mismatched clothes.
I didn’t jump right into short-shorts and a workout bra. But I started wearing colorful yoga pants and better-fitting tank tops. Stylish and sporty doesn’t have to mean skimpy. You should always feel comfortable in what you’re wearing.
A good place to start is to add splashes of color, rather than wearing just the typical black pants and solid-colored shirts. Coordinated outfits always look great, and you can easily find tops and bottoms already matched at most stores. I also recommend buying a pair of shoes just for workouts—not for yard work! They’ll stay clean and hold their support better.
You can also try different hair accessories, such as headbands or head wraps, hair clips, barrettes and textured ponytail holders or scrunchies. Pulling your ponytail through the back of a stylish baseball hat always looks great, too.
I never apply full makeup when I go to the gym, but I’ve started using a tinted moisturizer. I also use mascara, which helps brighten my eyes, and a little tinted lip gloss or lip balm. Just a little bit of makeup will make you feel better about yourself, and it won’t run or clog your pores when you’re exercising.
You work hard at the gym, and you should be proud of your progress. Don’t hide under baggy clothes! Show off that new shape—you’ll feel better, and it will come through in your workouts.
Southern States Championships top contender Melissa Transou, a figure competitor, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports nutrition needs of female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com.