Friday, February 1, 2013


You’ve done it. You’ve made the decision to be healthier, to be happier, to be a fucking supermodel. But that’s the easy part. The hard part?

Learning to be okay in spandex.

Or learning to be okay around other people in spandex while you’re flooding sweat from every cellulite dimple you’ve so lovingly earned over the past 27 years.


When I first started going to the gym [I work at a University where I am constantly surrounded by 20 year old size zeros who look amazing and never drop an ounce of sweat] I was really self-conscious. Like I had mentioned before, when I first started this journey I wore a pair of cotton capris that I bought at Wal-Mart and any old cotton shirt I could find that didn’t cling to any spare muffins I was carrying around. There’s nothing wrong with cotton, but it’s really not conducive to keeping sweat away from you. It gets all wet, and clingy then starts yellowing, and well, I sweat like a man. Being self-conscious those first few months, I always made sure that the majority of my butt was covered. I just felt it was far too wide to fit into anything form fitting and be flattering. I really ended up making myself more miserable the first few months at the gym than I should have. Why?

Because I was more concerned with what other people would think of me than what I should have been concerned about.

Getting my sweat on.

The truth is you don’t have to wear tight fitting clothes to the gym to get your sweat on, but it’s one of the perks of feeling like a ‘true workout warrior’[at least for me] when you can slide on a pair of skin-tight capris and think “Damn, now that’s an ass I can bounce a quarter off of.” IMG_0500

And I do. I bounce quarters off of it. Okay, fine, I don’t, but not because I haven’t tried, it’s just really hard throwing quarters at your own ass. And it never fails someone sees you try, and explaining that?  Awk.ward.

You can wear whatever you want to the gym and as long as you are consistent with your efforts, you will see results. 90% of the time I wear capris because of chub rub. The  other 10% I’ll wear shorts, but only on days I know I won’t be running. Like if I’m doing weights. Or in an Oreo eating contest. [What? It could happen.]20121126132358

You see that outfit? I obviously have gotten past my fear of looking like an idiot in the gym.

If at 200 lbs I can get past my fear of jiggling in front of others, I have no doubt you can too. So, here’s me – helping you – work on that. Just go with me on this.

Make a list of everything you love physically about yourself. See what tops that list. Chances are it’s going to be something like your smile or your eyes [you do have really lovely eyes, by the way]. And then when you’re done, make a list of things you want to put on that list. Did you putt perkier butt? Or sexy legs? Or pointy elbows? [What? I don’t know. This is your list.] and then…

Go look at yourself in a mirror and repeat this, “I am a bad ass. Tamara says so. She is awesome. God, she’s so awesome. I wish she was here right now. Sigh. Wait, where was I? I am a bad ass not a fat ass. BAD ASS. I can do this. This is my journey, not anyone else’s and if they have an issue, they can eat my sweaty cotton t-shirt. I will get <insert pointy elbows here>, dammit!”

Once you’re done pumping yourself up in the mirror [you, sexy beast, you] I want you to beeline it to the gym. When you get there, find a spot that’s really great for people-watching [like on the janky looking bicycle in the back corner.] And for the next 15 minutes I want you to count the number of people who you see actually turn around and watch you. Like not peek up for a second when you walk by them, but like turn and watch you.

What’s your number? Is it closer to zero than closer to a 100 [which is what it felt like for me] You know why? It’s because no one cares. No one cares that you have a little extra junk in the trunk in those pants, they are all far too worried about their own problems than to care about yours. That may sound a little harsh, but it’s true.

The only person who can make the change that you want is YOU. Stop making excuses and just push that voice of insecurity down. Push it down as many times as you have too and eventually, it will stop getting up.

And when it does, you’ll pull on your spandex capris, you’ll turn and look at that bounce-tastic ass in the mirror and you’ll say, “Damn, Tam was right. I am a bad ass. Now where the fuck is my quarter?”


Jodi said...

I always use working out (when I actually do work out) as an excuse to go and buy cute workout clothes. I love that Old Navy, Gap and Target have such cute stuff for cheap.

Karenna said...

Well damn. Now I feel like I have to get off the couch and go to the gym. Thanks. :)

MeetTheBrowns said...

Hmmm that is a good booty in those spandex ...jealous! !

Kate said...

It took me a while to feel comfortable enough to go from looser pants to running leggings and what not. Now I don't know what I'd do with them.

And it makes me so glad to know that I'm not the only one that sweats like a man. I mean, seriously, I see these girls running miles, and it looks like they've just been out for a stroll! Grawr. That IS one thing I love about running outside. It's a little more dfficult to compare myself to others. :P

Katie said...

I feel pumped up!

I just bought my first pair of running capris/leggingthingamabobs after you talked about them and I was SO self conscious to wear them outside of my house for the first time at the beginning of the week. Now I just think about how my ass probably looks bootylicious in them (I hope) and just get on with my day. Even though it still feels super weird!

meg m said...

you rock my freaking socks off
I've had a gym membership for a week and have yet to even pick the damn thing up.
I seriously need to stop caring about what everyone else thinks!

Abbey said...

love this. love you. pinned it so I can find it again.

Genna said...

I just read this realizing I tweeted you about this exact same thing! Ahhhh I love them so much already. I haven't used them for actually working out yet, but I wore them around the house while I was cleaning so that kinda counts ;)

Tristan Schlegel said...

Hah! This is the greatest! We're all such bad asses!

Smart Ass Sara said...

I almost bought a tank top work out top. But then I thought, I could take out a person with my arm flaps so maybe I should hold off on that.

Sara said...

Awesome post. When I start my training I am def. going to buy some new running gear, belly flab or not. I need to get over my fear of how I look when I run, or how I look in workout clothes in general. That's my major set back, and I just need to get ova' it. ;-)

Jennifer W said...

I'm just going to comment in hopes of coming across $20.

Just kidding. Good blog, I will definitely come back. Good motivation. And I have yet to get any spandex. . :)