Last week on a day where I intended to go home and relax - shock horror - I ended up going to the gym instead. I was tired and I hadn't been slack at working out that week, but there was one thing drawing me there.
My new leggings.
I'd got a new pair of Sweaty Betty leggings the day before that fitted like a glove. I'd chucked them in my bag with a top in the morning *just incase* those beauties were a big enough a draw to change my lazy night in for one doing circuits in the gym.
And they were, of course they were.
"Does this mean I'm shallow?" I thought to myself. Isn't it bad that the reason I'm in the gym is mainly because I want to wear my new leggings? And by that I mean wearing them, not for anyone else, but just because they made me feel good?
No, it wasn't, and the reason for this is pretty simple.
Firstly, whatever got me there, I was in the gym. I was there. I worked out and did my weekly circuits, sweated like a maniac, then walked out of that place feeling pretty damn good about myself. Not only because I was wearing *the* leggings (that was definitely part of it), but because every single time I finish a workout, my mind feels reenergised and my body is thankful.
Secondly, is it really that bad to admit that the clothes we wear make us feel better about ourselves and perhaps even give us a new-found energy to get up and go out? If we're going to a wedding, we want to buy a new outfit. If we're going out for a celebration or any fancy occasion, we feel better when we're wearing something we feel good in. We just do. And yes, sometimes we might upset our bank accounts buying that outfit, but when it gives us a bit of self-confidence, I think it's worth it.
For me, it's the same for fitness clothes. I buy leggings and crop tops (and even more leggings) because I love them, but also because they get my butt to those dreaded HIIT classes that I dread before I go, yet buzz with excitement after I've been. They get me to the gym on days I just want to go home and lay on my bed. They get me out for a run when it's so cold that I have to wear seven extra layers just so I don't freeze to death. I feel confident and better in myself for wearing them and I also get the added benefit of the endorphins released after working out. And workouts improve my mood and mental health like nothing else can. It's a no brainer.
I'm under no illusion that my progression of heading to the gym sporadically once a week in 2015, to going three or four times a week without question since last year has something to do with my fitness wardrobe. I used to turn up to the gym in a baggy black t-shirt (the type handed out as a freebie that you save for bed) and plain black leggings. The clothes were dull. They made me feel dull. The only purpose they served were being shitty enough to get sweaty, because it didn't matter if they got ruined after being washed 6,898 times.
But when I spent *cough* a lot of *cough* money on leggings that I loved, colours that were bright and bold and clothes that actually fit me properly, I felt better. I wanted to wear them ALL THE TIME. So I did. And then I bought more. And then I started adding fitness gear on to every birthday and Christmas list possible. And there started my love affair with the leggings tab on Sweaty Betty and the endless moments of joy every time I saw there was a sale on.
So now? I think I'd go as far enough as to say I'm probably more excited by my fitness wardrobe than I am my actual, day-to-day wardrobe.
Maybe I am shallow, maybe I have the wrong intentions and maybe I am £50 down because I accidentally on purpose just spent it on some rainbow-coloured leggings. But they take me to the gym - so I'm completely ok with that.