Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you are having a fantastic week so far. I am going to be upfront and let you know that this post is particularly personal to me because I am going to share with you something I haven’t really discussed on the blog yet and something that as a plus size woman I feel very strongly about.
But it also highlights a fantastic new brand that I am thrilled to be working with – Vivacity Sportswear. Vivacity is a lifestyle brand with stylish, easy care, flattering pieces that work to complement a woman on-the-go. I was contacted by them in 2016 as they were working on expanding their line to include the plus size market as they had recognized that we were lacking options and they wanted to help fill that void. Then in June I had the pleasure of meeting with Vivian Sayward, their founder and “Chief Enthusiastic Officer” while I was in New York.
From the moment I walked into the room I felt an instant connection to Vivian. She has such a warm and inviting personality and she was eager to get my opinions on what she had planned. We had a great discussion and I was able to provide valuable input to the design process and most importantly sizing. When I told Vivian that I really wished the line would include a size 26/28 she listened and she DELIVERED. I have the utmost respect for her tenacity and willingness to take my suggestions into consideration.
The other great thing about this company is that the pieces are American made in California and they are committed supporting local businesses by maintaining all Vivacity-related design, development and manufacturing activities in Southern California.
I was asked to test out the Mindy Top which is a short sleeve casual piece made of moss jersey that is easy to care for, has moisture wicking and is super soft. And I mean it is so so soft, I absolutely love the material. Vivacity pieces are made to last with high quality fabrics that are easy to care for and practical for everyday life. They may be a bit of investment but I think that you will see from the quality that they are well worth it. Compared to other athleisure pieces I have tried, I would say the quality is not even comparable.
And the fit is fantastic. I am wearing the plus size XL or 28/30 and I liked that it was long enough to cover my booty and has a rounded hem. It fits well in the shoulders and chest but still allows enough room in the hips. It also doesn’t ride up when you walk or stretch as I tried in the pictures. I hate when I am working out and I am constantly adjusting my shirt.
So here comes the personal part of this post…I was extremely honoured when Vivacity reached out to me because it was for activewear. As a size 26/28 woman who is let’s face it fat (morbidly obese by medical standards), I have always felt left out when it comes to physical activity. I have also felt judged by a society that assumes that I don’t do any physical activity and that I must eat 30,000 calories a day or only fast food because there is no other way that I could be as heavy as I am.
So while I am not perfect and I could sometimes make better lifestyle choices these assumptions that are made about me are not only hurtful but simply not true. I have been side lined by a knee injury that is the result of a bad fall I took for the last year but before that I have always enjoyed some form of physical activity. And I am capable of doing many things.
But something that I realized recently is that I will stop doing activities that I enjoy because weight loss is attached to them. And when I don’t lose the weight that is expected from doing these activities I feel I am judged, I lose motivation and I give up. Coming to this realization has made me quite sad and I am determined to turn things around.
You might me surprised to hear this but I actually quite enjoy working out. I have worked with a trainer at different points in my life and I love how they push me to get out of my comfort zone and go further than I think I can. I also did Orange Theory Fitness classes for a period of six months and absolutely loved the challenge they provided. I also recommend them because they will work around any injuries you have. And probably my favourite activity is swimming.
I strongly feel that there should not be so much focus in the media on physical activity being tied to weight loss. I think that physical activity is important regardless of what size you are or how much you weigh and that we should all do it for our health and not weight. The assumption that someone is not healthy because they are fat is one that infuriates me. I have done more harm to my body being obsessed with being thin and trying extreme weight loss measures than I have from learning to accept myself for who I am and living in the body that I have.
We are all human and in the end putting so many pressures on us at the same time is detrimental to achieving goals. I think if I could just learn to focus on how I feel when I am active and forget the scale that I will be more successful at sticking to something. So in line with my motto for 2017 of #NewYearSameMe, I am going to focus on going back to doing an activity I love and leaving my dusty scale in the closet where it belongs.
I want to encourage each and every one of you to do what is best for you and your body. Don’t worry about what the media, your family or your friends think because you know what is best for you. Because in the end, the motivation you need to achieve whatever goals you have set for yourself is going to come from within yourself.