1/29/18

Black Marled Cardigan + Health & Fitness Motivation

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Last week I talked about letting go of some expectations I set for myself, particularly on the blog front (see it here if you missed it), and today's outfit is a perfect example of that. I wear this black tank and leggings combo as a base for outfits maybe once a week in the winter. I just switch up the outer layer and the shoes if necessary, and suddenly it feels like a new outfit even though the base is exactly the same. I've had to let go of worrying whether people will think my outfits are too repetitive. Yes, having a blog like this invites a certain amount of scrutiny to yourself and your outfit, but I have to figure if someone finds me too repetitive they'll move on quickly and there's no sense in catering to them anyway! So if you haven't noticed or haven't minded my repetition with this formula (e.g. I just posted this same base combo with my leopard scarf in Friday's recap), thanks for hanging in here with me!

Cardigan (c/o) | Black Tank | Black Leggings | Necklace | Taupe OTK Boots (c/o) | Earrings | Hair Extension (Swedish Blonde)
Outfit Details:
Since I just mentioned the base layers, I might as well talk a little about those first. No, I'm not pregnant but I do love using these maternity tanks as a layer because they're a nice thick fabric and long with no ruching on the sides. They used to be Liz Lange tanks, but Target re-branded them. I recently ordered one to compare and they are exactly the same fit, fabric and sizing.

My Express leggings run true to size (check the size chart for best fit) although the length is actually too long for me at 5'4". I find it pretty easy to fold or hide the extra length since I usually wear these with boots, but I wouldn't mind if they made these in different lengths, either! Just Short, Medium and Tall like they do with their jeans would be nice.

This sweater is very nice, warm, thick and comfortable, so it's definitely a winter piece for me. But I love the flattering cut and slight tapering at the waist so it doesn't add bulk. Plus, the functional pockets (see the first pic) are especially handy when I'm wearing leggings that don't have any! I'm wearing a Small in this which is what I typically wear in PattyBoutik items. They generally don't come in XS but their Small runs more like an XS at Express or LOFT.

Also, you may notice the link for the necklace I'm wearing takes you to a two-layer necklace. It is the exact necklace I'm wearing, but I separated mine into two necklaces- one short, one long. I did have to add a few links from an old necklace to this to make the longer one the exact length I wanted, but it was an easy adjustment with a pair of pliers.

Monday Motivation: Health & fitness
On January 1 I kicked off the 2018 edition of my Monday Motivation series and outlined the four key areas I'm focusing on for the year. I promised to go into more detail on each area in subsequent weeks, and now we're on week three. For January I'm following the order I listed in the original post: Time Management (discussed here), Relationships (here), Personal Growth (here), and finally Health & Fitness.

This week we're on the final topic of Health & Fitness. My initial thought when I looked at this week's topic was, "Wait. I don't have any new health and fitness goals. I'm just trying to maintain." But...duh. Maintaining requires just as much diligence as working toward a goal of losing X pounds or reducing body fat percentage, etc. The difference to me is that maintaining is honestly not as rewarding. You're not seeing changes in your body or on the scale or in the number on your pants size. It takes a new mindset to carry on doing the same things over and over without the reward you once had.

This topic has come up in some of the books I've read over the past year, and while it wasn't specifically in regards to fitness goals, it does apply in my experience. Research has shown* that having goals and working towards them makes people happier than the actual achievement of the goal. Shonda Rimes also put it pretty simply in her book the Year of Yes: "Do you know what happens when all your dreams come true? Nothing." (Taken from audiobook so punctuation is my own.)

Last year I worked on getting my Black Belt, and once that was said and done, it was just like Shonda said...nothing. I felt a void in my life. Having that as goal did more to motivate me than actually having the belt. That process and other similar experiences helped me see that I personally need some specific health or fitness goal beyond just "maintain" if I want to stay happy and motivated overall. Even though I'm not a runner, I sometimes wish I enjoyed it because I can completely understand why people enjoy signing up for races and training for them! The measurements of personal progress combined with the social aspect of the racing community are very appealing. This year I have a couple of specific "motivator" fitness goals.  They aren't that exciting and probably won't be what most other people would choose, but they're working for me for now. For example, I'm really trying to improve my back flexibility. I've been working on this for over a year and it is extremely slow-going, but I am making some progress. I could barely get my head off the ground in a bridge when I first started, and now I can straighten my arms, but eventually I'd like to get closer to this. I also take an adult tumbling class, and every skill I've attempted from handstands to front flips should take me the rest of my life to learn, if ever! I doubt that class will be long-term sustainable for my body at my age (there's a reason why gymnasts usually peak in their teens!) but I'm having fun with it anyway for now until I find something that's a better fit for my schedule and interests.

If you've set a goal for yourself (fitness or otherwise), I'd love to hear you how felt afterwards and how you re-motivated yourself or changed your efforts once you achieved your initial goal!

*For reference, research on this was discussed in the following books I've read: The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt (see my review here) and The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky (my review here).

Linking up with:

CONVERSATION

14 comments:

  1. You look stunning darling. This cardigan :-)
    Loved the reading Monday motivation -Health and fitness is such an important topic.

    Love, Esther
    https://lifestyle-tale.com/fitness-routine/

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  2. I didn't notice you wore the same base and this outfit looks totally different to me.
    It's funny we are on that topic today, I was thinking continuously going after different goals actually makes me unhappy because once you reach it, there's nothing but maybe get a new goal. I'm just trying to enjoy the everyday and mostly live in the present. It's funny but when it comes to fitness people ask me what's your goal? I usually respond, workout out 4-6 times a week that's all. To me that's just an excellent habit to have that will keep me healthy, and when you think of it that's a pretty great goal in itself. In Irresistible I love when he talked about fitness devices, because I see coworkers who are in excellent shape killing themselves to get enough points for some fitness software they started to use at work. To the point where they are overdoing it. So yes my new goal is to maintain and remain consistent.

    xo
    Pinksole

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    1. Loved reading your perspective on the pursuit of goals! Like everything in life, so much is just trial and error to figure out what works for you, but I think you are already there on the health/fitness goal front. And yes, Irresistible had some very insightful thoughts on this, especially regarding the fitness devices. I don't know many people who have them in real life actually, so it was interesting to hear how they may have some drawbacks!

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  3. I loved this post! I am a runner and finished my first half marathon last fall. I haven't done any races since then. My mom died in Nov., and I haven't had much motivation. Running does help with my grief. I feel so much better after. I should really sign up for another race. My bff is doing a marathon, but I'm just not sure if I have the time to commit to that kind of training. I also started hot yoga which also helps with my grief. I am the least flexible person so I would really like to become more flexible. Would be awesome if I could do the wheel (aka the back bend you talked about) or even the crow! I also love the spiritual aspect of yoga.

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    1. First, I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom! Grief is quite a process and it's perfectly understandable to not be motivated to do much of anything after the loss of a close loved one. For me I tried to "fake it till you make it." Which didn't exactly work because you don't ever "make it." You just...keep going because you have to. But a lot of things DO help as distractions, and I'm sure any of the things you listed would be good for the soul if you can find the time for them!

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  4. I always love reading your thoughts on goals. I’m thinking maybe that’s what’s missing from my lack of motivation to exercise- maybe I need to set a goal to work to by a certain date! Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. So glad you found this useful, Zeba! And I hope you can find some kind of activity or "deadline" to motivate you!

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  5. Love, love, love this outfit Gina! That cardigan is such a perfect length! And the styling is really nice too. I actually think I prefer bloggers who repeat outfits, so don’t hesitate to show us how you do so. I wear the same pumps and bag over and over again on my blog. No shame in that game!

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    1. Thanks Noelle! One thing I really wanted this year was a smaller collection of more versatile bags, which means a LOT of repeating bags in outfit photos. Hence the reason I swapped out a bag for a coffee cup in this pic! Ha!

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  6. I love seeing versions of the same outfit! I think it's easier to take that inspiration and see how to make it work with items from my own closet. I've been all about leggings and cardigans lately. It makes it so much easier to nurse! I love that cardigan. It's a great length!

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    1. Thanks Laura! I want to do better about rounding up outfits with the same pieces this year. I always say I'm going to do it, then...forget or run out of time!

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  7. I love that necklace! Leggings and cardis are my go to in winter. It's cozy and so easy to just throw on and go!

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

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    1. Thank you Ruth! And I agree! Can't really beat the convenience or comfort!

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