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This one small change can make a world of difference in the way you break a sweat.

This one small change can make a world of difference in the way you break a sweat.

Give a girl the perfect shade of red lipstick and she can conquer the world. I don’t know why but there’s something about it that commands attention. It delivers confidence. It’s risky. It’s bold. And of course, it’s the perfect mix of sultry and sassy. – All things that almost every woman in America knows. I never believed it though. Despite, having to wear red lipstick for every dance recital or performance ever in life, I’ve never understood the lure of red lipstick. In fact, I hated it. I always found it’s bright red hue to be overly loud and obnoxious. Characteristics that I never found in myself.

The notion never stopped me from owning red lipstick though and mixing it with every other lipstick color I owned just so I could tone it down a bit . That is until one faithful  day when I was scheduled to teach a Zumba class I was dreading. I loved Zumba but I’m never quite sure if the participants love me. In fact, this class in particular has been pretty challenging – they hardly ever crack a smile, are very quiet and never answer any of my questions. In fact, it had gotten so bad and mind boggling that I debated quitting.

That faithful Thursday was meant to be one of my last few classes. As I got dressed that day in particular, I searched for my go-to black leggings and favorite black tank top. They were tried and true and super comfortable. So imagine my disappointment when I couldn’t find them. Instead, I put on a bright purple tank top and equally bright leggings. They were a little too flashy  and dressier than what I usually wore to Zumba but they had to do. And since I was already calling attention to myself I figured it was only fitting I went all the way by putting my hair in a chic bun, and adding a pop of color with the  red lipstick I got in my Ipsy bag the previous month.

It was a simple change, but one that made a huge impact. Little did I know that my bright Zumba wardrobe and popping red lips was exactly what I needed to turn up the heat in class that night. I was feeling myself the whole night and my class reaped the benefits. In fact, I think it was the best Zumba class I ever taught. I got a great workout and felt great about myself.  In the minutes following the class I had a natural high I hadn’t felt in there for a while. I was energized, confident, healthy, ecstatic, sore, inspired and excited for the next class. And while I hoped my students felt as great as I did, I couldn’t be too sure since those rare smiles could be deceiving. But alas, several of them came up to me in class to tell me what good time the had and how great they felt.

On my drive home, still reeling in my high from that amazing work out I couldn’t figure out what changed. Other than a one or two new songs, there was nothing out of the ordinary. I used the same routines, drank the same amount of water and used the same music volume. Nothing seemed to logically equate to such a drastic change in the class. As I caught a peek of my reflection in the rearview mirror, it then clicked what was different. It was me and only me. Immediately, leaving class I had an inkling that my change of dress could make a difference but I had no idea that it could be the sole reason class went so well. Dressing well could only take you so far.

To test it out, I dressed to impress again the following day at work and then again to workout. And again, the red lips and impressive threads slated all including myself. That day in particular, I kept looking at myself in the mirror as I did my stretches. I felt so cool, collected and confident that it soon translated into my flexibility work. I walked away that day feeling limber, and adequately stretched out. Most importantly, I walked away fully believing that the way I look was directly related to how I felt about myself which then resulted in better results when exercising.

Call me shallow, but I truly believe that when you look good you feel good. Thanks to my doting mother, it’s a lesson I learned at an extremely young age. Back when I spent a lot of time in the hospital as a 6 year old,  my mother routinely brought me my favorite clothes because she believed that my feeling better and looking good were directly correlated.She was right. Little did I know that premise also applied to workout and exercise routines. In fact, it applied to every day life. I can’t tell me how much better I felt about myself and how much better the day went when I tried to look my best by painting my nails, doing my hair, dressing nicely and even wearing red lipstick.

Call me shallow, but I truly believe that when you look good you feel good. Click To Tweet

And yet, if I had only paid attention I would have noticed it. Some of my most successful workout sessions and memorable moments took place when I was dressed hot enough to make  people sweat so I could sweat.

For example, there was this moment:

zumba green shirt

It was the day I had the biggest turnout in Monday night class. I highly doubt it was a coincidence that I wore my absolute favorite Zumba shirt purchased on the Zumba website. I think the fact that it was in lime green- my mom’s favorite color was another sign the class would be a success.

Or this moment from another Zumba class where I wore my best form fitting leggings.

photo 4-3It was also the same night I managed to go the longest amount of time without needing to stop for a water break. My endurance is improving!

 

But looking great isn’t just limited to Zumba success. It’s given me great moments on the pole as well.

inside hook smiling antiqueIn this photo, I happened to wear my amazing bronze shorts from Discount Dance Supply the same day I nailed the inside leg hang for the very first time!

 

IMG_0514

Then there was also the time I danced my ass off and I made it on the Trenton Freedom Dance time. I think it’s no coincidence that I was wearing my favorite color! And there’s that lime green again!

 

Lastly, was the momentous day I ran my first official 5k.

It was also the fastest I had ever run a 5k. And a day I will never forget as I wore my favorite black pants and purple tank top. You can’t tell, but I also had my hair down in beautiful flowing braids.

In none of these photos am I wearing anything overly expensive. I look my best on a budget.  After all, I am on a quest to pay down my student loans. Nor am I wearing anything one would consider overdressed or “trying to hard.” But I did make an effort. That means refusing to throw on any ratty sweats I could find and actually making an effort to do my hair when preparing to workout and of course putting on a pop of red lipstick. Way too many people have the mentality, that they’re not trying to impress anyone when going for their jog so they don’t even bother attempting to look decent. However, those who think like that are wrong and doing themselves a huge disservice.

When working out, you are trying to impress someone. And no, it’s not the hot guy you run past every morning. With each bead of sweat that drips down your face you are trying to impress yourself. Whether it’s to go harder than your last workout, squat lower than you did yesterday, or keep the energy up longer than you haver had before, your goal is to impress yourself as you whip your mind and body into shape. So why not making it even easier on yourself by looking your best?  Of course, when you think about the asthma you still need to conquer or the weight you still haven’t lost it could seem difficult. But it’s nothing a some nice lipgloss, trendy pants and a cute top can’t solve.

What is your favorite thing to wear when working out? Do you find the way you look affects your workout?

TERRIfic Quip: Don’t dress to work out. Dress to work it.

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Written by Terri

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