Daggy Gym Gear Wins Every Time

People who see me exercise generally know that I can be a real dag when getting sweaty. For yoga I’ve got the stalwart faded and stretched mandala leggings I thrifted for $4, a cheap cotton tank, and if I’m lucky, my 6-year old Lululemon jacket that I have literally worn about 1000 times (not exaggerating). When it comes to cycling, the standards are…well…defiantly off-base and not what the cool kids are wearing these days. Sure, I’ve got the cycling knicks (because who wants sore bottom bits?), but there’s no geometric-patterned neon jersey, and my sturdy sneakers replace clip-ins. I’ve got a daggy, non-aero helmet, I am definitely not #sockdoping and I wear my regular sunnies. Shame, right?

…I am definitely not #sockdoping and I wear my regular sunnies. Shame, right?

Well, not really. And it’s not because I wouldn’t love a beautiful women’s specific cycling jersey – I am just yet to find one that doesn’t look like it was designed using clip art. I understand all the benefits and practicalities of wearing proper cycling shoes. I swear I’m not being stubborn, it’s just that I don’t CARE enough to let it stop me from doing what I love and enjoy that keeps me mentally and physically healthy. I’m a bit of a believer that rules are meant to be broken (or at least tested).

There’s studies on how wearing active wear all the time can help you feel more confident and want to exercise more – our clothes have a symbolic meaning that effects our behaviour. The theory is that wearing your butt-lifting gym gear down to the shops can influence how you see yourself, and the identity others give you, which has a cyclical effect that may encourage you to actually get to the gym. Yes, I get all that, I get colour theory, and how we are affected psychologically by our type of clothing (it’s called enclothed cognition), but I have to say I’m not buying it (or those new Fabletics yoga pants, unless someone wants to get them for my birthday). Don’t kid yourself that’s all you need. At least not completely.

Wearing your butt-lifting gym gear down to the shops can influence how you see yourself, and the identity others give you, which has a cyclical effect that may encourage you to actually get to the gym. But don’t kid yourself that’s all you need. 

The thing is, a lot of the gear we wear when exercising, apart from being practical, says more to others about who we are. It’s a construction, an ideal representation of what we want people to see and believe about us, which can in turn influence how we feel about ourselves. And sure, if I had a beautiful new kit, I might feel like I’m part of the cycling culture because I’m wearing the common ‘uniform’, but when it comes down to it, that feeling can be cultivated regardless of what we wear.

And that cultivation, that motivation comes from the inner, not the outer – it’s a chosen mindset that you decide yourself, not something that others ‘give’ you. You don’t need a new pair of yoga leggings to convince you of anything about your yoga practice. I don’t have to have clip-in shoes to cycle up Norton Summit. You don’t even need shoes to go for a walk. The point is, you can do it despite those things, regardless of whether you want, ‘need’ or have them and definitely despite what others may think. Let motivation come from within – to commit to health, enjoy nature, and be with friends. To do it. That’s something a pair of leggings can’t always offer.

So go out there, be your daggiest, flarey-est, most or least kitted up self and remember the clothes don’t make the lady.

 

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A Quick Recovery: Easy DIY Chair Upholstery

A while back, my Mum gifted us a nifty extendable dining suite which fits perfectly in our small maisonette home. Now we can spread out on a proper table at dinner time, instead of stuffing ourselves around the coffee table in front of Seinfeld every night.

Along with new furniture came some new habits.

Slowly we are becoming a more ‘civilised’ family where we talk to each other about our days over a meal around a proper dining table. With the TV off, Adam and I debrief in bite-sized chunks while Tahlee fills me us on the latest at school.

Like our upcycled table, the day is extendable now we spend time focusing on each other. I still love Seinfeld, just not every single night.

The chairs were originally in my Mum’s old B&B, so the upholstery was in need of an update more suited to our urban home. My mother-in-law nabbed some fabric on sale and I got started on a really quick and simple reupholstering.

Reupholstering, or re-covering furniture is an economical and environmentally friendly way of updating your home’s style as it’s not drawing on the earth’s resources to produce something new. Sometimes we don’t need new furniture, we just need new ideas on how to spice up what we’ve got, or what we’ve found. Thrift stores are the perfect place to hunt out quirky chairs that you can upholster yourself.

To re-cover chairs at home you just need four simple tools:

– staple gun (from a department or hardware store)
– staple remover
– fabric scissors (or just sharp scissors!)
– pliers for stubborn staples

Use the staple remover and pliers to unpick the original cover. Once the original fabric is off, lay it flat to create a pattern for your new covers.

Using the original cover as a template, cut out your new fabric.

Place the seat ‘bum-side-down’ onto the back of your new fabric. Fold one side over, and staple.

Fold the opposite side over, and pull it tight so your fabric isn’t loose when you sit on it. Staple away!

Folding the corners can be tricky – cut excess fabric away around the corners to create flat edges. Commence re-stapling! Repeat folding and stapling your fabric over the edges of the seat frame. I found using my feet extra handy!

Check out my step-by-step video below for a quick and simple guide on how to cover your own chairs at home.

Have you tried recovering chairs or furniture at home?

And what upcyling DIY projects have you had success with?

Happy covering!

Is There Life Without A Car?

What is it like living without a car?
Why would you forgo the convenience of a car? What are the benefits?

Tahlee and I take you on a little day trip and tell you exactly how it is as a family living without a car, and show you some of the ways we get around.

The great thing is that there are so many options for alternate transport in Australia – especially in its major cities. Our roads are becoming more cycle-friendly each year and the options and facilities of public transport continue to offer a cheap and convenient alternative.

And if you’ve wondered what carshare is and how it works, come for a drive with us and we’ll tell you all about it.