For breakfast, I had Hodgson’s Mills InstaBake Pancakes, a sliced banana, maple syrup on the side for dipping, and coffee.
Now, onto the good stuff…..
Athleta‘s Lamest Workout Outfit Contest WINNER!
I received 25 very funny, very heartfelt, and VERY "lame" entries. Each of these ladies is so inspiring in her own way, I wanted to share ALL of their stories. Although we only have 1 prize to give away, I think ALL of you are winners! I really wish I could give each of you the prize.
So, here’s a recap of all 25 entries (I had to shorten some of the entries for brevity)! The WINNER of the $200 Athleta Giveway is at the very end…. Future Husband had a very difficult time picking a winner, as all the entries were SO good!
- Jennifer from Tampa, Florida
Jennifer says, "You may think that my workout outfit looks acceptable at first glance…. but what you may not see upon first inspection of my lame workout attire is that my pants are about THREE sizes too big! When I run, I am constantly distracted by pulling them up just trying to keep them on. Why are my shorts so big? Well, about a year and a half ago I decided that I didn’t want to be fat and unhealthy anymore!… I began exercising and eating healthy. Since I began my weight loss venture, I have successfully taken off…FIFTY POUNDS!!!!"
- Erica from Charleston, South Carolina
Erica says, "I teach at the gym and need to look presentable…Josh and I have recently moved and are currently carrying the cost of a mortgage and an apartment (our house is yet to sell), we are short on cash. I have been pretty much been rocking any and every piece of workout gear I own. Some of these items don’t really fit that well or just look totally worn out….I would LOVE to win this contest so I can look more presentable and feel more confident when I teach!"
- Danica from Orange County, California
Danica says, "I am running in shorts that are over 6 years old, from my sophomore year in high school. They are so old the reflective stripes on the side have been washed away. I’m also sporting a men’s small v-neck t-shirt from target. Yes, the ones that come in a bulk package. I recently started racing again, and the night before my race, I realized I could run only in an old t-shirt because that was ALL I had! Sad but true!"
- Alex from Arlington, Virginia
Alex says, "I have had [my running shorts] for a ridiculously long amount of time – my mom has a picture of me in [them] from back when I was about 12 – which predates even my running years. All three have lost their elastic bands, and the waist and leg hems are starting to come undone…. Many of my running socks have holes… In the [second] picture, you can see a close-up of the right arm of my favorite fleece that I wear running when it starts getting cold out. About 2 years ago during a run, I was attacked by a fence (freak accident), which resulted in this lovely tear… "
"I have been running almost daily for about 8 years now, and I’ve had a lot of these clothes for most of that time – the shorts and I go way back to the beginning. They have carried me through two years of track & field, three marathons & the training for them, and countless early morning/late night just-for-me runs. But even I recognize that at some point, enough is enough – and now that they are starting to have that musky odor that doesn’t even go away after washing, I think I may be approaching that point!"
- Victoria from Texas
Victoria says, "I haven’t bought workout clothes ever. In fact, I am still wearing the same sports bra my mother bought me before I even wore real, ‘big girl’ bras. It’s too small AND it’s ripping. In fact, it even hurts my back periodically from being so tight…. When I started to work out a little over a year ago, my gracious mother selflessly offered me her precious workout clothes (aka hand-me-downs). Sometimes hand-me-downs can be okay…unless they’re workout clothes (who wants clothes that have been sweated in by others, even if they have been washed?)…or your mom’s workout clothes…your mom’s old workout clothes…very old workout clothes. Nobody!…"
"I need new workout clothes! These are obviously not functional and are absolutely hideous. I am thankful that my mother has been so generous in lending me her clothes (although I often wonder why she has still kept them for so long), but if I have to go on wearing these, I will eventually become so discouraged that I will never workout again. I’m fighting that feeling, but it’s awfully hard."
"And yes, I’m still stuck in the 80’s. The problem is, I never lived in the 80’s (I was born in 1991)."
- Justine from Houston, Texas
Justine says, "Coming home from the gym or a run stinky is bad enough (I’m usually a hot, sweaty, mess!), but leaving for the gym stinky? That’s another story. As you can see in the picture, I haven’t even left for the gym yet. However, the boyfriend wants nothing to do with me. Why, you ask? Because my gym clothes stink even before I go to the gym! I guess that’s what working out in the same old cotton t-shirts will get you…especially if you’re a heavy sweater like myself!"
"My boyfriend claims that my gym clothes smell even when they’re "clean"…and he’s suggested that I wash them in a separate load from the other clothes so that they don’t smell up all of our clothes! 🙁 As you can see, this makes me quite sad. No farewell kisses before I head out for a run or to the gym. Not unless I get some new workout apparel, that is! Something that’s maybe not made from cotton so that it doesn’t hold in my sweat! I know, this is disgusting…but I am a sweaty girl and apparently I need some dry-fit type workout clothes so that I won’t be so gross, both before and after the gym!"
- Shannon from Boston, Massachusetts
Shannon says, "First glance you’d think I was all set with my running shorts and coolmax top, right? Yes, well… I just moved to Boston this month, and as you can see am ill prepared for a COLD winter full of running 🙁 Fair weather runner, anyone?? This is a pretty lame reason to stop running this winter, but the treadmill is not my best friend (nature? yeah, we’re tight!) and I would be jumping up and down screaming if I was picked to win the athleta prize!! A lot of things have gotten in the way of summer events and would love to have some new goals (aka races) planned for the near future (OUTSIDE)!!"
- Melissa from Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Melissa says, "Honestly, my workout clothes are as lame-o as they come, I’m sorry to say. In Wisconsin, we get the best (worst) of both worlds – hot and humid in the summer and HORRIBLY cold in the winter. I take our dog, Baylee, for walks daily and am embarrassed to do so in my old, old "scrubs" as we call them in my house…. I am wearing a furry hat with ear flaps. It’s true. And yes, my coat doesn’t match my mittens. And yup, those pants are pair I got back when I was a freshman in college – 8 years ago! Why? I barely spend money on clothes and when I do, it’s usually for work clothes because I need to get all dolled up for work every day. My work out clothes and my awful excuse for PJ’s seem to suffer because of it 🙂 When I do spend money on my work out attire, it seems to all go towards shoes! I go through 2-3 pair of work out shoes a year, and at $120 a pop, that adds up! I have to buy special shoes for my horrible, flat, narrow feet."
"I’d LOOOOVE to have some cute, and attractive workout clothes! Even when I go to the gym, I wear an old t-shirt and a pair of shorts that I’ve had since high school…..yes, 8 years ago! It’s sad, I know…..but true!!!"
- Sarah from Waco, Texas
Sarah says, "I got married in July 2007 and (of course) was at my lowest weight ever. By our first anniversary I’d gained 10 pounds! Yikes! Both of my parents are runners, and even though I thought I hated to run, I decided that running would probably be my best bet to losing the weight I wanted and for staying in shape for the long haul. When I first started "running" in July, I could not even run a mile without stopping. Gradually I built up endurance and could run for 20 minutes straight! My hubby & I entered a 5K in August (the Kolache FunRun in West, TX – note the shirt in the picture) and I finished in 30:35."
"I’ve grown to love running!! We ran another 5K this past Sunday and my finishing time was 27:11. The picture that I’ve attached shows my "winter wear" for running. Living in Texas, most of the year is warm, so I’ve been fine in shorts & tank tops. But now the weather actually is getting chillier and I don’t have an cooler weather workout outfits! I know that I need the right workout gear to be motivated to face the cooler temperatures!"
- Rebecca from New York, New York
Rebecca says, "Several summers ago, I rode my bicycle across the continental U.S., from Baltimore, MD to San Francisco, CA, to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Before applying for the trip, I had never even ridden a road bike. When I was accepted, I was both excited and terrified – I would get to meet so many inspiring people and see so much of our country, but the group would ride about 80 miles per day (our longest day was 110 miles!), with rest days only once a week…"
"It took us about four weeks to ride from Baltimore to Estes Park, CO – plenty of time, it would seem, to prepare oneself for scaling the Rockies on a bicycle. But on the morning of July 4th, I gazed up at the mountains before me with nothing short of cold, hard fear. Somehow, from somewhere deep inside me, I found the resolve to tackle Trail Ridge Road, which, with a 20-mile uphill climb, is the highest paved road in the U.S. At the bottom, the sky was sunny and the temperature was in the mid-70s. At the top, it was snowing."
"Cyclists would agree that the running tights alone are a disgrace, but allow me to point out the HIDEOUS L.L. BEAN FLEECE PULLOVER CIRCA 1996. I think I was in middle school when I got this, guys. Middle school!.. The reasons for this getup are simple enough: I was a poor student and I was brand new to the sport, having barely been indoctrinated in the rituals of chain-cleaning and flat tire reparations, let alone how cyclists dress themselves for cooler weather…So aside from the fact that this outfit is, hmm, how shall I put it? – ugly, it may also explain why I went about 10 miles per hour slower on the downhill than everyone else!"
- Lacey from Boston, Massachusetts
Lacey says, "ONCE UPON A TIME on a cold and dark Boston morning…. I woke up and said I AM GOING TO RUN NINE MILES RIGHT NOW, so I put on my go-to top. Pink Top Details: this was an Old Navy Clearance! I wear it all the time- as a lounge top, a fun going out top, and most importantly as a just-warm-enough running top… So, in the pink, I exited the house ready to go. BUT NOT ONLY WAS IT COLD AND DARK… IT WAS RAINING. Solution: squash the hood on my head under a hat. I ran 9.3 miles in 1:09 for a 7:41 pace in my “rain gear!"
"I am still a new runner to the scene and am very encouraged by the support and positive feedback I’ve gotten in the 2-3 years I’ve been running and racing. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING A LIFETIME ATHLETE. Now, I just need the right gear!"
- Casey from Brooklyn, New York
Casey says, "I wore this outfit as part of a "themed" group sports activity on a school retreat. I ran around like a madwoman and was very uncomfortable – I had two shirts on and the heat was turned way up, the numerous amount of bracelets on my arm kept jangling and falling off, and the orange pants were way too FLUORESCENT orange!! Also, check out my ridiculous orange sweat band that probably went out of style before I was born! Last but not least… [I put on] my white knee-high baseball socks with blue stripes and Nike Air Force (or whatever they were) sneakers! Can you picture me running around in those clunky shoes gracefully and/or successfully? I probably tripped about 15 times. The best part is – everyone had a camera so this will probably never escape me! I guess the only good thing about this crazy "active-wear" outfit was that I "repped" my Gator pride to the fullest!"
- Kath from Charlotte, North Carolina
Kath says, "While my summer gear is not bad (mostly tanks and shorts from Target) my winter gear is FRUMPY, FRUMP, FRUMPALICOUS! I wear these horribly huge sweat pants (easy to get on and off to get to my shorts underneath) and the ugliest color old fleece. And can’t forget the cheap gloves! I could definitely use some sleek cold weather gear!"
- Danielle from College Park, Maryland
Danielle says, "Look at this picture! My lame attempt freshman year to impress the boys my roommate and I were playing in touch football."
Lara from Chicago, Illinois
Lara says, "As a recent Florida-to-Chicago transplant, my chilly weather workout gear is in slim supply. With the last leaf of fall, there goes my collection of sunny summer Spandex-ware. So there I was, digging through the box of "winter" clothes… And then I found them: Spandex pants! Ratty, yes. Faded, perhaps. But perfect for a brisk fall night of kickboxing. There’s me, in the front row. Kicking and punching and lunging and squatting and… am I imaging it or are those guys checking out my ass? As we spin, I look in the mirror to check out my own ass. It looks pretty good. Except… for that giant hole in my pants. Brilliantly showcasing my fluorescent pink undies."
"Please, don’t allow this horrific presentation of underthings to go unchecked. There is a girl in Chicago who needs pants. And maybe a cute top. And possibly a ski mask so she can return to kickboxing."
- Toni from Cambridge, Massachusetts
Toni says, "These photos are from a race I completed last weekend. This outfit was, sadly, the nicest one I could come up with — the other clothes I run and workout in are actually much worse (if you can believe it). I own exactly one track jacket / warm-up jacket — sadly it is WAY too small for me, and NEON PINK….. The worst part was that it was a race for breast cancer, and when I got to the race I learned that only breast cancer survivors were supposed to wear pink! I was mortified!"
"The shorts were running shorts from my high school track days. They are too big for me now (which I am very proud of) but unfortunately that means they make me look like I am wearing a short, poofy skirt. Also they ride up like nobody’s business… My lovely, rainbow colored fingerless gloves were hand knitted by yours truly. They are 100% pure WOOL and made my hands sweaty and disgusting…. They are also ugly as sin, but again, the only thing I had."
"Getting back into running (after a long 6-year hiatus) has been the best decision I have made. I’ve been running and lifting regularly since July of this year, and I already feel better, both physically and mentally. I see positive changes in myself everyday. I was going to reward myself for sticking with it by getting some real workout clothes, but with my budget, the best I could afford was a new pair of running sneakers (definitely the best choice and they’ve done wonders for my knees and shins since)."
- Daisy from Greenwich, Connecticut
Daisy says, "I was part of the Peace Corps in Bulgaria and group of 30 of us decided to climb the Rila Mountains, which is the seven lakes hike. My friend Kai and I decided to get festive for the occassion. What makes a hike fun without some colorful attire? So Kai and I hit the thrift shop and came ready for action. I think we shocked the group in our "fun attire." But the hike was amazing… At least you knew from the tights that no one was losing me!"
- Jordan from Jacksonville, FL
Jordan says, "I’m awesome at running and I love doing it, but I will only run at night. Why? Because I have NO CUTE WORKOUT CLOTHES. I have [and I’m not joking] ONE pair of PAJAMA pants [with holes, see the picture please!] that I use for working out. I don’t want to be caught dead in the daylight wearing PJ pants with holes in them! I’m not a Walmart shopper at 3am!"
"Now my whale shirt [picture above, too!] is my usual running shirt. I DO own a sports bra, but that whale shirt is to remind me why I’m losing weight to begin with, heh. I think I need some shirts designed for working out, rather than dirtying my otherwise-clean t-shirts."
- Tina from Boston, Massachusetts
Tina says, "I probably look more ridiculous than my actual clothing, but trust me, the clothes are BAD! I bought the tank top and pants in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. I was still in college, and apparently, I didn’t care how I looked when I worked out! Check out the awful 90’s-inspired colors and stripes. Ugh. So embarrassing!"
- Rachel from Athens, Georgia
Rachel says, "I wore this outfit during a Half-Marathon (the Bizz Johnson) near in Susanville, California in October 2007. I had traveled from Austin, Texas where I was living at the time to meet up with some girlfriends to run in this race. I had never been to California and just assumed the weather would be temperate."
"When I arrived I immediately realized it was very cold! And, a snow storm was on the way! I was completely unprepared for this turn of events, but luckily another girl had packed extra clothes in case, and I was able to borrow some of her extra running tights. It turns out, these tights had escaped from the ’80s, and the minute I put them on I was laughing. But I was warm. So on top of my running shirt, I also had a long sleeved thermal t-shirt and then my light running jacket. And orange gloves. I was a sight to behold, but I was warm… I managed to get a medal in my age group! I never win anything at races, so it was pretty cool- I was 2nd in my age group. I had a lame race outfit, but managed to receive compliments from fellow racers AND go home with a medal. It was a very successful weekend!"
Andrea says, "Starting at the top, that’s my little hat which is blue and white and has snowflakes on it. It was a rare hat that actually came all the way down over my ears…. Then I have on a long-sleeved, men’s workout shirt that wicks away sweat. I found it on sale at Target and it cost less than the women’s shirts, so I bought it. I actually love this shirt. It looks nice on me and keeps me warm and dry. On top of that is a men’s half zip fleece jacket, XL, which is gigantic on me. I have my hands on my hips and holding it back some so you can at least see there’s a body in there! It hangs down almost to my knees, is super wide, and the sleeves are so long. I got it on sale at Old Navy, super cheap and I figured it was no big deal to sweat it. And last but not least, the pants are men’s XL, fleecy PJ bottoms. Yes, complete with a hole in the front for elimination purposes. My jacket totally covers that up! I couldn’t even tell you where I got those. They are warm though!"
- Laural from Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Laural says, "So I started training for my first half marathon in July/August and was wearing a pair of shorts on one of my runs. The shorts bunched up and I stepped to the side to fix them and dislocated my kneecap. Because of that injury, I had to temporarily stop training AND I lost my job ( it was a very active job, doing therapy for kids with autism). So I literally have no money to buy any clothes!…"
"The navy blue sweatshirt is [my dad’s] from college- the pocket is falling off, there are holes in the armpits. The last picture I have of him wearing it was in 1986, when I was 4, so its over 22 years old! Somehow, when I wear it on my runs I feel like he is running with me or at least pushing me to keep going…. Underneath I have on my green college tshirt and my white cut off t shirt from my first job out of college. I worked out in it so much that the armpits had stains so I cut that part off."
"I found out this past week that my aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, she passed away a few days later. I decided on running The National Marathon for Breast Cancer in her honor in Feburary in Jacksonville Florida next year. I really hope that I win the Athleta contest because I want to be able to wear appropriate running gear in my future marathons."
- Karla from McKean, Pennsylvania
Karla says, "I could send you a picture of me in my regular clothes if you want, but I can’t send one of me in my Lamest Workout Outfit because…ummmm….well…it’s inappropriate. I can’t even believe I am admitting this. I workout in my underwear and a t-shirt! I own ZERO workout clothes…NO shorts, NO comfy pants…Just a t-shirts, jeans, and my work dress clothes. So…since my workout atire is rather inappropriate, I ONLY workout in my bedroom (jogging in place). Pathetic I know, but at least I’m working out right?!?!?! I would LOVE to win the contest so that I can start running outside, going to a gym, etc. So, I wish I had a great story or a funny picture, but I only have the truth that i’m a "closet" panty jogger. Here is a picture of my and the love of my life, who is one of my motivations for working out in the first place."
- Adrienne from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Adrienne says, "I started running in April. I had no real goals set for myself, I just wanted to be able to run. Fast forward to June: I ended a six-year serious relationship and it took some guts to do it, but long story short, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. With a new start, a fresh beginning, I knew it was time to get serious about this whole running thing!… My first goal was to run 5K…. I achieved it, and it was an incredible feeling."
"I hate to admit it, but my running accomplishments have all been achieved while wearing the same t-shirt. Why does this matter? Because it was given to me from my partner…This one shirt in particular though, I despise. I don’t like fish… and I hate running knowing that ugly thing is on both my front and back. What’s worse is taking that shirt off after a great run and looking at the nasty, sweaty thing and thinking: I want this new me, this RUNNER, to not be tied in any way to the old me – the me that stayed in a stale relationship for way too long, the me that never ran, the me that never set those big goals.
"I’m tired of having this shirt as a reminder of what used to be (my partner loved fish – he studies them) instead of what’s to come, and wearing it while I accomplish personal goals. I would love nothing more than to whip through my neighborhood or tear up the track wearing an awesome new shirt that reflects who I am now: a girl who adores living a healthy life (and obviously, food and fitness blogs) and has a new running shirt to show for it!
"I achieved another running goal last Tuesday – I ran 10K for the first time!! And that awful fish was on my back the whole time!"
- Alyssa from St. Peter, Minnesota
Alyssa says, "First of all, I need some WARM workout gear! Here in Minnesota, you can pretty much only run outside in shorts for 4 months out of the year. I have 1 pair of workout pants and they are WAY too big for me and I end up stopping to pull them up several times during a run."
"Second of all, NOTHING I have matches. My clothes are all brightly-colored (to match my personality, of course) but nothing coordinates. My lack of cute workout clothes can actually discourage me from making to the gym. And with my wedding coming up in almost exactly a year from now, I need all the encouragement I can get to maintain a healthy and stress-free lifestyle during all the planning….I would love, LOVE, LOVE to win this contest and make out with a bunch of awesome gear to outfit me while I work on my new fitness goals for 2009 (such as toned arms for that sleeveless wedding dress)."
And the winner of the $200 Athleta "Lamest Workout Outfit" Contest is…..
- Halie from Roseburg, Oregon!!!!!
Halie says, "80% of this outfit was hand-me-down from my mom, the only part that is originally mine is the ruched white tank top that I bought from Target while I was in High School. I got that top to wear with nice clothes, and I did, but now it is so discolored (thanks to sweat glands that can rival that of Matthew McMonaughey running along Malibu Beach) that I wear it to the gym. My sports bra I am wearing, peeking out the top of the v-neck of my tank, was originally my mom’s, which she got I don’t even know how long ago!…"
"Then there are the purple pants I am wearing, originally my mom’s. They are a great color, however they match NOTHING in my drawer. Then there is the issue of the hem; my mom is 2 inches shorter than me, and she had taken a pair of pinking shears to the hem of these pants (along with all of the other workout pants she gave me, which are quite a few) because they were too long for her. Well, now they are "high-waters" on me….(Another issue my husband and I discovered while taking my photo this morning is that these pants had a weird shadow that kinda made me look like a peed my pants! Trust me, it took a few snapshots to get one that didn’t have it so bad!). The tennis shoes were my mom’s also, and I might add that she wears a size smaller than me!…"
"On top of all that I have lost about 10 pounds since I got married three years ago (whoo-hoo!) and so most of my sports bras are loose and don’t offer support anymore!… I truly love exercising, and when it comes down to it, it’s not the workout outfit that really matters, it’s the body underneath… I have a true passion for fitness and taking care of my body, heart and mind. And I want to finally look the part, and to have workout clothes that actually reflect that I take fitness seriously but I’m really there for the fun of it!"
I asked Future Husband why he chose Halie and he said: "First of all, as the competition rules state, the winner had to have a LAME outfit, and Halie’s was wonderfully lame! Secondly, I sympathized with her story and the fact that she wears hand-me-downs to work out in. It made me feel like she really deserved to win the $200 prize. Lastly, her "body, heart, and mind" philosophy struck a chord with me, because that’s how I feel about health and fitness as well!"
Future Husband added, "Plus, Halie is right, it’s not the clothes you wear that counts, but the body and spirit underneath. But now she gets to look GREAT as she exercises!"
He wants everyone to know that he spent TWO HOURS judging the entries and it was a very, very hard decision to make! Halie, I’ll be emailing you later in the day to tell you how to claim your $200 prize!
THANK YOU to everyone who entered the contest! I loved reading your stories, and I hope you all keep up your amazing fitness routines. Of course, I’d also love to send a BIG THANK YOU to Athleta, the amazing sponsor of this contest! Check out the Athleta website; their workout gear is amazing, functional, and very stylish!
Have an amazing day, everyone!