By Melinda Hershey for SparkPeople.com
with research by Beth Donovan
If you've ever embarked on a weight-loss journey, you'll probably agree that the process can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to change the way you think, eat, and move, but you also have to set yourself up to succeed at those changes. One of the most underrated ways to keep up a steady stream of motivation and positive results is by buying proper workout clothes.
Think about it: trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle without quality, functional workout gear is like stocking your pantry full of junk food and then wondering why you can't find anything healthy to eat in the house. Just as you have to set yourself up to succeed with your diet, there are certain things you have to do to help you meet your fitness goals. Chances are, if you're working out in clothes that aren't made for exercise, you're not going to be comfortable or confident, and will ultimately end up hindering your results. It's amazing what workout clothes can do to elevate your motivation, performance, and outlook on fitness.
~INDYGIRL, a SparkPeople member who has lost over 160 pounds, agrees:
''Before I started my journey to weight loss and better health, I thought that ''active wear'' was only reserved for people who want to show off how gorgeous they already look. Well, my mindset has finally changed. Losing 166 pounds with SparkPeople has taught me that workout clothes are a must for getting fitter. Without them, it is harder to be motivated to work out. Workout clothes help get you in the mindset that you are a person getting better, getting fitter, and fulfilling your own dreams."
Like ~INDYGIRL, you might feel intimidated at first when you think about purchasing workout clothes. But it doesn't have to be that way! Sure, buying active wear can be new and scary, but it can also be empowering at the same time. Not only are you investing in a pair of breathable workout shorts, but you're also investing in your future health. When you put on those new exercise clothes, you'll stand a little taller because you're changing your body for the better, inside and out- and you'll look great while doing it!
If you're anxious that you won't be able to find any workout clothes in your size, don't worry-- all it takes is a little research to discover that there really are attractive, functional, and high-quality plus-size exercise clothes available out there. You just have to dig a little deeper to find them! We had ~INDYGIRL provide us with a guide to some of her favorite typical mall stores and chains that carry plus-size active wear.
||Average Price||Sizes Offered||What They Sell|
|Aeropostale||$10 (top) - $30 (hoodie)||
W: XS -3X
M: S - 3X
|Tops and hoodies.|
|Avenue||$5 (camisole) - $50 (jacket)||
W: 14/16 - 30/32
|Pants, tops, jackets, and shoes.|
|Dick's Sporting Goods||$25 (shorts) - $250 (jacket)||
W: S - 2X
M: S - 3X
|Tops, bottoms, jackets, hoodies, bras, outerwear, running shoes. Brands: Adidas, ASICS, Columbia, Dolfin, Moving Comfort, Nike, Speedo, TYR.|
|The Gap||$10 (top) - $70 (zip-up jacket)||
W: XS - XL
M: XS - 3X
|GapFit: tops, bottoms, jackets, hoodies, maternity, bras, outerwear.|
|JC Penney||$5 (t-shirt) - $55 (sports bra)||
W: S - 3X
M: S - 5XL
|Tops, bottoms, jackets, hoodies, maternity, bras, outerwear. Brands: Adidas, Glamorise, Made For Life, Nike, Puma, Xersion.|
|Kohl's||$13 (t-shirt) - $135 (track jacket)||
W: S - 3X
M: S - 4XB
|T-shirts, tops, sports bras, pants, shorts, jackets. Brands: Apt. 9, Arrow, Chaps, Columbia, Croft & Barrow, Dockers.|
|Lane Bryant||$30 (t-shirt) - $60 (capris)||
W: 14 (0x) - 32 (4x)
|Skorts, pants, shirts, and jackets. Brands: Glamorise, Marika Miracles, Reebok.|
|Target||$10 (top) - $30 (jacket)||
W: S - XXL
M: S - XXL
|Jackets, tops, pants, shorts. Brands: Champion, Converse, Icon, Merona, Mossimo.|
|Wal-Mart||$6 (top) - $70 (jacket)||
W: S - 5X
M: S - 5X
|Pants, tops, jackets. Brands: Danskin Now, Dickies, Faded Glory, Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, Just My Size, Reebok, White Stag.|
Where do you shop for your active wear? Have you found any plus-size workout gear you can't live without?
More from SparkPeople.com:
- The Best Sports Bras for Every Size
- Look Great at Any Weight
- 6 Things to Look for When Buying Exercise Apparel