What I'm Wearing and Where Fitness Started For Me
I’ve been asked a lot about the brand I’ve been sporting so much lately- like the Gladiatrix tops and Vanquish leggings, perfectly paired with enough mesh for staying cool while still nailing the high quality performance factor on the head you’ve seen on my Instagram or Twitter posts. A girlfriend of mine recently launched her active wear line, Iron Lily, that matches the core of me (in style and backstory) in so many ways that I couldn’t not brag on it, so I thought I’d share with you why I love it so much with some background on my own beginnings in fitness, as well as a discount code (KELSEY20) you can use to snag your own performance gear that’s cute enough to wear to brunch and will outlast even the toughest sweat sessions. Quoted by Elizabeth herself, the heart behind Iron Lily is, “to empower women to shape their strengths and allow the freedom to finally be true to ourselves.” Being that I found a safe place to grow-into the stronger version of me through good old fashioned sweat and iron as a teenager and young adult, Iron Lily resonates deep within me. My childhood was spent being active, always outdoors- I loved staying in motion, and I would only sit still when I really wanted to. Although this made the transition into fitness somewhat natural, there was a season where I just latched on to the ability of doing something to clear my mind of any noise around me where I was the only variable in my success. Fitness taught me to take ownership over something that was personal, and that mattered to me, regardless of what other people were doing or what someone else might say.
My passion for fitness and healthy living didn’t happen overnight. What started as a little girl trying to be like her dad with a stationary exercise bike and a couple pieces of home equipment turned into getting a membership at the local court-club and joining a girlfriend for sweat sessions on an elliptical. I was a high school freshman just wanting to be in shape for the sake of feeling good, and didn’t even give weights or equipment outside of the cardio room a thought, until I realized how redundant my ‘workouts’ would be if I didn’t. The allure of venturing out of the cardio realm soon developed into playing around with free weights and barbells in the gym, finding new confidence through sweat and iron, which turned into an outlet for ‘clinically diagnosed depression’, or in other words, the hard knocks of teenage adolescence most of us have experienced alongside the silent bullying some people believe only exists in movies like Mean Girls. The gym was somewhere I could go and feel safe, because at the time, other than home or with family, or youth group, I wasn’t exactly surrounding myself with the uplifting types, but that’s another story. The rest is history, as I discovered the joy I got from paying forward what I was learning, and helping other people find confidence in working out and making better lifestyle choices. Fast forward to today, having worked in the fitness industry for over a decade and earnestly being able to say in confidence that finding your own strength through an active lifestyle will add so much value to everything else you do.
Not to neglect the reality that working out has a negative connotation for a lot of folks, I totally feel for those who want to make fitness a priority, but are hesitant to join a gym because the environment seems intimidating, and end up avoiding exercise all together. The gym scene really was different 10-15 years ago, back in the early 2000’s. There was no contorted-body-selfie’ing at every available mirror, or showing up just to post a check in on social media; people were there to work and sweat, at least more so than we can find at most gyms today. This is why I’m so passionate about teaching people how to work out, simply using their bodyweight or minimal equipment, from anywhere. And, although I’m a huge proponent of working out remotely, and staying active without having to have a traditional gym membership, there are still just as many reasons as there ever have been to go to a gym, using equipment that most people won’t have access to otherwise, if that’s how someone prefers to exercise. And, learning to workout with bodyweight and minimal equipment makes the transition to a gym leaps and bounds less intimidating, if that’s where you decide to take your workouts.
No matter how you decide to #makefitmatter, be committed to doing your part in taking great care of yourself- stay active, fuel your body with good food and nutrition, drink more water, sleep 6-8 hours a night, say no to the things that aren’t adding real value to your life and say yes to more of what does. That’s been my lifestyle motto and its served me well so long as I don’t veer far from it.
And for you girlfriends, a good looking, functional workout wardrobe makes all the difference in adding that extra motivation to get up and at em, so swing over to Iron Lily enjoy 20% off any order using the code KELSEY20 and tag me in a comment or let me know what you picked! The Vanquish leggings are my go-to's (I have them in black, green and grey) and I've been wearing my Gladiatrix tops even in blazing sunshine because the material wicks moisture and still keeps me cool. I'd love to see you sporting yours so tag me and use the hashtags #makefitmatter and #ironlilystrong! Thanks for reading! I love hearing from you, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment!