There is a parody video floating around the interwebs at the moment about women wearing their ‘activewear’ to do non-active things. It’s apparently a bit of an un-trendy trend at the moment, much like wearing leggings as pants (guilty). I nearly died of second-hand embarrassment as I was watching this video, because it perfectly describes me. Buying groceries in my activewear? Check. Showing off my baby in my activewear? Yep. Doing literally nothing in my activewear? My bad. I am 100% guilty of using my activewear as all-day-err-day wear, but not for the reasons you might think.
I wear my activewear all the time because I don’t want to be seen.
Now…hold up, I know what you’re thinking. Lauren, why would you wear skin tight clothing if you’re trying to be inconspicuous? Well…two reasons, really.
1. Logic isn’t my forte.
2. Activewear is inconspicuous. Think about it – if you were to walk past a woman wearing gym gear, and a woman dressed super stylishly, you would probably look twice at the stylish woman, rather than the one who looks like she’s off to do a workout. People in gym clothes tend to blur into the background, while those who put an effort into their outfit do so to look good, and therefore get noticed. At least, that’s the ‘logic’ behind my constant Lycra uniform.
Which is why for the last three years, whenever I go out to do an exposure session or to go to the grocery store or the doctors, I’m wearing the dreaded ‘activewear’. I just feel safe in it. It’s my way of saying please don’t look at me. And if the worst happens, and I start to panic – get a bit sweaty, breathe heavily, go red in the face – people probably assume I’ve just finished a hard work out, not that I’m having a huge internal battle with my fight or flight response. (Spoiler alert: flight wins)
But all that is going to change. I’ve been doing really well with my exposure sessions, and trying to be really consistent with getting out there and proving to myself that fear isn’t going to kill me – and I feel like I’ve made some great progress. So now I want to start tackling my coping behaviours – you know, the little things you do to avoid panicking that really do nothing except lock you into consistently needing to do them. Like having a ‘panic kit’, or checking you locked the door three times before leaving, or only eating certain foods before an event. Or only wearing activewear when you go out. I want to start wearing actual proper clothes and stop hiding behind stretchy pants and long singlets. I’m three days into this little project, and only yesterday was I brave enough to wear high heeled ankle boots out to the shops. I was so anxious about it – the noise my heels were making on the tiles felt deafening to my ears and I could literally feel my chest beginning to burn as I felt people looking at me. In fact, they were probably not looking at me, rather just looking in my general direction…but it was scary as fuck nevertheless. I’m also really quite shit at putting outfits together, so I’m trying to teach myself to wear layers and accessories, instead of just the default jeans-and-converse combo that I gravitate towards when I’m trying to wear ‘actual clothes’.
So those were my outfits of late. It is actually spring/summer in Australia but the weather has been shit lately (onya Melbourne), hence the jumper and scarf. I never thought I’d be the type of person to post my outfits on the internet, but hey – it’s a brave new world out there. From now on, I’m going to make a conscious effort to only wear my active wear when I’m actually working out, and to stop using my wardrobe as another way of hiding from the world. Coping behaviours are on the way out! (Sorry, Lulu.)