So here I sit in my early 30's having spent a lifetime in gyms from around the world. I have spent at least 2 decades looking at images of skinny, young women with 6 packs and for the last 2 decades I subconsciously believed that if I do an extra 10 sit ups, another body pump class and maybe fit some zumba and pilates into my schedule I too will have a body chiselled.
But now as my age represents the wisdom I have gained from a lifetime of talking to other women in their early 30's I realise that I don't want to be that woman anymore. I actually want to be...as Bridget Jones so eloquently put it... "exactly as I am".
I am healthy, I work, I play, I spend my time with those special to me and I am not only confident with my body but unlike generations before I have disposable income, a credit card and boy do I love to use both of them!
But I now have a problem, I want to keep exercising, albeit in a curvier frame and well, I don't really want to give money to companies that use age 14 models that are 6ft and physically blessed not only because I feel offended by their imagery but because I know from frustrating practical experience that if they look great in the gear, the chances are I won't.
Similarly I don't want to wear the plain, simple gear created by the plus size industry. Not just because I can't relate but because I still have some funk left in me and I want bright colours.
So what do I want? Well firstly I want to see ME on those big glossy images. Clearly when I say me, I don't have aspirations to be a super model, I mean someone who looks like me. A normal women who is in fairly good shape, likes to work out, likes her pizza and loves her chocolate. She's fun, engaged and educated.
Next (because you asked) I want gear and specifically workout pants that are decent quality. I am over: chafing, pilling and dealing with running colours that ruin my beautiful white sheets. I can afford to spend that extra 10-20% on items that last. I don't have the time to keep replacing my basic black work out pants, I want them to last.
I want the gear to be SEXY and feminine. Yes pink is a lovely colour but not everyone wants to wear it! What about some yellows, greens, blues and reds. The fitness industry whether on purpose or by chance seems to be male dominated and as a result the gear tends to be...well fairly masculine. But I am not a man, I don't want to wear black with big cats all over it. I don't want to pay to advertise a brand, I want to look like a women.
And finally, I want my activewear to ACTUALLY fit me. I want it to make my bum look fabulous, my legs look toned,my cleavage look incredible and I want the gear to be fun. So am I asking too much, am I alone? It appears not, a recent online survey has shown that over 60% of women find it difficult to find gear that fits, 85% of women are unhappy with their bodies and a massive 83% believe they are more motivated to keep to their exercise regime when their gear makes them look and feel comfortable.
As online channels are becoming more and more easy to use and access, women now have the option to shop internationally and this trend will continue. And as women more and more leave the traditional home maker role,the need for quality activewear that is feminine will continue to grow.
So if you are tired of wearing daggy, old fashioned gear and want to have your say, fill in the survey and get clicking!