I used to live for the days I could go running in a sports bra and shorts. There’s just something so freeing about removing that one thin piece of clothing. I remember I would never want to put it back on after it took it off, because it feel so good to feel the breeze on my back and whipping past the bare skin of my stomach.
This was about two years ago. Now I would never dare run around my neighborhood (or the neighborhood over) with just a sports bra on. Why? Because I’d be embarrassed.
Related: My Struggle with Body Confidence
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Back when I used to do it a lot, I was usually never alone. I was always running with other people or I was running trails where there weren’t a lot of people. So I was given confidence through others and the lack of people around to see my bare skin.
But now I don’t have that luxury. I don’t have a running buddy, nor any trails to run, so I’m stuck running neighborhood streets and hitting up my local gym. Both of which are crammed with people. Making it extremely intimidating to workout in just a sports bra.
I’m up for that challenge though, because I shouldn’t be scared or pressured into wearing something that makes me sweat 1,000,000 times more in the summer sun or in a gym packed with perspiring bodies.
Get a sports bra you love
This is important. If you’re wearing a sports bra you aren’t a fan of, specifically if it doesn’t make you feel confident, then the chances are slim that you’re going to take the chance to bare it to the world.
Personally I love the basic style sports bras. Not the ones with all the straps all over the place. While I do own a decent amount of these bras, I don’t feel as confident in them as I do in my basics. When in doubt reach for your tried and true right?
I picked up some longline sports bras from Victoria’s Secret when they were buy one get one free a while back, and they are the perfect bra to start going shirtless in the gym. Why? Because they cover more than the average sports bra and look like a tank, so you won’t draw any unwanted attention when you’re just getting used to only have one layer up top.
Sadly, they were discontinued. I’ve linked some other styles you may love below though!
Work up to it
The first time I was going to go shirtless in the gym, I was all hype about it. Then I showed up and chickened out.
I started working out with my shirt still on, but as I got hyped up from my endorphins and killer workout, I gained the confidence to peel the shirt off and hit a cardio machine in my sports bra and spandex.
It’s perfectly okay to take your time and build up to slaying in just a sports bra. No one starts out ready the first time anyways.
Play some kick-ass tunes
Like with the last point, part of what pushed me to say, “Who cares?” was my playlist. I made sure to include songs that were sassy and made me feel like no one could mess with me to help me personify that “I don’t care” feeling.
When I’m in the gym I take on my alter ego: a girl who is confident, sassy, doesn’t need your help, and wants to run fast and lift heavy things with an extreme case of serial killer eyes.
Sometimes I listen to heavy rock, sometimes it’s rap and R&B, and sometimes it’s Shawn Mendes and the Jonas Brothers. Clearly I can get down to almost anything.
Here are two playlists that I generally rock out to:
As with all things, practice makes perfect, or in this case, repeating makes perfect. There’s no better way to build up the confidence to do something than to keep on doing it over and over again. Just like how it takes doing an exercise a few times to be comfortable to do it with weights.
Just don’t give up, and you shall succeed!