What’s In My Otona Kawaii Gym Bag?

What’s this? A post not about journaling? I’ve definitely been slacking on writing new posts, but a big part of that has been due to me being on a fitness journey! One of my New Year’s resolutions (yes, just one of them), was to lose weight and tone up.

As an fairly tall woman, a little extra weight sits on me better than it would someone shorter, so for a long time I always felt like that was an excuse to not really worry too much about my weight. When someone sees me, I think their immediate reaction is “you’re tall!” before “you have a few extra pounds in your stomach”. That, and I live in a city where it’s winter 6 months out of the year, so it’s certainly easy to pack on the pounds staying warm and indoors and eating for entertainment.

But this year, I really want to make a change. I want to lose the 20 pounds that I gained after high school for my own vanity: to look better in clothes, and in pictures, and during swimsuit season. But I also want to do it for my health: to make more informed choices about eating, to gain some muscle (I have absolutely none), and to live a longer, healthier life. I spent January eating 100% clean. I reduced my sugar and salt intake, I upped my water intake, and I counted my calories. I lost 10 pounds in January alone! It wasn’t always easy and the cravings for sugar or sushi are real, but I did it. This month, I am not so concerned about weight loss anymore, but instead focused on gaining muscle. I’ve been using Mari Fitness gym guides, and they’re fantastic! I love her Instagram and her YouTube and to me she embodies what otona kawaii is all about – playful, feminine, independent, beautiful. There are many fitness gurus out there, but I’m glad I chose her!

While I’ve been in and out of gyms since college, a guide has totally changed the way I use the gym. I’m using machines I never would have touched before and doing things with free weights I was always intimidated by. It’s definitely been a bit out of my comfort zone some days, which is why I knew I absolutely needed my gym “aesthetic” to be one that brought happiness and positivity to my life. I knew I couldn’t just wear anything, it had to be something that made me feel confident, but still cute – basically, otona kawaii! So here’s my best attempt, and I hope it provides you some inspiration!

What's In My Otona Kawaii Gym Bag?
What's In My Otona Kawaii Gym Bag?
What's In My Otona Kawaii Gym Bag?

Gym bag: Everyone needs a gym bag. Shouldn’t it be one you’re excited to carry? I bought mine from Bando, who make exceptionally adorable duffle bags. I absolutely love mine, especially the messaging across it.

Clothes & shoes: Thinking back to the hallmarks of otona kawaii fashion, the clothes should be cute, yet mature, and always well-fitting. There are a lot of stores that satisfy this requirement, a couple being Year of Ours, Outdoor Voices, and Girlfriend Collective. But honestly? I’m totally satisfied just shopping the Athleta sales rack. As far as gym shoes go, it’s so easy to find fun and cute athletic shoes!

Hat & headphones: Along with clothes, I find a ballcap to be an amazing thing to bring to the gym for those days you’re feeling self-conscious. By putting one on, I feel like I’m in disguise where no one will bother me, and big over the ear headphones help me focus in a gym full of buff dudes. Bluetooth headphones are definitely the way to go regardless – I’ve never looked back since getting my first pair.

Fitness tracker: I wear an Apple Watch, and I love that it tracks all of my movements and my heart rate for an accurate representation of my day’s progress. Seeing the rings close is such a satisfying experience! To make it cute, I bought this strap from Casetify.

Water bottle & BlenderBottle: I have so many bottles. My favorite is my blush pink bottle from Takeya, it’s so cute and makes me happy to carry it around with me. Also amazing? BlenderBottles! I use BlenderBottles to mix my pre-workout and keep it nice and and mixed for the duration of my workout.

Pre-workout: Pre-workouts are something totally new to me and the only one I’ve tried is Bloom Nutrition. It’s a natural source of caffeine for a focused workout, which I definitely need since I usually work out after working a full day and hardly feel like I’m able to concentrate. This stuff gets me in the zone.

Protein: Building muscle requires lots of protein, and as a pescatarian I can’t rely on meat as a source. I make a protein shake any day that I’m working out to help! I got a big tub of KOS since it was one of the top whey-free proteins out there… but it’s just okay. I really hate gritty textures! So I mix it in with as much fruit as I can to help mask the taste.

Resistance band: Resistance bands are a total gamechanger, and I bought mine from Mari Fitness. My thighs are burning as I type this.

Barbell pad: I use a Perfect Peach Athletics barbell pad for when I’m lifting a barbell on my shoulders or on my hips. It’s a lot more comfortable than having the metal resting on your neck or hipbone!

Other little accessories: Hairties, socks, sports bra (no one sees this, so I don’t bother wearing a cute one lol)

How’s that? Do you feel inspired to go kick some booty (or really, your own booty) in the gym yet? The gym is certainly a lot more fun when you surround yourself with as much of your favorite things as possible. To me, that means well-designed items in colors that make me feel happy. Good luck to you in your own fitness goals!

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