8 Fitness Finds I Can’t Live Without [Holiday Gift Guide]

Happy holiday season! I wanted to share some of my favorite fitness finds with you for anyone you’re shopping for who’s into fitness…even if that’s just yourself.

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Madewell Transport Tote: I’ve eyed this bag at Madewell approximately a million times until spotting it on Brittany’s shoulder at the RW Half weekend. It’s a great size, and its lack of structure makes it really light. I’ve used gym bags in the past, but I walk a mile to work (each way, uphill, in the snow) and I don’t like carrying more than I need to, so I prefer bags that are big enough to throw gym clothes in while still looking professional. Longchamps are also good for this. I’d imagine Neverfulls are, too, but considering you can’t swing a cat in NYC without hitting a woman with a Neverfull these days, the Madewell tote is a great alternative.)

New Balance 1400s: To call my relationship with these shoes an obsession would really be to put it mildly. I have a closet full of other sneakers, but I reach for these almost everyday. I only wear other shoes if I’m doing a run longer than 10 miles. They’re lightweight but still have some cushioning.

Lululemon Run Pace Setter Skirt: I’ve run three marathons in this skirt with zero chafing issues. Enough said, right? It also has a thick waistband, so it’s incredibly flattering.

New Balance Heathered Tee: I’ve worn this for the last two marathons, and I like that it doesn’t quite look like a tech tee but it definitely is.

Sparkly Soul Headbands: I wear these for every fitness-related activity I do, and I don’t even want to count how many I have at this point. While expos are the best place to get them because they usually offer deals, you can order them online if you don’t have an expo in your immediate future. (If you’re in NYC, many fitness studios, such as Uplift and Flywheel, sell them in the studio if you need a last-minute gift.)

Goody Ouchless Elastics: I have really thick, slippery hair. Those cute little elastics that look like bracelets don’t do a damn thing for me. I’ve been using these elastics for years, and when I get stuck without an elastic and need to borrow one, I always secretly hope they’ll lend me one of these so I don’t end up with all of my hair in my face.

Lorna Jane Tights: Sometimes I work out during the work day, and then go back to work a sweaty, sexy mess. I don’t always change back into real clothes, so I try to wear bottoms I can layer with normal tops. Lorna Jane’s are usually the closest to looking like real pants.

Erica Sara Race Bling: My necklace with all of my marathon times on it is seriously one of my most prized posessions. I worked hard to earn each and every one of those charms.


I wanted to share something some of my blog buddies and I have partnered on. Kath, Tina, Julie, Anne, Janae, Meghann, Caitlin, Emily, Gina and Monica and I worked with Teespring, a crowdfunded custom apparel company, to create a campaign to benefit a charity. We’re selling the below T-shirts and donating all proceeds (about $7/shirt) to LEAP, a nonprofit that works with incarcerated women to prepare them for employment outside of prison, either through employment or self-employment. Their program’s approach includes entrepreneurship training, financial literacy, employability, life skills and post-release follow-up and assistance.


You can buy one of the shirts here if you’re interested. I think the shirts run a bit small, so I’d probably size up if I were you.

The NYJL has a similar partnership working with the Women’s Prison Association, so I’m passionate about anything that gives women skills they may be lacking to help them better their own lives. Speaking of the NYJL, we are hosting a holiday shopping event this weekend, and its proceeds fund programs such as that.

Finally! My buddy Leanne at Uplift emailed me about a really fun challenge they’re launching in January.


AND she gave me a discount code to share with y’all. If you purchase before 12/15 (before the price goes up), the code STRENGTHENUPLIFT2014 will get you 10% off.

What fitness finds can you not live without? What’s on your Christmas list? Tell me about any other great shop-for-a-good-cause sales that you’ve seen.

12 comments on “8 Fitness Finds I Can’t Live Without [Holiday Gift Guide]

  1. Katie

    I’ve been perusing the ugg website and found a pair of tall boots that I love (korynne) and a short pair that seem like a great upgrade from the standard..I think they were called Bailey. What do New Yorkers wear for shoes in the winter? Do you always wear boots? What style?

    1. Theodora

      @Katie: bailey! 🙂 in the winter, I wear tall leather boots like 90% of the time. If it snows, I wear Hunters. Oh, or I wear moccasins sometimes too 🙂

  2. Jen

    Obviously Erica Sara Designs race bling! I also need water bottles — one for work, one for the gym, one for my bedside table, so that I drink enough water.

  3. Catherine Jones

    Hi Theodora,

    I love the the message of the t-shirt. I plan to order them for all the ladies on my Christmas list. You have a great blog. On the subject of getting in shape and giving back, I’ve just co-founded a nonprofit called Share Your Calories. I’m writing to ask for your help to get the word out for my Indiegogo campaign to build an amazing mobile app.

    This free app will be designed to help people track their calories, “bank” them, and then convert them into meals for hungry children around the globe. It’s the only weight-loss app with a social giving component.

    We’ve launched a crowd-sourcing campaign on INDIEGOGO to raise $95K. Yes, that’s a lot of money, but the app development involves pricey nutrition software and security features. Donations are tax deductible. Share Your Calories is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Every dime goes towards building the app. Zero overhead. Our campaign ends on January 9, 2014.

    Our partner, Stop Hunger Now, does incredible work around the globe. They’ve delivered 125 million meals in 72 countries, plus disaster relief — over 1 million meals to the recent tragedy in the Philippines. Their formula is simple: 1 meal = 250 calories = 25 cents. So, every time you skip 250 calories, you can “bank” them, and when you’re ready, convert them into meals for hungry children.

    The app will be a companion to my latest nutrition-cookbook, The Calories In Calories Out Cookbook: The Toolkit You Need to Make Smart Calorie Decisions Every Day, to be launched in May 2014.

    Be part of the movement to end world hunger and to make this world a healthier place!

    Thanks and stay healthy, Catherine

  4. Kristine

    Love Madewell – I definitely took advantage of the 25% off promo over Thanksgiving weekend. I’m a Longchamp tote gal through and through – they’re just so perfect for everything! I’m also glad I’m not the only one that mayyyyy wear leggings to work/gym/back to work if she takes a not-so-sweaty class 🙂 Thank goodness for tech start-ups with casual dress codes!

  5. Brittany

    I LOVE that Madewell bag so much. Although it’s big, I use it as my daily bag. And it’s great for the movies when you want to sneak some snacks in. Not that I would ever do that. 😉

    Also, now I want one of those Heathered Tees from New Balance. Adding to my Christmas wish list now.

    I love the shirt to benefit LEAP and the mission of the organization. I hadn’t heard of this nonprofit but it hits close to home so I’m going to check it out.

  6. Sujata Rayers

    Loved the list and will add some items to my Christmas list. Check out my book about an overweight Asian Indian, Mira, caught between the antiquated values of her culture and the more modern values of America. The book is inspirational and is called The Absurd Adventures of Mira and is available on Amazon.com. Here is a description of the book:

    The book is different from most in that most main protagonists in novels are beautiful and brilliant; Mira is neither. At 250 pounds she is failing high school, a far cry from the stereotypical Asian Indian. In fact most of the characters in my novel are unusual and non- stereotypical with a touch of humor to them, yet principled. As a critic from Princeton University Library said, “the book reminds me somewhat of Armistead Maupin’s ‘Tales of the City’ series – the large cast of characters all interconnected and also having tragic, but humorous events happen but overall about friendship. Sujata Rayers definitely pulled off how a series of tragic events would evolve into comedy.”

    The characters captivate, wreak havoc on Mira’s emotions and take her for a roller coaster ride as she “emotionally eats” and struggles to lose weight through the course of the book. But the book is far more than Mira’s struggle to lose weight; it’s a commentary on Indian arranged marriages, on saving wildlife such as dolphins. The book is also about love, forgiveness, coming to grips with the tragic events in our lives and finding one’s calling.

    Another critic has said, “Author Rayers manages to put so many everyday troubles into this book … At the same time there is love, excitement, and laughter … This is the first story I have read from author Sujata Rayers and I will definitely recommend it to others to read.”

    Yet another critic from Editing TLC said, “The book does not fall into the category of laughably foolish or false, even though readers will find themselves laughing at times. Tears may also come while reading when readers relate to Mira’s emotions. The main character Mira drew me in. Through all her experiences she battles a weight problem due to emotional eating. There are many of us that can relate … But the message is way more than weight loss … it is a message for looking for the positive even while traveling on a negative journey.”

    Sujata Rayers

  7. meghan @ little girl in the big world

    Good choices. I love my neverfull and Longchamp bags, though in my experience swinging cats here in Tampa I’ve not hit so many others. Those skirts are my go to as well, though lately I’m starting to re-evaluate my body and what looks best. They’re not as flattering on me as they used to be, or maybe they never were. And I really want an Erica Sara necklace. I’ve already picked one out and customized it to my exact liking. Now just figuring out when to buy it or who to tell that I want it…


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