Sara’s Fit Gear Faves

Over the past year or two, as I’ve shared bits and pieces of my personal life here on the blog, I’ve gotten lots and lots of requests for details about my fitness routine, my nutrition habits, my exercise program, my weight-loss, and everything that goes along with it.  I’m working on a big post with my “story,” but I’ve realized as I’ve started that it’s going to need to be broken up into several different, smaller, posts in order to share everything I want to share.  So for the next few weeks on The Scoop, I’ll be sharing some of those things, so when I do post the big post, I’ll have all of these things ready to link-up.

One of the questions people ask us ALL the time, after seeing us post about yummy treats and peeks into our very food-centric lives, is “How do you not weigh 500 pounds?!”  For me, it’s because of two things.  1.  Moderation in nutrition (more on that in a separate post) and 2.  Exercise and living and active life.  I exercise every day.  Rain, shine, snow, without fail my alarm goes off between 5:30-6 am six days a week and I don’t just go for a leisurely morning walk, I train hard.  I promised details on that, and you’ll get them, but for today I’m tackling something a little more fun.  I could of course link up  a million things that look fun and cool and trendy, but I’m sharing my personal favorites today.  Things I don’t just like, I love, and genuinely use in my own life.  (To be clear, this is not a sponsored post and I am in no way working with any of the brands mentioned.  All opinions are my own.)

Sara's Fit Faves

1. The Bodybugg
If you want to know what a Bodybugg is, how it works, or my thoughts about it, click here to read a post I wrote all about it.  I’m a huge fan of devices like this (there’s a few others on the market now).  For me, it took a huge amount of the guess work out of nutrition and exercise by telling me exactly what my body was doing.  I still use it off and on when I feel like I’m in a rut and I want to see where I’m at.  It always helps motivate me again! Edit: Since the time of this post, my Bodybugg bit the dust and I switched to a fitbit.  Read about fitness trackers, here!

2. Athleta Guru Gita Tank
One of my pieces of advice to people who want to get started exercising is to buy a cute outfit.  Don’t use the excuse that you plan to lose weight so you don’t want to waste money.  It’s amazing how much more motivated you can be when you feel like you look cute!  True story.  I love Altheta clothes, and this particular tank is one of my favorites.  The neckline is high enough that I don’t feel like I expose myself every time I bend over and the midsection is just loose enough to not cling and feel breezy.  The fabric is stretchy and soft and the colors are delicious.  Since that oneON Pink top seems to be almost out of stock, I’ll mention that one of my other faves is super cheap at Old Navy (pictured at right).  These tanks are really light weight and I love that they are loose in the middle (can you tell I have middle issues??) but have a drawstring so everything stays put.  When they go on sale they’re only $5-6 bucks so I have them in pretty much every color they make.  If you’re ordering on-line, I recommend sizing down because they’re pretty roomy.

3. Nike Squeeze Water Bottle
This seems like a silly thing, but I’m am so crazy picky about water bottles.  I can’t stand having to unscrew anything, and I hate having to pull up a little top thing-y either.  It definitely can’t leak when it falls over, either.  I like to be able to squeeze a bottle, but not have it then suck up all the air on it’s way out, and I like to be able to grab and squeeze it with one hand.  You feel me??  This is the perfect water bottle.  I have like 14 of them in all different colors and my kids all have one.  I’m not even joking that most nights at the dinner table I just put these water bottles at the table for my boys.  They drink like horses.   You can order these on Amazon, and I also find them at Nike outlet stores, and often at places like TJ Maxx and Ross.  Lots of sports departments have them.

4. Nike Training Club App
Speaking of Nike, their training club app is awesome.  If you’re looking for some structure or motivation, check it out in the app store. There’s tons of workouts in there structured around your preferences, like getting lean, getting strong, losing weight, etc.  If I can’t make it to the gym or get outside, I hop on this app and run through a workout; it’s awesome.

Blender Bottles

5. Blender Bottle
This also falls into the category of things-I-have-47-of-in-every-color.  Partially because I accidentally bought a case load from Amazon instead of like, 1.  Shows how much I pay attention to totals in shopping carts.   These handy little bottles come with that metal ball that bounces around, making it easy to shake things like protein shakes and have them actually mix up.  They’re also great for salad dressings!  You may have seen the jumbo blender bottles that people carry around, but take note- these smaller sized ones are the perfect size.  Much more manageable, and easily slips into a purse or workout bag.

6. iPod Nano
51qVRqodQhL._SL1500_I know, everyone knows what an ipod is, but it’s amazing what a difference good music can make for a workout.  I still see people with those huge, awkward arm bands used to strap their cell  phones on.  iPod Nanos and Shuffles are awesome because they’re so tiny.  I just pop mine on my bra strap and it stays out of the way.  Shuffles start at only about $50 and it’s well worth it if it keeps you moving!  Upgrade to a Nano (I love my 6th Generation, pictured here) for a little more.  I’ll share my personal playlist when I post about exercise in the next few weeks.

cn68718467. Gap Breathe Line
Words cannot express how much I love these shirts.  The Breathe line has long sleeves, short sleeves, tanks, hoodies, and all sorts of things.  My favorites are these basic long-sleeve shirts.  The fabric is the softest, silkiest, most dreamy fabric.  The sleeves are extra long and have thumb holes.  They’re perfect for layering before or after a workout, or even pairing with a pair of casual jeans.  These are my go-to cozy shirts for lounging around the house.  Love love love them.

8. Adjustable Dumbells
Home workout equipment is a big topic, but at the very least, it’s nice to have a set of weights at home.  I do mostly resistance training, and use dumbbells anywhere from 25-50lbs.  I think adjustable dumbbells are one of the best inventions this century.  It’s like having an enormous wall of free weights in one little tiny package.  The way they work is that you can slide adjusters to make the same set of dumbbells weigh 10 pounds, or weigh 50-100 lbs.  They take up very little space and give you an amazing bang for your buck.   This Bowflex set, Amazon’s #1 Seller is on major discount right now!  (If you’re looking for a gift for your guy- this is a great idea!)

VS Bras

9. Victoria’s Secret Sports Bras
I’m ironically picky about sports bras considering my recent weight-loss left with me with a chest the size of a 12 year old girl.  But I’ve also birthed 3 children so those weak shelf bras just don’t cut it.  Victoria’s Secret Sports line is awesome because they’re all modeled after actual bras so it’s easy to find the right size and fit.  They’re well made and come in fun colors and designs.  I’ve been through a lot of sports bras and these are my favorite right now.  I love the “Incredible” for high impact workouts, and my husband bought me the “Angel” for Christmas and it’s awesome for slightly lower impact.  I’ve tried 1 or 2 that were a little too va-va-voom for actually working out (which is hard to gauge since the photos displaying the products are ALL va-va-voom), so I recommend just paying attention to the design and whether it’s recommended for low, medium, or high impact.  Unfortunately the VS Sport line is only available online, but you can always order a few, try them on, and then return (free shipping for returns from home, or from any store). Once you find the style and design that’s perfect for you, they come out with updated colors and styles often so you can stock up.




  1. Thanks for all the great recommendations. I’ve been going to the gym for a while now, but most recently have really focused on what I want to accomplish and set some goals for myself. Your healthy lifestyle is an inspiration to me and something I’m working on emulating. I’m really looking forward to your series of posts!

  2. Thank you for the tip on sports bras! I have been wanting a new one for the longest time, but didn’t know what would work best for me. As I’m already a fan of VS bras, I am sure I’ll love their sports bras just as much 🙂

  3. Amazon can be so confusing sometimes! I have bought so many things that were not what I was expecting but 9 times out of 10 I look back and realize that if I would have stopped to read rather then just get excited and click add to cart I would have known better.

  4. We love the nike water bottles here too. I’m afraid my kids will forget how to drink from regular cups sometimes 🙂

      1. That surprises me—I like Macklemore too (his music is fun and spunky) but I’m wondering if you have ‘clean’ versions of his songs? My daughter is in his latest video (Downtown) so we’ve been checking him out. He uses a lot of four-letter words that I’d rather not hear over and over. Is there a way to enjoy his music without that?

        1. Yep! Just make sure to use “clean edit” when searching for music. Or sometimes “radio version” works as well, since you want the versions they play on the radio without all of the naughty words 😉 I download most of mine on Amazon.

  5. Thanks for the heads up on the water bottle. My 7 year old always complains about her water bottle–she hates the pull up top! I’m definitely going to have her check the Nike one out and see what she thinks. Thanks!

  6. Thanks for the tips. I can’t wait to hear more. I made Kate’s sugar cookie bars yesterday, so hopefully I can stay away from those and my jeans will still fit after the weekend!

  7. Totally agree with the “buying a cute outfit” suggestion. Whenever I’m in a workout funk, buying a cute new top, sports bra, or leggings puts me right back into the gym! Can’t wait to try the gap shirts you suggested!

  8. I love the iPod Nano. I use my friend’s when I teach dance. I also love my Victoria Secret Sports Bras. They are great for my Irish dancing.

  9. Water bottles are my big thing too, it’s got to fit in the cup holder, hold more than a child size amount, not leak and I REALLY hate the bite to drink style straws. I found an awesome nalgene bottle with a spout and locking lid at target last year and I LOVE it!!

  10. I actually like to have my phone when I run because it tracks my distance, speed and calories burned while I listen to music. But I only use it to run– all other exercise I find another source of music. 🙂

  11. Thanks for the ideas! I have found that a good water bottle makes a huge difference, and not just when exercising. I never drink a ton of water at one time, but once I got a good water bottle I could carry it around everywhere and take sips throughout the day. Looking forward to your other fitness posts!

  12. Your life always sounds exponentially busier than mine, so if you can find time to work out every single day….there is no reason I cannot! Thanks for the fun motivators 🙂

  13. I love my blender bottle! I’ll have to check out the smaller one though. And some of your other suggestions. I’ve been in an exercise funk for awhile now and these ideas might just give me some motivation to get out of it. 🙂 Thanks!!

  14. Just downloaded the Nike app. So excited to try it! I am also so excited for the next few weeks! I have a ton of weight to lose and sometimes these stories are the only thing that keeps me motivated! Thanks for being willing to share!

  15. Favorites:
    My husband found an app that sorts our itunes library by tempo. As a high school marching band nerd, I am INCAPABLE of exercising to any old song if I’m walking. It has to be to the tempo of the song. So we worked together on a playlist and found warm up songs, a little faster, sweet spot, and then a couple at the end I can scroll down to if I feel like I might actually move a little faster and *GASP* jog! Isn’t that sweet of him?!?

    Also, this does not apply to you, but as one of us girls with a LOT around our middles, I feel like I need a sports bra for my spare tire if I’m doing anything high impact. This this from Target is amazing!!
    It’s like two spanx…it’s super firm control…I always wear it if I’m exercising in public so I don’t have to be embarrassed by my jiggle.

    Can I share a pet peeve? Why do all of these brand not make workout gear for plus size girls?!? It stink that I need to lose 30 pounds or wear the above shapewear just to fit into cute workout gear…okay rant over…thanks for sharing these!

      1. I’ve seen those, but never tried any. Old Navy has plus size ones, but you can’t try them on because they don’t carry PS in stores. I’ve never wanted them badly enough to try the hassle of returning and sizes, etc. Thanks for the tip though!

  16. Great post! It seems January is when everyone focuses on weight loss and I’m no different. I’m down about 14 lbs with about five more to go, so these fun things are great to know about! Thanks!

  17. Awesome, motivating post!! I was wondering if you have any favorite workout pants that you like best. . . always on the lookout for something good but affordable:)

    1. I started writing about pants and then left it out after it started becoming a bigger topic than I anticipated, haha. I’ll link some when I do my exercise post, but I’ll say this. I’m a huge fan of compression capris. As my sister once stated, “They’re like a sports bra- for your thighs!” 🙂

  18. Can you please double-check the links on water bottle (amazon associate link?) and blender bottle (page not found on OBB)? Thanks1

  19. Thanks for sharing! It is always great to hear someone’s personal recommendations on things they’ve tried, still use, and love–helps narrow down the million options out there! 🙂

  20. I love the Victoria’s Secret sports bras. Not sure what I ever did without them. I’m going to have to check out the Gap shirts. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I love this post! I love to workout and can’t wait to get going like I used to after I have my baby is July! All of these suggestions are great, I hope I can remember to look here again at that time. Thanks for posting!

  22. The water bottle link doesn’t work, it has me sign into my account and then says I’m not a registered affiliate. I would love to check these out, hope you can fix the link! The search i tried brought up a hundred options!

  23. I’ve recently noticed VS sport bras and I live in Charleston and in the store downtown they actually do carry all the different types of sports bras so it might just depend on where you live… looking forward to your post about training hard. I’ve recently started working out again and I’ve been doing a lot of those VS “train like a model” videos and I have to admit, they can kick your butt! But I’m still searching for a good workout for my arms that doesn’t bulk them up!

  24. Shoes! I recently bought my first pair of Nike Free shoes and I am in love! I used to love Asics and run in them nonstop, but I don’t see myself ever loving another shoe as much as these!

  25. I love the Old Navy tanks, I have 2. I have been trying to decide between the body bug and some of the other products out there.

  26. I’ve recently discovered the nike app and love it! It gets me sweating and working hard on a day I can’t make it to the gym. I found I like the water bottles with a straw, so much easier for me. Good thing Costco had a 3 pack last month!

  27. I have been using My Fitness Pal and love it! My only complaint about it is having to put in recipes. I usually try and do it after the kids are in bed and by that point, I am tired and it is a miracle if I actually get on the elliptical like I swear I am going to.

  28. Thanks for the recommendations. I was really good at working out last Winter and Spring, but throughout the Summer and Fall I fell off the wagon. I soooooo need some motivation to get back on and I think I might just take your advice of getting a new outfit for the gym!

  29. Thank you so much for the recommendations! I’ve been needing something to help me feel motivated and your post definitely helped. Do you have a kind of protein powder that you like? I get really stressed out by all the choices!

    1. Yes! I’ve tried sooo many different ones, and this is my favorite. It has high protein count relative to the calories, low sugar, and most importantly, doesn’t taste gross! My secret formula is a scoop of ice, a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (30 cals), a scoop of that chocolate protein powder, and a few pumps of sugar free coconut Torani syrup. I drink a couple of those every single day!

      1. Hey Sara….the link is to and not a protein powder. Can you repost the protein powder link? Thanks sooo much!

  30. All these look awesome! I agree – staying super active has been key for me so I can still indulge in my favorite treats 🙂 Does the Gap breathe line have any maternity shirts, or are the shirts long enough that they would fit over a pregnant belly? I’m running out of workout outfit options as I progress in my third trimester! 🙂 thanks!

  31. Thanks for the post. I used to workout all the time before my two year old was born. Now, most of my exercise is chasing him. I don’t need to lose weight but I definitely need to be more fit. Thanks for the inspiration. I totally agree about cute clothes – makes it way more fun.

  32. I have struggled with sports bras for a long time. So glad to know what works for you. I work out at home and would be lost with out my yoga and aerobics DVDs.

  33. I’m really looking forward to the rest of your posts. I’m always looking for ways to improve my workout/nutrition routine so that I can stay motivated and keep progressing. I’m especially interested to hear what you have to say about nutrition. I always hear people say that a cute workout outfit makes a huge difference and I keep thinking “maybe when…” but maybe when has come now.

  34. Thanks for the great ideas!!! I’m definitely checking out the water bottles….. I don’t drink nearly enough water. Maybe a cute bottle will inspire me to drink more 🙂

  35. Sara, you are helping me slim down and I’m an oldie too! I was born in 1940..I have started walking every day and I am cooking foods that are healthy. When we have family birthdays or parties with yummy desserts, I try and have just a taste. I love your posts and look forward to hearing from you. You encourage me to look good, even at my age. Thank you for sharing!

  36. Sarah, we are gym sisters!! I have most of these exact items! I just discovered VS sports bras…for high impact, I am loving the Standout. They are in some stores including Boise now. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Well hello there twinner! 😉 I had no idea they were carrying the sports bras in Boise! That’s brand new- they didn’t even a couple of months ago. Yay! I’ll have to check out the Standout, I don’t have that one yet.

  37. I love the Gap shirts too. They are the best and I completely agree about getting a cute workout outfit. I love to work out when I have cute clothes. It is a great motivator.

    1. Guess what? I AM a night owl! I am (or used to be) the farthest thing from a morning person you could imagine. But itis literally the only time I have without working out totally disrupting my life and taking time away from my kids and family. So I just forced myself to do it. Day in and day out, and it was reeeeally hard at first. But after a year and a half, guess what happens at 6am even without an alarm? My eyes pop open. You can totally train you circadian rhythm and adapt (if you want to, lol) I promise!

  38. Just used #5 to make a sidecar. Don’t tell my 20 year old. But he did leave it on the counter. This snow needs to end!

  39. Love the post! I’m excited to hear about your story. Thanks for all the workout tips and gadgets. I’m going to have to check some of these out.

  40. I’ve been trying to figure out how to comfortably attach my phone or ipod nano to me so I don’t have to carry it. It makes resistance bands and other resistance impossible. I read you attach it to your bra strap… just curious as to how you did that?

  41. LOVE the favorite things post! My must-have is an Enell jogbra. they are pricey but it is the only bra I’ve ever found to keep my 36g chest from bouncing all over the place on a run!

  42. What a great list of items! I enjoyed reading this and I am ordering the water bottle! I wanted one that didnt need a straw being flipped up!

  43. Thanks for sharing! It is always helpful to find products by recommendation! I have been off a regular exercise routine, or should I say intense exercise routine, since 25 wks pregnant with twins (high risk pregnancy) five years ago! I am waiting for northern NJ to thaw so I can run again (get the passion back). My old body is feeling the lighter workouts–in a bad way. They were my fifth and sixth babies…all boys…so life has really sped up and gotten chaotic since then, especially now that all the boys are involved in activities! Anyway, suggestions and ideas about products are helpful when time to shop and test is at a minimum. Thanks!

  44. I’m really looking forward to all your posts on this. I get up at 5:15 to teach early morning seminary so getting up earlier to exercise isn’t really a good option right now. It means I have to be REALLY motivated to exercise and clean up again after I have already showered, fixed my hair, etc. once for the day. I was doing really well at the beginning of the school year but then it got too cold to take my 2 youngest kids out in the jogging stroller and exercising in my basement is WAY less appealing to me so it hasn’t really been happening. Today is a snow day (#11 this year!) so I slept in and now I am going to go down and run on the treadmill. Keep the great posts coming. We all want to be like you!

  45. Sara! Thanks for your post! I like hearing what works for other people! Keep up the great work!! I tried clicking a couple times on the Nike water bottle and it kept taking me to the blender bottles…can you double check that link?

  46. Loved the post and all the recommendations!! How do the Gap shirts run, as in snug or loose, same size as you would usually get? Thanks!

    1. Well I think Gap clothes run a little big across the board. I wear size small or extra-small in most of their shirts and I get size small in the breathe tops. They have a little spandex/lycra in them so they’re stretchy, but not clingy. The size small is just a little loose around my middle. So I’d say stick with what you normally wear!

  47. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, but when I click on the title or link for the water bottles, it takes me to the blender bottle. I’m always looking for a good water bottle!

  48. Thanks for sharing some of your favorites! I did not even know VS made sports bras! Good ones are soo hard to find – I’ll have to check them out. =)

  49. Love these recommendations! I am always looking for good bras, but haven’t tried Victoria Secret yet. I will have to check them out.

  50. Thank you so much for this – I can’t wait to see more.

    I always wear my weight watchers activelink. This way I know exactly how many points+ I’m earning – I used to overestimate so badly before I got this.

  51. So my question is…how late do your kids sleep? I have starting getting up at 6, but my kids wake up anytime between 6:15 and 7. I don’t want to get interrupted during my workout. My husband is already at work at that time.
    Also, we don’t have a tiny house, but I am always afraid I am going to wake them if I go downstairs. So I lay in bed and do all my computer stuff first thing in the morning, so I am not on the ipad all day. I used to just sleep until they got up, but started getting up early to work out. I am getting up, but the yoga isn’t happening! I swear they were sleeping until 7 to 7:30 when I started this!

  52. I love my little blender bottle. I use it all the time!

    My husband has adjustable weights, I’ve tried using them a few times, but they’re awkward for me. It’s almost like they’re too long and I can’t seem to balance them correctly, so I twist my wrists.

  53. Okay. This may be a stupid question. But I am wondering if there is a bag or somethings else that you take with you to work out? I am stuck between trying to carry stuff with me (including keys and I don’t have pockets in any of my workout pants for some reason) and putting it in a bag but not loving any of them. What do you do?

    1. I go to a really tiny gym so I do have a bag that I keep all of my stuff in but I usually just grab the necessities and pop them in a cubby there. It is helpful to have a bag to take along!

  54. Love it! I have been curious about adjustable weights for a while but didn’t know of any one that actually used them. I definitely need to check into a couple of things on your list. Thanks for sharing!

  55. I love me some fitness faves. Casey and I just bought that bowflex weight set a few months ago and it is worth EVERY penny!!!

    And I too am obsessed with those breathe shirts. Nothing is more comfortable. I hate taking them off.

    Also, I was so annoyed trying to find a protein powder that was natural, contained no artificial sugars and still tasted good. I love the one you use and just started using hers and it tastes amazing and very few, all natural ingredients!

  56. Light Bulb! I knew about the calorie deficit thing, but for whatever reason it clicked when I read your post about the BodyBugg. I went out and bought a cheapie calorie counter and I LOVE it!! Thank you for sharing and good luck with the rest of your fitness goals!

  57. I wish all women would boycott VS as there are other great options out there and the company very blatantly and openly contributes to the rampant pornography in the world and the degradation of women. Even then, they might stay in business from men alone. When one purchases their products, they endorse VS’s methods of advertising, which are, quite frankly, trashy.

    Congratulations on your success in nutrition and physical fitness. That’s fantastic.

  58. Sara, you are a true inspiration! I have four kids, a husband, have a church calling, and work full time as faculty at a university. My field is nutrition and your real-life story is amazingly inspiring. Thank you for writing about it–and keep writing about it, please!

  59. So if you had to do it all over again would you stick with the body bugg or maybe try the fitbit or something similar?

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