How I, A Self-Proclaimed Fitness Hater, Started Working Out Regularly

How to Start Working Out

Cute sneaks — essential to fitness. Although I don’t wear my cutest sneaks to the gym because I don’t want to ruin them. LOL. Also I promise I don’t work out on my bed. 

This post is part personal reflection, part advice. To start: I’ve never been an athlete. Not even close. Nearly every person (boy or girl) played AYSO soccer (was this a thing where you’re from?) in elementary school. I didn’t. Neither did my best childhood friends, so I was fine with it. But that, coupled with the fact that I never did volleyball, basketball, softball (anything!) meant I didn’t play a team sport until I did intramural kickball last year. When I was 23. YEP.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just sit on the couch as a kid. I danced until I was seven, and after that, transitioned into figure skating, which I did multiple times a week until I was in high school. Then I switched gears and did theater and the newspaper! Which were fun, invaluable experiences that had a huge impact on me (after all, I’m a journalist today) but didn’t really contribute to good habits when it comes to physical fitness.

As I abandoned the more physically active routines of my childhood, I never really replaced it with anything else. And honestly, I’m lucky: I was able to stay fairly slim without working out with any sort of regularity in high school and college. From the age of 14 to about 22, I’d say I was lucky if I made it to the gym once every three months. More often, it was about six months.

After I graduated, I still put off working out. I was new to the city, I wanted to have fun. Working out isn’t fun! (Something I still mostly believe, to be honest!) But around January 2015, I was going through some personal issues, and hit up pretty much every gym in the city’s free trial program to try to work out the stress. And then, I made a big move: I joined a gym.

It still took me about a year — and a gym switch — to become someone who works out on a regular basis. And by regular, I mean I try for twice a week, but always make it at least once a week. I know, this isn’t much. But this post isn’t about becoming a fitness guru or falling in love with working out. To be honest, I still don’t really love it. Carly said it best earlier this year: I feel satisfied after a good workout, but that’s it. I don’t love the process, and I’m honestly always looking at the clock. It’s about making working out a part of your routine when it never has been before.

And with that, please know — I still have a long way to go. I see posts from bloggers who say they work out five to six times a week, and I’m honestly baffled. (How do you find the time?!) I have yet to be able to bring myself to wake up early enough for a morning workout. I’ll always prioritize grabbing drinks with friends over hitting up a yoga class. I’ve got a ways to go. (Although I’ll never apologize for putting friends over fitness!)

But I am proud of myself from going from being a person who would get laughs if I talked about going to the gym to someone who does feel guilty if I don’t make it there at least once a week. It may not seem like much, but to me, it IS huge. And if I can do it, anyone can. I do believe it’s all about baby steps. Right now, it’s once or twice a week, but maybe soon, it’ll be two or three times. Any improvement is improvement.

Here is how I did it.

Oh, and here’s some activewear I’m loving, because this post is a novel, I need some sort of visual to break it up, and I didn’t take any fitness photos. (Told you I’m not an athlete.)

1. Make it as easy as possible on yourself.

I mentioned above that I’ve switched gyms in the past few years. The first one I joined, Blink Fitness, was about 13 blocks from my apartment. Short blocks, but still, 13 blocks. It made going to the gym such a production that I hardly ever it did it.(Ironically, about six months after I swapped gyms, Blink opened up a location about two blocks from my apartment.) But who wants to work out and then walk 13 blocks home? When getting to the gym already is a feat for you, don’t make it any hard on yourself. Choose a location that’s super easy for you to get to, whether it’s a block away from your office or across the street from your apartment. When it’s that close, you’ll feel too guilty not to go.

2. Make it a bit of a financial burden.

You’re probably thinking, ‘Diana, why would you join a gym that’s 13 blocks from your apartment? Of course you won’t go.’ Well, you are smarter than my 22-year-old self. The reason I joined Blink was because it only costs $25 a month. And I had this idea in my head that because I hadn’t worked out much in the past I should spend the bare minimum on a gym. But since the commute was getting to be too much, I switched to New York Sports Club, which is a bit more expensive, but a lot closer.

It ended up kicking my butt into gear. Not only does NYSC have classes, a big motivator for me, but when you’re only paying $25 a month, it’s easy to be like ‘oh, whatever, it’s just $25’ and skip a week. And before you know it, you’ve missed a month at the gym. When it’s $50+ every month, I can’t reconcile not utilizing that money. If you truly can afford it, sometimes it’s good to make yourself feel a bit more indebted to your gym experience, as it can push you to go more.

3. Be realistic.

Y’all, try as I might, I am just not a morning person. I could sign up for a 9:30 class on Saturdays, but honestly, I know I’ll never make it. Instead, I set realistic goals — like making it to an 11:00 spin class instead. It’s just enough time to lounge in bed for a few hours in the morning, but not so late I feel like I’ve wasted my entire day up until then. To that point, I’d also never book classes three days in a row, because I know I’ll need a day off. (Okay, I’ve tried. And then I end up cancelling one to catch up with a friend, or my couch. Couch time is important!) It’s easy to feel like you need to be hitting the gym six times a week like that girl you see on Instagram, but your progress is your own — go at your own pace and don’t beat yourself up!

4. Find your groove with instructors.

Unless I’m out of town, I always make it to my Saturday morning spin class. And a big reason why is the instructor. She’s so motivational, has the an amazing attitude and the best music. When you find an instructor you love, don’t let that slide by. It’s so important and can serve as a huge source of encouragement.

5. Make a conscious choice.

I’m not working out to lose weight (although I wouldn’t mind getting a bit more toned up!) or train for a marathon. I could have continued on, hitting the gym once a year and supplementing my fitness with occasional long walks in Central Park (which are great!) In the end, it was just a choice that I wanted to make working out a part of my weekly routine. I just decided I didn’t want to be the person who got winded after walking up a flight of stairs anymore. I didn’t want my going to the gym to be a joke. In the end, though it’s always a push to get myself to the gym, I’m always glad I went after. It’s a choice, every time, to go and do that work out. And in the end, that’s where my shift came from: Making a choice to make this a priority in my life in a new way.

While I still wouldn’t call myself an athlete by any means, I would say fitness is a part of my adult life now in a way it never has been. For most people, it’s not much — just once or twice a week. But for me, it’s something.

How did you make fitness a part of your routine? What tips and tricks have worked for you — and the biggest one, how can I conquer morning workouts when my bed is oh-so-cozy? Please, share below!

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White Shirtdress, Nude Sandals + 10 Little White Dresses for Summer

English Factory Collared Drop Waist Dress, Little White Dresses for Summer // Pearl Girl

White Dress //
Nude Sandals //
Pearl Earrings //
Initial Ring //

It may started off a little gloomy, but this weekend turned out to be a great one. Saturday I had two birthday parties, one during the day at Lorley Beer Garden on the Lower East Side, and at night, one at Dave & Buster’s in Times Square. Yes, you read that right! I’d never been (to any Dave & Buster’s, ever), and I may never go back, but it was fun to have a night in a suburban-style arcade.

On Sunday, I headed to Brooklyn to meet a friend for coffee, with the best view, and then went uptown to the Met to see the Irving Penn and George Seurat exhibits. After seeing Sunday In the Park With George last week, I was in a Seurat mood. Both the shows were great, particularly Irving Penn, who was a fashion photographer for Vogue. The Seurat one was a little small, with only one of his major works, but still cool to see!

English Factory Collared Drop Waist Dress, Little White Dresses for Summer // Pearl Girl

English Factory Collared Drop Waist Dress, Little White Dresses for Summer // Pearl Girl

English Factory Collared Drop Waist Dress, Little White Dresses for Summer // Pearl Girl

Onto the outfit — this. DRESS. I first saw it on Shopbop in February and was like, yes, yes, I’m into this. I need it. During the Shopbop sale in February, I almost bought it, but then changed my mind, and was like I don’t need it. Then, I was driving up to Syracuse on the last day of the sale, and this dress was back in stock in my size. It was one of those black out, must buy all the things moments. So I got that dress, this dress, and this dress. Hey, I needed to meet the minimum, right?

English Factory Collared Drop Waist Dress, Little White Dresses for Summer // Pearl Girl

English Factory Collared Drop Waist Dress, Little White Dresses for Summer // Pearl Girl

I love love love this dress even more than I thought I would. The pattern on the front and the cuffs is so cute. And I the drop waist style is such a fun twist on the shirt dress style. I will definitely be breaking it out a ton this summer. In particular, I can’t wait to wear it on my trip to Charleston in a few short weeks! For this, I just paired it with my go-to nude sandals, which I bought for my cousin’s wedding last summer (I was the maid of honor!) They’re a great shoe if you want a slight heel, but something that’s still comfy.

English Factory Collared Drop Waist Dress, Little White Dresses for Summer // Pearl Girl

English Factory Collared Drop Waist Dress, Little White Dresses for Summer // Pearl Girl

I honestly adore the look of the little white dress for summer. It’s so more my speed than the little black dress. There’s always about a thousand I want at any given moment, but I’ve rounded up ten I’m especially loving in the widget below!

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Life + Links

Reading and Shopping Picks April Sale Alerts

Hey, friends — what a week! It was a seriously exhausting one, to the point where I’m impressed with myself for getting this post up (to be fair, I am writing it at midnight on Friday!) But exhausting in a good way: I caught up with friends over drinks (Tuesday) and dinner (Thursday) and saw two Broadway shows! On Wednesday, I saw Sunday in the Park With George, which, if you read this post, you’ll know I attempted to rush tickets for a few weeks ago, failed, gave up and bought real tickets. I’m so, so glad I did. The show was really beautifully done — who knew Jake Gyllenhaal could sing?! The story is a fictionalized take on the life of Georges Seurat + his famous painting, Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte. I’d say go see it but it closes on Sunday! (Fitting, right?)

On Thursday I saw a new show, Bandstand, with a group of of my fellow theater-loving friends, which was totally different than Sunday but really fun. It takes place just after World War II + has lots of fun swing music and a really talented cast. A two show week was such a treat, but I don’t think I’ll be making a habit of it. A. Finances. B. It’s exhausting!

And another fun piece of news: I’m headed to Charleston! Really, would I be a blogger if I wasn’t? Haha, only kidding. My mom and I have been trying to plan a trip for months, and she was going to come visit me in May when I suggested we just do our Charleston trip then instead! I can’t wait, and have been poring over all my favorite bloggers’ guides to the city — if you have any recommendations yourself, please share!

Not a ton in store for this weekend, celebrating a few friends birthdays on Saturday and hopefully getting in some much needed R&R. Hope you have a lovely one!

What I’m Reading

I’m obsessed with Amy Stone’s Instagram, so it’s no surprise her apartment is super chic.

Briony’s super smart post about caring about style + politics, and being fashionable + smart.

I love how authentic and genuine Carly is.

Grace’s new apartment looks so amazing! THOSE FLOORS!

Adding the spots on Maggie’s NYC workout guide to my list.

I can’t see myself ever running a marathon — but if you want to, Leslie has great tips.

And speaking of working out – I loved Brooke’s post about her fitness journey!

Love Blair’s question posts. Where in the world do you feel happiest? It’s a tie for me between my childhood home and London.

Loving The Cut’s series on popularity.

Can’t wait to watch the Girlboss show on Netflix!

What I’m Shopping

People loved the scalloped flats from this week’s post!

Tell me I don’t need this pretty white dress for Charleston.

A classic shirt dress for summer.

This summer’s staple earring (the multi-tasseled one!) — for $9! I ordered two pairs.

The Cult Gaia Ark bag is back in stock — order now, before it goes again!

What I’m Writing

What I did in Los Angeles, part one!

A bell sleeve top for spring.

I carried nothing but a clutch like Princess Kate for a week.

A royal hand-me-down!


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What I Did in Los Angeles, Part One

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Now that I wrapped up my Barcelona posts, I’m moving onto my trip to Los Angeles! I’d visited the city before, but not since I was really young (think single digits) and was so excited to have the opportunity to go back with a free place to stay, as my stepsister moved there last fall. I was in town for six days, and the trip totally surpassed my expectations. It was honestly amazing — the sun and warm temperatures, which were desperately needed after a blizzard in New York just 24 hours prior to me getting on the plane out. I like the layout of LA too — a huge, sprawling city with the conveniences of the suburbs (cars!)

Instead of doing a “guide,” I’m going to structure this post in the “what I did” style, with a recap of each day. LA is just so big, and I really just scratched the surface. But I do feel like I covered a lot of ground in the six days I was there (I completely contradicted myself here, but you know what I mean), so hopefully this will be helpful.

I know I was there for a while — nearly a week! — so anything I’d designate as a must-do, I’m marking with a * so you can streamline if you’re planning a shorter getaway. And since it was a longer trip, I’m going to split this up into two posts so it’s not crazy-long and photo heavy.

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Day One: Santa Monica

I arrived into LA late on Wednesday, but I didn’t sleep on the flight out there (watched three movies — Whiplash, Manchester by the Sea, and Aladdin instead!), so I passed out pretty much immediately upon arrival. Buuuut, that meant that I woke up at a normal time and suffered next to no jet lag on my way out there. My stepsister had to go to work, so we parted ways for the day, and then I drove out west to Santa Monica to meet Brooke for lunch. (Fun fact: We interned together at Marie Claire four years ago!)

We ate at Ivy on the Shore*. Y’all, it is so, so good. I had the lobster pizza, which was of course delicious. I mean, it’s lobster and pizza, how could it not be? They also give you complimentary champagne with your meal, which was the perfect welcome to LA pick-me-up. The decor is super cute, all pink and nautical-inspired. I absolutely loved it, and highly recommend stopping by if you’re in Santa Monica.

We then shopped around Third Street Promenade and popped over to Nordstrom, which I don’t have in NYC! (I know, it’s tough. #Sarcasm.) After she left, I played tourist and walked over to the Santa Monica Pier*. It’s definitely a trap, but worth walking down if you’ve never been. The views of the beach with tons of people on it is really beautiful — the view is the top photo on this post.

On my way back, I also got caught in my first LA traffic jam! I don’t know what’s worse, LA traffic or NYC subway delays.

For dinner, we went to Bestia*, a trendy spot in Downtown LA. Emily Ratajkowski likes it! It’s Italian food, but you’re supposed to order a bunch of small plates. We ordered about five dishes to share, and everything was so tasty. If you’re visiting LA and want to try Bestia, be sure to plan ahead. Reservations are hard to come by (we had one and still had to wait nearly 30 minutes) and my stepsister made ours over a month in advance.

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Day Two: West Hollywood and Beverly Hills

On Friday, I headed to Toast for breakfast. The reason is kind of silly: I’ve been reading Danielle’s blog forever (at least five years), and her old blog was named after this place. I ordered the coffee cake French toast, and it was tasty — soft, but with a slight crunch — but heavy. Afterwards, I was absolutely stuffed.

I then did a little bit of shopping and picked up a new pair of white jeans (my current ones are too big — don’t ask me why I bought them, I’m an idiot) before heading over to Melrose* to explore. There’s lots of quite boutiques and shops, like Serena & Lily, Joie, Clare Vivier, Zimmermann and more. But the biggest spots on my to-see list were the pink wall outside the Paul Smith store, which I shamelessly asked a stranger to take a photo of me in front of, and Alfred Tea Room. The former is just as bright and pink as you’d imagine (can I paint a wall in my apartment this color?) and the latter, Alfred Tea, is so cute. There’s lots of sassy sayings painted on the walls, and there’s a cute patio tucked in the back. I ordered the rose bubble tea and it was delicious! Going to need them to come out to NYC stat!

After I finished up there, I drove over to Beverly Hills. I know it’s a total tourist move, but I had to do the walk down Rodeo Drive*. I obviously wasn’t shopping in earnest, but it’s still fun to pop in and out of Chanel, Gucci and the like. This was also the afternoon of my Kendall Jenner sighting! A very exciting day.

I then met up with my stepsister and we got a casual dinner at Guisados, a taco place near her apartment. They were tasty but spicy! But I also have a very low tolerance for spice, so take that for what you will.

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Los Angeles California Travel Guide, What to Do When You Visit LA

Day Three: Echo Park and Warner Bros.

My stepsister lives in Echo Park, so we made the quick trip on Saturday morning to Grand Central Market, where we attempted to get EggSlut — the line was nearly an hour long, so we passed and instead got breakfast sandwiches at Valerie. They were so, so good — gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, yum. We then went paddle boating on Echo Park Lake*. It’s gorgeous there (and where I took these photos), and it was a fun, relaxing activity for a pretty morning. Also, I cannot get enough of the palm trees. They just make everything feel so tropical. Obsessed.

One thing I really wanted to do in LA was visit the Warner Bros. set*, mostly so I could have my picture on the Friends couch. And on the Gilmore Girls lot. (Yes, I’m a super fan of both.) The tour was actually really interesting, our guide was very informed and had a lot to share about the movies and shows that were filmed on the lot. One thing I would recommend: If you can, go on a weekday. You’ll have a way greater chance of spotting a celebrity!

I hadn’t yet satisfied my Mexican craving, so we went to a downtown spot called El Cholo. After margaritas, guacamole, and chimichangas, I was so, so stuffed. We then proceeded to spend the rest of the night on the couch watching Big Little Lies.

Stay tuned next week for my LA recap, part two!

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Bell Sleeve Top + Pink Pants and Clutch

Aqua Bell Sleeve Top, Scalloped Flats // Pearl Girl

Bell Sleeve Top
Pink Pants
(Mine are old, but a similar pair is linked — I love these too!)
Bubble Earrings (Also available here, here and here!)
Gold Scalloped Shoes
(Love these and these too!)
Pink Foldover Clutch ($25!)

Hey there, Monday! Hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend — and that some of you got the day off work on Friday, too! The weather in NYC was really beautiful, though I felt under the weather for most of the day on Sunday and didn’t spend as much time outside as I normally would have. On Saturday, I went out for pizza in Brooklyn, at Emily. If you live in NYC and you’ve never been, you MUST go and order the Emily pizza. It’s so, so good. One of my favorite pizzas in the entire world. Their burger is really good too!

Aqua Bell Sleeve Top, Scalloped Flats // Pearl Girl

Aqua Bell Sleeve Top, Scalloped Flats // Pearl Girl

Aqua Bell Sleeve Top, Scalloped Flats // Pearl Girl

First off, how funny is this little vintage car? My roommate (who takes all of my photos — she’s the best!) and I spotted it near our apartment and thought it would be a fun photo backdrop. I looked it up later and it’s a German brand, designed back in 1937, but it wasn’t introduced until 1948 because of World War II. The bright colors (and the little duck on the side!) are so fun, I wonder where the owner found it!

Aqua Bell Sleeve Top, Scalloped Flats // Pearl Girl

Aqua Bell Sleeve Top, Scalloped Flats // Pearl Girl

Aqua Bell Sleeve Top, Scalloped Flats // Pearl Girl

I’ve been seeing this top all over since last summer, and when I had a gift card to spend at Bloomingdale’s, I figured it was time to add it to my ever-growing collection of white tops. (Seriously, it’s a problem.) This clutch, I picked up at Nordstrom in LA (with Brooke!) — I’m obsessed. The foldover style reminds me of Clare V. bags, but at a fraction of the price. It comes in a bunch of colors, too! Anddd these earrings. They’re all over now, and I’m sure they’ll continue to be this summer. I want another pair! They’re just so fun, I want this pair next. (I cannot get enough pairs of statement earrings.)

Aqua Bell Sleeve Top, Scalloped Flats // Pearl Girl

Aqua Bell Sleeve Top, Scalloped Flats // Pearl Girl

I also have some exciting news! If you follow along on Instagram, you may have noticed that you can now shop my Instagram photos on! If you don’t know, you can sign up for the platform online (it’s super easy — you just connect your Instagram account!) Whenever you like a photo, you’ll get an email in your inbox (either weekly, every time you like a photo, or daily) with all the outfit details for you to shop! And there’s now a app, where you can shop directly from the app after liking or taking a screenshot of a photo. It’s super easy + how I personally shop the Instagrams of all my favorite bloggers! My photos are also all available right here.


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