Plus size athletes continue to be front and center, proving that you can be fit at any size.
And we’re sure they’ll dominate in 2018, inspiring the masses to get active and believe that your body can do incredible things, even when it’s larger than what is perceived to be “healthy”.
As we have said many times on this blog, you cannot diagnose someone’s health by simply looking at them and their size. And plus size athletes help in pushing that message and defying the stereotypes placed on us daily.
Here’s 5 plus size athletes that will continue to inspire us in 2018:
#1: Rachel Estapa
This Boston-based plus size yogi created More to Love Yoga in 2013, with the goal of providing a supportive and empowering way to practice yoga, where she offers classes, events, retreats and virtual programs.
Her blog is inspirational, where she pushes the message of self love and being fearless in life. In December 2017, Estapa was the grand winner of Mastercard’s Grow Your Biz Contest. She won $25,000 and one-on-one business expert advice to expand her small yoga business. We can’t wait to see where she takes her business and inspirational message this year. Visit her website More to Love Yoga here and follow her on Instagram here.
#2: Mirna Valerio
Valerio is a writer, teacher and public speaker who loves to run… having tackled marathons, trail competitions and so much more. She is so candid about her experiences as a plus size athlete on her blog and for Women’s Running Magazine where she blogs under the moniker Fat Girl Running. She’s a brand ambassador for some major activewear brands such as Merrell, Rei and Skirtsports. And she currently training for the Boston Marathon! Yes!
In the last year, the ultrarunner has been featured in the #HereIAm campaign for JC Penney alongside fellow plus size athletes yogi Jessamyn Stanley and dancer Amanda Lacount, published her first book titled A Beautiful Work in Progress, featured on Shape Magazine’s website as well as Lane Bryant’s Livi 360 Spotlight feature, and was on the cover of Women’s Running Magazine.
We can’t wait to see what she accomplishes this year and beyond. Follow her on Instagram here.
#3: Louise Green
Green has declared 2018 as The Year of YES and from what we have seen from her in 2017, we know she is going to be doing some major things in 2018.
The plus size trainer, athlete, author and Self Magazine columnist spent 2017 with the launch of her book Big Fit Girl, which included a book tour and speaking engagements. She also spoke on panels and continued her Big Fit Girl: Unleashed virtual online series.
Since launching her plus size friendly fitness program Body Exchange in 2008, Green has coached over a thousand plus size women to be more active and find peace with their bodies.
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Our latest Big Fit Girl: Unleashed program saw a participant from Japan making that the 8th country we’ve touched with this program. This post isn’t about promoting my coaching program it’s about shedding light on a world-wide epidemic of women who find fitness unapproachable. Within the confines of our groups I hear the personal stories, all unique, but very much the same from women who’ve tried to conform, change who they are and tried to find their fitness fit, often to no avail. This morning, someone said this was the first health related program they had joined where they didn’t have to step on a scale to start it off. They declared how freeing that was. We are seeing a great deal of success in this program however, I may define success differently than other fitness professionals. Success to me is releasing and freeing ourselves of a diet-culture that doesn’t work. Success is when I see a new-found confidence in a woman, success is self-accepting, making time for ourselves, having the confidence to draw boundaries and say NO when we need to so we can give ourselves the self-care we need. Success is someone who steps into their power and feels, ENOUGH – more than enough! I intend to continue to change this global epidemic and build programs so that every “body” can have the athletic experience they deserve. I’m thrilled Big Fit Girl: Unleashed has touch down on 8 countries in just 4 short months. Clearly women of the world are looking for new perspectives, modalities and paradigms. It’s time we, as a fitness culture, f$ckj$g deliver!! . . . . . #bigfitgirl #bigfitgirlmovement #takingfitnessback #endorphinsoverweighins #effyourhealthstandards #plussize #plusisequal #fitnessbeyondsize #allsweatisequal #limitless ##effyourbeautystandards #plusmodelmag #hereiam #thisgirlcan #thisbodycan #seethe67 #haes #bopo #bodypositive #embrace
She recently shared on Facebook that she just signed up for her first Olympic distance Triathlon on March 10th. She also plans to take part in the Half Ironman in Augusta this year as well. Yessss!
#4: Whitney McNulty
McNulty uses dance as a way to inspire women to love their bodies and feel free. The author, empowerment speaker, life coach, spoken word artist and dancer regularly has workshops and classes in New York City that not only involve movement but also act as safe places for women to engage with each other and empower one another in a sisterhood environment.
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Let go and trust the process.🙏🏾 If you're ready for a shift in mind, body and spirit, make sure you get your ticket to MOFIT & FREE: A DAY OF MIND, BODY AND SOUL WELLNESS WITH WHITMC. & MOFIT ! (Link in bio) Join us on Sunday, February 25th, from 1:30-4:30pm as @mofit___ founder of @mofit__club, will lead us in an energizing workout and discussion about health goals, emotional habits & the benefits of exercise. Then I will guide us into a liberating liturgical dance session, mindful journaling and meditation. There will be giveaways, healthy snacks, the chance to win some amazing prizes and the first 12 people to enter the studio on the day of the event will receive this FREE water bottle, courtesy of our amazing sponsor @savedbygrace.co ! ❤ Make sure you RSVP at the link in my bio! . . . 📸: @brunalacerda . . . . #whitmcwrites #dancingpoet #dancerlife #livefreely #dancefitness #mindbodysoul #alignment #movement #dancemore #faithtalk #fitness #dancefitness #afrogirlfitness #psbloggers #lifestyleblogger #bodyposi #blavity #supportblackbusiness #worship #workshop #holisticwellness #holisticlifestyle #healthycurves #strongcurves
Known as the Freedom Catalyst, McNulty wants to change the world by empowering others to pursue their dreams, activate their power and learn to live boldly in their purpose. She recently launched her own apparel line called Awakenings, which is a line focused on using poetry and fashion as a way to empower others.
Her blog #WhitsWisdom offers candid and transparent passages where Whitney also shares tips and advice on living your best life through manifestation, self care and wellness. Her next event is taking place this Saturday in New York City where she is partnering with MoFit, Founder of the Motivational Health Club, to offer a day of wellness for the mind, body and soul. You can find more information about the event here.
You can follow Whitney on Instagram here.
#5: Kavah King
This male blogger and influencer uses his platform to show that big guys can be active and fit too. His tagline “Where Fashion Meets Fitness in a BIG Way” is so powerful and when you check out his Instagram, you will see why.
He talks to fashion as it relates to fitness in such an amazing way, being very candid about fit and functionality. He shares his workouts on social media including video. Whether he’s at Blink Fitness on the machines or doing push-ups at the local park, he is very forthcoming about his size and how he doesn’t let his size stop him from being active.
With his #brawnfit movement on social media, King has inspired other big and tall men to be confident, more active and try new clothing brands. King also models, walking the runway at Full Figured Fashion Week 2017, the National Curves Day event, and for brands such as MVP Collections and Brandon Kyle Menswear. He’s also worked as a brand ambassador for brands such as Large Lad Clothing, The Winston Box and Big Fig Mattress.
Who are some of your favorite plus size athletes? Follow us on Instagram @plusmodelmag and let us know!