#HealthyatAnySize: How Movement Can Change Your Life from 5 Size Friendly Fitness Leaders
#HealthyatAnySize… Size friendly fitness leaders promote movement and not dieting…
They know all too well that health does not come in a size. Despite some stating that being larger/obese/fat/plus-size means you’re unhealthy (we’re looking at you, Jillian Michaels), you simply cannot diagnose someone’s health by just looking at their size. Thin people get sick, too.
“There are countless ways that movement can change your life – more energy, better sleep (and sex life too), helps manage anxiety and stress, builds strength and confidence, and the list goes on. It’s also one of the most beautiful expressions of self-love in my opinion too, and when combined with a holistic self-love journey (body, mind and soul) can be a game-changer for so many.
Fitness can often feel intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. If you are just starting out, a great, free way to get your body moving is walking and as you get stronger you can add to what you do to get your body moving – by joining a gym, hiring a personal trainer, online resources, there are so many ways that fitness is accessible today.
I offer a 6-week Challenge both in my studio (in Toronto) and online for this very reason – I teach you how to enjoy fitness, provide lots of modifications, teach proper form to avoid injuries and you can do it all in the comfort of your own home and of course, we incorporate Self Love and Confidence building too because it’s really so important.
Whatever you decide to do, I always recommend finding something you enjoy doing – fitness can be fun and the benefits of incorporating movement into your life can be so life-changing.”
“I’ve been helping plus size women get more fit for almost 30 years. The people I work with are categorized as overweight, obese and super-obese. I don’t use that terminology (and I don’t think anyone should) but I want you to have a picture. I have a lot of experience helping women with big bodies get more active. The most direct way to get more active is to get stronger.
The best thing about you getting stronger is that it’s an easy, clear, step-by-step process. Good news…you only need to take a small step at a time, here’s why. Two keys to successful strength training is to 1) stay injury-free and 2) be consistent. Nothing works better than a small step to achieve those two keys. You can only start from where you are, so you are in the perfect starting place. Then you just need your next small step.
Here’s where all my years of experience really benefits you in a plus-size body… the small steps can be done in a chair, in your bed or while you brush your teeth. These small steps build strength in your legs and core. Strength in your legs and core makes moving around in the world easier. Moving around in the world gives you access to more fun, adventure, love and friendships. You can find lots of free, easy and fun videos from me on YouTube.”
“Movement can change your life by giving you a better quality of life. Making sure that the daily things can be done without feeling like you’re overexerting yourself walking a few city blocks or walking up a set of stairs. Living a sedentary lifestyle will age the body so much faster. I encourage people to find movement throughout the day. Stretching and walking are some of the best ways to get that ball rolling. Stretching for 5-10 minutes in the AM and before bedtime, or even midday is a great way to form a beneficial habit. If 30 minutes seems too long for a walk, start with 15. Just start and add time each week. Within 2 months, 30 minutes will be routine.”
“My life changed when I started to appreciate what my body could do instead of how it looked. I started to create goals based on physical achievement over what size or weight I wanted to be. This mindset put me in a model of success over the relentless failure I felt when I was basing my goals on weight and size. The diets I participated in never worked and I always took on that failure as my personal short-coming, when in fact, diets just don’t work.
My biggest advice is to keep your intentions, goals, or dreams, small and performance-based, not appearance-based, and they don’t have to be lofty. Start small with goals such as walking for 10 minutes a day and build from there. When our bodies can accomplish what we set out to do, it cultivates an appreciation that propels us to do more. In contrast, when we are told we need to lose 80lbs and getting 5lbs off seems impossible, we are stuck in a negative cycle of diet culture and failure.
Pursue your dreams in the body you have now and feel the success your amazing body can show you. Start small, build success and see yourself soar.”
“We all have an instinct to move our bodies. You feel it when you tap your foot along to a great song. Or when your jaw automatically drops when you see something awe-inspiring. Movement is hard-wired into our experience of being human. But years and decades of size shame taught us to distrust our bodies’ wisdom.
In diet-culture, movement feels more like punishment. Terms like ‘BURN’, ‘SLASH’, ‘SHRED’ litter the diet-and-exercise universe. Many of us equated that to be thinner, you have to destroy ‘undesired’ parts of your body. I think that goes against the very heart of body-love and being a human: that your body is something to distrust. So it’s no surprise then why so many larger bodies fear movement.
To unlearn it, you only need to ask ‘What does my body actually enjoy?’ And the answer comes from trying and listening. My work is devoted to helping you try a kinder approach to yoga and wellness. More to Love Yoga® is a multilayered practice that helps people in larger bodies feel ‘home’.
Beyond my regular classes and retreats, I created an online video program, Home Body, to guide folks through the pathway of body-loving yoga. This unique approach to movement helps your body, mind, and heart feel more aligned. It then becomes second-nature to trust yourself and act on your needs. This is how you transform shame – you strengthen it with loving-kindness. That is my definition of wellness.”
You can learn more about each of these fitness leaders and their services (and more tips!) by visiting their websites and following them on social media: