Advice and motivation from a plus-size athlete and trainer.
Plus-size athlete and trainer Louise Green wants to empower other plus-size women to work out — not necessarily to lose weight, but because exercise is great for your health and makes you feel like a badass.
Green tells BuzzFeed Health that because mainstream fitness culture hasn't embraced body diversity, many plus-size women are intimidated to join gyms or start exercising, and are therefore denied the opportunity to improve their health.
“This demographic has been left out of the conversation by way of being invisible in fitness media,” Green says. That's why she wrote Big Fit Girl, which is basically a kickass fitness manifesto with practical advice for getting started, along with inspirational stories from Green and other plus-size athletes. BuzzFeed Health asked Green what she wants plus-size women to know about working out:
@louisegreen_bigfitgirl / Via instagram.com
Think of yourself as the CEO of your body.
Green says that many plus-size women she trains come to her feeling self-conscious and even apologetic about their bodies. But she wants women to approach their fitness journeys feeling bold and self-possessed.
She suggests thinking of yourself as the “CEO of your body.” It will inspire you be more assertive and empowered when it comes to jumping into this fitness journey with both feet and putting your health needs first.
Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com
You’re going to want a trainer, tribe, and team.
• Your trainer could be a personal trainer you hire, but it can also be a group class instructor, a running coach, etc.
• Your tribe is made up of your fellow exercisers — people in your running group, your spin class, your boot camp, etc.
• Your team is made up of the people who you might be consulting along the way — massage or physical therapists, doctors, maybe a podiatrist.
Green believes in putting careful thought into choosing the people who advise and guide you, as well as those who will cheer you on and hold you accountable, celebrate your victories, and talk you through setbacks. And because many plus-size people have had shaming experiences in fitness spaces, it's important to build this community carefully — as a CEO would when hiring job candidates.
@mynameisjessamyn / Via instagram.com
So don’t be afraid to ask a lot of specific questions.
You should be super choosy when it comes to your prospective trainer, tribe, and team. Your goal is to find people who are body positive, who believe in health at every size, and who have an empowering approach to nutrition (as opposed to a diet-focused approach).
Whether you're considering working one-on-one with a personal trainer or joining a gym, boot camp, or other group fitness class, you should ask questions until you feel like you have a real sense of the instructor or place, the vibe in the space, and how their values fit with yours, Green says.
Some questions might include:
• What's your approach to healthy nutrition?
• Do you believe that healthy and fit bodies come in a range of shapes and sizes?
• What's your experience working with the plus-size demographic?
• Can you describe your training style?
@nolatrees / Via instagram.com