These plus-size athletes are proof that you don’t have to lose weight to be fit. At the start of the year, there’s always immense pressure to change. Change your body, change your health, change your life. A new survey from Forbes revealed that 48% of Americans said improving fitness is a top priority in 2024.
Even though science has proven that diets don’t work. Americans spend $33 billion annually on weight loss products because of diet culture and its fatphobic messaging. We’re taking back wellness, sharing why you should ditch diets, and showing you that wellness exists without weight loss.
It’s also important to note that no one can determine how healthy people are by looking at them. However, these plus-size athletes have proven through winning countless medals that their bodies are in exceptional shape.
Emily Campbell was the first female weightlifter to win a medal for Great Britain. She won silver at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She said she wanted “to prove that women who look like me can have successful careers in sport.”
Lizzy started dancing at the age of 5 and quickly fell in love with it. After being diagnosed with a rare brain condition in high school, Lizzy changed her schedule. Allowing her to practice dance more which led to her sharing a dance video that went viral. The 20-something dancer, teacher, and choreographer from Delaware is now living in Los Angeles where she’s dancing her way to the top and fighting against fatphobia.
Mirna Valerio aka The Mirnavator is a cross-country coach, ultramarathoner, cyclist, skier, DEI professional, and author. She began running in high school and recommitted to the sport in 2008 after a health scare. As a plus-sized woman in a world of thinner endurance athletes, she launched her blog Fat Girl Running while training for her first marathon. In 2018 she was chosen as a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.
Jessica Rihal is the yoga and meditation instructor every new yogi needs to follow. Her vulnerability and gentle reminders help normalize taking up space everywhere you go.
Laine Dublin is a collegiate skater and coach with over 15 years of experience. We’ve recently found her content and it’s reinvigorating our dreams of being an ice skater.
Erik Cavanaugh is a dancer and choreographer changing what it means to have a “dancer’s body. Erik’s philosophy, “Do You Dance? Do You Have A Body? Then You Have A Dancer’s Body.” This viral superstar was a contestant on America’s Got Talent and has been seen performing on stages all over the world.
Roz Mays aka Roz The Diva is a fitness educator and public speaker. She specializes in helping people overcome gym-timiation through pole dancing, mobility work, and strength training. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, ESPN, Glamour, Fitbit, and more.
You might recognize Sarah Robles Oly from weightlifting at an Olympic Games or two. As one of the strongest women in the world, Sarah is an inspiration and icon.
Latoya Shauntay Snell identifies as a chronically ill multi-sport athlete and ultrarunner. This chef, writer, and motivational speaker is also the founder of Running Fat Chef and a global athlete ambassador for Hoka.
Jessie is a plus-size certified fitness instructor based in New York City and one of our favorite classes to take. She doesn’t just show you how much fun moving your body can be, she breathes positivity into you. Beginning each class with affirmations and reminding you to listen to your body the entire time.
Kyla Hallums is a traveling dance teacher, empowerment guide, and multi-discipline movement professional. She’s put in thousands of training hours to curate a space that helps others celebrate their bodies. Kyla has been a guide for many people, from learning dance moves to conquering lifelong fears and limiting beliefs.
Which of these plus-size athletes inspire you the most?