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5 Tips for Enjoying Movement in a Plus-Size Body

Being in a plus-size body can make one feel out of place in a lot of fitness spaces, and sometimes, specifically EXCLUDED.

It can be hard to walk into a fitness space nowadays with everything social media throws at us about how we should look and feel. And don't even get me started on the COMPLETE LACK of cute, affordable, and comfortable plus-size workout clothing.

Sometimes the exclusion is purposeful and other times it's due to a lack of knowledge about the human body...specifically plus-size bodies.

In the last few years, I've interacted with many teachers who were never taught how to prop and create options for their students, especially those in larger bodies. They also teach in fitness spaces that don't have props available, which limits the teacher's ability to explore options for their clients.

While I acknowledge that props can be an additional expense for new businesses and they can be challenging to store in smaller fitness spaces, the lack of proper tools for teachers and students is leading to a divide among students of different sizes. It is crucial to provide students with adequate support from the start so they can develop the necessary strength and flexibility to progress in their fitness journey.

I come from a studio that has ALL the props available AND encourages exercise exploration. Practicing and teaching at a studio that encourages all bodies to move in a way that is both supportive and challenging has made me rethink everything I learned about exercise in my teens and twenties (and most of my thirties).

Our bodies are meant to move.

It doesn't matter how "out of shape" you are.

It doesn't matter how much you weigh.

It doesn't matter what you wear.

It doesn't matter if you have to take small breaks.

It doesn't matter if you only move for 5 minutes in a day.

Any amount of movement is AMAZING!

Being intentional about moving your body is AMAZING!

If you live in a plus-size body, like me, you might be thinking you don't have access to an inclusive fitness space or you aren't sure how to find one. I hear you! I have a couple of links below for you!

Size Inclusive Teacher

5 Tips for Enjoying Movement in a Plus-Size Body:

  1. Find a Size Inclusive Certified teacher to help you find the right props to have on hand or find a fitness space or studio that has a Size Inclusive Certified teacher or trainer. I'm on both of these maps!

  1. Find a safe space to move.

    • Find a small space in your apartment or house that is just for you.

      • It could just be a corner or it could be a space that you setup right before your movement practice.

      • Don't be afraid to make it personal. The more you love your space, the more you'll want to be in it.

    • Find a fitness space or studio that is size inclusive (or has a Size Inclusive Certified teacher/trainer).

      • A good indicator would be a website that has pictures of people of all shapes and sizes. Students AND teachers!!

      • Read the class descriptions.

        • Movement shouldn't be about changing the way your body looks!!! If a class is focused on changing your shape, it may not be the right class for you.

  2. Don't enforce a time requirement on how long you move your body, especially when you are first starting out.

  • I see a lot of "ALL IN" mentality when people decide they need to start working out. Instead, we should be thinking about the fact that we GET to move our bodies. We don't need 50 minute classes right at the start. We can ease into our journey and our movement minutes can change over time. The key is consistency!!!

  • The amount of time you spend moving your body may vary day to day, week to week, month to month. Don't set an expectation for yourself if you think you'll disappoint yourself. Instead, set an expectation that you are going to see how you feel once you start to move - and go from there.

  1. Figure out what feels right in your body.

  • Explore it ALL!!! Don't be afraid to play with the movements and decide what feels right for you.

  • Also, wear something comfortable that doesn't slip or slide up. You want to pay attention to how you are feeling while you move, not worrying about whether your pants are going to slide down or your shirt is going to shift up.

  1. Don't compare yourself to anyone else.

  • Everyone starts their journey at a different place and no one's journey is the same.

  • Everyone's body has been through different stuff and we are all different shapes and sizes - this affects more than you realize. Don't assume you know someone's story.

  • Focus on yourself and what does and doesn't work for you.

BONUS THOUGHT: Be kind to yourself, always.

If you haven't listen to this podcast from 2023, please listen! I had an amazing opportunity to chat with the lovely Jessica Valant [the episode title kind of says it all]. Click on the picture to listen!

Pilates podcast

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