Walking Guide

10 of the Most Inspiring Plus-Size Athletes You're Not Following

By , SparkPeople Blogger
We’ve all heard the tagline “strong is the new skinny,” and we couldn’t agree more. Although we definitely support weight loss for the sake of health and wellness, the days of struggling to live up to magazine-cover standards and take up the smallest possible space in the world seem to be behind us (thank goodness).
The latest generation of fitness enthusiasts are all about making the most of their bodies, not the least of them. Instead of starving and step-counting themselves toward some impossible ideal, they’re enjoying plenty of healthy food, doing their fitness thang and embracing their unique combination of curves, muscles and, yes, cushion.
Inspiration doesn’t have to be a size 2, or 6 or even a 10. In fact, inspiration doesn’t have to have any size. After spending some time on these inspiring athletes’ Instagram pages, you’ll be motivated to start or continue your own journey. Hopefully, you’ll learn to appreciate the perfect imperfections and resilient strength of the beautiful body you’ve been given.

Jessamyn Stanley

Women all around the world are drawing motivation from Jessamyn Stanley, a yoga instructor and self-described body positivity advocate from North Carolina. We could watch her all day.


A post shared by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on

Amber Karnes

The founder of Body Positive Yoga, Virginia-based Amber Karnes promotes “self-acceptance, fat positivity, social justice, accessible yoga and mindfulness.”

Jenna Fziger

We love Jenna’s body-positive hashtags: #HealthAtEverySize and #IAmEnough.


A post shared by jennnafziger (@jennnafziger) on


Instead of making apologies for her full figure, Glitterandlazers celebrates it.


A post shared by Glitter (@glitterandlazers) on

Louise Green

Louise Green calls herself “Big Fit Girl,” and we love her message of body positivity and acceptance at any size.


Her everyday, real-life fitness videos are enough to get anyone off the couch.


A post shared by J~ (@nappybeautylove) on

Jessie Diaz-Herrera

Jessie Diaz-Herrera leads a body-positive dance class in New York City and is a dairy-free pescatarian. Need we say more?


Based in Germany, fitness enthusiast and blogger Jana calls herself “plus-size by nature.”


A post shared by Plus Size by Nature (@ja_noo) on

Dana Falsetti

Dana Falsetti is a yoga practitioner who holds workshops to help others live intentionally and authentically.


A post shared by Dana Falsetti (@nolatrees) on

Lauren Mowatt

This self-love advocate and yoga practitioner says “do the universe a favor…don’t hide your magic.”


A post shared by Lauren Mowatt (@livewellwithlaur) on

Who are your favorite plus-size athletes?

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SPORKSIES 4/9/2018
This is such a nice reminder. It's so easy to go around thinking that you need to reach your goal weight/size/measurements/etc to live the healthy life you want to. These amazing women prove that's not the case! You can do anything, right now, and forget anyone who thinks differently. You have one chance at life, why put off living until the scale says so? Every day when you've made healthy choices, you're living healthier. Every day you do something to make you happy, you're living happier. That's all that should matter. Report
I sometimes wish we would treat weight like we treat height. We don't tell women they need to be taller or shorter. Report
CAR227 4/5/2018
Wow, their flexibility is impressive. Report
PLATINUM755 3/24/2018
AWESOME share! Report
Wow! Report
SHOAPIE 3/23/2018
Amazing. Report
Very inspiring! Thanks! Report
MBPP50 3/23/2018
Amazing Report
TRIMNUP 3/23/2018
It's about attitude and attitude adjustment. These women's attitudes keep them moving. My attitude keeps me moving. They don't give up. I don't give up. I will keep on SPARKING because SPARK PEOPLE motivate me every day. Report
LADY_HAVOC 3/22/2018
These ladies have inner and outer beauty. Some of you had best go looking for your own inner beauty, cause it sure isn't showing here. I have struggled with my weight since almost being raped by my stepfather at age 12. You are the ones who told me I couldn't work at McDonald's because I couldn't fit behind the counter. BTW, at that point I was 20 and only 180. You are the ones who told me that to train at the front desk of a hotel that I would need to buy my own uniform - and then told me that I didn't fit the model of someone they wanted at the front desk. You are my former supervisor who made sure I knew that she didn't want me at the nurses station of the hospital. You are my former boss who told me to stop working out at lunch because someone complained about my smell, even though I cleaned up every single day after lunch. I stopped working out completely that day. You are the people who forced me behind the desk and to be the voice at the other end of the phone. Customers don't care what I look like. They care how well their problem is handled, and I'm good at that. I could be good at a lot more, but people like you made sure that I didn't have the confidence to try. And now, I wonder why I should even bother to lose weight. Why should I even care? Because you people can't see past the exterior to see the person inside. Report
ALIHIKES 3/22/2018
I really appreciate these athletes who are trying to become the best that they can be. I am sorry some comments are so negative. All of us on this site are on a journey to become more healthy. No matter where we start on our journey to become fit -- enough with the negative comments based on fat haters! I have lost weight, but even when I reach my IDEAL weight I know I will be curvy (bigger bust and that's not going anywhere without surgery). All that each of us can do is try to be in the best health that we can be. Let's support each other as we are on the journey!! And accept that some heavier Sparkers are inspired to see other women who look like themselves as role models. Report
333555RAINBO 3/22/2018
Thank you. I'm a real person. Albeit a shy person who still feels like I need to lose weight. But in the present, these people are encouraging to not make the mistake of saying "until, I lose weight then I'll live." That is how my mind works. I'm working on that and as I progress in the program my attitude about my program is becoming more positive little by little as I accomplish small goals one at a time. Thank you for your inspiration. Report
1DAY-ATA-TIME 3/22/2018
Amazing ladies! Very Inspirational Report
JANET552 3/22/2018
Thanks Report
Being fit can come in many different shapes and sizes. Report
CECELW 3/10/2018
She's got some mad flexibility skills Report
Very inclusive! Report
LADYBUG1943 2/28/2018
Mirna Valerio, 100K marathon runner, blogger, and author of A Beautiful Work in Progress. Her book is an inspirational read. Report
NANCYPAT1 2/27/2018
Very inspiring Report
NANCYPAT1 2/27/2018
Very inspiring Report
NANCYPAT1 2/27/2018
Very inspiring Report
I love seeing the flexibility of these 'plus size' women! Awesome! Report
USMAWIFE 2/25/2018
excellent article. thanks Report
IRISHROVER63 2/25/2018
I find these real people very inspirational. They show me that I can do it. Thank you for this article. Report
Superb...Really Like This help full article. Get Something Indian Festival Entertainment : whatsapplovequotes.com Report
NANCYPAT1 2/25/2018
Nice Report
PELESJEWEL 2/24/2018
Love this! I have always been body positive, ran my 1st 5Ks at 255lbs! Report
MIYAMO 2/24/2018
Very inspiring. Report
THECOZE 2/24/2018
My favorite plus size athlete is MEEEEEEEEE!!!!! I like seeing others that are inspiring as well... Report
BIKE4HEALTH 2/24/2018
thanks Report
SHOAPIE 2/24/2018
Great. Report
PWILLOW1 2/24/2018
Wonderful article. Would love to see more on people who are full figured and not so much on ones who seem to be obsessed with being super skinny. Report
NANCYPAT1 2/24/2018
Very inspiring Report
NANCYPAT1 2/24/2018
Very inspiring Report
DAN1964 2/24/2018
It would be nice to see some men represented on this site. Report
PLCHAPPELL 2/24/2018
Very inspiring Report
DGFOWLER 2/24/2018
Finally an article that actually shows you can love yourself at any weight, continuing to be stronger and hey, they look more like most of us on here than the other articles I read. Kudos to these ladies and their attitudes. Report
1FARMER 2/23/2018
Everybody's journey looks different because it's their journey not ours.
I celebrate with all my sparkfamily as they work their own plan. Report
CHRIS3874 2/23/2018
not me Report
LISAMIDALA 2/23/2018
The journey to health doesn’t start after you’ve become healthy. I’m so inspired by these women to just do and keep doing. Report
LISAMIDALA 2/23/2018
The journey to health doesn’t start after you’ve become healthy. I’m so inspired by these women to just do and keep doing. Report
HEATHERSTHPW68 2/23/2018
I have two inspirations, one is the instructor of my Revelation Wellness class that I enjoy so much and the other is the founder, CEO and author of the program! The two of these women have helped me realize that loosing weight isn't the main priority but simply treating it the way God intended for us to do! Report
RAPUNZEL53 2/23/2018
Great. Report
GIGGLECAI 2/23/2018
Thank you for this very appropriate reminder to love one's self at any size, or any point in life for that matter. It all begins with self-love. Report
KRISZTA11 2/23/2018
There are wonderful persons who just cannot lose weight.
My mom is one of them.
I wish she had less extra weight but it does not happen.
So what? I don't love her less, and I certainly wish her to be happy, strong and (as) healthy (as possible) at her current weight, just like these inspiring women are.
BIGTOSS03 2/23/2018
Sorry but this article wasn't inspirational to me at all. Report
PATRICIA-CR 2/23/2018
Hats off to these athletes!!!! Report
Wow! I used to do yoga when I was smaller and more limber. As I gained weight, I lost flexibility. I thought it was b/c of the weight gain and the extra cushion in places that kept me from doing certain poses... but now I see if i just work on my flexibility again, I can be more limber and I can make these poses. Yay! Thanks! Report
97MONTY 2/23/2018
I get inspiration from them all and for those with the negativity, I feel sorry for you all. Report
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