Lisa Hannam
Lisa Hannam

I Took a Plus-size Fitness Class

I’ve been reading more and more about body positivity. And not just the “love yourself” movement, but also the idea that everyone should be accepting of different body shapes and sizes and that our culture (from pop to media) needs to be more inclusive. It’s something I’ve always been aware of as an editor, especially as a health editor and a women’s lifestyle journalist. So when Jill Andrew from the Body Confidence Canada Awards offered me the opportunity to meet with a winner from the 2016 list of recipients, I was immediately drawn to Louise Green of the fitness company Body Exchange. I just had to take one of her plus-size fitness classes. Green’s advocacy about getting women to move isn’t just impressive, it’s inspiring. She has a new book called Big Fit Girl. Just check out her Ted Talk on plus-size fitness.

But back to my plus-size fitness session with her. The box-fit class started with a group chat. Green asked each person to say why they were there. While it was unanimous that the women were there because they wanted to work out with women who looked like them and didn’t want to be judged for wanting to work out, one story really stood out. A long-distance runner informed us that she was told, “Now, fatty, you’ve got to run faster than that,” by someone on the street. It was disgusting and stupid. I’m embarrassed—not for her, but for the idiot who said that. We ended with thoughtful words on how we can all relate to working out with women who just get us and will push us as equals instead of judging us. Then we put on our boxing gloves and started punching each other! In a very body-positive way of course. No women were harmed in taking this class—egos or otherwise. 😉