Around 2005 I started to get fit out of joy – no longer to change my body aesthetically. This was in the early days of Facebook and well before Instagram, so I hadn’t heard of the body positive exercise before. Smartphones weren’t that popular yet, so uploading pictures to social media often wasn’t really a thing. Without this technology, there was basically no representation of different bodies in fitness.
There was just no way to search for hashtags like #bodypositivefitness on social media to see people who looked like me. At that time, the magazines sorely lacked the representation of different bodies. So you were pretty SOL if you didn’t look like the lean, “ideal” body type on those glossy pages.
At that point, I had a larger body, despite having been active as a child and as an adult. (And of course that is completely normal). For many years I had tried to combat this with diet and more exercise, with the sole aim of making my body smaller.
During that time – and even in the climate where people who looked like me weren’t represented – I still had a total “fitness transformation”. I haven’t lost any weight and my appearance hasn’t changed drastically. What changed, however, was my attitude. And it has changed dramatically. I finally started to adopt my own athleticism. I no longer cared about the numbers on the scale, but rather metrics related to my athletic ability.
The shift happened when I started working with a treadmill that had a body like mine. She was the first person I knew with a similar body who shattered their fitness goals without worrying about weight loss.
She lived like an athlete and that changed everything for me. It also made me see what other body positive fitness resources I could find. I started looking for other inspirations, and in those early days of social media, books became my go-to place. Although books with different body types were still very much lacking, I attracted the few books available. You have been so helpful to me. Even if social media would have Ruling back then, it pales in on books in one big way: social media shows snippets, while books can tell the broader story that can inspire people to relate the experiences of others to their own lives. These stories show the possibility.
Little did I know in 2005 that I was going to be the author of body-positive fitness books myself. The books I read were so impressive that I made it my mission in life to advance them so I can also help others learn fitness for all.
Since body positive fitness books have played a huge role in my own life, I wanted to share some of my favorites with you. I hope they can help you as much as they helped me!