You can’t gauge someone’s level of fit by their body size or shape, although media has often associated thinness or ripped abs to health. Here are some of our fave fitness instructors who aren’t a size 2 … and aren’t trying to be!
Jessica Rihal, a plus-size yoga and fitness instructor, told As/Is, “Fitness is not an indicator of body size, physical fitness, and weight loss. These are separate destinations which may at times intersect, but are still not synonymous. It’s a common and dangerous misconception that weight loss and fitness are the same things, and if we only see one type of body reflected in the fitness/wellness world, we continue to reinforce fatphobia and an archaic/superficial way of thinking.” Ashley Stetts, founder of the model management company Stetts, added, “When it comes to fitness, models should be relatable – not holding people to a standard that for many may be unattainable. Instead of encouraging women to embrace being overweight, these women are encouraging others to confidently enter the fitness world and continue to get stronger, and that is a message that we stand behind.”
1. Jessie Diaz-Herrera
You’ve definitely seen Jessica Diaz before. The dancing queen not only teaches body-positive dance classes in NYC, but she also lifts weights, does CrossFit, AND is a size-inclusivity advocate in the fitness industry. Stetts, who represents Diaz, added: “At 5’3” and a size 2X, our model Jessie did not fit into any standard fitness model ideal, but she is strong, fit and confident — and brands invest in the message she delivers to their consumers. These women are proving that you do not have to be a size 4 to be strong, fit, and healthy.”
2. Dana Falsetti
Dana has gone on to develop her own practice in yoga, despite the fact “many yoga studios weren’t particularly welcoming to her,” according to her site. Through yoga, she works to “normalize the diversity of the human condtion and give others, especially vulnerable groups, the opportunity for self-worth, self-care, and ultimately, self-acceptance.” Yesss.