You think plus-size people don’t work out, that they don’t care what they wear. You think maybe we just want to put on an old Richard Simmons sweat suit.
The plus-size athlete is a person. It’s not someone trying to lose weight until they get down to straight sizes. The plus-size athlete has a life, and she does things, and she deserves to have a full wardrobe that matches her sport.
I used to wear baggy clothes to hot yoga-because that was my only option.
Baggy clothes are antithetical to being in a hot room. Hot yoga is really sweaty. So form-fitting, breathable, sweat-wicking designs and materials can make the experience much more pleasant.
But when I did yoga for the first time at age 16, there were just no cute athletic clothes for plus-size women. It was all sweatpants and hoodies-clothing that said: I’m not showing off my body. I’m fat. Don’t look at me. The message: Plus-sized people are supposed to wear clothes that cover up their bodies as much as possible.
The next time I tried it, at age 24 (yeah, I hated it that first time), the options weren’t much better. I found one pair of shorts-they were like bike shorts, but still pretty long-and a couple T-shirts, and I wore them to every class.
Dude, those shorts got wiped.
Even when I found plus-size workout gear, it wasn’t the same as straight-size-it was not fun, sexy, exciting clothing that made you want to be active. It created this feeling of I am not worth what the person next to me is going to get.
I’ve always preferred my birthday suit to all other outfits.
So, one day when I was doing yoga at home, I decided to practice in my underwear.
That was so freeing, because I could actually manipulate my flesh. It was okay to pick up my thighs, and show love to them, and not send negative energy toward them.
It evolved into this body-love conversation with myself. I realized: It’s your body; you can touch it and show it; you don’t have to explain it away or hide it. The way you are made is perfect. I never would have had this conversation with myself if I’d been wearing clothes that covered me up.
Eventually, I transferred this attitude to the yoga studio.
I used to have this feeling that plus-size people were not allowed to just wear a sports bra in class. I had to wear a top, because if I didn’t, it was disrespectful to other people in the room.
Today, my feeling is, yes, I have a fat belly, but if anyone has an issue with that, it’s his or her issue.
Now that I’m a yoga instructor, I rarely teach wearing a shirt, because when I just wear a sports bra I notice that other people will inevitably take their shirts off, too, and I want them to feel the freedom to do that.
Athleisure for fat people has never really been a thing.
Today, you can go out and find plus-size options, but that doesn’t mean they are going to be constructed well.
Plus-size women need leggings that actually go up over our stomach so they don’t slide down. We need leggings that are not sheer in the butt-so if we have a big butt, we don't have to worry about everyone seeing our asses when we bend over.
Right now, bralettes with wild cutouts and sheer panels are super-popular in straight-size activewear-but those sexy details are almost impossible to find in plus-sizes.
Every plus-size athletic line should have trendy bralettes that fall into the category of sexy. Not just cute-but where that person is going to feel vibrant and kickass, and can go out and tackle the world.
Also: Whenever I see a straight-size clothing collection and a plus-size collection next to one another, I notice there are extra plus-size options-like a pant with a baggier leg.
Stop with the fat girl accents.
We just need a pair of leggings that fits correctly-and would it be too much to ask for some fun patterns, too?
Wearing sexy, fun, exciting activewear can make such a huge difference in whether or not a person wants to work out and be active.
Thats why I want to help other women find more options and sizes.
These days, I receive so many types of athletic wear from brands that other plus-size women don’t have the opportunity to shop. That’s why I’m partnering with thredUP to create a Shop Her Closet site full of items from my own wardrobe.
I’m including brands like K-DEER, which makes great high-waisted leggings, Nike, which makes dope plus-size clothes, and Torrid, which is my go-to for bras and bralettes.
When I put these clothes on, I want to go to class, and afterward I don’t want to hide. I want to go grab juice with the crew, do things, be active, and be around people. If you feel good about what you’re wearing, it shines through in other ways.