Plus-Size Trainer Shares Legit Tips for Getting Started With Weight Loss

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(Photo: Body Exchange)

You know it's time to take control and get your butt to the gym, but when you're overweight or you're new to this whole "fitness thing," getting started is overwhelming, confusing and, frankly, easy to put off.

Enter: plus-size athlete and trainer Louise Green. Her mission is to empower all full-figured women to get fit, not for weight loss, for the way it transforms all facets of your life. (Weight loss is just a cool by-product, she admits.)

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But if you drive past the gym and immediately get the shivers, you aren't alone.

This badass trainer told Buzzfeed Health that the mainstream fitness culture has neglected to welcome body diversity, leaving women who aren’t already fit too intimidated to join a gym. So what's a girl (of any size) to do?

This question led Louise to write Big Fit Girl, which is basically a how-to guide for getting motivated to hit the gym, complete with inspirational testimonies from plus-size stars and some honest, practical advice on getting started.

Want to read up on her tips for making it count from the get-go? She shared some of her best advice with Buzzfeed Health, which we're decoding below.

Be in charge of your own body and its progress.

Louise’s clients often come in feeling self-conscious or even apologetic about the way they look. Her advice is to think of yourself as the “CEO of your body,” making sure you own your journey and stay invested.

And as Taylor Swift has taught us, there's no success without a squad. Louise says you need a trainer, tribe (classmates) and team (doctors, resources) who hold you accountable, work with you and celebrate your successes. This doesn't mean you have to hire someone; your group instructor counts here, too! She says that just as a CEO would be selective about job candidates, you should choose your tribe carefully to find people who align with your goals, personality and schedule.

Hash out your relationship issues with food.

Don’t get into a workout routine and simultaneously derail your progress with poor nutrition. If you’re committing to exercise, push yourself to view food as fuel for your body and treat it as such.

Louise encourages clients to “find a really peaceful place with food” by finding a balance and practicing moderation. She definitely isn't condoning restrictive diets or asking you to punish yourself over a well-deserved treat every now and then. 

Think of weight loss as a side success, not your main goal.

If you want to lose weight, cool, but Louise notes that the best way to make it happen is by throwing those lb. goals out the window. Instead of practicing a restrictive diet, focus on lifestyle changes that’ll naturally help you drop weight. For example, vow to “work out for 20 minutes” or “cook a healthy for the family at home” instead of “lose 2 pounds this week.” These are goals that can actually be accomplished without worry, and you'll see the weight fall as a result.

She also encourages you to ditch your scale! Focus instead on other signs of progress; run longer or faster, squat heavier weight, or make it through your whole session without wanting to sob on the floor. Progress is progress, right?

And to make real progress, you have to shun the doubts and negativity from your life. “People don’t realize how much what we see on a daily basis affects them,” she says. Cleanse your life of the negative by unfollowing social sites that make you feel inadequate (goodbye, drug store magazines with Photoshopped models). Then, go out of your way to fill your feed/life with people who'll encourage you! (Louise’s handle is @louisegreen_bigfitgirl, in case you were wondering.)

It's though the power of exercise I learned to love my body. I realized that exercise could be more than expending calories and trying to conform my body to a smaller version of myself. I realized I had an innate power. Through running, I started to recognize my body's power and all it can do, the adventures it takes me, never letting me down. I started to realize that my body, #thisbody, will pretty much do whatever I train it to do and THAT kind of power deserves respect and love ❤️ . . . #thisbody #thisgirlcan #seethe67 #lovemyshape #fitnessmotivation #plussize #plussizefitness #plussizemodel #plusmodelmag #fitnessbeyondsize #bigfitgirl #bodyconfidence #bodypositiveathletes #effyourbeautystandards

A post shared by Louise Green (@louisegreen_bigfitgirl) on

Wear the right stuff, but do whatever you want.

Louise's must-haves for any full-figured woman who's working out are a legit sports bra, compression pants with a drawstring and proper sneakers. This means finding a hook-and-eye bra with a cup for each breast and getting fitted for the perfect sneakers for your preferred activities.

And what activities are those? Whichever you love, she says. “Larger people are often told to do water aerobics, or activities that are perceived as gentle,” Louise admits. But she believes that any activity is safe as long as you listen to your body and progress steadily. Try different classes or workouts until you find your jam—and don’t listen to anyone but yourself!

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