Big Fit Girl Lauretta Johnnie On Why She Started Fitness Programmes For Bigger Bodies

Our girl crush says the fitness industry fails to meet the needs of plus-size women

This month Cosmo is celebrating body positivity with our hashtag #beyouloveyou - and you know what that means...embracing yourself! I don't know about you guys, but I'm definitely gonna look in the mirror and give some love to all my stretch marks and scars 'cause quite frankly, we don't show our bodies enough appreciation. 

Our bodies are pretty awesome. They fight back against illness, they push out babies (brb, just gonna tell my mum I love her) and they build endurance to make us stronger. And yet, we have so much hate for them. I've def wished to be skinnier. But why we do we do this to ourselves? It's 2019, people! ALL women are incredible and ALL bodies can be stunning, healthy and fit. No matter if it's a size 16 or 0. Just take a look at Ameni Esseibi, the bombshell model and our June cover star, taking the world by storm by being the region's very first curvy model! If she can strut her stuff with confidence, so can we! 

But, body confidence isn't just about loving the skin you're in. It's also about flipping the tired narrative that skinny is fit. Fitness can and is so much more. Fitness is muscular, curvy, strong - the list goes on. Basically, ALL body types can healthy. Period. 

In the last decade, plus-size influencers and advocates have been working to broaden the definition of fitness past the stereotypically stick-thin models you see on TV. Qualified personal trainer, yoga teacher, obesity specialist and founder of Full-Figured Fitness UK Lauretta Johnnie is killing the game, showing IRL that fit equals ALL shapes and sizes. Progress is being made, people! 

"There are many misconceptions about plus sizes health and fitness, which help perpetuate the belief that fat people are lazy, do not engage in exercise or discussions about health. This pathologises the fat body and in turn helps people treat the fat person differently and unequally," Lauretta tells Cosmo.

"I started Full Figured Fitness as at my largest/heaviest weight of 28+ stone. Today I try to demystify fitness for the bigger body and encourage inclusive fitness practices by speaking about inclusive fitness."

Now, dieticians and trainers have found a more complex relationship between the body and health, finding that fitness is more about eating right, feeling good, and balancing eating and exercise. In other words, not everything is about looks aka having a conventionally thin body. 'Cause as we know, looks can be deceiving.

Model Iskra Lawrence stocking up on veggies

"You do not need to be in a certain size to become a healthy person. It is never too late to become healthy and fit!" says Lima Faza'a and Sabina Nassar, licensed dieticians of Dubai-based Perutaly Nutrition. "All you need to do is take the decision to change your lifestyle! You may start with something as simple as decreasing the amount of rice you have for lunch or reducing the number of times you eat fast food per week."

See? Anybody can be healthy and fit regardless of what's on the outside! It's all about showing some lurv to the inside (ofc through some tasty veggies and dumbells), and translating that glow to the outside, just like these gorg curvy models that are breaking boundaries! You go girls! 

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