In this weeks episode of Lose Live Learn I’m discussing the label ‘plus size’ and how this has shown up negatively in my life.

My dress size varies depending on where I shop, and whilst I can shop in stores like Lululemon…I also shop in stores dedicated to women who are +size 16.

Walking into stores like SimplyBE was a real mindset shift for me, because for as long as I can remember being labelled as ‘plus size’ meant “YOU DON’T FIT IN”.

It was like a neon sign above my head, outing my size to the world.

Whilst I hate to admit it, I identified as ‘plus size’ but I didn’t want to.

I felt ashamed of my size for so many years, not being able to get boots to fit my calves, needing elastic in my pants and shopping in the adult section for ‘back to school’ clothing — it was exhausting.

As I got older, I realised that my legs were NEVER going to fit into the boots I liked. I couldn’t change the shape of my legs…even if I lost weight. Yoga pants have become sooooo normal that NOT wearing stretchy pants is horrifying!

I started to accept and love the parts of my body I couldn’t change, I quit dieting and focused on improving my health which led to maintaining my weight for TWO years. I fell in love with movement and finding ways to take care of myself, and stopped rewarding myself with food.

It took work, but above all it took COMPASSION.


Since becoming a coach, I’ve become

Ashley Graham Ted X talk
Ashley Graham “plus size” model talking body acceptance at TEDX

hyperaware of my body size.

In an industry which PREYS on the idea of women getting smaller, and doing anything in their ability to reach “perfection” — there I was with that neon sign again!

I’ve discovered TWO very big things since working in a gym:

  1. No one seems to give a sh*t what size I am, and because I know what it takes to work hard and push yourself in the gym — my classes are booked out and women share how “tough but awesome” my classes are.
  2. If I continue BELIEVING that my size separates me from my peers [in a negative way] then I will manifest these situations. I will prevent women from working with me, because HECK why should they if I’m afraid of showing up?


Byron Katie asks: do you know it to be true?

This question has helped me a great deal, because I don’t know what someone else is thinking, and if I’m not going to ask them, it’s a waste of time and energy.

So, instead of labelling myself as a ‘plus size’ coach and having to defend my job title — I choose to EMBRACE my job role, my body and my lifestyle.

If someone else chooses to refer me as ‘plus size’ I too will embrace this, because I no longer see it as an insult or something to be ashamed of.

Buying clothing which actually fits, and doesn’t leave marks in my skin — I deserve it just as much as everyone else.




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