plus-size athletes

Your body is ready for whatever your mind wills.

photo: Instagram

Yes, extra weight can be limiting — but so can a lot of other things. 

And when it comes to athleticism, sometimes it's more about mind, spirit, and grit than it is about being lean. If your head is in the game and you've put in the work, anything is possible. 

Don't believe me? Take a look at these 10 amazing athletes who will inspire you to go hard AF in the gym, on the yoga mat, or wherever you go to get your beast-mode on.


In 2011, Sarah Robles was dubbed the strongest person in America after out-lifting her female AND male competitors. At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she became the first weightlifter in 16 years to bring a gold medal back to the US.

sarah robles olympics 2016
photo: Getty

This tweet speaks volumes on her spirit and tenacity.

"Things that used to get me bullied are the things that made me become an Olympian. Consider that when some jerk tries to tear you down."

Canadian marathon trainer Louise Green helps plus-size women overcome their fear of being ridiculed so they can make a 5K their bitch. She's a badass and she knows it.

"My hope is that my actions inspire others to put aside their fears and difference and lace up despite of it all," she writes on her website.


From BuzzFeed to Cosmo, Jessamyn Stanley is one of the OGs of spreading body diversity in yoga. Simply by doing what she does and letting the world see, she's inspiring other women to put their fear on a shelf and try something new.

"Without yoga, I don't know where I'd be. It has carried me through so many earth-shattering moments, and I'm damn sure it isn't about 'toning my core' or 'sculpting my glutes,'" she wrote on Instagram.


"I've got some fat here and some fat there .... I'm not fast," Mirna Valerio told NBC News. She's the blogger behind Fat Girl Running. She once ran 35 miles for 13 hours straight. Tell us again about those things our bodies can't do, world?

"Look in the mirror and smile, even if it doesn't feel genuine. Sometimes we have to fake it till we make it," she wrote on a recent blog.


Talk about crushing stereotypes, track and field athlete Amanda Bingson has broken world Olympic records. She surpassed the female American hammer throw record, hitting approximately 248 feet.

A photo posted by Amanda Bingson (@abingson) on

"You might be prettier and skinnier than me, but I'll kick your ass in a game of one-on-one," she told ESPN.


Leah Gilbert is a triathlete in her late 30s who suffers from degenerative joint disorder, and she has had it up to here with people who think plus-size athletes promote obesity. In late 2015 she wrote an essay about that very topic and it went viral.

A photo posted by Leah G (@leebee2321) on

"Please stop assuming that we are showing up because we want to lose weight ... We are showing up because we want to challenge ourselves, physically, and mentally, and we have goals that include training and competing a triathlon," she wrote in a recent blog


At 275 pounds, Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder faced fat-shaming and cruel jokes when he covered ESPN magazine's body issue. If his 314 career home runs weren't enough to shut haters up, this quote should do it...

plus-size athletes
photo: ESPN
"Just because you're big doesn't mean you can't be an athlete. And just because you work out doesn't mean you are going to have a six-pack. I work out to make sure I can do my job to the best of my ability," he told ESPN.


Julie Creffield remembers the moment a kid called out, "Run, fatty, run," at her first 3K vividly. That kind of stigma fueled her to start Too Fat To Run, an online club for plus-size runners. Her message is simple: Embrace the body you have NOW and focus on being happy and healthy.

"Many people simply think that running is something that FAT women can't or shouldn't do at all, including some medical professionals, and I am on a mission to prove otherwise," she wrote on her website.


Roz Mays, aka Roz the Diva, isn't leaving it all on the field — she's working it on the pole. As a pole dancing teacher for women and men of all sizes, she promotes confidence and a killer workout.

A photo posted by Roz The Diva (@rozthediva) on

"For anybody who thinks they are too big or too heavy to try pole dancing, throw on some sparkly booty shorts and try it anyway!" she told Revelist. 
Check her full story here.


Krista Henderson got into triathlons because she wanted to lose weight, but she stuck with it because it made her feel awesome. And that's what made her start Born to Reign, a plus-size training resource that is about so much more than weight loss.

"My advice is not to focus on the weight loss, focus on what it means to get stronger and fitter. Your goals could be how do you run five seconds faster or ride 10 miles at a certain RPM. Those goals are more healthy and confidence building," she told Total Women's Cycling