Years of body negativity brought on by the latest fad diet or fitness craze have made my relationship with exercise a rocky one. Growing up, I was surrounded by “Beach Body” boot camps and personal training programs that signified largeness as something to be lost. But, years later in adulthood, I found positivity in hiking and a sense of calm in yoga flows. I discovered that breaking a sweat could be an enjoyable escape instead of about how many calories I might burn. Since I spent so much time feeling like physical activity was a punishment, I didn’t jump to spend my money on new fitness clothes — plus, options for plus-size retailers who do it right were already limited which made finding quality brands with inclusive activewear tricky. But, as the industry began to acknowledge bigger bodies, well-made and fashionable options started to emerge in the plus-size activewear space. And, I was lucky enough to receive a handful of such styles from the most popular brands to try on myself for size, fit, and feel.
Although my relationship with exercise today is not completely healed, it’s become one with a very real glimmer of hope as I learn to be thankful for my body and appreciative of all it does for me. So, without further ado, scroll through to learn about my favourite activewear offerings for fat folk with stand-out product reviews the brands I tried on IRL and loved — I’ll continue to add more styles worth sharing with you as I discover them. Let’s say goodbye to the duds we once wore in darker times and hello to more size-equitable styles of sports bras that won’t dig, trendy printed sets, and unique silhouettes meant to highlight our bodies instead of hiding them.