by Jade Fothergill
We often talk about body positivity, and for many people one of the things that helped them fall back in love with their bodies was finding a physical activity that was a celebration of their body rather than a punishment - something that allows people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement.
But in a world full of tiny lycra-clad gym bunnies, where to turn? Well, luckily, in Apples & Pears’ HQ town of Colchester we have MissFits, a dance-exercise class run by the This Girl Can ambassador and qualified instructor, Becky Scott.
Becky is not your typical fitness professional! She believes in the principles of health at every size: Her classes are not focused on weight-loss, but instead promote the empowering message that no matter what size or shape, we can all find joy, confidence and a sense of freedom from moving our bodies. Her classes challenge people's expectations of what fat bodies can do because she choreographs routines with plus-size bodies specifically in mind: She doesn’t modify or water down existing exercises – instead, she creates lower impact and less complicated routines that still feel complete and challenging, yet are achievable by everyone.
A & P’s very own Jade (a self-confessed gym-phobic) has been attending for a few weeks now –
“This class has been a revelation – there is a friendly, informal atmosphere, and no-one could care less if you’ve got the ‘right’ gear on or what trainers you’re wearing. Becky offers lower-impact alternatives to more demanding moves, so everyone can do as much as they feel able, and not be made to feel as if they have to keep up with those who can do more. Remarkably, though, I’ve surprised myself by attempting the higher-energy moves too, because you’re getting sweaty without even realising it! My memories of classes many moons ago when I used to go to a gym was perfect petite instructors yelling at you to push harder, or telling you if it doesn’t hurt it’s not working… Nothing could actually be further from the truth, and it wasn’t until I attended Becky’s class that I realised how damaging and unhelpful those experiences were. Now I feel motivated to move without feeling admonished or judged I’m actually enjoying it!”
Do you have a class or gym near you that promotes health at every size? Have you been put off a type of sport or exercise because of weight-loss expectations or other’s judgement? Have you finally found a physical activity that you enjoy after years of PE-based trauma?! We’d love to hear your experiences. Tweet us @CurvyClothes!