I woke up the other morning, put on a sports bra, and peeled off my thermal top. But I kept my pajama bottoms on. I wanted to get in a workout before the kids woke up, and after tying my hair up, I was ready to go. With the push of a button, the app on my phone guided me through a quick, sweat-session and it was glorious.
I love working up a good sweat, but what gives me even more motivation is seeing women who keep it real and give us all the inspiration we need to unapologetically be ourselves. No one needs to see perfect poses where flaws are hidden, because let’s face it, we all have them.
I have cellulite in my ass, and I’ll always have a little belly no matter what I do — that’s just life, and we need to see more realness and encouragement, and less of the perfect bodies (that really aren’t a thing) on our screens that make us think we will never measure up.
Here are the 10 Instagram accounts to follow if you are looking to get motivated, inspired, and empowered:
I made a conscious effort to change the story I was telling myself. Instead of “look how much you suck now” I started thinking, “You are making a great choice to improve your health and fitness. If you keep this up you are going to see great improvements in your speed and endurance.” Have you ever found yourself in a negative cycle of self talk? When I catch myself in this cycle these are the techniques I use to change my thought process. Stopping the Comparison Game: 5 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: http://www.benderfitness.com/2018/01/stopping-the-comparison-game-5-ways-to-stop-comparing-yourself-to-others.html #benderfitness #healthyliving #positivity #selftalk #selfkindness #stopcomparing
Melissa has been my go-to for three years. She’s a mother, shares recipes, and her workouts are effective and dynamic. Her messages are incredibly empowering and she includes all fitness levels in her workouts.
Ashley doesn’t post solely about workouts, but when she does, it’s so inspiring. She shows women you can be healthy, fit, and hot as hell at any size and we love her for it.
First day back at the gym like… wait, what am I doing? 🤷🏽♀️ Seriously though, after 6 weeks of being on the road and not working out to my ability (getting a sweat in here and there) has left me feeling a bit out of shape… you may not think I look out of shape but I can hardly do the things I was doing before hitting the road. I have a lot of progress to make and instead of being bummed out because I feel a bit on the weaker side it’s just more fuel to my fire and motivates me to get back at it!!!! WE GOT WORK TO DO!! @hbfit
I adore Hannah because her posts aren’t just fitness-driven, but they show women what true self-care looks like. She goes out and does amazing things with the energy she has, eats healthy food, and lives life to its fullest.
MY FIRST #FATKINI OF THE YEAR!!! Ugh getting this @gabifresh X @swimsuitsforall in the mail made it feel a little less gloomy outside and made my sunshiney heart feel SO READY FOR THE BEACH!!!! They extended the size range to 26 this year and it fits me perfectly – new vid on YouTube where I try it on and talk about it more 🧡 EEP SO MANY SUMMER TIME FEELS!!! #plussize #bikini #psootd #psblogger #plussizemodel
Carissa Enneking posts badass pictures of herself wearing all the things. She shows women of all sizes they are not confined to a box– they are free to look and feel beautiful in bathing suits, lingerie, and sexy little dresses. She is a stunningly beautiful, positive woman, inside and out.
Val has 4 boys and has made it her mission to help other women get fit. She posts daily inspiration, and I love her memes. She reminds all women we are in this together and the importance of cheering for each other.
Jamie Eason-Middleton is a fitness blogger with two kids, and tons of experience. I love her honesty about how it can be difficult to combine fitness and motherhood. I’ve been following her for over three years now, and she was the one who made me decide it was time to get in the best shape of my life.
I fell in love with the high quality + stylish @JCPenney athletic wear that I wore during the #HereIAm shoot- the shorts, leggings, and tops made me feel very strong, sexy, and confident. However, we rarely see fat bodied athletes wearing revealing clothing. I think it’s because we’re expected to hide our bodies beneath layers of fabric. However, feeling good about ourselves should be a universal value- and what better way to manifest self-love than by wearing the clothes we actually WANT to wear, instead of the clothes we’re expected to wear? Regardless of body shape or size, we’re all meant to live our best lives right now, at this exact moment. But let’s face it- confidence can be hard to maintain in the face of opposition. It may not come easy, but confidence is more worthwhile than almost anything else in this world. I maintain confidence by reminding myself that I am meant to be unique- and the unexpected bits of my body and personality are the best parts. How do you maintain confidence? #sponsored
Jessamyn is one of my favorite kickass women who makes me believe I can do really hard fucking things. Look how she nails this pose. In this post, she talks about how being a certain shape or size or shape might make you feel like you are supposed to hide behind your clothes, and she’s not having it. It’s about loving yourself enough to wear what you want– no matter what that is, and it’s a message we need to hear more of.
My body used to consume my mind. Now my soul consumes my body. I had to stop equating thinness with happiness, because after a decade of chasing “skinny” I never caught up to “happy”. And when I stopped pressuring my body to be a certain size, and let go of obsessively controlling every behavior around food and exercise – my body decided to do something I had desperately tried to avoid for years- she got bigger. I guess the world just needed more of me. Just do you babes! Xoxo Allie ————
This message from Allison Kimmel is incredibly powerful. The before shot when she was “chasing’skinny'” she talks about the unhappiness that comes with that. She’s right– we need to be chasing happy, and our body size should not be the deciding factor by any means.
9. Emily Skye
Physically speaking I will never be the same (which isn’t a bad thing) and I’m making the most of what I’ve got. I’ve still got loose skin on my belly but my abs are beginning to make a comeback – which shows me that what I’m doing is working (following my FIT Program)! . Some people misunderstand my reasons for living a fit and active lifestyle and think it’s “selfish” because I’m now a mum. Being fit, strong and healthy is important to me mainly because of how it makes me feel. And if I feel good I’m happy, and I’m a much better mum to my daughter Mia and a better partner to my man Dec and so on. I also like being strong for myself because I like it and I love the look of a strong physique! My focus is always on being healthy but I like to look good too and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look good!! I’m not sure why there seems to be a stigma attached to wanting to look good. As long as I’m not ever sacrificing my health to look a certain way and as long as it doesn’t negatively affect my family I don’t see anything wrong with it – in fact I see everything RIGHT with it! . Do what makes you happy regardless of what anyone else thinks – as long as it doesn’t directly hurt anybody. – These are words I live by and what I’ll instil in my daughter. The last thing I want is for her to live to please others (like I used to) – there is a difference between showing love and doing nice things for people and trying to constantly please others at the expense of your own happiness. . This lifestyle makes me happy so I’m going to keep living it and I encourage you to live a life that makes you happy too. 😃 . What makes you happy, and are you doing it? . . #2monthspostpartum #fitmum #emilyskye #postpartum
Emily Skye is a fit mom who isn’t afraid to put it all out there and own her reasons for continuing to exercise. She also shows before and after pictures that are very real, and it’s so refreshing to see someone who lives a healthy lifestyle show us the reality of how having a child changes your body, no matter what your lifestyle is, and the idea to get back into your “pre-baby self” should only be done if it makes you happy.
10. Summers VonHesse
My kids are back in Nevada with my hubs, who is amazing for stepping up to take care of everything when I go on trips. He takes care of the kids, the animals, the laundry. I feel very fortunate to have such a supportive partner. I spent like 6 years doing nothing but waiting on everyone else's needs hand and foot, trying to fit myself into this textbook perfect mom and wife role that was killing me. It sucked the joy from my spirit. Turns out that perfect mom and wife dosnt exist. There are happy and unhappy women tho and I discovered I had to quit trying to be something I wasn't if I was going to be happy. I can be this amazing free spirited animal and still bake a fuckin cake. My kids have an awesome life. Moral of the story here is never loose yourself in someone else's needs. Wether it's your kids, your spouse, your family….it is so important that you honor those things in you that bring you joy.
Summers Von Hesse is a mother who talks about self-care and the importance of taking time for yourself. In every picture, it’s clear to see she’s living her best life, taking care of herself, and remembering her happiness does not depend on what others think of her.
Whatever your goals are, the key is to love yourself. If you want to feel the burn without an audience, or see real women willing to show your their whole self without filters and poses to hide their hips or thighs, these ladies deliver. They all offer something different, so you’re sure to find one you connect with.
Be ready, you are going to get addicted — these women will teach you how to be cool with who you are, no matter your size or shape, and really, I don’t know a woman out there who hasn’t tried to grasp that one time or another.