Body Image Cardio Emotions Exercise Fitness Healthy Living Lifestyle Motivation New Orleans Obesity weight loss

Plus Size Fitness Instructor? Yep…That’s Me…

Life is filled with ups and downs, and there was a time when I blogged about them in real time. Now I spend less time online and more time thinking through situations, praying about them and venting less.

Right now, life is mostly good for Michael and me, but many people around us are hurting. Nothing good can come from sharing those hurts here, but I’m doing what I can to show support and offer love to those around me whether I know them or not.

One of the major ways I do that is through work. I do membership and marketing stuff, and I spend most of my days visiting with people who are striving to become healthier or hoping to start. I encourage kids with special needs to be creative, and I get a lot of fulfillment from loving others. I may not always do it well, but I definitely do my best.

One facet of my job is to bring in families, individuals and even corporate members. I strive to connect with everyone and to make them feel welcome. Often times it works, but once in a while there’s a perspective member who never makes it in. They’re often women who feel like they’ll be judged if they walk into the gym, and I understand that because I was one of those women for a long, long time.

I speak to plus-size women who have been shamed, as well as women who fear being shamed. I always ask them to take a chance on me. “Come in and visit with me face-to-face. You’ll feel so much better when you do.”

There’s nothing more satisfying to hear from a member than what I heard from one of my favorites recently.” She said, “Thank you for helping me see that life is worth living.” I can’t tell you how emotional I am just writing this now…knowing that somewhere in New Orleans a lady who didn’t always know her worth knows it now. (Thank you, God, for using me in that situation!)

Helping people see that who they are is okay has been my mission since I learned that who I am is okay, and I’m ready to take that to the next level now.

I recently completed group fitness certification, and I’m gearing up to teach a class that I’ve created with help from my guy.

I’m doing a demo class next week, and I hope to officially launch in mid-April. (That’ll depend on the rate of choreography and memorization that I out it, but I think it’s a realistic goal.)

My class, which will be formatted specifically for plus-size people (even though everyone is welcome) will allow me to uplift and encourage people like me who need it, and I can’t wait to start.

I’ve spent some serious time putting this together, and now I’m working through the routines – making sure I know them inside out, nailing transitions and working on cues. I haven’t spent so many hours sweating and smiling since I exercised with Richard Simmons and friends in L.A.

Richard is completely off the radar now, and I hope and pray that he doing well.

He helped me change the way I looked at myself, and he helped me understand that I could embrace fitness. It hasn’t been an easy journey for me, but I’m still here trying.

I know that Richard would encourage me to keep striving to be healthy because he did that throughout the time that I did know him. I can’t think of a better way to honor him that by encouraging someone else the way he encouraged me and countless others, and I wish he still emailed, called or tweeted me so I could tell him thank you again.

I’m pretty positive that I was made to do this, and I love it so much already. I’m excited to take this next step giant leap in my own fitness while helping others do the same. 




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  • Reply
    Danielle Bonine
    March 9, 2017 at 12:03 am

    How exciting friend. I too have wanted to become a group fitness instructor. I can’t wait to hear about your class.

  • Reply
    Pamela Smith
    March 9, 2017 at 7:56 am

    What a fantastic idea! I wish there was a plus size fitness anything near me. I would be so grateful. You are doing a wonderful thing.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2017 at 8:28 am

    I am sure the Richard would be so proud of you!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Oh my gosh, this is SO great! I’m so excited for you!
    I want to come and experience one class sometime! (Of course the instructor will be Mrs. Michael at that point.)
    I am so happy for you, and so proud of you. You inspire.
    Love & smooches,

  • Reply
    March 9, 2017 at 9:19 am

    That is one of my biggest regrets. Years ago I skipped getting my Zumba certification…my reasoning was because I was over weight. Years later I would have had the opportunity to take over a thriving set of classes…but I let my own self esteem and fears rule me! So absolute kudos to you!!!!!

  • Reply
    Connie Bartlett
    March 9, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I LOVE it!! What an awesome way to help others and yourself all at the same time.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2017 at 11:43 am

    So excited for you. I live in NOLA and I’ve always hoped someone would start a plus size exercise class. I would love to take your class. Please keep us posted.

  • Reply
    Erin Miller
    March 9, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Are you listening to the Finding Richard Simmons podcast? I thought of you….

  • Reply
    Toni Martin
    March 9, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    GREAT!!!!! Proud of you!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Desiree Marshall
    March 13, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Wow just found your blog! Congratulations on becoming certified as a fitness instructor! So inspiring! I’m not too far away from you in B.R.! (And I, too, wish R.S. all the best and hope that he is well.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    I know my comment is a little delayed, but it sounds like a great opportunity! I wish I were closer and I would totally come and enjoy your class! I have no doubt that Richard would be proud of your accomplishments. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us.

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