Fit4XL was created to inspire, celebrate and educate plus size athletes.At Fit4XL, we are all about promoting a size agnostic mindset when it comes to fitness and athleticism – meaning we believe that we are all worthy of the title of athlete – no matter whether our body is framed big, small, short or tall. The definition of athlete is ‘a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.’ There is no mention of size, shape, or even age or gender. The word athlete is inclusive by definition. Bill Bowerman, legendary University of Oregon track and field coach and Nike Co-Founder, said it best “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
Maybe you’re here because you are frustrated that you haven’t found weight loss success quite yet. Maybe you’re here because your physician told you that you’re in danger of some serious health issues if you don’t make some immediate changes. Maybe you’re here because you’re a parent to young children, and have come to face to face with the reality that you being unhealthy could make their lives more difficult. Maybe it’s as simple as you just want to wake up, look in the mirror and feel better about yourself and your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.Whatever reason you have for being here, thank you.
I want to help educate you on ways to put fun into fitness, expose you to heart healthy cooking with recipes that don’t deprive your taste buds, while consistently supporting your movement toward a lifestyle of health and overall wellness. If I do my job right, you’ll face every day more informed than you were the day before – eat a little healthier, exercise a little bit more, get a little stronger, and feel a little better about your journey. At Fit4XL, we strive to reach you where you are as we are huge believers that small changes can eventually add up to huge results.
As athletes, some of us are in training at various levels and stages, while some of us honestly are not in training at all. I will continuously share with you success stories from plus size athletes – people like you and I, men and women, young and old, often with families and children, and demanding full-time jobs. These are people that found a way to focus in on fitness to transform their health while making impactful lifestyle changes.
Here are some of my favorite weight loss and fitness goal success stories (with even more here):
I’m showing you these stories because I want you to know that you’re not alone.In trying to get in shape, many (including myself) have failed many times before finally breaking through. If you are willing to be open-minded, educate yourself, work hard and stay consistent, you can achieve results that can last for the rest of your life.
So, why Fit4XL?
I started to consistently exercise about seven years ago without really knowing what I was doing. With luke warm enthusiasm, I made every fitness mistake known to man and woman and got zero results. It wasn’t until two years ago that I learned the right way to exercise and eat that I started to see positive changes.
So, I figured if I needed five years of mistakes to find success, there had to be thousands of others who were struggling to see positive change as well, whether it was weight loss or success in reaching a fitness goal. On top of that, if I had been intimidated by gyms, not open minded to healthier food choices, and completely overwhelmed by too much conflicting and confusing information, there had to be others who were paralyzed by these same thoughts…. and I wanted to help.
I’m a plus size athlete; I enjoy fitness… so why not combine the two? And viola, Fit4XL was born!
The overarching mission of Fit4XL is to inspire, celebrate and educate plus size athletes. I direct and manage this site from the perspective of not being a know-it-all fitness expert with a perfect answer to every question, but as a normal guy down in the trenches with you who has learned a few things along this journey. I am a plus size athlete that despite having tasted some weight loss success continues to be open-minded to alternative choices for physical activity and new adventures (hiking, cycling, swimming, 5Ks, 10Ks, triathlons, duathlons, aquabikes) while setting aggressive and scary goals for myself that push me to be in the best shape I can be.
The Fit4XL Philosophy
THE Fit4XL MISSION
I= Inspire Plus Size Athletes
C= Celebrate Plus Size Athletes
E= Educate Plus Size Athletes
INSPIRE- There are different approaches to inspiring others that go beyond just having charisma. Fit4XL is focused on what best is for plus size athletes regardless of their level of activity and training. Seasoned plus size athletes benefit just as much from our community and content as those that are still contemplating coming off the couch to get active. Our job is to serve each end of the spectrum and everything in between.
CELEBRATE- On my journey, I have met a lot of people that found a way to reach their fitness and weight loss goals while transitioning to lifestyles more grounded in health and wellness. It is not by accident or randomness that a lot of real estate on the Fit4XL site is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and success stories of these plus size athletes, people like you and I. Here are just a few of the ways our community can benefit from seeing the success of others:
-Allows us to look at how they did it, highlighting approaches others took to achieve success.
– Prompts us to ask “what can I learn from their successes?” and “can I integrate some of their strategies into my plan/routine?” A lot of the breakthroughs experienced come from watching others succeed.
– Highlights the importance of us being educated about proper goal setting, training, nutrition, gear/equipment.
– Celebrating the success of others is not only fun but it inspires us to pursue bigger goals and even greater levels of success.
EDUCATE- Fit4XL approaches education from two perspectives: 1) what plus size athletes wished fitness professionals and experts knew and understood, 2) what fitness professionals and experts wished plus size athletes knew and understood. Despite many of our athletes being recipients of too much conflicting and confusing information, we encourage them to not just seek general knowledge on topics but to strive to gain an in-depth understanding and apply it to enhance training, performance, nutrition and overall wellness. Fitness trainers and professionals that specialize in working with plus size athletes are welcomed as partners, as many have refined and modified their practices and approaches to help their clients break through barriers.
THE Fit4XL MINDSET
I wholeheartedly believe that your attitude, your commitment, and your effort directly impact your ability to yield desired progress and results when it comes to your personal health and wellness.
Fit4XL and the Fit4XL community embody and embrace this mindset every day. Here are some of my favorite quotes for each principle:
“A bad attitude is like a flat tire, you can’t go anywhere until you change it.”
A positive attitude is both empowering and energizing, while a negative attitude that goes unaddressed can ultimately sabotage weight loss and fitness initiatives of amateur as well as seasoned athletes. Berating yourself every time you eat the wrong foods, constantly focusing on what you cannot eat and approaching your exercise regimen with dread and terror are all examples of things that can make it easy to give up on your diet plan or skip your daily workout. Our goal as a community is to help you get to a point where you want to exercise and you want to eat healthy foods.
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes…but no plans” – Peter Drucker
“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you”
Within the Fit4XL community, many have failed many times while trying to get in shape. Is losing weight challenging? Yes. Is it impossible? Definitely not. In fact, it’s very possible when you finally decide to fully commit yourself to losing weight or improving your fitness. Here are four (4) fundamental steps that we encourage in order to jump start your commitment to losing weight or becoming more fit:
- Start Small – ask yourself if you’re confident that these activities and goals are realistic for you. If not, start with smaller steps.
- Write It Down – By writing it down you are taking responsibility for it.
- Announce It Publicly – The more people you tell the better, you’re creating lots of accountability for yourself and those close to you that want to help you. It is also an indirect way of asking for support.
- Plan, Plan, Plan – When you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.
- Have A Deadline – A goal without a timeline is just a dream.
“When someone truly cares about something they make an Effort not an Excuse”
“Effort is the best indicator of interest”
What plus size athletes, both seasoned and amateur, often need most is to be reminded that they -not luck, heredity, or randomness-have the most control over their future success. They need to be re-convinced to believe in the power of their own effort and sacrifice. Our job at Fit4XL is to establish and nurture an online environment in which plus size athletes, men and women, are truly celebrated, while serving as inspiration for others that have the desire to get active or more fit but just simply don’t know where and how to get started. We highlight success stories on our site because we want you to know that you’re not alone. See success stories here.
TALENT OR NOT
Talent is defined as ‘a special or natural ability that allows someone to do something well.’ Here are eight (8) proven characteristics that require ZERO talent and that are specifically instrumental to yielding progress and results in moving towards a healthier lifestyle:
– Time Management
Your talent level can no longer be used as an excuse for not getting the results that you desire. Period!
When it comes to exercise and physical activity preferences, everyone is different. If the idea of walking on a treadmill for 45 minutes sounds miserable, then don’t do it! If you don’t want to lift weights, don’t do it! There are so many different ways to burn calories that pretty much any and all methods are acceptable, provided they get you results and put a smile on your face. At Fit4XL, we encourage you to diversify and expand your exercise and fitness choices, whether its aerobics, walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, karate, dancing, mountain climbing, whatever it is – I want to help you find what that activity is and help you get better at it.
Good nutrition is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promote overall wellness. However, I understand that sometimes our lives, jobs, and families often make it difficult to eat healthy 100% of the time, so we do the best we can with what we have in each situation.
If you are dieting right now and feeling good about it, I wish you continued success. If you are dieting right now and constantly find yourself in thought patterns of misery as you perceive your diet as punishment, it is important to understand that punishing your body is not taking care of it. If your goal is to change your eating habits for the better, lose weight, or just maintain the weight you’re at now, you need a food attitude grounded in self-control and not in self-deprivation. Self-deprivation is one of the main culprits for why going on a diet doesn’t work for most people.
As you view dieting from Fit4XL’s A.C.E. (attitude, commitment, effort) mindset, the more you practice thinking positively about following a healthy diet, the sooner you’ll adopt a more positive attitude toward food. And as a result, your relationship with food will shift for the better.
Here are some of my favorite health recipes (with even more here):