Fitness Influencers Without the Guilt

For some reason, during a global pandemic, we decided to start pushing diet culture… again. Fitness influencers began adopting terms like “how to avoid the Covid 20” or suggested that since we have nothing else going on (you know, besides the global pandemic), there really is no better time to lose weight. 

Tik Tok trends showing people from the beginning of quarantine at a heavier weight to suddenly looking like a completely different person in a mere three months highlight how toxic diet culture truly is. These videos often have people praising them for nearly starving themselves or sending the message that they look better now than they did three months ago.

This is why many of us decided to cleanse our Instagram feeds of toxic messages and instead fill them with body-positive and inclusive content. Here are five fitness influencers who spread the joy of fitness and leave behind all the poisonous and BS messages that the wellness industry loves to shove down our throats. 

  1. 1. @TrainerKaitlin

    Kaitlin is a certified personal trainer, specialist in exercise therapy, battle ropes education expert, virtual health and wellness coach and describes herself as a mental health warrior! As someone who struggled with disordered eating, depression and anxiety, her platform celebrates what your body can do and ways to accept the limitations. She often posts about stopping the stigma of mental illness and quick workouts that don’t feel impossible. She celebrates the benefits of exercise beyond weight loss and is an excellent example of someone who fed into diet culture at one point but found her way out of it and is much happier.

  2. 2. @IamChrissyKing

    Chrissy King is an ISSA certified personal trainer, lifestyle coach and fitness blogger. After years of yo-yo dieting, trying extremely low calorie and low carb diets, she committed to weight lifting and fell in love with the process. She found a new appreciation for her body and it’s capabilities versus its aesthetics. She now uses her space to speak up about the importance of making the wellness industry more inclusive. In addition to workouts, King also runs workshops to discuss the impacts of racism and the necessity of taking an intersectional approach to fitness. Plus, she feels our bodies are already summer-ready and will always remind us of that.

  3. 3. @thatdoc.marcia

    Dr. Marcia is a licensed physical therapist and certified yoga teacher who describes herself as a chronic illness warrior. Dr. Marcia emphasizes the benefits of weight lifting and stretching. She will provide you with workouts that soothe and celebrate your body. She also advocates for the inclusion of all bodies in fitness.  

  4. 4. @lucymountain

    Lucy Mountain is a treat. She is the creator of the Nob's Guide, which she claims “is fitness without the bullshit.” Her account is avidly anti-diet culture, and her posts often highlight just how absurd specific diets are and all that we put ourselves through to look a certain way. She is here to provide us with workouts that celebrate moving our bodies and call out fitness BS and toxic diet culture mentalities. 

  5. 5. @abbyskitchen 

    Abbey Sharp is a Canadian dietician and someone I would sincerely recommend for those struggling with food choices and need some extra validation that it is okay to eat more than green juice for breakfast.  She posts recipes that emphasize nutritious eating and balanced meals (this means carbs). She also has a Youtube channel where one of the popular themes is reviewing what “influencers” eat in a day. Many of these videos are created by models or social media personalities who have not studied nutrition and some even struggle with body image and contain harmful and inaccurate messages targeted at young women.She insists that these types of videos are especially helpful to people with disordered eating patterns. Abbey points out what the meals are often lacking and refutes a lot of incorrect information. 

When everything is so unpredictable, one of the most important things to remember is that you have to be kind to yourself. These are not normal circumstances. Everyone is dealing with anxiety and stress. While focusing on your body may feel like something you can control, it’s important to remember that self-love begins with kindness to yourself. Healthy eating and exercise can make you happy, but it’s all about the phrasing. Is your favourite fitness influencer encouraging you to move your body and have fun? Are they suggesting recipes that ensure you get in your daily nutrients? Or are they spewing diet culture messages that make you feel more stress? If so, then it may be time to fill your feed with more positive influences.