Tag Archives: plus size fitness

Plus Size Fitness Essentials | May 2015


This month’s plus size fitness essentials roundup actually has nothing to do with being plus size because none of these items are size specific! I own each of these products and they make my workout life so much easier, so here’s what I’m loving this month and why:

May Fitness Essentials Plus Size CeCe Olisa (1)


S’well Bottle: I am obsessed with my S’well bottle! It’s a reusable stainless steel water bottle. Keeps drinks cold for 24 hours, hot for 12, non-toxic, non-leaching, and BPA free. Holds 25oz. I take mine to the coffee shop in the morning, fill ‘er up and then when I’m done I rinse it and start filling it with water through the day. 

s'well bottle


Haiku Duffel Bag: I have this bag in pink, obvi 🙂 My favorite thing about this bag is that the shoe compartment is separate from the clothing area so my NYC dirty shoe bottoms don’t touch my cute dresses. Take the Haiku Sprint Duffel Bag along with you to the gym, or when you’re heading out for an overnight or weekend trip. It is sized to fit in a gym locker, and includes a locker loop so you can hang it to easily access your stuff. Its large zippered main compartment will hold a change of clothes (or two) and a towel, and includes two stretch drop-in pockets, and a separated, ventilated compartment for your shoes. Slide your yoga mat, a jacket, or a rolled towel through the adjustable strap that sits at the top of the bag, and tuck the strap away when you don’t need it.

gym bag


Master Speed Dial Lock: I hate memorizing number combinations and I have lost the keys to my lock twice now– this lock is a live saver for me. World’s first combination lock that opens on up/down/left/right directional movements. So your code could be like “up down up down up down” #Empire lol



Saucony Kinvara 6 Sneakers: These sneakers go all the way up to a size 12 and they’re cute! Mine are orange and I love them for my walks, runs and cardio dance classes. These shoes are light, but they give great support and stability

Is There Such A Thing As Being Fat And Fit?

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the #PSPfit #LiviLaunch party this weekend at their local Lane Bryant store, I’m working on an event recap now… stay tuned! Now for today’s post:

Every few weeks an unfamiliar face will approach me at the gym. The conversation usually goes something like this,

Them: Hi! So, I just wanted to come over and tell you what an amazing job you’re doing. Keep it up, okay? You’ll get there!

Me: Ummm…okay, thanks!

You see, I am a super-active girl who enjoys dancing, sports, and various bootcamps. I am also plus-size. Most of the regulars at my gym know that I’m the plus-size girl who works out like a beast, so they let me do my thing. But, the people who have recently joined the gym treat me like I’m a walking “before” picture from an episode of The Biggest Loser. But some of us are fat — and fit.

One thing big girls often hear is something to the tune of, “you need to get healthy and lose weight.” It’s usually said as one word: “gethealthyandloseweight.” Statements like this make the assumption that fat and fit are mutually exclusive. They are not. Statements like this make the assumption that skinny and healthy are synonymous. They are not. There are skinny people who have heart attacks, high blood pressure and diabetes. There are fat people who run 5K races, avoid junk food, and get clean bills of health from their doctors.

When I began the healthy curves journey that I call #PSPfit, Plus Size Princess Fitness. I set three goals for myself: eat clean, train dirty, and love myself at any size. I had been working hard to be the skinniest version of myself since I was 12 years old (spoiler alert: I gained more weight than I ever lost), so my commitment to those three things completely changed my mindset and I set out to be the healthiest version of myself.

CeCe Olisa #PSPfit Healthy Curves at Every Size
I was already in the gym four times a week, so that was an easy habit to keep, but I amped up my workouts by adding intense cardio and tons of strength training. Then, I put on an apron and got cooking to ensure processed foods were eliminated from my diet. I also made regular mani/pedi appointments and went shopping for cute plus-size gym clothes (Yep, I took the “love myself” partvery seriously).

My health began to improve in unexpected ways: My skin cleared up, my period became more regular, my eczema went away, my sleep improved, and my energy skyrocketed. Oh, and I lost 55 pounds.

Sure, weight loss was a part of my health improvements, but here’s the thing: In the past, I’ve lost more than 80 pounds and still had bad skin, annoying eczema, and terrible sleep patterns. So, weight isn’t everything. It’s certainly something, but it’s not everything.

I can do jumping jacks, pushups, planks, side planks, swim laps, and keep up in bootcamp classes galore. I eat green smoothies and cook yummy, clean recipes. I life a fit lifestyle, I’ve shed dozens of pounds, and I’m still a big girl. Even though the numbers on the scale continue to slide down, I’m pretty sure that I’ll always be a big girl. So, what does that mean? Is being fit what you look like, or how you live? Is it what size you wear, or what you can do in the gym?

I’m starting to realize that a healthy, fit lifestyle will enable my body to find the appropriate weight for my optimal health. Being healthy and fit is about choices and I’m making good ones. So, the next time a newbie at the gym assures me that I’ll “get there,” I can remind myself that I am already.

Read more of my articles for Refinery29 here

click here to register for the #PSPfit challenge

How to Do a Push Up: Four Modifications!

Doing push-ups in 6th grade P.E. is still one of the more awkward memories of my childhood and I’ve basically been avoiding doing them ever since.

I always thought that my arms weren’t strong enough to push my body weight up and down, but our #PSPfit trainer, Robbie-Ann Darby is setting the record straight. Turns out that Push-Ups are a FULL BODY workout and a CORE workout so when I engage my entire body, instead of just using my arms… push-ups are totally doable!

Here’s Robbie, explaining a few push-up options for plus size girls so we can add this to our workout routine!

p.s. Registration for #PSPfit bootcamp opens in 10 days! You can find out everything you need to know about our pre-holiday cycle and Pre-Register at www.PSPfit.com

1.) If you’re new to push ups, start developing your form by doing them on the wall! Be sure to engage your muscles using Robbies tips in the video and you will definitely feel it

2.) Kitchen Countert ops, Park Benches, Workout benches at the gym… all of these can assist you in taking your push-up to the next level without going to the ground just yet. Again, this is a full body workout so engage that core!

3.) “Girly” push ups aren’t for the weak! As Robbie says in our video, be sure to get into that solid plank position with your hips low to the ground.  When I really want to amp up this workout I lower myself slowwwwly to the ground, which makes it hard for me to cheat

4.) Push-ups are just planks that move! Its as simple as that… My planks are always stronger when I take a wide stance with my feet, it gives me a more solid foundation

And there is your plus size guide to doing push-ups at any size. You can join the #PSPfit Pre-Holiday bootcamp from any city by clicking here!

The Weight of Loss: I’ve Been Eating Through My Grief

At the beginning of June I was six pounds away from my Summer 2014 goal. In the middle of June one of my Aunts passed away unexpectedly and needless to say, those six pounds were the last thing on my mind.

I spent the first few days grieving alone. I live in New York City and the majority of my family is in California, so all I wanted to do was fly home and be with people who understood our loss. There were people I needed to embrace, there were people I needed to embrace me. As I waited for arrangements and booked flights I felt like I was under water, swimming through the sudden void we had in our family.

There are people who write about grief and loss much better than I can. My girl Ty wrote a blog post one year after her mother died here. #PSPfit Cheer Squad member, Brianne shared a beautiful letter from her Dad after he passed away here.

The Weight of Loss I've Been Eating Through My Grief

What I thought we could talk about today is how loss, grief and bereavement can affect our journey towards healthy living. For me emotional health is as much a part of my #PSPfit lifestyle as my eating or hitting the gym. If I sprained my ankle and couldn’t work out, I’d look at ways to stay on track in spite of my injury. So what should we do when our emotions are injured?

Unexpected loss could happen at any time. We could lose a job, a relationship or a loved one at the drop of a hat. As an emotional eater, my tendencies to want to fill voids with food can show up at times like this and its a slippery slope before I’m eating unsupportive foods I haven’t touched in years in an effort to find comfort.

When I was in California, we had an abundance of foods that would “keep” around my Grandmothers house. Trays of baked goods, macaroni and cheese, enchiladas, tamales were constantly dropped off from family friends and neighbors.

Bringing food to families that are grieving is something we all do. Food is brings us together, food makes us feel comfort and logistically, we want to make sure anyone who is in the midst of funeral arrangements doesn’t have to come home and worry about cooking.

In talking with our #PSPfit nutrition coach, Abra, I came to an understanding that finding comfort in family, friends and food during a time of grief isn’t anything to be ashamed of. The hard part for me was navigating the transition between grief eating and my healthy curves lifestyle. In theory, the minute I flew back to NYC after the funeral, I should have left the baked good, mac and cheese, etc. in California but that didn’t happen.

I’ve fallen off the wagon before and managed to undo months of hard work in a matter of weeks. The difference this time was that even though my emotional eating was in full effect and I was binging on foods that were unsupportive, my healthy choices never went away. When I felt sad said yes to foods I had no business eating… but I also said yes to my whole grains, leafy greens and workouts.

So, now I’m 15 pounds away from my summer 2014 goal instead of six. Not great, but trust me it could have been worse. For me this weight gain has brought back some things like my eczema flare ups and some PCOS symptoms that had gone away are back. I’m finally getting to a place emotionally where I can think about, care about and do something about the impact of these 15 pounds on my body.

I’ve mapped out a plan to finish 2014 strong when it comes to my health and if you’re interested in staying/getting back on track, I’d love for you to join me so we can keep each other accountable. On Wednesdays blog post, I’ll post the full details on a little #PSPfit Pre-game challenge I’m cooking up.

That’s it. My emotions and my eating are intertwined, but I know I have it in me to make these commitments to myself and get my life together a bit more before the end of the year.

How have you girls been doing on your healthy curves journeys? Any set backs? Big wins?

Plus Size Fitness: Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

They say that 80% of healthy living is what you eat… of course, that’s the part I struggle with the most.

I have a habit of of depriving myself of “bad foods” and then binge eating later on the very foods that I was trying to avoid (*blush* does anyone else do that?).

I think a more sustainable plan is to cook healthy foods that will support my healthy lifestyle and satisfy my cravings. Last night I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Instead of using pre packaged dough or a recipe with white sugar and flour, I made my cookies using almond flour and agave. Two awesome things about this recipe is that its only four steps and the dry ingredients can be found online at lower prices. Recipe and links below!

Clean Eating Almond Flour Chocolate Chip CookiesBecause I am trying to eat clean, almond flour is a good choice for me because its simply ground up almonds. For me this is a much better option than simple carb, processed white flour. Almond Flour Cookies Ingredients

These cookies expand, so a small teaspoon of dough is all that’s needed for each cookie…

Clean Eating Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
I’m excited to have this quick/easy recipe in my arsenal… A cookie and a glass of coconut milk will be a nice treat this week!

Almond Chocolate Cookies

(2 1/2 cups) almond flour (order here)

(1/2 tsp) salt

(1/2 tsp) baking soda

(1/2 cup) grapeseed oil (order here)

(1/2 cup) agave nectar (order here)

(1 tbsp) vanilla

(1/2 cup) dark chocolate chips

(1/2 cup) sliced almonds

(350 F). Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda.

In a medium bowl, combine grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla. Add to almond flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in chocolate chips and almonds.

Spoon dough one heaping teaspoon at a time onto baking sheet and press down to flatten.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 20 minutes.

(Recipe can be found on the back of the almond flour bag, adapted from elanas pantry!)

Also a reminder that tonight I’ll be doing another #CurvyConvo video/twitter chat: 9:00-9:30pm EST follow the conversation on twitter using  #CurvyConvo  9:30-10:00pm EST we’ll be live on-air!  RSVP here!

Plus Size Fitness: Our Thighs Touch & We’re Still Crushing Workouts! (Thanks, Lane Bryant!)

A huge Congratulations goes to all of the bootcamp babes who completed #PSPfit: Plus Size Princess Fitness Bootcamp (Cycle 2!). For 30 days we’ve:

1.) Crushed our YouTube workouts

2.) Carefully prepared the recipes our Nutrition Coach, Abra provided

3.) Looked fabulously sweaty in your Lane Bryant Activewear!

#PSPfit Plus Size Princess Fitness Bootcamp Lane Bryant Active

Scrolling through the #PSPfit hashtag on twitter and instagram reminds me that big girls DO work out and eat healthy foods. For the past 30 days I’ve seen #PSPfit Bootcamp Babes embracing yoga, planking for 1:40 seconds, eating kale/quinoa/beats, ditching diet soda skipping processed foods and loving ourselves to health and wellness at any size. As icing on the (almond flour) cake, there are #PSPfit bootcampers who have lost 10… 15… 18.8 pounds this month. For those of us with endocrine issues such as PCOS, weight loss can mean increased fertility and a huge step away from things like diabetes and insulin resistance. *high five*

I’d like to give a little recognition to a few #PSPfit Bootcamp Babes who have  really inspired me this session. Smooches to you all… as a token of my appreciation, I’ll be mailing each of you a $100 gift card to Lane Bryant!

#PSPfit Plus Size Princess Fitness Bootcamp Winners@Kholland5 – I love that you made #PSPfit a family affair, seeing your toddler downing green smoothies for breakfast and hanging with you in the kitchen was so adorable. He’s the official #PSPfit Kids ambassador!

@trekab – Your gorgeous yoga posts are beyond amazing. I know that high level plus size yoga is possible, but seeing your poses held with such strength made it so much more tangible. I hope all aspiring plus size yogi’s check out your instagram page.

@fatnerdytori – First, you win for the cutest instagram name. I kinda wish I was FatNerdyCeCe, but I wont steal your swag. Thank you for being open and honest in the private facebook group. You brought up a few things I hadn’t thought of before and I appreciate your insights!

@lizserna – Liz, you quit smoking cold turkey on day 1 of #PSPfit and you didn’t look back. Need I say more?! Some might say, quitting smoking while doing a boot camp is too much at once, but you jumped in with both feet and took your health by the reigns. I am in awe of your dedication and commitment.

The next #PSPfit bootcamp will be designed specifically for Virtual/Non-NYC ladies. So, if you’re interested in working with a Nutrition Coach and a few Plus Size health nuts, click here to join the #PSPfit Mailing list!