Boxing in a plus size body (In partnership with NikeWomen)
If I had to explain my relationship with exercise in a Facebook status it would say; it’s complicated. Being a plus size woman for most of my teenage and adult life my experience navigating the world has always been different. My body has always been seen as problem and my weight has always been seen as an indicator of my health. People with bigger bodies are seen as the ones that need help with 'health' yet we are continually excluded or shamed away from the very ‘fitness world’ that claims to improve wellbeing.
When people think about the wellness industry they might think about fancy smoothie bowls, beautiful women on yoga mats, fresh green juices and perfectly sculpted bodies and well, I don’t blame them. How can anyone see that there is more to the conversation that this, when that is the only view we are presented?
TO BE INCLUDED
But times are changing, the world is tired of being presented with images and ideals that don’t represent a wide range of people and it's just simply not fair that larger bodies cannot access clothing to participate in exercise.Which is why I’m very proud and excited to say that I am partnering with Nike on a series of blog posts to trial their plus size collection and bring my perspective as a plus woman to the table
In these posts I will be sharing with you my experience with movement and exercise, exploring what wellness means to me as well as talking you through the fit and feel of the Nike Products I am trying.
My first post in this series is focusing on an exercise that I have come to love and that is Boxing. For the last few weeks I’ve been attending a community based boxing gym in South London where on Saturdays I take part in an hour long boxing exercise class. It’s the first gym setting where I’ve not felt judged in a long time, in fact I was welcomed in.
My group is so varied it includes women and men of all sizes, ages, and abilities. One of the women in my group is profoundly deaf and I was so impressed at how supportive the group is as a whole to making peoples individual experiences as positive and supportive as possible. For the first time in a long while I’ve enjoyed attending a group class and whilst I think that’s mostly due to the supportive setting today I also wanted to share with you some reasons why boxing itself has contributed to my positive experience.
1. You can channel frustrations into the bag
As a heavily anxious person who harbours my worries internally, having an outlet to get that anger out has been invaluable. The first time I got on the bag I cried, it was like I was letting go of bad energy by punching it out, I think it is a perfect form of stress relief. Having a bad day an work, or frustrated by something happening in your life? Take it out on the bag, you would be surprised just how good it feels to get that out of you and into something tangible.
2. You find strength you didn’t know you had
When you are taught that your body isn’t worthy of love or of value you can struggle to see your strength and abilities. Getting in front of a bag and feeling the force and strength from your body is powerful. I also began to feel stronger each time I went back to my class and I realised just what my body could do. When partnering with another person I also was proud of how I found strength to hold the bag when it was my team mates turn to punch. It made me feel good and worthy and strong.
3. It's great for mind concentration
When I first started in the class I found the coordination side of the exercise difficult, there are a lot of techniques that you learn as you go along that requires your minds full focus. This is so great for me, because often when exercising I let my mind run away and before I know it I am thinking more about my anxious thoughts or daft things like how much washing I need to do. After just three classes I had improved my coordination and I found that focusing on the moves that the instructor were shouting out to us gave me the focus that I needed to fully see an exercise class all the way through
WHAT AM I WEARING?
I am wearing size 3x which came up as oversized it is made of sweat wicking mesh which is really helpful for an activity like boxing
I am wearing size 3X and again this is an oversized fit by preference, this is super comfy and perfect for outdoor activity
The 3X is very generous and if you would prefer a smaller fit remain true to your size
These training shoes are really great, they are light and have great cushioning I have wife feet and these have good stretch
I chose to size up to a 3X in these leggings as I felt the 2X to be a little too tight around my stomach area.That said the idea of these are to keep you dry and comfortable and are described as a tighter fitPHOTOGRAPHY BY KAYE FORD