Stories That Move BIG

Sharing stories of the people who have helped contribute to this beautiful community!

-Shannon

So here’s my story, scrolling through Facebook one lonely day in July 2017...   I came up on BIG GIRL YYC? At that moment my heart was transformed. I messaged Erin a few times making sure I would maybe fit in.
  “I’m 54 years old and very over weight. Not able to hardly do stairs.” And I really hate me as I am. She said of course you fit in, everyone fits in. We will do this together no judgement, no right or wrong just like minded, kind, strong women together. So off I went to my very first Zumba class, what a blast I had, everyone was so kind loving and non judgmental and I was great just as I am. I continued with this class for a few weeks, then I went to aquaswim. Loved, loved, loved it. I even let my picture be taken in my bathing suit. I have also brought some of my friends from work. We all love, love this group and atmosphere. The group did a fashion show at a local big girl shop.  Man they ALL LOOKED AMAZING.  These pictures gave me the courage to buy my own workout outfit. Humm me in a workout outfit. Who knew. Then there was belly dancing and now I’m in yoga, I am so proud of myself.  I love all the ladies who attend. The Facebook page encourages me daily and I DO BELONG, I DO FIT IN AND I’m okay. Thank you Erin and ladies I am blessed and I fit in this beautiful world. PS my grown children and my husband are so proud of me
  Thank you 

-Shannon

-Kimberly

 The first time met Erin, creator of Big Girl YYC, was last Summer at a special photoshoot for Pennington’s #bodydiversityday with local curvy blogger Inemesit Etokudo, who gathered some of her curvy inspirations from Social media to take part. Let me tell you, Erin was absolutely inspiration. She exuded such a beautiful light and was so dedicated to empowering women to love their selves no matter their size, colour, experience or background. I knew I had met a special group of inspirational women that day, but I had no idea it would have changed my life the way it did.
For the majority of my adulthood, I have been plus size. I never really accepted my body and was always insecure about my big hips that came along with puberty. It wasn’t until 3-4 years ago that really started my self love journey and began to accept me for me, in the body I have today. Things changed drastically for me when I started my job as a manager for Additionelle, a Canadian plus size clothing retailer. I started to embrace my sense of fashion and personality and flaunting my curves. I then saw how much I was inspiring and empowering other women to embrace their bodies and feel confident in fashion that fit their style. I love nothing more than seeing a woman leave my store with their head held high in an outfit that makes them feel fierce!
Then I discovered Big Girl YYC, a community of women based on values such as empowerment, inclusivity, support, strength and love. Everything about this resonated with me and I knew I had to be a part of it.
My first Big Girl YYC Event was the end of Summer Big Girl pool party and water Zumba class last year. I had never seen so much positivity and sense of community in once space. I met some amazing women who all had felt the same way I did for most of my curvy life. Scared to get involved in activities such as these for fear of judgment due to my size. I knew this group was something I wanted to do more with from that moment. I never saw myself as coordinated enough to take a dance class or sexy enough to embrace my sexuality until now. Since the pool party, I have now done classes such as belly dance, burlesque, Army of Sass, Paint Night and coming soon drumming and pound fitness! Even an extra special Body positivity photoshoot for Shannon Smith of Boudoir Moments! Each time I walk away from and event or gathering with Big Girl YYC my heart is so full and happy! I can’t stop smiling for days! I have met so many incredibly inspirational and empowering women through this amazing community who I now call friends. I never would have guessed in my 30s, I would have such a special group to surround myself with. It’s hard not to love yourself and embrace body positivity when you are around Erin and this oh so special community of women. Thank you so much for everything you do to change our lives through Big Girl YYC. 

-Kimberly

-Tamara

 Big Girl YYC has unequivocally changed my life. I look back to the days before I started with Erin and the classes she helps put on and I hardly recognize the girl from then. I was terrified to go to my first class, but Erin convinced me to come and though I had never met her before she welcomed me with open arms – literally – and it was like meeting my long lost friend that I hadn’t seen in forever. Not only have I begun to do things I NEVER thought possible because of my size, but I’ve also met an incredible group of women who are supportive, encouraging, welcoming, and judgement free. I have confidence where there used to be doubt; I am learning to love my body when I used to wish I could change it; I am stepping into the light when I used to hide in the shadows. Because of Big Girl YYC I have grown in ways I never knew I could, become someone who I knew was there but wouldn’t let break to the surface, and built friendships I know will last a lifetime. Big Girl YYC has taught me that it is okay to be me. 📷 

-Tamara

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