Entrepreneur CeCe Olisa came onto the blogging scene in 2008 to share her experiences with fashion, fitness and dating as a plus-size woman living in New York City. CeCe’s popular workout videos have garnered over a million views on YouTube and her positive body image messaging has touched the lives of supporters all over the world. This month, Parvati Magazine spoke to CeCe about the fitness industry, her success, and her advice on getting past the hesitations that keep you out of the gym.
Parvati Magazine: Was there a specific moment or realization that made you decide to start your own blog?
CeCe Olisa: I started my blog because I needed a safe space to talk about my body image issues and navigating New York City as a young plus-size girl. I had loving friends and family, but no one really understood what I was going through. Starting a blog gave me a place to bare my soul and the response helped me to know I wasn’t alone.
Parvati Magazine: How do you feel the fitness community treats plus-size people? Who out there is doing it really well?
CeCe Olisa: I think fitness is a space that can be a lot more inclusive. Many people email me saying that they just don’t feel comfortable or welcome in gyms or taking certain classes. As part of the fitness community, I know there is a desire to be more diverse, but the effort needs to be a lot more intentional in order to make an impact.
Parvati Magazine: What are the biggest hesitations you see keeping people out of the gyms? How do you help people feel empowered to work out in a way they can enjoy?
CeCe Olisa: Many people are worried about being stared at while working out. I always assure them that people in the gym are by nature, pretty self-involved, they’re too busy looking at themselves to look at you! But I also make free private workout videos—you get access to them at getmotivatedchallenge.com.
Parvati Magazine: What was the experience like when you first started to share your plus-size workouts on YouTube? How does it feel to be so successful now?
CeCe Olisa: Thanks for saying I’m successful. I always feel like I’m still working on that part. My fitness videos on YouTube have over a million views. I get emails each day from women around the world saying how much the videos help them. I love showing bodies like mine doing intense fitness. It makes anyone watching the video feel inspired and empowered to jump off the couch and join us! This is why I’m releasing a full plus size workout video series in 2019! Follow me on Instagram (CeCeOlisa) for details when we launch.
CeCe Olisa is a lifestyle blogger who creates wildly popular plus size workout videos on her YouTube channel and encourages women to work out because they love their bodies, not because they hate their bodies. She adheres to her motto, “Don’t wait on your weight to live the life you want.”