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What 25 Real Fit Women Look Like

Back in December, we put out a call for your photos. We wanted to show the world that healthy and fit women come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages with different backgrounds, likes and, well, everything! And, guys, you responded. Tenfold.

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The Real FBGs movement is, well, real, y’all. And today, for Love Yo’Self Week, we’re showing off 25 readers in all of their gorgeous fit beauty. Exactly as they are. All we asked was for women to share their fave photos and a few words about their journey, what they love about themselves and what workouts they enjoy, if they wanted. There was no word limit or criteria to meet with the photos. And what we got in return was awesome … here they are!

1. Rachel

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Right now I am loving my transformation. Here is my before and my “after.” I put that in quotations because I am not done yet. I am loving the energy I have and being more confident in what I can do. I feel like I can try and do anything now. I am going to try a float yoga class and a skyrobics class. I love classes because there is so much variety and you never get bored.

2. Laura

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I love mixing up my workouts and always doing different things — it doesn’t even seem like a workout that way! Even when running, I look for new race experiences … like the pic I attached of the two-mile Great Pumpkin Haul, where you lug a pumpkin around the course! My pumpkin was huge, but it felt much more like fun than a workout. It’s also less likely to feel like a workout if you do it with friends, so I send out weekly emails to a big group of my friends inviting them to come join whatever class, hike or adventures I have planned that week. I usually get at least one taker! (Plus, having a buddy means I can’t skip it or quit.)

What I love most about myself is that I’m not scared of a challenge. In 2006, I made it my goal to run one mile without stopping. It took me two months, but I did it … so then I challenged myself to run two miles, and then to run three. I kept slowly increasing my distance and testing my abilities, until I broke the world record in 2010 as the youngest woman to run a marathon in all 50 states! I’ve run more than 100 marathons to date, and whenever anything now seems hard, I remind myself that nothing is impossible if you break it down into baby steps. Don’t let other people (or your own false expectations) dictate what you can and can’t do!

3. SparkleSweatDiva

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I love that I don’t give up! Perseverance is key is uncovering who I am daily ! No longer at 320 pounds is something I have worked hard to move away from. My favorite way to kill fat is Zumba. I have started running (mostly walking) to push myself. I will run my first 5K and continue to see fitness as a journey to be a FBG!

Ladies, to say you rock is an understatement. You inspire, motivate and move us to be more us. Thank you a million times for sharing your experiences and photos and letting us show the world how amazing real women are.

4. Mandy

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What I love most about myself is my motivation to work out at home, even with two kiddos. I get lucky during the week when one is at school. But what is awesome is when they decide to join in next to me. That’s how I know I am setting a great example. My most favorite workouts right now are pretty much anything through Team Beach Body. My all-time favorite would have to be Body Beast. It has allowed me to push myself and lift heavier, all while being in the comfort of my own home.

5. Kimmi

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Total lost is 170 pounds, and my favorite workout is Zumba and elliptical.

6. Jennifer

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What I love most about myself … I never gave up on achieving my goals. The workouts that I love … bootcamp-type workouts, interval/circuit training, hiking and trail running.

7. Cathy

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This is a picture of my friend Lori and me from September 2011. I had just finished my first 10K run, where I came in third from last. Lori ran the 5K. Here is a pic of me crossing the finish line, note the happy smile.

I loved to run but due to a back and knee injury, early this year I was told it would be best for me to stick to low-impact activities going forward. I miss running terribly but have filled the gap by joining BodyPump classes at my local gym, as well as using the elliptical and upping my walking time/miles. This coming spring Lori and I are planning to walk a half-marathon (her first event at this distance; I have run three but this will be my first walking half-marathon event).



Focusing on health and wellness has not only improved my body and physical health, but I have met the most wonderful people, made lifelong friendships and improved my mental health as well.

8. Rachelle

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I lost 120 pounds with a combination of gastric bypass surgery and changing my eating habits. Fitness is a top priority for me now. I love to run and hike. I am healthy now and will stay that way!

9. Chian

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My name is Chian (sounds like Cheyenne), and I started my FBG journey October 7, 2013. At a little over 200 pounds, I was really overweight and unhealthy. I since have changed my eating habits, quit smoking cigarettes and work out regularly. I have lost almost 80 pounds, and it was the BEST decision I have ever made! Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!

10. Keabra

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My name is Keabra, and I am a junior at the College of William and Mary. My mom, Patricia (see below, too!), is a huge fit bottom fan and just won one of your contests for the month of November! I think it’s so wonderful you all have this campaign. It’s important that fit women can see themselves in magazines. I love my strong arms, toned core, and thick in-shape legs and firm fit bottom! Have a great day!

11. Daree

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I’m proud to say that I started running for the first time last year at age 36 and am still going strong, doing 350 to 400 miles per year. I completed my first half marathon in August 2014. My favorite routine workouts include upper body-weight training, running and TurboKick. I plan to start kettlebell workouts.

I am pretty self-motivated and disciplined to work out even when it’s cold out or I’m tired in the morning. Laying out a cute workout outfit the night before motivates me, as do fun group ex classes. When I am in the thick of my workout, I feel strong and when I finish, I feel like Wonder Woman — powerful, like I can do anything. No matter how little weight I think I’ve lifted, how tired I feel or how slow my mileage, I know that it’s still progress and I’m thankful that I CAN move.

12. Stephanie

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I am 43 years old, and I have lost 68 pounds in the last year. Embarrassed by my body, I never thought I could work out or be strong. Look at me now! I work out every day. Some of my favorites are cardio kickboxing, hot yoga and R.I.P.P.E.D. If a tiger were to chase me now, at least I would try to run!

13. Patricia

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I love myself because I’m strong. I may not have a six-pack and my muscular thighs rub together, but I’m healthy. I have a great support group at home and at the gym. I’m a group fitness instructor and the crew, young and old, motivate me.

I have ladies in my classes who are over 20 years older than me! They motivate me to keep taking good care of myself and exercise.

Outside the classes I teach, I love taking Zumba and lifting heavy. I love to pop lock and squat!

14. Serena

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This is partially a submission for your Real FBG posts and partially an update. You featured my weight-loss story in the fall of 2013 after I lost 90 pounds and ran my first 5K race. Since your blog is all about real women and real struggles, I thought I would tell you (and the rest of the world) that the struggle continues even after you hit your goal weight. Since then I have put back on 10 pounds, which is mostly due to introducing some serious weight training in the last year, but also because I’ve had some honest slip-ups. Even though I am dedicated to working out, food can still be a big challenge when I am stressed or emotional. For a while I was so mad at myself; I felt like I disappointed myself because I “ruined” all of my hard work. NOT AT ALL! Thanks in part to keeping up with your blog and a lot of self-reflection, this is really me. Sometimes I make mistakes, but this is a lifelong journey that I started almost six years ago now and the journey does not ever end. I am learning every day to love myself for who I am and love my body for all that it can do. I can accomplish so much more than I ever imagined! That is my favorite thing about myself: the endurance, strength and triumph that my body is capable of. And, of course, I am still a mega-fan of Spin class! Nothing gets in the way of me and the bike. I also started a small group-training class called Women on Weights that I am in love with!

15. Tushita

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In 2013, I focused on making changes to my lifestyle to accommodate workouts. The target for the year was 200 workout days, and I learned how to clean out my mornings, depend less on the gym and invest in equipment for a home workout. This helped me ensure no matter how busy my workday or if I was traveling, I don’t miss a workout.

Having hit this lifestyle change, starting 2014 my target was 250 days of workouts, incorporating different types of workouts and clean eating. I completed my 250th workout on December 29, 2014. Through this year I tried a combination of strength training, HIIT and yoga. Added to this, I decided to try out running. I started the year struggling to finish a 3K run and ended the year participating in a 10K run and finishing in 1:03. I was the 23rd runner to finish the race among 435 finishers in my category. Between the 3K and the 10K, I also participated in a 5K, 7K and a sprint biathlon (5K run, 22K cycle, 3K run). Prepping for this meant changing date night on Saturdays from club hopping to hitting the running and cycling trails with my partner, and hanging up my stilettos for running shoes, but it was totally worth it.

The bigger test of 2014 was learning how to eat clean. Building in weekly trips to the grocery store no matter what, cooking meals instead of eating out or ordering take out and consciously thinking about my nutrition. Overcoming my love for desserts was another tough one, and I started the year with a resolution of sugar-free Sundays, and I must confess while I kept to the resolution, it resulted in crazy levels of sugar indulgence on Saturday. *sigh*

Has it been easy? NO WAY! I have had my days of food coma and mornings where I wanted to simply snooze and skip a workout. Articles on the Twitter handle of FBG, @womenshealthmag and other fitness-related handles have many times motivated me to stay on course and pushed me to try harder. At the end of it all, I love how my body and mind feel. I started the year strong and I finished it stronger. I am excited by how much I accomplished and the new fitness milestones I will hit in 2015.

16. Amber

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I’m a wife and mom of two. This is a picture of me finishing up a 10K with a really snarly look on my face. I love this picture because my curvy, jiggly “mom” body is passing up multiple guys in this race!

17. Meghna

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I love my brain, for it enables me to write, create, innovate and work at everything I love. It helps me decipher the love I get and give. It makes me feel intelligent and sexy.

I love my body, for it has stood by me when I was 200-plus pounds and when I was 150 pounds. It has stood with me through thyroid and illness. It’s allowed me to run a 5K as a big girl and dance like no one’s watching. I love my body ’cause it has shown me and proven to me that it loves me more than anything ever!

I love anything to do with exercise and fitness. I’ve done Zumba, kickboxing, Pilates, yoga, Spinning, running 5K and your usual gym with strength exercises. I’m always ready to try out new kinds of workouts.

18. Kristina

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If I had to choose one quality I love, it would be my determination and inner strength. I enjoy workouts that challenge me or push my limits, whether it’s tire flipping or box jumps onto eight risers or battle ropes. I like to switch things up to add variety to my workouts and push and challenge myself to try something new. I like hard-core intense workouts, like bootcamp, but I also enjoy, the fun, femininity and sexiness that taking Zumba classes brings out in me.

19. Suzanne

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I have lost about 80 pounds and since have begun teaching Les Mills Body Pump. I enjoy being physically active, running both trail and obstacle-course races.

I was searching through your site, and it’s inspiring! I’m glad someone is showing the fitness industry who real women are!!

20. Hannah

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This picture was taken by my hubby while we were at the beach. I was 12 months postpartum with my first child. I feel sexy, confident and PROUD of the HARD work I put in to get my body back. I gained a whopping 50 pounds while pregnant and thought I’d never wear a bikini again! Haha. But this pic proves that YOU CAN get your body back after baby!!!

21. Megan

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What I love most about myself is my new-found self confidence. Roller derby has made me find a side of myself I never thought I had. When I put on my skates, I feel like I can do anything! Roller derby itself is an amazing workout, but off-skates I love HIIT workouts. I’m all about squeezing a calorie-torching, awesome workout into the shortest amount of time.

22. Nicole

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The larger version of me was six and a half years ago. I was about 190 pounds at 5-foot-two-inches and eight months pregnant with my first child. I didn’t have a healthy role model or anyone to guide me in the direction of a “healthy pregnancy,” even though I worked for a fitness facility. Weird, right? The other pic is of me on December 29, 2014, on my favorite beach on the Big Island — two years after my first I gave birth to my second child and embraced a very different lifestyle. I’ve educated myself with fitness sites such as FBG. I have found a self confidence I didn’t have before. I am still no Victoria’s Secret model nor do I strive to be one. I love carbs, too! I want to be the best version of myself for myself.

I recently joined a big box gym that opened up across the street from my home. I wanted to take advantage of classes and the cardio machines, as well as a free fitness assessment, and I should have known it was actually a ploy to sell personal-training sessions. I stated very clearly my goal to GAIN MUSCLE (I know fat-loss follows if muscle is gained). He kept pushing weight and how I’d lose 10 pounds in six months. Without looking at a scale, he immediately said my BMI was too high, and I needed to lose weight. He asked if I knew what my BMI should be and I let him know I’m in the healthy range and BMI is only a starting guide — not accurate for measuring health.

Long story short, FBG has given me the resources to build my confidence, strength and knowledge to live a healthy, confident life. It’s no longer about weight. It’s about my health, my self confidence and my ability to keep up with my children and my active lifestyle. I finished my third marathon last December. Woot woot!!!

23. Kasey

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I’ve been struggling with food and weight issues since I was a teenager, so I quite understand how it feels to be pressured by those “perfect” stock images. Trying to change into a healthy mindset, I think seeing real women photos would be really encouraging!

I travel a lot for work so my workout routines are pretty varied. At home, I usually go to gym and join group classes. I love combat classes as well as Pilates. Actually, I like Pilates so much I even thinking about becoming an instructor. I also run a 10K when I feel fit enough and got a chance to. When I’m away, I go to the hotel gym and do some treadmill workouts and Pilates. (I know this is pretty boring, but I don’t really have many choices!)

I’ve sent a selfie from my hotel workout. You can see my iPad, AKA my gym buddy for most of my trips. 🙂

24. Lindsay

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This one of my favorite fitness photos of me and my twin sis Melissa posing in our gym locker room when we were training for our first fitness competition! It was great having her as my support and motivation for one of the hardest goals I’ve ever accomplished. Still maintaining my regular workout routines and eating plan. Planning on being a fit girl for life!

25. Shaheeda

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My thunder thighs and flabby arms look best when I’m running.

See? In ALL shapes and sizes! With all kinds of workouts they love and different ways to be healthy! Expect to see more “Real FBGs” on the site and learn how you can submit your own photos to the site to be featured, too, here! —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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7 Comments
  1. Serena-Rose Ciccarello says:

    What an honor to be amongst so many inspiring women!

  2. Cat says:

    I feel the same as Serena. Thank you for including me in such inspiring company!

  3. This is an AMAZING post. Truly amazing. Thank you so much for reminding us what fit REALLY looks like! 🙂

  4. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much for this! It’s really hard to separate fact from reality when all you see is the *really* muscled people in the mags! Great job ladies!!!! I’m so proud of you for all the work that you’ve done to be fit.

  5. Patrica Afuah says:

    It’s one thing to see my daughter (10) and I (13) in this post but it’s awesome to see all these women of various shapes and sizes! We rock! Keep up being fit bottomed girls! Thank you Jenn and co for this inspiring post!

  6. Ann_B says:

    These pictures are the proof that a healthy lifestyle can make miracles for your body!

  7. Rups says:

    Nice post, really exciting and encouraging. I am hopeful this year to start to be healthy now.