We recently got a chance to chat with Celeste (@FatGirlForTheFitSoul), an avid hiker and nature lover who's challenging the outdoor industry to be more inclusive. She says, "The main reasons plus-size athletes feel like they don’t belong in our fitness culture is due to the lack of representation, and representation matters."
Check out the full Q&A below and get inspired to head outdoors today...take in some nature!
Q: Tell us about your love of hiking. How did you get started and what inspires you out on the trails?
A: My first hike as an adult was in 2013 and it was the Lahaina Pali Trail. At the time I didn’t know anything about hiking or even hiking gear, I just knew I wanted to explore the island that I love so much. Being at the top of the mountain to see the sunset was so worth it. In 2017 I decided to go on my first solo road trip, as I wanted to learn how to enjoy being alone, learn how to be self-reliant, to enjoy my own company. So I drove my tiny car and I packed my hiking gear. Exploring the outdoors has taught me to appreciate myself for who I am. I explore because the mountains have the ability to heal you, it brings happiness.
Q: What hurdles or challenges do plus-sized athletes face that you'd like the outdoor industry to fix or better understand right now?
A: The main reasons plus-size athletes feel like they don’t belong in our fitness culture is due to the lack of representation, and representation matters.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start hiking but feels overwhelmed by the whole idea?
A: Start small and choose the right trail for your fitness level, check the weather, tell someone where you will be, wear the right shoes and leave no trace.
Q: What essential gear should every hiker carry?
A: Trekking poles, headlamp, hydration (I prefer a water bladder) , electrolytes tablets (GU Strawberry Lemonade Tabs are my fave) nutrition (snacks, GU Chews and Energy Gels), sun protection (this is a must!), and a first aid kit.
Q: What's your favorite GU product/flavor? And, if you could create a new flavor for us, what would it be?
A: If I could create a new flavor it will be Watermelon Tabs, I love the Watermelon Chews 🍉!! Also, peach 🍑! I would love to see this flavor in all the products GU has.