There’s something special going on at The Big Girl Blog. Its author, CeCe Olisa, covers the usual women’s lifestyle topics—fashion, beauty, fitness, love, travel—but does so with unusual candor. She often draws heavily from her own experiences. To wit, in one post, she’ll rail against designers who don’t put sleeves on plus-sized dresses (editor’s note: seriously, what’s up with that?) and in the next, sings the praises of her new workout regime (“I’m a little less Sponge Bob Square @$$ than I was before!”) She also uploads fitness videos and photos of herself wearing fashion-savvy outfits. The result is a warm, refreshingly honest place where readers are likewise opening up, a fact not lost on Olisa.
“I’m so grateful for my readers,” she says. “I talk pretty candidly about my life on The Big Girl Blog, and I think my vulnerability makes everyone feel like my site is a safe space and I don’t take that for granted. My readers are an amazing group of women and they’ve been instrumental in my growth as a writer—and as a person.”
As a self-declared “plus size princess,” she often writes about body confidence and being healthy. She even spearheaded #PSPfit, a movement that promotes “healthy curves at every size” and includes online bootcamps and workout videos and month-long coaching offered by professional fitness and nutrition coaches. “It’s a safe space for women who really want to focus on health to take control of things in an environment that is body positive,” she says. “We have fun and we see amazing results each time we do it.”
One of Olisa’s favorite get-fit activities? Swimming, a natural fit for a California girl who had some of her best memories in her family’s pool. “Water has such a calming effect,” she says. “For me, a 30-minute swim can be the best thing to clear my head and burn the most calories.”
In fact, so passionate is she about swimming as a form of fitness that she recently teamed up with us to host an event featuring our chlorine resistant swimwear. (“This line has been a lifesaver for me because the line holds up to the harsh chemicals of chlorine,” Olisa explains.) The event was a big hit—everyone had a blast listening to music and splashing around in the water. “I love doing things that stimulate my body and lift my spirits—our event definitely did both!” she says.