Born to Reign Athletics is an organization that encourages plus-size women to get out there and live an athletic lifestyle. Founder Krista Henderson is the driving force behind this incredible cause. Henderson is one of the most unique faces in the industry as her unique approach to training is more focused on being healthy rather than losing weight.
Total Women’s Cycling caught up with the inspiring triathlete who had a lot to say about how people of all shapes, sizes, and even gender should join competitions. Here are the highlights of the interview.
Krista Henderson: Focus on what it means to get stronger and fitter.
Total Women’s Cycling: What inspired you to set up the Web site Born to Reign?
Krista Henderson: I wanted to show other women that your weight and your size doesn’t need to be a barrier. So I got a fitness qualification and started to teach spinning classes at two gyms, three times a week, and I got a personal trainer qualification and started coaching some women alongside my job.
It was an opportunity to test out my concept, that plus-sized women would be interested in working with someone who can offer a different perspective that isn’t focused on weight loss.
I think so many women struggle to get past low self-esteem and see themselves in a different light [as an athlete], and I really wanted to change that. I used the coaching to test the theory before launching the Web site.
The site was created out of my personal experiences, but one of the things I’m really happy about is that I’ve been able to add other contributors so it’s not just my perspective, I’ve got other specialists who come in, which realty rounds out all the advice.
Henderson began her athletic career back in 2004. Her fitness director played a big part in building her active lifestyle as he advised that she train like an athlete. This prompted her to leave the typical diet and exercise mentality, which is geared mainly toward losing weight. Now Henderson is solely committed on training and feeling good without constantly criticizing her own appearance.
Total Women’s Cycling: What’s your approach to plus-sized athletes who are trying to lose weight?
Krista Henderson: In terms of the weight loss question, my position, and the site’s position, is that weight loss is a personal decision for somebody. We believe that if somebody wants to lose weight it can be achieved in a much more healthy way, as a bi-product of focusing on healthy behaviors.
My advice is not to focus on the weight loss, focus on what it means to get stronger and fitter. Your goals could be how do you run 5 seconds faster or ride ten miles at a certain rpm. Those goals are more healthy and confidence building.
Then through other healthy habits, such as the nutrition that you take on the fuel your body, and recover, your body will naturally adjust and make the composition changes that happen as a result of those healthy behaviors.
You’ll never see a weight loss tip from me or “how to get a flat belly,” my focus is on how to unleash your inner athlete.
Krista Henderson has hit a number of home runs throughout her career as a triathlete. She has earned a certification as a Johnny G spin instructor and a Can-Fit-Pro personal trainer. In addition to that, she has competed in over 20 races and has inspired dozens of people in the process.