Louise Green is an internationally recognized plus-size trainer, author of Big Fit Girl, and body positive champion who has motivated countless plus-size women and girls to take control of their health, improve their well-being, and boost their self-confidence through personal fitness. A true advocate for change, she received the Body Confidence Canada Award for Health and Wellness in 2016 and has set a precedent for women who don’t fit the stereotypical mold of whatever dream they hope to accomplish: do it anyway, and do it with strength.
My first job ever was…Working in a floral shop during my Grade 8 Work Experience Program. I thought I wanted to go into floral design but I quickly realized: I didn’t!
I decided to be an entrepreneur because…I was never that good at being an employee. I always felt stifled and unhappy. I didn’t realize that entrepreneurship was the answer until I went on maternity leave and had the idea of opening my own business. Since then, every day has been an exciting adventure, one with no ceilings. What I like most about it is that I’m in the driver’s seat making all the decisions about the direction I want to go.
My proudest accomplishment is…In my life, it is my beautiful son and the young man he is becoming. Being an entrepreneur has allowed me to have a connected relationship with him and with my work. My proudest accomplishment in business is the overall success of my mission, that after 10 years I can see change in our society around body size and fitness. I am extremely proud to have played a part in creating that change.
My boldest move to date was…Starting a business based around a concept that didn’t yet exist and hoping the right people would find it valuable. In 2008, I launched the first fitness business in Canada that was dedicated to plus-size women. Since then, I have championed a message that is counter to mainstream fitness culture: that big bodies can also be fit and healthy bodies. I am challenged often, but I boldly stand by what I see and experience on daily basis in my work with plus-size women. Sweat, endorphins and victory belong to every “body”.
“I am challenged often, but I boldly stand by what I see and experience on daily basis in my work with plus-size women. Sweat, endorphins and victory belong to every ‘body’.”
I surprise people when I tell them…I am a fitness professional. People aren’t accustomed to associating a size 16 body with the job title “fitness professional,” and sometimes it takes a moment to sink in. Being visible is a big part of my mission to change our perceptions around body size.
My best advice to people starting out in business is…Don’t be afraid to be unique. I remember people saying to me, “Don’t limit yourself to one type of client,” but I think niche markets, especially underserved markets, will give you an edge and will set you apart from other businesses.
My best advice from a mentor was…Value your work and charge accordingly. When I was a new entrepreneur I struggled with realizing my worth and how valuable my offering was. I realized that if I couldn’t see my value, other people wouldn’t either.
My biggest setback was…In the past, I have made some business decisions through partnerships that weren’t quite right for me. Each of these detours came with setbacks, and it has taken time to correct them and get on course again.
I overcame it by…Learning from them, and being sure not to make the same mistake twice. Every business move is a chance to learn, and I don’t think there’s an entrepreneur out there who hasn’t made mistakes or had to correct course at one time or another.
To me, living a balanced life means…Having a successful business, a family life and a fitness outlet. My husband is also an entrepreneur so there’s a lot of “working” going on in our home. But we also manage to volunteer at the school, coach baseball and actively get involved in parenting while managing our businesses. Since the core of what I do is fitness related, I am always practicing what I preach and working towards my own physical goals. There isn’t a lot of down time for us but it’s never boring!
I want women to feel…There are so many messages in our society that tell women they aren’t good enough, whether it’s because we’re too old, too big or just not pretty enough. We live an aesthetically driven world that largely judges the value of women by how we look. I want women to ditch that and value themselves from the inside out. I want women to live to their highest potential, feel powerful, inspired, confident and alive. I found my way to all of those things through physical fitness, but only after I let go of aesthetic and weight loss goals and focused on the power and victory I gained with each workout.
“I want women to live to their highest potential, feel powerful, inspired, confident and alive.”
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know…I don’t think there’s much google won’t tell you, but I am originally from Liverpool, England – my Mom has danced with John Lennon and brushed shoulders with Paul McCartney! My friends joke that he’s my Dad (for the record, he isn’t).
I stay inspired by…I am incredibly inspired by the work I do and the rise of body positivity and increasing visibility of diverse women. It’s exciting times when you can see that the work you are doing is having an impact.
The future excites me because…There’s a lot of really exciting things going on for me in my career right now. It’s a lot to take in but it’s everything I’ve worked for. I am excited every morning to open my inbox and see what awaits me!
My next step is…I am working on various projects that include digital fitness programs, collaborations with various brands and I’m in talks with a production company to develop a potential television show. A big passion for me is to speak to audiences, and I hope to do more of to carry my message to as many women as possible.