When I embarked on the journey towards diet free, healthy eating, positive living that I’m still on at the minute, I started casting around on the wonderful world of ‘tinterweb for people that I hoped could help and inspire me. And boy, did I find some beauties! And as I feel that they have helped me so much and continue to help me right now, I thought I’d tell you a bit about some of them so you can check them out too.

Laura Agar Wilson – Laura runs a website called “Wholeheartedly Healthy” and she also completed the IIN Health Coach Training that I’m just embarking on. She has a gorgeous and really informative website filled with great tips and recipes. She also runs a number of on line programmes, one of which (Mindset Makeover Course) I’ve followed myself and really felt a great benefit from it. I think that the thing I like best about Laura is that she is not afraid to show the real her – warts and all! She has a toddler and often posts about the difficulties that she encounters when trying to balance her healthy living/health coaching business/busy life of being a mum. She talks openly about things that do and don’t work for her and I for one, really appreciate that. It can be so easy to be sucked into the instagram filtered version of life where everything looks perfect all of the time and end up feeling that your own life somehow doesn’t measure up. But Laura’s not like that, and that’s one of the reasons why I love her! Plus, when I was looking for a health Coaching course to sign up to, she was happy to spend some time on the phone chatting it through with me and gave me some great advice. She’s ace!

Sophie and Audrey Boss (Beyond Chocolate) – I can’t for the life of me remember how I discovered Sophie and Audrey Boss, but it is fair to say that their books (Beyond Chocolate and Beyond Temptation) were pretty life changing. I can honestly say they were the first people who brought me into contact with the anti-diet, trust-in-yourself, listen-to-your-body notion and on reading their books (and attending one of their day courses in Bristol) it was as though the scales finally started to fall from my eyes! I Sometimes struggle slightly with the vehemence of their anti-diet message as I worry that the way I eat (mainly plant based, limited refined sugar etc) would be classed by them as “too diety”. However, the main positive I took from their material was their insistence that everyone should “Be your own guru” and this fabulous phrase is something I stick to and remind myself of frequently. So hey, if it works for me, then I guess I am totally being my own guru!

Jessamyn Stanley – Oh. My. Goodness. At the minute, this lady really is lighting up my life! Yoga…… Yoga, yoga, yoga. It was always something that I desperately wanted to be involved with. I wanted the lithe toned limbs and the zen like post yoga glow. But whenever I attempted it, I ended up feeling fat, stiff and smothered by my own boobs. Rather than floating home from class in a state of calm and contentment, I would inevitably trudged back home sweaty, deflated and with a crick in my neck! I came to the conclusion that yoga just wasn’t for me. I would never be able to do it “with my build”. And then I discovered Jessamyn Stanley. A gorgeous woman with a belly and ass and boobs that do not get in the way of her being a truly inspirational bendy wendy! I recently bought one of her yoga series on CodyApp and I’ve been using it to practice at home and it is making me feel ACE! I am working hard while listening to someone who lets me know what I should do if my belly gets in the way and lets me pause if I need to adjust my leggings! Seriously, if you’ve ever thought that yoga isn’t for you, just go and find Jessamyn. She’ll sort you right out!

Julie Creffield– I’m sure that, by now, you’ve all heard of Julie. I started reading her “Fat Girls Guide to Running” blog back in the days when I was doing a great deal of thinking about running and I fell in love with her inspirational but bullshit free writing. She was undoubtedly one of the people who encouraged me to get up off the sofa and start moving. She’s since gone stellar, with slots on day time TV and even a range of running kit for larger ladies, emblazoned with slogans such as  “too fat to run

”.

Dana Falsetti– Dana is another yogi (get me using the technical terms!) from the codyapp studio and I actually bought her series before the Jessamyn one…. However, looking at it now, I’m putting her on hold and focussing on Jessamyn first, because for me, Dana is a little too advanced right now. However the general feeling I get from her is the same…..I will not let my wobbly bits stand in the way of my yoga

Adriene– How could anyone not love Adriene? She is the youtube yoga guru that anyone can turn to. She is nothing like Jessamyn or Dana in terms of body shape, but it feels a bit like wrapping yourself in a big cwtch (Welsh for hug!) of calm and positivity when you watch her videos! She is just lovely and encouraging and chilled out and constantly encourages you to “Find what feels good” which in my book, can only be a good thing!

Lauren Laverne – Not a health coach, yogi or body positive campaigner, but a BBC Radio 6 music DJ, co-founder of The Pool, and all round brilliantly fabulous lady, who I have a massive girl crush on! I listen to her show every morning while I’m studying and writing my blog and I love her. She would definitely be an honourory member of my Very Special Girl Gang which obviously also includes all of the amazing women above. And Claudia Winkleman. And Caitlin Moran. And Sali Hughes. And Marianne Keyes…………. Everyone does that, right??! Ok, I’m going to stop now!

I hope that you feel inspired to go and check out some of these awesome ladies, and if there’s anyone you feel I’ve left out, then please let me know in the comments below. I am ALWAYS on the look out for new inspiration!!!!