7 Fitness Influencers Who Inspired Us To Move Our Bodies All Year Long In 2017

by Georgina Berbari
Nick England/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

2017 was truly a sh*t-storm, my friends, and on the most challenging and chaotic of days, hitting the gym was likely the furthest thing from your mind. However, there's no denying the fact that maintaining an active, balanced lifestyle has the power to make you feel absolutely incredible, both mentally and physically. Finding inspiration was definitely tough at times, but with the help of the many 2017 fitness influencers who dominated our social feeds this past year, their motivational, positive presence was absolutely key for surviving and thriving these past few months. And I say the time has come for us to properly thank these influencers for helping us brave the nightmare that was 2017.

If we're being honest with ourselves, social media can be a tricky place to navigate with all of the unrealistic standards it places upon women, and the feelings of inadequacy that it can bring up in even the most confident of us. But these seven badass ladies did exactly the opposite of that by keeping it real, challenging the norms, and inspiring us all to maintain a realistically active lifestyle while still feeling like a damn goddess (sans Photoshop — bless up).

Seriously though, when I was tempted to curl up into a blanket burrito and watch Netflix for about seven years, these were the women I turned to, to coax me out of hibernation and convince me to squeeze in a kickass sweat sesh. Ladies, thank you so much for everything you do, and I can't wait to see what you have in store for us in the new year.

Emily Skye
emilyskyefit on Instagram

Emily Skye is an Australian fitness guru who has a total no-nonsense approach to staying active. She's come up with countless strong, effective, quick workouts for us to try on the fly, and personally, she never stops inspiring me.

In 2017, Skye got pregnant with her first child, and her page completely shifted, in the coolest way possible. She started advocating even more for honoring the incredible things your body can do, even as it goes through some unprecedented changes. She taught us how to honor our cravings in healthy ways, and how to love your body no matter what state it's in.

"I was strong then, but I’m getting stronger now — but in in different ways," Skye wrote in a November Instagram post. Preach, woman.

Rachel Brathen
yoga_girl on Instagram

If you've ever stumbled upon the infamous hashtag #yogaeverydamnday on Instagram, that's Rachel Brathen working her damn magic.

This New York Times best-seller, mother, and yoga instructor is a huge source of motivation in the fitness world, and her mission has always been to make sure that you love your body just as much as she loves hers.

One of Brathen's blog posts perfectly sums up all of her intentions when it comes to mindful movement:

Yes, we want to be healthy. Of course! And we should be.
But healthy does not mean obsessing over every single thing you put in your mouth. Healthy does not mean feeling guilty about what you eat. Healthy does not mean exercising for the sole purpose of changing the way you look.
Healthy means being happy. Healthy is, loving yourself for who you are. No matter what the numbers on the scale say.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Anna Victoria
annavictoria on Instagram

Anna Victoria is the creator of Body Love workouts, which inspire women to love themselves at every stage of their workout journey, and challenge themselves in and out of the gym.

In one particularly inspiring Instagram post, Victoria wrote in the caption,

Love your body at every angle and don't ever be ashamed of being human, of struggling, or hey, even of loving the crap out of yourself!!
We need more girls who are wildly confident and loving every bit of themselves and shouting it from the rooftops.

Her workouts mimic that exact sentiment: Victoria's goal is to always make you feel absolutely incredible, from the inside out.

Massy Arias
massy.arias on Instagram

Massy Arias is a personal trainer and mama who slays social media with her challenging and motivational workout posts.

Six months after having her baby, Arias was still the true epitome of motivation and inspiration. She simply wrote in the above Instagram post: "Trust the process. Make it a lifestyle."

Take a cue from Arias and make fitness a genuine part of your life, rather than a quick fix.

Jessamyn Stanley
mynameisjessamyn on Instagram

Jessamyn Stanely runs the Instagram yoga account @mynameisjessamyn, and if you're not already following this amazing woman, please drop what you're doing and hit her up ASAP.

Her captions will literally speak straight to your soul; they're literally all dripping with raw vulnerability and candidness that sends a chill down your spine because her words are just that freaking relatable.

Stanley voices what so many of us feel as women each day, but we often don't feel like we have permission or capability to vocalize these emotions. Stanley always finds a way to put into words exactly what we're feeling:

I'm especially judgmental of my breasts. They've always been saggy and I've battled shame over them since forever. I mean, the media always makes t*ts look so pert and sh*t.
[But] what if these are the glory days with my breasts? I like to think that my t*ts and I will be together until I say so but bitch, please- I ain't in charge of that. The odds might not be in my favor.
So I'm going to love these droopy sacks as much as I can right now, do my best to check 'em regularly and try to stop thinking sh*tty thoughts bc good grief- life is short and I don't need to waste mine by hating a body that's more than a gift to me.
Cassey Ho
blogilates on Instagram

Cassey Ho is the creator of POP Pilates and PIIT28, and the designer of POPFLEX Active. This woman has got it all going on, and TBH, I have no idea how she does it.

On her blog, Ho spoke about body positivity in the fitness industry and wrote,

Yeah, there will be videos targeting arms, videos focused on booty, videos made for whatever area you want to work.
This doesn’t make me body negative, it makes me body positive because I believe in what our bodies can do.
That’s enough for me. I hope that’s enough for you too.

I mean, if it gets me out of my blanket burrito Netflix trap, I'm on board.

Sia Cooper
diaryofafitmommyofficial on Instagram

Sia Cooper is a seriously strong and badass personal trainer, as well as the creator of her own Strong Body Guide. In 2017, she actually got some seriously hate thrown her way for simply posting a video of herself multitasking in Target and squeezing in a sweat sesh in the produce aisle.

In her caption, she wrote,

Getting it done in Target because it’s only the most magic place in the entire world (besides Disney world).
So if you saw a weirdo working out in Target today-yup that was me! Who needs a friggin’ gym.

TBH, this didn't turn me off in the slightest, and it actually just made me love her even more... who's with me?