“I decided to hike my first trail. I am also going for a Guinness Record as the heaviest person to climb Kilimanjaro” – Celeste Thompson
Read that again…. Yes… Celeste is trying to break some serious records. And, she deserves all of the love and support you’ve got. Don’t worry, though. Celeste says that her family and friends are also her main supporters and she tries to spend as much time as possible with them. But, since her first, climb, she’s been really training hard for Kili. No matter where she lands, Celeste says the first thing she is going to do is CELEBRATE (We love this)!
“I like to keep my training positive, it is hard but also fun .Training for Kili has made me look for more trails to hike and overall has made my body stronger. During the week I go to the gym and do cardio and weights.” – Celeste Thompson
Celeste work in the airline industry (wonder if that helps with her flight!) So she says her training hasn’t interfered with work too much. She’s been into fitness way before joining “The Crew” so we’d imagine her training has started way before the idea began.
“I hope this change the stereotype that fat cannot be healthy . Most people believe that skinny = healthy and that is not always the case. I believe we can be fat and active and live a healthy life. Also, fat is not a negative word.” – Celeste Thompson
Bold Magazine: Why did you join the Curvy Kili Crew?
Celeste: I fell in love with the idea of hiking Kilimanjaro with other plus size like minded ladies. I love the idea of climbing Kilimanjaro on International women’s day.
Bold Magazine: Heck yes! How did it all start? How did you find out about it?
Celeste: I have been hiking for a while and I was trying to connect with other hikers in the plus size world. I came across with CKC and emailed them . I got an interview with the leader of the group Christa and we connected. It felt like I was talking to someone that I already knew. It was meant to be!!
Bold Magazine: Love it! And, what has the response been so far to the movement?
Celeste: Extremely positive and inspiring. It’s amazing that other people are following us and supporting our journey without even know us in person. We do get a lot of positive responses on our CKC IG and our personal IG as well. People are reaching out to us for hiking advice and gear questions ,etc.
Bold Magazine: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? And the best opportunity you’ve found through this group?
Celeste: The biggest challenge has been finding my gear , I’m a size 32. I am the biggest of the group . I am size 4-5XL. Most of my gear has been customized. I have my moments when I felt frustrated because I can’t find my size in stores like REI , Patagonia ,etc. However, I have been able to find a small store willing to customize my rain pants and the jacket I need for summit night. Without the jacket I wont be able to summit due to freezing temperatures.
The support this group has giving me is beyond amazing.
Bold Magazine: Wow! That’s a serious challenge. We should talk about it more. Well, the group must be awesome. What’s one thing you’ve learned about a teammate that has floored you? How about one thing you’ve learned about yourself?
Celeste: We care about each other, we help and protect each other. This group has helped me to be grateful and taught me that this journey its not easy.
I have learned that I am stronger that I thought I was . I learned that my body is capable to do amazing things .8. What’s your biggest fear going into the climb? And your biggest thing to look forward to? My biggest fear is to give up before my body gives up . Not only is a physical challenge but a mental challenge. I look forward to be proud of my effort no matter how far I was able to make it. I want to be proud of it even If I dont make to the top
Celeste: I live in Los Angeles, CA so we have an awesome plus community. We have hike groups for fat girls . . So yes, I am planning on staying active with this community
Bold Magazine: That’s BOLD! We haven’t heard of much support for plus peeps in cities like LA. Amazing! What’s the next step? Do you want to do more climbs like this? Something else?
Celeste: I am currently hiking in each State and I have other climbs planned for 2019. After Kilimanjaro I am planning to go to Austria. Then I am coming back to the US and continue my journey hiking in the states.
Bold Magazine: Yes! Where do you see the world of plus fitness going in the next 5 years?
Celeste: I hope in the next 5 years the stereotypes have changed. I would love companies to become more size inclusive. There are a lot of women my size who love being outdoors and staying active but unfortunately most companies only carry a small size range and most of them are not even true to size. I hope to see more plus size people being represented in sports campaigns like commercials, etc. I firmly believe that representation matters!
Bold Magazine: We do too! Talk to us about your body positivity. Where do you get this energy and motivation from?
Celeste: When you live in a world that is not really body positive, you basically feel like an outsider. I wanted to explore nature but I didn’t think I fit the profile of the typical hiker. That’s what got me motivated to be body positive , I didn’t allow those stereotypes to hold me back from exploring nature . This gave me a lot of confidence . Then I started connecting with other like-minded people who are fat and active.
Celeste: I received a message from a lady who told me she is my size and when she saw my pictures on IG and what I was doing she felt inspired to hike for the first time. She told she has always been big but she was always terrified of people making fun of her because of her size . It was so nice to hear that!
Bold Magazine: It’s nice to read it too! Lastly, Celeste, what makes you BOLD?
Celeste: Loving myself and embracing who I am.
OH EM GLEE! We love it Celeste! Keep kicking butt and being bold!