Our #ThisIsActive Q+As are part of an ongoing series to show how plus size women live their active lives. Share your active life with us on social media by using #ThisIsActive on Instagram or send your story to social @ junoactive.com for a chance to be featured.
Emma Connolly is a mom to a 9-year-old daughter, Tilly, and a 5.5 year old son, Franko. She currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her two kids and a naughty goldendoodle Annie. moved to the U.S at age 12 from Australia and likes to spend as much time as she can there with family. After being a hairdresser and salon owner for over 15 years, she went back to school, got a business degree and has been working in market research for 3 years. Although she’s separated from her husband of 13 years, their family is still close and do everything together as a modern family. Emma loves to travel, spend time with her friends and family, and be as spontaneous as she can be with two kids. Seeing as she’s almost 39, Emma is looking to start her 40’s feeling healthy and strong by staying active with her kids.
1. How do you like to stay active?
Most of my activity revolves around my kids! We are lucky enough to live by Como lake in Saint Paul, Minnesota, so we often take a walk around the lake as a family, or walk or bike over to Como Zoo. Every once in a while my coworker Sarah and I will go over to the Anytime Fitness by our office and do 30 minutes on the bike or treadmill.
2. How do you fit exercise into your busy schedule?
Not very easily! The incentive to get my kids to walk around the lake with me is the ice cream shop on the other side of the lake, so I definitely use bribery whenever possible! I would love to workout more during the work day with my coworkers, but often deadlines and actual work get in the way! My very favorite form of exercise is swimming, so I look forward to doing more on that this summer on the weekends and an Aqua Aerobics class or two. My youngest is finally getting the hang of riding his bike, so I have visions of family bike rides throughout the Twin Cities very soon!
3. What is your biggest motivation for developing an active lifestyle?
I want to set a good example for my kids and have fun with them. I love playing softball in the backyard and running around with them. I also just want to feel good physically and mentally. When I’m not active I notice I just don’t feel 100% a lot of the time. I have to keep on top of my mental health as I’ve suffered from depression for most of my adult life, and while the motivation to be active is sometimes hard, the benefits of staying active really helps my brain stay happy!
4. I sent you a SoftWik Tee and QuikWik leggings for our mini-photoshoot. What did you like most about those pieces?
The leggings feel like a nice hug! I love how high-waisted they are, they fit so well and had fantastic coverage. The SoftWik Tee felt so light, but also had great coverage, I have worn it on some of our really hot days this summer, and it doesn’t leave sweat marks! I am so surprised at how well the moisture-wicking feature works!
5. What would you like to see more of in plus-size activewear?
I really like the leggings with the little zipper pocket for your phone or credit card, that is so convenient and you don’t have to bring a purse or shove your phone or money in your waistband. I love a flow-y tank top to work out in also, nothing too fitted. I also have a fairly hard time finding affordable sports bras with good support, I often wear two so I feel like I have better support.
6. What are your hopes for the future of mainstream media’s portrayal of curvy/plus size women?
I would hope there wouldn’t be a stigma attached to it! As I’ve gotten older I care a lot less what other people think of me, but when I was younger the thought of being in a swimsuit or working out at a gym with all the fit people really scared me because of how I thought I should look. Plus sized people are still the punch line in a lot of T.V shows which seems so crazy in this day and age.