Monday, May 8, 2017

#ThisIsActive Interview with Inspiring Plus Size Triathlete Olivette Oliver

Olivette Oliver, plus size triathlete


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.

When she’s not in the pool or gym, Olivette Oliver has worked in Program and Project Management in the media and non-profit sectors. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20 and The Charles Perez Show. She is now focusing exclusively on championing the concept of a plus size, active lifestyle. She is available for interviews, writing, content help, reporting, public and corporate speaking and brand ambassadorship, and can be reached via her website.


1. What inspired you to start participating in triathlons?


In the fall of 2013, I was laid off from my job. I found myself over 50, divorced, out of work and in ill health. One day my doctor told me I would die young if I didn’t get back to being active. So, I began doing the one sport I loved all my life – swimming. I swam to regain my health and to get strong enough to ride a bike. Some of my swim mates were triathletes and I thought how much I would love to say one day that “I am a triathlete.” The only problem was, I hated running. Seriously hated running. Hated running so much that even though I was on the Track and Field team in high school and college, I only participated and excelled in the field part – shotput and discus. I added “Being a Triathlete” to my bucket list of life and wondered if there were women out there who looked like me and were active athletes. I found support groups on Facebook through my swim mates and began participating in Virtual Iron(wo)man challenges. You have a full month to complete the challenge consisting of 2.4 miles’ swim, 112 miles’ bike and 26.2 miles run/walk. It took four months of practice but the day I swam 3 miles without stopping, in one day is the day I knew I could be a triathlete. The months I swam over 90 miles in 22 days and received First Place in swim medals was the day I decided to participate in triathlons.


Olivette Oliver, plus size triathlete
Olivette swimming laps in preparation for a triathlon. 

2. Why is living an active lifestyle important to you?


Being active daily has saved my life on more than one occasion. The day I swam my first mile without stopping, I was hit by a driver who ran a red light. My injuries were severe and my recovery took over 18 months. I know in my heart if I was not active and in great shape before the accident I would have been dead. Last year after a 10-mile training ride, I had a stroke in my sleep. The left side of my body did not work and I thought my active life would be over. I had to enter onsite rehabilitation and I was told it could take 6 months to 1 year to recover. I recovered in 30 days. I entered rehabilitation with three men and a wheelchair and walked out 30 days later on my own two feet! Being strong and healthy no matter what your size is insurance against adversity.


3. What advice do you have for plus size/curvy women who want to start being active but don't quite know where to begin?


Remember that you are being active for the joy of movement and to make yourself happy. You are doing this for you and no one else. Look for support groups on Facebook and within your local community. You are not alone in your quest. A supportive group dynamic can work wonders on your outlook and give you the motivation you need to reach your goals. Set a few rules to live by while you are active. These are mine:


  • See failure as a beginning—not an end.
  • If you don’t go after it, you won’t have it.
  • Always do more than is expected of you.
  • Assume nothing and question everything.
  • Make peace with the past, begin enjoying the present, and the future will take care of itself.
  • Never, ever compare yourself to others.
  • Teach others what you know.
Olivette scoring at one of her high school basketball games.


4. What's your greatest accomplishment in your active lifestyle?



Surviving a near fatal car accident, surviving a crippling stroke and losing 200 pounds without gastric bypass surgery, bands, staples, balloons, or any other body altering mechanism. I have 100 pounds left to go and I can see myself running for miles once I hit my goal weight and peak of health. Maintaining an active lifestyle makes me feel invincible and able to survive and accomplish anything!


5. How did you feel after committing to training for a triathlon and beginning an active lifestyle in general?


Mentally, I feel more focused and my days of procrastination are over. It takes excellent time management skills to commit to a training schedule, eat better and have a personal life. Physically, I enjoy pushing myself to limits I never dreamed of. I never thought I could leg press 100 pounds, but I am working my way back to my personal best record of 556 pounds. I like the expression on the faces of individuals when they watch me work out and whisper that this “big girl” can lift/swim/spike/bike/score.” Most of all, this baby boomer wants to spread the word through speaking engagements that women over 50 are active, vibrant, and full of life. Also, I have given up on the “Rat Race of Life.” No more 14-16 hour workdays in sedentary career positions. I truly believe I can sustain myself and make a living in the active lifestyle. First step is getting a sponsor for my first Sprint Triathlon in 2018!


6. What is your favorite JunoActive piece to wear while exercising?


I ALWAYS wear the Juno QuikEnergy™ Plus Size Front Zip Aquatard for competition. The quality of the suits is amazing and they are truly chlorine and drag resistant. I also like the color blocking with colors other than black!  It is great to find a quality competition suit in a size 5x and 6x. For training I always wear either the Aqua Sport Easy Zip Swimsuit or the AquaSport Crossback Tank Suit. The colors are great and they make my curves stand out in a crowd. I hope (and pray) Junonia will make a full-length triathlon suit for outdoor water swimming. I HATE having to evaluate men suits because I am 6’3” tall and wear a size 6X. Also, PLEASE bring back your motivational tee shirts with LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH on the back and your full-length tank top leotard in sizes up to 6X. I brought two of each piece and wore out one shirt and one leotard. They were just perfect for volleyball and biking and the tee-shirts were inspirational and motivational. I know these pieces are what you would call “vintage” (lol), but they were one-of-a-kind and even today you can’t find the quality in activewear for women who are my size.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Plus Size Swimsuit Collections Have Arrived!


Just in time to hit the waves, our new swim collections are HERE!

We are so excited to introduce our new swimsuit collections, AquaCurve and AquaChic. With bright new colors and fresh new designs, lap-lovers and beachside loungers alike will be swooning over these new suits.

AquaCurve Plus Size Swimsuits

AquaCurve™ is our new collection where sporty meets spectacular color. Designed to keep you fully supported and looking gorgeous in and out of the water, our new pieces can will have you looking and feeling as confident as ever wearing some of the best compression fabrics in the world.

Made with ultra-compressive material that is thicker and more structural than our QuikEnergy™ line, you’ll feel tucked in and expertly smoothed out while you’re swimming laps or hanging with your fam poolside. Our AquaCurve™ line is also constructed with chlorine-resistant fabric, meaning it can outlast the typical one-season-run that most generic swimsuit fabrics are made for.

Those of you who like a classic one-piece suit will love our AquaCurve™ Tank Suits and our Zip Tank Suits. The suits come in a range of fun, bright colors–blue and pink–and a classic black. The Zip Tank Suit has a nifty half-zip feature that makes getting your suit on and off a breeze. It also has a locking mechanism to make sure nothing falls out of place while you're living your fabulous, active life.

The AquaCurve collection also includes pieces you can have fun mixing and matching, like our Swim Brief, Swim Shorts, Tankinis and Bra Tops.


AquaChic Plus Size Swimsuits

Our AquaChic™ collection is designed with our favorite fashionistas in mind. With the mesh trend is still going strong on beaches everywhere, we jumped at the chance to design a simple yet elegant mesh silhouette swim top. Our AquaChic™ Swim Bra with Mesh Straps has built-in, soft line cups that will keep you secure and completely covered. The scooped front neckline and high cut back add extra support for your chest. This top pairs gorgeously with our AquaCurve™ Swim Brief for an A+ plus size bikini look destined to rock any beach, any time, anywhere.

Take a look at the rest of our new swim styles, and let us know what you think. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for the most up-to-date styles, fun social-exclusive giveaways, and more! Also, make sure to tag us in any great pictures you have rocking your JunoActive styles—you might just end up featured on our feed.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Unplug to Recharge: What is Blue Light?


As part of our Unplug to Recharge theme for April, we’re focusing on ways you can unplug to cut out technology related stress from your life. Check out our general tips for unplugging and share your tips using #ThisIsActive on social media.

According to the Huffington Post, studies have shown a prevalence of negative effects on sleep due to constant usage of smartphones and the internet:

Harvard agrees, stating that blue light emitting from our screens is probably hampering our ability to get some quality shut-eye. “Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night,” the study reported.

What is ‘blue light’?

Blue light is a regular part of the light spectrum we see everyday. However, there is much more of it coming out of screens versus natural light coming from the sun. According to Scientific American, studies have shown that blue light disrupts your body’s ability to make melatonin, the naturally occurring hormone that helps you fall asleep at night.

Turn on iPhone's Night Shift feature
Since light is a huge part of how your body knows when to sleep or when to wake up, your body may get confused right before bed if you spend too much time looking at your smartphone or tablet right before lights out.

Of course you can always try to power down your phone for at least 30 minutes before bed. But there are also apps you can use to filter out blue light from your phone. If you use an iPhone, you already have a built-in feature called Night Mode. There are also several apps for Android you can download to filter out blue light, like Twilight or Blue Light Filter Night Mode.

If you have any issues falling asleep at night and you frequently use your smartphone before bed, try these two tips to help ease you into a better night’s rest. Let us know in the comments if you've tried any of these tips and if they've made a difference.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Unplug to Recharge with #ThisIsActive



This month we're celebrating the Unplug to Recharge.

We are so hyper connected these days. Between email, texts, phone calls, and notifications from several social media platforms, life can definitely feel overwhelming—especially if you're running after kids or juggling your work/life balance.

As much as we think we may need our phones 24/7, we need occasional peace and quiet from technology even more. Check out how our models like to unplug to recharge, and read our tips for getting your unplug on. Also—don't forget to share your active life with #ThisIsActive on social (when you're not unplugging, of course).

Friday, March 3, 2017

16-Year-Old Megan's First JunoActive Photoshoot


16-year-old Megan had her first photoshoot EVER with JunoActive—and we had a beyond stellar time with her. Watch our video interview where she talks about her first modeling gig and what she hopes to see in the future of active body positivity.