Fitness program targets overlooked group: plus-sized women – FOX 5 Atlanta


Bridgette Ukah needs her “A” game to hold the attention of her kindergarteners at Clayton County’s Tara Elementary School in Morrow, Georgia. 

Bridgette Ukah, a kindergarten teacher at Tara Elementary in Morrow, Georgia, has lost 130 pounds.

These days, Ukah says, getting down on their level is a lot easier than it used to be.

“I’m able to sit on the floor with my students now,” Ukah says.  “Before, I couldn’t sit on the carpet!”

Ukah says she was just too big to sit comfortably on the mats with her students.

“I thought that’s just where I was: I was going to be big, a heavier girl.  But, it was really starting to depress me.”

— Bridgette Ukah

She had been active in high school, she says, but then stopped exercising in college.

That’s when Ukah began gaining weight.

By the time the now 36-year-old began teaching, she had gained more than 100 pounds.

Bridgette Ukah, 36, says Big Girlz Move, a fitness program for plus-sized women, has helped her lose 130 pounds.

“I thought that’s just where I was: I was going to be big, a heavier girl,” Ukah remembers telling herself.  “But, it was really starting to depress me.”

So was the idea of going to a gym, only to be surrounded by fit people in lycra.

“You go in and you see all these people with abs,” Ukah laughs.  “You’re this big girl, and you want to get on the treadmill.  They’re making it easy, and you’re struggling!”

Then, about 5 years ago, Ukah found Atlanta personal trainer Ted Colson, the creator of a new program for plus-sized women called Big Girlz Move.

Ted Colson founded “Big Girlz Move” fitness program in Tucker, Georgia. He prefers to work with clients who are “200 pounds and up.” (FOX 5 Atlanta)

“I love training plus-size women,” Colson says.  “I usually take them at 200, 200 pounds and up.”

Colson says too often plus-sized women are overlooked by the fitness industry.

“You go in and you see all these people with abs.    You’re this big girl, and you want to get on the treadmill.  They’re making it easy, and you’re struggling!”

— Bridgette Ukah, on joining a gym at close to 300 pounds.

His Tucker, Georgia, gym is full of full-figured clients.

“They call me the pastor of fitness,” he jokes.  “I tell them, ‘I don’t want your money, just put your weight to the collection plate, and just drop it here. I’ve got the rest.'”

Bridgette Ukah has lost 130 pounds over the last 5 years.

Big Girlz Move is not actually free.

Women pay about $85 a month for 20 classes and a meal plan.

For Ukah, the fitness program has been life-changing.

“When I first started working out with Bridgette, she was probably tapping maybe 300 pounds,” Ted Colson says.  “So, when I first got her, she used to say, ‘I can’t’ all the time.”

“Big Girlz Move” is a Tucker-based fitness program designed for full-figured women.

Ukah admits, she was hesitant, at least a first.

“I couldn’t run on the treadmill,” she says.  “I would walk. He would say, run!  I would say, I can’t run!”

Now, Ukah is running, stretching and cross-training. 

“She’s addicted to the gym now,” Colson says.  “That’s my job, to get you addicted to the gym.”

“She’s addicted to the gym now.  That’s my job, to get you addicted to the gym.”

— Ted Colson, founder of “Big Girlz Move”

The workouts are challenging, and Ukah has realized, weight loss is journey.

“The first month, I lost 20 pounds,” she says. “The next month, I lost two. “He told me, ‘Don’t weigh yourself any more. Just keep coming back, keep coming back, keep coming back.'”

Training program targets full-figured women who want to get stronger.

Her persistence is paying off.

Over time, Ukah has lost 130 pounds.

“My abs are still a little bit weak,” she says.  “I still struggle with that.  But that’s my goal for 2020, to get these abs together.”

Back at Tara Elementary, the newer, lighter Bridgette Ukah breaks into a dance with her 5-year olds.

Bridgette Ukah has no trouble keeping up with her kindergarteners after losing 130 pounds.

“You walk a little different, strut a little different,” she says.

“You walk a little different, strut a little different.”

— Bridgette Ukah, on life after losing 130 pounds

And, Ukah says, she’s happier than ever before.

Ukah, 36, dances with her kindergarteners at Tara Elementary in Morrow, Georgia.

“Kids love that,” Ukah says.  “You have energy, and it brings their energy.” 



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