About Us

Who and What is BPFA
The PillarsCommunity-Driven Continuing Education
Since 2013

Making Fitness Approachable, Accessible, and Fun!

Our History

The Body Positive Fitness Alliance (BPFA) was born out of a collective belief that the fitness industry can and should do more to help instead of harm. Gym owners, trainers, and clients wanted to step away from customs that foster shame and isolation and build a new fitness industry that puts accessibility and inclusive practices at the forefront. BPFA assembled for its first in-person annual summit in 2016 in Huntington Beach, CA. It was a magical experience where trainers from across the US and Canada had a chance to connect and feel like they weren’t alone in trying to build body positive practices with their business. Since then BPFA has grown and transformed into an online education platform and global networking organization for fitness professionals. Our mission is to provide educational resources and community-based learning united around a common goal of equitable access to exercise for all people.

Our Values

The Eight Pillars

The Pillars are the guiding values for both our organization and our individual fitness practices. Click on each Pillar below to learn more.

Pillar 1: Accessibility

Our spaces are physically accessible and our practices are for all bodies. We consider your financial, communication, learning, safety, and other access related barriers to fitness.

Pillar 2: Approachability

Our attitudes are positive, realistic, and predictable. Our processes are transparent. We acknowledge our own privilege is a barrier between ourselves and those we serve.

Pillar 3: Enjoyment

We provide fun moments and experiences to help you associate challenging physical work with happiness and success.

Pillar 4: Community

We create conditions for meaningful connections between individuals undergoing similar experiences. We are leaders by example and we protect our communities’ values.

Pillar 5: Scope of Practice

We acknowledge our professional and personal limitations and do not prevent you from seeking a higher level of care for conditions outside our scopes of practice. We implement evidence based practices and follow guidelines from major professional organizations.

Pillar 6: Full Health

We ensure your experiences are safe and enhance your overall quality of life. We do not intimidate or shame; rather appropriately challenge you with consideration for your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Pillar 7: Body Positivity

We do not assume your ability based on what we do or do not know about you. We create and hold space for you to exercise autonomy over your body, our relationship, and your experience.

Pillar 8: Growth

We prioritize growing as professionals to better serve you. We regularly self-evaluate our practices and their alignment with the Eight Pillars.

Becoming a Nonprofit

Our Nonprofit Journey

BPFA started as a group of likeminded fitness professionals who believed in a better way to share fitness with more people. We transitioned from a loose collective to a for-profit organization. However, we soon realized that this was so much bigger than anything we could ever sell for profit, and that’s not truly what the community valued. We valued the community-based education and the connections made with others. We valued knowing that we weren’t alone in the toxic fitness world. And we wanted to share that!

So in 2020 we embraced Pillar 8 – Growth! – and started the process of becoming a nonprofit. We built on our values, and reevaluated our mission and goals. A nonprofit is who we are at heart, and truly who we have always been. Now we have the opportunity to lean into what we do best – providing education, connection, and fellowship – and continue our growth together.

BPFA’s Position Statements


Gender Access in Sports

Black Lives Matter

Meet the Team

Board of Directors

Laura Vineyard headshot

Laura Vineyard - Exec. DIrector


A coach and community organizer with a background in scientific research, Laura has run her own personal training business, ShockYard Fitness & Social Club, for over ten years. She specializes in new and nontraditional athletes and believes that fitness should be fun, empowering, and accessible to all.

As the Executive Director of Body Positive Fitness Alliance, she has extensive experience with the operations side of running a nonprofit as well as organizing multiple international summits. Laura has created educational materials for fitness professionals as well as assisted other educators in sharing their knowledge with BPFA’s community of learners.

Amanda Tierney's headshot

Amanda S Tierney


Amanda, MS, CSCS, CEDS-S, is an Eating Disorders Informed & Sensitive fitness professional passionate about educating fitness folks on prevention & treatment of disorders related to food & body. Amanda is committed to bridging the gap between research and practice and creating a network of knowledgeable coaches to collaborate with multidisciplinary treatment professionals. You can learn more about Amanda’s work at Rock The Balance, Therapeutic Exercise Alliance for Movement in Eating Disorders, and be Collaborative Care.

Headshot of Coach Justie Williams smiling

Justice Williams


Coach Justice is a Certified Personal Trainer, head coach at Kettlebell Justice, founder of The Queer Gym Pop Up and BodyImage4Justice, and Executive Director of Fitness4AllBodies. He is a trans body positive activist and has been actively creating safe spaces for queer and trans bodies in fitness in the Boston area since 2013.

A picture of Kate Hearald Browne in front of a chalkboard

Kate Herald Browne


Kate teaches people how to tell stories that change the world for good. She holds a PhD in English and uses her background in storytelling research as a learning designer and leadership consultant. Her wellness writing has appeared in Runner’s World, Refinery29, Autostraddle, and SELF magazine. Recently, Kate added a new dimension to her story exploration practice as a singer/songwriter, performing as a solo artist and as the leader of Evening Orchid, a pop-up jamboree band.

Luca Lyons headshot

Luca Lyons

All pronouns

Passionate about fostering inclusivity in fitness, Luca founded Ascent Fitness in Tacoma, WA—a dedicated space for joyful movement, strength training, and a supportive community. Luca, drawing on foundational experiences in various activities like climbing, skiing, and ultimate frisbee, recognizes the integral role sports and recreation play in health and happiness. These experiences have propelled a coaching career focused on helping individuals find joy in movement. Possessing a personal training certification from NASM and ongoing education, Luca is unwaveringly committed to crafting an inclusive environment for those often overlooked in traditional fitness spaces.

Christine DeFilippis headshot

Christine DeFilippis


A movement motivator, body liberator, and unconventional fitness pro, Christine is dedicated to reshaping the fitness landscape into a realm of inclusivity. Globally, Christine presents her insights at fitness conferences, workshops and courses, addressing diverse movement approaches, successful business strategies, & industry inclusiveness. Her personal journey of overcoming an eating disorder, weight cycling, and body dysmorphia fuels her commitment to weight neutrality. Through her Breaking Body Biases podcast, she amplifies voices of those dismantling diet culture. Check out her website here.

Katie Feeley Headshot

Katie Majewski Feeley


Katie is a strength coach, strongman athlete, cat mom, travel junkie, and bourbon enthusiast. She is the founder of Power Plant Gym, an inclusive strength training facility in Aston, PA.

Meg Hopkins

Marjorie (Meg) Hopkins


Meg is a compassion-focused, weight neutral strength coach from Brooklyn, NY. She is the owner of Thrive Together Movement, a virtual fitness studio on a mission to create a space in the fitness industry where all bodies are honored and celebrated. Outside of the gym, you can find her rescuing animals, writing novels, reading everything, crocheting stuffed animals, and chasing her pets around repeating ‘what are you eating!?’ 

BPFA is a 501c3 Nonprofit

501(c)(3) Charitable Organization


Contributions made by individuals in the USA to BPFA are tax-deductible.

Meet the Team

Committee Members

Tamie Gangloff Headshot

Tamie Gangloff, MA MFT


Tamie has been involved with the treatment of eating disorders and addictions for over fifteen years. She is currently the National Business Development Representative for Hidden River Eating Disorder Treatment.  Her roles as a therapist have included maintaining a private practice providing care to individuals and families as well as providing treatment within a IOP, PHP, Residential and inpatient level of care.

Cassandra Wilson headshot

Cassandra Wilson

She /Her

Cassandra is a run and strength coach, triathlete, dog mamma, coffee lover and a huge compound exercise fan. In Ottawa, Ontario. she leads an all bodies running group.

Geoff Starling headsh

Geoff Starling, CSCS FMS TIC


Geoff uses strength training as a tool to provide people living in bodies of all sizes, ages, abilities and identities the freedom to engage in the world the way they want to. He lives in Calgary with his wife and two kids where he is an Exercise Physiologist, Strength Coach and the Director of Every Body STRONGER

Every Body STRONGER is genuinely size-inclusive, queer-friendly, trauma-informed and committed to providing a space where everyone who wants to engage in physical activity can do so with the confidence that they will be heard, supported and represented in our community of coaches and members.

Headshot of Kayleigh Rohrback

Kayleigh Rohrbach


Kayleigh is a certified group exercise instructor focused on creating classes that are inclusive, accessible, and fun. She currently oversees fitness programs at the University of California, Davis where she strives to create a body-inclusive exercise environment where students can find community and joy in movement. 

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