We had the good fortune of connecting with Dean Tanglao and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dean, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Growing up, I was a chubby, awkward, and nerdy kid. Not being blessed with the talent of athleticism, I struggled with sports, and as a result, I struggled with my self-esteem. It wasn’t until college that I picked up my first weight at the gym which ultimately began my fitness journey.

The journey, however, was not smooth. I struggled initially with “gymtimidation.” Although a large percentage of gym patrons were friendly, going into the fitness environment with no real athletic background was tough. I was afraid of judgment from others; being afraid that I was squatting “wrong” or looked “weak” and fat. But I continued to show up and slowly learn from whatever fitness resources were available at the time.

Even though my confidence in fitness began to grow slowly, I constantly compared myself to the fitness images I would see on Instagram and other social media platforms, which began a vicious cycle of self-loathing and a growing fear of food.

This eventually led to a reverse in my fitness journey, causing me to unknowingly develop eating disorders, dropping my weight to dangerously low levels. It took a lot of time and help for me to climb out of the situation I found myself in and by the time I had recovered, I found myself back at square one with my fitness goals.

I eventually moved on to become a physical therapist, where I learned more about the strength training world which I immediately fell in love with. Naturally, I began to gain more weight and develop a larger build. Even with my increase in “the gainz,” I still heard the little voice in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough. It was then that I began to realize that my constant comparison of others had led to an unhealthy dissatisfaction of myself.

I started KFKF at a time in my life where I began to stop comparing myself to other people and began learning to embrace myself and my own personal fitness journey. Too many times, I would lose confidence in myself when I would fail. I would convince myself that starting over was a wasted effort.

But you know what? Starting over is part of the process. Whether you find yourself a little heavier than you were a year ago or find that you haven’t achieved the physique you expected, the point is remembering to enjoy the journey. It is a reminder that fitness is for everyone and as such, everyone’s goals and journeys are different. I believe that long term success comes from the belief in the value of one’s self in the present. KFKF reminds me of where I was and the journey it took to get to where I am today.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside if you are not happy with yourself from the inside first. KFKF is an important reminder that your value in this world is more than just looking at what society depicts as “good.” Life’s too short to waste it hating yourself.

What should our readers know about your business?
Kinda Fit Kinda Fat, LLC is a brand and community dedicated to show that you can and should be proud of yourself no matter what stage of the fitness journey you are on. Kinda Fit Kinda Fat firmly believes that every “body” is worthy of being valued, respected, and deserving of equal opportunities and representation. Their core mission is to advocate that one’s worth is immeasurably more than just skin deep. Bodies from all walks of life should be celebrated.

Through working with local small businesses, strength gyms, restaurants, sports teams, community members, and other organizations, Kinda Fit Kinda Fat continually sparks conversation and explores action for body diversity. Although there has been significant development towards a more diverse world in the last few years, they are committed to striving for continued progress by pushing the boundaries individually, as a community, as a team, and as a brand.

As a company, we eagerly face endless challenges when it comes to body diversity and its correlation with size inclusivity. From working to provide and develop size inclusive apparel in an industry where larger sizes are neglected, up-charged, and in many instances, nonexistent, to initiating uncomfortable conversations concerning relationships with food, body diversity, stigmas with mental health, and facing the very controversial views of the immense societal pressures and influences on body image ideals.

At Kinda Fit Kinda Fat, we continually push to be at the forefront of the fitness industry, working to create an inclusive community where you can be and SHOULD be proud of your body, no matter what stage of the fitness journey you are on. We believe that no matter who you are, you deserve to feel welcome in the fitness industry. Fitness comes in multifaceted forms, sports, journeys, and body types. Everyone deserves to take up space because this journey transcends beyond just physical attributes alone. As much as society may say otherwise, how you look does not determine your worth or place in your story. Everyone’s goals are different, and Kinda Fit Kinda Fat aims to show others the importance of being present and proud of yourself along every stage of your personal journey.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d start of the morning fresh and hitting up a local private strength training gym. After we would grab dim sum then take a walk at the beach or park followed by a nap of course. We would then go grab some dinner (AYCE Korean BBQ, sushi, local ramen shops would be ideal) then catch a movie to end the day!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Our brand’s success comes from our KFKF community. We’ve had supporters be with us since the beginning in 2017 who still support us to this day. We wouldn’t be where we are today without a community like this and we’re so grateful everyday that we have such a strong and supportive group of people behind us.

Website: www.kindafitkindafat.com

Instagram: kindafitkindafat_apparel

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/kindafitkindafat/

Twitter: KFKFofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kindafitkindafat/

Youtube: Kinda Fit Kinda Fat Kitchen

Other: Tik Tok: KindaFitKindaFat

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.