Plus-Size Model Ashley Graham Lands Spot in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Losing weight when you're carrying extra pounds is healthy for many reasons, but so is being comfortable in your own skin, no matter what your shape. Now plus-size model Ashley Graham has given a self-esteem boost to larger women by scoring a bikini ad in Sports Illustrated magazine.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Ashley, who wears a size 16, will plug SI Swimsuits in the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She'll proudly strut her stuff on the same pages as the much smaller models who make up the industry norm.

Healthy Self-Esteem Aids in Weight Loss

If you're overweight and are on a weight loss plan or are thinking about starting one, it's a great choice. PubMed Health says you'll benefit by reducing your risk for health issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. You'll also improve the symptoms of current conditions like osteoarthritis of the knees, gain more mobility, and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol level.

However, there's no shame in being a plus size, and if you're not comfortable with yourself already, it will be harder to lose weight successfully and keep it off. Emotional eating will sabotage you unless your self-esteem is strong enough to ward off doubts and fears. To see if you have an emotional eating problem, take this test.

If you can use a little building up, this video offers some tips on improving your self-esteem. Not sure if you need a boost? Take this quiz to measure your current self-esteem level.

If you approach weight loss with a healthy program that incorporates regular physical activity and a sound eating plan, you'll be able to shed your excess pounds. In the meantime, look to stories like Ashley Graham's Sports Illustrated gig to remind yourself that you can be happy and successful without being limited by constraints like clothing size.