IDEA Fitness Gives Horrible Advice

Photo by Richard Sabel

Photo by Richard Sabel

I am on the mailing list for the IDEA Health and Fitness newsletter.  I think that I got signed up automatically when I renewed by fitness pro certification but I don’t really know. Usually their stuff is just low-level annoying but today’s subject line read “Obese Clients:  Are you Meeting Their Real Needs?”  Covering my eyes with my hand and peering through my fingers I clicked on the link.  (TW – the quotes from the article, which may be triggering for all the reasons you might imagine – are indented.)

It started with a thud

We talked to obese (and formerly obese) consumers—and the fitness pros who work with them—to find out how they feel, what they think of the fitness industry and how we can better help them become healthy and vibrant.

Maybe let’s not start by assuming that fat people are not healthy and vibrant when they walk in the door.  Plenty of people, of all sizes, choose personal training to enhance an existing program.  If my goal is to increase my bench press by 30% and my new trainer’s goal is for me to become vibrant (whatever the hell that means in the fitness world), we’re going to have a problem, though not as big of a problem as we’re going to have if they think that they can ascertain my level of health from my body size.

Few [Fitness professionals] understand the powerlessness experienced by those who are more than 50 pounds overweight,” says Lisa Williams of Lawrenceville, Georgia. “I think it’s difficult for them to realize the self-talk that goes on in an overweight person’s mind [and] that constantly keeps them in a defeated, negative mindset.

What with the who now?  Unless Lisa is psychic, then she is just making assumptions and wild guesses about how everyone who is more than 50 pounds “overweight” feels and why, and that’s just a horrible idea.  First of all, plenty of fat people feel powerful and aren’t constantly in a defeated, negative mindset.  For those who do feel powerless and constantly in a defeated, negative mindset, blaming it on their weight is a convenient if completely fallacious way to shift the blame away from the tremendous amount of shame, stigma and stereotyping that fat people have to deal with – plenty of which is at the hands of the fitness industry and fitness professionals.

Gwenevere Bridge of Asheville, North Carolina…says. “Most [Fitness Professionals} have always been athletic, and their bodies are light and strong. They spend their time either trying to top their own fitness, by tricking out their routines, or just blithely maintaining a [fit] lifestyle, which is where the overweight person would like to go.” Bridge, who is working with a personal trainer, believes fitness professionals should look at obese bodies as “injured” because of “restrictions” caused by excess fat.

It seems like Gwenevere is making the super common mistake of assuming that her  experience being fat is every fat person’s experience.  Fat people’s experiences are as varied as any group that shares a single physical characteristic and a ton of stigma, stereotyping and prejudice.  Gwen’s experience is not so statistically significant as to be extrapolatable to all fat people.  So we can’t assume that all fat people aren’t athletic, aren’t trying to top our own fitness, or aren’t blithely maintaining a fit lifestyle.  Also, while Gwen is allowed to do anything she wants with her body including trying to lose weight and suggesting that people see it as injured, it would be great if she did not recommend that all fat bodies be treated as injured, or assume restrictions due to size.

Manning says being obese is like “starting at the bottom of the mountain.” “You make slow gains and most likely hit obstacles and have a few setbacks,” he says.

Oh holy crap.  Being obese is like having a certain ratio of weight and height as defined (and redifined) by the BMI chart – that is what obese people have in common.   Apparently IDEA doesn’t know it, but there is actually a super secret club for people who make slow gains and most likely hit obstacles and have a few setbacks in the pursuit of fitness goals, it’s called “Everybody Who Pursues Fitness Goals” and they meet in the locker room.

Nobody, of any size, is obligated to pursue fitness at any level for any reason ever.  People who choose fitness as a hobby are no more laudable than people who choose anything else for a hobby.  If you want to pursue fitness and you want to work with a trainer,  then you deserve someone who will work with you on your fitness goals, not try to be a therapist or a psychic, and check their own stereotypes at the door.  If you are interested in talking about fitness from a weight neutral perspective, in a group that would only use the phrase “run to the couch or the cookie” as part of a delightful scavenger hunt, you can check out the Fit Fatties Forum www.fitfatties.org

You can comment on the article here (I certainly did!)

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Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 7:31 am  Comments (51)  

51 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. commented.

  2. I believe I shall do some needlefelting now to channel the stabby feelings into something productive.

    Then I shall take my very fat body on its typical long walk, because it’s something I enjoy doing.

    Funny thing, there are times when I don’t take walks for a while for whatever reason (injury, a string of bad weather, back-to-back Project Runway marathons, etc.) and then start up again. When that happens, my fitness level definitely changes. Guess what doesn’t.

    Yeah, that would be my approximate weight.

    I can be so out of shape it makes me huff and puff to get around the block, or so fit that I can easily walk fourteen miles and change over the course of twenty-four hours, and my pants still fit the same.

    • That first sentence made me laugh right out loud! I love the word “stabby!”

    • When I retire, I wanna come live next door to you.❤

  3. You know how not to alienate fat customers? Treat us like everyone else.

    So simple. Don’t sweat yourself. /punny

    I’m thinking I have to go to a trainer, because I want to train for a 5K but have very weak ankles that have been hurting as I increase distance (I was a stupid teenage athlete who played for nearly two seasons on sprained ankles because I was too impatient to let them heal) and would like advice on exercises to strengthen my ankles and if there’s changes to my form I could make to reduce my impact on my ankles. And I am dreading a meeting I haven’t even made yet.

    • Snap! Weak Ankles here, too! I had physio last year to strengthen the ligaments/tendons of my high-arched feet and weak ankles, and they’ve helped a lot. Mostly variations on the idea of standing with front or side half of foot on the edge of a step, and pulling up tall – working the side/rear tendons of one foot at a time, to lengthen and strengthen. They’re tedious but they do WORK.

    • Step one to prevent ankle injury: Take a look at your shoes. Do not wear shoes that are worn out, as they cause unnecessary strain. (I know there can be plenty of other issues but this is the most obvious one and might be helpful!)

    • I have had to deal with weak ankles myself, and they only really got better after I had PT due to my last sprain. We did a lot of resistance band work, and I could do it at home by ramping up the tension with the different bands and shutting them in the doorway. Pull both away from your body and across your body. Helped me so much, and now my ankles aren’t the problem!

    • it’s not inexpensive, but I too suffer from weak(er) ankles, and Pilates (which Ragen also does) has helped immensely.

  4. I loved the club “Everybody Who Pursues Fitness Goals” and their locker room meetings! Thank you, needed that laugh this morning. As I was reading the quote, I was shaking my head thinking the same thing could be said about ANY goal — like meditation goals and we meditaters have a club called the sangha — and now I am thinking everybody involved in that article (including readers) would have benefited more if they had spent that time meditating instead.😎

  5. Oh my word… I think I need to take a page from Twistie’s book… though instead of stabby feelings, I have punchy feelings. Mmmm, I know! I’ll make bread! Beating the crap out of dough right about now sounds like fun.
    Oh, the assumptions these people are making! Ugh! I’m not at my most fit right now, and it has nothing to do with cookies. I’m in the midst of trying to get a medical issue diagnosed and my neurologist asked that I reduce my ingestion of pain meds to no more than 3 times a week to “reset” my dependence on pain meds and make sure they aren’t triggering my migraines. So I’m in pain the other 4 days. Good news, it appears that pain meds do not trigger my migraines–THANK GOODNESS. So, movement is only my friend on those three days right now. And I have a referral to rheumatology.

    • “Beating the crap out of dough right about now sounds like fun.” Plus you get bread at the end of it! I wish Ragen’s comment section had “like” buttons.

      • Thanks! Oh, and my hubby loves my Swedish Limpa Bread… it’s far better when I have some good anger to take out on it. 🙂

    • I don’t know what state you live in Tara, but I have found cannabis a very effective treatment for migraines, without the risk of rebound headaches.

      I know when I have one fitness is the last thing on my mind as any exercise overheats me and makes the migraine so much worse. Lying in a dark, quiet roomies all I can manage. Good luck with your treatment. Migraines suck.

      • Even if it was legal here, I do believe my day job would take issue with me using cannabis, but thanks for the info! If it’s ever legal for me to use I may have to give it a whirl.

        For now I’m taking 400mg of B2 (riboflavin) a day. Reduces occurrences on average 50% (I’d say I’m closer to 75%). Doesn’t affect duration or strength of the headache once I get it–but I’ll take the fewer occurrences! (fun side effect–neon yellow pee)

        It’s kinda funny that I didn’t actually recognize them as migraines, for the headache aspect seemed rather low grade, but the dizziness, basic mind confusion and nausea part sucked terribly. The only thing to do once I have one is to find a dark little corner of my world and get a nap. 15 minutes, 3 hours, whatever it takes.

        Totally with you on the thought that fitness and migraines don’t really coexist…

        I’m still a Dr. House experiment, for there is more to diagnose, but I’m taking the positives where I can.

        • I really feel for you. I have had exactly one clinical migraine in my life. It was caffeine-induced and short-lived, but if ever I wanted to just DIE from pain, that was the moment. How people can live with recurring migraines is a mystery to me. For what you all go through, you deserve major kudos.

          • As a person with recurring migraines ever since I was a child, it’s still a mystery to me too.😦

          • I didn’t recognize my headaches as migraines for the headache part was relatively mild and not the primary problem. The part where I feel as if the world is spinning and I’m gonna puke all over is the most debilitating part. I thought it was vertigo–which I just had my introduction to back in March. My neurologist just smiled and told me I was experiencing migraines.

            It seems much of my migraine experience is optically charged–not necessarily bright light (though if I’m getting a migraine, bright light is not my friend). Things that cause a dizzying affect bug me. Pulsing lights, scrolling pages, panning video. Ugh. I love HGTV, cannot watch half the shows cuz they seem to love to pan around in all the before, during, after shots of which there are many. No roller coasters for me in the near future.

            • I get vestibular migraines as part of my Meniere’s spectrum. No fun. One on Tuesday knocked my entire day on it’s ass-end. I could barely get to the bathroom to throw up, let alone exercise.

            • Joining in on the “headache club”. Still looking for my Dr. House and have gone to an ENT, primary a few times, eye doctor and now will see an endocrinologist and a neurologist. My headaches are daily but I also have chronic fatigue which to me is much worse and a puffiness under the eye, no nausea just dizziness. Good luck everyone finding out the cause!

        • Tara, I can see that you’ve gotten a lot of advice here and maybe it wasn’t really welcome, which I can totally understand, because I have a very visible condition and total strangers give me lots of unsolicited and I don’t appreciate it at all, but nevertheless, I’m going to give you more advice; actually, it’s more what I’ve gone through and maybe it’ll help you, maybe not.

          Anyhoo, enough trying to justify my good intentions. I had terrible, terrible migraines and my doc wouldn’t give me pain meds due to the frequency of the headaches and double fear of rebound headaches and addiction. Someone else recommended meditation, specifically the book “Full Catastrophe Living” by Jon Kabat-Zinn and then I bought the companion “Guided Mindfulness Meditation” CD. It helped me a lot. It’s complementary medicine and not about forgoing traditional medicine. The book is kind of dated and not perfect, but I found it be quite helpful. The CDs aren’t really required, they just help you focus on your meditation.

          And you’ll pass your drug tests, unless they test for oxygen.🙂

          Good luck with fighting your headaches.

    • Fellow migraine sufferer here as well. I just started seeing a neurologist who thank goodness does not put weight in the equasion- at least he didn’t after my telling him I had migraines at 40 lbs less. I recently started on the riboflavin, and he also has me on magnesium. We talked a little about fitmess and working out and he said yoga is much more effective than running, cardio, etc.

    • Thanks to all for your advice and solidarity! Migraines do suck quite terribly. I’ll take what I can into advisement… I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to test out various remedies and will hopefully find a good balance in due time.

      I also have hope that I will get a few diagnoses and treatment plans in the coming weeks, months, years. I’m looking into various avenues for treatment for the myriad of issues going on. I think I’m heading down a path of regular western with a possible jaunt down the holistic path in tandem along with physical therapy/exercise. I assume that I will find that I need some changes in the dietary realm from the aspect of identifying and avoiding foods that make me ill vice losing weight category (my sister has been diagnosed lactose intolerant and gluten sensitive) as well. So I’m definitely looking at a long haul!

      Thank you all for your kind words, advice and support! I love this blog and the community of weight acceptance/HAES that I’ve been introduced to!

  6. Since my surgery this summer, I’ve noticed some interesting things about how I’m treated in public. I’ve definitely been given a real learning experience regarding ADA situations and the stigma attached to functioning in a wheel chair… wow.

    Folks who know me.. even just socially, are usually polite and concerned. First it’s the ‘oh,my, Susan.. what happened?!” and then when I say “I had surgery this summer”.. even if I don’t say amputation…they immediately ask “are you diabetic?”… WTF.. MYOB!!! So I have started saying… even before they ask, ” I had an injury and got a bone infection that cost me three toes”. Once I even said… without sarcasm…” I was vacationing and got bit by an allegator and lost three toes” When I’m feeling snarky, I say “alien abduction”.

    But overall, this is what’s changed. When I was vertical and mobile, if I got sweaty.. it was due to pms hot flashes.. .now, I’m just an out of shape slob. I never realized how HOT your butt and back get in these damned pleather chairs.

    Before when I asked for help to get things it was due to being an older woman/grandma with arthritis… now I’m a pitied lazy slob

    Before my size was chalked up to genetics very tall, very broad…now it is because I sit all the time and must just eat

    Before when I used a knee roller or crutches.. I was injured and healing…. now my fat is killing me and causing me to have to have a wheelchair to haul my too-ample ass around.

    My healing is progressing slow and steady in the right direction. After 9 weeks, I am going to be allowed to try driving myself, but I still have to stay in the wheelchair at work and off my feet at home.. I’m so happy to have freedom to get to and from work and between buildings on my own terms. But, if next week I am not continuing to improve, I may be put back on ‘no driving’. Cross your fingers for me.

    Maybe before too long I’ll get cleared to get back into the gym and the pool… I’m so tired of being atrophied and weak.

    • Prayers and well wishes for your healing!!

    • Oh my word! People can be such jerks. I am going through the diagnosis stage of a medical issue, I’ve had over 20 vials of blood drawn. Believe you me, diabetes has been ruled out. I HATE being asked if I’m diabetic. People of all shapes and sizes are diabetic and no one who happens to be larger should feel ashamed of such a diagnosis. It pisses me off not for me, but for those who are–so the F what if I was?

      I am crossing my fingers for you. The ability to have the power over your own mobility (driving) is huge. I hope that your recovery moves along quickly for you.

      • My own mother (a retired R.N.) once assumed that because of my size I must be type II diabetic, and bought me sugar free Easter candy.
        I said “aw thanks, Ma, how did you know I was having problems with constipation?” Because the sweetener in that stuff has a majorly laxative effect!

    • *HEALING MOJO*

    • Last summer, I had bilateral knee replacements (they were having a two-for-one sale!), and I experienced a bit of that sort of attitude from people. I didn’t normally need anything but my walker when I was out, but in the grocery store, I used the little motorized shopping cart. When I think about it, I don’t know if people were really giving me “the look”, or if I’m so aware of these things that I assumed people were doing so. That’s part of the stigma fat people experience: Too often, we’ve internalized the hatred, and we sometimes heap the insults upon ourselves first before anyone else gets the chance. (And I’m a 51-year-old woman whose been involved in size acceptance for at least 25 years.) Thankfully, I’m back on my feet and mostly pain free!

      Susan, I hope you continue to heal. The fact that you’re NOT a diabetic is in your favor, since lower extremity wounds for diabetics can be very difficult to heal. So, this RN would like to offer you lots of encouragement. It’s very frustrating to feel so weak, but remember that your body has been through some major traumas–bone infection and amputation! I’m surprised you have enough energy to work. Have patience with yourself, and hang in there!

  7. Yup, been through all that ‘weight loss = fitness gain’ schtuck several times now with several gyms and fitness clubs. Great responses on the website! I’m possibly extraordinarily lucky that my local fitness club doesn’t do the weight judgment thing – well, not that I’ve noticed – there’s several of us Abundant people up there, and we just get on and do our stuff and that’s that.

  8. “Most [Fitness Professionals} have always been athletic, and their bodies are light and strong.”

    Well – most (not all, let me be clear) also tend to be naturally relatively thin, and/or have bodies that fluctuate 5-10 pounds with food and activity levels, and they extrapolate from their bodies to ours.

    I know about that kind of body – though I don’t have one myself, I seem to marry it… My late husband, who was *very* thin, did walk a lot (but so did I… and I walked at his speed, though he was 8″ taller,) ate my healthy meals – and then bought doughnuts… He literally gave me the “weight loss advice” that he could lose five pounds in a week or two by not eating the *second* doughnut at coffee break… which was hard for me to follow, as I wasn’t eating any at all. My current one eats what I do, moves less, does no formal exercise at all – and looks as if he regularly does a circuit of cardio and light weights… and, when we first got together, he promptly lost a few pounds on my good healthy cooking. (His suits were getting a bit snug – they fit beautifully, now.)

    But, in general, I find that people with that body tend to assume that people with *my* body can’t be eating and moving the way they do, or we would have the results they do. Just cut out a few of the doughnuts… And I know people with my body who assume that all people with my late husband’s have eating disorders… also not true. Too many of us extrapolate from our own experience… but bodies are *different.*

    (FWIW – note that my late husband is, in fact, late… His death had nothing at all to do with height, weight, activity level, food intake… It was actually difficult, in his illness, because people kept saying he was really healthy – until he, you know, died… Health is not completely within our control.)

    • Sorry to hear about your late husband. You are absolutely correct, health is far from completely within our control.

      And thanks for pointing out what is obvious to us but somehow not to so many others: many (though not all) “fitness professionals” are naturally thin. Their appearance has as much, if not more, to do with heredity, than how conscientiously they work out.

  9. It seems to me that the best way to serve the “powerless” exerciser with a “defeated, negative mindset” is to not create or perpetuate any of those emotions. That goes for anyone of any size.

    Bleh. I get the feeling I’m not articulating what I’m thinking. Like everyone else here, I’m gonna go blow off some steam.

    • “”It seems to me that the best way to serve the “powerless” exerciser with a “defeated, negative mindset” is to not create or perpetuate any of those emotions. That goes for anyone of any size.

      Bleh. I get the feeling I’m not articulating what I’m thinking.”

      Personally? As an in-betweenie and regular gym rat (semi-forced b/c of PT/rehab), I think you did fine.

  10. I eagerly commented:
    “Or, you know, instead of assuming that all people who share a random physical trait all have the same feelings, goals, base-level fitness, and abilities, you might have a conversation with your clients about their individual motivations and goals for your sessions . . . like you do for all your other clients. Crazy idea, huh?”

  11. Out of curiosity I looked up their FB page. This article was shared. One of the 2 responses on there was exactly as you describe: “Their needs are, help me loose the fat safely and efficiently. Their wants may be, ask me what I will and will not do, coddle up to me, be really nice to me because I scare away easy, be empathetic. I know why myself and the obese that I have assisted in losing fat were obese: it was because we were lazy and choose to eat too much of the wrong foods.” Surprising? No. Saddening? Yes.

  12. I posted: “As a fat woman, I would really love to be able to walk into a gym and be ASKED what I want to work on, not just have wild assumptions made about (1) my fitness level, (2) my flexibility, (3) my eating habits, (4) my health, and (5) my needs. None of those things are actually able to be discerned just from looking at the shape or size of my body.

    The best way to serve your obese clients is to (1) treat them the same way you treat all your other clients, (2) ask them questions about their goals, (3) allow them to define their own goals, (4) don’t be patronizing or condescending to them, (5) assume they are intelligent people just like you who know what’s best for themselves.

    My two cents.”

  13. Oh good gravy. I left a comment, and I see some other awesome ones as well but they are followed by some really REALLY clueless ones. Not that I expect that most “fitness professionals” are going to be fat accepting or HAES tolerant, but WOW. Talk about ignorant!

  14. I have found it to be very disappointing to be told ‘if you eat a certain way and exercise a certain way, you will look a certain way’ because that is an outright lie.

    • Wow, so true!

  15. Reblogged this on Sly Fawkes and commented:
    I can’t say I’ve gotten to a point where I completely love my body, but then again, I also hated my body when I was a practicing bulimic teenager who at times was definitely underweight for my height. However, having been all over the weight spectrum, I can say that I really don’t feel or operate differently in general as a fat person. I’m nearly fifty, so I have a bit more wear and tear than I did when I was 25. Other than that, I probably move better now than I did when I was in my early 40’s because I found an exercise routine that works with my fibromyalgia and joint problems (which I also had when I was thin.)
    The biggest problem I face as a fat person is the realization that I live in a stigmatized body, and the messages I get every day that I should hate my body.
    The fitness industry needs a big overhaul in the way it treats larger people. Society in general needs a big overhaul in the way it treats larger people.

  16. I wanna be in the super secret club! lol
    That article sounds pretty ridiculous! I remember trying to get personal training for weight lifting and having weight loss shoved down my throat. I didn’t go to that gym for long.

  17. I found it interesting that in order to create an account to be able to comment on the article, I had to identify as either a “fitness trainer” or “fitness enthusiast.” Because there couldn’t possibly be any other reason I would take an interest in such a site or want to comment on an article there, I must be batshit crazy in love with exercise. It’s not really a surprise they know so little about giving good service to fat clients, given the general exclusionary air of the site. I mean, I get that most people creating an account would be really into fitness, but I find it strange that it’s an automatic assumption they make, especially since you need to have an account if you want to post comments.
    Anyway, here’s the comment I posted:

    Well, this is strange… I love sitting on the couch and eating cookies, and I never go to the gym, yet I’m 5’4” and weigh about 100 pounds. Yet people don’t seem to think I’m eating my feelings or hiding on the sofa… People tend to either assume I’m in great shape or that I’m malnourished.
    If someone can stay as skinny as I do without being particularly athletic and regardless of my eating habits, it stands to reason there must be people who eat quite well and exercise regularly who remain fat. We need to stop making so many assumptions about a person’s overall health, fitness level, and lifestyle based on how they look.
    @Greg Keoc: how do you know she “struggles” to walk a marathon? Have you seen her do it? Do you train with her? Why would you assume that the “point” of participating in a marathon is the same for everyone?
    What really gets me is we have all these people talking about their exercise regimes and/or their careers as trainers WHILE being fat, and yet some people come back at them and try to tell them what they’re saying is impossible. “Of course fat people don’t exercise, or can’t exercise the way thin people can, or be fit. I know this because I feel very physically fit, and I’m thin. Also, I saw a fat person out of breath once. Another time I saw one eating poutine.” Everyone’s experience is different, and it’s not your place to speak for anyone’s personal experience but your own.

  18. Commented. This stupid article reminded me yet again why I love my trainer. I suspect that she doesn’t entirely get HAES, but she respects ME and treats me with respect, and for that I am grateful.

  19. I don’t use a personal trainer but I am at the gym 4-5 mornings a week and the staff are polite but they have never once asked me about my goals. I wonder if they think I’m a “failure”? Never mind that I’m stronger than ever, but my body hasn’t outwardly changed much…

  20. I think it is helpful to spread around positive thoughts about size and fitness. This past week I spent some time at a couple casinos and observed the women working there. The valet was a tall young muscular lookingf fat woman who looked so fit as she ran from car to car to fetch people’s vehicles. I commented to her that she looked so strong with all that running, and she just laughed and said, she’s slower in the heat. But, you know, when I returned to get my car, she was so kind and pleasant with me. The server in the restaurant was a young super size woman who was carrying around large heavy trays. I told her that I thought she must be very strong. I got super service. One just has to look around and see all the fit fat people out there. We can show support to counteract all the negativity. And, in the process we get treated well too. I have to deal with an oxygen tank, breathing problems and arthritis, and I am grateful when people treat me like a real human being too.

    • Thanks Judi, that’s an excellent point. We HAES folk may be invisible to the general population and mainstream media, but we don’t have to be invisible to each other!

  21. This is a really eye opening perspective for me.

    I spent the largest part of my life very underweight and very very desperate (and unable) to grow. I mean in most social circles it’s totally 100% acceptable to tease the very skinny guy for being very skinny. It’s not considered mean or anything – it’s considered funny and playful. I absolutely hated it.

    All of those statements made by IDEA about obese individuals were 100% true for me as a very skinny guy, so reading those statements I found myself nodding along. Things like:

    “Few [Fitness professionals] understand the powerlessness experienced by those who are more than 50 pounds UNDERweight,” says Lisa Williams of Lawrenceville, Georgia. “I think it’s difficult for them to realize the self-talk that goes on in an UNDERweight person’s mind [and] that constantly keeps them in a defeated, negative mindset.”

    I mean reading along I was thinking yep, if I signed up there and they understood that about me that’d help. That’s how I felt. Maybe they’d be able to help me accomplish my goals better knowing that those were my exact thoughts.

    Then your commentary was very different – that this was a bad thing to “understand” and a bad perspective to have.

    I can see how that makes sense. Maybe if there wasn’t this idea in my mind in the first place that skinny was bad, then growing would have been a much more enjoyable process.

    The first time I truly felt motivated to become stronger, healthier and more athletic was when the girl I was dating ALREADY thought I was buff (at 6’2 and 130 pounds). Her thinking I was already fit, strong and masculine gave me the confidence to really enjoy actually becoming that person.

    What’s wrong with the word vibrant? Now that my goals have shifted away from being “bigger” I actually really want to become more vibrant. Is there some sort of negative thing with striving to be vibrantly healthy?

    I use the word vibrant all the time … :S

    • Hi Shane,

      Interesting perspective, thanks! There’s nothing wrong with vibrant, the issue was that the way the article was written made the assumption that if a person is fat then they aren’t vibrantly healthy and that they need help to do that. And it’s not that these quotes aren’t true for the people who said them, there are absolutely people who have that experience – the problem happens when someone tries to apply this to every fat person. The problem was that the article was written based on the idea that a trainer can know how to work with a client based on their body size.

      ~Ragen


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