A couple days ago I wrote that ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours” might be the most ridiculous diet show ever. Friends, I stand corrected. A&E gives us a show so absolutely, batshit ridiculous that it may require adjectives that have not yet been coined.
In the show “Fit to Fat to Fit” trainers will intentionally gain weight in an effort to “better understand the struggle of their clients as they lose weight together.” Holy shitballs this is fucked up.
In a promo video a trainer tells his client “I’m going to be gaining sixty pounds from where I am now, so I can better understand and relate to where you’re coming from.”
The client, having eaten a bowl of (diet) No Shit Sherlock flakes (with skim milk of course) responds “I don’t recommend that.”
Nor would anyone who was driven by something other than a desire for TV ratings. A personal trainer who thinks that (very publicly) intentionally rapidly gaining weight just to immediately attempt to lose it will tell them anything about what it’s like to be a fat person, let alone a fat person attempting weight loss, should probably lose their certification immediately and permanently.
This is a lot like the misuse of the fat suit. Even if the experience of intentional rapid weight gain and loss had anything to do with being a fat person – and let’s be clear that it doesn’t – this is a still a hot mess. We don’t need thin people to rapidly and very temporarily become fat to understand what it’s like to be fat, we need thin people to listen to fat people when we tell them our experiences of being fat, and then believe us.
People are allowed to do whatever they want with their bodies, including attempting rapid weight gain and/or loss. But as fat people living in a world where we are shamed, stereotyped, stigmatized, bullied and oppressed, we don’t need personal trainers to be involved in dangerous rapid weight gain and loss to better understand us. We need personal trainers to be speaking out against weight-based stigma.
We don’t need very temporarily fat people to speak for us, when that airspace could be filled by actual fat people talking about our real experiences. We need Personal Trainers to know what the research says about weight loss and stop promising things they can’t deliver. Fat people’s almost non-existent likelihood of weight loss success doesn’t increase if their trainer doesn’t understand the difference between body diversity and binge-eating for rapid weight gain.
We’ve been successfully dropping ratings for The Biggest Loser by not watching it anymore, I’m thinking that we can be way ahead of the game with this show if we just don’t start watching it at all.
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