Don’t assume I want to lose weight – Health At Every Size
An important story from one of our clients, Dee.
Do you make assumptions about people’s health, fitness or their goals based on their appearance? We often discuss that without a doubt, we cannot determine a person’s health by their size or shape.
Our client, Dee, is healthy, fit, and strong. She has been exercising regularly for the 15 years I’ve known her, doing activities she enjoys, that have included boxing, personal training, group training, spin classes, body balance, weights and more.
Last weekend whilst at her gym, Dee experienced an interaction that greatly disturbed us both. Thank you to Dee for bravely and eloquently sharing this experience below.
Written by Dee…
“I have been a member of my local gym for over ten years and going to a spin class on Sunday mornings for the last few years. Last week, a fellow class member I’d never noticed before came up to me after the class and said “I think it’s really good that you are here. Spin is a really good class for weight loss. I’ve lost 6kgs since I started exercising.” I responded graciously with “there are a range of health goals in exercise like stress management and improved sleep”.
This is the second time someone has singled me out and told me to “keep going” while sharing their ‘inspirational’ weight loss story. There’s nothing uplifting about these encounters. I end up angry and upset about all the assumptions behind this conversation.
When I got home I posted the following message on the gym’s Facebook group:
You’ve seen me around the gym. I have a bigger body than most of you. I have a request. Please don’t single me out, tell me I’m doing a good job and then share your weight loss story. Don’t assume you know my story, health or fitness goals based on my appearance. Don’t assume I’m just starting out because of course, if I was a long term member I wouldn’t be fat. I am strong, fit and healthy. My doctor and personal trainer agree with me. I have completed a triathlon, & am training to climb the Eureka Tower for the sixth time. I believe in Health at Every Size and the end of fat shaming. You might mean well but I am hurt by your words. If you want to know more follow The Moderation Movement on FB”