WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A TRAINER IN A LARGER BODY IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY.
Updated: May 18, 2022
Being a larger body trainer in the fitness industry in 2022 has been a blessing for me, believe it or not but I have experienced a lot of fat phobia and weight bias from past employers past coworkers.
The fat phobia was so normalized, I didn’t realize how toxic the environment actually was. I’ve been fired from jobs just because of the way I looked. I was told I was too big, too loud, my hair color wasn’t right, my tattoos had to be covered. What did I do? I conformed. I started to be quiet, colored my hair an “acceptable” color, wore long sleeve shirts to cover my tattoos. But that still wasn’t good enough. Next thing I knew I was fired. I was trying to get answers on why, and they threatened to call the cops because I kept persisting. So I let it go. Next thing I know, I’m getting a call from my old manager, who wanted to apologize and said it wasn’t him. It was the owner of the company who had a problem with me. He was forced to get rid of me. And again, I did nothing.
I kept going back to diet culture antics and conformed to societies expectations. Lose weight… Skinny = healthy, employment, money, etc. Oh boy did this open me up to so many disordered behaviors, which in my head was correct because skinny was considered healthy.
I started working out in 2008. I was in between jobs, didn’t have really any direction of what I wanted to do. I knew I was tired of feeling like shit. I was tired of the drinking, the eating late, the unhealthy behaviors. So I started moving my body. I started out at home with wii fit because I was too embarrassed to go into the gym. I was afraid of what people would think of me trying to move. So I figured this would be a good way to get used to movement and then I could promote myself to a gym in a public place. Either commercial, or the apartment gym I was living in at the time. Being that I didn’t have a job I had very few options. But still it’s more about that feeling of shame and insecurity that takes over your brain and it won’t leave. I’m sure we all have experienced this in one way or another.
When IG was just starting to take off, that was the main platform I used to document my movement journey. Everyday, I didn’t care, I posted whatever movement I started to do. I told myself I need to help hold myself accountable. And this was a fun way for me to do so. So, every workout, every walk, every sweat and tear was posted. I worked with a couple of trainers and I never really noticed how diet culture made me perceive myself. I thought at all cost I need to do what I needed to do to lose weight. I started to present disordered behaviors. Detoxes and cleanses soon turned into purging. More and more frequently this started to happen. It also came to light that with restricting certain foods, I would also purge and binge, binge and purge. I got to the point where I was getting colonics 2-3 a month. I even did an epson salt cleanse. And of course I did it wrong and consumed way more than the recommended amount. Instead of 1 teaspoon I took 1 tablespoon. Oh boy let me tell you my butt was on fire!