Going to the gym can be intimidating at the best of times.
However, one woman has taken to Twitter to share how much worse it is if you’re overweight.
The Twitter user, who refers to herself as Ms. Moon, says she weighs 320 pounds (145kg) – likely putting her in the “obese” BMI range.
In the thread, she reveals she has taken up exercise again because she’s about to study a subject which requires physical strength – but faces many prejudices at the gym due to her size.
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Incoming: A thread for personal trainers, gym owners, and others in the "fitness" industries who work with or around fat people.— Ms. Moon (@amooninbloom) May 14, 2019
I go to a gym and I have a personal trainer I see twice a week. My sessions focus on Strength & Conditioning. I intentionally asked for this.
For reference, I am a 320 lb woman. I started going to the gym just over two months ago because I'm going back to school next year and I'll be studying something that will require me to be on my feet for hours at a time and require a great deal of strength (both upper and lower).— Ms. Moon (@amooninbloom) May 14, 2019
She also adds that she has a history of playing sport – “so exercise is not a foreign concept” – and has joined the gym to build strength, rather than lose weight.
My relationship w/ my body and with exercise has been a rocky one. I've had an ED and still have to work hard not to slip into disordered eating. I played sports in high school so exercise is not a foreign concept. I've several reasons for why I'm fat, none of which are relevant.— Ms. Moon (@amooninbloom) May 14, 2019
Despite this, she admits the gym environment is “terrifying” for “fat folx”. [sic]
She shares the fears “fat people” face in the gym – everything from fat-shaming to being “patronised” by trainers.
What’s more, she finds trainers refuse to accept she’s not trying to lose weight, and try to use her as a weight loss “pet project”.
Going into a gym environment (or anywhere in public) as a fat person is terrifying for me, as it is a lot of fat folx.— Ms. Moon (@amooninbloom) May 14, 2019
Questions that run through my head:
"What if someone photographs me working out, posts it on the internet, and it goes viral?" pic.twitter.com/KQkfx6Kijd
And even when I find a gym or a trainer that will work with me, they will always view me one of two ways:— Ms. Moon (@amooninbloom) May 14, 2019
As a pet project
As inspiration porn.
I once joined a gym and had a trainer who repeatedly commented on how thin I was going to be if I just "didn't give up" on myself. They were patronizing and condescending in every session, but with a sugary sweetness to it because they'd decided I was to be their magnum opus.— Ms. Moon (@amooninbloom) May 14, 2019
I once had a trainer who repeatedly tried to place me in public settings, or take photos of me for the gym's social media pages, because they wanted others to see me, a fat woman, doing it, thereby serving as an inspiration for others.— Ms. Moon (@amooninbloom) May 14, 2019
Inspiration porn. pic.twitter.com/7rvZImWq5N
Later down, she blames the fitness industry for a lot of overweight people quitting the gym – and outlines how it could do better.
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Her advice includes listening to overweight people when they say what they want from exercise.
So, if you're in the fitness industry and you're earnestly wondering why fat people wont come to the gym, or why they quit after only a few months, I'm here to tell you:— Ms. Moon (@amooninbloom) May 14, 2019
You're the reason.
If you're in the fitness industry and you actually give a damn about fat folx and want to be an ally, I ask that you stop doing a few things.— Ms. Moon (@amooninbloom) May 14, 2019
First, stop asking us about our goal weight. BMI is and always has been bullshit.
Second, believe us when we tell you what we want.
Third, do not view us a pet projects. We're humans. HUMANS. Not lab rats. Not resume builders. Not before and after photos.— Ms. Moon (@amooninbloom) May 14, 2019
Complete, whole humans. Who happen to be fat.
Every single gym and every single trainer is responsible for why fat folx stay away from them. Accept that responsibility. And then we can work together.— Ms. Moon (@amooninbloom) May 14, 2019
Because a lot of us would love to do that work.
But we won't because we don't trust you and we have no reason to.
It is no secret that obese and overweight people have to battle social prejudice on a regular basis.
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“To put it in context, [Holliday is] 110 lbs heavier than me, she’s 11 inches smaller,” Piers said on ‘Good Morning Britain’.
“And that is a body positive image to be celebrated and winning awards?”