A friend of mine posted this great write-up on Facebook today.
Part that stuck out to me:
But being a kind-of-curvy lady poses some challenges at the gym, where is where I do most of my exercising.
Most people assume that I'm there for the sole purpose of losing weight and would never consider that I might be there to take care of my body.
Just yesterday, a man told me that over the past few weeks he has been watching me run on the treadmill, and that if I'm wondering why I haven't lost any weight, it's because pure cardio doesn't burn enough fat.
My BFF is a pretty large lady. She has bought two tickets for a plane before. She is also athletic as fuck and works out quite a bit. She has run half-marathons, played soccer in college. She belongs to a Pilates/Barre gym (I guess unlimited classes by paying per month or something), instructs yoga, and what she calls her "commoners' gym," where she does group training to get in cardio and weight lifting. When she had been going to this training for a year, they got a new trainer and he went in front of her and basically whispered, "I know you're not on the same playing field as everyone else, but we can work together to get you to your goal. We can get you in a bikini by summer."
She's always been big; her goals have been that she wants to be an extreme badass - not to wear a bikini. I had never seen her cry a tear in my life, until she showed up at my door that night, unannounced, in what looked like a breakdown - screaming, crying, red face, breathing hard.
She went back to that gym; she still sees that trainer sometimes. I told her to complain to management but she just wanted to show him what a badass she is, so she has been there for a year kicking ass. She said she likes to glare at him in the eyes, hoping he'll think she is coming after him.
Some other choice quotes from the article:
How many times have we all seen exercise products marketed as weight loss products? Hand weights are sold as ways to tone and trim our arms. Gym memberships are marketed as ways to slim down, to lose the holiday weight.
We exist in a culture that conflates health with thinness.
Your body, flawed as it might be, is perfect. Declare it to yourself and then declare it to the people who you love.
The most important thing to remember is that we each deserve the kindness that we dole out so effortlessly to others. If I would never encourage a kind of-curvy friend by fat shaming her, why would I do that to myself?