Shame on "Shamers"

There has been quite the buzz about an incident involving a trainer at a St. Louis fitness facility. He was sitting behind a woman at a Cardinals game and decided that because of her size, he should exploit her and do some “fat shaming” on social media. The remarks he made were soon followed by more comments defending his thoughts. This has caused quite the uproar across the nation.
Soon after, the woman who was in the photo spoke up. In such a classy way, she wrote about how she is actually in the process of losing weight. She had started at weighing 400lbs. She was finally fed up with her weight and she began to take steps in the right direction to change. She began eating cleaner food, walking more, and even hired a trainer. She is currently down 150 lbs. and she’s very proud of her progress (as she should be!) and she’s as determined as ever to continue her journey.
Conclusion: Woman-1, Fat Shamer-0.
I heard a lot of talk about this in the gym this morning. Even my clients as well as my coworkers engaged in conversation about it. And we all had the same question: “Why?”
Why does “shaming” of anyone have to happen? We hear people fat shaming, hating on thin girls, hating on people with too much muscle, hating on people with not much muscle. Frankly, it seems exhausting and time consuming. Most of the time when we come across these type of comments, we can generalize that the person saying them has some sort of self-conscious issues and they “shame” to make themselves feel better.
In this case, the guy is just a prick.
He calls himself a trainer and he’s in the fitness industry? Why? Why would you have a profession where your NUMBER ONE objective is to HELP PEOPLE ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS and yet you put down the very people who need you the most?
When we sit down with a potential weight loss client the VERY FIRST thing we hear is “I don’t want to work out in an intimidating place.” I get it. Who really wants to be in a place where you feel like people are staring at you or secretly making hurtful comments from other members? Nobody does. Unfortunately these places exist. Obviously, this trainer’s gym is one of those places.
People are their own worst critics. No one gives them a harder time than themselves. If people are overweight or underweight or not in their “ideal shape” they already are aware of this. They don’t need others pointing it out. And when they are tired and fed up of feeling that way, they will make steps in order to change. THAT is when a real trainer comes into the picture. We’re here to help you and guide you and pretty much set up a game plan for you to reach your goals.
To the woman in the picture: You’re doing everything right. And I commend you for having such grace and class in how you handled all of this. There’s no way I could have kept my composure like you did. You inspired me this week. Keep that head up and keep kicking ass.
To the “Trainer”: I’m so sorry I have to be considered your colleague. I’m sorry that people will hear this story and now have a little resentment towards all trainers. I’ve read other comments you have made on your Facebook page and I’m sorry you have to pride yourself on being such a jerk who is obviously in this business for the wrong reasons.
To the Readers: You don’t have to like where you’re at right now and that’s ok. But it’s not ok for someone to tell you they don’t like where you’re at right now. If you want to make a healthier lifestyle for yourself, AWESOME. Great trainers are out there who will help you (ahem, Emerge Fitness) and will encourage you, motivate you, and you won’t just leave with a healthier image, but a stronger confidence as well.
It’s Your Turn. Emerge.
Kimberly Renoud,
Emerge Fitness Training