"But, you don't look the part..."
Someone actually said this to me the other day and it hit me in a way that I wasn't expecting.
I have been body shamed by random strangers, trolls on the internet, and people that I no longer call friends. But this came from someone else in my industry. This came from another fitness "professional". Another certified member of my prestigious community. And I was livid.
So, as a personal trainer and fitness professional I am a member of several different networks to constantly communicate with others and educate myself in my field on how to best work with clients and serve my students. It is so important to me to be the best I can for all of the people that follow me and are in my circle.
Today I was looking through a few of the posts and one was asking "What is the best way to acquire new students?" I felt that I could offer an answer as I have been fortunate enough to build a business in the industry since the start of the pandemic and I said, "I have found the best way to gain new clients is to be as genuine as possible and to never sacrifice who you are." I felt like it was a good response and most people commented to agree with me. Then one guy made a comment that rubbed me the wrong way, "But you don't look the part. Why would anyone want to train with anyone that looks like you?".
At what point does someone think that the way they look is the reason people are benefitting from their advice as a fitness professional? When does someone's abs become more credible than another person's education? When does a chiseled jaw qualify you to help someone become more mobile? When does a nutcracker bum (which I unapologetically have and own) help someone else with their fitness goals? They don't. Literally none of these.
And thanks GOODNESS for the other people in my field, because they tore that man to shreds over his comment. Absolutely everyone put him in his place for being prejudice against people of a different body shape. How can anyone trust someone that looks down on others for their fitness level to help them achieve their goals?
I fight so hard in my every day life to make sure that all of the people that follow me for fitness advice are comfortable in their own body and in the community that I have built. I make sure that they know that no matter where they are at in their fitness journey and no matter the shape of their body that they are beautiful and they are valid.
This is one of the biggest pillars of my business and my moral standings. Life is far too short to make someone feel less than they are, so why the hell would someone do it?
If you are bigger, you ARE beautiful.
If you are leaner, you ARE beautiful.
If you are muscular, you ARE beautiful.
If you are different, you are BEAUTIFUL.