Fat Fitness Pros: Do you respect them?

Fat Fitness Pros: Do you respect them?
Do you respect fat fitness professionals?

Obesity. A disease that now impacts every race, culture, class, and profession–even the fitness industry. I remember as a teen being completely enamored by Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons as they bopped around in neon outfits, headbands, and leg warmers encouraging us to get up and move. I thought being a fitness expert was fun and sexy. In the 80s there was even a program called “The 20 Minute Workout” that came on during the day that I would dance around to, and to this day, one of my all time favorites still airs daily on PBS with Margaret Richards’ “Body Electric” which brought two of my passions together in one. Richards’ ingeniously fused Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” poem with fitness and my all time favorite movie “Fame”. The irony that my two loves as a teen would converge to my now being a fitness spokesperson and writer amazes me!

But the models of health and fitness look different today than they did in years past. There are fat fitness professionals and I see them in every gym where I go to exercise, and some are even my co-workers, and I must tell the honest truth: I just don’t like it.

It’s not that I don’t respect their knowledge or expertise, because I know people can be highly skilled, competent, and knowledgeable, but I just find it hard to completely respect what they have to say because it appears they don’t take their own advice.  I mean, it’s no different for me than a hairstylist whose hair is unkempt in a salon. Or a dermatologist with bad acne. Or the scores of doctors and nurses who stand outside of hospitals smoking. I think to myself, before you tell me anything, you need to go and stand in a mirror and tell yourself.

I didn’t even realize how strongly I felt about this until yesterday when two separate incidents happened but they both got me really thinking on this subject. The one occurred at my (not so favorite) gym where I go to zone out and NEVER CAN and that’s Planet Fitness, or should I say, FATNESS. I wondered what was going on when I arrived there and the lot was full. I thought, my goodness, the “Resolutions” must be excited to see sunshine and came back to the gym. But when I got inside, I saw that they were having what must have been a new staff member orientation led by a man who looked like somebody’s retired gym teacher who looked to be about 18 months pregnant. And this guy was explaining the ropes of fitness and health? I thought, this can’t be. What is the world coming to?!?!

The second event occurred when my daughter who’s a Junior in HS asked for my help with her Health essay entitled, “Obesity: Disease or Choice.” She began to vehemently voice her thoughts that obesity is a choice because nobody makes somebody stuff food down their throats. People choose to do that. But then, I began to try to explain that the American Medical Association now views obesity as a disease like alcoholism and drug addiction. Except there’s one thing I just don’t understand about this theory: at any given moment, a person can make up their mind to stop drinking, drugging, and even eating.

I admit. This is a tough topic. I’m sure some of my coworkers may find my thoughts offensive. I mean, I’m no flawless individual. I’ve got areas I’m still working to improve. I have cellulite. And I have extra skin around my stomach from having six kids–the last two being twin 5yr olds. But, I choose to TRY to do better with my body, and the same advice I give to my students I myself also have to practice. I have to increase my water intake. Not eat so much at one sitting. Avoid sugary drinks. Consume things in moderation. Exercise. Rest. And everything else we should do.

I mean, you tell me. Would you trust me to be your interior designer if you found out I was a hoarder and my home was a complete mess? Would you want a mechanic whose car sounded like an old Car X commercial with a rattle-ratttle-thunder-clatter-vroom vroom, vroom? Be honest. And let’s make a point to TRY to live “In FITNESS and In Health.” -EA



About Me: I’m a wife and mother of six daughters whose ages range from adult to five-yr. old twins in pre-K. My passions are many and they include loving God, my family, and my career as a fitness instructor and spokesperson. I know what it feels like to ride the roller coaster of emotion from being overweight or thin as a rail  unable to fit anything due to health complications I’ve endured due to the stress of having Crohn’s disease. However, I am now enjoying being in the best shape of my life which I have been able to maintain and enjoy due to the Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge. I even won $1,000 last year for losing 10lbs on the Project 10 Challenge where when you lose, a child wins! You can learn more information about The Challenge by visiting my website or sending me an email to elana90dc@gmail.com.

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    Elana Anthony

    I am a wife and mother blessed to have six daughters who fill my home with love and laughter. My passion is writing and teaching, but most especially inspiring people to live healthy lives in my faith-filled fitness classes. My dream is to have my own faith and fitness TV show where people from all the world collectively join together on our "temple" building project of enjoying optimal health. I am a certified group fitness instructor by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), and earned graduate degrees in Writing from DePaul University, in addition to a degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from the California University of Pennsylvania. I have seen and experienced the hand of God work and move in my life, and consider it an honor and blessing to be saved to serve.

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