Why do some people assume that when an overweight woman works out, it’s ONLY because she wants to lose weight?
I’m a former personal trainer and group fitness instructor who was inspired to write this article after reading a post by a very overweight “body positive” promoter.
She posted that every time she posts videos of herself exercising, she gets questions to the tune of: “Are you trying to lose weight? I’m confused.”
This individual generously posts that she is NOT trying to lose weight and is thrilled with the clinically obese body she has, after gaining a lot of weight over the past few years.
She generously preaches the virtues of loving your body no matter how overweight and to stop worrying about what the scale says, how big your waist is, cellulite, etc.
So I guess this is vexing, then, to her followers who watch her exercise videos. They automatically assume that the only reason this fat young woman exercises is to lose weight.
I am stunned, and worried, over such limited thinking.
NO Body Type Is Exempt from the Benefits of Exercise
I had many clients who were not overweight but just wanted a kickass workout program.
They thrived on the challenge of getting their body to do things that it had never done before.
I also remember one fat female client whose goal was to get fit enough to pass a fitness test for a job she wanted to apply for: repairing phone poles. This required climbing.
Do not assume that a “bopo” (body positive) promoter’s reason for working out is to lose weight.
Nobody does NOT need to exercise.
Read that again.
The very hefty bopo campaigner graciously supplied clues to those followers who were getting confused seeing her exercise.
Here’s my message to people who think that the only reason a fat woman works out is because she wants to drop pounds:
• Exercise lowers resting blood pressure.
• Exercise improves vascular health.
• Workouts improve heart health.
• Working out lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
• Exercising improves mobility and energy.
• Working out strengthens the joints and muscles, making day-to-day tasks easier.
• Exercise improves brain health.
People who question why a fat woman works out if she’s not trying to lose weight apparently have never done a good workout.
Because after a good workout you just feel so wonderful!
So don’t get “confused” if you see your fat bopo idol exercising. Don’t fear that she’s contradicting her message of body positivity.
Consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, she’s trying to lower her risk of colon and breast cancer! Or maybe she just thinks yoga is cool!
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.