To the delusional influencers who call everyone at a gym fatphobic, does this include disabled and elderly patrons for whom exercise has increased their independence and confidence?

Whom are YOU to declare that every human inside a gym is fatphobic?

I thought I had heard it all until I became aware that there’s an increasing number of TikToks in which an obese woman announces something like, “If you go to a gym, you’re fatphobic.”

However, the bizarre spin on this is that they’re now saying that it doesn’t matter what the reason is.

Their line of logic is that all gyms are inherently fatphobic. Thus, anyone who patronizes a gym is, therefore, fatphobic.

And therefore, an elderly woman who uses supplemental oxygen for heart failure, whose doctor advised her to do gentle strength training exercises using machines, is … FATPHOBIC.

The deranged thinking of these influencers doesn’t discriminate. Anything with a pulse that’s inside a gym is automatically fatphobic. This includes:

  • Someone with asthma whose doctor recommended swimming for exercise.
  • A woman undergoing breast cancer treatment whose doctor cited the research showing that exercise helps cancer patients live longer.
  • Autistic people. Yes, I said autistic.

Autistic gym users are fatphobic?

That’s what these influencers believe, because the only qualification for being fatphobic is to be human and exercising inside a gym.

I’m 100% certain that NONE of these influencers would have the spine to tell personal trainer Jeremy Samson to his face that his clients are fatphobic because they work out at his gym.

Jeremy, who’s autistic, is the managing director for Time 2 Train’s Asperger’s Program in Melbourne Victoria, Australia.

Gee, according to these TIkTok influencers, Mark Fleming is fatphobic, too – along with his clients who have Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down syndrome.

Mark, who’s autistic, is the head trainer at his gym, Equally Fit, where he encourages people who may have difficulty with balance to exercise.

What’s really disparaging is that these influencers have enormous followings.

You don’t get to tell me I’m fatphobic for working out at a gym. PexelsCliff Booth


I’m fatphobic? Would you like to try getting in and out of a car with dead-weight legs that can’t move? PexelsAlesia Kozik


Inspiration, not fatphobia. Pexels/Shotpot

What really gets me is that these influencers, who range from plus size to morbidly obese, will proclaim about very heavy women, “You don’t know her situation. You don’t know her backstory. You don’t know if she might have a medical condition. You’re not her doctor. Do not judge.”

Yet they’ll then have the gall to label all gym users as fatphobic, without knowing anything whatsoever about themtheir backstory, their situation, whether they lost a leg to cancer or are a combat veteran. 

Me? Fatphobic? Nah, I don’t think so. Pexels/Antoni Shkraba


Is she fatphobic, too? Or maybe she’s too old to be fatphobic? What’s the cutoff age, then, after which a woman is too old to be fatphobic? Pexels/Bruna Gabrielle Félix

Facts. Facts. Facts. Facts. Every body needs to exercise. Every body needs to get both aerobic and strength workouts. Young. Old. Skinny. Medium. Big. Short. Tall. Male. Female. EVERY BODY. Get there.

Time 2 Train strives through exercise and sports combined with games to assist youth and adults with ASD and learning challenges to build confidence, improve coordination, and develop social and coping skills to enable them to become valued members of our society.
, an ACE-certified personal trainer, is the owner/head trainer at Equally Fit, a personal training gym in Tampa, FL that serves people of all ages on the autism spectrum. Equally Fit also provides virtual training for those who prefer home workouts or who don’t live locally. For more information visit their Facebook page.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical and fitness 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. In 2022 she received a diagnosis of Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder. 


Top image: Pexels/Mart Productions