I got fat shamed a few weeks ago and then the place tried to guilt me into continuing with them. No Lie.
I came across an opportunity that talked about balancing nutrition and exercise in a contest format and I jumped at the opportunity. They were looking for women who wanted to lose 50 lbs and the winner won $1000! Not only did I join but I brought on two friends.
Oh, man was I so excited to get started. I talked about it at run club, I sent in my sports bra and compression pant pics (never have I shared those with a stranger) and filled out the forms. Then things went downhill. I had a suspicions go up when my contact asked me if they could offer me some advice. Then BAM, I was told right away I was doing too much and they suggested a plan more suited to my body (a.k.a. weight). He asked if he could be honest and then said at my weight I shouldn’t be doing so much running.
The too much running I’ve been doing? Leading a 10k clinic. Which you would imagine the fact that I was leading it implied that I had some experience with the distance.
Before I did anything I asked my two girl friends if I was over reacting. I know I can be overly sensitive when my weight is a concern, before I even had a chance to respond to the companies email, both my friends pulled out of the program and the program director was calling me.
Luckily for me, I was at work and since it was a Tuesday I had to rush around to my strength class before leading my clinic. I also needed time to think.
These question’s I filled out didn’t ask about my past, they didn’t know I’d lost over 60 lbs and have kept it off for a few years or that I’ve been running for four years fairly consistently and pain free (pending my current ankle issues). Why did this man feel he was able to pass judgment on me without knowing the full story?
The owner of the company tried calling me several times over Facebook video, when that didn’t work she messaged, asked if she should even try calling again. She promised the employee would be pulled off my program, how it will be so great for me to participate and how his comments came from a place of concern since she was recently diagnosed with issues in her knees from running for years.
That night at my run clinic I had a mini panic attack. Running up Montreal Road (good times) luckily the athletic therapist I’d been seeing happened to be with me at the time and she offered some sound advice. Why was I letting someone who did those crazy fitness bikini contest pass judgment on me? I was going to be spending a lot of money on this six month thing and if it was already bad, how much worse could it get?
When I finally responded to the owner’s message I said I wasn’t comfortable with the language or the processes that were set up and that I didn’t think this was the right program for me (and therefore also pulling out my two friends).
The reply I got back was shocking, she told me how she had lost sleep over this (maybe she cried herself to sleep that previous night as well?) and how I would regret not participating and my friend’s lives would be negatively impacted by this.
Did she seriously try to guilt me? Instead of responding with compassion and positive language did she really shame me further?
Oh the responses I wanted to write. Instead I just asked her to remove us from the program. Thankfully none of us had sent in any money yet.
The whole experience left me stunned…. Sure I’m super overweight. Yes this was a program to lose weight but I was so excited to have something that helped me figure out when to eat and what, to help fuel my crazy schedule. I couldn’t believe how violated I felt. Then I got angry, I got angry for letting these people get into my head when I am surrounded by so many amazing health professionals who have helped me reach my crazy and ridiculous goals without shaming me or making me feel less than.
Fuck her and that negativity. I’ll spend (oh and the money I spend) my hard earned dollars somewhere else! And I did, the next day I put down the first payment for a Triathlon training program.
My words of advice? If something seems off, push harder. Don’t settle for someone who makes you feel less than. Especially if you are paying them. I’m so glad I dodged that bullet.
My friends and I, we will be fine.