Don’t (necessarily) judge a book by its cover

June 1, 2009 at 11:03 pm 2 comments

Today I read something on somebody’s TT challenge log that was like a red rag to a bull. This is what he said:

I saw something at the gym that annoyed me. A “Fitness Instructor” teaching a class who did not look the part. Similar to a trainer at the former gym I went to. How can I trust someone that doesn’t apply what they teach.

Sorry, but it makes me sick.

And I’m going to reproduce my reply in full here.

“Whoa, maybe you don’t know the whole story! Let me tell you mine.

With a history of being overweight that was gradually getting worse, I gave up my sedentary job and re-trained to become a personal trainer. My goals were a) to get myself into shape, and b) to help other people like me. On my first day of PT school, I weighed in at 17 stone (238 pounds), and I am a 5′ 4” woman.

On our first day, we went round the room introducing ourselves and saying what we wanted to get out of the course. It came to the turn of the guy sitting next to me and he said, and I quote, I still remember it exactly: “Hi, I’m [….], and I don’t want to work with fat people, I want to work with athletes.”

After picking my jaw up off the ground, and ignoring the burning shame of embarrassment in my cheeks (despite HIM being the asshole), I said: “Hi, I’m Angie. And I don’t want to work with athletes. I want to work with fat people.”

As a person not blessed with the kind of metabolism that allows me to eat much at all but having grown up in a nice Jewish home where you showed love in the form of fried foods, and nice girls didn’t get sweaty, I know how easy it is to one day wake up and wonder, how the hell did I get here? These are the people whose lives I want to help improve – the ones where my intervention can make a real difference.

Anyway, despite looking quite different from the other people on the course – a footballer, a runner/martial arts practitioner, an aerobics bunny, a couple of ex-military, a competitive swimmer, etc. I sucked it up, and my background in science meant that I learned so much more than some of the others who struggled with the more academic side. But even so, come graduation (and having lost a couple of stone, but with a lot more to go), I just didn’t feel right offering advice to others. Like you, I thought, I’m still overweight, I’m not fit (although I was a lot fitter than I had been three months earlier) – why would anyone listen to me? I didn’t have the confidence to practise as a PT, despite having so much to offer, not least, understanding.

Since then, my own weight loss and fitness journey has been up and down, and I am still a long way from where I want to be, although I am a damn site closer than I was that day 3 years ago. I fight my battles everyday, including moderate to severe depressive illness, and sometimes I lose and sometimes I win. But I keep coming back, and am moving towards my goals.

And having posted quite a bit online (where people can’t see me and my own insecurities don’t come to the fore) I have realised that I have so much to offer. This has spurred me to get back into the industry. I have just been accepted on a Masters course in Weight Management, and been offered a job as a nutrition/fitness trainer on the Obesity Team of our local council – a job that 95 other people applied for. I got it because I understand the clients, I don’t judge them, which doesn’t mean that I don’t think they need to change, but I want to help them get there.

And if you watched me standing in front of one of those classes, I do hope that you wouldn’t think “That makes me sick.”

Please, take a look at that “Fitness Instructor” with fresh eyes. They were interested and cared enough to get qualified, they have the guts (do you think they don’t know they don’t look the part, in the gym and out of it) to stand up there and help those people move towards their fitness goals. And if they’re fit enough to lead the class, cut them some slack!”


Entry filed under: Body image, exercise, fat loss, heath and fitness, inspiration, weight loss.

Holding steady and salad for breakfast Looking the part

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rob  |  June 2, 2009 at 3:39 am

    Great post Angie.

    When people ask questions on the BFS forum I jump right in and give my answer and then you post and I think to myself… “damn I am so stupid. I should just let Angie post first then nod my head and smile” agreeing with everything you said. You do know your stuff from what I read so far.

    I hope this person you replied to feels like a little bug that just got squashed!

  • 2. blubberbegone  |  June 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks Rob, That is one of the nicest things anyone’s said about me. You know, I think the same about your comments too! LOL.


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Blubberbegone Stats

  • Start: 16 stone, 45.7% body fat
  • Goal: 10 stone, 20% body fat
  • Today: 14 stone 13.6 lbs, 44.8% BF
  • Pounds lost: 14.4
  • Body fat lost: 0.9%
  • Exercise this week (Sat–Fri):
  • Total: 2 hr 5 mins
  • Jog/Walk: 20 mins
  • Walking: 20 mins
  • Burlesque: 1 hr
  • Pilates: 25 mins
  • African dance: mins
  • Tae Kwon Do: mins
  • Badminton: mins
  • Tai Chi: mins
  • Yoga: hr
  • Exercise last week: 4 hrs 40 mins
  • Joke of the Day

    I'm not fat - I'm a woman and a half.


    My Weight Loss Goals

  • 1. Crack 15 stone (210 lbs) for the fourth and final (I hope) time.
  • 2. Lose 10% of my body fat (14 stone 4).
  • 3. Fit into a size 18 (US 16).
  • 4. Get my body fat below 40%
  • 5. Lose another 10% of my body fat (12 stone 12/180 lbs).
  • 6. Get my BMI under 30 (12 stone 9/177 lbs) - no longer obese, just overweight now.
  • 7. Weigh less than my husband.
  • 8. Fit into a size 16 (US 14).
  • 9. Lose my third 10% (11 stone 8/162 lbs).
  • 10. Fit into a size 14 (US 12).
  • 11. Get my BMI under 25 (10 stone 8/148 lbs).
  • 12. Lose my fourth 10% (10 stone 6/ 146 lbs).
  • 13. Fit into a size 12 (US 10).
  • 14. Reach my goal weight (10 stone) and decide if I need to lose any more based on my muscularity and shape.
  • 15. Turn heads in a bikini!
  • My Fitness Goals for 2011

  • 1. Increase my cruising walking speed from around 5.0kph to 6.4kph.
  • 2. Increase continuous jogging time to 30 mins.
  • 3. Run a 5K for charity.
  • 4. Work on my crawl stroke and build up to 30 mins continuous swimming.
  • 5. Build up to 1 hour continuous and comfortable cycling.
  • 6. Squat 50kg.
  • 7. Do an unassisted chin up.
  • 8. Take a martial arts or self-defence class for at least 3 months.
  • 9. Beat my husband at badminton.
  • 10. Learn a new dance style.
  • My Blubber Reduction Journey

  • My highest measured weight ever:
  • Jan 1 2006 = 238 lbs (17 stone)
  • BBG blog starting weight:
  • Sep 16 2007 = 215.5 lbs (15 stone 5.5), 47.0% BF Lean body mass 114.2 lbs (8 stone 2.2)
  • Highest weight posted since then:
  • Xmas 2008 = 223.6 lbs (15 stone 13.6), 48.2% BF, lean body mass 116.0 lbs (8 stone 4)
  • Lowest weight posted since then:
  • Nov 16 2009 = 193.2 lbs (13 stone 11.2), 43.7% BF, lean body mass 108.8 lbs (7 stone 10.8)
  • Lowest body fat posted since then:
  • Sep 7 2009 = 194.2 lbs (13 stone 12.2), 42.6% BF, lean body mass 111.5 lbs (7 stone 13.5)
  • My blubber reduction journey 2011:
  • Xmas 2010 = 221.6 lbs, 46.7% BF, 118.1 lbs LBM
  • 5 Jan = 221.0 lbs, 47.1% BF
  • 12 Jan = 219.6 lbs, 45.8% BF
  • 19 Jan = 220.4 lbs, 45.8% BF (TTOM)
  • 26 Jan = 218.8 lbs, 45.2% BF
  • 2 Feb = 218.8 lbs, 44.7% BF
  • 9 Feb = 219.4 lbs, 44.9% BF
  • 16 Feb = 215.8 lbs, 44.6% BF
  • 23 Feb = 213.2 lbs, 45.2% BF
  • 2 Mar = 211.6 lbs, 45.9% BF
  • 9 Mar = 209.8 lbs, 45.1% BF
  • 16 Mar = 208.8 lbs, 45.3% BF
  • 23 Mar = 208.0 lbs, 45.1% BF
  • 13 Apr = 208.4 lbs, 44.4% BF
  • 20 Apr = 207.6 lbs, 43.3% BF
  • 27 Apr = 205.0 lbs, 45.8% BF
  • 4 May = 209.2 lbs, 45.2% BF (TTOM)
  • No. weeks: 18
  • Average weekly weight loss: 0.31%
  • 101 in 1001

    28 down, 5 goals revoked, 68 to go, and 94 days to do them. Check out the 101 page, above, for all the latest on my journey to be a better blubberbegone.


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