My Journey as a Plus Size Trainer

Grab a coffee, tea, cold drink…. put on your favorite leggings and pop your Feet Up its Friday  

As I join you to talk all things body positive in fitness and health, I thought I would share a little about me…… 

So -1st up…..let’s talk about the elephant in the room … yes I am a plus size woman, yes I am a Personal Trainer (PT) and Group Fitness Instructor… those two don’t often go together as there is a perception a PT is thin, muscly, and only eats protein smoothies and greens! I and many other curvy PT’s would like to prove them wrong! 

I became a PT around 8 years ago after completing several rounds of an online weight loss program. I had great success with the program although I did end up injured and found it unsustainable I also worried as it prescribed the same restrictive diet for everyone, not considering a persons required Basal Metabolic rate for the diet. (A Basal Metabolic rate is the number of calories we need to function day to day.) The exercises also were the same and we know someone who is large and heavy cannot jump a weight bench! 

I recognised this was not going to work for many as I was seeing many injured or once stopping the program gaining back the weight plus more (including myself) 

I qualified as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor in 2011. 

I have continued to study women’s health and fitness. I feel women in general are often not given the right advice or provided specialized alternative exercises when taking classes. This also occurs for plus size women and men. There is no modifications provided. Here in these blogs we will discuss modifications or alternatives depending on ability and age. 

When working for gyms there is a judgement made by the members and some staff if you are overweight you will not be able to perform the job. Your ability is under question – if she can’t train herself, build muscles and abs – how she can train others. They need to understand and acknowledge being fat does not mean I am not fit! Being overweight does not necessarily mean I am unhealthy!  

I am more than competent to train individuals, and groups, BUT I know I am judged for my weight and appearance and this has cause issues for my confidence to the point where I had not taught a class for approximately 6 months. 

I am back now teaching classes and have used positive body self-talk and messages to help me feel confident in myself. I would like to share some of these strategies with you too as we get to know each other better. 

I will continue to be judged for my size by club members in class when they don’t know me, although feedback from my classes is I’m an excellent instructor and my fun personality (I’m modest) makes people keep coming back. 

Every class is different, not sure about you but I hate the same exercise routine every time, and I enjoy making people laugh and smile. 

My favourites are boxing classes, circuits and I love dancing … Zumba classes would be my most favourite class (I am actually quite uncoordinated in Zumba class but still have fun). I recently joined a “fat” dance class learning belly dancing…. This was so much fun and loads of giggles, followed by a jazz class where we learnt a small dance routine, again loads of fun. The best part – no judgement, no-one cared what anyone else was doing, we were all too busy concentrating on getting the moves right…….  

My other love is Yoga, Yoga for plus sizes is modified to ensure all abilities and sizes are catered for.  

A favourite adaption used in plus size yoga lately is with downward dog. A chair is introduced for your hands rather than having to place them on the floor. This eliminates the need to get all the way down to the floor and removes the full weight through the wrists and hands.  

I will be sharing ways to help move more, always while having fun, moving and exercise does not have to be boring or punishing, it should be something to look forward to! 

If there is a specific area you would like to hear about let me know. I look forward to getting to know you and helping you feel fabulous with FabUplus on Fridays….. 

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