Fit Shaming: Why Does My Fit Lifestyle Bother You So Much?

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by NOELLE ELLIOTT

Fit Shaming: Why Does My Fit Lifestyle Bother You So Much?

When someone who is overweight declares that they are going on a diet, it is met with enthusiasm, but someone like me, who has never been overweight, is criticized.
I recently decided to attempt the Whole 30 program. If you are not familiar with this book, it challenges you to abstain from certain types of food that are staples in most American’s diets for 30 days. For example, sugar, artificial sweeteners, legumes, grains, dairy, alcohol and anything fun. I did this for several reasons, but the main one was to get the most out of my workouts. I spend six days a week in the gym, and I wanted to see if this diet would help or hinder my performance.

For the record, I’m not — nor ever have been — a professional athlete. In fact, I haven’t even been an amateur athlete. I played soccer throughout college, but right now, I’m just a mom with four kids who wants to get the biggest return on my investment in the gym.

I posted this on social media to get support from friends who were also trying this and to stop the pregnancy rumor before it started. I have been known to enjoy a glass of wine (or three) at parties, and if I suddenly stopped drinking people would think I was pregnant — at least, that was the giveaway the last four times.

The reaction that I got, however, was overwhelmingly un-supportive. People couldn’t understand why I would want to deprive myself of all that was good. Especially around the holidays. My mother called me in a panic wondering what in the world she was going to make for me for family dinners.

When someone who is overweight declares that they are going on a diet, it is met with enthusiasm, but someone like me, who has never been overweight, is criticized. I regretted telling friends immediately. Surprisingly, it was women who gave me the hardest time.

If you search the internet, there are millions of pictures of before and after photos of people who have gained weight and lost it with diet and exercise. These people are cheered on and praised for their hard work shedding those pounds. But what about the people who have been putting in the hard work most of their lives? That is equally as hard.

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