Hey, fellow fitness professionals, stop calling people fat! It doesn’t help anybody.
A few months ago I gave up renewing my Pilates certification. Yes, the certification I held since 1993, with a teacher training certificate from the same body since 2000.
“What?” you may be thinking. “Why would you do that?”
After all, I had been connected with the organization since becoming a founding member in 1990, including my time in Turks and Caicos.
Just this past year I noticed that my certificate had expired, since I was no longer doing teacher training. I wrote two articles for their library, sent them in to the president per the website instructions, and almost immediately had a cheery email back.
“You look fabulous. Love the articles. I would love to meet with you about some new equipment I developed. Call me.”
So I did. And I went to her apartment for a meeting and saw the new stuff. The stuff was fine, but two things gave me pause. One, I started hearing phrases that I had heard before, but now found offensive.
“So many Pilates teachers are stupid. They just keep spouting and regurgitating the same old workouts. No creativity. That’s why they don’t understand my work”
“People are just fat. I mean, I am sure that I could never eat as much food in one sitting as you, even if I tried.”
“Do you see how big portion sizes are? No wonder everyone is fat!”
Two, I realized she was using me to get to my boss.
[Note that when I did not make the connection for her, my articles were deemed unusable and my re-certification was basically refused unless I purchased the new pieces of equipment and assisted marketing.]
I left, feeling demeaned and disgusted.
All I wanted to say was, “STOP CALLING PEOPLE (AND ME, IN PARTICULAR) FAT!”
Yes, the President of a Pilates and fitness organization calling people fat. Judging people.
I refuse to be judged like that. I will not pay to be associated with people or organizations who judge like that while trying to use me for my connections.
So I gave up my Pilates certification.
I still maintain my accredited ACE fitness certification, and am fully insured as well, so not really necessary. Plus, I have been teaching Pilates for 25 years, which does give me some “street cred”.