Tag Archives: yoga

Exercise, Fattie! (But Don’t Make Me Watch)

Warning: Fit Fatty Crossing!

It is one of the great hypocrisies of the fat hating concern troll.  They tell us to put down the cheeseburger, and go for a walk.  They tell us to get off our fat butts.  They tell us to exercise, but just not where they have to see us.

Honestly this whole issue makes me more than a little stabby.  We don’t exercise because concern trolls tell us to.  Because, let’s be clear about this, concern trolls probably don’t have our best interests at heart.  But we do exercise.  Lots of us at all sizes exercise.  We put on our shorts, and we go outside.  We go to the gym.  We exercise because it’s fun.  We exercise because it feels good and then, we get an anonymous letter like the following piece of garbage (trigger warning–extreme asshattery):

10462950_673398942749350_6519269877717548529_n

The letter says:

Dear Neighbor,

I have noticed you working out in your backyard I can see you from my window.  I also see you running or trying to run around the block.  PLEASE STOP SUCH ACTIVITIES. Nobody wants to see your fat bouncing up and down in your shirt.  Thank God you wear a shirt so we do not have to see what’s under.  I am not the only one in the neighborhood who is getting tired of seeing you struggle running up and down the block everyday.  I personally do not wish to subject my kids to having to see somebody so obese outside when they are just trying to play in the front yard.  If you feel you must work out, outside please move elsewhere where you will not bother people.

Sincerely,

A concerned neighbor.

Seriously folks, I barely know where to start with this thing.  Well, let’s start at the top, shall we?  1.  There is nothing dear about this neighbor.  That gentle opening line is in such ridiculous opposition to the rest of this hatefest, that we will just ignore it okay?

2.  Why in heaven’s name is Snooping Sally watching this poor guy work out in his back yard?  It’s his back yard?  It’s his personal space.  Don’t like what you see in the neighbor’s back yard, don’t look!  There, problem solved.  Oh, wait.  There’s more?

3.  Your copious use of run on sentences and complete lack of commas makes me believe you are typing without breathing.  Please calm the heck down.  It’s a fat guy running, not a national emergency.

4.  “Running or trying to run”: ahhhh I see what you did there.  Nope, not even remotely funny.  Let’s move along.

5.  PLEASE STOP SUCH ACTIVITIES.  The writer doesn’t like it.  And clearly, the fact that she doesn’t like it trumps your freedom to do anything.

6.  “Nobody wants to see…” Our letter writer knows this because she is a little bit psychic.  I bet you didn’t know that was going on in your neighborhood.  Here you are, going for a jog and minding your own business, and you’ve got neighbors experimenting with the occult.

7.  “I am not the only one in this neighborhood…”  There is also the writer’s good friend who meets to share malicious neighborhood gossip with her every day.  Also, she’s psychic.  (See above).

8.  “I personally don’t want to subject my kids to…”  Well it’s clear the writer’s children are special, special snowflakes and can’t be subjected to anything other than Baywatch level beauty running down the street.  And clearly the writer doesn’t want to have anything like a meaningful conversation with them about how people are diverse, and it’s not right to stare, and that the entire freaking universe doesn’t revolve around what makes them comfortable.  Nope.  It’s easier if the exerciser doesn’t burden the poor children’s brains with stuff to think about.  It triggers them to ask questions that give the writer a headache.

9.  “Elsewhere where you won’t bother people”.  The writer doesn’t like the way the jogger looks, therefore he should hide himself at all times.  Better yet, he should probably just move.  To Mars.  Clearly he’s not her kind of people.

10.  “Sincerely, A concerned neighbor”  Who is clearly and deeply concerned about what everybody else is doing and how it might impact her feels and the exposure of her delicate offspring to stuff she doesn’t like.  If somebody ELSE (who fails to look, act, think and be EXACTLY what she thinks they should) doesn’t like it, well TOUGH.

It’s easy to see this letter as an isolated incident, or perhaps even a hoax.  (Although the letter was supposedly sent to the friend of somebody I know online, and I tend to believe it is real.)  But clearly this notion of not wanting to look at fat exercisers is fairly pervasive.  In fact it’s enough of a universal idea that a company that sells blinds used it to create a highly offensive ad with a fat, hairy, male yogi.

yogaguy

ZOMG! Fat Yoga Guy! It’s the apocalypse!

Hot urban couple walks by the window and sees hairy yoga guy.  Everybody looks shocked!  Yoga guy goes out and gets new blinds.  Ah, no more unsightly yoga practice.  NamasFREAKIN’te!

(Ragen Chastain does an excellent job breaking down this ad and giving you special activism opportunities in her blog here and here.)

Look, I make no secret of the fact that I believe exercise is for every BODY.  Whatever your weight, I believe that exercise should be a safe, positive and accessible option for you.  That means you should be able to exercise in public–even (gasp) outside.  That means people who don’t like looking at it are welcome to take the extremely simple and cost free option of not looking.  And if those people don’t like it, they are cordially invited to keep their opinions to themselves.  We don’t yell nasty things at fat people exercising.  We don’t throw eggs at them.  We are grown up adults who can learn to act like it.

That’s how a sincerely concerned neighbor really acts.

In the meantime, all y’all keep gettin on with your bad selves.  And if you want to see some fabulous fatties getting into their fitness groove (with fabulous Flying Rhino shirts no less) trot on over to the Fit Fatties Forum and take a look.

And if you’d like to make the world a better and safer place for exercisers of ALL sizes,  Click here to register for the Fat Activism Conference!  I promise it will be excellent.

And as always, if you want to get free stuff including a fabulous newsletter from me, join the clique here.

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

 

 

Advertisements

Big Fat Yoga Pants

Yesterday a brouhaha was begun when former Lululemon employee Elizabeth Licorish told reporters that her former employers routinely discriminated against larger customers.  In other news, water is wet.

I mean come on.  The store only stocks clothes up to size 10 or 12.  And they label their size 12 as XL.  Clearly this is a company who has never catered to a plus-sized clientele.

Licorish claims that while she worked at Lululemon, the company only stocked a few items in sizes 10 and 12.  She also asserts that these lonely larger sizes were not displayed prominently in the front, folded neatly on shelves or hanging from display racks, but rather, were crumpled up in the back.

Which leads me to ask a question.  How exactly is this different from nearly every other retailer on the planet?  Aside from the few stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid and Christines that cater specifically to plus-sized customers, most stores have pitiful, tiny poorly managed sections for their larger clothing.  Even if you look at the major, high-end department stores, the plus-sized section is much smaller, has much less inventory and is less well-staffed than virtually any other clothing department in the store.  Given the fact that about half of American women are plus-sized, I have a hard time understanding the reason why plus-sized clothing gets less than 10 percent of the floor space devoted to clothing in the local neighborhood mall.

Lululemon is not so different than most clothing companies, in that they fail to see the amazing market afforded by plus-sized customers and they are letting their brand arrogance lead them into leaving millions of dollars on the table.

But they know this already.

So instead of yelling at Lululemon for improperly displaying the “ginormous” size-12 yoga pants retailing for over $100,  I’m going to take this moment to remind the world that there are now some truly fabulous resources for budding plus-sized yogis out there.

On our Fit Fatties Forum we have the super amazing Abby Lentz moderating our Yoga group.  Aside from being an awesome yoga teacher, Abby also has her Heavyweight Yoga DVD and an especially cool feature on her website called “Change the Image of Yoga” where she features lots of beautiful, smiling yogis who don’t look anything like the ads or the saleswomen you’ll find at Lululemon.

Another wonderful Yoga Teacher that I know and love is Anna Guest-Jelley.  Anna is founder of Curvy Yoga and also offers certification for other teachers who are interested in learning the Curvy Yoga method of instruction.  She also offers her world-famous 30 Days of Curvy Yoga program.

And if Lululemon pants fit neither your butt nor your budget, you might want to check out the yoga wear at Junonia.com.  They have some lovely, high-quality pieces of yoga wear available up to a size 6x.

So may  I make a suggestion?  Rather than be upset that one hoity-toity “yoga wear” company doesn’t want to take your money, how about supporting one of these amazing businesses?  Help them to help you and many, many others to spread the word that yoga is for every BODY.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Like my posts?  You’ll love my stuff!

Buy my book: The Fat Chick Works Out! (Fitness that is Fun and Feasible for Folks of All Ages, Shapes Sizes and Abilities)–available in softcover and e-book versions

Buy my DVD: The Fat Chick Works Out! (A Safe, Easy and Fun Workout for Klutzes, Wimps and Absolute Beginners!)

Buy a book or a DVD for a friend and save $5!  Just enter FRIENDBLFT in the discount code box!

Check out my Training Programs–both in person and via Skype (Starting at just $25!)

or

Book me to speak at your special event!