Body Positivity in fitness and health

As I join you to chat about all things Body Positive in fitness and health, and anything else on my mind at the time…..I thought I would share 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, full of muscles, and only eating protein, greens and smoothies! I and many other curvy PT’s would like to prove that 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 and prescribed the same restrictive diet and gruelling exercises 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.
I recognised this was not going to work for all and many others ended up injured and once stopping the program gained back the weight plus more (including myself)

I know how hard it is, what did and didn’t work for me, or motivate me and I knew what kept me out of the gyms, and sometimes even away from anywhere public.
I qualified as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor in 2011.
Specialising in older adults, I have continued to study women’s health and fitness. I feel the ageing population, along with women in general are often not given the right advice or provided specialised 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.

When working for gyms there is a judgement made by the members and the staff that if you are overweight you will not be able to perform the job. Your ability is under question – if she cant train herself, build muscles and abs – how can she train others. They need to understand and acknowledge that being fat does not mean that I am not fit! Being overweight does not necessarily mean that 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 messed with my confidence to the point where I have not taught a class for approximately 6 months.

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

I know I will continue to be judged for my size by club member in a class if they don’t know me, although feedback from my classes is I am 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.

I myself enjoy boxing classes, and circuits and I love dancing … Zumba classes would be my most favourite gym class (I am actually though quite uncoordinated in zumba class but still have fun). I recently did a “fat” dance class which took us through belly dancing for an hour …. This was so much fun and loads of giggles, followed by a jazz class where we learnt a small dance routine over about and hour and a half , again this was loads of fun. The best part was the no judgement, no-one cared what anyone else was doing as we were all too busy concentrating on getting the moves right…….
My other love is Yoga, I love yoga for plus sizes which is modified to ensure all abilities and sizes are catered for. I will share with you over the time many ways that you can move more, and always while having fun, exercise does not have to be boring or punishing, it should be something to look forward to!

Possibly one of my favourite adaptions in yoga for plus sized people, I have seen lately is with the downward dog. A chair is introduced to use 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 taking the full weight through the wrists and hands.

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

Move a little every day ….. Brenda

Author: Brenda Utano

, and anything else on my mind at the time…..I thought I would share 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, full of muscles, and only eating protein, greens and smoothies! I and many other curvy PT’s would like to prove that 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 and prescribed the same restrictive diet and gruelling exercises 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.
I recognised this was not going to work for all and many others ended up injured and once stopping the program gained back the weight plus more (including myself)

I know how hard it is, what did and didn’t work for me, or motivate me and I knew what kept me out of the gyms, and sometimes even away from anywhere public.
I qualified as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor in 2011.
Specialising in older adults, I have continued to study women’s health and fitness. I feel the ageing population, along with women in general are often not given the right advice or provided specialised 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.

When working for gyms there is a judgement made by the members and the staff that if you are overweight you will not be able to perform the job. Your ability is under question – if she cant train herself, build muscles and abs – how can she train others. They need to understand and acknowledge that being fat does not mean that I am not fit! Being overweight does not necessarily mean that 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 messed with my confidence to the point where I have not taught a class for approximately 6 months.

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

I know I will continue to be judged for my size by club member in a class if they don’t know me, although feedback from my classes is I am 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.

I myself enjoy boxing classes, and circuits and I love dancing … Zumba classes would be my most favourite gym class (I am actually though quite uncoordinated in zumba class but still have fun). I recently did a “fat” dance class which took us through belly dancing for an hour …. This was so much fun and loads of giggles, followed by a jazz class where we learnt a small dance routine over about and hour and a half , again this was loads of fun. The best part was the no judgement, no-one cared what anyone else was doing as we were all too busy concentrating on getting the moves right…….
My other love is Yoga, I love yoga for plus sizes which is modified to ensure all abilities and sizes are catered for. I will share with you over the time many ways that you can move more, and always while having fun, exercise does not have to be boring or punishing, it should be something to look forward to!

Possibly one of my favourite adaptions in yoga for plus sized people, I have seen lately is with the downward dog. A chair is introduced to use 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 taking the full weight through the wrists and hands.

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

Move a little every day ….. Brenda


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s