Back in March, I wrote an article for The Lily / Washington Post on why we need to take fat-shaming out of fitness culture.
“When Ragen Chastain set the Guinness World Record for the heaviest woman to complete a marathon, she said she hoped her record would soon be broken “to increase visibility of what larger people can do.” As a self-identified “fit fatty,” Chastain is an advocate for the rights of people to engage in physical activity at any size. She and a growing number of others are shedding light on ways in which our society upholds barriers to movement among the overweight and obese.
“Fat people have to endure unwelcomed comments, judgments and exclusions that can discourage our participation in fitness,” says Chastain, who weighed 288 pounds when she set the record in 2017. “We should be able to work out without being body-shamed.”
As a certified exercise physiologist, I’ve heard many stories like Chastain’s, and they’ve made me realize that we need to be doing a much better job at welcoming people of all sizes into movement without making assumptions about them….”