Isn’t Inclusivity In Fitness Essential?

When you are overweight, you come across all kinds of people shaming, criticizing, and suggesting tips to reduce weight. ‘Hit the gym’, ‘limit your eating’, and even ‘develop the habit of worrying’ to lose weight fast and become ‘healthy’- are some of the recurrent suggestions freely bestowed upon plus-size individuals. Will they really listen to your problems, and assist you in overcoming them? Well, no.

Now, if you visit the gym, it will trap you for this and that plan which can rip apart your pocket! I don’t know how the trainers make a plan that tends to over-exercise you for their benefit. Coupled with weird diet advice, they make people feel miserable about their weight and lives. And, when people lose interest and leave, they are scorned.

Here I would like to share my personal experience

Before pregnancy, I had joined a gym. Then at one point I got pregnant. I asked the trainer about any exercises available for pregnant women. I was curious to know, if they were present, about their advantages. However, she fumbled and ditched the idea.

Many years later I again joined a gym hoping to get some company and feel good about myself. I was told that only after losing some kgs I can do yoga. I wasn’t flexible enough! I was also given a horrible diet of boiled eggs and chicken throughout the day!

Later, I came across a very interesting profile on Instagram- size-inclusive yoga. The pretty lady urges trainers to be size-inclusive. She gives tips and suggestions on incorporating the flesh, bulges, and curves as they are right now.

Instructors should have a positive frame of mind. Instead of ‘you can’t’ they should be broad-minded enough to figure out cues on how to make even 1 single plus-size person feel included. She mostly talks about yoga poses, but I think, that goes for everyone. For the first time, I understood that no matter your state you can do yoga or even exercise. This also made me ponder upon inclusivity at every level, in every genre, every field. Only if…

It’s not always about losing weight

Sometimes, it’s more about creating new friendships at places like yoga centers or gyms- especially for women. Through exercises, they can bond, and return feeling better about themselves. I shun the idea of joining a gym because of those mocking glances and unequipped centers. They may have machines, weights, and trainers but the trainers are least bothered to involve me as I am. Moreover, they charge exorbitant rates!

If everything turns out to be a punishment for us, the women, – be it body, house, or humans, then how can we even breathe? There should be at least one place where women are not judged. Fitness can be that place practicing and professing the entire well-being of a person. Not everyone is privileged enough to break free. Not always talks of feminism or ‘you can’ can bolster their spirit. Sometimes a generous and empathetic hand can do more miracles than we can ever think of. If we can’t lend hands at the grassroots level, how can we think of progressing? If the fitness industry deliberately rejects curvy bodies, by promoting irrational standards of beauty, then it’s quite natural that demi-God trainers/instructors will renounce them. And, they will mostly live a life of denial, guilt, and betrayal. This surely isn’t education!

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About limiting eating and starting worrying, well, they are the worst advice anyone can give. Without adequate knowledge of the person’s background and situation, you cannot comment. You are mean- that’s it. Besides, you cannot make fun of mental health. No one wishes anyone a ‘heart attack’ or ‘cancer’ to become disease-free.

Now that we are gearing up for Diwali, the Festival of Lights, why don’t we pledge to give up our narrow-mindedness- in every form affecting every life? There’s already disheartening news about pollution, and we can do A LOT to save ourselves and our environment. So, why don’t we begin first by scrubbing our minds?


About the Author

Amrita Mallik

I have been a school teacher and a content writer. I am now a full time mother to a hyper active toddler. I try to relax myself by writing, reading, singing or listening to music. read more...

10 Posts | 9,907 Views

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