Now, as someone who identifies as plus size, I’m sure you’re pretty aware that it’s common for people to see someone who is overweight or obese and just assume they MUST be unfit.
From my time in 8 years of being a personal trainer to overweight and obese clients, I know this is far from true.
While I have no doubt that there are many overweight people out there who are pretty unfit, I also know that there are heaps of people out there who wouldn’t fall into that ‘overweight’ category who are equally unfit – in some cases, they are more unfit.
Someone’s body shape or size simply does not determine a person’s level of fitness. It also does not dictate where they can take their fitness.
So what WILL determine a person’s fitness? How consistently they are moving their bodies and increasing their heart rate and building their strength. Consistently moving, regardless of shape and size, will help in increasing fitness. Even if no weight is lost, for whatever reason, fitness will continue to improve if consistent movement is maintained.
Sometimes plus size beginners will absolutely need some plus size friendly modifications for exercises. This is particularly the case when just starting out. Some movements and positions are harder for bigger bodies to achieve and that’s completely okay. Sometimes tummies and boobs and other body parts get in the way and can create additional challenges.
Just because things may need to be modified to begin with, it does not mean that fitness and strength cannot be improving over time, especially if exercise is made progressively more challenging over time. It also does not mean that someone starting with modified exercises cannot build up to doing the more traditional version of exercises over time – even the advanced versions.
I’ve had plus size clients lifting some pretty big weights, running on treadmills, jumping on boxed (pretty high ones at that!) and even doing those dreaded burpees. I’ve known of plus size people participating in regular fun runs, right up to marathons.
The moral of the story is that your body shape and size, how much fat you might have vs how much muscle, it’s not a determining factor in where fitness can take you.
Assumptions about someone’s health and fitness should NEVER be made based on somebody’s physical appearance – there is just so much more to it than that.