I completed my video for my 300HR yoga teacher training (to bring my training up to 500HR) and then I processed the videos. I know a lot of people don’t like watching themselves on video; I’m no exception. For me, I’m reminded of just how large I am. I mean, I know I’m a plus size person–I do buy clothes for myself. And since my fibromyalgia brings with it skin sensitivities, I need to buy clothes a size or two larger than I’d normally wear just to be comfortable. So yeah, my weight and my size aren’t news to me. I’m fat. And I’m not afraid of the word.
But there’s something about seeing myself on video that really brings it home. I also read this great article yesterday about anti-fatness in the fitness industry. That’s when it hit me. My work is all about providing spiritual, soul-felt solutions to people who have experienced life’s bumps. Let’s be honest. Being a fat person in this world causes more than it’s fair share of those bumps and bruises. Fatphobia is real, and instantly, I went from thinking about my size on the video and hoping the school accepted it because I’ve had some health challenges recently that made it difficult to complete, to realizing that people need to see fat people doing yoga. It’s for every body.
There’s an intersection of fatness and chronic illness that brings up a lot of shame and a lot of difficulties for people. Being fat is seen as a moral failing, when there have been countless studies to prove that wrong. Add to that many of the chronic illnesses people face are endocrine and/or hormonal in nature and that causes issues with weight. When you stir in a dash of the anti-fat bias that exists in medicine, that means a lot of people are missing out on quality, personalized health care that looks at the entire person–not just the number on the scale.
Which brings me back to why I’m here and what I’m presenting. If someone looks at my yoga videos or my pictures, and sees someone who looks like them–I’m happy. I’ll also be talking more about this topic on my blog. I hope you’ll join me.