Summer shredding season is upon us!
It’s an exciting time when many of my physique coaching clients are in fat loss mode with the goal of looking their absolute best when they hit the beach.
As with any goal worthy of achieving, you can expect to face challenges along the way. It just so happens that many of my clients have been facing the exact same challenge during the past two weeks.
Those closest to them have been knowingly or unknowingly saying things that have the potential to sabotage my clients fat loss journey.
One of my female clients has been questioned multiple times about why she wants to lose weight.
Some flat out telling her “You don’t need to lose weight”.
Others asking, “Are you anorexic?” Which is absolute nonsense considering she looks stunning, strong, and athletic.
I can’t say that I’m shocked though. In preparation for our last photo shoot (pics above the title) a family member gave my wife Angie the nickname “Ana”, which was meant to be short for anorexic. She seemed to do so in a jokingly way, but it’s just not funny at all.
Some of my clients have been asked, “Are you sick or are you intentionally trying to lose weight?”
Some have been told “Your face is going to look gaunt if you lose any more weight”.
Paul, who is one of my workout partners was just told “You look too skinny”.
This is a guy who at 52 years old is now in the best shape of his life. He’s lost 100 pounds and looks freak’n awesome! More important, he feels absolutely amazing!
I couldn’t be more proud of him. This is a guy who is high on life. The kind of person I really love having around me. Super positive and with what appears to be limitless energy.
I’ve had some intriguing conversations with Paul about the fit shaming he’s encountered. He told me,
“You know what I find interesting? When I was fat and depressed nobody seemed concerned about my health and well being. Nobody asked me if I was sick or if something was wrong with me.”
“Now that I’m in the best shape of my life and never felt better I have people asking me if I’m ok. How crazy is that?”
I’ve been a victim of fit shaming on many occasions as well.
Just recently I overheard a new member of the gym talking about how he wants to build muscle and get lean. As I walked by I heard him say, “But not as lean as him. That’s disgusting.”
I’ve had people tell me, “Veins are gross! Why do you want to see those?”
When I went through my first transformation over 5 years ago I melted 40 pounds of fat for my first photo shoot. I was super lean and photo shoot ready, but not contest lean.
In person I had people asking if I was sick. They were encouraging me not to lose any more weight. Ironically enough they were among the people who were commenting about how great my photo shoot pics turned out.
Now some would argue that these people are fit shaming us because they are jealous. I disagree. Frankly, I feel it’s just plain arrogant to think that someone is jealous of you. Don’t get caught up in thinking like this.
If you are committed to sculpting a ripped and muscular physique, there is no doubt that you will face some form of fit shaming.
Because of this unfortunate and inevitable reality, I’d like to share some advice to help you deal with it when it presents itself.
The Best Way To Deal With Fit Shaming You can’t control what others say or how they feel. You can control how you respond to it.
The knee jerk reaction when dealing with fit shaming is to get defensive. After all, “Who the hell are they to judge you, your goals, and your lifestyle?”
But getting defensive and angry about the situation doesn’t do any good. Especially when your goal is to become the best version of yourself. Which includes your behaviours both in and out of the gym.
The best way to handle fit shaming can be summed up in one word…
They are entitled to their opinion. You don’t have to agree with them or like what they have to say, but you should respect their point of view and how they feel.
Now that may sound crazy when it appears someone has insulted you. But they have every right to feel that way.
At times there may even be some truth to what they say. Some people do look gaunt when they get really lean. But the fit shamer’s focus is only on your face and they don’t see the improvements to your physique.
This is apparent if you haven’t seen a friend or family member in a long time and you’ve lost a bunch of weight since then. First thing they are going to see is your face and it can be shocking to them. They are used to seeing you with puffy cheeks. But don’t worry, they’ll eventually get used to this ‘new you’.
Being bald doesn’t do me any favours. My head veins are crazy impressive 😉 But I’ve decided that having a very lean face is worth the trade off for ripped abs. This is who I am. Lean face, head veins, and everything else along with it.
What I found interesting is that when I grew a beard, fewer people were asking me if I was sick or telling me that I looked too skinny. It kinda hid my cheek bones a bit.
We’re all different. Not everybody wants to get ripped and muscular. Being different is what makes the world go round.
I sure don’t want everyone thinking and acting like me. It would make me feel ‘normal’ and that would just suck!
Let’s face it. If you’re like me and have a fascination with striations and vascularity you are among the 1%
We’re freaks! And I mean that in the most endearing way. Own that shit!
But be aware that 99% of the population just won’t understand your goals.
They are simply responding the way they do because they are ignorant to the reasons why we love having ripped abs.
So rather than get angry or defensive, I resort to my trusty go-to elevator pitch every time I am faced with fit shaming;
“I respect your opinion and value your insights. You obviously care about me since you are voicing your concern. But I can assure you, I’ve never been more healthy. I’ve never felt more energized and vibrant. And I’ve never been more proud of myself. This is my way of honouring my body and being true to myself”
And that’s that!
I don’t get emotional about it.
I don’t allow it to ‘get to me’.
I don’t go on giving them a speech or pep talk.
I don’t try to convince them of why my way of living is any better than theirs.
I simply let it flow past me like water off a ducks back and move on. Continuing to do what I do. Which is lead by example. Maybe one day my example will rub off on them. Maybe it won’t.
Either way, I will continue to respect;
- My body
- My goals
- My beliefs
- My values
- My standards
- My unique greatness.
I’m not going to try to be or pretend to be something or someone I’m not.
I’m just going to unapologetically keep doing ME!
Because that’s what I know how to do best.
Sculpt a Masterpiece,
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Here’s a video version of the article…
About The Author
Scott Tousignant, BHK is a Physique Coach and Elite Natural Bodybuilder with the UFE.
Scott specializes in helping regular guys sculpt their body into a work of art by pulverizing stubborn belly fat and painfully embarrassing love handles… swapping them with ripped abs, rock hard muscle, and soaring confidence.
The art of molding and chiseling an aesthetically pleasing physique with spectacular symmetry, proportions, and carved out detail is one of life’s most rewarding and fulfilling experiences…
…It’s an opportunity for self growth and self discovery that will impact every area of your life.
Learn more about Scott’s physique-focused training programs:
AMPlify Aesthetic Muscle Gains and Strip Away Stubborn Fat with AMP – Aesthetic Muscle Plan