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What is the character of your gurus?

May 5, 2010

Not long ago, I visited the blog of a respected strength coach. This is someone I’ve been aware of for many years. In fact, I believe I interviewed him more than a decade ago when I wrote for Muscle & Fitness Magazine. He’s extremely knowledgeable.

This coach’s latest post was a list of reasons why “women stay fat despite good intent.” I’d seen the previous attempts at humor on his blog–so I knew he had the ability to be caustic–but found this post particularly offensive.

Yes, some of these “reasons” contained a germ of truth. For the most part, they were unnecessarily mean–such as his cracks about some women in the gym needing to wear “wide load” signs on their backsides.

I half expected the amused comments from the male readers. But I was disappointed to read comments from women who guffawed just as loudly at his remarks.

Where does everyone get off feeling so smug and superior?!

The fact is, you can look at someone in the gym and have NO CLUE where they are in their fitness journey.

Unless you KNOW them, you don’t know if they’ve already lost 50 lbs.

Or whether they have congestive heart failure or dangerously high blood pressure and have to be cautious in the gym.

Or whether that person is an amazing mother, friend, citizen, human being.

Would you knowingly lambaste a woman who spends every Friday night at a homeless shelter, playing cards with the fellas, instead of in the comfort of her own home? Just because her hips are big?

This post really bothered me. 

We all have to start somewhere

Sure, people try certain ways of doing things and make mistakes. That’s part of the journey. It can take a while before you learn the best way to exercise and eat for you.

But I doubt most of the “specimens” who cracked up at this post have always had Adonis-like bodies.


When I see severely overweight men and women power-walking through the park, it doesn’t even occur to me to ridicule them. However, I would bet that they are taunted. But why? They’re doing something about their health and weight.

So why does this guy excoriate women in the gym who tie sweatshirts around their hips? Obviously, they are self-conscious. Geez, focus on yourself.  

Why does he ridicule those women who choose to get expensive haircuts when they’re not in great shape?  (Hey, buddy, get a clue–women’s haircuts can be VERY expensive. Think we like it?) Don’t they deserve to feel good about themselves?

So now what, Kathleen?

I’ve asked myself whether to continue reading this guy’s blog. For now, I’ve reached this conclusion:

I’ll read it. He’s knowledgeable and informed (on many matters, anyway).

But I won’t buy his supplements. I won’t sign up for his courses (which I’d been contemplating before reading this post).

I won’t put MY money into his bank account. Or promote him in any way.

That’s my right. And that’s the power we women have.

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