Look, it’s everywhere. Healthy is the new skinny. Skinny was the old fit. Curves are the new whatever… Blah blah blah. The assumption is when you work out that you’re doing it to look a certain way. Usually to get thinner. Which, even in 2017 is still a widely held goal. 5kg, 10kg, 30kg… Whatever it is for you. That could totally be your motivation. You do you.

It’s a hard old world out there.

Wanting to fit in by having your body look a certain way to be accepted by people is completely understandable. As a fat woman, I completely understand the pressure. I understand wanting to fly in an aeroplane, ride on a bus or go to the cinema without being reminded of your size, wouldn’t that be nice? So sure, I can get changing your body to make it fit is appealing. I’d rather the world changed, but you do you.

However, there ARE people who are just out for a walk, hitting the pool for some laps or working out just because. You can’t assume that everyone exercises for weight loss, or to be smaller or to get a bubble butt. Sure, they are some of the reasons. A very small amount of possible reasons. There are infinite combinations of reasons why. None of them better or worse than the other. Just reasons, based on decisions you made with the information you had.

Heck, Ashley Graham made a list!

You just don’t know, what someone’s motivations are.

To assume you know, well, that’s just going to make it awkward for everyone. Plus, you really need to figure out why you’re sitting there wondering why someone is working out. If you want to start a conversation so badly, try starting with hello. Instead of ‘good on you, you’ll be there before you know it’ or other such comments.

You see, working out when your fat means people assume a lot of things about you. They assume you’re new to here. Then there are the assumptions about your abilities or overall health. After that, when they get used to you being around, they assume you’re disappointed that you aren’t yet ‘skinner’.  After that is usually unsolicited diet, workout or healthcare advice.

See what I mean about assumptions. Made any of those yourself?

Yeah, me too. It happens to all of us because we are conditioned to believe that thinner is better. That exercise is punishment for the food we shouldn’t have eaten. A chore to be managed to prove ourselves worthy of ‘health’. But it’s just not true. There is a host of benefits to your physical and mental health from getting moving. Activity and being active, if within your capabilities, is something that will enrich your life. Guaranteed.

So, my friend, next time you see someone exercising, walking along the beach or cross-fitting {probably not a word}, let those judgements and ideas you have about what their motivations are, go. They won’t serve you and they certainly won’t serve them. I mean, you know the concept of ‘Mansplaining’, right? I call the habit of assuming fat people want or need your advice ‘fatsplaining’.

Don’t be that person. No one likes that person.

In the end, let’s face it, why they are moving their body, on their own time, in their own way is absolutely none of your business. See how weird it is now that I say it like that? Start pulling apart the thoughts you have about bodies, whether they are similar to yours or not. Question everything. Don’t ever assume you know someone just by looking at them. Then, we all get to live happily ever after. Someone tell the internet. 

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