I recently had an employee take over a class that I was unable to teach anymore. He was an amazing instructor but, he was over weight. The class went from averaging 16 participants to 3 participants. I had a few members comment on his weight and make it known that is why they would not attend that class anymore. Is it okay for clientel to be biased about their instructors/trainers?
While I understand the concerns when it comes to body image, it was also the same thing that kept me from teaching group exercise for over a year after getting my specialty certification. I was always concerned that I was too fat or I would have a hard time teaching because of my exercise-induced asthma. This has been a recurrent problem for me and it is tough to see students who are thinner than me.
To my credit, I don’t look like I weigh as much as I do and I have had students comment that they were happy that I looked like a “real” person and not a skinny twig bouncing around the group ex studio.
I teach well, I keep the class fun, and I show modifications for everything. We work hard but if I had to wait until I lost a few more pounds then I still wouldn’t be teaching. Now I teach tap and jazz, Turbo Kick, and Hip Hop Hustle. I am confident in my knowledge of nutrition and exercise and I can see the response people have as I speak to them; it’s one of respect.
The last thing I need is to spiral down to another bout with an eating disorder because I feel like no one should be listening to me because I have a few extra pounds.