I have my homepage set to Yahoo!… I came across this article as one of the top stories on the news ticker. A personal trainer has decided to make himself obese on purpose so that he can understand what it’s like to be obese. As fitness professionals, what are your thoughts on this? Please read the short article to understand his position before answering. http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/why-a-personal-trainer-is-making-h…
I know people are having a problem with the fact that he is asking for donations and that he will likely charge for his new information product. I don’t blame him for that at all. We all charge for our time and information and this is no different, especially if it works.
As for putting on the weight to feel what it’s like, I think he would have been better off getting a fat suit. He’s right that he’s never really going to know what it feels like to be obese and then have to struggle to get fit. But if I was training to be an addictions counselor, does that mean I have to take on an addiction to understand my clients better? It’s flawed logic.
In as far as my own business is concerned, I do know what it’s like to be fit and then fat and then continue to struggle to get fit despite many obstacles. While I can’t say that I know what it’s like to take up two seats on the bus, I can say I know what it’s like not to be able to run across the street, kneel without pain, being frustrated with clothes shopping and dealing with mean things people say. Those experiences are just as valid as the ones he has had being fit all of his life.
Perhaps what this trainer really needs to do is spend more time with obese people, hear their stories, and be an advocate for their health. If he can’t do that, then he might want to find another niche. And since he has been fit all of his life, maybe he would do better with clients that have a similar background who are training for something else.
That’s just my two cents.