Dear Cassey: Why does my fitness journey feel so lonely?

Hi Cassey!
I am a plus size girl. I started my health journey about a year and a half ago and while there have been plenty of bumps along the way, I have made slow but steady progress with my health and fitness levels.
What advice would you give me to stay motivated along my journey when most of what I see out there in online fitness communities are people much smaller and fitter than me? They look at me and treat me like I’m just a fat girl pretending to like exercise.
Other comments I’ve gotten are condescending like “well you’re not that big” or “why aren’t you losing weight faster?”
It’s hard to stay positive and motivated and I don’t have anyone going through this journey with me so it just feels really hard sometimes. I know I’ve come a long way but people can be really mean/rude and even though I try not to let it bug me it hurts.
Seeking Sincere Support

paper dolls holding hands on clothesline support

Hi Seeking Sincere Support!

  1. UMMM WHAT?! It makes me so angry to read that ANY fitness community is making you feel unwelcome or like you don’t belong.
  2. WELCOME TO THE POPSTER COMMUNITY. Whatever support you need, we’ve got you.

Let’s put the haters aside. I want to take a moment to congratulate you on on your journey so far! A year and a half is a LONG time to commit to those changes. ANY change at all, actually.

The first thing I want you to do is really process and be proud of that accomplishment. I know the kind of progress that comes with a true lifestyle change like this one can feel slow (and maybe slower than you’d like). But the changes and progress you’re seeing are still HUGE and they’ll impact your life forever.

I know it’s difficult to stay motivated when you don’t have a solid support system. BUT, your tenacity and persistence is inspiring! Dealing with the rude and judgy people out there can be emotionally and physically draining. So, how do you deal? Here are my thoughts:

Your size and/or body type DOES NOT represent your fitness journey success. 

Nope. ANYONE can enjoy exercise. For a variety of reasons! I am SO TIRED of people assuming a person must not be working “hard enough” if they don’t have the “perfect” body. That kind of thinking is ridiculous.

Your journey is your business.

Your “why” is YOURS. No one else has the right to judge what motivated you to set out on this journey.

There isn’t one “right” journey for everyone.

There is no “losing weight too slow.” That’s not a thing. Gradual progress is still progress. Plus, even if you started this journey because you wanted to lose weight, I bet you’ve noticed by now that the progress you can’t necessarily “see” actually feels the most rewarding!

Last thing.

Remember that MOST people really do mean well, even if they don’t fully see how their comments may discourage you. On my own journey, I learned that a lot of people didn’t understand my why. But the support I found in the people who truly DID understand really outweighed the negativity. And the most important thing was to constantly remind myself of all the good I was getting out my journey.

Keep a journal. Write yourself little love notes. Keep your eyes on the road and don’t let judgy, discouraging comments or comparison lead you off course. And think about the ways you can help others with what you’re learning! Because I PROMISE you there are plenty of others out there with similar struggles. We need to stick together!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

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