Whitney Way Thore isn’t here to be your weight-loss inspiration.
The star of TLC’s My Fat Fabulous Life took to Instagram on Thursday to address fans who congratulated her on her supposed weight loss.
“I’ve been reading my comments, and a large majority of them are people congratulating me for losing some amount of weight that you have perceived that I have lost, but I guarantee you that I’m still fat as s**t, and this hasn’t changed from Day 1,” she said directly to her followers.
“I’m just not out here to be anybody’s weight loss inspiration.”
She continued in the video: “If you’re inclined to be inspired by me I appreciate that, I see you, but I’m just a complex human being focusing on a lot of other things in life besides losing weight.”
“So it’s just not something I will ever feel comfortable saying ‘thank you’ for. If you’re inspired by me that’s wonderful, I’m glad, but I hope it’s because I’m a woman who learned to love herself no matter what size she is,” she said.
To drive her point home, the 35-year-old emphasized in the caption that “you can implement healthy behaviors as a fat person or a thin person independent of weight. Changing your body is not the to happiness, but changing your mindset is.”
Some of her nearly 700,000 Instagram followers appeared in the comments section to support her, with one fan writing: “Thank you so much for trying to shift the perspective! It should always be about the person not the numbers and your courage to say so inspires me.”
Another fan, who said they had recently gained weight, found comfort in her words. “Wow — you are such an inspiration! I have gained a lot of weight and fighting it daily…to read this has definitely put my weight gain into a better spot for me,” they wrote.
Another commended her effort in shifting the perspective of fat bodies, commenting: “It should always be about the person not the numbers and your courage to say so inspires me.”
But some weren’t so sure about how she went about her advocacy this time.
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One such follower implied her hypocrisy, saying: “You literally have a show that chronicles your struggle with maintaining a healthy weight… Why not just say thank you or nothing at all?”
“Are we really going to sit here and pretend that being congratulated by fans on similar journeys, for becoming healthier… is offensive?” another said.
One woman took issue with the delivery, commenting: “Learn to accept people who want to be supportive rather than rebuffing them.”
It’s certain that her lifestyle divides people. She often receives critiques under her workout videos, questioning why she hasn’t lost weight given the amount she exercises.
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Recently I’ve gotten a lot of comments and DMs with an…accusatory nature, asking me questions like, “If you work out so much, why don’t you lose weight? What are you eating?” and things like…”If you’re going to post workouts and not meals, that isn’t fair; we’re not getting the full picture.” 🤔 . You will never have a “full picture” of me, even from television. Do you know we shoot about 1,000 hours of footage a season that gets whittled down to fewer than 20 hours? The majority of instances anyone is shown eating are social situation or meals had while out dining. You also never see me shower, or go to the drugstore, or brush my teeth, or feed my cats, or read a book (or WRITE a book, for that matter), or sleep—are you to believe I don’t do those things, either, just because you didn’t see them? . For those of you who speculate about my eating habits, I’ll give you this: •I used to struggle with disordered eating, both purging (but not traditional “bingeing.” I used to purge regular meals), as well as restricting (eating as little as a few hundred calories a day for months at a time). The last time I engaged in either of these behaviors was in 2011 when I lost 100 pounds and —ironically— everyone thought I was so healthy. •I typically eat once or twice a day (but I’m working on eating more regularly. It’s a huge challenge for me). •Sometimes I eat past the point of fullness. •Sometimes I don’t eat enough to satisfy hunger. •I’ve been insulin resistant for 14 years due to PCOS, and that has an effect on weight gain and weight loss—no matter what weight you are. •PCOS in and of itself did not make me this fat, but it did cause me to gain a significant amount of weight over several months when I was 18. •Insulin-resistant PCOS coupled with shame, depression, disordered eating, alcohol, and lots of weight losses and weight gains have led me to where I am today. Some of this was a choice; some of it was not. . Where I am today is a woman who, just like you, is trying to be balanced, who is trying to be healthy (also mentally and emotionally), and who is just…doing her best. That’s it. •••photo by @@marie_killen//HMU by @shinypretties
But regardless of any negativity, Thore maintains her stance online as a body-positive activist.
She first became known on the global stage with her Ted Talk “Living without shame: How we can empower ourselves,” inspiring people to find confidence in their bodies despite living in a society that deems certain body types more beautiful than others.
Thore often shares videos on social media following her fitness and weight-lifting journey, in effort to show the world that “there are fat people everywhere, and there are fat people who exercise everywhere. I’m not an anomaly,” she once told People.
The TV personality co-runs a fitness app with trainer Ryan Andreas called No BS Active, a program “for every body” with daily online workouts that people can do at home, for US$20 a month.
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