Exercise shaming? REALLY?!

Exercise shaming
I read a story that’s pretty much gone viral this week about a woman who was heckled whilst out for a run and as I was reading it, I was between wooping for girl power and banging my head against a brick wall that people out there are genuine dickheads.

Lindsey Swift was out jogging with her partner when a man in a white van slowed down and heckled her as she ran. WHO EVEN DOES THAT?!

She then wrote a beautifully eloquent open letter to this guy explaining that whilst he was singing sarcastically Mika’s ‘Big girls you are beautiful’ at her that yes, she agreed, she is beautiful, but why on Earth would you try and be such an arsehole? Having seen the photos posted of Lindsey, I 100% agree that she’s stunning. Not only physically but because you know when someone is confident about themselves and it just makes them glow? She has that going on.

Seeing her letter go viral really got me thinking about those who in their right mind judges someone for doing exercise? If there is someone who is visibly overweight (as Lindsey admitted that she herself is in her open letter) why would you mock someone for exercising? You have all of the evidence you could possibly need right there in front of you that they’re trying to do something which improves their health, so why on Earth would you try and shit all over that?

Reading Lindsey’s letter made me really address my own insecurities. I’ve been that person who’s gone for a run and had comments shouted at me (by chavs in a shit car, in case you’re interested) and you know what? They made me feel like absolute shit. And that’s when they went speeding past me and I never even saw their faces.

I’ve written posts recently about how infuriating I find fat-shaming and skinny-shaming, but exercise-shaming is on a whole other level of idiocy.

I used to be someone who felt ridiculously self conscious whilst exercising. I take it back to being the fat kid in PE lessons and the time a teacher took me to one side and told me I’d be dead by the time I’m 20 (no Miss Duhig, I have not forgotten, thankfully, I’m still alive and kicking). Growing up as the worst at anything related to exercise and associating it with the ritual humiliation of PE lessons has meant it’s been a long road to make me realise that I’m not actually completely shit at exercise.

I count myself lucky that I’ve been in a position whereby I’ve had a personal trainer for nearly a year now, as it’s meant I now have confidence in my own abilities. But what if I hadn’t had the support of a personal trainer, and also my sister who is like my own exercise-y cheerleader? If at the age of 23 I’d gone for a run and had someone slowed down next to me to shout abuse, I’d have gone home and cried and likely have given up. And then had a massive rant and plastered it all over my blog, as y’know, that’s my style.

I hate the idea of anyone being shamed for doing something that makes them feel good and I cannot honestly understand why anyone could live with themselves after treating another human being in this way. Can we give it a rest with the shaming? We need to stop bringing people down whilst they’re on the way up and if you feel like being a dick – just don’t. Suck it up, be nice and act like a decent human being.

What do you think?


  1. I remember when I started exercising, I wouldn't go to classes on my own or the gym for that matter! I can't say I've been heckled but I had zero confidence - I dread to think what it feels like being a bigger girl and having to hear the rubbish people will spew, I always look at it as 'Well at-least they're trying to change their lives'. Some people can't grow out of idiocy unfortunately x


    1. Hey, thanks for your comment :) I don't think people realise how intimidating it can be to just do the exercise without being actively shamed by someone - it's just so so nasty! I'm so pleased for the girl who wrote the letter that not only has she raised awareness but she's not let it stop her either xx

  2. I love your posts. You are so open and honest..AND RIGHT. It can be terrifying going to exercise alone or even with someone, and imagine having something shouted at you whilst exercising, it would have upset me! What a fantastic woman for writing that letter, and you for sharing this post.

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

    1. Thanks Hannah :) I agree, she's an absolute inspiration for taking her story public and not letting it get her down! xx