Trainer’s ‘brutally honest’ post slammed
A 159kg woman, who was fat-shamed on social media by a personal trainer, has been "overwhelmed" after receiving thousands of messages of support.
Lisa Parratt, who suffers from anxiety and has a mental health support dog, was left devastated when she was told in a Facebook group chat that she was "way too heavy" and "just too big" to join a bootcamp, The Sun reported.
The 33-year-old from Market Harborough in Leicestershire, England, who has lost over 12kg since January, contacted personal trainer Gary Randall to ask about his mixed bootcamp in the local park. She added a friend to the chat because they wanted to join too.
Mr Randall, who brands himself Buffmaster, was initially friendly but then posted on the group saying he had seen Ms Parratt in the gym and she needed to lose 31kg before he could help her.
When she asked why he couldn't help her lose weight, he replied "you gone too far sorry".
"I was at my parents house at the time and I went dead silent. My mum said 'what's wrong?' and then I just passed out crying. I have poor self-image anyway so it was really tough. I actually felt quite ashamed," Ms Parratt told The Sun.
Ms Parratt, who is size 24, joined Slimming World in January and signed up to her local gym, where Mr Randall is also a member.
She has been going several times a week and was determined to lose more weight so inquired about the bootcamp.
"I wanted to build my confidence back up and to be the best version of myself that I can be. In order for me to get the best out of life and live a good life I need to lose weight for health reasons."
After receiving Mr Randall's comments, Ms Parratt decided to post them on her Facebook feed saying she wanted to shared them in the hopes he would realise how damaging they were.
"I don't hide from my weight but I do expect a professional personal delivering a professional service to give a better response than that. Why didn't he come over and have a quiet word with me when he saw me?" Ms Parratt said.
"I was worried that if he said something like that to the wrong person they might not be here now. I wanted to raise awareness so I posted it on Sunday night a few hours after his message."
Despite immediate backlash from the public, Mr Randall stood firm, posting on his personal and business Facebook page the following morning: "Always best to be honest in my business sometimes brutally #teambuffmaster".
But by the end of Tuesday he had removed his business Facebook page that originally stated he was "number one for fat loss and fitness gains".
Speaking to The Sun on September 11, he said the whole thing had been "blown out of proportion", adding: "She is a very silly woman. She is the one making herself look a fool."
But Katharine Busby, a personal trainer and fitness instructor at Yes Please Fitness in Newcastle upon Tyne, said she was angry with Mr Randall's attitude.
"Overweight people have enough discrimination against them in everyday life without being subjected to narrow-mindedness when they're actually trying to make healthy lifestyle choices," she said.
"Hiding behind the safety of the internet to say something suggests he's perhaps not as tough as his classes may be."
Ms Parratt has received more than 500 private messages of support from the public and been offered free training and gym membership from dozens of organisations.
Instagram star Diren Kartal has offered to train her for free and made a video mocking the trainer, claiming his name sounds like a cleaning product.
"I don't know most of these people. It has been really overwhelming, I just want to say thank you to everyone," Ms Parratt said. "It has made me realise there is a lot more good in this world than I thought.
"When it first happened I just wanted to give up, but now I am determined to prove him wrong."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission