Plus Size Fitness Instructor Jeanette DePatie Says Everybody Can Exercise

Jeanette DePatie and Katie Couric
Jeanette DePatie and Katie Couric

When I saw Certified Fitness Instructor, Jeanette DePatie, on the Katie Couric show, I just had to reach out and ask for an interview.

I found it absolutely encouraging and awesome to see a full figured woman that went against societal norms and became a fitness instructor. Speaking with Jeanette was an absolute pleasure and she is down right honest and funny.

T. Marlene:  What motivated you to become a fitness instructor?

Jeanette DePatie:  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but thought you had to be skinny to do it. When I found out that statistically you only have a 5-10% chance of losing weight and keeping it off, I decided not to put my dreams and goals on hold any longer and go for it. Fitness has helped me learn how to love my body.

T.M.:  How did you end up on the Katie Couric Show?

J.D.: I participated in USC’s Body Love Week and there was a write up about it, her producers saw it and next thing I know I was on the show.

T.M.: What advice do you have for other plus women?

J.D.: Love yourself and your body. Focus on how losing weights feels like not what it looks like. There are so many benefits to losing weight that are actually more immediate than losing weight. When you slap weight-loss on your goal you end in failure.

T.M.: What fitness advice would you give to those that do want to loose weight for the new year?

J.D.: Sneak up on your goal. Don’t go full force. Don’t do too much too fast, that can lead to injuries. Assess your level now. If you need to start out with a 5 minute walk, then do so. No pain, no gain is complete crap. Just get moving. Walk around the block once or the mall or your own home. See how you feel before taking it up a notch. Your muscles will talk to you, listen to them, but don’t make them scream.

T.M.: Do you believe it’s possible to be plus size and healthy?

J.D.: Absolutely. Exercising helps you sleep better, you gain more energy, better sex, etc. Eating healthy also adds to it. You even benefit by having a better social life because you’re happier. I participated in a marathon and I got stronger and fitter but I did not lose weight. I accomplished my goal, I made it to the finish line breathing.

T.M.: What’s your take on the fat acceptance movement?

J.D.: Is it possible to be happy and obese? Yes, because I am. It’s illogical to think you can tell by looking at folks how healthy they are be it fat or thin. Loving the body you got is not saying your giving up on yourself or your body. Don’t put life on hold until you reach some goal. To say fat/plus people are negative role models is ridiculous. It’s pure denial because their mindset is being challenged.

T.M.: What are your hopes for the plus community?

J.D.: The plus community is getting better and worse at the same time. We have more resources than we used to but also more tools to torture ourselves about the way we are. Why is it ok to have size 4 feet vs size 12 but when it come to clothing it’s not? Everyone is focused on the war on obesity. The tide is slowly turning, however just by the fact that I was on Katie for 30 minutes without anyone having anything negative to say or me having to defend myself.

T.M.: Your thoughts on the plus Barbie debate?

J.D.: Don’t worry about Barbie. A piece of plastic. Find a real role model. We need to not be so obsessed with looks and have a sense of service instead. Get out of your own head and way.

T.M.: What are your biggest goals/dreams?

J.D.: I want to be the Richard Simmons of our generation – just with longer shorts! I want to start working with much larger groups to get people going and larger venues. I’d like to do TV and more DVDs. Just help people get up and move. Get more Americans off the couch and moving.

T.M.: What’s next for you?

J.D.: Right now enrollment is going on for my Everybody Can Exercise initiative http://www.thefatchick.com/The_Fat_Chick/EveryBodyCanExercise.html. That runs through 1/12. I have an App coming out. On the app you’ll get workouts with hot dance music. I also have more dvds coming out as well.

T.M.: Last words?

J.D.: Focus on what we win {by excercising} not on what we loose. Anytime you find someone that tries to get you to hate yourself or make you feel worthless and say they will help you become better, RUN! You do not need to be torn down to get to a better place. Also, do not put your goals/dreams on hold because of your weight.

A big thank you to Jeanette for sharing with us her thoughts! Jeanette is also a published author and public speaker. Follow Jeanette and support her on her Facebook: Jeanette DePatie and blog TheFatChick.com. To get her book, The Fat Chick Works Out or workout DVD.

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