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.
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.
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.