A TWENTY-FIVE stone 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 33-year-old from Market Harborough, who has lost over two and half stone 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.
Gary, who brands himself Buffmaster, was initially friendly but then out of the blue posted on the group saying he had seen Lisa in the gym and she needed to lose five stone before he could help her.
When she asked why he couldn’t help her lose weight he replied “you gone too far sorry”.
A tearful Lisa told Fabulous Digital: “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.”
The comments come the same week Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson revealed she attempted suicide after vicious trolls labelled her “fat” and “ugly”.
Lisa, who is size 24, joined Slimming World in January and signed up to her local gym, where Gary 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.”
I have poor self image anyway so it was really tough. I actually felt quite ashamed
After receiving Gary’s hurtful comments she decided to post them on her Facebook feed because she wanted him to realise how damaging his comments were.
Lisa said: “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?
“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 Gary 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 which originally stated he was “number one for fat loss and fitness gains”.
Speaking to The Sun last night 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.”
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
But Katharine Busby, a personal trainer and fitness instructor at Yes Please Fitness in Newcastle upon Tyne said she was angry with his 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.
“Hiding behind the safety of the internet to say something suggests he’s perhaps not as tough as his classes may be.”
Since posting Gary’s comments online Lisa’s post has gone viral, being shared and commented on thousands of times on Facebook and Instagram.
Body sculptor Molly Beard, 27, who trains in the same gym as Lisa, was outraged when she saw the comments.
“When I saw Lisa’s post I thought it was appalling that a so-called fitness professional would suggest that someone who was actively seeking to improve their health was beyond help. He should be ashamed of himself.
“I feel very passionately that anyone, especially women should be able to improve their physical health without judgement from other people.”
Lisa has received over 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 Buffmaster claiming his name sounds like a cleaning product.
Lisa said: “I don’t know most of these people. It has been really overwhelming, I just want to say thank you to everyone. 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 determine to prove him wrong.”
Yesterday, we reported on a woman who quit her job as a beautician to work as a naked cleaner – and now has 15 full-time staff.