(Here's a photo of Michelle)
The trainer I worked out with was 40lbs overweight. I never second guessed working with her because of her size. I chose her because of her energy and professionalism. I lost 25 pounds working with her (and of course eating right). She created a workout plan for me to follow on my one after an intense workout session. We updated the plan every 4 to 6 weeks. I also did several one on one sessions when I wanted to kick up my progress before a trip to Miami.
My trainer pushed me to give it my all in my sessions and encouraged me to eat well and stay active outside. In fact, I think the fact that she too had to work hard to keep her weight in balance made her all the more relate-able to me. Her struggle - similar to Ms. Gibson's - was eating.
So...should it matter if a fitness professional is at an ideal weight?
That comment got me thinking about another one I saw a few months ago on a blog post about trainer Jeanette Jenkins & Destiny's Child Kelly Rowland's new workout video. "I'm personally not interested in the DVD because neither one of them have a frame like the average woman. Both are very athletic shaped. Kelly has never been thick or overweight and Jeanette looks like she played sports in high school…(Beyonce's) workout tape would interest me more ONLY because her body frame is average. Physically fit yet curvy, voluptuousness and feminine."
So...do we need more instructors who have softer features? Ones that shows that no matter what you weigh you can be active?
Fitness instructors/trainers are almost damned if they do...damned if they don't. If they're too fit, their bodies aren't attainable...If they're overweight, they're a poor role model or ill-equipped. I have taken classes where the teacher didn't look like she stepped out of Fitness Magazine but gave me a GREAT workout and vice versus. One of the best Zumba instructors I had lost 100 pounds and still have 60 to 70 more to go, but, she worked us out! She taught Zumba, Zumba Toning, and ran (including a half marathon).
Ideally, I would think an fitness professional would showcase progress not perfection moving towards a well balanced life including exercise, nutrition, rest, and stress management.