The largest number I ever saw on the scale was 415lbs. That was after I had loss some weight but never had access to a scale that would go high enough for me to get an accurate weight. After all, every Doctor’s office I went to had a scale that stopped at 400lbs. It’s as if they didn’t even care after 400lbs. I really don’t think they don’t care… but we all know how our minds can work in dark places.

In sports, fitness, and the athletic world in general, I’ve notice that only the people who have done the work get the benefit of sponsorship. The subliminal message is that we don’t care about you until you are at a place to help us. I get it… companies are all about money and they need to invest in people that are going to make them money, but I’m not sure they’ve thought about what kind of story they could tell by investing in the journey of a person and not just the climax of a person’s life. What if a company invested in a person trying to loose weight… their body is changing and clothes are always an issue. If they had a person that they invested in who’s story was about life change that this company supported over a few years, people share and invest in that company immediately. Why? Because people innately want to be a part of a better story. They want to loose weight and if this company helped these people get there, then they might help me too. They would atlas have clothes that I could fit into. Isn’t that a better story then I want to look like LaBron James?

Between New Years resolutions and Summer body dreams, I think companies are missing the boat. Here are two byproducts that would come from changing the way companies think about athletic clothes:

  1. When people make changes, they buy new clothes. Companies would make money promoting and facilitating life change. As people loose weight, they need more clothes… constantly.
  2. Your advertising budget would decrease because people would be sharing and promoting your product because of the stories of life change. What happens on social media when you see an inspiring story… it’s get reposted everywhere!
  3. Your product would actually be accessible for people. Sure, people wear clothes that famous people promote. But, what if your clothes actually helped someone change their life. Then people would believe that their lives could be different too.
  4. Your brand would be known personally, instead of corporately. You would actually show that you care about people and not just their money.

Those seem like pretty good things, right? Profitability would increase, but so would life change.

Here’s why It doesn’t happen…

  1. Companies just want you to seek the unattainable. You want you to look like an athlete without actual living like one.
  2. Companies don’t want to actually see anyone change, they just want to make money.
  3. Companies would actually have to make good clothes for large people. Look through athletic clothing ads and tell me I’m wrong… they don’t make clothes for people trying to change.

When I started this journey, I bought cotton shirts at Wal-Mart and whatever Russell Athletic shorts I could find. The shorts were fine, but those cotton shirts were the worst! But that’s all people made in my size… cheap crappy shirts. There weren’t good shorts or shirts that I could find to workout in. So, how can some start a journey to loose weight while not having to wear clothes that are good to workout in? If you are already a large human and having to show up to a CrossFit class and you are all decked out in your Wal-Mart athletic apparel you are already are super self-concious and embarrassed from the start because of your clothes. You stick out like a sore thumb, which makes you want to quit because you are a foreigner in a strange land. This is one of the hardest obstacles to get through when starting this journey. If you could atlas dress the part, it would make life change more accessible.

If I can’t look like everyone else, at least I could dress like them… right? Wrong!

The CrossFit community is all about the life change, but they don’t help either. Boxes carry shirts that might go up to XXL, but they are athletic cut and fit more like an XL. As a large human, this doesn’t work. I remember dropping in at a CrossFit box in Memphis, and they had a deal that you could pay $5 more and get a t-shirt. I paid the extra $5 online and shown up the next morning to find out they they only had shirt through size Large. Freaking ridiculous! Now a friend of mine has a shirt from a cool box in Memphis.

This problem is like trying to go to the doctors office and not having a scale that you could use. The subliminal message here is… you are not welcome here… you don’t belong here… and you need to go away.

What if a company found people to invest in and was able to take a barrier away from their ability for life change? What if Nike, Reebok, or Under Armor found a handful of people to walk with in life and tell their story to the world… what would happen? Would they make money? yes. Would they have more purchasers? yes. Would they directly combat the obesity issue in America? yes! I truly believe that they could change the world.

One company that I will support for the rest of my life is Barbell Voodoo. And before you ask, no I don’t get anything for talking about them, I just love this company. They are a local apparel company that makes shirts that go up to XXXL. They sell out of the big sizes quick, they say. They are a company that has a desire to see people’s lives change for the better and clearly want to help people who are starting to feel uncomfortable in what they are wearing. I love Barbell Voodoo and just ordered some more shirt last week! If you want to check out a company actually making a difference, click here.

All of this to say that if big companies actually cared if you looked like their spokesmen, then they should actually make clothes to help you get there. They also need to tell better stories, not just about the gifted athletes, but about the regular person who decided that enough was enough and their lives changed forever. Those are the stories people remember and tell their friends about.

Maybe someone is willing to start a revolution with athletic clothing and invest in a story of life change and not just more stories about making money for the sake of more money.  Am I off base here? Those of you who are large humans trying to make a change, has this been struggle for you as it was and is for me?

When you want to rep your CrossFit box and they don’t have shirts in your size, how does that make you feel? When you go to Rogue’s website and want to dress like everyone else, yet you can’t fit into anything they have… what does that make you feel like inside? Feel free to comment below or email me, I’d love to hear from you. Is or has clothing been an obstacle for you?

Let me just make a final comment that I know people will make: Sure, it is fun to finally get to wear “regular” clothes once you have lost weight. No doubt! But what if you had the good clothes now… wouldn’t that help and accelerate the process to get to “regular” clothes? I think so.

No matter where you are on this journey, please remember that it’s worth it and you are worth it! Most of all: Keep Going!

Shout out to Eric! Thanks for reading.

6 Comments »

  1. I can relate! I have been a cross fitter for years and have struggled with weight for life! At 265 I still find myself between the xl and xxl, even as progress gets made it feels deflating when the xxl fits like a glove! Final thought, tee shirt companies stop making shirts that shrink and deform after 2 washes! Blahhh anyways, thanks for sharing your story!

    Like

  2. PREACH. Maybe you could get something going with “Support the journey, not just the destination.” Amiright? Everyone talks about that old adage, but you’re right, athletic clothing companies don’t practice that mantra.

    Like

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