Is this empathy or insanity?

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An Australian trainer (and underwear model!) decided to stop exercise, eat whatever he wanted and gain weight so that he could ultimately be a better trainer for his clients trying to lose weight.  In total he gained 88 pounds and felt like crap.  Shocking.  His journey back to modeling, I mean health, is being captured (quel surprise) for a documentary called “Fat and Back.” 

Our now plump Adonis is having a tough time breaking his new addictions to sugar and carbs but what’s important is that he was able to empathize with the emotional mindsets of overweight clients.  I think it is great that he came away from this experiment knowing what it feels like to be stared at, or ignored or disdained.  I only hope that he takes off the weight with class and without an air of smugness that says “anyone can lose weight and it’s easy” because we know that it is really, really hard.

We are always telling our clients to really immerse themselves in their customers’ lives.  We’ve gone so far as to make our clients role play – we had a hotel client try and check into her own hotel with a roller bag filled with bricks and uncomfortable shoes.  Guess what? That executive took immediate action to better train bellman and to be more sensitive to female business travelers needs.  We’ve made clients shop their own websites, call their own customer service numbers and shop competitive brands just to gain some emotional intelligence.  This trainer certainly went the extra mile (or stopped going the extra mile as the case may be).

I will be keeping my eye on this story to see how his weight loss progresses. 

A tiny part of me is hoping that he struggles just so he can see what the rest of us go through all of the time.  A little schadenfreude never hurt anyone.

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January 22, 2022
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