Hi there! My name is Amanda and I am so glad that you have found Unconventional Fitness. I am an NASM Certified Personal Trainer with an MS in Sports and Health Sciences. I’ve also been diagnosed with a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that causes chronic pain, joint pain and full/partial dislocations, and a myriad of other symptoms. Over the last several years, my philosophy on fitness has changed as my body and ability to exercise have changed. I used to be a typical trainer full on ‘no excuses’ and ‘body goals’ but that has evolved.
So how did the concept of Unconventional Fitness, a fat- and body- positive, trans- and queer-friendly, affirming, anti-racist, anti-ableist, and social justice oriented business come to me?
A few years ago, when our son was about two, we realized he might be autistic. And then I decided that I would seek out the voices of autistic adults in order to learn from them what to do and what to avoid while raising our son. From their voices and experiences, I have had my eyes opened to ableism in our society, not just affecting autistic people, but all disabled people. I made other friends along the way who opened my eyes to racism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, etc.
Eventually I started seeing these things in the fitness community too, not just from clients or regular people, but from professionals as well. As a fat, disabled woman, these things affect me, and they affect you too. I have been told that I am a fraud because I don’t ‘look the part’ but honestly, fitness in our society has a very narrow acceptable look.
On this website you will find resources and information on how to recognize various forms of oppression in the fitness world and beyond. You will also find unbiased support that is intersectional and non-shaming.
My specialty is helping my clients move better and live better. For some of them, that includes fighting against the bigoted and oppressive systems that force them into the sidelines of society, where they are not able to access many things that wellness requires, including affordable insurance, gyms that are accepting of their gender identity, and spaces that do not constantly denigrate their body, however that looks.
While I myself am still learning and growing my own awareness, my goal with Unconventional Fitness is to build a business that accepts everyone who is left on the sidelines of the fitness world. If you feel that you are not welcome elsewhere because you do not fit a specific mold in some way, you are welcome here. I am honoured by your presence.