A mother-of-three from Adelaide says fitness stars like Michelle Bridges and Kayla Itsines are doing a ‘disservice’ to women.
Taryn Brumfitt, 40, is a renowned body image activist and former bodybuilder who wants to take on Australia’s weight loss industry.
Her aim is to address celebrity personal trainers that she believes are having a negative impact on women by telling them how they can achieve a bikini body.
‘Transformation programs like Michelle Bridges and Kayla Itsines are preying on women’s insecurities and luring them into a false pretence that they will have a body as good as theirs in 12 weeks,’ she told FEMAIL.
Taryn Brumfitt, 40, is a renowned body image activist and former bodybuilder who wants to take on Australia’s weight loss industry
Taryn said one of the main problems with these kinds of programs is that they constantly share information about the diet, weight loss and the transformation but don’t share the reality of the situation.
‘They tell us about all the success stories, we see the before and after photos but we rarely hear about the kilos that are gained afterwards,’ she said.
‘It’s time to pull in the Weight Watchers, the Jenny Craigs and all the transformation programs out there because they’re putting people on a cycle of dieting, weight loss and weight gain.
‘If the current weight loss solutions that are widely and aggressively promoted actually worked, then why do we have this obesity epidemic?’
Taryn first became well-known when she shared a unusual before and after photo, with the before (left) being when she used to compete in bodybuilding and after (right) when she had had three children
Taryn said one of the main problems with these kinds of programs is that they constantly share information about the diet, weight loss and the transformation but don’t share the reality of the situation
Michelle Bridges is on Australia’s list of the countries world’s richest women, with an estimated net worth of $53 million while it has been reported that Kayla Itsines’ business empire is worth more than $63 million.
Taryn said that she receives messages and emails from hundreds of women every week who have been on these kind of programs and ‘feel worse’ about their body than when they began.
‘I speak to psychologists who have women come into their room and say that they’re a failure because they couldn’t keep the weight off after completing one of these programs,’ she said.
‘These kinds of conversations are on the increase. Women in Australia and across the world deserve an alternative that puts people first.’
Taryn said that she’s passionate about women and women’s health, which is why she’s speaking out.
It has been reported that Kayla Itsines’ business empire is worth more than $63 million
Michelle Bridges is on Australia’s list of the countries world’s richest women, with an estimated net worth of $53 million
‘It’s important that we get the message across that it isn’t about promoting mediocrity and obesity, it’s about forcing women to connect, nourish, move and enjoy their bodies,’ she said.
Another issue that Taryn has with these kinds of programs is that they tend to focus on how you look, how much you weigh, the calories you consume and your BMI.
‘When women chase a body type that’s not naturally theirs by using methods like scales and calories in, calories out, it leads to a route of failure and weight cycling,’ she said.
‘I understand weight cycling because I’ve been there, I’ve done it.’
Taryn explained that she receives emails from hundreds of women every week who have been on these kind of programs and feel worse about their body then when they began
Taryn is now a happy size 12 or 14 and is completing 10 kilometre runs and downhill mountain bikes as she says her three children struggle to keep up with her
‘I’ve dieted and tried to lose weight. When you lose it you’re happy for a slither of your life and then often put the weight back on,’ she added.
Taryn was previously a bodybuilder, and although she physically looked the healthiest she’s ever been, she said she was far from it.
Now she’s a happy size 12 or 14 and is completing 10 kilometre runs and downhill mountain bike rides as she says her three children struggle to keep up with her.
‘When I was bodybuilding, emotionally and spiritually I was a train wreck because I was so obsessed with trying to get this ideal body,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘We’ve got to celebrate our own uniqueness and understand that health means something different to everybody.’
Taryn explained that she’s passionate about women and women’s health, which is why she’s speaking out
Another issue that Taryn has with these kinds of programs is that they tend to focus on how you look, how much you weigh, calories you consume and your BMI
Although these kind of programs say they’re promoting healthy habits, Taryn disagrees.
‘They may try and promote some long term benefits and mind sets but if they’re working, why is their repeat business?’ She said.
‘These transformations leave women blaming themselves and lower their self-esteem.
‘I know from all the research and work I’ve done that you can’t look after something you don’t love, which is why my program Embrace You is getting into women’s heads and teaching them to love themselves.’
Although these kind of programs say they’re promoting healthy habits, Taryn disagrees
Another aspect of these kinds of programs that Taryn said was less than ideal was the fact that they make it seem so easy for every day women to make these drastic changes.
‘There’s the underlying sense of “you should have what I’ve got” and there are underlying tactics that make women feel lousy about their bodies.
‘Saying “if I can do it you can do it too” is dangerous, especially if we’re talking about body shapes. It lowers women’s self-esteem when they think there’s something wrong with them.’
Previously Taryn released a documentary called Embrace where she documented the process of her falling in love with her body
She also believes that this kind of thinking isn’t respecting the individual and that it’s a one-size-fits-all approach.
‘Not everyone is born with the same kind of discipline, not everyone’s lives are in the health and fitness industry,’ Taryn said.
‘It’s not easy for the rest of us. It’s easy for Michelle and all of those other people who live that life but the rest of us run households and businesses and the like.
‘I want to shake up the 7 billion dollar weight loss and transformation industry that takes money from women promising bikini nirvana but often leaves them right back where they began.’
When contacted by Daily Mail Australia, Michelle Bridges and Kayla Itsines declined to comment and at the time of publication, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig had not responded.