Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

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kevray
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Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by kevray » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:48 pm

hi I am admitted to a massage therapy program to begin in January. It's a little late to be thinking like this but, I'm about 50+ lbs overweight. I'm a male, 5' 10" and I weigh 244. I should be around 190. Most of the weight is in my abdominal area - like a 'beer belly' unfortunately. So, I'm not just one of those overweight guys who looks like a 'big guy'. I just look like I have a huge stomach. I've been on a weight loss plan lately and so didn't think much of it until I went to orientation today. Everyone was in tip top shape! I feel very self conscious now - especially since I believe I will have to be nude with my fellow students (heard conflicting things about THAT, still not sure what's true or not). I would like advice: Should I withdraw from my classes this semester and postpone my entry to MT school for a few months to get into shape. I don't want to be known as the "gross fat guy". Or worse, make it more difficult for my fellow students to work on me. :( Thank you for your time and help.

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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by pueppi » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:01 pm

I don't think you should withdraw from your classes. If you are clean and hygenic, it won't be a problem. Students need to learn how to work on all shapes and sizes of people. Trust me when I say, you get a much better education of bodywork when you have various people to work on.

You'll get in shape when you are ready. It may take time, and that's ok too. Follow your dream. Don't let your weight keep you from it.
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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by JaeMarie » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:10 pm

kevray wrote:hi I am admitted to a massage therapy program to begin in January. It's a little late to be thinking like this but, I'm about 50+ lbs overweight. I'm a male, 5' 10" and I weigh 244. I should be around 190. Most of the weight is in my abdominal area - like a 'beer belly' unfortunately. So, I'm not just one of those overweight guys who looks like a 'big guy'. I just look like I have a huge stomach. I've been on a weight loss plan lately and so didn't think much of it until I went to orientation today. Everyone was in tip top shape! I feel very self conscious now - especially since I believe I will have to be nude with my fellow students (heard conflicting things about THAT, still not sure what's true or not). I would like advice: Should I withdraw from my classes this semester and postpone my entry to MT school for a few months to get into shape. I don't want to be known as the "gross fat guy". Or worse, make it more difficult for my fellow students to work on me. :( Thank you for your time and help.
I'm about 5'7", and when I went to massage school several years back, I was about 235lbs. We started with 40 students of varying ages and body types. From the get go, the instructors impressed the importance of respect for ourselves and others. My classmates NEVER made me feel the least bit self conscious, even though I had a total "OMG! WHAT AM I DOING HERE?!?!?" moment erupting inside me the first day when one of the instructors got on the table and took her shirt and bra off under the sheet for a demonstration.

Not only did I survive this experience, I have since developed a much better acceptance of my own body, and have a better understanding and can empathize with those that have body issues.

Trust me.

You may see those other people in the class as being athletic and fit, but I can just about guarantee you that there are those in the group that don't see themselves the way you do, and may be even more unsure and insecure about their bodies than you may feel. Also, as pueppi pointed out, not every client that you're going to see as a massage therapist is going to have a "perfect" body. Clients come in all shapes and sizes, so should your practice partners so you can learn how to be comfortable, secure, and effective.

A quick note on the nudity issue.

Different schools handle their hands on classes differently, but overall, you should be given the opportunity to undress to whatever degree is necessary or appropriate for your class session, with some degree of privacy. My school had some curtains you could pull around yourself to disrobe in, then wrap in a sheet and go to the table. Others who were more comfortable, just took their clothes off on the table, underneath the sheet (sometimes their partner would help "tent" the sheet to give them room.) You should always have the option to maintain your modesty. Breasts and genitals should remain covered, and the instructors should be cultivating a sense of security and safety within the classroom.

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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by athletica » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:04 am

From my experience most students & faculty are very respectful. After the first few weeks of hands on learning I guaruntee you will be so comfortable around your classmates!

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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by CapeTownBodyWorker » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:34 am

Weight in the belly area is not good, although it will not affect what your fellow students think of you nor make you any less a person in their opinion :)

My advice is to listen to what this guy says about belly fat. I am following his advice, give his link to my clients, and it is helping me and them:
http://www.Mercola.com
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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by shivashiva » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:36 am

I just want to add agreement to what has been said here. MANY of your paying clients when you are a massage therapist will be overweight to some degree or another. It should not affect your ability to give them a great massage. A percentage of the people in your class will have issues with some body part or another...some people may have to get over being grossed out by feet, some people may be extremely hesitant to work on the stomach, others will be grossed out by body hair. THEY WILL ALL GET OVER IT. It's part of becoming an awesome massage therapist and anyone who can't get over it is going to have problems getting a job. As massage students they will look at (or be taught to see) these reactions as obstacles to becoming a massage therapist, as things within THEMSELVES that need to be worked on. Their clients don't need to lose weight, the massage therapist needs to become accepting and caring towards all body types and body parts.

By all means, look at losing weight as an avenue to greater health! But don't do it to avoid making your fellow students uncomfortable.
Last edited by shivashiva on Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by Yan » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:35 pm

IMHO you should lose weight, but it has nothing to do with you being in the massage program, but rather for your own good. 40" and wider waist is not good for male's health, a 9 to 10 waist to hip ratio is ideal (or so they say). As for being overweight - if any of your co-students have a problem working on overweight people they chose the wrong career. Most won't have an issue with that. And you don't have to be in tip-top shape to be a great massage practitioner - look at Ryan Hoyme for example (aka MassageNerd). Good luck!

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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by kevray » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:58 pm

Wow! :shock: I would like each of you who replied to my post to know that your kind and inspiring words have helped me make the decision to go for it this semester! I will definitely continue my weight loss plan (including a healthier diet and exercise) but I will not allow the weight to get in the way of what I want to be doing, and that is massage therapy. I had a feeling I would be able to get good advice here from informed, experienced people. I have to admit though, part of me thought I was going to find a bunch of posts making fun of me and/or criticizing me for being overweight. What a pleasant experience it's been. I look forward to getting to know all of you better in the near future. I'm going on & on but I'm just so appreciative. Thank you all!

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Celebrate

Post by holley » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:27 pm

May you thrive and enjoy the experience
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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by Shibaz » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:33 pm

I'm going to echo what a number of other people said--your weight should not stand in the way of you being a student! You'll find all sorts of different body types in massage school, both among your classmates and the people you practice on, and that's a good thing!

We have a wide variety of body types in our class, and we've got some wonderful massage therapists who graduated and work with us now as teachers or teaching assistants, and they also come in a wide variety of sizes. Also, I have found it true that we become more accepting of our own body and the bodies of others through massage. On of my very first teachers said that he had issues about his body, esp. his abdomen, when he started, and it took a long time for him to let anyone even work on this area on him, but now he's fine with it. I know I felt shy too--I'm 50, and not in great shape, and was embarrassed at first thinking about younger people working on me, but now, when I'm several months into the program, I don't think about it at all (and I'm no longer even remotely shy about getting out of my clothes and onto the table, either!)

Working on losing weight is great, if that's a goal for you, but whether it is or not, you'll be fine in school! Don't let your weight stand in the way of what you want to do!

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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by tiger snacks » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:23 am

TAs a previous overweight Guy myself I too was a little worried when I started . What I found is the extra fat on the stomach makes he massage very hard to do. Hard to stabilize, etc.

And also where I am, many women are very conservative and against having just ANY male working on them. Naturally what I found is, its not really about the weight or your looks but how you present yourself. Now slim, toned, is a good way to go if that's in your goals. Clean, hygienic, fit, attractive and extremely knowledgeable would probably make a great comfortable therapist to go to. At least in my opinion. Looks and physical features aren't the primary concern but it doesn't hurt to have the extras.
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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by gemini6 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:55 pm

I think that not only do you want your client to be comfortable, you need to be comfortable when you give a massage. The extra weight around the middle can put stress on your shoulders and back -- making it uncomfortable for you while you're giving a massage. It can definitely affect the longevity of your career.

It's great that you're not letting your weight hold you back and you're taking steps to improve your health. I wish you the best! :smt041
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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by HandsDown » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:33 am

I think you going to school will actually help you get to where you want to be with your weight. Using proper mechanics alone, will work certain muscle groups. MT is physically demanding, it didn't take me long to realize the importance of stretching and just being more active regardless of going to the gym or not. If you are really passionate about MT, which I'm sure you are, you are going to be so motivated to be on top of things that everything will take care of itself. I used to play football and have still have some of the football body (6'5 335lbs) left. OK OK OK, maybe not "some", alot left!!! I found myself going to the gym and watching what I eat. I gotta take care of my body so I can take care of a clients body!

I commend you and will be cheering you on!!!!


But looking at the date or your post, did you finish school already!?

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Re: Lose weight BEFORE beginning MT school?

Post by MTSI » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:21 pm

I love the initiative. go ahead with school, as it will make you work even that much harder simultaneously while you are in school. this way you don't loose time and have inherent motivation to meet your goals. you def need to take good care of yourself before you can take good care of your patients
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