Emotional gym manager speaks out about fat-shaming

A fed-up gym manager who lost more than a quarter of her body weight has told of how she called out a potential client who made fun of her weight. 

Mandi Holden once weighed 190kg, but since joining a gym in 2014, has lost 54kg - all while gaining a support system and safe place to be herself.

The 35-year-old Nevada resident is now the manager of that very gym, Anytime Fitness in North Reno.

But in an emotional video that has since been viewed more than 230,000 times, the mother-of-two explained how her "force field of confidence" was torn down by a potential member.

Holding back tears as she filmed from inside the janitor's closet, Ms Holden explained what transpired.

The mother said she was on the phone to another member when a group arrived to tour the facility but as they made their way through, one man could be heard saying, "Well it doesn't look like she works out very much."

"By the time they made it back to the office, I had decided I'm not going to ignore this," Ms Holden explained.

"I'm not going to pretend like I didn't hear it, like I usually do, because I know that people make comments all day every day.

"They introduced themselves, and I introduced myself, and there was some small talk about how beautiful the club is 'blah blah blah'.

"And I was like, 'Great, I'm glad you like it, and before we get started, I just want to let you know, I know it looks like I don't work out very much, but that's because you did not see where I started from.'

"'Don't judge a book by its cover. We don't judge people by how they look here because you might be surprised. I just want to get that out of the way before we move on.'

"He did not apologise... he seemed really surprised that I said something."

The potential client shook her hand at the end of the conversation and said he admired her grit, but did not sign up for the club.

"Our members here are all kinds of shapes, sizes, and orientations. It's really important for them to feel safe and that they're not going to be made fun of," she added.

Ms Holden said she never expected her video to gain this much attention.

"My team is super proud, because this is what we're all about," she added, noting that some have even brought her flowers.

"I feel very overwhelmed with love. I'm kind of amazed that I haven't encountered any trolls."