Tell us a bit about yourself!
I grew up overweight, and when I started my fitness journey there seemed to be no one out there that I connected with physically - no one seemed to look like me. When I thought about taking the jump into instructing, I held myself back. I didn't think people would take me seriously because of my size. And, honestly, some didn't. But some did. It took me a long time to realize what makes me different is my strength.
I'm passionate about helping others put an end to the limiting thoughts of self-doubt and get on with living their best life!
What led you to create social content around inclusivity and confidence for all body types?
Sharing my story helped me heal my relationship with my past and broken confidence. I found that the more open I was, the better I felt. As a bonus, I found that it really resonated with others and they were able to grow their confidence through learning about my story. I began expanding on the idea of growing confidence and what I’ve found helped the most in my own experience. It organically grew into a passion for sharing about inclusivity. There are a lot of misconceptions and false beliefs that society and diet culture tell us that healthy looks a certain way and it’s just not true.
If you could go back and talk to your high school self, what advice would you give them?
Keep going. Follow your passions and happiness, and when someone is mean to you it says a lot more about them than it does about you.
What do you look for before working with or purchasing from brands?
I look at their About section on their website, who founded the company and why. I look at the sizes offered and the price point of the items to see if it’s inclusive. I take a look at their social media and see what the vibe of the brand is and also to see what kinds of models and photos they feature. I’ll google them or look them up on Reddit and see if anyone’s sharing experiences about them, good or bad. If I’m thinking of working with them I take note of how timely they answer their emails and I won’t work with them if there is no contract involved.
What gives you the most fulfillment right now? What’s something you’re looking forward to?
I’m so happy to be back teaching spin at The Handle Bar in our brick and mortar studio space, fully vaxxed without masks. It feels incredible to be able to see everyone’s smiling faces and get to hug riders and friends again! It also has been a humbling experience getting back into spin shape again. Before the pandemic hit I was teaching and taking upwards of 10 classes a week, then abruptly we closed. After almost a year of not spinning I had to take it back to square one with getting my endurance back. It’s been rewarding experiencing the improvements in my strength and stamina week over week.
How can readers find you & learn more about you?
The place you can find me the most consistently is on Instagram @Mer_Doty, I also blog regularly at WorkoutWithMer.com. If you’ve never been to The Handle Bar and you want to come try out a class with me, DM me for a guest spot! I can’t wait to meet you, and thank you for reading!