News / Edmonton

Edmonton woman fired for 'fat' now showing everyday lives of obese

The Weight of Living is a new social media campaign from the Canadian Obesity Network.

Connie Levitsky wants to reclaim the word

Metro file.

Connie Levitsky wants to reclaim the word "fat," and is now behind a new social media campaign showcasing the lives of Canadians who are obese.

An Edmonton woman fired from her retail job earlier this year for writing about “fat ladies” like herself online is now sharing stories of obese Canadians in a new campaign.

Connie Levitsky has become the spokesperson for the Weight of Living, a new campaign from the Canadian Obesity Network that examines the discrimination obese people face — but also just puts a face to the experience.

Every week since the beginning of September they’ve shared one person’s story on their Facebook page.

“There are very few stories that celebrate the fact that people who are overweight can live happy and fulfilling lives, and it’s not a death sentence,” Levitsky said. “They’re actual people, and not just a ‘before’ picture.”

Levitsky made headlines in April after she was fired from an Edmonton plus-size retailer, Addition Elle, after she described her new job in a Facebook post as “conquering the world, one well-dressed fat lady at a time.”

Her manager thought she was mocking their clientele and fired her.

But Levitskey is clear she identifies as fat—and doesn’t see it as a word to shy away from.

“There is some kind of stigma that we’ve all had to live with, and a lot of our experiences are similar as we’ve seen from the posts that have been submitted,” she said.

While Addition Elle eventually offered Levitskey her job back, the university student turned it down.

But the attention did help her connect with the Obesity Network, where she now works part time.

It’s there she said she’s learned a lot of the science and current research about the causes of obesity.

“It’s irresponsible and frankly a little stupid to say there’s only one way that people gain weight and only one way to lose weight,” she said. “As I’ve said before, if losing weight was that easy a lot more people would have done it already.”

More on