Ragen Chastain, Professional Aerobics Instructor?

In a recent rant about Jillian Michaels, Ragen claims she started “teaching aerobics” in the early 90s, when she was between 12 and 16 years old, right before she developed her elite eating disorder. It matches up nicely with her claim that she started participating in “serious” daily cardio and weight training at age 12. At some unknown point between 1990 and when she started blogging in 2002, she claims she became a AFAA-certified aerobics instructor, and that it was “more than a hobby” and she was a professional with numerous clients.

It seems pretty unlikely Ragen was a professional aerobics instructor in high school, or that she had much in the way of spare time to teach anything at all. During all six years of high school, she claims she was simultaneously a volleyball player, lifeguard, all-state multisport varsity athlete, cheerleading captain, professional-level clarinet soloist in the school band, virtuoso on several other instruments, elementary school music teacher, opera singer and musical theatre star who sang all the lead roles, and so on; all of this while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and becoming a National Merit Scholar and her class valedictorian. Of course, she also had time for leisure activities like having a several staff members at her high school fired, and disrupting Sunday school every week until age 16.

We can be fairly certain Ragen wasn’t an aerobics instructor during the period of her elite eating disorder from about 1994-1997, prior to and during her early years of college. She claims throughout this period she lost a grand total of 15 lbs and became a ripped bodybuilder at 135 lbs and 7% body fat, despite eating only 1100 calories and exercising for 8-10 hours every day. That certainly doesn’t match up with a later humblebrag about being the only fat aerobics instructor clients would hire because she was so amazingly good at it like everything else she does.

By 2002 when Ragen started blogging, she was clearly no longer an aerobics instructor, and the AFFA was not mentioned again until 2011, when she wrote about having previously been certified and that she intended to to re-certify. Not long after, she wrote yet another rant about Jillian Michaels and The Biggest Loser and proclaimed she would not re-certify because of their association with the AFAA. Bizarrely, in 2014 she referred to herself as a currently AFAA-certified fitness instructor in her speaking engagement fluff bios on multiple occasions, then abruptly stopped and hasn’t mentioned it again since then.

So when was Ragen a professional AFAA-certified fitness instructor? Was it in the twilight zone of her later college years while she was busy failing at her academics, gaining weight during inpatient VLCD treatment, and being a social justice warrior on the path to becoming the world’s most renowned queer rights activist? The AFAA will not confirm or deny whether an individual is certified without their consent, so anyone can claim to be AFAA-certified; as usual it seems we have to take Ragen’s word on it that at some vague point in her past she was a fitness instructor, and that she is not exaggerating beyond all reason or simply lying as she has on so many occasions.

When it comes down to it, Ragen is yet again bragging about something she supposedly did in high school. Has Ragen done anything of note since she was a teenager other than getting extremely fat? Moreover, has Ragen ever provided even the tiniest shred of evidence she was the world’s most successful high school student?

17 thoughts on “Ragen Chastain, Professional Aerobics Instructor?

  1. First of all, an elite eating disorder? Was she competitive?

    Second, why cant someone’s certification be verified? I can go online and check a doctor, nurse, even a realtor’s license. That’s insane. If someone is claiming to be a professional, or if someone is claiming to be affiliated with my company, that should be able to be verified by all clients.

    • Ragen didn’t have a normal everyday regular person eating disorder where you lose a bunch of weight and become dangerously emaciated, she had an elite eating disorder where she became a ripped goddess instead. Everything Ragen does is elite except for her swimming, biking, running, and all other athletic activities performed in public.

      For the AFFA certification, your guess is as good as ours. We checked the AFFA policy, and they will only confirm if a person is certified with their consent. This means anyone can claim to be AFFA-certified without any fear of being called on it.

      • Here’s your answer: if Ragen had pictures of herself in this state, she would post the crap out of them. She LOOOOOVES posting pictures of herself. So it’s safe to assume the eating disorder claims are BS. Also, I have never heard any other person who suffered from an eating disorder call it “elite”, as though that were a good thing.

      • Just to be clear, Ragen herself doesn’t claim she had an “elite” eating disorder. “Elite” is one of her favourite words after “professional”, and it’s become a common way of snarking on her because it illustrates just how ridiculous some of her claims are. She once wrote she has attained “what is considered to be an elite level of health and fitness”, and also said anyone who finishes a marathon is “in elite company”. Her eating disorder didn’t leave her dangerously emaciated and close to death; instead she magically became a ripped goddess at 135 lbs and 7% body fat and stopped losing weight even though she was only eating 1100 calories and exercising for 8-10 hours every day. The whole thing is so ridiculous it’s impossible to take any part of it seriously.

  2. And she went to a very small Montana school. Oddly, the local newspapers have no mentions of her ( Und her birth name) doing any of these things.

  3. The opera singer thing definitely doesn’t add up. I was classically trained as a singer at that age and may have done a few barouque opera arias but my voice was nowhere near mature enough then to handle grand opera! Most don’t sing opera until 25. It is lieder and art song up until then and even then the more basic stuff really.

  4. That was meant to be baroque. Sorry. I’m a dreadful typist these days. I think Maria Callas could sing grand opera at 14 but she was a child prodigy and in voice that is very rare because it depends on unusual physiology (eg large vocal folds for one`s age) Bryn Terfel is one of the greatest Bass Baritones in the world and he wasn’t allowed by his wise singing teacher to perform opera until his mid 20s.

  5. While I realize this is very old and what not, I just recently stumbled across this blog.

    Given the scholastic achievements she proclaims and the fact that she’s only a year older than myself, I pulled my copies of ‘Who’s Who Among American High School Students’, 92-93, 93-94, and 94-95 (didn’t bother pulling them for 95-96, because she would have graduated (again) by that time). I am fairly familiar with what it takes to get into those books, considering I own them because I happen to be in them. With her stellar achievements, she should be there.

    She’s not there. 😛

  6. So I know this is on a really old post, but I wanted to point out that 7%bf is… Rather below essential body fat for women. EBF for women is usually given as 11-13%.

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