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?