Lululemon Employees Allegedly Body Shamed This Woman Even After She Lost 80 Pounds
She says her experience was humiliating.
Heather Albert spent years of her life struggling with her weight. Having dealt with polycystic ovarian syndrome and then postpartum depression, it was difficult for her to get back into shape.
"Having been an athlete my entire life, it saddened me to think that I wasn't able to do all the things I wanted to do with and for my son and my family," the 35-year-old told PEOPLE.
However, after undergoing a gastric sleeve procedure and finding a passion in yoga, she lost 80 pounds and was thrilled to finally fit into clothes she'd always wanted. "So much has changed since losing weight. I have more self-esteem, more self-confidence, and most importantly, I feel healthier overall," she says.
One of Albert's favorite brands was Lululemon, but she was never able to wear it since it didn't carry her old size, a 22. When she started losing weight, she began buying secondhand Lululemon clothing before she finally felt confident enough to walk into a store. Unfortunately, her experience was everything she'd feared it would be. (Read: After Being Body-Shamed For Wearing Yoga Pants, Mom Learns Lesson in Self-Confidence)
Albert found herself subjected to mockery when she overheard employees whispering about her. Since she was the only customer there, she knew the comments were directed towards her. "Do we even have anything in her size?" they allegedly said while giggling.
"I was humiliated," Albert says. "I have been made fun of my entire life for my weight, so any time comments are made regarding my appearance or weight, I shut down. I felt 'less than,' and felt that I was not welcome in the store. Moreover, I felt that I didn't have the right to be shopping there because I'm close to the upper end of their size ranges." (Read: 10 Badass Women Who Made 2016 Better By Clapping Back at Body-Shaming Haters)
"I was so embarrassed, I just paid for the two items I had in my hand and left the store as quickly as possible. I just wanted to be out of there."
Albert later decided to complain to the company via Facebook-and her post has started to go viral.
She didn't expect her message to gain so much attention, but made it clear to PEOPLE that she will not be making a purchase at Lululemon anytime soon.
"I'd rather my money go to a company that is supportive of people of all sizes," she says, "...such as Athleta, whose quality is on par with Lululemon but they also offer plus sizes so that their clothing is available to women of all shapes and sizes."
Lululemon responded to Albert's message on Facebook, but the company has yet to make any formal statement about her allegations.