Dr Asher Larmie (they/them) is a Transgender Non Binary GP and fat activist who is campaigning for an end to medical weight stigma. They are the founder of the #noweigh campaign. They have over 20 years of medical experience and have been fat for even longer than that.
As the self-styled Fat Doctor, Asher started a weight loss blog in June 2020. In fact, their first ever post was entitled “weight loss the hard way”! Suffice it to say a lot has changed since then, and after realizing that years of weight stigma, low self esteem and weight cycling had taken a toll on their physical, emotional and mental health, they were determined to find a better way. And so their activism began.
They now host a successful podcast and run a number of training courses as well as monthly webinars for people who are interested in learning about weight inclusivity. They have featured in a number of newspapers and magazines, and have experience speaking both on television and the radio.
In May 2020, Asher turned 40 and weighed themself for the first time in a long time. They were working on the front line of the COVID pandemic at the time, and evidence was emerging that fat doctors were more likely to die of COVID than thin ones.
When they realized that they were 40kg overweight with a BMI of over 40, they decided that it was one too many 40s for their liking. So they did what any sensible person would do in their situation; they went on a diet. They followed the NHS advice at the time and reduced their calorie intake to under 1400kcal. They made sure they were exercising every day and over a relatively short period of time they were able to lose an impressive amount of weight.
But as is the case in up to 95% of people, they weren’t able to sustain their diet for very long and before they knew it their mental health had taken a turn for the worse and they were ready to give up on everything including their blog. It was around this time that a very good friend of theirs suggested opening up to everyone in a post and speaking their truth rather than trying to remain upbeat and positive.
And so they wrote Fatdoctor: Unplugged, and within a few days they were overwhelmed with kindness and support. Thanks to the patience and determination of new online friends, they discovered the body acceptance community and started to learn about Health At Every Size, Fat acceptance and Intuitive Eating.
They met some incredible people who helped them understand how weight stigma and weight based discrimination had shaped their whole life, and before they knew it, they had become an advocate for weight-inclusive medicine and started down a path of fat activism and body liberation. They have never once looked back.
Asher was born Natasha in May 1980 to two immigrant parents living in North London. Their mother was an Asheknazi Jew, a lifelong dieter, and she finally got down to her goal weight in March 2013. She died of pancreatic cancer three months later. Their father is Armenian Cypriot, a successful businessman, and a narcissistic abuser. He is still very much alive but stopped speaking to them many years ago.
Asher has a younger sister who is a singer/songwriter and storyteller and whilst they are very different people, they are also cut from the same cloth. They are very close, no doubt because they are separated from most of their family either through distance or because they were disowned. Asher is fortunate enough to have made a new family over the years, and is a true believer that the family you create is just as good (if not better) than the family you were born into.
Asher is married to an incredible man named Junior. They have been together for over half their lives. They have three children and two dogs. The dogs are named Milo and Mia and can often be heard in the background of Asher’s videos and podcasts.
At the beginning of 2021, Asher began an Intuitive Eating course which changed their life. A year or so later, they founded the #NOWEIGH campaign, and co-founded an organisation called Health Professionals Against Weight Stigma.
Asher first came out as queer in 1994 to a very mixed reaction. They have always been part of the LGBTQ+ community but there were times when they weren’t as open about it as they are now. In November 2021, after a good deal of soul searching and therapy, they came out as a Transgender Non-binary person and changed their name from Natasha to Asher. Their pronouns are they/them. It took 41 years for them to finally admit that they are transgender, even though they have known in some way or another since they were a small child.
Asher has struggled with mental health issues since they were a teenager. Their sister has bipolar and several of their family have been affected by serious mental health conditions. As a result, Asher is passionate about mental health and fascinated by psychology. They have worked in a variety of mental health settings including a psychiatric inpatient facility and a medium security prison.
Asher graduated from Barts and The London Medical School in 2003, but they started their career in the NHS 5 years previously, working as a healthcare assistant in a hospice. Once graduating, they rotated through several hospital posts including General Medicine, General Surgery, OBGyn, Emergency Medicine, Geriatrics and Paediatrics. They started working in General Practice in 2007 and currently work part time at a practice in North Hertfordshire.
In addition to clinical practice, Asher is also a GP appraiser and educatory. More recently they have been a guest lecturer at a university, appeared on This Morning, featured on a number of podcasts including once for CNN, and spoken at a variety of events. They are very active on social media and have their own successful podcast.
A note from Asher
Asher wrote this when they first built their website. They have had to tweak it a little, but the majority of it still rings true…
Here are 10 things you should definitely know about me:
1. I am not a role model. I don’t have all the answers and my life is most certainly not something to aspire to.
2. I am an open book. I have no problem baring my soul by documenting my lifelong battle with body acceptance.
3. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I hope that being an authentic version of myself will inspire others to do the same.
4. I am a fighter. I do not take things lying down. If you’re looking for someone who always tries to be the bigger person, then you’re in the wrong place. I may sometimes be the fattest person in the room, but I’m not always inclined to take the high road.
5. I am a left leaning liberal snowflake and I make no apologies for it.
6. I am often branded a “fat feminist b****”. I take that as a huge compliment.
7. I don’t want to be famous. In fact I can’t imagine anything worse. I have no desire to become an influencer either but if that is what it takes to change the world, then that is what I will do. That being said, I am not able to work for free either. In order to do what I do, I need to find a way to financially support myself. I promise to remain as ethical and responsible as I can about it.
8. I am trying to build a positive online community, which is almost an oxymoron in today’s polarized society. If you don’t already follow my on social media, then come join in the fun.
9. I love to talk and I could talk about weight stigma all day. I am hoping one day someone will want to pay me to do it, but even if they don’t, it’s unlikely I will ever shut up.
10. I am many things. I am transgender. I am proudly queer. I am an ethnic minority. I am private school educated and therefore extremely privileged. I am a doctor. I am a spouse and a parent. And I am fat.