In Good Shape? Find Another Gym
4:30 pm, November 30th | by Colette McIntyre
Big girls, don’t cry! Finally somehow has heeded your prayers and created a gym that only accepts overweight members. Oh happy day!
Downsize Fitness, a gym chain with locations in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Dallas, theorizes that overweight individuals avoid the gym due to insecurity/fear of being judged by the guy who “Hoo-ah’s” every time he completes one rep at the bench press. Therefore, it specifically caters to customers who are at least 50 pounds over their goal weight. Some of the amenities include mirror-less walls and frosted windows so that “passers-by cannot see inside.” Once overweight himself, owner Francis Wisniewski admits that his body shame kept him from working out in public. “At the gym, it’s all out there for everyone to see,” he told the Chicago Tribune, “And I know if I’m feeling it, overweight women feel it worse.”
While I appreciate the intention behind creating a safe space for plus-sized gym-goers, I feel like working out in a mirror-less room with tinted windows would be far more embarrassing than just hauling my big booty onto an elliptical machine at Crunch. Frankly, Downsize Fitness sounds like the physical manifestation of all my darkest doubts and body issues; just one glance at the blank wall would affirm that my body is gross and that I shouldn’t want to see it because no one else does. Last time I checked, that kind of thinking wasn’t referred to as “healthy motivation,” it was type of stuff my therapist told me to keep to my Xanga. Why should people with 50 pounds or more of excess weight be sequestered away like the Hunchback of Notre Dame? I should be free to be as sweaty and red-faced as all the other ladies in my Zumba class. The gym is not a theocratic state where the religion is “No fatties” and anyone carrying a few extra pounds must be sequestered — and if one wants to behave as though it is, it’s probably not deserving of my support.