Obesity is a frightening and dangerous — even deadly trend that has only gotten worse in the last thirty years. Yet far too often people who are obese go to seek help and are brushed off by being told that all they need to do is go to the gym and eat less.
If I have learned anything from years of interacting with people in online fitness communities it is that there is a rather cruel tendency of many people, when they see heavier set people in gyms, to make fun of them and in fact intimidate them to the point that they no longer even want to return to the gym — which just makes it that much more difficult for them to lose the stubborn weight.
One gym in Dallas seeks to make this a thing of the past and not only caters to people who need to lose weight but won’t accept members unless they need to lose at least fifty pounds. For most people that is some level of obesity, and you can imagine the ramifications of such a gym.
A person steps into a typical gym and they see people who have already passed milestone after milestone and are composed of mostly rippling muscle, staring back at them as if they have clearly come to the wrong place. They immediately are apprehensive about even attempting to climb the mountain of fitness.
When a person comes to a gym like this one in Dallas, on the other hand, they see plenty of people that are just like them — that need to lose weight. As one person moves from one set of exercises to another, he or she can make friends and start to encourage one another. “You really hit those dumbbells hard there, Tony!” one might say. “Let’s see if you can kick it up a notch in the Plyo class!”
This is exactly the kind of thing that I want to see in other gyms. Even if a gym does not have exclusivity to clientele that needs to lose a larger amount of weight, they could perhaps open a wing that does that, or to have certain designated hours that would encourage people to come to them to help them work off the weight.
It is smart business to cater to people who need your help the most and to then make them feel as comfortable as possible while in your establishment.
Quite right! I think more gyms should step up to this challenge!
Perhaps restaurants, too? Healthy eating places where you don’t feel like you stick out…
That seems like it would be harder to facilitate. How do you tell people that they’re too thin to eat in your restaurant?
I love this idea. Every gym could do it too…special hours for those who want to lose lots of weight. For some of my friends in our small community nothing is worse than going into my local gym and it being full of 20-something hockey players. It’s like they live there. A bit intimidating.
It would be one thing if everyone would be encouraging but as it is you never know what you’re going to get when you step into a standard gym and you have a lot of weight to lose.