July 6, 2012

A Gym Where the Skinny Can't Go

Isn't this just reverse discrimination? If we want to
change things, shouldn't we be the change we
wish to see in others?
That's right! Someone finally did it. They opened a gym in Canada that turns away the skinny "Lululemon people" and welcomes the overweight and obese.  At first glance, this may be just what is needed to provide larger people with a safe and comfortable facility free of the half naked fitness people (I get that...and so did my graduate research). It is a fact, that some of the major barriers to exercising in a public space (i.e. the gym) are caused by those that operate and frequent the gym. From the workout gear to the language of fitness, it is enough to scare off most novice exercisers.

So having a gym that caters only to "people of size" is a great idea! Or is it? Isn't this reverse discrimination? Just like those gyms that are for women only...it discriminates against men; so does a gym that welcomes the fat and rejects the thin. Is it changing a culture or just ignoring it? Wouldn't it be better to offer a gym that caters to all but offers a dress code and/or code of conduct? I worked at the university gym and our dress code strictly prohibited tanks tops and bra tops to enhance the feeling of inclusiveness and offer a welcoming environment. It worked! It was brilliant! If I owned a gym, I would be doing the same thing.

I would also include equipment for all body types (not just suited for the skinny bum) and never allow pictures of "fit" and "beautiful" bodies on the walls. The YM-YWCAs have some amazing wall art that reminds the clientele of its' mission and philosophy...no matter body type, financial or social status. Again, brilliant and very inclusive.

There are so many steps one can take to create inclusive fitness environments, it isn't necessary to ban someone because of their body type. I believe doing this makes you no better than people who negatively judge those people who are overweight and obese. True, we need to take a stand again the fitness industry's definition of fit and beautiful, but is this the right way to go?

I think, if we want to change, we need to change the minds of those that continue to hold on to that archaic definition of "health"....but I guess it is easier to open up a gym and ban them instead.

K

6 comments:

  1. I guess I would have to ask "determine skinny"? And, I am with you on the ISC shirt rule :)

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  2. Hey Anon;

    That shirt rule really did make a big diff eh? I think "skinny" is different for everyone. I'm pretty sure this club would have to use a measure such as the BMI or something like that...should be interesting to watch.

    Thanks for the comment...love hearing from you.

    K

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  3. I really enjoy reading your posts; I find them thought provoking and honest. Thank you!

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  4. Wow! Thanks you for that comment, Tucker. It makes me very happy to know that you enjoy them. I enjoy hearing from you!

    Hope things are going well for you and you enjoy a healthy and restful weekend (sun included).
    K

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  5. I believe doing this makes you no better than individuals who adversely assess those individuals who are obese and obese. Real, we need to take a take a position again the health and fitness and health sector's description of fit and wonderful, but is this the right way to go?

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  6. Hi "Here"

    Thanks for your comment! I couldn't agree more. I guess we all have to figure out what that looks like for each. Taking a position against what health and fitness defines as beauty, health, and fitness (for me) is this blog, speaking any chance I get, and writing in those magazines who will have me. I have to say...going against the grain of what our society celebrates and believes what fitness and health is doesn't make you popular in many organizations (for some strange reason).

    Thanks for visiting my blog, "Here". I hope to hear from you again!
    K

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