EXACTLY. Do you know how long it took me to put my butt inside a gym?! Listen at this link.
I talk all the time about having enough money to open gyms for all-sizes-and-levels. Regardless of my size, I am still 320 lbs in my head and I am more comfortable surrounded with women of size.
It's one of a number of companies and organizations that are marketing fitness to people who are overweight or obese. It's not a bad business strategy, considering that 69 percent of American adults fit in that category, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Planet Fitness chain touts its "Judgment Free Zones". In Omaha, Neb., Square Onepromises you won't find "size 2's in sports bras sprinting on treadmills." This gym, started by Marty Wolff, who competed on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," says it is for "people of size." And many YMCA facilities feature photos of the faces and bodies of actual members – "real people" – instead of supermodels or body builders.
Schrantz used to be a chronic gym quitter. She'd sign up, go once and never return. The looks she got at other gyms made her uncomfortable.
"My thought on that is why are you looking at me when I got off of the couch, I got off of my bed and I'm actually doing something about it?" Schrantz said, during an interview at the gym. Still, she says, "It's hard."
As she said that, she began to tear up. Other members of the gym came to comfort her. They put their arms around her while she cried.
Here, members sweat together – and shed tears together.
Kishan Shah is the CEO of Downsize, which has hundreds of members across the U.S. They weigh anywhere from 200 to 700 pounds. Shah used to weigh 400 pounds and have a 62-inch waist. Today, he's half that weight and always finds time for a yoga or cardio class in between business meetings.
Fitness is about a lot more than just looks, Shah says.