One gym in Vancouver, Body Exchange, actually screens potential clients over the phone and bans non-plus-size women from joining. (Men aren't allowed, either.) The goal is for the space to be a "save haven" for heavier clients, founder and CEO Louise Green told The Province. "Many of our clients have not had successful fitness pasts so I can see the anxiety before we get started and I can see the relief and happiness after we finish," she said. "People are often too fearful to become active. There wasn't a model that offered camaraderie. I used to walk into fitness classes where nobody would even say ‘Hi.' This has got to be fun or it's not going to work."Jezebel, The Province
Green said three types of people join her gym: women who are "idle," women who used to work out but have put on weight in recent years, and the "do or dies" who need to get fit for medical reasons. But all have one thing in common: they don't want to get patronizing side-eye glances when they're on the treadmill. "It's intimidating going into a gym setting," one satisfied customer said. "I honestly think some people in a gym setting are judgmental to people who are overweight or have a different body type."
Can you imagine the outrage if a gym tried to exclude "plus-sized" members? This sort of thing only fuels size discrimination. (Obviously, there'd be little money in that).