Dallas gym caters only to the obese

    12:06 PM, Nov 28, 2012   |    comments
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    DALLAS, TX (CNN/WFAA) -- It's that time of year to start decking the halls, and think about how you're going to hit the gym after everything is said and done and eaten over the holidays. Gym memberships usually soar in January, after waistlines expand during the holidays. But one new gym is particularly exclusive. It only lets in people who really need to work-out.

    This Dallas gym doesn't cater to the fit, but proudly to the fat. Before anyone steps inside "Downsize Fitness," they must step on the scale.

    This gym is only for the obese, those who need to drop at least 50 pounds. Gym manager Michael Stout says, "Yes, we really are strict on that."

    The owners realized fitness clubs often scare away the people who need the most help. Gym member Latrice Irwin says, "I've looked at a gym before, but never actually joined, never felt comfortable working out with skinny people."

    But here, the mother of two felt comfortable. The equipment is designed for the big and the mirrors and frosted windows are all for privacy. Irwin says, "When you're on my side of the scale, it's not inspirational to look at other people in half-uniforms, showing off their bodies, showing off their abs. And I'm sure you don't want to see me in a half uniform. Showing off what abs you can find."

    Even the trainers are relatable. Krisanne Hale has practiced what she now preaches. She says, "I lost 115 pounds in about a year and I just know how it feels, I know how your joints feel."

    This gym is one of only three across the country. The owners figured Texas was a ripe market. Stout says, "Dallas is one of the cities that has the largest population of obese people and with that there's a lot of health risks that come with it."

    Irwin has already lost ten pounds and is now working out consistently for the first time in her life. Feeling at ease among those whose heaviest weight is in the mind.

    The company opened its first locations in Las Vegas and Chicago last year. The Dallas location opened in September.

    And in case you're wondering, members who do lose weight are welcome to stay, to inspire new recruits.

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