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At Chicago Gym, Only Overweight Members Need Apply

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A new business in town has an interesting rule: No skinny people are allowed.

A gym, right here in Chicago, was created for people who have a lot of weight to lose.

And, if getting started is the hardest step, then Downsize Fitness made it easier, CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports.

At 24 and almost 300 pounds, Chelsea Roy decided to take control and lose weight.

However, she was intimidated by gyms that catered to thin, fit and muscular clients.

“Even if someone isn’t looking at you, you feel like they’re looking at you,” Roy said. “Especially in gym clothes when you’re jumping and you’re moving. Your body isn’t where you want it to be.

That is why she picked Downsize Fitness to start her weight loss journey.

The gym caters to privacy, with frosted windows to keep it all inside.

The staff there is all about acceptance, and there are no “skinny minis” allowed.

“It’s nice to be able to push as hard as I can and maybe not look pretty doing it,” said member Fresh Roberson.

The clientele is here to work with people who have similar goals in a comfortable setting.

Members range in size, age and background.

However, they all have one thing in common.

They all made what just might be the most difficult choice of their lives. In doing so, they found a support system unlike any other.

“I can walk out of here and I can feel strong and like I amaze myself sometimes,” said Roy.

Downsize Fitness is a bit more expensive than other gyms but the members say it’s well worth the money.

Managers say they have gotten requests to open locations from cities all over the country — and even overseas.

They have 100 members right now.