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Too Big to Lose Weight?!

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Imagine joining a gym, only to be told that you are too fat to use the equipment! Well, that's what happened to anOklahoma City mom-- in front of large crowd of (albeit thinner) gym-goers. We can't imagine anything more humiliating!

sandra ruiz

"The lady said I couldn't get on the machines because [I am] overweight," Sandra Ruiz told reporters from her local news affiliate. "Everybody was watching, seeing what was going on, and I got very sad because I'm so emotional about my weight right now."

Sandra admitted that she weighs about 385 pounds, and that she joined the gym to lose the weight she gained while pregnant with her now-5-month-old son. The gym, Mademoiselle Fitness Center, claims that before Sandra signed her contract, they warned her that she would not be able to use certain equipment due to her size and the weight limitations of the machines.

Citing Sandra's safety as the main concern, the gym offered up their aerobics room for a regime of walking instead. As Sandra stated, if she wanted to walk, she could do that outside -- for free.

The manager is allowing Sandra to break her contract and will waive the cancellation fee.

Moms, what do you think? Does the gym owe her an apology and a better action plan for losing weight?

next: Baby Gaga 'Telephone' Video Sufficiently Bizarre
31 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kerri June 9, 2010, 12:01 PM

The woman has absolutely no case. We are living in an age where everyone gets a trophy, teachers (like me) can’t grade with red pen, and the mailman is now a “mailperson.” We’ve become so wrapped up in making sure nobody is offended that we’ve lost sight of logic.

Boo-hoo; her feelings got hurt. She should have read her contract.

Most doctors will tell obese patients what they should and shouldn’t do - for example, running is dangerous for some overweight people because their joints can’t handle the stress. The gym was just trying to keep her safe and make sure their equipment didn’t break.

Mike June 9, 2010, 12:12 PM

Why is she using equipment anyway? She SHOULD be walking, or maybe taking a low-impact aerobics class in the aerobics room (as suggested)! Maybe even some food intake modifications… don’t dare say diet… her feelings might get hurt. I’m just thinking out loud. Seriously, the gym is “damed if they do, damned if they don’t”. If they denied her a membership, she sues for discrimination because she’s… I won’t say the f word… her feelings might get hurt. The gym could have said nothing, then she gets hurt on the equipment. She sues the gym for her getting hurt. The last being what we have here. Seems like maybe she’s just looking for some money? Get a grip people! Darn it!, I just finished writing this and her 15 minutes is already over.

Ryan N - Analytical Chemist June 9, 2010, 12:17 PM

As Anon put above, this is totally fair. First, A gym is not for morbidly obese to lose weight. My brother is a personal trainer by profession and works at multiple gyms. I am a aspiring Chemical Engineer and 8 years of Analytical Chemistry/Chemical Sythesis.
I have also assembled my share of exercise equipment and read the manuals.

ALL exercise equipment has weight restrictions, and usually they are 180-250lb, I have seen up to 300. This lady weighed 380lbs, well over the limits. Also as aformentioned, gyms are not for morbidly-fat people to lose weight. They are for semi-healthy to healthy individuals that want to set up a regimen to improve their strength, endurance, cardiovascular strength, flexability agility etc.

This lady is so fat all she needs to do is walk! If she walked regularly, and watched her diet, she would lose weight steadily and healthily. She should also have seen a Dr and gotten a full physical end EKG. I wouldn’t want someone ‘expiring’ on my exercise machine due to poor physical condition - the gym already has a lawsuit! Also, they gave her a full refund even after allowing her to use the space and aerobic equipment/ mats, walking/running circuit etc. True, they could have been nicer, but another frivolous lawsuit by moral people like John Edwards is not going to do anybody any good.

Honestly, this lady should have seen a dr, gotten a physical and started walking her neighborhood. My mom walks, my grandma walks, I run/jog. Even treadmills at home are cheap, but she is well past the weight tolerance.

Insensitive, yes. Illegal or lawsuit worthy. Heck No! This lady handled herself as badly as the gym did, and now a million dollars that she doesnt deserve will probably keep her fat and happy.

But this lawsuit is stupid, wrong and has no grounds considering the full refund and alternate offers given by the gym. Last I checked its not illegal or lawsuit worthy to call someone fat who CLEARLY is. I’d be surprised if this woman ever changed her diet and exercise habits.

Bad call Megyn, I love ya and your show but you got this one wrong. This isnt defamation of character, this is a minorly insulted lady who now thinks she can and should get a ton of unearned money for doing nothing but getting insulted. Thats reality. I have had more ‘possible lawsuits’ than most have in their life but I am better than that. I dont sue, and make everyone elses life worse and more expensive to make mine better. Thats Greed. Now this lady has committed two great sins, Greed and Gluttony.

PLEASE NO FRIVOLIOUS LAWSUITS. John Edwards has enough money and lacks enough morals.

adamsrib June 9, 2010, 12:18 PM

As usual, another ‘gallery gym’ shows it’s true colors! They only want a fit clientele! If this young woman would break the equipment because of her weight, just where did the gym buy their fragile equipment? If she was told by her doctor to join a gym would it change Mademoiselle’s response? If she was sent to PT, they would shadow her with a physical therapist, as the gym should have assigned her to a personal trainer who would set up a regimen to achieve goals! I don’t think this gym is a valid fitness center.

Ryan N - Analytical Chemist June 9, 2010, 12:22 PM

Seriously adamsrib, have you ever built an exercise machine? Ever shopped for exercise equipment? Ever work for a gym? Well I have done all 3 and Ill tell you that a 1.25 CHP Treadmill will not support that weight. Walking is all she should be doing. swimming if she can - good way to burn calories and safer for her joints.

But seriously, fragile equipment? The equipment isnt fragile, its meant to be used by those WHO FIT ON IT! A gym is not for the morbidly obese! its for those who are healthy to have access to better equipment and fitness advice by quilified trainers. You need to check the weight limits on all machines. bad comment adamsrib.

adamsrib June 9, 2010, 12:55 PM

Ryan ,N (I doubt ‘Analytical Chemist’), I have worked out in a gym and in PT rooms… your opinion aside, machines are just that, machines! I have seen flimsy equipment that I wouldn’t try out because of it’s appearance. I have talked with physical therapists, and there are very few ‘machines’ that can not handle the weight of even the morbidly obese! As for building exercise machines… I suppose YOU HAVE! ‘ANALytical Chemist’… to post your supposed profession on this thread implies a ‘sweaty thumbs’ attitude super-imposed on an inferiority complex, or a cheap attempt at sending a resume… pitiful.

Jk June 9, 2010, 1:05 PM

Pro gym equipment is usually rated over 300 lbs - or hmmm - how would all those big athletes work out - in fact most are rated 350-400 lbs - it’s home gym equipment that is usually rated between 200-250 lbs - sometimes less - How they treated her is wrong

Heather June 9, 2010, 4:44 PM

I am a similar weight as the woman in the story (due to an endocrine disorder for which I recently had brain surgery) and wouldn’t dream of trying to use most of the equipment in a gym! I signed up at a local gym because they had an indoor pool. That was the only thing I planned to use. I knew the equipment had weight limits.

I looked at the website for this gym and it should be noted that this is a women only gym. That might make a difference in the equipment they buy because they don’t have the male body builder types in there.

Also- I am suspicious of someone who weights 385lbs and claims that she gained it during pregnancy. That just doesn’t ring true. I think she’s just trying to make a quick buck off this.

chase online banking October 18, 2010, 10:28 AM

Just blowing some time on Digg and I found your post . Not typically what I prefer to read about, but it was certainly worth my time. Thanks.

Nona June 7, 2011, 5:52 PM

If she was too big for the equipment, they should have never taken her money in the first place, and maybe recommended to her a gym for larger people.

Then again, watching the tv series HEAVY I saw 300+ pound people working out at neighborhood gyms, so it sounds like a crock to me.

Grace June 7, 2011, 6:50 PM

Wow I am disgusted by many of the commenters on here. Just blatant discrimination towards over weight individuals. Did you know that 64.1% of the pop. is considered OBESE. Maybe even you? Did you know that 41% of children today are considered overweight? Maybe a child you even know? Or that 9 million individuals in the US alone are considered morbidly obese? This is epidemic that can’t be ignored or scoffed at! There is more components to weight gain then “life choice”. Genetics, Emotional aspects. When a person get’s to certain weight mobility it is more difficult. Why in the heck did this club let her join with all the limitations they had towards her in using the equipment? Because of monetary gain and not wanting to openly discriminate. I thought a health club was about health including losing weight. Disgusting!!!!!

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