Weight Capacity

I tend to notice weight capacities. I lived for so many years with a body that exceeded a lot of them, and even though I’m 163 pounds lighter, I still pay attention. When I was on the cruise with my aunt, uncle, and cousins, and the idea of going horseback riding arose, my first question was whether or not there was a weight capacity (for the record, there was a 250 pound capacity, so I was about 15 pounds in the clear, and I ended up having an amazing timesee pictures here). I’d really like to go skydiving at some point in my life, but that has a weight capacity too. Right now, I’m close – some companies will allow me to skydive, but with an added weight surcharge – but I’d rather hold off until I’ve lost more pounds and can go at the same rate as my friends. I often look at posted elevator weight capacities, out of curiosity, and note what percentage of that capacity I take up now, versus what I would have taken up two years ago – and on smaller elevators, it’s a notable difference!

Weight capacities can be cruel things. Ultimately they’re there for a good reason – safety first! – but I sure did feel terrible when I would learn that activities I wanted to participate in were completely and undeniably off-limits to me. My self esteem was already low, but when I had to back out of a group outing because of my weight, it felt like dozens of flashing neon arrows where pointing at me and a carnival barker was gathering crowds to laugh at me.

The most recent time I saw a weight capacity sign was the other day, in my own building. Downstairs, next to the lobby, there’s a little gym. I’ve written about it before (most recently here) – it’s not much, but it’ll do the trick when I can’t make it to the real gym. There’s been a few times in the past when the equipment has broken, requiring servicemen to come out and fix them. After the most recent repair (of the elliptical machine), a new sign got posted:

The 275-pound weight capacity is not an issue for me, and I absolutely love it! It was in 2009, when I first moved into my building and weighed 400 pounds (and it really irked me, because my dues were paying for the maintenance of gym equipment that I wasn’t allowed to use), but not anymore! No longer am I excluded because of my weight.

Keep it up, David!

PS. In case anyone’s counting, this is my 501st post. Did you read my 500th?

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4 Responses to Weight Capacity

  1. Vera says:

    I’m within most weight limits but I still need to lose a lot of weight – a hundred pounds! You are an inspiration :)

  2. Nathan says:

    While I rejoice when I see signs like that as well, that’s still frustrating to me. If it wasn’t for the awesomeness known as the elliptical, who knows how much I would weigh still? That would have been really discouraging. Like you said, if you are paying for it, then why can’t you use it and break it? :). Awesome post. Still my hero.

  3. melissa bielman says:

    This post hits so near to my heart. I too started out high – 421 pounds – and even though I’m about a pound from 300 now, I’m still over most weight limits. I pay attention to them all. I found it super ironic that the treadmills at the gym at my law school had a 200 lb weight limit. Only one that could hold me was usually occupied by some tiny chick walking and watching a soap opera. I always look at the weight limits on elevators; my friends and fiancee all went ziplining recently and I was too heavy to go; and even worse, being that heavy meant most scales couldn’t even measure my weight (I hated going to the doctor and telling them they couldn’t weigh me because their scale didn’t go high enough). While it is sad to be in such a state, I feel such a relief to know that I’m not the only one who worried and obsessed about those things.

    • David says:

      I completely forgot about scales, Melissa – and that would have been a great example for the post! I was also too large for scales and went years without knowing my actual weight. Nothing more depressing that seeing a scale in a doctor’s office that only went up to 350 pounds. And CONGRATS on the 120-pound loss – INCREDIBLE! Thanks for the comment, and KEEP IT UP!

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