No mirrors? No problem! How this White Center gym is changing the fitness game

No Judgment Fitness is a body-positive gym that welcomes everyone – especially if you love donuts. # k5evening

WHITE CENTER, Wash – It’s rare to see a gym with a donut logo, but No Judgment Fitness at White Center is no ordinary gym.

“Basically, if you walk into a traditional gym and feel uncomfortable, you’ll probably fit in here,” says owner Sophia Walker.

Walker has lived many lives. She attended law school, was a D1 soccer player, and later became a certified personal trainer. From there, she moved to White Center, where she opened No Judgment Fitness in the detached garage behind her home. The gym hosts weight training classes throughout the week, but there’s so much more to it.

As an eccentric woman, Walker not only wanted to create a unique gym that would provide a sense of friendliness and safety to the weirdos, but also a place where people of all body types, ability and background can come together.

“I didn’t know it would be as necessary as when I opened it,” Walker said.

For many people – women, gays, fat people, people of color – hitting the gym can feel intimidating and even harmful. And for people with eating disorders, they can be a minefield.

“I’ve never seen a straight guy walk up to another straight guy and say, ‘Let me tell you how to do it. “It happened to me five times.”

Of course, straight men are welcome at No Judgment Fitness – but Walker says everyone in attendance needs to understand that it’s a unique space.

“My favorite thing about this space is how Sophia has created a space of body positivity, even body positivity,” said Haley, a regular attendee. “Meaning, you won’t find any sign that a lot of exercisers are engaging in a really harmful diet culture – assuming everyone wants to lose weight, or losing weight will healthy for everyone.”

Some eating disorder clinics refer their patients to No Judgment Fitness.

“There was one person I knew who took a lot of courage to walk in,” Walker said. “And at the end of class, they cried. But so happy. And so relieved. And it’s probably going to be one of the most meaningful days of my life.”

Another sign? No mirror. Walker says mirrors are both distracting and bad for your body when lifting weights.

“In my experience, I find that people appear in the mirror more often, because when you’re lifting weights, most of the time one of the pieces of advice is to pull your chin in, which will make you two chin,” said Walker.

No Judgment Fitness offers 45-minute strength training classes as well as individual training sessions. And if you’re looking to focus on weapons, there’s a class for you – Lesbian Bracelets. The name speaks for itself.

“If you want to come, you’ll fit in. As long as you’re cool with gay people,” Walker said. “We’re very, very, very gay.”

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