Thursday, 27 December 2012

Fat Woman and the real surprise

Today Fat Woman looked in a mirror and could, just for a moment,see what her body might be like if she wasn't so fat.

This is a revelation for Fat Woman who has never seen any possibility that she has a "normal" body shape underneath her fat. Fat Woman assumed that if she lost all her fat she would be solid, like a piece of furniture. When  Fat Woman  had all  her fat it was impossible to imagine herself being anything other than what she was. Yet now Fat Woman has lost more weight the fat she has remaining seems somehow less permanent, less part of her. Fat Woman can glimpse what her body would be like without the weight she has always had.

Fat Woman is treasuring the moment where something became a possibility for her.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Fat Woman and the bazoomas

Fat Woman was minding her own business on the rowing machine and had just knocked two whole seconds off her interval time. Fat Woman has been rowing 250m intervals throughout 2012. Back in April Fat Woman was struggling to get below 1 minute 10 seconds. Now Fat Woman has recorded a time of 1 minute 1.08 seconds. Fat Woman is determined to get below a minute in 2013.

Fat Woman was playing with arm position. Fat Woman knows that she is meant to be pulling the bar into her abs, but there is a lot of stomach in the way. This drastically shortens her pull. When Fat Woman pulls the bar higher there is more pull, but the tension is wrong. Fat Woman was also trying to change the pressure on her hands as she is fed up of getting blisters and callouses. Fat Woman doesn't mind looking like she has been working in the fields when she has been working in the fields, but would prefer to come out of the gym looking better for it.

Sparky paused briefly on his way past to say: "Pull into your abs, not up to your bazoomas."  Fat Woman has said many times before that she is grateful for any help even if it is delivered in a patronizing fashion. However, although Fat Woman was taken aback at the idea that someone would use a slang word for breasts in a professional setting, it was the choice of a word meaning "extremely large breasts" that really made her jaw drop. On to her extremely large breasts.

Fat Woman guesses she should be grateful that Sparky didn't say "nunga-nungas" or "tatty bojangles."

Fat Woman and the Christmas card

Personal Trainer informed Fat Woman that he didn't send Christmas cards because they were too expensive.  Fat Woman appreciates the difficulties of being young and self employed so did nothing but raise her eyebrows. Posting Christmas cards is expensive, but Fat Woman didn't expect Personal Trainer to be doing much snail mail correspondence.

After training Fat Woman went to the supermarket where for once she utilised the picture messaging facility on her phone to send this picture to Personal Trainer:

Fat Woman made use of the multimedia elements of the message by adding the phrase "Rubbish excuse!" to the picture. Personal Trainer replied admitting he had been caught out.

Fat Woman cannot describe her joy and delight when Personal Trainer presented her with a little square envelope containing a Christmas card addressed to herself and Thin Husband. Fat Woman was nearly overwhelmed with the thought and effort that Personal Trainer had put in to overcoming his fixed ideas and making a special trip to the shops where he spent time in choosing a suitable card for her.

A 0.9p Tesco Value Christmas card.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Fat Woman and the big heavy reps

Fat Woman was being made to lift very heavy weights by Personal Trainer. Having increased Fat Woman's dumbbells from 6kg to 8kg to 10kg Personal Trainer said that he wanted 12 good reps.

Fat Woman said that she wanted a pony.

Personal Trainer got 12 good reps.

Fat Woman didn't get a pony.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Fat Woman and the year end

On 11th December 2012 Fat Woman reached the end of her first year of personal training. Fat Woman can celebrate the following:

Fat Woman's weight went from 333lb to 281lb - a nice solid average of 1lb per week. Fat Woman thinks this is pretty damn good when she had at least three months struggling with her thyroxine dose.

Fat Woman's body fat percentage went from 55.5% to 46.5%. According to Fat Woman's calculations she has gained 2kg of lean muscle over the year. According to the October to November comparison, 3lb of that lean gain was in that month. Fat Woman is not worrying to much about this right now.

Fat Woman's dress size went from a UK 32/24 to a UK 20/22. Fat Woman is now slimmer than when she was 18. This is odd because at 18 years old Fat Woman was 18 stone. Fat Woman would have expected this if there was a big lean muscle gain.

Fat Woman has learned to enjoy boxing, weight lifting, netball, tennis, shooting, archery, swimming and working out in the gym. Fat Woman has learned to do some of these things reasonably well and plans to get better at a lot of them.

Fat Woman has met lots of new people and made new friends. Personal Trainer, Shooting Coaches, the netball team, the boxing class, the gym staff and many more.

Fat Woman now gets to work out with her girlfriends AND not be the most useless all the time.

Fat Woman's RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) seems to be held at bay.

Fat Woman can walk into an ordinary shop and buy clothes.

Fat Woman isn't worried about her energy spend all the time. This means Fat Woman can try new things more easily.

Fat Woman's appetite hormones are completely different. Fat Woman is convinced she overcame leptin resistance.

Fat Woman shudders to think of the money she has spent on getting fit. Weight loss surgery would have been cheaper. However, Fat Woman is very, very glad that she was able to turn back from the point she felt weight loss surgery was her only option. Fat Woman loves food and is grateful that any restriction on her diet is by choice.

There are lots of positives for Fat Woman to look at. This is good, because now Fat Woman needs to do the same again.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Fat Woman and the giant bungee rope

Fat Woman's trip to the gym was full of surprises. First, Personal Trainer was waiting for her, a full seven minutes early. Fat Woman wonders if their last conversation on the topic of timeliness had some impact. Personal Trainer had been a full fourteen minutes late due to traffic and bad planning but hadn't been able to reach Fat Woman on her mobile phone to let her know. When Personal Trainer did arrive Fat Woman told him that she waits until he is 15 minutes late before she goes for her phone now. Personal Trainer seemed a little abashed (as Fat Woman thinks he should be!) but recovered a millisecond later. Personal Trainer made a flip remark about how he may sometimes be late but he gets punished for it. Fat Woman gravely informed Personal Trainer that when he is late, she is the one who gets punished.

Fat Woman doesn't indulge in guilt-tripping very often, but that one produced a satisfactory awkward silence. Fat Woman is sure that the very, very heavy weights she was pulling a minute later were a complete coincidence.

Personal Trainer pointed out to Fat Woman that Sparky had a new toy. Sparky has all the best toys in the gym and Personal Trainer gets to borrow them.

Sparky's latest purchase was a bright blue bungee rope with harness. Personal Trainer told Fat Woman that Sparky had suggested that Personal Trainer should make Fat Woman use it as part of their session. Fat Woman instantly suspected comedy seeking. Personal Trainer swore not, but Fat Woman has a very well honed radar for mocking.

The subject was raised again when Fat Woman was struggled to do ball-supported reverse lunges. Fat Woman's left knee is simply unable to support all her weight. This has become a bugbear of Personal Trainer's who keeps on pushing Fat Woman to do more with it. Fat Woman wishes he would lay off, at least until she's lost another 30lb, because she keeps having to go back to the osteopath. The lunges were not going well and Fat Woman actually took Personal Trainer's proffered hands for support. Fat Woman hates using another person for support. Reverse lunges, even ball-supported ones, made bungee running seem slightly more attractive.

Desperate for some distraction (or perhaps that was simply Fat Woman projecting) Personal Trainer asked Sparky to give Fat Woman a good reason why she should allow them to harness her to a giant elastic band. Sparky wasn't coming up with anything compelling at first, with the usual "it's good cardio" at the top of the list. Fat Woman hears that sex is great cardio but that's not a good reason to do it in the middle of the gym.

Sparky said Fat Woman should do it for "the banter" AKA comedy value. This plus Personal Trainer's groan  of despair confirmed Fat Woman's theory of comedy seeking.

Fat Woman really, really didn't want to do any more lunges.

Personal Trainer said he could stand at the end of the bungee rope with the boxing pads so Fat Woman could do interval boxing.

Fat Woman spied a way out of lunges.

Fat Woman said she'd let the boys tie her to a giant bungee rope if Personal Trainer put on the belt and let her punch him rather than the pads. Fat Woman hasn't seen Personal Trainer that happy since she last brought him cake.

Lunges were abandoned. Personal Trainer wore the boxing belt and Fat Woman wore the harness attached to the bungee rope. Fat Woman got very out of breath and actually enjoyed herself, even though she doesn't really like punching Personal Trainer.

Fat Woman was very sad to hear that the bungee rope didn't last more than another week.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Fat Woman and the narrow escape

Fat Woman and Personal Trainer were in the car park, swapping goodies. This kind of thing happens at least once a month, usually after a training session and nearly always involving some kind of food. On this particular occasion Personal Trainer was getting cashew nut flapjacks because Fat Woman had gone down another jeans size and that is what happens when Fat Woman buys new jeans. Fat Woman was getting her kitchen knives returned to her. Personal Trainer had sharpened the knives for Fat Woman as her Christmas present. Fat Woman likes gifts, but she appreciates a decently sharp kitchen knife even  more. Personal Trainer was also receiving the electric blue shoelaces that he had been waiting for since September. Fat Woman has yet to see Personal Trainer wearing the glow-in-the-dark shoelaces she bought him the previous week, but the gym tends to be well-lit so that is not surprising.

Fat Woman was standing at the boot of her car admiring the beautiful finish Personal Trainer had put on the edge of her carving knife, not to mention the skilful way he had honed the edge of her sabatier chef's knife, when a movement caught her eye. Turning, Fat Woman found a white sedan, without driver, heading towards her and gathering speed, whilst some numpty (the driver) faffed around with his mobile phone. Fat Woman found herself frozen, watching in slow motion as the driver suddenly realised his car was moving without him and dived inefficiently for the hand brake.

Before Fat Woman could move or speak Personal Trainer darted in front of her and stopped the rolling vehicle. It was like watching Superman stop the train, only with bigger muscles. Personal Trainer braced himself and pushed back and eventually the car stopped moving. Fat Woman went hot and cold because if she had been on her own, if she hadn't turned around the car would have gathered momentum and slammed into her, pinning her between the white sedan and the boot of her own car. Fat Woman isn't usually a drama queen, but she is fairly sure that the rate of acceleration of the sedan would have been enough to crush her legs.

Fat Woman considers Personal Trainer to have saved her from a horribly, grisly injury. Personal Trainer shrugged it off as unimportant. Fat Woman thinks it would be more important to Personal Trainer if it had been (1) his car and (2) his legs.

Fat Woman cannot think of a suitable way to express her gratitude for Personal Trainer's speed, strength and action, but thinks cake will probably do in the short term.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Fat Woman and the hamstring curls

Fat Woman asked Personal Trainer if they could work very hard for the next three weeks until the end of their first year together. Fat Woman mentions this so that Personal Trainer knows that they have a landmark coming up. Fat Woman doesn't expect Personal Trainer to mark the occasion in any way - after all, she is only one of his many clients - but it is a huge deal for Fat Woman. Fat Woman never expected to train this long or this much or to achieve what she has achieved. A year later and Fat Woman feels so different physically that sometimes she finds it hard to remember how tiring everything was, and how much worry and planning she had to do all the time.

Fat Woman would make a cake to celebrate, but then someone would have to eat it.

Fat Woman also thought about telling Personal Trainer how grateful she is, how much it all means to her, how much his support and friendship mean to her etc etc but decided it would just embarrass both of them. Instead Fat Woman will buy Personal Trainer a mug with "Best Personal Trainer In The World" on it. Or possibly a water bottle.

Personal Trainer might not be intending to buy Fat Woman flowers for their anniversary but he is invested in her end-of-year results. Last session Fat Woman worked so hard that she was super hungry all evening and ate an extra 500 calories. This session Personal Trainer introduced Fat Woman to the weighted hamstring curl but only asking permission to make Fat Woman "hurt tomorrow." Fat Woman thinks that hurt tomorrow is like jam tomorrow, it might arrive but it might not so of course she agreed to hamstring curls. Frankly, Fat Woman's hamstrings need to be taught a lesson because they require horrendous amounts of stretching to the point that Fat Woman would take assisted stretching at the end of a workout over a voucher for a massage any day. Fat Woman likes that she is actually quite flexible (thanks to Tai Chi) and makes Personal Trainer work hard during stretching.

Fat Woman found herself lying face down on a gym bench gripping a dumbell between her feet and doing hamstring curls. The dumbell was 10kg. Lifting the weight was hard for Fat Woman but staying on the narrow little bench was even harder. Fat Woman was face down, balanced on something narrower than her ironing board trying not to draw a mental comparison between her undignified position and beached whales when she realised that to do the exercise her knees needed to be firmly on the bench, and that this was not where they naturally fell. Fat Woman managed to get through three sets of hamstring curls by clamping her knees together in a way that would make a nun proud.

After the three sets Fat Woman told Personal Trainer that it would be easier if she was doing it on a wider bench. All Personal Trainer had to say was: "Request denied." Fat Woman thought this was a strange thing to say, but then asked if perhaps he was saying that because he didn't have a wider bench. Personal Trainer admitted this was the case.

Fat Woman is going to make sure she never gets sent to prison and therefore never has to sleep in a terribly narrow bed.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Fat Woman and the hot pants

Fat Woman doesn't actually have any hot pants. What Fat Woman does have is a pair of hip-to-ankle neoprene leggings called "Flares" as made by Zaggora. The name "flare" is ironic as they squeeze you tightly and definitely don't flare out. Zaggora also make "hot pants". They look like capri pants to Fat Woman, but apparently the point it that they help raise your core temperature.

Fat Woman has been wearing her Flares since purchasing them. Fat Woman agrees that the Flares make you sweat a lot, but she found them more useful for support. Fat Woman hates feeling her outlying regions wobble when she does pad work. The laws of physics apply and suddenly Fat Woman finds she is working against bits of her that are still travelling in the opposite direction.

Fat Woman has become allergic to neoprene, or at the very least the stuff from which the Zaggora Flares are made. Fat Woman has had trouble with her legs for months but thought it was an infection. On the last day of her last set of antibiotics Fat Woman had a horrible reaction that could not possibly have been an infection.

Now Fat Woman has nothing to wear as a supporting garment. Apparently skins are only worn by very thin people. Fat ladies are only allowed to wear yoga pants and cotton t-shirts. Fat Woman is desperate to find something practical to hold everything in.

Fat Woman is just not catching a break these days.

Fat Woman and the weight loss challenge

Fat Woman had agreed with Personal Trainer that if she didn't lose 3lb by Christmas Eve the she would follow any diet Personal Trainer gave her for six weeks.

Fat Woman is delighted, nay, relieved to announce that during the first three weeks of November she lost 3lb. Fat Woman is therefore not going to be following Personal Trainer's diet for a bit. Fat Woman is not entirely sure what Personal Trainer would expect her to eat but she is pretty certain that it would involved (1) no bread (2) far too much protein powder for her liking.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Fat Woman and her friends

Fat Woman had a group PT session with Personal Trainer and two friends from her village. This was the first time that Fat Woman had ever got to take part in exercise as a fun activity with more than one friend.

Fat Woman had a great time.Tiny Friend and Nurse Friend also enjoyed the session. Even Personal Trainer seemed to have a reasonable amount of fun.

Fat Woman particularly like the moment afterwards where everyone stood around eating one of her new homemade chocolate orange protein bars. Walking down to the recreation ground in a group with matching exercise mats was also pretty cool.

Fat Woman still can't run fast because she's heavy, but she was sweating less and seemed to be finding the whole thing less hard than her friends. Fat Woman permits herself a little smile over that one.

The smile only lasts until Personal Trainer makes Fat Woman do more running.

Fat Woman had a good day.

Fat Woman and the private class

Fat Woman and Tiny Friend no longer go to boxing class together. Tiny Friend had been paying a gym membership just to attend Personal Trainer's boxing class but stopped the subscription after he changed gym. Tiny Friend was very keen to find another BoxFit class to attend with Fat Woman. Tiny Friend is the best gym partner Fat Woman ever had and had, after all, been paying a lot more extra than Fat Woman to attend the class, so Fat Woman felt obliged to put on a smiley face and try the odd Boxercise class.

Personal Trainer was so amused at Fat Woman's obvious disdain for the limited world of Community Centre Boxercise and her obliged-to-by-the-rules-of-friendship predicament that he offered to do a PT session for Fat Woman and Tiny Friend in their village. Personal Trainer stated that he would do this at his usual rate because he liked Tiny Friend. Tiny Friend used to train with Personal Trainer and thinks he is the best PT since sliced bread but Fat Woman had no idea they had such a mutual admiration society. Fat Woman also noted that Personal Trainer didn't make the offer until after he heard that Tiny Friend was involved. Fat Woman thinks that sulking is unattractive in a grown up, but might have indulged in a little pique. Just a tiny little bit because Fat Woman is not going to turn down an extra boxing class with Personal Trainer.

Fat Woman has concerns about her budget. Being sporty is expensive and Fat Woman is spending more than £100 every week on sport. Therefore Fat Woman was glad to welcome a third friend into the private class. Nurse Friend runs with Tiny Friend and has been training with Swimming Coach, although Nurse Friend has been unimpressed with Swimming Coach in recent months. An extra person meant that the session would be just £10 each, or £15 if the group decided to book a room in the community centre.

Fat Woman spent a great deal of time working out how many people she would need to make a class worthwhile, but in the end decided that a great session twice a month would hold more benefit for her than the diluted effects of a class every week, especially a class that she would have all the hassle of organising.. Tiny Friend agrees, and they decided they would see about converting Nurse Friend to BoxFit before extending an invitation to anyone else.

Fat Woman is extremely excited to be working out with a group of friends. Fat Woman has always been de facto excluded from fun sporting activities and is really looking forward to taking part in one where she knows she is as good as anyone.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Fat Woman and the return to class

Fat Woman had missed two consecutive Friday evening boxercise classes for the first time since she had started attending back in April because she was staying in a different city.

Fat Woman was a little nervous about returning because the new instructor had been very hostile to her, calling her feedback "criticism". Fat Woman had simply told him the same as she'd told every other instructor, that if they don't tell people to swap partners she doesn't feel able to say that she wants to when no one else does.

As it turns out the Boxercise Boy was as sweet as pie, going out of his way to be charming, funny and encouraging. Fat Woman had a great class and is looking forward to going again.

Fat Woman really enjoyed feeling that she'd had a great workout. Fat Woman has missed exercise during the ten days she was away.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Fat Woman learns to sprint

Fat Woman had developed the idea that she could enjoy going for a run. This was a major shift in perception because everything Fat Woman knows about running is that she is much slower than everyone else, that she doesn't enjoy being left behind, and if she tries to keep up with everyone else it physically hurts. Fat Woman has a particularly lovely memory of when it was the 1500m at school. Fat Girl tried extremely hard and spent her energy before getting to the end of the course. The gym teacher was trying to get Fat Girl to run the last twenty metres, which Fat Girl wasn't going to do because her lungs already hurt unbearably. Fat Girl heard the teacher say in disgust "She won't even try." Fat Girl thought that was particularly unfair because she had tried so hard for the whole thing and was still trying hard, both to get to the finish line and not to cry at the humiliation of being so far behind everyone else.

Fat Woman had asked Personal Trainer to teach her natural running. Fat Woman wasn't entirely sure that Personal Trainer was on board with natural running, but certainly they started with running. Personal Trainer taught Fat Woman a very useful technique for sprinting from a standing start. Fat Woman will apply this to netball.

Fat Woman found it all very overwhelming, especially coming on top of the most stressful week she could remember for years. To top it all off, it was what Fat Woman considered the first day of the rest of her life. Fat Woman had done the course she had been waiting for, thus ending the year of time-off fitness. Fat Woman wasn't going to melt down in session, but skipped a shower and promised herself a few self indulgent moments when she got to the car.

On her way out of the gym Fat Woman was waylaid by Personal Trainer. Personal Trainer wanted to introduce Fat Woman to Mrs Personal Trainer. Mrs Personal Trainer is not actually married to Personal Trainer but might as well be according to all accounts. Fat Woman was utterly brain frozen, only just stopped herself from saying: "Aha! The future Mrs Personal Trainer" and was in addition concious of her unwashed hair and red face. Fat Woman's only comfort was that Mrs Personal Trainer didn't seem too chuffed to be introduced to a new person whilst she was in the middle of her own workout. Certainly Mrs Personal Trainer wasn't stopping her progress on the elliptical machine to make conversation, so Fat Woman made a quick escape, concious that she had not covered herself with conversational glory.

Personal Trainer later wanted to know if Fat Woman had been "in a mood". Fat Woman made a mental note to recommend alternative phrases such as "Are you all right?" and "Is anything wrong?" but was fairly impressed that he had both noticed and asked.

Fat Woman takes up running

Fat Woman had some unintended therapy. Fat Woman was learning a new technique and had to have it practised on her. Fat Woman was asked to come up with a fixed idea. This was very hard for Fat Woman as she prides herself on not being a person of fixed ideas. You are extremely unlikely to hear Fat Woman say something prejudiced or sweeping about any identifiable group. Fat Woman even tries not to have fixed ideas about individuals. What Fat Woman does have fixed ideas about is her own experiences.

Fat Woman's fixed idea was "I could never enjoy going for a run".

Fat Woman had to think of this idea, then think of the opposite idea: "I could enjoy going for a run." Fat Woman visualised starting by tying her trainers, pictured herself running with some friends, then alone running around the nearby lake, and finally arriving at the park café being applauded by her running friends. It was a nice ending to the visualisation and Fat Woman felt positive.

For some strange, unearthly reason later that day Fat Woman went for a run. It wasn't a long run, perhaps thirty metres, from the seminar room to the ladies, but Fat Woman enjoyed it. Fat Woman enjoyed the run so much that she did it several more times that day.

Fat Woman has enjoyed going for a run.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Fat Woman and the burpees

Fat Woman and Personal Trainer weren't having the best session in the world ever. Fat Woman had been on a course for the best part of a week so had only trained once since the last session and had even missed the Monday session. As a result Fat Woman had tight muscles, which made her nervy and tetchy. Personal Trainer also had lots of lovely bodyweight work for Fat Woman, which never pleases Fat Woman. Fat Woman thinks that at least when she is hefting a dumbell that Personal Trainer knows how hard she is working. Fat Woman suspects that not even Personal Trainer understands just how heavy a truly fat body is, even from the inside.

By the time they ended up in the boxing ring Fat Woman was looking a distraction. When Personal Trainer told her that if she didn't work harder he'd make her do burpees Fat Woman essentially said: "Come on, then."

So Personal Trainer made Fat Woman do burpees.

Personal Trainer didn't actually make Fat Woman do full burpees. Personal Trainer came up with a modified version where Fat Woman had to put her legs out from the squat one by one instead of throwing them both out at the same time. Still, Personal Trainer said it counted.

Fat Woman had a big smile on her face because she hadn't thought she could do a burpee, at least not until she lost another 50lb.

Doing burpees made Fat Woman happy.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Fat Woman goes for a run

Fat Woman hates running. Fat Woman has never been good at running and has memories of how her friends in the playground loved her being "on" at catch the chicken because she could never catch anyone.

Fat Woman knows that running is something she needs to do sometimes especially now she is playing netball. Fat Woman even asked Personal Trainer to teach her natural running, but her metatarsals got extremely painful the week before and never quite got better.

Fat Woman is on a course. One exercise was about removing fixed ideas. Fat Woman's fixed idea was that she doesn't like running. The opposite idea was that Fat Woman could enjoy going for a run. Fat Woman had to visualise the first idea, then visualise the second idea.

At first it is easy to think of the idea you already have and hard to think of the opposite. As the exercise progressed Fat Woman found it easier and easier to think of herself enjoying going for a run. Fat Woman imagined going for a run with friends, running around the local country park and enjoying the sunshine whilst she did it, and arriving at the café where her friends were waiting for her, pleased and proud.

Fat Woman completed the exercise successfully, which was to be expected. What wasn't to be expected was that within the hour Fat Woman was thoroughly enjoying running down the corridor. It wasn't a very long corridor, so Fat Woman ran on the way back from the ladies as well as on the way there. What was amazing was that Fat Woman really, really enjoyed the run. Fat Woman estimates it was about the length of a netball court each way.

Fat Woman even ran a bit later on that evening.

Fat Woman's metatarsals still hurt, but she has emailed Personal Trainer saying they had better do some running this coming week before this strange keenness wears off.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Fat Woman is a gym snob

Fat Woman is becoming a gym snob. Fat Woman doesn't go to many gyms, but she knows what she likes and gets sniffy if what she likes isn't available. Fat Woman went to workout at Tiny Friend's gym and was deeply unimpressed by the lack of boxing equipment, kettlebells and barbells.

Thanks to shouty Sergeant PT Fat Woman now knows how to set the drag factor on a rowing machine. Fat Woman sets the drag factor to 120, which Sergeant PT says is single skulls.

Fat Woman only has one skull anyway, so that works for her.

Apparently a drag factor of 120 is quite high. Fat Woman has concluded this because of the number of rowing machines she has been on where she needs to set the damper on a high number to get that magic 120. The rowing machines at the holiday resort needed a nine, the machines at the gym today needed a setting of ten, and the rowing machines at Personal Trainer's new gym only went up to 55. Fat Woman gave up in disgust.

Today, Fat Woman went to another branch of her gym in a strange city. Fat Woman had lots of fun trying out different rowing machines and getting up in disgust when they wouldn't give her a high enough drag factor. There was only one person rowing and Fat Woman saw him watching her with a mixture of pity and curiosity. Fat Woman held her head high and knocked half a second of her best 250m interval time.

Fat Woman was also unimpressed at the lack of a heavy bag at the new branch of her gym. Fat Woman has to hit the heavy bag 500 times every time she goes into the gym because Personal Trainer says so. Fat Woman hit the medium bag today which is not at all the same.

Fat Woman and the weekend away

Fat Woman is having a weekend away. Thin Husband has declined to accompany Fat Woman because Fat Woman is on a course and is busy from 9am to 5pm.

When Fat Woman found herself alone in a strange city on Saturday evening what did she do? Did Fat Woman try a new restaurant, go to a club or a gig or even visit a bar? No, Fat Woman went to the gym and then cooked herself a healthy stir fry for dinner and quinoa for the next day.

Fat Woman got self catering accommodation specifically so she could go to the gym and cook quinoa.

Fat Woman is a sad old health freak and a billy-no-mates to boot.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Fat Woman and city living

This morning, Fat Woman stood , Personal Trainer safely behind her and away from the business end of her gun, looking across the English Countryside and thinking how much she enjoyed rural life.

This evening Fat Woman is suffering from city living.

Fat Woman is in Strange City for a course. Fat Woman has been waiting for this course for a year, and now it has come.

Fat Woman was so het up about keeping control of her diet that she went out of her way to book self catering accommodation rather than a hotel or bed and breakfast. Fat Woman plans to cook dinner and make a pot of quinoa for lunches. Fat Woman completely forgot about the need for tupperware so may end up improvising with one of her trusty Camelbak bottles. Fat Woman has four Camelbak bottles, all 750ml with the bite valve, but in different colours.

Fat Woman is not good with compromise.

Fat Woman also planned to go to the gym whilst staying in Strange City. Fat Woman's gym has a branch in Strange City. Fat Woman had scheduled in a visit this evening, but after rushing across town to find a mobile phone shop to replace her evil phone and climbing all the way back up the hill and up into the flat carrying her grocery shopping, going back downstairs to visit the local shop and then climbing back up again, Fat Woman considers she has done enough exercise for tonight.

Fat Woman is considering going to the gym tomorrow, but she will have to walk from the flat to her car, drive to the gym location, work out, drive back to the car park and walk back to the flat. Fat Woman will see how the course goes. Perhaps she will need the endorphins.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Fat Woman and the cunning plan

Sparky came to say hello to Fat Woman and Personal Trainer. Fat Woman was exhausted so welcomed the interruption. Sparky said he was sorry Fat Woman had missed seeing his beasting of his father earlier. Fat Woman remarked she had seen the gentleman in question, but hadn't said hello because they hadn't been introduced.

Sparky said that Fat Woman should say hello to his father next time. Fat Woman shouldn't wait to be introduced but should saunter on over and start chatting to Mr Sparky's Dad, asking about his golf game and his health. Mr Sparky's Dad would be confused at the woman who obviously knew him but whom he knew not.

Fat Woman said she absolutely would, except that Mr Sparky's Dad might think she was some random woman who was trying to pick him up.

Sparky said that would make Mr Sparky's Dad's day.

Fat Woman was more concerned about Mr Sparky's Dad having a heart attack through fright.

Fat Woman wonders if Sparky plans to make his father think he has dementia so Sparky can wrest control of the family empire. Fat Woman is making a mental note to ask Sparky if there is a family empire of which he can wrest control.

Fat Woman and the embarrassing moment

Fat Woman was walking through the bar area when she noticed a man smiling at her in greeting. Fat Woman looked at the man and realised that he was tall and good looking with an attractive smile.

Fat Woman wondered what an attractive man was doing smiling at her. Fat Woman has had attractive men smile at her before, but usually they are gentlemen of her acquaintance. Fat Woman has never scored highly on the pure looks front and it usually takes a meeting for someone to appreciate her. For a split second, Fat Woman enjoyed the surprise of being smiled at by an attractive person of the opposite sex.

Reality then washed over Fat Woman like an unpleasant cold shower. Fat Woman realised that actually she had recently been introduced to the gentleman. The good looking stranger was not a good looking stranger at all. The good looking stranger was Buddy's father.

Fat Woman is doubly embarrassed. First, Fat Woman shouldn't be fancying the parents of her friends. Secondly, Fat Woman has been reminded that the parents of her friends are in fact her age and her "friends" are actually young enough to be her children.

Fat Woman needs a sit down, some chocolate and some anti-wrinkle cream.

Fat Woman and the new boxercise instructor

Fat Woman has been going to the Friday night BoxFit class since April. When Personal Trainer announced he was leaving Fat Woman was instrumental in getting him to sort out someone to take over the class. When Big D PT announced he would no longer take the class due to insurance issues it was Fat Woman who galvanised the other class members to put in comment forms to get a replacement class tutor.

Last week Fat Woman went to her first Boxercise class with the new instructor. There were six people there. The instructor didn't speak directly to Fat Woman or introduce himself but he apparently knew three of the other six attendees already from another class. There was a running warm up, where Fat Woman was obviously unable to keep up with the others, and then they padded all night with the same people. Fat Woman was stuck with the same person all night.

Fat Woman spoke to the instructor afterwards, said thank you for the class, and pointed out that if they didn't say change partners she wouldn't feel able to. Fat Woman made a point of complimenting his music. The instructor was fairly blank about it, not really engaging with Fat Woman, but Fat Woman was feeling a bit shy.

Today Fat Woman was standing at the bar finishing her cup of tea and a chat with the barman. The boxercise instructor came to reception and was waiting for something. Fat Woman called out that she wasn't going to be in class for the next two weeks, but it wasn't because she didn't love the class. Fat Woman only said it because class numbers are a problem for instructors and classes get cancelled if they aren't strong.

Boxercise Instructor said he found that very surprising.

Fat Woman called him on it, asking what he meant.

Boxercise Instructor turned into the kind of mean Queen that Fat Woman thought was a movie cliché. With one hand on his hip Boxercise Instructor announced that Well, he wouldn't have thought Fat Woman liked his class as she had been very quick to criticise. This was said with a venom that took Fat Woman back.

Fat Woman said she was sorry, she didn't mean to offend and she obviously had. Boxercise Instructor declared he wasn't offended, then flounced off giving the lie to his words. This left Fat Woman with a red face and Sweet PT and the barman not entirely knowing what just happened.

The barman laughed and said that Fat Woman should see her face.

Fat Woman said well, that told her.

Fat Woman is non plussed and a little shaken up. What professional teacher feels attacked because a student shares with them what they need to make the class work for them? Fat Woman certainly didn't expect a public put down because she shared what she needed. In fact, Fat Woman expects professional teachers to be sympathetic to the fact that students find change difficult. If the teacher had genuine concerns about Fat Woman then he should have discussed them with her. Fat Woman does love the class, even if she isn't sure about the teacher.

Fat Woman is unsure what to do next. Fat Woman fails to see how this is conducive to her continuing class attendance. If Fat Woman doesn't go to class on a Friday night she can technically end her all-day membership of the gym. Fat Woman had hoped that this would be a good cardio workout that would compliment the rest of her week. However, Fat Woman has never found a PT or class instructor to be that dismissive and nasty. If the Boxercise Instructor had thought Fat Woman wasn't coming back to class all he had to do was to smile and say he'd see Fat Woman then rather than take actions which seem more calculated to put Fat Woman off.

Fat Woman is damned if she is going to give up on her class because one person is nasty to her. At the most generous part of her soul Fat Woman can only imagine that the Boxercise Instructor was actually very insecure and was counter-attacking because of that. Fat Woman also wonders if this is the kind of instructor who only wants very fit people, or even thin people, in his class.

Fat Woman wishes she could talk to someone about this.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Fat Woman and the weights

Fat Woman mentioned to Personal Trainer she missed the deadlifting. Lifting 70kg made Fat Woman feel powerful. Three hours of weightlifting also made a significant and positive difference to Fat Woman's thighs.

Personal Trainer declared that Wednesdays are now weightlifting Wednesdays.

Fat Woman declared that she was emotionally and mentally exhausted at the start of Wednesday's session. Personal Trainer was outwardly very sympathetic but took advantage of Fat Woman's vulnerable state to make her do weighted squats.

Fat Woman felt like a cow in a pen with a big bell around her neck. A kettlebell.

Fat Woman and the other client

Fat Woman was settled on the stationary bike, pedalling away and waiting for Personal Trainer to turn up. Personal Trainer is often five minutes late to session in his new gym. Fat Woman doesn't particularly like this, but looks upon it as five extra minutes of cardio. Fat Woman also likes to build up a little moral high ground in case she is ever late.

Fat Woman is never late.

The stationary bikes at the new gym don't have television so Fat Woman finds it quite boring if she forgets her iPod. When Sparky, Personal Trainer's chum and the PT who lured him to this gym, stopped by for a chat, Fat Woman was delighted at the interruption. Sparky is charming with a lovely smile, not to mention witty, amusing and a fan of Fat Woman's blog.

Fat Woman welcomed Sparky, but asked if it was okay for him to be talking to her when he was with a client. Sparky said that wasn't a client, it was his father.

Apparently Sparky likes to bring his father to the gym every week for a severe beasting. Sparky considers this payback for his childhood.

Fat Woman is glad she hasn't got children, let alone personal trainer children.

Thin Husband says Fat Woman treats Personal Trainer like a child. Fat Woman found this point hard to argue when she had just given Personal Trainer a big lollipop with his name on for being a brave little soldier at the dentist.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Fat Woman and the arse

Swimming Coach is being an arse. Fat Woman is not interested in having any more arse in her life as she has quite enough of her own, thank you very much.

Fat Woman has been training with Swimming Coach once a month because she hurt her back swimming. This was the ultimate irony as swimming is meant to be the safest thing for really fat people to do. Swimming Coach diagnosed a "screw kick" and said that also breaststroke leads you to bend the back. So Fat Woman has learned to do a brilliant and easy front crawl and has improved her back crawl too. Fat Woman is intending to go diving again, and Swimming Coach had promised to go Open Water swimming with her next Easter.

Fat Woman has, in the past, trained with Swimming Coach in the gym when Personal Trainer was away. The first time was in March when Personal Trainer went skiing. Fat Woman was terrified that if she missed training on Monday her whole week of exercise would crumble. Then in July, when Personal Trainer was away/ill/cancelled last minute Fat Woman trained several times with Swimming Coach.

This caused trouble.

Fat Woman had no idea how much Personal Trainer and Swimming Coach were in competition with each other. If Fat Woman brought one of them flapjacks the other had to get the same. If Fat Woman had an appointment with one, the other one would keep her talking and make her late. This was mildly amusing, but got old after a couple of months.

This history is that Fat Woman had enquired about training with Swimming Coach first but reception had not passed on the messages. This did not help matters. By the time Swimming Coach got in contact with Fat Woman she had fired the awful Barbie PT and in the last twenty minutes had engaged Personal Trainer, who had approached her on the gym floor. Swimming Coach had never really got over losing out on a client and Fat Woman knows not to joke about it because Swimming Coach blows up. It was a little tricky when Fat Woman engaged Swimming Coach to train her when Personal Trainer was away, but things got positively sticky on the one day Fat Woman trained with Swimming Coach without telling Personal Trainer first. At one point, Fat Woman got thoroughly fed up with the pair of them and if she hadn't got her own self-interests firmly at heart would have given them both up.

Swimming Coach and Fat Woman were mates. They had lunch a couple of times, texted outside of the gym and went to a couple of places together. Occasionally they would talk about personal stuff. After Fat Woman asked Swimming Coach to stop flirting with her quite so hard on the grounds he didn't really mean it they were getting on very well. Fat Woman knows that Swimming Coach likes his girlfriends to be younger, thinner and way more insecure than Fat Woman.

Fat Woman noticed that once September came she no longer saw Swimming Coach anywhere near so much. Swimming Coach also stopped texting Fat Woman, which wasn't an issue, and no longer replied to her messages, which was slightly annoying, but never quite an obvious cut. The idea that perhaps Swimming Coach had been courting Fat Woman as a potential client when Personal Trainer left the gym had been dropped in Fat Woman's ear, but if that was the case it wasn't because Fat Woman had ever said anything. Fat Woman had been very clear that she was continuing to train with Personal Trainer.

Way back in April Swimming Coach and Fat Woman had discussed birthdays. Fat Woman said that she only made cakes for milestone birthdays, unless she had a reciprocal relationship with someone. Swimming Coach declared that was what he wanted, so Fat Woman made him bodybuilder truffles on his actual birthday, plus a voucher for a box of her cupcakes that he could cash when he was eating normally again.

Fat Woman's cupcakes are pretty good if she says so herself. Fat Woman will often design a box of cupcakes for her friends. Swimming Coach loved Fat Woman's banoffee pie, so Fat Woman did three different designs of banoffee cupcake, some with banoffee icing on a banana cupcake, and some with the toffee actually inside the banana cake. There was a choice of  buttercream icing with classic grated chocolate or a toffee drizzle with little gold stars. Fat Woman considers she outdid herself. Swimming Coach was very pleased, took lots of photos, refused to share the cakes with anyone and boasted about them on several occasions.

Despite seeming to appreciate the cupcakes, remembering it was Fat Woman's birthday the week before, and having Fat Woman's birthday in his diary, Swimming Coach didn't even manage a "Happy birthday". Fat Woman considers the least he could have managed when she said: "I'm another year older" was "Oh, shit! I forgot." Fat Woman doesn't actually care about people remembering her birthday - Personal Trainer certainly forgot between Wednesday and Monday - but she does think that not even doing the minimum to secure a repeat of her marvellous cupcakes is pretty narcissistic. Fat Woman doesn't forget broken promises either.

Fat Woman wouldn't give two hoots about the birthday thing if something else hadn't happened. Swimming Coach pulled Sergeant PT aside when he saw Sergeant PT coaching Fat Woman and said: "Careful - she's gone through a few PTs!" Sergeant PT wasn't going to engage with Swimming Coach but he certainly mentioned this to Personal Trainer because of the suggestion of impropriety. And so it came straight back to Fat Woman. It took Fat Woman most of the day to twig to the double entendre, but she was pretty ticked off when she did. No one who knew both of them would think that Fat Woman and Personal Trainer had been up to anything inappropriate because they simply don't have that dynamic. Swimming Coach, however, is an outrageous competitive flirt and has been not been shy about being forward with Fat Woman in front of other people, to the point that at least one person has asked if something might happen/already be happening.

Fat Woman doesn't mind people thinking she has no morals but she does mind them thinking she has no taste.

Fat Woman feels like she's in High School, and it's not just the lockers. Swimming Coach is avoiding meeting Fat Woman's eyes and Fat Woman is not giving him the chance to pretend everything is okay. Fat Woman thought that Swimming Coach was jealous of Personal Trainer, but when Swimming Coach started sticking his beak into interactions Fat Woman has with other trainers it becomes possessive and creepy, and especially weird because the apparent jealousy does not appear to be based around Fat Woman as a person, just as a client.

Fat Woman is spending this month's swimming lesson budget on a manicure and facial.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Fat Woman meets a new person

Personal Trainer has thrown Buddy over for someone else. Sparky PT enticed Personal Trainer away from Fat Woman's gym. Fat Woman was initially unimpressed by this as she now has to drive much further to see Personal Trainer, but having met Sparky she has come around to thinking that everything is okay.

Sparky has proved to be a good influence on Personal Trainer. Fat Woman has been impressed by Sparky's work ethic, professionalism and creativity. Fat Woman enjoys talking to Sparky who is amusing, clever and witty, not to mention charming and really rather good looking.

Another thing Fat Woman appreciates about Sparky is that he really, really likes this blog.

Fat Woman and the eaten words

Fat Woman had recently had a run in with Sergeant PT, as recounted in Fat Woman and the disbelieving PT. To recap, Fat Woman had essentially beaten another personal trainer in rowing a kilometre. Sergeant PT then presented Fat Woman with the most blatant demonstration of fat prejudice that Fat Woman has encountered since school, insisting that this was simply not possible.

It wasn't the disbelief that got up Fat Woman's nose. Fat Woman could  forgive that, especially as she initially found it surprising herself. What really frosted Fat Woman's cookies was that Sergeant PT came up with reason after incredible explanation as to why Fat Woman was mistaken and she wasn't actually  faster at rowing 1km than a brand new female personal trainer.

Here are Sergeant PT's statements in chronological order:
  1. Sweet PT wasn't really trying.
  2. Sweet PT trained legs yesterday.
  3. Sweet PT used to row for sport
  4. The rowing machines in the gym are all calibrated differently.
Fat Woman refuted points one to three, but when Sergeant PT came up with the fourth point he had won the argument. There was no way that Fat Woman could do anything other than take Sergeant PT's word on the state of the gym equipment; after all, knowing all about the differences and idiosyncrasies of such things is part of his profession. Fat Woman is the"monkey see, monkey do" sort of gym goer, or rather "Personal Trainer say, Fat Woman do". So Fat Woman agreed that Sergeant PT could show her how to row "properly" the next day.

Having had time to let the whole affair sink in, Fat Woman finds Sergeant PT's assumption that she did not know how to row properly to be incredibly insulting, both to herself and to Personal Trainer with whom she has been working for nearly a year. The kind of cast-iron certainty displayed by Sergeant PT was an overt display of fat prejudice base on ignorance and lack of reasoning. Sergeant PT assumed that Fat Woman was not physically fit, despite knowing that Fat Woman has been training for the last year. Sergeant PT then assumed that Fat Woman didn't know how to row, had never been taught to row and would benefit from his tuition. Sergeant PT also assumed that Fat Woman was stupid enough not to know if someone was humouring her by not trying.

Fat Woman turned up to meet Sergeant PT in the gym the next day. Sergeant PT claimed that he sees everything but he based his assessment of Fat Woman's rowing style on her first pull, which is always too high. Still, Fat Woman enjoyed Sergeant PT showing her how to calibrate the rowing machine for a drag of 120. You pull on the bar, and then move the lever on the side up or down.

Fat Woman enjoyed it even more when Sergeant PT repeated the calibration on the next rowing machine to prove his point and the result was that the two machines had exactly the same settings. Sergeant PT explained that this was coincidence and that he knew some of the other machines would produce different results. Fat Woman nodded and smiled.

Sergeant PT showed Fat Woman how he thought she should row, and set her pace to be between 2 minutes 20 seconds and 2 minutes 30 seconds per 500m. Fat Woman was then told to row 5 kilometres. Fat Woman has rowed 5km before, although not under any time pressure, but had the distinct impression Sergeant PT was expecting her to cry or beg for mercy. Fat Woman was sorry to disappoint, but 5km of rowing is just a bit of cardio to her.

It's running that scares the bejeezus out of Fat Woman.

So Sergeant PT went off to train and Fat Woman rowed 5km. Fat Woman kept her pace around 2:20 for the first 2km, kept her pace under 2:30 for the next two kilometres and then got tired. The 5km row took Fat Woman 25 minutes and 45 seconds,

Fat Woman got up to get water and was summoned by Sergeant PT. Sergeant PT was walking on a treadmill whilst wearing a large rucksack. Fat Woman hopes that is not something Personal Trainer is going to make her do. Sergeant PT asked her time, and Fat Woman told him. Then Sergeant PT asked how old Fat Woman was. Fat Woman told him she was 35.

All Sergeant PT said then was: "That's not bad."

Fat Woman is delighted that she isn't doing badly for a woman her age. Fat Woman is also assuming that Sergeant PT also meant: "I'm sorry I was a prejudiced ass and thought you were both stupid and unfit."

Personal Trainer says that Sergeant PT has shocking rowing technique, that he would beat Sergeant PT at rowing any day and that Fat Woman should tell Sergeant PT this.

Fat Woman said to Personal Trainer that she might be a fat middle aged woman, but she is a fat middle aged woman from his training stable. Personal Trainer showed how pleased he was that Fat Woman was a credit to him and had made Sergeant PT eat his words by making Fat Woman do an utterly vicious circuit.

Fat Woman is sure that Sergeant PT is glad that words are zero calories.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Fat Woman and the disbelieving PT

Fat Woman was having a good week. On Monday during pad work Personal Trainer said: "That was quick!" Personal Trainer has never said anything like that to Fat Woman before. Fat Woman was extremely pleased, although she suspects that the only reason they got tangled up during the uppercuts was that Personal Trainer wasn't fully concentrating. Nevertheless, Fat Woman is inspired to try harder and be surprisingly quick again.

Today Fat Woman went to her gym. Fat Woman has netball practice on Tuesday evenings so limits her cardio to a bit of a warm up and hitting the heavy bag 500 times, as mandated by Personal Trainer. The rest of the time Fat Woman does some mat work in order to keep up with the fitness part of BoxFit class.

There is a new female personal trainer at Fat Woman's gym. This one is young and sweet and seems to like talking to Fat Woman. Fat Woman is always friendly to the occasional new personal trainer because it must be hard being new in a competitive workplace. Fat Woman thinks it must be particularly hard coming in as a young woman amongst mostly male colleagues. Fat Personal Trainer wasn't at all into working out but Sweet PT seems to like exercise and joined Fat Woman for her rowing warm up.

Fat Woman suggested they race for a kilometre. Fat Woman isn't entirely sure what her motives were, and has to admit that she might well have been expecting to surprise Sweet PT with just how fit she is.

Fat Woman rowed as Personal Trainer taught her, with strong, long pulls. What Fat Woman didn't expect was that Sweet PT would be heaving away on the rowing machine, giving it everything. Fat Woman was barely making an effort but when she glanced at Sweet PT's display Fat Woman could see that she was quite a way ahead of Sweet PT.

Fat Woman had a dilema. Sweet PT is a -well, a sweet girl, and whilst Fat Woman is keen to teach the lesson that fat ladies can also be fit ladies, she didn't want to crush the girl's confidence entirely. Fat Woman wondered how she would feel in Sweet PT's position, as a newly qualified PT being shown that she wasn't quite good enough.

Fat Woman pulled less hard.

Sweet PT finished at 1017m when Fat Woman was at 1010m. Fat Woman congratulated Sweet PT and saw her off to train with Sergeant PT who had just arrived. Sergeant PT was going to show Sweet PT some CrossFit moves. Fat Woman is not yet interested in being CrossFit and is still working on being Fit, albeit whilst being a little tetchy sometimes.

After workout and a shower Fat Woman had just left when she stopped to catch up with a friend who works at the gym. Fat Woman was sharing her joy at her recent triumphs and her friend was being suitably supportive.

Sergeant PT arrived just as Fat Woman was doing her happy dance and wanted to know what the hallelujah was going on.

Fat Woman hasn't had much of a chance to get to know Sergeant PT, although being caught doing the happy dance is a good moment to extend the intimacy. Sergeant PT appreciates her lemon drizzle cakes and that is all Fat Woman requires to view somebody kindly, but Fat Woman has heard Sergeant PT being blunt with clients, usually prefaced with him saying "I don't mean to be rude, but..." When discussing possible holiday cover with Personal Trainer Fat Woman said she could envision Sergeant PT saying: "I don't mean to be rude, but is this number on the form wrong or are you really that fat?"

Fat Woman explained first about the pad work compliment, and then explained how she had slowed down her rowing in order not to beat Sweet PT.

Sergeant PT declared that wasn't possible.

Fat Woman raised both her eyebrows and stood back to watch Sergeant PT mentally spin for a bit.

Sergeant PT said that Sweet PT wasn't trying.

Fat Woman said that Sweet PT was breathing hard at the end and it certainly looked like she was trying during the row.

Sergeant PT said that Sweet PT had trained legs yesterday.

Fat Woman said we all trained yesterday and that was no excuse.

Sergeant PT said that Sweet PT used to row for sport.

Fat Woman said that rowing machines are completely different.

Sergeant PT agreed that point, but then said that the rowing machines in the gym aren't calibrated properly.

At this point, Fat Woman stopped to listen. Fat Woman has always said she doesn't mind being patronised by people who know more than she does, and Sergeant PT turned out to be very knowledgable about rowing machines and how to calibrate them, and how you should go by drag not numbers on the dial. Fat Woman reached for her notebook but Sergeant PT she didn't need to write anything down, he would show her with pleasure. Fat Woman offered to pay for half an hour of tuition but Sergeant PT said he would do he as a mate, just for the pleasure of helping someone improve. Not would Sergeant PT accept the offer of lemon drizzle cake or even zero-carb bread.

Fat Woman was touched by the kindness, and got Sergeant PT to give her a day and a time to do this.

When Sergeant PT had his diary out that he said: "When did you last do pads with Personal Trainer?" Fat Woman was puzzled by this enquiry but said: "Yesterday." Sergeant PT hadn't known that Fat Woman was still training with Personal Trainer. Fat Woman suspects that he was going to offer her the usual free introductory training session.

Fat Woman had to let Personal Trainer know that she was intending to get training from someone else. Sergeant PT said he would speak to Personal Trainer if he saw him that night, but Fat Woman emailed him just to make sure.

Fat Woman is going to enjoy working with her fourth personal trainer, especially if he helps her master the rowing machine computer. Fat Woman has never let a computer beat her yet and is dying to know all the capabilities of this one.

Fat Woman still isn't sure that Sergeant PT is fully aware of how fit she is, but she is sure he will understand by the end of tomorrow.

Fat Woman wonders what the other PTs think that she has been doing with Personal Trainer for the last nine months. It isn't as though they have never seen Fat Woman and Personal Trainer work together.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Fat Woman and the swinging

Fat Woman doesn't really enjoy being outside. One day when Personal Trainer was being particularly puppyish, he bounced up to Fat Woman and said: "Would you like to train outside?" Fat Woman recognised the tone of voice as she uses the same one  when offering to let Thin Husband stay home rather than accompany her to visit relatives/the village fete/John Lewis. The tone conveys that a great treat is on offer and that the offerer is delighted to be able to be so generous and kind.

Fat Woman's reply to "Would you like to train outside?" was an extremely firm: "No." When Personal Trainer looked like a puppy that someone had kicked Fat Woman was prompted to say: "I'm sorry. I meant 'No, thank you.'"

Fat Woman did not put Personal Trainer's desire for a suntan over her preference for a lack of sunburn, insects and viewing by members of the general public, possibly even someone she knew. As that was the last hot and sunny day in the entire summer, Fat Woman and Personal Trainer have not yet trained outside.

At the weekend Fat Woman spent four hours training outside with a 16kg weight. The weight is actually Fat Woman's three year old godson. Fat Woman is making a conservative estimate of Godson's weight but he is a tall boy and big for his age so Fat Woman thinks this is fair.

Certainly, there has never been a kettlebell as cute or as adorable or as bright for its age as Fat Woman's godson, and possibly not another child either, but Fat Woman does see the advantage in kettlebells not being able to demand more reps. Fat Woman spent at least half the time she and Godson were on the park pushing Godson on the swing. Godson has a request for Fat Woman to "hold it!" This means Fat Woman has to catch the swing with Godson in it, and pull it back as far as possible, hold it until her arms burn, then let the swing go, helping it along with a push. Godson finds this utterly delightful. and after the swing has been pushed to reach its maximum speed and height, wants to do it all over again.

Godson's mother finds it utterly delightful that Fat Woman can keep Godson amused for two hours at a time so she can get some studying done.

Godson thought that Fat Woman should swing as well. Fat Woman hadn't been on a swing for twenty years. Miraculously though, Fat Woman was able to fit on the swing and even remembered how to actually swing. Fat Woman used to love going on swings but stopped because she was too fat and the chains would pinch her. To be able to fly through the air again gave Fat Woman an amazing feeling of freedom.

Fat Woman is not entirely sure of the physics around pendulums and weights, but eventually she got off the swing because it was going a little bit too fast and she was starting to feel a bit giddy. Not as giddy as she was on the roundabout, but enough to make her remember that she is in fact a responsible adult. Besides, Godson needed his swing to be held again.

Fat Woman has no idea of the actual calories burned but thinks the babysitting diet might be good for a book, and possibly a spin-off exercise class.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Fat Woman and the food blues

Fat Woman is constantly surprised by the world of the gym and the things that people do and say. Fat Woman rather misses the rarified world of academia where if someone said something you knew exactly what they meant because they used two thousand words to state their position, explain the implications and provided evidence to support their argument. Even the world of small businesses was in comparison to the gym a complex place with many more facets. In the gym there are just two areas of interest - diet and exercise. Even personal gossip gets barely a conversational look in, with the hot topic of who got up to what with which person being dropped the moment someone mentions a new protein powder or how many reps they did at maximum weight.

Apparently pea protein is the current fashion.

Despite finding the gym a simple place Fat Woman is aware that there are complex undercurrents and that etiquette and procedure have their own forms. For example, it is quite all right to say: "Good workout?" but rather a faux pas to say: "How are your abs?" Nevertheless, Fat Woman surprised to find that after Personal Trainer left for a new gym, not only was his corner of the gym floor inherited by Buddy, but so was Fat Woman. Not as a client, because Fat Woman still trains with Personal Trainer, but as a personal baker. Buddy surprised Fat Woman by asking if she would make him one of the zero-carbohydrate loaves of bread that she had made for Personal Trainer during one of his more brutal dieting phases. Fat Woman was rather taken aback by this, partly because she had no idea that she and Buddy were that close. In fact, Fat Woman is not entirely sure that Buddy knows anything about her other than her first name and that she is a client of Personal Trainer's. There conversation which had previously consisted of: "All right?" "All right." "Good work out?" "Yes. You?" "Yes. See you!" "See you!" suddenly became "All right?" "All right." "Good work out?" "Yes. Will you make me one of those loaves you made for Personal Trainer?"

The other part of Fat Woman's surprise was that Buddy wanted the zero-carb loaf in the first place. Made from ground linseeds and eggs it is a nearly-tasteless yet highly calorific foodstuff that Fat Woman regards as a freakish abomination and an insult to baking. Fat Woman makes two sorts of lovely protein fudge, fabulous quinoa and wonderful, beautiful cakes. It is beyond Fat Woman why someone would want to pay her the best part of five pounds for something which she wouldn't say thank you for if she was starving and only the Tesco garage was open. Fat Woman theorizes that Buddy is so committed to maintaining his enormous muscles that he is sacrificing the pleasure of eating real food. Not that the zero-carb loaf is imaginary, oh no! The linseed alone has 1300 calories. Add in five egg whites, two full eggs and 75ml of olive oil and you are looking at a total of at least 2200 calories.

Fat Woman doesn't get to eat that much in a day.

Buddy can eat a loaf between delivery and before he finishes his workout.

Fat Woman is slightly impressed by Buddy's commitment to a low-carb diet and also his eating ability.

Fat Woman is unimpressed by Buddy's inability to wash up the tin his loaf comes in before sending it back for a refill and is thinking of charging him.

Here is the recipe as taken from
2 cups ground flax seed
5 egg whites
2 whole eggs
5 tablespoons flax oil, coconut oil, or olive oil
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
3 packets Stevia

Mix all the ingredients together and bake at 170C for half an hour.

Fat Woman has found that sometimes the loaf needs a little more than the half an hour specified. Nor does Fat Woman adjust her fan oven temperature downwards. Once, when being cautious with the temperature Fat Woman removed the loaf from the oven a little too soon. Rather than turning the loaf out immediately Fat Woman left it in the metal tin overnight thinking that it would continue to cook a little more before cooling. When Fat Woman turned out the loaf the next morning the bottom was bright blue. It was a very pretty colour, one which Fat Woman might use as an accent in the hallway, but food is not meant to be blue, especially not the zero-carb loaf, which should be a nice dark brown. The warm loaf had gone impressively mouldy overnight, with fungus feasting on the slightly too-moist  bread and having a ball with the still slightly liquid egg whites on the greaseproof paper.

Fat Woman has since bought a silicone loaf tin and turns the loaf out on to a cooling tray ten minutes after baking.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Fat Woman and the strange conversation

Fat Woman was in her gym talking to Buddy. Fat Woman and Buddy haven't really got anything in common but Fat Woman makes Buddy's zero-carb bread for him and they chat a little.

Buddy announced that Personal Trainer had said that he "killed you" on Friday, ho ho ho!

Fat Woman looked blank. All Fat Woman could think was: "But he does that every session!"

Fat Woman wonders if she was especially killed on Friday. Certainly, there was a point in her pad work hour when she announced that she really, really liked press-ups.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Fat Woman and the surprising weigh-in

Fat Woman doesn't like weighing in. Fat Woman understands that it is important to face the scales, whatever  the number is, and that your weight is just one tool in your arsenal for keeping healthy, but it is so damn depressing when the numbers change so little each week that Fat Woman prefers to weigh-in once a month.  Fat Woman would like her scales to show two numbers. The first is her actual weight, and the second would be the difference since the last time she weighed in displayed in the smallest realistic unit. Fat Woman would rather discover she had lost 226,796,185 micrograms than a measly half a pound.

Personal Trainer got Fat Woman to use the weighing machine at the gym every month. Fat Woman resented this at first because it was yet another pound she had to spend (a pound cash, not a pound in weight) and frankly Personal Trainer was taking up a fair amount of money that she could have spent on anyway. However, Fat Woman learned to appreciate the body fat percentage statistic as a much healthier measurement than BMI or even weight, and adjusted her ultimate goal from weight to body fat percentage.

Personal Trainer's new gym had the same kind of weighing machine as Fat Woman's gym. The only apparent difference was that whilst Fat Woman's gym has the weighing machine discreetly tucked away inside the Ladies' changing room, the new gym has the weighing machine on the gym floor. Fat Woman wasn't bothered at all by this at first and stood on the scales without a further thought. That was when the machine started yelling at her. "STAND STRAIGHT AND LOOK STRAIGHT AHEAD!" bellowed the robotic voice. Fat Woman wondered if everyone in the gym had turned around and, having had their attention drawn to the fat woman standing on the scales, was waiting for the robotic voice to start yelling: "HELP! HELP! GET THE HEFFALUMP OFF ME!" Fat Woman has no idea if these things have volume controls but it is amazing how loud something can sound when it is in a big, echoey space.

Of course, the irritatingly loud techno music CD that was playing in the gym that morning was at that moment between tracks.

Fat Woman told herself that no one was paying her any attention and to get on with it because otherwise that would be a pound wasted that could have been spent on chocolate some healthy treat like quinoa. So Fat Woman hung on to the metal handles and suffered the electric current that measures body fat percentage and then waited for the little print out with all her details on.

The print out

Fat Woman thinks this is actually quite a good result. There is still some way to go to perfect, but Fat Woman could live with these numbers. 

Now, Fat Woman might not be the sharpest knife in the draw but she is fairly sure that if you weighed an extra, ooh, say 70lb on the scales at home the day before then you probably haven't lost all that over one night, even if you have been drinking the ludicrous amount of water recommended by your Personal trainer (4 litres a day if you were wondering). Nor does your body fat percentage drop quite so dramatically over just two months, at least not with the boring healthy diet and exercise-filled lifestyle that Fat Woman has. Fat Woman is so aware of this that the flash of hope and pleasure she got from glimpsing these numbers didn't make it past her the blanket of her self-awareness and cynicism. 

In fairness, the machine did get Fat Woman's height right. It worked that out for itself. Fat Woman told it her age and gender. If it hadn't been for that information plus the date and time Fat Woman would have assumed she had someone else's slip.

Fat Woman told Personal Trainer that there was good news and bad news. The good news was that the numbers on her slip were excellent. That bad news was that they were utter bollocks.

To his credit, Personal Trainer did not kill himself laughing. He did get Fat Woman to use the manual scales but he didn't get the calipers out. Fat Woman considers that calipers are instruments of torture and should only be used on thin people who are worrying about percentages that could be used as numbers on a clock. A 24 hour clock.

Reception gave Fat Woman back her pound coin along with a lukewarm apology. Fat Woman thinks they are lucky that the print out under reported her weight. If it had reported a five stone increase Fat Woman would have been so traumatised she would need to sue for damages in order to fund her therapy and Personal Trainer would have needed to sue to make up for the loss of income caused by Fat Woman never darkening the door again.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Fat Woman and the game day

Fat Woman wants a gun. Not just any gun because if that were the case Fat Woman would pop over to Tesco and buy herself a water pistol. Fat Woman has set her heart on a 12 bore shotgun. Shooting clay pigeons is Fat Woman's new obsession and once she is awarded her shotgun license she is going to team her ugly green shooting vest and unflattering black wool flat cap with a lovely, shiny gun. Actually, Fat Woman secretly thinks she can look cute in the flat cap, but only when she's done damage limitation A.K.A hair and makeup.

Fat Woman's father has offered to buy Fat Woman the gun she keeps going on and on about. Fat Woman didn't even need to employ the "Please, Daddy!" tactic that got her a treble recorder when she was eight. Fat Woman has accepted her father's very generous offer on the grounds that Thin Husband prefers to encourage Fat Woman to do low cost sports like walking and has displayed no particular enthusiasm for the fact that she has found yet another way to blow fifty pounds between lunch and dinner, let along offered to buy her the most expensive piece of sporting equipment yet. Fat Woman's father is delighted that she is returning to her rural roots by taking up a country sport. Fat Woman's email account is flooded with links to articles on eye dominance and gun balance sent to her by her father. Fat Woman thinks the forwarding of web page addresses is the modern version of a parent putting a newspaper clipping in an envelope and posting it to their child, but she values having something to share with her father who has found her recent interest in sports and physical activity incomprehensaible and rather worrying. Fat Woman does have to listen to lectures on things like the advances in metal production in the latter half of the 20th Century, but she loves her father and if he wants to share the information then it listening is the least Fat Woman can do.

Fat Woman obviously spent a long time talking about the DT10 Trident she had fallen for. That particular DT10 is coming out of Personal Trainer's cold, dead hands, but Fat Woman's father had offered to get her another one. Fat Woman thought about doing a Verucca Salt and saying "I want THAT ONE!" but  Verucca Salt came to a bad end, and secondly, Personal Trainer put a little nick on the rib the first time he did DTL at the gun club. Fat Woman thinks that a gun must be like a boyfriend; if you fall for an unavailable one it must be possible to find one very, very similar that makes you just as happy.

Fat Woman took her father to an open day at a gun dealer. Technically it was a game open day, but the flyer said that "Aya, Rizzini, Browning and Beretta will be here to show you their full range of guns" so Fat Woman thought she could go shopping for her sporting gun. The dealer also promised "over 200 guns in stock".

Funny how none of these guns was deemed suitable for Fat Woman.

In the shop Fat Woman was collared by the pushiest salesperson she has encountered since she was in Morocco. Saleswoman took charge of Fat Woman and swept her off to a sideroom to show her three shotguns. Fat Woman wanted to talk about guns, about balance and barrell material and weight but instead found herself being coached on how to mount the gun under a barage of chat. Fat Woman wasn't massively keen on this because if you've never held a particular gun before let along shot it you have no muscle memory of where it fits into your shoulder but she rolled with it on the grounds that everyone knows more about shooting than she does. However much Saleswoman knows, Fat Woman still doesn't believe that it isn't important to press the gun into your shoulder. Either Saleswoman wasn't telling Fat Woman the important next step of mounting a gun or she was giving out bad information.

Saleswoman identified that Fat Woman needed a 14" stock, or possibly an even shorter one. It was at that point Saleswoman switched from engaging with Fat Woman about what she might like to telling Fat Woman to come back when she'd chosen a gun. Fat Woman was confused. Wasn't she here to get some help finding a gun?

Apparently, the dealer had no suitable guns for Fat Woman to fire. Fat Woman waited for five minutes whilst Saleswoman went off to enquire if there were any suitable guns available at all that day but gave up when she saw Saleswoman with another customer and wandered off to the manufacturer displays.

A pattern emerged where Fat Woman would go up to a rep, look at their demonstration guns and ask if they had the model she wanted to try. The rep would then look embarassed and say that they hadn't brought that one with them.

The Beretta rep hadn't got a 686 gold E, and Ultralight or a DT10.
The Browning rep hadn't got a Cynergy.
The Edgar Brothers rep hadn't got any of the Hatsan Optima range.

The Browning rep said that they couldn't possibly bring their full range of guns with them to an event as that would be an enormous number of weapons to move around. Fat Woman was disppointed that the "full range" claim was actually a big fib but found the Browning rep especailly knowledgable and helpful. The Browning rep told Fat Woman about the Miroku MK38. The Browning rep said that Miroku guns were made in the same factory as Browning guns in a way that Fat Woman thought might be implying that Miroku guns are exactly the same in quality and build as Browning guns. Fat Woman remembers when Kwik-Save baked beans were made in the same factory as Heinz beans and is not falling for that one again. For anyone who doesn't remember Kwik-Save baked beans,  they were low in quality and taste despite their provenence. Nevertheless, Fat Woman will be checking out the Miroku MK38 as soon as she gets a chance as a DT10 owner she met over coffee mentioned the same model.

The Edgar Brothers rep was awfully nice and put together a beeyootiful Zoli for Fat Woman to hold. Fat Woman really, really liked the way it felt and thought she might be tempted to switch brand allegience. When pushed, the Edgar Brothers rep confessed the Zoli would cost five thousand pounds so Fat Woman handed it back with a comical burst of speed. Fat Woman might be enough of a Daddy's girl to let him buy her a shotgun as a gift but she wants him to have enough left for his future nursing home fees.

The Beretta rep was amusing and gave Fat Woman goodies including caps, a stitch-on badge and flourescent yellow wrist snaps. Fat Woman said she knew a little boy who was a big Beretta fan and would make sure he got a cap. Fat Woman also got to handle the DT11, which was an enormous, heavy brute of a stick completely unlike the elegant, sophisiticated  DT10 she fell in love with.

Fat Woman doesn't think the day was entirely a wipe out because her father enjoyed it and she got learned some useful lessons, including don't trust gun salespeople straight off and that she will probably need to shorten the stock and get a gun rebalanced. Fat Woman is not entirely sure that it was worth driving across four counties for though. Fat Woman also thinks that the absolute lack of short stock and light models is evidence of how sexist the retail end of the sport is. Fat Woman would like to know how on earth the best way to find the right gun for you can be to try them all when every time you do try a gun you're told how it doesn't fit you properly? The engineer streak in Fat Woman thinks she might have to try everything with a 14.5" stock so she can see how everything compares.

Fat Woman is also finding it utterly frustrating how everyone keeps insisting you need one gun for sporting and one for skeet and one for trap and one for game. Fat Woman is going to buy just one gun, and she is going to be taking it to gun club to shoot both sporting and DTL even if it isn't competition standard. And if Fat Woman has one gun and gets invited to shoot anything that isn't a clay pigeon she isn't going to run out and buy another gun, the one she has will have to do.

Personal Trainer pointed out that his gun stock is more than 14 inches long and Fat Woman shot perfectly well with that. Personal Trainer also suggested that he take Fat Woman to visit his favourite gun dealer and get some trusted advice. Fat Woman is going to do that because finding the right gun to buy is worse than finding the right shoe, and Fat Woman doesn't even care what the gun looks like on.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Fat Woman and the sound of pounding

Fat Woman went to warm up before a training session. Fat Woman is a naturally lazy person and lives by the belief that if a thing is worth doing twice then it's worth automating. Sadly, Fat Woman has not yet found any way to automate her gym warm up. Fat Woman has, however, worked out how to get her heart rate to the required level in under two minutes. Fat Woman does this by running up the stairs to the gym and then cycling madly on a lowish resistance for ninety seconds. This method has been particularly useful when Fat Woman has been chatting to Swimming Coach for longer than she should have done and wants to avoid being bawled out by Personal Trainer.

Unfortunately, Fat Woman's time-saving routine has been thwarted by Personal Trainer's new gym. This gym is all on one level, so there are no stairs. There are just three upright stationary bicycles, compared to the sixteen at Fat Woman's gym. Today Fat Woman found that one bicycle was (still) out of order and the other two were being used. Fat Woman must have been feeling particular masochistic because instead of taking a reclining cycle she voluntarily got on a treadmill.

Fat Woman hates the treadmill. Fat Woman knows that treadmills were used in prisons both as a punishment and as a tool to demoralise prisoners. Fat Woman understands how the prisoners felt as they laboured away, achieving nothing and going nowhere. Personal Trainer says it is not a treadmill, it is a running machine. Fat Woman doesn't think that makes any part of the exercise any better especially as she can't run anyway.

Part of the reason Fat Woman hates the treadmill is that she is so heavy, therefore she is very slow. When Personal Trainer set Fat Woman a target of 5km walking a week Fat Woman nearly died of boredom. Buying the Endomundo tracker for her phone bailed Fat Woman from her treadmill sentence that time, but obviously isn't much use for a warm up. Fat Woman would love to be able to run, but as her most recent efforts ended in compressed cartilige of the knees, she is saving what passes for her running for sports like netball. However, Fat Woman knows that walking is an important part of functional fitness, blah, blah, blah, yawn! so she got on the treadmill, set the elevation to 2.5% and started walking at 5kmph (3.1mph).

Fat Woman does a very fast walk now, and makes good use of the crossover point of fast walking and slow running. Fat Woman feels the whole process is a massively inefficient use of energy, and feels a little bit like a charging cow, but just for the one day she was going with it.

Fat Woman didn't feel that 5kmph was doing her much good so she upped the speed  6.5kmph and was considering going for 7kmph when she realised that the sound of her feet striking the treadmill was not the usual slightly noisy drumming. Fat Woman's feet were making  the kind of loud, echoing thump made by giants walking over a bridge or by large, heavy metal boots (see this clip from Aliens and imagine that going at 150 beats per minute).

 Fat Woman wasn't yelling "Get away from her, you bitch!", nor did she have cool futuristic technology to play with, but the slamming down of the hefty foot noise is pretty spot on. For a moment Fat Woman thought pehaps she was in a live action cartoon and someone was helpfully illustrating where people should laugh at her efforts by providing suitably humourous heavy-person-walks noises.

Fat Woman used the emergency stop button. It was worth slamming to a halt in order to instantly stop sounding like a charging rhino on a wooden bridge.

Apparently there is one treadmill which is very noisy. Fat Woman is glad to have found out which treadmill that is so she will never, ever have to use it again.

Fat Woman and the pit stop

Fat Woman is trying to think of reasons to keep going with her hard work. Right now, Fat Woman isn't feeling so in love with a healthy lifestyle. When Fat Woman had an unhealthy lifestyle she got to enjoy a lot of the things she is starting to miss. Rich food, throwing dinner parties, reading any kind of fiction, playing match three computer games, meeting friends for lunch in the pub.

Now though Fat Woman doesn't feel the same way about the things she used to enjoy. So on a day when Fat Woman has absolutely no drive left she is trusting to habit and routine to get her through. And Personal Trainer of course. Fat Woman had enough mental faculty to book an extra session to make up for missing BoxFit this evening. There is absolutely no way Fat Woman would have moved herself along to the gym on her own. Certainly Fat Woman doesn't want a repeat of yesterday and if she is less intrinsically motivated when she is low then she must use the resource available to her.

Fat Woman has been building a healthy lifestyle. Now is the time to find out if it is well built or simply a wobbly cardboard set.

Fat Woman really hopes that how she feels is a temporary thing.

Update: Fifteen minutes into a really hard padwork session with Personal Trainer Fat Woman felt a lot better. Fat Woman has never before so obviously felt the mood-lifting effects of exercise. Fat Woman is kicking herself that she didn't go for the swim the day before.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Fat Woman and the haystack

Fat Woman is wondering when she gets to declare something the last straw that broke the camel's back. Fat Woman isn't entirely sure what the breaking of the camel's back symbolizes but if there was ever a day that it was close it was this one.

Today Fat Woman didn't exercise. At all. Fat Woman walked from the house to the car and not much further. Today was the first day when Fat Woman packed her bags, went to the gym and decided not to work out. Fat Woman justified it in her head - upsetting parting with friend, traffic was awful, needed food, have other commitment - but underneath all the excuses Fat Woman simply didn't want to.

Fat Woman has stepped off the cliff.

Fat Woman is currently thinking "Why do I bother?" Despite her healthy lifestyle, her pristine diet, her good mental health and her regular and rigorous and well-directed exercise, once again Fat Woman's body has turned on her. This time, there is nothing to be done.

It started when Fat Woman went to get contact lenses. Fat Woman has worn glasses her entire life and was excited to be able to get soft contact lenses that could give her good vision. As the Optician shone a light on to the back of Fat Woman's retina, Fat Woman thought that the light was making her eyes dry. Then the Optician did a tear breakup test. Dye is put into the eye and the Optician checks how long it takes for the tears to wash the dye away. Fat Woman was shocked to be told that whilst a normal response rate is two seconds her response rate was eight seconds. Fat Woman has worn cosmetic contact lenses without trouble in recent years and has never noticed any dryness of her eyes.

A week later Fat Woman's eyes were so painful that she had to visit the doctor. Fat Woman adores her doctor who works with patients and admits when she doesn't know something. The doctor essentially said dry eyes is very common and in Fat Woman's case that it was probably auto-immune related, but although there would be blood tests there was no cure, only management with drops. Hyperthyroidism is associated with eye problems, so Fat Woman is wondering if her occasional over-medication could be complicit. A side effect of levothyroxine is dry eyes but the doctor said there was no way Fat Woman should stop taking that.

The doctor asked Fat Woman if she had a dry throat. At the time, Fat Woman had not, but over the last two days has been sucking sweets for release from throat dryness. The doctor mentioned Sjorgen's syndrome and seemed quite pleased that Fat Woman didn't appear to have it. Fat Woman is hoping like hell that she doesn't.

Fat Woman is trying not to panic, but when the best thing you read about your best hope condition is that the best case scenario is that the condition goes away after two years leaving "some damage" it is rather worrying.

Fat Woman has cancelled her contact lens fitting.

Fat Woman is so tired of fighting with her own body. The number of auto-immune conditions Fat Woman has is rising. This is very frightening.

Fat Woman would like to stop fighting now please.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Fat Woman gets rated

Fat Woman has been teasing Personal Trainer. Personal Trainer let slip that he and Buddy have been rating women by number. Fat Woman is not entirely clear on the rating system but it all seems to be entirely looks based. Fat Woman is perfectly aware that people do this but she doesn't necessarily approve. Certainly Fat Woman thinks that Buddy and Personal Trainer can be guilty of objectifying women, but they are the Internet porn generation and rather than lecture and bore on the subject Fat Woman makes her point through comedy. Fat Woman will also admit to a little mocking, but it is gentle.

Apparently Buddy has been challenged to pull a woman who is at least a six. Buddy is a nice young man, despite participating in this kind of thing, who seems to alternate between being wildly successful with women and being depressed at his lack of success compared to Personal Trainer. Fat Woman isn't privy to all the details but her favourite story is the one when all four of Buddy's current girlfriends turned up at the same party.

The code phrase in use is "get her number". This doesn't actually mean collecting telephone numbers.

Fat Woman likes to highlight the inappropriateness of the way the young men talk about women by applying their criteria to herself. Fat Woman told Personal Trainer the story of how last week Buddy rushed to help her ice her burnt hand and ended it by saying: "If only I was a six, I would have given him my number".

Fat Woman might have let just a little teeny bit of snark sneak in.

As mentioned before, Personal Trainer is a bright young man and very good at handling Fat Woman. When Fat Woman said that they should get back to work and make her into a six Personal Trainer caught her completely off balancing by shooting back: "You're already a six."

Fat Woman found this utterly hilarious. Obviously, Fat Woman was delighted that Personal Trainer didn't think she was so far into the negative numbers that he couldn't bring himself to tell such an obvious whopper but she hadn't imagined herself even qualifying for a rating on this scale. Fat Woman thinks that if you were really bending the rating scheme she might have scored three points for personality and two for cooking but the last point was definitely a sop to get her to shut up.

Fat Woman will take the pity points.

The truth of the matter however is that whilst Fat Woman may be a lovely, bright, kind, amusing person with numerous qualities that she won't list in full because she's still hoping to include "modest", she doesn't make a very good object. Certainly Fat Woman doesn't look at all like the generically thin and pretty young things that she has been informed rate as sixes. Fat Woman is happy being attractive to much older men than Personal Trainer and Buddy.

That evening Fat Woman asked Thin Husband what he would rate her on such a scale. Fat Woman was careful to specify that the scale one from one to ten, with ten being the highest rating. Thin Husband considered the issue long and hard and eventually announced he would rate Fat Woman at five and a half.

Thin Husband is lucky that Fat Woman appreciates his comedy and that Fat Woman hasn't actually learned to punch people yet.

Fat Woman is going to buy a badge with the slogan "I am 6" and wear it to training.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Fat Woman and the outside influence

Fat Woman is still going to BoxFit on Friday night even though Tiny Friend doesn't go any more and Personal Trainer doesn't teach the class. The new teacher is Big D PT. Fat Woman is pleased about this because Big D PT is a good teacher and plans his classes properly and it was very nearly Buddy who does not plan his classes.

Friday evening's BoxFit class was based on technique. The technique shown was to punch with the left, return to guard, punch with the right and return to guard. This was shown with jabs, high hooks, low hooks and uppercuts.

Fat Woman checked several times with Big D PT that she was doing it correctly because no one else seemed to be doing what they were told. Everyone else would start from guard, punch left-right, then bring left then right hand back to guard - as Fat Woman would do normally. Fat Woman assumed that this technique was what proper boxers did and that she was just too slow to do it properly.

Personal Trainer was deeply unimpressed with Fat Woman's new technique and told her to (a) stop it immediately and (b) if Big D PT tells her to do anything like that again to ignore it. When Fat Woman protested Personal Trainer asked her if she wanted to be Teacher's Pet. Fat Woman pointed out that she was the teacher's pet in Friday night BoxFit and that Personal Trainer trained her, and it wasn't her fault that the teacher changed.

Fat Woman thinks Personal Trainer was more annoyed than he let on because he decided it was the time to start making Fat Woman defend herself. Fat Woman had got used to Personal Trainer smacking her on the elbow with a pad, but hadn't expect him to start going for the ribs.

Fat Woman pointed out that for her to learn something she needs to be taught it. Personal Trainer said that learning through failure is very effective. Fat Woman is certainly never going to forget that if some idiot is about to slap you on the ribs with a pad that you can lean down to block them.