Wednesday, 29 February 2012

15 reasons why Fat Woman (and anyone else over 300lb) needs a personal trainer

Fat Woman brings you the reasons why she, or anyone else who weighs more than 300lb, should have a personal trainer.Fat Woman admits that Personal Trainer is awesome, but even subtracting a good handful of awesomeness she believes that properly fat people shouldn't try to struggle on alone but should get a personal trainer.

  1. Personal Trainer legitimises Fat Woman's presence at the gym. Fat Woman is obviously where she is meant to be if she is with Personal Trainer. Depending on the gym culture, Fat Woman on her own might be on the wrong end of some what-do-you-think-you're-doing-here looks. Fat Woman isn't bothered by those but it's so nice not to have to ignore childish tittering, sideways glances and behind-hands conversation. 
  2. Personal Trainer stops Fat Woman looking stupid. Fat Woman never has to struggle with adjusting straps or setting up a machine because Personal Trainer does that for her the first time and shows her how for the next time. 
  3. Personal Trainer makes training easy for Fat Woman. Even when Fat Woman could barely make it through an hour Personal Trainer never gave her more than she could do. Personal Trainer is extremely good at watching Fat Woman's face, breathing and response times and adjusting the next thing he says accordingly. 
  4. Personal Trainer sees Fat Woman. Fat Woman is generally invisible at the gym. Personal Trainer knows who Fat Woman is and always says hello or has a chat if he has time. Fat Woman hired Personal Trainer because he was immune to her invisibility forcefield.
  5. Personal Trainer introduces Fat Women to people at the gym. Fat Women now knows most of the other personal trainers as well as some of Personal Trainer's other clients. Fat Woman has a growing circle of acquaintances, which makes her feel at home.
  6. Personal Trainer stops Fat Woman from hurting herself. Fat Woman hasn't had an injury since working with Personal Trainer. Fat Woman hasn't needed to see her osteopath for months because Personal Trainer understands Fat Woman's limits and works within them. Personal Trainer looks after Fat Woman. Once he even refilled her water bottle for her.
  7. Personal Trainer works Fat Woman all over. Fat Woman could manage a cardio workout by herself but it would have taken a long time for her to get around to learning how to exercise all the different muscle groups, let alone adding weights. Personal Trainer takes care of all that.
  8. Personal Trainer encourages Fat Woman. Personal Trainer knows an awful lot of synonyms for "good" and he uses them, all the time. Each set of 20 reps nets Fat Woman at least three encouraging words. Fat Woman has grown to like these encouragements and feels neglected and unwatched if they aren't there. 
  9. Personal Trainer makes Fat Woman work. Fat Woman can do what she's been told to do. Personal Trainer makes Fat Woman do slightly more than she thinks she can do. Fat Woman does everything that little bit faster, harder or longer because of Personal Trainer's encouragement. 
  10. Personal Trainer makes Fat Woman progress. At the beginning of the working month Fat Woman is set goals by Personal Trainer. Fat Woman takes great pleasure in meeting these goals and exceeding them, or a she thinks of it: "blowing them out the water". Personal Trainer is quite possibly setting Fat Woman very achievable goals in a cunning double bluff to make her work even harder, but so long as Fat Woman gets her pat on the head she'll run with it. And row with it, and box with it and so on.
  11. Personal Trainer teaches Fat Woman new things. Fat Woman considers it amazing just how much Personal Trainer knows. Fat Woman hasn't yet stopped learning new exercises, new forms or even how to use a new machine. What that boy can do with a Swiss ball...
  12. Personal Trainer keeps Fat Woman honest. Personal Trainer knows when things are getting easy or Fat Woman could be putting a bit more effort into something. Fat Woman hasn't yet developed a labour saving trick which Personal Trainer hasn't cottoned on to. Personal Trainer doesn't even bother to call Fat Woman on it, he just changes tactic.
  13. Personal Trainer makes workouts interesting. Fat Woman hasn't yet had to do the same workout twice.
  14. Personal Trainer makes training fun. Fat Woman can have a laugh with Personal Trainer. 
  15. Personal Trainer is a constant. Whatever happens, Personal Trainer is there to meet Fat Woman at 11.30am on a Monday morning. Classes get cancelled, friends find excuses but Personal Trainer turns up every week. Therefore so does Fat Woman. And that's the most important thing.

Fat Woman on watch

Fat Woman has a new watch. Swimming Coach recommended the Casio digital watch instead of an expensive waterproof stopwatch. Fat Woman has tested the watch in the pool and it seems to work okay. The watch interface is exactly the same as the watch Fat Woman had when she was seven yeas old.Apparently this is "retro cool".

Today Fat Woman wore her watch to the gym. Fat Woman timed her punches and made good progress in increasing her speed.

Fat Woman found out that the watch is the key to a secret inner membership of gym goers. Somehow the watch has taken Fat Woman from "All the gear, no idea" to an insider. Fat Woman wonders if it is the watch alone that has wrought this transformation or possibly the watch in addition to the boxing gloves, the reusable water bottle and knowing how to do three different exercises with the medicine ball.

Fat Woman was told a secret. You should wear your watch on the inside of your wrist so you can admire your biceps as you check the time. This displays them to best effect.

Fat Woman is going to do that, just as soon as her biceps emerge from under her blubber.

Personal Trainer takes a holiday

Personal Trainer is going on holiday with his mum. Fat Woman suspects that Personal Trainer could use a break. Personal Trainer is a little touchy about any suggestion of over-training or slowing down because of  injuries that would see Fat Woman camping on the osteopath's doorstep, or possibly calling for an ambulance. Fat Woman thinks a break will be good for Personal Trainer.

When Personal Trainer mentioned his break in January Fat Woman simply rescheduled the Monday session to the previous Friday.

A month later Fat Woman realised that the absence of Personal Trainer would mean breaking her routine. Fat Woman understands that if you want to make a habit stick you need to do it every day for 21 days, or every week for three months. Fat Woman is making lifestyle changes and needs the good habits such as exercise to stick. Fat Woman felt a tinge of panic when she considered the possibility that missing a week might upset her routine at its vital formation stage.

Fat Woman asked Swimming Coach if he could fill in for Personal Trainer. Swimming Coach is also a personal trainer. Swimming Coach was happy to have an extra hour of client time. Fat Woman didn't cancel her Friday session with Personal Trainer as they had made an agreement so far in advance so Personal Trainer was still happy. Fat Woman got an extra workout and thus everyone was happy.

Swimming Coach made the mistake of suggesting that he should seek permission from Personal Trainer to train Fat Woman. Fat Woman got annoyed. Fat Woman may be Personal Trainer's client but she is not his property. Fat Woman allows Personal Trainer lots of power in their relationship. Sometimes Personal Trainer tells Fat Woman to say something such as "I love Personal Trainer" after every rep and Fat Woman will parrot it because it is funny. Fat Woman has even called  Personal Trainer "Sir" in front of his personal training colleagues because it was even funnier. Fat Woman does not give Personal Trainer the power to chose who she trains with when he is not available.

To be fair to Personal Trainer, he has never asked for that particular power.

Fat Woman has no problem with Swimming Coach telling Personal Trainer that Fat Woman has asked him to train her as an appropriate professional courtesy. Fat Woman doesn't even have any problem with Personal Trainer saying he doesn't want any baked goods passing between Fat Woman and Swimming Coach whilst he isn't there to participate as Personal Trainer promised to bring her something from holiday if she refrained. Fat Woman just resents any suggestion of ownership especially because it feels so patriarchal. Fat Woman is reminded of the time when she told her mother of a great night out with a platonic male friend and her mother said: "Doesn't your husband mind?" Fat Woman is not property.

Fat Woman might need to talk to Personal Trainer about how she isn't his auntie either, but that can wait until next month.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Fat Woman shows the professionals

Fat Woman is very well informed about nutrition. Fat Woman follows a calorie controlled low GI diet provided by an on-line service. Fat Woman made it clear when she started working with Personal Trainer that she was not interested in comment, interest or criticism on her diet. This is because Fat Woman has had Issues with people criticising her eating. Fat Woman has not got an eating disorder and is keen not to develop one at this stage of life. Fat Woman told Personal Trainer that he was allowed to quiz her on her eating if her results at the end of the month were not showing at least 1lb loss each week. Fat Woman reserves the right to eat whatever the hell she wants. Fat Woman just happens to have chosen a particular eating plan right now. Personal Trainer took a little while to get used to the idea that Fat Woman was not in fact eating all the pies.

Personal Trainer did try quizzing Fat Woman on her nutrition during their first session. Fat Woman argued with Personal Trainer over the relative merits of honey versus golden syrup when you don't specify Manuka honey and laughed at Personal Trainer's Power Bar. Fat Woman pointed out that it the Power Bar was full of undesirable ingredients and that home made flapjacks with the whey protein on the side would be much healthier. Personal Trainer is a smart young man. By this time into their acquaintance (50 minutes) Personal Trainer had worked out that Fat Woman likes nothing more than an argument except winning an argument. Personal Trainer simply said that if Fat Woman would like to make him flapjacks he would be happy to eat them.

Fat Woman made Personal Trainer flapjacks as his Christmas present. Fat Woman matched the nutritional information as closely to the Power Bar as was possible. Fat Woman could have stirred in some whey protein but as she didn't have any and frankly wasn't keen to. Fat Woman did include cashews because she wanted to increase the protein,but the rest of the flapjack was made of the traditional ingredients: butter, sugar, golden syrup and oats. Personal Trainer loved the flapjacks, saying they were "Amazing." Fat Woman was glad Personal Trainer liked them. At 390 calories each personal trainers are the only ones who can afford to eat Fat Woman's flapjacks.

Swimming Coach said he wanted to try Fat Woman's flapjacks. Apparently Personal Trainer was unwilling to share his pack. Swimming Coach made so many references to this that Fat Woman was afraid it Swimming Coach was feeling unloved.

Eventually Fat Woman did bring Swimming Coach flapjacks. The next time Fat Woman was in the gym Swimming Coach got down on his knees and begged for more flapjacks. Fat Woman considers this a proper response to her baking.

Fat Woman also took more flapjacks for Personal Trainer that day. This was in case Personal Trainer felt left out. Personal Trainer and Swimming Coach seem to be wildly jealous of each other and how much attention Fat Woman is giving them. As Fat Woman is a fat woman and both Swimming Coach and Personal Trainer are fit young men Fat Woman thinks this is a combination of natural competitiveness and a desire not to lose out on either a fee or baked goods.

Fat Woman is starting to feel like a combination of favourite auntie and a drug dealer. Fat Woman finds the first rule of drug dealing is also helping with her weight loss. The rule is: Don't get high on your own supply.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Fat Woman meets the Smiths

Today Fat Woman presented Personal Trainer with the ultimate chocolate cupcake. In return Personal Trainer presented Fat Woman with a Smith machine.

This video shows you what a Smith machine is. The gentleman in the video is lifting 375lb, which is even more than Fat Woman weighed at her fattest ever.

Fat Woman had to do a chest press just like that. The only difference was that Fat Woman didn't use any weights. In fact, Fat Woman struggled with lifting even the bar itself so much that Personal Trainer let her off  the third set of reps which has never, ever happened before.

Fat Woman may look like Big Daddy with hair but the resemblance is entirely superficial.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Fat Woman does Lent

Fat Woman has given up aspartame for Lent. This means no Diet Coke. Fat Woman is saddened that the one thing she always thought was a good thing for her to have is actually a potential culprit in increasing cravings and appetite. Fat Woman is also very sorry that she didn't drink the four litres in the house before starting the Lenten fast.

Fat Woman is very glad that Personal Trainer and Swimming Coach now have to STFU about what she drinks.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Fat Woman says a rude word to Disney

Fat Woman has been swimming. Swimming Coach gave Fat Woman an exercise sheet. Swimming Coach had gone to the trouble to laminate it so Fat Woman could keep it with her at the side of the pool. Fat Woman thought this was particularly nice of Swimming Coach. Fat Woman wishes Personal Trainer would take notes from Swimming Coach. Personal Trainer sends information by text message.

Fat Woman was paddling up and down and up and down and up and down feeling glad that pool was otherwise empty. Fat Woman isn't the self concious type. Fat Woman long ago realised that there was no point being self-concious about being fat when people were going to realise it by looking at her. Fat Woman has also come to terms with the horrible veins showing on her legs. Fat Woman would be happier being fat if she had completely smooth unmarked peachy skin like a Barbie doll. Unfortunately despite advances in cosmetic surgery Fat Woman remains human and visibly flawed. Despite the visible flaws Fat Woman has a super amount of self confidence. Fat Woman is dressed and out of the changing rooms and into the pool whilst shyer women are queuing up to change in the toilet cubicle. Fat Woman thinks that wearing a skirt swimsuit that covers only two inches actually draws more attention to your wobbly thighs and prefers a swimsuit that will hold everything up and in.

On this particular day Fat Woman was feeling glad no one else was there. Fat Woman examined this feeling as she powered through 30 lengths of the pool. Fat Woman swims in a 20m pool so this is less impressive than if the gym had an Olympic sized swimming pool. Fat Woman was reasonably pleased with her efforts, although she was distressed to be informed by Swimming Coach that she would need to add yet more paraphernalia to her gym bag. Fat Woman now has a float as well as her laminated sheet. Fat Woman also needs to get a water poof watch for timing. Fat Woman has resolved never to do boxing on the same day as swimming laps. It is simply too much stuff to carry all at once.

Fat Woman was sensibly dressed in swimsuit/hat/googles with her waterproof MP3 player drowning out the rest of the world, yet instead of enjoying herself completely she was aware of a nagging feeling of insecurity. This centred mostly on her bottom. It eventually occurred to Fat Woman that she felt like a hippopotamus.

On reflection Fat Woman realises that she didn't feel like a real hippopotamus. Fat Woman has watched video footage of real hippos and, like in the clip below, they are usually strong and sleek and muscled in a way that the gym boys can only dream of.

Fat Woman blames her hippopotamus complex on Disney. Yes, that's right. The Walt Disney company is not just responsible for convincing a gazillion little girls they want to be a princess and be rescued. Disney has also made three generations of fat women feel terrifically self concious as they participate in what should be one of the easiest and most enjoyable sports.

Fat Woman has memories of more than one cartoon of synchronized swimming hippos. The memory that sticks with Fat Woman is the hippopotamus head and fat backside both being above the water whilst the rest of the hippo was submerged. Howevr, Fat Woman has definite proof that Disney is the main culprit. The clip below is from Fantasia. If you watch it you will note the following points:

(1) The hippo is fat. Not muscled, not even rotund, but fat with wobbly outlying regions which move comically.
(2) The unflattering tutus. Those skirts are designed to draw attention to the wrong place. Like a skirt swimsuit they accentuate the wobbly outlying regions.
(3) The hippo thinks she is graceful but she isn't.This is cleverly portrayed by adding hand (or really front leg) movements which spoil the grace.
(4) The hippo is lazy, going back to sleep and not waking up when a herd of elephants are dancing around her.

The message Fat Woman took from this was that fat females who think they are pretty and can do things such as dancing (or swimming) look ridiculous and are laughed at by everyone. This was particularly apparent when comparing the hippos with the ostriches shown in the film immediately before this clip. The ostriches were amusing, but they were thin! The hippos received a whole different level of amusement because they were fat. Even the elephants weren't as funny as the fat, female hippo. In the animation the elephants are muscled whereas the hippos are FAT. Fat wobbles. Fat doesn't do anything. Fat is there because you are lazy.

Fat Woman likes to know where feelings come from so they can be examined. In the light of 2012 Fat Woman is happy to be like a strong, sleek, muscled hippo. Fantasia can get fucked.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Fat Woman goes boxing

Fat Woman has been doing a lot of boxing. Fat Woman hasn't actually tried to hit anyone who is trying to hit her back because Fat Woman is concerned about head injuries. Personal Trainer is very keen on boxing and likes Fat Woman to hit the pads and the bag a lot. Fat Woman sometimes fantasises about hitting Personal Trainer, but Fat Woman knows that she would only ever get one chance because Personal Trainer is super fit and fast and has good defence. Fat Woman is not going to waste her only opportunity and is saving it for a day when she really, really REALLY wants to hit Personal Trainer. Fat Woman is wondering about negotiating a six-monthly thump bonus.

Fat Woman has her own boxing gloves. Fat Woman bought them from eBay and was surprised to find that they are a good brand. Fat Woman liked the fact they weren't bright green or pink but were instead plain black and white. Fat Woman didn't know that the white circles had a purpose, but as Fat Woman would do anything rather than wear the communal gloves Fat Woman bought them anyway. Fat Woman has 10oz gloves. They make Fat Woman feel very powerful when she hits something. This lasts until Fat Woman reaches 200 punches Fat Woman's arms get tired after 200 punches.

Fat Woman is having problems with her defence. Fat Woman holds her hands up where she is told. This makes Fat Woman's elbows rest on her bosom. Fat Woman has been blessed with large breasts. Fat Woman thanks her grandmother. Fat Woman's granny was a tiny women with huge breasts, so Fat Woman is certain she has genetically large breasts, not just fat ones.

Fat Woman isn't quite sure how to broach this with Personal Trainer. Fat Woman thinks of Personal Trainer as being practically 12 years old. Fat Woman isn't entirely comfortable with saying: "Is it me or are my big tits getting in the way?"

Fat Woman is not considering breast reduction surgery.

Fat Woman has recently developed a stance where her elbows stick out as if she was doing the birdie dance. It is only a matter of time before Personal Trainer brings up the subject of the way she is holding her gloves. Fat Woman is not looking forward to this.

The only thing that makes Fat Woman feel slightly better is that she would put money on the fact that Personal Trainer is even less keen to have that conversation than she is.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Fat Woman gets hormonal

Fat Woman has hormones. Fat Woman is like most women in this case, but Fat Woman hasn't seen or heard much mention of normal hormones and how they affect exercise.

Fat Woman had been having a lovely time at the gym. Fat Woman had been training fast and hard and had been feeling as though she was making progress. Fat Woman went to the gym expecting the good feeling to continue. Fat Woman was actually as week as a kitten. Fat Woman found that weights that had been light four days previously were now twice as heavy. Fat Woman found that the "burn" came more quickly and did not dispell as fast. Fat Woman found the most humiliating moment to be when Personal Trainer took her weights down from 15kg to 12.5kg, and then to 10kg and then to 7.5kg.

Fat Woman was on the last day of her menstrual cycle when she did her fast and hard training and found it easy. Today Fat Woman was on the fifth day of her new cycle. Fat Woman felt like a different person. Fat Woman couldn't lift as much or move as fast or hit as hard. Fat Woman ached and felt pain and was in short a decrepit old bag.

Fat Woman didn't speak with Personal Trainer about this because Personal Trainer is very, very young and also because they have a jokey, ironic kind of relationship. Fat Woman waited and spoke with Swimming Coach. Swimming Coach is also a personal trainer at the same gym but is a bit older than Personal Trainer. Fat Woman thinks of Personal Trainer as being 12, even though he is actually 21. Swimming Coach also has a degree in a related subject. Fat Woman feels more comfortable talking to Swimming Coach about biology that relates to personal things.

Swimming Coach was very helpful. Swimming Coach explained how the hormone oestrogen applies and how low oestrogen means more susceptibility to pain. It matched up with this:
"A 2010 study by Drs. Peter Tiidus and Deborah Enns of the Wilfrid Laurier University department of kinesiology notes that when estrogen levels are highest during the reproductive cycle, women experience a significant increase in muscle strength and force generation."
Fat Woman was grateful to Swimming Coach, who is a very well informed personal trainer as well as a very nice chap. Fat Woman had been rather thrown for a loop with the sudden change in ability and had been completely unable to find anything helpful on Google. Fat Woman would like to make the following statement for readers and search engines:

Exercising early on in your menstrual cycle can feel a lot harder because of your lowered hormones.

Fat Woman hopes that anyone who was feeling fit and healthy one week and disgustingly out of shape the next will appreciate this fact.

Fat Woman is looking forward to next week and the week after when she is further into her menstrual cycle and can get back to slinging kettle bells and punching bags with enthusiasm.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Fat Woman makes water more interesting

Fat Woman drinks lots of water. This is partly because Fat Woman is a fat woman and needs more water than a thin woman. It is mostly because if Fat Woman feels thirsty she might mistake thirst for hunger and eat instead. Fat Woman also read somewhere that drinking lots of water increases your metabolism, but Fat Woman hasn't seen the peer reviewed evidence for that.

Fat Woman understands that people can get very bored of water. Fat Woman has seen lots of articles promoted on Twitter making this claim. Fat Woman has made her pure H20 more interesting and believes this is better done in these fascinating ways than simply squeezing a lemon into it.

(1) Fat Woman makes her water read the newspaper every day. This gives the water something to discuss. Fat Woman likes a good debate about world politics and being informed makes you interesting.

(2) Fat Woman puts the water on a handsome man. Sometimes Fat Woman puts the handsome man in the water, but mostly the handsome man is holding the water. Sometimes Fat Woman lets him use a glass.

(3) Fat Woman plays Russian Roulette with a water pistol. Sometimes there is one full chamber. Sometimes there are three full chambers, like in The Deer Hunter. Fat Woman tried playing the game with a super soaker but nearly drowned.

(4) Fat Woman put her water on the potato plants, then processed the potatoes into vodka. Clear and pure like water, and definitely more interesting.

(5) Fat Woman printed a "Dihydrogen Monoxide" label for mineral water bottles and sold them to the gym bunnies.

Fat Woman would like to hear how you make your water more interesting.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Fat Woman says "No!"

Monday Fat Woman sees Personal Trainer. Fat Woman and Personal Trainer work mostly with weights.

Tuesday Fat Woman takes ibuprofen and moans on Twitter.

Wednesday Fat Woman goes back to the gym for some cardio. Fat Woman believes in the analgesic effects of exercises in combating Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

This Thursday Tai Chi was cancelled so Fat Woman got Personal Trainer to work with her for an extra 45 minutes.

Friday Fat Woman ached. Fat Woman went to Aquarobics.

Fat Woman still aches and is wondering if she should take more exercise.

Fat Woman seems to remember that when you have a come down after taking something and you take more of it to feel better,that is called addiction. Fat Woman would like to know when the exercise starts making you feel good, like alcohol does. Fat Woman has a lot more come down than high.

Fat Woman takes the weekend off to break the cycle. Just say "No!" to drugs.

Fat Woman doesn't believe endorphins exist. Fat Woman thinks they are like the haggis, a story for the tourists.

Fat Woman would really like to be proved wrong on that point.

Fat Woman gets testy

Fat Woman was having a lovely time with Personal Trainer. Fat Woman even looked forward to Monday mornings when she would meet Personal Trainer in the gym café and they would head up to the studio for an hour long workout. Fat Woman was super happy in her new relationship, finding Personal Trainer to be a sweet young man who reminded her of a Pit Bull puppy, all cute and energetic and playful, strong for his size and very tough. Fat Woman liked Personal Trainer so much she even made him one of her super-duper chocolate cakes for his milestone birthday. Personal Trainer returned this trust and friendliness by making Fat Woman take a Fitness Test.

Fat Woman has a policy that in the gym she does everything Personal Trainer asks her to do and she doesn't moan about it. Personal Trainer has remarked that Fat Woman complains and argues the least out of all his clients. Fat Woman is proud of this as it is probably the only benefit she has compared to all the other clients. Fat Woman was so surprised by the fitness test that she broke her rule. Fat Woman caught herself protesting and stopped immediately, but Fat Woman had to acknowledge that the fitness test scared her.

The fitness test was (1) Row 1000m, (2) Walk as far as you can in five minutes (3) Hit the punch bag 500 times. Items 1 and 3 were measured on speed. Fat Woman approached them with caution but made reasonable times on both tests.

Fat Woman was frightened by item 2. Fat Woman worried that she would collapse gasping halfway through the test with burning lungs and an agonising stitch in her side. Fat Woman remembers Fat Girl trusting the P.E. teacher at school and running as fast as she can, responding to the cries of: "Try harder! Run faster!" Fat Girl found that however hard she tried and however fast she managed to run or however long she ran for it was never fast enough or long enough. Fat Girl didn't notice any positive encouragement or any congratulation for improvement. Fat Girl thinks that possibly there wasn't any benchmarking, just a natural order of teenage girls. Fat Girl's place in P.E. lessons was at the bottom of the order. Fat Woman remembers not being able to go on,  horrible pain and desperate gasping for air. Fat Girl was often left behind, last back to school with boys jeering at her as she walked up alone.

Fat Woman stood on the treadmill determined to make it through the five minutes. Fat Woman had no idea how fast she could walk or how long five minutes would feel. Fat Woman made no connection with the regular  fifteen minute walks she takes or even the occasional longer walks. Fat Woman just knew that if she went as fast as she could her knees would hurt and she would run out of breath and have pains in her side. In fact, that would be running and running involves slamming all of Fat Woman's weight on to Fat Woman's knees, breaking Fat Woman's rule of exercise (see previous post).

Fat Woman held herself together and completed all the stages in the fitness test. Fat Woman and Personal Trainer were both a little unnerved by the experience. Fat Woman made a mental note to find out exactly what Personal Trainer is testing, Fat Woman is not going to be speedy on her feet until she has lost at least another 100lbs. Fat Woman dislikes walking speed tests because they remind her so much of cross country runs and 1500m in school P.E. Fat Woman feels set up to lose.

Fat Woman is amazing on the rowing machine BTW.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Fat Woman is caught red-handed

Fat Woman had been working very hard in her aquarobics class. Fat Woman had been thinking that perhaps aquarobics was a little unchallenging, but Fat Woman has found that she can go double speed now and so get more benefit. Fat Woman doesn't have a lot to say about aquarobics, but she accompanies a friend and views it as more of a social event.

Fat Woman was waiting for this friend in the cafe. Fat Woman had already walked across to the supermarket, shopped and returned so had done even more exercise that her class. Fat Woman was thirsty. Looking at the range of the cold drinks in the cafe Fat Woman had to make a choice from the following:

  • Orange juice
  • Smoothie
  • Isotonic drinks
  • Still water
  • Coke
  • Diet Coke
Fat Woman doesn't like sweet drinks. Fat Woman was Fat Child and was never allowed to develop a taste for them. Fat Woman avoids isotonic drinks for the same reason and will do so until the day she runs either a marathon, a triathlon or for the bus. Fat Woman considers smoothies as food rather than drink, and although orange juice can be a drink Fat Woman wasn't in the mood for any sort of sugar. This left Fat Woman with a choice of (a) water or (b) Diet Coke. Fat Woman finds sparkling water refreshing but not still water.

Fat Woman chose the Diet Coke because of its carbonation, which is refreshing. Fat Woman also appreciated its zero calorie load and the taste. Fat Woman is confident she made the right decision.

Fat Woman had barely got the lid off when Personal Trainer appeared. "What is THAT?" asked Personal Trainer, pointing at the Diet Coke. Fat Woman considers the most effective form of defensive to be counter-attack. When Fat Woman asked: "Do you want to have a conversation about this right now? Do you? Do you?" Personal Trainer backed off.

Personal Trainer was half joking. Fat Woman was reacting strongly. Fat Woman doesn't consider that she over-reacted but it was definitely a strong reaction. Fat Woman hates having people paying attention to what she eats in a judging way. Fat Woman remembers a friend of her grandmother's who would sit opposite her at dinner staring at her and her plate. This horrible old man would stare and stare and sometimes comment on Fat Girl's normal healthy eating. Fat Girl had no idea why this horrible man would do this for a long time. Fat Girl had not yet learned that people thought she was fat because she stuffed herself with food all day. Fat Girl had an under active thyroid but no one knew that then.

Fat Girl once had a youth worker who she caught watching her on a youth camp. Everyone was clamouring for seconds and Fat Girl joined in because everyone else was. This man was watching Fat Girl and judging her. Later the Bad Youth Worker got Fat Girl on her own and got her to say that she was fat because she was a glutton and that it was against what God wanted. Bad Youth Worker had no health expertise or knowledge of Fat Girl's home life, he was simply ignorant and prejudiced.  Fat Girl never felt the same about church or even God after that judgement and betrayal of trust. Fat Woman looks back and finds it hard to reframe that memory and accept that what she thought was a truly Godly person was actually narrow-minded and used his assumptions to bully a vulnerable teen. Fat Woman wonders if this is how LGBT people feel about religion when they are told something that is not under their control makes them filthy in the sight of God.

Fat Woman never found self talk very helpful. Fat Woman could understand that people need food, that it's healthy to eat, that food is necessary and good and that people have a human right to eat. Fat Woman just never put herself in that category of "people" or "everyone". Fat makes you sub-human. Fat disqualifies you from human rights. Fat Girl internalised that message.

Fat Woman would like someone to hug her and understand this still hurts. Fat Woman can't share this anyone IRL. Fat Woman is even more worried about sharing this with Personal Trainer.

Fat Woman gives thanks that this layer is outside her inner core of strength and that it hasn't gone all the way in.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Fat Woman gets chatted up

Fat Woman is spending a lot of time at the gym. Fat Woman goes to the gym so often that she has had to buy another set of gym clothes in order to keep up with the washing. Fat Woman is also learning the names of the reception staff and starting to have actual conversation with them. Fat Woman is becoming a Gym Regular. Fat Woman has a preferred locker and a preferred exercise bike and a preferred shower cubicle, each of which comes with subtle advantages that others may not have twigged. Fat Woman likes the shower cubicle on the end because it is 20% larger due to the shape of the room. Fat Woman likes locker number 314 because it is close to the shower area making the naked-but-for-a-towel after shower walk much shorter. Fat Woman also appreciates the warm air from the shower area, and also being around the corner from the draughty main entrance. Fat Woman only has to choose another locker when it is Aquarobics class. Aquarobics is full of older ladies who have many years of experience and are frankly crafty. Fat Woman is not yet ready to count herself as an older lady but will admit to admiring the wisdom of years.

Fat Woman has a preference for one machine out of every row of identical machines. Last month Fat Woman adjusted the foot straps on stationary bike number 4 to fit her wide feet. Fat Woman checks every time but no one has altered the footstraps since. Fat Woman picked that bike because of the good view of the TV and because the rider faces away from the majority of the room. Fat Woman likes rowing machine number 3 because it sits in front of the stair climber. The stair climber is rarely used so no one is looking down on Fat Woman whilst she hauls away. Fat Woman was intending to issue an exception for the treadmills because she dislikes them all equally but actually Fat Woman likes number 7 because she can watch the whole room unobserved.

Happily, Fat Woman is a fat woman of a certain age and is therefore invisible to most people on the gym floor. Fat Woman is suited by this state of affairs and encourages it by dressing in dark colours and not looking at other people. Fat Woman wouldn't like to think someone was watching her so Fat Woman gives others the same consideration. Fat Woman extends this to the pretty people as well, considering they do not want to be visual eye candy in the same way Fat Woman doesn't want to be visual humour. Fat Woman does not expect the gentlemen of the gym to extend the same courtesies whilst the young ladies are wearing gear, such as the see-through leggings over a thong such as Fat Woman saw yesterday. Fat Woman never says anything but is sometimes sorely tempted to mention the visibility of underwear through old or stretched gym wear.

Fat Woman was very surprise when a good looking and obviously fit young man introduced himself  and started a conversation with Fat Woman. Fat Woman is mostly over her teenage years but has found that good looking people tend to ignore those who are less good looking. Fat Woman isn't bothered by this because if Fat Woman wants to be the life and soul of the party with the attention of everyone then Fat Woman is. Fat Woman has also found that once the mating game is over even the best looking of her friends became more interested in personality than looks. Fat Woman doesn't see the person who told her that her amazing wit and sparkling personality made up for her fatness any more because that person didn't have amazing wit or a sparkling personality and Fat Woman also got eye strain from the excessive eye rolling when with this person. Fat Woman remembers a bullying technique when a good looking boy would start talking to a plainer girl, being particularly friendly, only to mock her with his friends minutes later saying "How could you think someone like me would want to talk to someone like you?" Fat Woman was always friends with everyone she wanted to because of her sparkling personality and amazing wit and felt only pity for the young people who would lose their looks and have nothing of value left for their later lives. Fat Woman feels it prudent to be chary of people to whom one has not been introduced for all sorts of reasons, so was a little reserved with this handsome young man who had noticed her boxing and was asking if she was training for anything particular. Fat Woman was rather caught on the hop by someone noticing her, but assumed the young man's interest in the sport has overcome her invisibility field. The young man offered to answer any questions or give advice but by that time Fat Woman had realised that the young man was in fact a personal trainer touting for business. Fat Woman already had a personal trainer, albeit one who was later fired on account they had only managed one session and had missed the next two, so extracted herself from the conversation relatively quickly on the grounds that she wasn't in the market for another trainer.

As it turned out, Fat Woman fired the missing personal trainer and hired the handsome young man instead. Fat Woman was impressed by the way the young man saw her as a person, not as a Fat Woman. This was in stark contrast to the missing personal trainer who Fat Woman thought of as Personal Trainer Barbie. Fat Woman has been working very successfully with the young man who is now Personal Trainer since the middle of December. Fat Woman is more confident in the gym and feels able to work out alone.

Fat Woman wishes she had a t-shirt saying "Property of Personal Trainer. Back off!." January was a special month.

New Personal Trainer spots Fat Woman working out.
New Personal Trainer evaluates Fat Woman's health and thinks "That person obviously needs help with nutrition and exercise. Long term help. Profitable long-term help."
New Personal Trainer finds an excuse to talk to Fat Woman.
Fat Woman engages in conversation.
New Personal Trainer enquires how long Fat Woman has been coming to the gym.
Fat Woman admits she has been a member for 3+ years.
New Personal Trainer thinks "Classic case where it obviously isn't working for you. Probably because you eat pies all day and are completely ignorant about proper nutrition."
New Personal Trainer lets slip they are a personal trainer.
Fat Woman explains she has a personal trainer she is very happy with.
New Personal trainer makes a sharp exit.

Fat Woman doesn't mind being a sales target, but would appreciate it if the exit was a little less sharp. The sharp exit indicates that Fat Woman is no longer worth talking with. Fat Woman has more respect for the trainers who use the friendly conversation as the start of a relationship as a long term investment until Fat Woman wants a new Personal Trainer.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Fat Woman inventories her gym bag

Fat Woman is getting fit by going to the gym. Part of this is because Fat Woman has an enormous bag of very important and necessary equipment that she drags with her. Fat Woman has produced an inventory of her gym equipment with a view to cutting down the sheer volume of paraphernalia she is dragging with her.

Gym trousers - Fat Woman wears slightly too short yoga pants. Fat Woman has ordered new ones but hasn't dared to buy ones with the elastic cuffs around the ankle because they are so unstylish. Fat Woman simply avoids looking in the mirror when her trouser legs are riding up. Fat Woman does fear that the day is coming when looking unstylish is less awful that showing the lower part of her leg with its big fat calf. The trousers are black because black is magically slimming, even when you are the size of Fat Woman.

Gym t-shirt - Fat Woman has a special exercise t-shirt, but only because having bought two years ago she is finally getting to use them. The t-shirt is also black because of its formerly mentioned slimming properties..

Fleece - Fat Woman finds the gym very cold at first and likes to be wrapped up warmly until she has actually warmed up. Fat Woman also keeps things such as the money for her personal trainer and her locker key in her fleece pocket. Fat Woman has two navy blue fleeces because she doesn't want to look like a sad fat woman who thinks wearing black is a viable alternative to weight loss.

Sports bra - Fat Woman found that you can buy Fat Woman sized sports bras this year and ordered one from Debenhams.  Fat Woman is delighted that she is properly supported during her physical activities especially as the old joke about "having someone's eye out" nearly became true.

White socks - Fat Woman is putting off buying new socks because they never fit properly. Consequently these socks come in shades from white to very grey.Fat Woman has noticed that everyone at the gym wears white socks and wonders if it might be some sort of rule.

Alice band - Fat Woman has bobbed hair with a fringe, but started wearing the Alice band to stop the hair falling into her eyes. It comes in useful when she is very sweaty because she can push her fringe away under the band itself.

Trainers - Fat Woman has lovely black trainers to fit her wide feet.

Fat Woman sometimes wears these items to the gym and takes a clean set of street clothes to wear after her shower so they are not strictly in her gym bag at all times, but Fat Woman feels that they are certainly in her gym bag for the return journey and should therefore be included in the list.

iPod - Fat Woman is old school and the music in the gym is very new. It also trends heavily towards gangsta rap. Fat Woman likes music with (a) tunes you can recognise or (b) guitars. Fat Woman likes to work out to classics such as Elephunk by The Black Eyed Peas.

Water bottle - Fat Woman is doing her bit for the environment this year and is cutting down her consumption of plastic bottles. So far Fat Woman has not lost her new sports water bottle, but has resolved that when she does eventually lose this water bottle she will have a fancy water bottle with a filter so she can fill it up at the gym rather than from the filtered water at home.

Sweat towel - Fat Woman wipes off every piece of equipment after she's used it, and sometimes even has to wipe her face.

Swimming costume - If Fat Woman can manage a thirty minute swim after her gym session it helps make her 17 hour training goal for the month.

Swimming hat - Fat Woman got tired of having her hair damaged by pool water and purchased a silicone bathing cap. Fat Woman's hat is white because in the sports shop it was a choice between white or black and Fat Woman thinks black next to the face is a little draining for someone of her complexion.

Goggles - Fat Woman has to swim front crawl not breaststroke in order to avoid hurting her back again. Fat Woman really doesn't like chlorinated water in her eyes.

Waterproof MP3 player - Fat Woman got so very, very bored doing laps of the pool. The waterproof MP3 player made the lengths go past so much faster. It also helps to block out the noise of other people which can be quite stress-inducing at times.

Flip flops - Fat Woman is trying to avoid any more fungal infections. The flip flops are ugly purple with a pattern of stars. They were the only flip flips Fat Woman could find to fit wide feet. Fat Woman is going to start a "make your own flip flops" business.

Bath Sheet - Fat Woman needs a huge towel to wrap around her fat body. Fat Woman isn't shy in the locker room but likes to be reasonably modest.

Bath Towel - Fat Woman uses the second towel to wrap her hair in after a shower and then to stand on whilst getting dressed, thus avoiding foot fungus.

Sponge bag - Fat Woman has neat little miniature bottles filled with shampoo, conditioner, body wash and facial wash.

Hairbrush - Fat Woman doesn't like looking like a furze bush and considers a brush compulsory.

Boxing gloves - Fat Woman's trainer likes to do lots of boxing related activities. The gloves provided by the gym are disgusting, soiled with the sweat and skin cells of hundreds of people.

Fat Woman has not yet seen anything disposable in the list, with the possible exception of the MP3 players. Fat Woman considers the MP3 players the only things standing between her and sensory overload at the gym so she is going to keep the 100g of extra weight.

Fat Woman is considering the following coping strategies:

A bag on wheels - the shopping trolley is a noble tradition. Fat Woman could have one in tartan.

Two lockers - Fat Woman could put her coat, handbag and boots in a separate locker and have more room for her large sports bag.

Get really thin - Fat Woman reckons that by the time she has lost 150lb she could switch to a bath towel for her body. Also her clothes would take up less room.