Monday, 30 April 2012

Fat Woman gets chemically buzzed

Fat Woman and Personal Trainer were sitting in the gym café matching diaries. Personal Trainer's colleague and workout buddy joined Fat Woman and Personal Trainer to chat before Buddy and Personal Trainer went to work out. Buddy was drinking a new pre-workout supplement with the scary name of SOUL RIPPER.

Buddy claimed that his potion was effective, giving you a nice tingly feeling, but that it tasted disgusting. Personal Trainer drank some and agreed. Fat Woman smelled it and said it seemed okay. Buddy suggest that Fat Woman taste the mix. Fat Woman took a swig. Fat Woman treated the mix as medicine: she swallowed first and then breathed. Fat Woman told Buddy that it was okay, "a bit like squash".

Buddy offered Fat Woman a month of free PT if she could drink two scoops of SOUL RIPPER. Fat Woman said that for a month of free personal training she would be more than willing. Buddy backed down at high speed, saying that he didn't want to give Fat Woman a heart attack. Fat Woman wasn't unsurprised at the backing down. Fat Woman had thought that the stakes of such an easy bet were too high.

Fat Woman was surprised at how SOUL RIPPER made her feel. Within fifteen minutes Fat Woman had a delicious tingling all over her skin. Fat Woman also had the most tremendous buzz. Fat Woman couldn't understand how one little swig could have such a dramatic physical effect on her.

As Fat Woman consumes no alcohol, nicotine, and hardly any caffeine, sugar or artificial sweeteners a buzz wasn't actually that surprising.

Fat Woman texted Personal Trainer to tell Buddy that she liked his supplement.

An hour after  Fat Woman got home from the gym she was starting to come down. Fat Woman wanted another fix. Fat Woman had never had such an extreme physical reaction to anything and was rather scared by how much she was craving another slug of SOUL RIPPER. Fat Woman did look up SOUL RIPPER on the Internet, but having seen the list of ingredients (caffeine, guarano extract, ginseng as some of the more recognisable names) decided that she had better go cold turkey at once.

Personal Trainer recommended Fat Woman drink green tea for weightloss. Fat Woman said if Personal Trainer could produce a peer reviewed study she would drink as much green tea as he recommended, but that she didn't think it would deliver such a buzz, even if she was coming down. Personal Trainer agreed that come-downs were a bitch. Fat Woman was gobsmacked that Personal Trainer expected a come down and treated it as normal.

Personal Trainer said he was glad Fat Woman hadn't drunk two scoops of SOUL RIPPER. Fat Woman replied that she was choosing to believe that had both Fat Woman and Buddy been quite that stupid, Personal Trainer would have intervened. Fat Woman isn't entirely sure Personal Trainer would have stopped her.

Fat Woman is unimpressed with (a) herself (b) Buddy (c) the health and fitness market. Fat Woman wants to go to be to sleep it all off and will never, ever, ever drink another supplement again.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Fat Woman is thrown on the mat

Fat Woman has been enjoying her boxercise class. This is despite the fact Personal Trainer says his classes are not "Boxercise"(TM) but boxing fitness, or BoxFit for short. Fat Woman thinks it would have to be a pretty damn big box for her to fit in, but she will call it whatever Personal Trainer likes. Fat Woman is now on cheerful first name terms with everyone and is holding her own with the superfit people. Personal Trainer has listened and acted upon every piece of feedback that Fat Woman and Tiny Friend have given him. Tiny Friend is still rather shy of Personal Trainer and like to send her feedback via Fat Woman, but she did actually speak directly to Personal Trainer after the last class.

Fat Woman has always said that she can box but has awful problems with the Fit part of BoxFit. The very first time Fat Woman went to Personal Trainer's BoxFit class she tried to jog on the spot along with everyone else and instantly gave herself a stitch. This was nothing to the pain Fat Woman felt in her knees when she had to get up and down off the mat for each exercise. Personal Trainer noticed that Fat Woman was struggling and gave her an accommodation. Fat Woman's knees are much improved after visits to the osteopath and she doesn't find herself yelling in pain all the time now. This fortunate fact does not change the reality that when it comes to BoxFit mat work Fat Woman is the least fit person there. Fat Woman found that she could not plank, do press ups, sit ups or crunches, let alone mountain climbers. Fat Woman hadn't had a problem with this because she had no idea that planks or mountain climbers existed.

Personal Trainer changed the format of class so that mat work is now all in one lump at the end. Fat Woman is full of heartfelt and pathetic gratitude for this. It is much easier for Fat Woman to get down on a mat and stay there than it is to do sit ups, get up and box, then get down again. Fat Woman feels that because the mat work has changed to accommodate her that she would like to tackle it, as opposed to simply ignoring it and hoping it would go away. Usually Fat Woman  gets an alternative from Personal Trainer. Fat Woman would like to be able to do at least some of the exercises.

Fat Woman has been pushing herself to actually do some mat work. When visiting the osteopath about her dodgy knees issue (patella tendon and some squashed cartilage), Fat Woman enquired about the pain in her lower spine when she lies on the mat. Previously Fat Woman had hurt the part between the sacrum and the lumbar spine by doing lots of breaststroke and was worried that perhaps it was inflamed. The osteopath diagnosed a ham string issue and told Fat Woman to do ham string stretches. This advice left Fat Woman blinking. Fat Woman is not entirely sure how stretching out your foot can cure back pain. However, the osteopath seemed to be right on the money. Lots of ham string stretches later and Fat Woman's back pain is minimal to non-existent.

Fat Woman is still a 300lb+ woman though, and lying on her back causes her some considerable discomfort.   Fat Woman imagined she could feel her spine actually pressing on the mat, which is ridiculous because there is lots of fat between the mat and the spine, not to mention the skin. When Fat Woman added something soft under herself she found she was magically able to do sit-ups! There were only five sit-ups, and two days later Fat Woman's abs felt like she had given birth, but they were definitely sit-ups.

Encouraged by the new-found sit-up ability Fat Woman hit the mat during one of her gym sessions. It just so happened that Personal Trainer was working out at the same time. Unusually, Personal Trainer was not in the Big Boy's corner lifting 140kg and squatting 170kg (or possibly the other way around) but was hanging around at the other end of the gym making use of the TRX. Fat Woman was hiding behind the barbell rack, but the TRX is at 90 degrees to the mat area and Fat Woman had NOWHERE TO HIDE. Fat Woman cut her mat work short and went and did some stationary cycling instead, but she was fairly sure that Personal  Trainer had spotted her. Fat Woman had this confirmed the following day when Personal Trainer introduced bridge holds into her training. Fat Woman is very good at bridge holds, having done them for more than a year in order to help with her back injury. Personal Trainer enquired about Fat Woman's mat work and Fat Woman had to admit that she could plank for a grand total of 10 seconds, and that she could do five sit-ups.

Personal Trainer repaid Fat Woman's candour by introducing her to table tops and crunches. Fat Woman was not at all grateful.

Fat Woman can do table tops if she has a cushion under her coccyx. The same goes for crunches. Fat Woman has to actually bring a cushion into the gym, but Fat Woman is a 300lb woman and needs some accommodation, dammit. Fat Woman has also found that using two mats instead of one is beneficial.

Fat Woman found some excellent online resources and went back to the mats armed with a set of exercises to do. The list comprised:
Dorsal Raises
Ham string curls
Bridge holds
Planks - front and side
Press ups
Mountain climbers.

Fat Woman did all the exercises with the exception of the mountain climbers. In her little blue exercise notebook Fat Woman actually wrote "fuck this!" under the mountain climber heading. Fat Woman even annotated it with the date.

Doing all this mat work left Fat Woman vaguely aching the following day. Much encouraged Fat Woman went cheerfully off to BoxFit, where Personal Trainer gave the class a set which started with a mountain climbers, went on to a table top hold, moved through rotating legs in the air and then turned into crunches.

Fat Woman considers her enthusiasm for mat work to be well and truly squashed.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Fat Woman meets the fat personal trainer

Fat Woman was chatting with Personal Trainer during a session. Actually, Personal Trainer was chatting and Fat Woman was grunting out responses between sets. Personal Trainer told Fat Woman that there was a new personal trainer starting at the gym today. Personal Trainer is never entirely happy when someone arrives or leaves because he isn't fond of change. Fat Woman looked for the blonde woman Personal Trainer was pointing out but couldn't actually see whom he meant from her prone position on a bench with a 5kg weight blocking her view. Fat Woman did tease Personal Trainer about how blondes were his kryptonite, but he shook his head very firmly and stated that the new lady wasn't his type.

When Fat Woman saw the new personal trainer she understood exactly what Personal Trainer meant. Personal Trainer goes out with tiny, slim women. Fat Woman doesn't think Personal Trainer has a Napoleon complex but understands that as he is slightly below average height for a man he has more success with shorter women. Personal Trainer is very pretty and seems to be attractive enough to young women that he has the luxury of pick and choosing on superficial grounds. Fat Woman thinks Personal Trainer is smart enough to understand that superficial qualities do not make for a great long term relationship, but she isn't entirely confident that he won't fall hard for yet another game-playing future Real Housewife. Personal Trainer was very cut up when he broke it off with his first "proper" i.e. official girlfriend. Fat Woman had been waiting for it to happen since he called his girlfriend "high maintenance". Personal Trainer likes a challenge but also finds the quality of the challenge important.

Fat Woman is old and happily married and enjoys the vicarious excitement of the love lives of others. Fat Woman would like to stress that she is not like certain other clients of Personal Trainer who are slightly too interested in his life and give the impression that they are more than a little bit in love with him. Fat Woman is simply nosy.

The new personal trainer was definitely not tiny and slim. As well as being at least 5'6" the new personal trainer was carrying what looked like a lot of excess weight. Fat Woman has considered naming the new personal trainer Safe From Personal Trainer Personal Trainer, but that would be a little recursive. Fat Woman estimates that the new personal trainer is carrying at least 20 excess pounds. The new personal trainer looked fat. Fat Woman doesn't normally use the word "fat" to describe someone as it is a term used as an absolute when actually a relative term. In this situation Fat Woman is going to fall back on the term to describe someone with a slim frame who has fat sitting on top, wobbling in the way of the worst fat person cliché. Fat Woman's fat is very much a part of her - after all, she has had it all her life - and Fat Woman has it well tamed with suitable clothes and flattering styles. The new personal trainer did not give the impression she was comfortable with or even used to her fat. Fat Woman understood why Personal Trainer had muttered that "you are your own advert".

Fat Woman thought there was something rather intolerant in Personal Trainer's attitude. Fat Woman believes in Health At Every Size. Fat Woman doesn't think that a fat personal trainer is necessarily a bad personal trainer. Fat Woman suspects that Personal Trainer thinks there should be some kind of weight or BMI assessment before anyone is allowed to be a personal trainer. Fat Woman thinks that Personal Trainer would realise how ridiculous this thought is if he would look at the individual assessment criteria. After all, anyone who is super fit and muscley will have a weight or a BMI considered unhealthy by UK Government guidelines. Fat Woman thinks that Personal Trainer has a wee bit of prejudice about these things and his assessment would be a quick views as to "you look fat/you don't look fat". Fat Woman admits to carrying some of her own clichéd expectations as to what a personal trainer should look like, but hopes that now these have been exposed they will change. In short, Fat Woman was gobsmacked that there would be such a fat personal trainer, and now feels terrible that she was guilty of fat prejudice. Internalised fat prejudice is a problem that Fat Woman thought other people had, but Fat Woman has to face up to the facts that she is as vulnerable as anyone.

Fat Woman introduced herself to the new personal trainer that same day. Fat Woman found out that the new personal trainer was a professional dancer who suffered a knee injury and then put on lots of weight. Fat Woman is slightly smug because she told Personal Trainer that this is probably what happened, and would therefore like to claim points as being the more generous and tolerant of the two of them. The new personal trainer is newly qualified, which makes Fat Woman wonder if the new personal trainer has taken up a career in personal training as a dieting tactic.

Fat Woman thinks there is no harm in being friendly to the new personal trainer. Fat Woman liked friends at the gym. Fat Woman thinks the atmosphere amongst the personal trainers is rather like a High School movie. Currently all the good looking popular kids are slightly revolted by the overweight new girl. Fat Woman hopes the new girl will emerge as a heroine and put two fingers up to all the prejudices.

Fat Woman wonders if the new personal trainer would like a training buddy. Fat Woman trains quite hard, but would like a friend to meet up with and do things such as padwork. Fat Woman is chary of suggesting it though in case the new personal trainer is also a bit fat prejudiced and wouldn't want to work with a fat woman.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Fat Woman is teacher's pet

Fat Woman is now training with Personal Trainer twice a week. On Friday Personal Trainer announced that he was going to teach Fat Woman a boxing combination and that she would demonstrate it to the rest of the boxercise class that evening. Fat Woman is slightly clueless at times so didn't think much about this. The only thing that occurred to Fat Woman was that Personal Trainer was being very nice to her by giving her a chance to practice the combo. Fat Woman doesn't like words like "combo" and "crimbo" but due to repeated use by Personal Trainer the word "combo" has crept into her lingo. Fat Woman also remembers "combinations" being some kind of underwear in Victorian times so doesn't like to make too much of a stand on this.

It was a counter-intuitive combination that took Fat Woman a couple of minutes to get. It went:

  • Two left jabs
  • Block the tap by Pad Man on the left arm
  • A single right jab
  • Block the tap by Pad Man on the right arm
  • Right-left-right jabs
  • Duck the Pad man's blow to the head
  • Single right jab

Fat Woman encourages you to try this combination. Combinations are much easier if they are in even numbers or can be split into equal timings e.g. 1-2, 1-2, 1-2 or 1-2-3, 1-2-3. This is 1-2, 1, 1, 1, 1-2-3, 1, 1 and not even on a left then right split.

Fat Woman trotted blithely along to Boxercise that night feeling cheerful and confident that she would not disgrace herself or Personal Trainer if she was called upon to take part in a demonstration. Fat Woman knows Personal Trainer well enough now to be quite fast at pad work. If Fat Woman doesn't hit too hard she can go fast enough to be impressive. Fat Woman was confident she had the combination down so when  Personal Trainer called upon Fat Woman, saying:  "Fattie, get up here" halfway through Boxercise class Fat Woman was clueless and cheerful enough to respond with a cheerful "Woof!" as though she was a dog responding to a whistle.

Fat Woman did not expect what was reported to her by Tiny Friend as a "definite ripple" from the other class attendees, who were mentioned in Fat Woman liked hearing about this after the fact and enjoyed imagining the surprise of the Fit People who were wondering "Why her? Why not me?"

Fat Woman stood with Personal Trainer, went through the combo slowly, then punched it out twice more in quick succession. Personal Trainer told everyone to work in pairs, then he and Fat Woman demonstrated the combination half a dozen more times. Nearly everyone else was having trouble with getting the combination.

After last Boxercise Fat Woman had admitted to Personal Trainer that she had come across a little bit of fat prejudice. Fat Woman had said that usually such people revise their initial opinion of her as lazy and stupid in under two minutes i.e. once they hear her speak but there was no way for her to show that in a gym environment. Fat Woman had shrugged this off after the initial annoyance and a lengthy blog post. Personal Trainer obviously hadn't forgotten it. After showing off the combination and a short rest Personal Trainer set Fat Woman to work with the young lady whom had made the erroneous assumptions about Fat Woman in the previous session. The difference in the body language and the demeanour of the young lady was incredible. Instead of being cocky and assuming she was in charge the young lady was instead the textbook illustration of "submissive". Fat Woman was very gracious when the young lady volunteered that she wasn't as fast as Personal Trainer and did not hit overly fast or hard.

Fat Woman is so very impressed with the cleverness of Personal Trainer. Fat Woman thinks Personal Trainer is a political genius and has made him both chocolate covered vanilla protein fudge and choc-mint-strawberry protein cake in celebration of this.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Fat Woman goes to Stitch 'n' Bitch

Fat Woman does actually have real world friends. Fat Woman may spend all her time talking about Personal Trainer and Swimming Coach but Fat Woman actually knows some other people. Fat Woman does enjoy spending time with people she doesn't pay by the hour.

Fat Woman got together with Tiny Friend and Keen Friend to do some garden training. By that Fat Woman means training in the garden, not training of the garden. Fat Woman would like a well trained garden where the plants know their place but actually has a garden that is beaten into submission once every two weeks. Fat Woman has not really exercised with friends before, but thought it would be fun to do something with the girls. When Keen Friend wanted to join in with Fat Woman and Tiny Friend's boxing workout Fat Woman didn't think to say "no". Fat Woman is part of a "Stitch 'n' Bitch" group with Keen Friend and Tiny Friend. A stitch 'n' bitch group is when you get together to do handicrafts and talk.

Fat Woman came up with an ingenious solution to the problem of three people wanting to box. A would do a set of exercises whilst B boxed and C did the pads. Then A would Box, B would pad and C would exercise. Then C would box, A would pad and B would exercise. The agreement was 15 reps of the following exercises:

Kettlebell swings
Press ups or tricep dips
Vertical row
KB deadlift
Step ups

Fat Woman did not break a sweat. Tiny Friend and Keen Friend begged to stop after twenty five minutes. Fat Woman was up for continuing for at least twice as long.

Fat Woman is very glad that for once she is not the unfit person giving up first. Fat Woman likes the powerful feeling that no quitting gives her. Fat Woman likes being top of the pile, queen of the castle, the best, the strongest.

Fat Woman would like to keep this feeling up for a little longer so she has refused the invitation to a morning run.