Thursday, 31 May 2012

Why Fat Woman's gym is like High School

Reasons why Fat Woman's gym is like High School

  1. Fat Woman goes every day Monday to Friday.
  2. Even thought Fat Woman goes every week day there is always something to do at the weekend.
  3. If Fat Woman applies herself throughout the week she gets Sundays off.
  4. The same people are there, day in and day out.
  5. Fat Woman has a locker.
  6. There are lots of classes, although Fat Woman's timetable is full of P.E. (Physical Education)
  7. If you don't work consistently you'll find you can't catch up in a rush.
  8. One bathroom stall is invariably out of order.
  9. Everyone seems to be way ahead of you in everything all the time.
  10. Everyone knows who everyone else is, even if not exactly by name.
  11. The admin staff hold more power than you think.
  12. There are friendship groups based around commonalities in interest and shared classes.
  13. There are crushes and flirting and even romance.
  14. The cafeteria food is terrible.
  15. There is DRAMA.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Fat Woman and the cold

Fat Woman has caught a cold and feels terrible. Fat Woman doesn't like being ill so has a lot of methods for coping with the symptoms. Currently Fat Woman has a sore throat so the coping methods include a throat spray, lozenges and hot lemon paracetamol drinks. Fat Woman then eats things such as scrambled eggs on toast in order to offset the digestive side effects of the over-the-counter remedies.

At least, Fat Woman used to.

Now Personal Trainer says "no bread". Fat Woman spent the morning putting off the need to eat carbs. Eventually Fat Woman twigged on to the idea of baked potatoes. Formerly baked potatoes were evil. Now they are her only hope as pasta is also disallowed.

Fat Woman is miserable and grumpy and when Personal Trainer texted that she couldn't have bread with her eggs she texted back that she hated him*. Fat Woman knows Personal Trainer doesn't care so long as she doesn't eat the bread.

*Fat Woman did put (transference) after that comment and she did take it back later but she TOTALLY meant it at the time.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Fat Woman and the "worth it" moment.

Last night Fat Woman went to BoxFit. It was a tough night, especially as TinyFriend was absent and FatWoman had no natural partner. There was lots of mat work and Fat Woman had to take lots of accommodations. Fat Woman can't do burpees yet, and she can't do mountain climbers, and she certainly isn't going to wipe out all her energy by attempting jump squats. Even on the sit ups, which Fat Woman has been practising she managed two sets of ten whilst everyone else did three sets of 20. Fat Woman was holding on to the fact this is a vast improvement, and that whilst she might be performing two thirds below everyone else, this is actually a huge improvement on two months ago when she managed five sit ups and two days later wondered if she'd given birth without noticing.

Initially Personal Trainer didn't know about Fat Woman's mat work. Fat Woman had printed off this guide, which turned out to be provided by the British Army, and was spending 45 minutes every Tuesday afternoon working her way through the possibilities. Personal Trainer found this out when his schedule changed and he was treated to the sight of Fat Woman doing planks and bridges and sit-ups. Fat Woman told Personal Trainer that she was practising because she would like, just for once, not to be the worst in the class at everything in mat work. Personal Trainer assured Fat Woman that she was a better boxer than lots of them. Fat Woman thanked him for the point but pointed out that she was probably a better clarinet player than most of them as well. Personal Trainer checked her times the next week (1:15) and set her the challenge of improving her plank to 1:45, which Fat Woman did the same week.

In class the last thing Personal Trainer made the class do was plank for a minute. Fat Woman made it all the way through the minute. Not everyone did.

Fat Woman is savouring the moment when she wasn't the worst in the class. It tastes so very, very sweet.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Fat Woman challenges Personal Trainer

Fat Woman and Personal Trainer are back to normal. Fat Woman has a last minute trip to Devon this weekend so Personal Trainer fitted her training session in this Friday morning. Fat Woman could have done with slightly more (i.e. any) appreciation of that fact she was changing times and missing aquarobics not just cancelling Monday's slot, but, whatever. Fat Woman knows Personal Trainer is grateful at this, even if not to her.

It turns out that Personal Trainer likes air hockey. Fat Woman likes air hockey.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Fat Woman and the hardest thing

Fat Woman has worked out what is the hardest part of being on a weight loss journey.

It isn't that you end up being on a "weight loss journey"
It isn't counting calories, planning food, shopping, weighing, cooking or even turning food down.
It isn't going to the gym, working out, the constant showers and laundry, the prioritisation, planning and organisation to get there.
It isn't injuring yourself doing something that seems perfectly safe for everyone else, the pain, the painkillers or the treatment.
It isn't the constant negotiating with the doctor to stay on top of your blood tests and prescriptions.
It isn't all the little things such as not having anything nice to wear because you've shrunk out of all your lovely clothing.
It isn't even the huge amount of money you spend on gym membership, personal training, sports classes and coaching, osteopaths, gym clothes and sports equipment.

The hardest part of being on weight loss journey is being the person responsible for everything. If you drop the ball, then the ball stays dropped.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Fat Woman is defrosting

Fat Woman and Personal Trainer have been having a froideur. Fat Woman is not entirely sure that it was solely her fault, but would guess that Personal Trainer would think it was. Fat Woman is prepared to acknowledge that she has been poleaxed by the following:

(1) Boxing injury. Fat Woman could feel the muscles in her arms were tight and not right. A trip to the osteopath about her knees ended in a return trip the same day to fix her arms. Osteopath said that in all his career he had never seen a bicep that tight "without being torn". Fat Woman allows that the muscles were awfully tight but thinks that someone who was probably at school with Personal Trainer can't have had that long a career. Osteopath did some manipulation of her arms that was uncomfortable, but it was the work he did on her deltoids and the pectoralis minor which made Fat Woman actually yell. A return trip a week later and Fat Woman is still feeling myofascial pinching. Given that Fat Woman dedicated herself to her super healthy lifestyle in order to keep her arms in use and to recover from an incredibly severe case of computer based RSI it was an incredible shock to find herself back at square one. This isn't Personal Trainer's fault, but Fat Woman would appreciate a bit more concern. Personal Trainer is meant to be looking after Fat Woman.

(2) The food issue (see last post). Fat Woman thought she had been getting on awfully well. After Personal Trainer persuaded her to have a diet review Fat Woman agreed to adjust the balance of her diet, swapping carbohydrates for fat. Fat Woman has been eating a low GI diet for five years. Her "good" food has been carbs. Hungry? Eat a piece of toast. Need lunch when out? Grab a sandwich. Taking bread out her diet leaves a hole which Fat Woman has not been totally able to fill. Scrambled eggs on toast work. Scrambled eggs on Ryvita don't work. Of course, Fat Woman could eat bread if she wanted to, but she's going with the plan for a bit. The constant thinking about food is wearing Fat Woman down when she had been so free before.

(3) The food monitoring issue. Fat Woman's one big food issue is that she hates it when people monitor what she eats with a view to controlling it. This stems from the attitude of people who thought that Fat Girl didn't need to eat because she was fat. When Fat Woman was talking about people withholding food when she was hungry to Swimming Coach he exclaimed: "But that's torture!" Fat Woman adores that man sometimes; he gets it.  Fat Woman hates, hates, hates it when people make uninformed judgements about what she is putting into her mouth. Despite Fat Woman having two days of fraught correspondence culminating in a face to face serious talk with Personal Trainer about the fact she had issues with people allowing (or not allowing) her to eat, Personal Trainer jumped into this bear pit with both feet. Ironically, he did so when Fat Woman was waiting for him to discuss her diet plan.

Personal Trainer had chosen 11am as the time to meet. He was more than an hour late, so Fat Woman was late for lunch. Fat Woman's diet is like quantum cryptography: the very act of looking at the data causes changes. Fat Woman had not eaten as much as she could have for breakfast and was in desperate need of food. When Personal Trainer came to find her at nearly 1 o'clock Fat Woman had just taken the lid off her Marks and Spencer's prawn salad. For international readers, Marks and Spencer have a premium grocery store famed for excellent convenience food. The prawn salad had been on special offer at just £2. Fat Woman would have been happy with any of the following reactions from Personal Trainer:
  • "I'm sorry I'm so late." 
  • "I'm sorry that I am so late and I also can't talk straight away because I have another client."
  • "A salad? Well done. Those prawn salads are low in carbs and calories and high in protein."
  • "I'm really sorry that my lateness is messing with your eating."
  • "Don't eat that! I'll buy you something better to keep you going until we can talk."
  • "Do bring the nutrition label of your lunch to our talk so we can discuss it along with your meal plan."
Fat Woman would have actually preferred Personal Trainer to say nothing. Fat Woman agrees with Mr Ronan Keating, that when it comes to nutrition Personal Trainer says it best when he says nothing at all.
What Personal Trainer actually said when he got Fat Woman's attention after appearing behind her as she sat on the steps outside the gym was: "I don't like those."

Since giving up Diet Coke Fat Woman no longer suffers quite so badly from low blood sugar. This is lucky because Fat Woman's car couldn't take many more dents. However, whilst Fat Woman is able to be hungry for a while there comes a point when she takes on a demeanour not dissimilar to the Hell Hound in this video:

Like the poor maligned beast in this video Fat Woman is a cute and cuddly being most of the time. That time ends when Fat Woman goes past hungry and very hungry into FEED ME NOW! Yes, just like Audrey 2.

Fat Woman tries not to become a snarling, slavering beast but honestly, she had just peeled back the shiny cellophane and hadn't even had a chance to dig her fork into the lovely fresh, crunchy salad and then this whippersnapper starts making oblique comments such as: "I don't like those."

Instead of yelling: "Who the hell cares?" and scooping out a handful of prawns covered in marie rose sauce to shovel into her mouth, Fat Woman hung on to her civility. It was only just, but Fat Woman is quite fond of Personal Trainer and didn't want to slaughter him on the spot, if only because she needs him to turn up at 11.30am on Monday. The civil response Fat Woman came up with was: "You mean you don't like prawns? Or do you mean you don't like me eating prawns?" Fat Woman didn't intend to put a savage emphasis on the last sentence, but quite honestly what can anyone expect when they stop a fat woman from eating a lunch, the very lunch from which they have been keeping her? That Personal Trainer went on to divulge that he disliked such salads because they had mayonnaise in them was a testament to the young man's blinkered certainty that he was (a) right and (b) other people should know this.

Fat Woman saved Personal Trainer from certain death by telling him that she would catch him on the other side of his training session when she wasn't so low in blood sugar that a doctor would make her eat glucose. Fat Woman ate her salad, which had been quite spoilt, and met with Personal Trainer an hour later, when he told her that he wanted her to reduce her carbs from 220g daily to 100g and to replace the calories with fat.

Unfortunately, the damage was done. Personal Trainer had effectively plastered a DANGER - MINES sign over himself. Fat Woman was constantly waiting for him to ask her what she had for breakfast and tell her how she had failed in some way. It made Fat Woman quiet in training sessions, almost to the point of hostility. Fat Woman couldn't help it; she no longer felt safe. This made Fat Woman feel very sad as Personal Trainer had been her rock for nearly six months. Personal Trainer is a sensitive little puppy and picked up on Fat Woman's change in mood, and Fat Woman knew this, but there Fat Woman simply didn't have a handle on her feelings yet. Withdrawn and compliant and not too sarcastic was the best she could manage.

(4) The thyroid issue. Fat Woman is concerned about the impact of eating low carb on her thyroid hormone levels. Fat Woman has read that a low carb diet can increase reverse T3. The end result of this is that she would feel like death but the blood tests available to her wouldn't show any change. Fat Woman isn't going to discuss this with Personal Trainer because she doesn't think he knows about this. Nor is Fat Woman keen to discuss it with her GP as they are such generalists they are unlikely to know about anything other than the eat less move more edicts.

Fat Woman has done a lot of thinking and has decided that Personal Trainer is not allowed to talk about nutrition unless she brings it up or it is at monthly review. Fat Woman now feels a lot better about this and found she has defrosted no end. Taking responsibility for the situation (which she feels is a very adult thing to do, especially when she would much rather someone said ohh! poor baby) Fat Woman texted Personal Trainer the night after training:

I am not really grumpy moody client. I'm just poleaxed because I started training to keep use of my arms, and now I'm sitting back at square one. I'm just scared. I'll get past it by next Monday. Sorry. 

Fat Woman lied in this text. Hurt arms is not the only reason she is upset. It might not be even the major reason, but she didn't want to lose the friendly, positive relationship she had with Personal Trainer. Fat Woman does feel that Personal Trainer is responsible for some of her predicament - he certainly never said "Don't hit anyone too hard, you could damage yourself" - but he obviously does the best he can with what he has. Fat Woman is trying not to project too hard and doesn't need him to acknowledge any culpability.

Personal Trainer didn't mention the text but he did make an effort to seek out Fat Woman, even making time to do in the gym rather than waiting until they crossed paths in the café. Fat Woman knows Personal Trainer well enough to take this as an expression of concern. Fat Woman was more her usual cheerful self after this.

Fat Woman is still on her guard though.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Fat Woman and the wardrobe edit

Fat Woman has always been well dressed. Not necessarily well dressed in a US media designer clothes Sex And The City kind of way, but stylishly, appropriately and sometimes even fashionably. Fat Woman has developed her own style and has appeared well groomed and confident at every occasion. Fat Woman liked the French elegance of the bourgeois with its quality and simplicity. Thus Fat Woman's wardrobe has held twin sets in several colours, cashmere jumpers, classic plain slacks in flattering cuts, cotton long sleeved shirts and jeans for informal occasions. Fat Woman has a separate hot weather wardrobe with lined trousers and light tops and shirts.

Fat Woman now weighs less than 300lb. This is essentially a good thing. Thanks to all the work with Personal Trainer Fat Woman has also dropped at least four dress sizes. This change has presented Fat Woman with a new challenge. Fat Woman had a vague idea that she could continue to wear her current wardrobe until she was stabilised at her target weight. After all, if you are too fat you can't fit into something but if the clothes are too big you can get into them.

Fat Woman was enjoying getting slimmer. Jeans that were previously tight around the thigh now fit perfectly. Unfortunately this meant that the previously fitting waistline became gaping. At the point where she was belting her jeans almost directly under her breasts Fat Woman realised she was starting to look ridiculous and went and bought some jeans that fitted her.

Fat Woman obviously had no idea of just how small her body would get, or what the actual effects of this would be. Being a smaller size means that necklines don't sit in place but instead fall sideways to show bra straps or forwards to show breasts and bra. Trousers with a bunched in waist tied up high have a habit of slipping down. Fat Woman is not averse to showing off flesh, but there is a time and a place and in front of Personal Trainer is definitely not one of them. A rising of t-shirt to show a gap above the waistband might be forgiven in the gym but the flashing of stretch-marked breast in the coffee bar would be simply inappropriate. Fat Woman doesn't want to traumatise the poor boy. Whilst all men have to realise that women age and are generally flawed as a result it is a realisation which should dawn on them slowly, not be thrust upon them during their tender years.

On Saturday Fat Woman edited the contents of her wardrobe. Actually, it was the contents of both her wardrobe, the drawer under the bed and the large pine chest where she kept causal tops and jumpers. The mental jump was that Fat Woman is now a UK 24/26 and all the 30/32 clothes looked ridiculous. As Fat Woman was consistently a size 30/32 for the last 15 years this meant her formerly well-stocked wardrobe was decimated. Fat Woman had been relying on the clothes left over from her five stone weight loss period in 2007. Having located those which had not been thrown out Fat Woman was nonplussed when she found most of these clothes were also too big.

Fat Woman obviously has no idea of the scale of her body at different weights, or how that relates to clothes.

Fat Woman is left with the following:

Two pairs of well-fitting jeans, one black, one blue - bought new recently.
Two pairs of not so well fitting jeans.
One pair of black trousers, bought recently.

One top which fits, bought recently.
One cotton Indian style top left over from the last weight loss.
Two t-shirts, one new, one formerly too small.
Two blouses which were formerly too tight in the arms but which now fit much better.
Four long sleeved and eight short sleeved tops in the 3X size from Lands End. They don't fit but they won't cause flashing either. The short sleeved tops are part of twin sets, but the cardigans are a bit flappy to wear.

One black suit with two tops to go with it.
The skirt suit Fat Woman wore to her graduation.
One ball dress, rescued from the parental home. This was Fat Woman's first ball dress and is still a gorgeous classic cut in red velvet.
One short, light coat from last weight loss period.
One macintosh.
One utterly fabulous black suede jacket

Fat Woman can cope with a limited wardrobe. The big problem is gym clothes. Fat Woman's formerly comfortable, flattering and secure black workout trousers are now belted under her breasts. Whilst Fat Woman thinks this is actually a reasonable measure to ensure there are no gaps twixt waistband and t-shirt, the trousers don't like to stay where she ties them. Fat Woman wears and washes at least one, if not two, sets of gym clothes every day. Fat Woman simply doesn't have enough capacity to be able to edit out her gym clothes. And of course the shops are empty of gym clothes for fat ladies now it it past the January resolution time.

Whilst Fat Woman is keen to stay modest in front of Personal Trainer recent events have shown that Personal Trainer has absolutely no consideration for how Fat Woman looks. On the one hand, it is nice that Personal Trainer and Fat Woman have the kind of relationship where it doesn't matter what Fat Woman looks like. Fat Woman appreciates that Personal Trainer sees her as a person and that her value to him doesn't rest on her appearance. In fact her value rests on the £35 Fat Woman hands over every Monday, but that is as it should be. Personal Trainer did once say Fat Woman was beautiful, but it was in the context of Fat Woman pointing out to him that "We've already established you're the pretty one in this relationship." Personal Trainer said "You're beautiful!" in a very convincing manner, recovering from apparent shock that Fat Woman would say that. Fat Woman gave him one of her looks and replied in her most definite fashion: "I have personality." Fat Woman doesn't need people to tell her she is beautiful, which is lucky because most of her beauty comes from within. Personal Trainer is young and is used to being thought good looking and attractive and much more of his self image rests on how he is perceived, so far as Fat Woman can tell. Fat Woman sometimes asks Personal Trainer if "Polly wants a cracker?" because he is looking at himself in the mirror or saying something which essentially means he is asking "Who's a pretty boy then?"

Even so, on the one day that Fat Woman took time after training to primp extensively and appeared in the café wearing well-fitting clothes, carefully styled hair, flattering make up and even jewellery, it might have been expected that Personal Trainer could bring himself to say "you look nice." After all, the boy serving in the café told Fat Woman she looked nice with such enthusiasm Fat Woman forgave the  unflattering surprise. And the fat personal trainer said the same thing when she arrived two minutes later. Fat Woman had even thought she looked pretty good herself. Personal Trainer did not comment, although Fat Woman saw him noticing that she looked different. As mentioned before, Personal Trainer notices everything. It became apparent that Personal Trainer was not going to throw Fat Woman a bone by making a compliment - "Not going to stoop" was what was actually said. Therefore Fat Woman feels completely justified in going to training sessions looking streelish.

Fat Woman knows that Personal Trainer likes her best all hot and sweaty.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Fat Woman is bullied

Fat Woman had never let Personal Trainer into her nutrition. This was because Fat Woman had been burned too many times by people she had trusted as health professionals (and personal trainers) who had tried to put Fat Woman on a starvation diet. Fat Woman has control of her weight loss (70lb so far) by counting calories and following a balanced, low GI diet with a healthy amount of protein and fat. Fat Woman believes that calorie consumption vs burn is the key to weight loss, once your hormones are in balance. Fat Woman also knows that most people over estimate the amount of calories they burn and under estimate the number of calories they have consumed. Fat Woman is very careful not to do that, and weighs and measures her food, reads labels and makes sure she eats mostly whole food, and works to a calorie allowance that would give her 1lb loss each week if she were sedentary. Fat Woman thought Personal Trainer had accepted that Fat Woman was knowledgeable and in control of her diet.

Fat Woman and Personal Trainer were training when the subject of green tea as a weight loss tool came up. Fat Woman actually brought it up, and kicked herself for ten straight minutes afterwards.  Fat Woman told Personal Trainer that after he mentioned it she had looked into the subject of green tea and had not found any study proving that either the tea or green tea extract helped weight loss. Fat Woman had in fact found several studies proving that green tea wasn't any good for weight loss. Personal Trainer wasn't keen on believing this and cited that all the body builders he knew or read about used green tea. Fat Woman pointed out this was like saying that all fat ladies eat ice-cream, therefore ice-cream is responsible for making ladies fat. Correlation is not the same as causation. Personal Trainer seemed to understand Fat Woman's point. Personal Trainer came up with several other reasons why green tea was good. Fat Woman has noticed that Personal Trainer does this regarding food. Personal Trainer said soya lecithin was a fat burner but after Fat Woman pointed out it wasn't, it was just an emulsifier, he claimed he never said that.

The talk moved on to nutrition, starting with how Buddy thought that the beans on toast Fat Woman ordered the previous day had too many carbs. Personal Trainer was supportive of beans on toast. Then somehow the talk moved on via other trainers noticing how much progress Fat Woman has been making to how Fat Woman doesn't let Personal Trainer in to her nutrition.  Personal Trainer talked about how it was great Fat Woman had dropped all these jeans sizes but he wanted to get "the weight off as well". Fat Woman was a little caught on the hop as she had been showing a consistent fall in weight over the months. Admittedly she hadn't lost much this month but she hadn't followed her eating plan for two of those weeks. Fat Woman had already confessed this.

When Personal Trainer he thought Fat Woman didn't trust him on the subject of nutrition Fat Woman turned to look him in the eye and said she didn't trust him. Personal Trainer doesn't subscribe to the "calories are the baseline" view that Fat Woman does, and he does believe in other things such as low carbing. Fat Woman was kind enough to add that it was about her not a reflection on Personal Trainer himself. This seemed to fire up Personal Trainer, who may well have taken Fat Woman's refusal personally despite all that was said. Fat Woman isn't exactly sure how it happened but she ended up feeling quite beaten down, and was resting her head against the wall in a "please, no more" pose. Given that Personal Trainer is usually very good at body language Fat Woman thinks he was not concentrating on her at this poin t. For the first time ever with Personal Trainer Fat Woman felt bullied. It was as though Personal Trainer had something to prove. The irony was that not an hour earlier Personal Trainer had been telling how good at manipulating women he was. Fat Woman feels that Personal Trainer saying "I care about you" was particularly manipulative, especially as later on that day he refused to tell her that she looked nice when everyone else did, so he obviously didn't care that much about her feelings. For the record, the difference in Fat Woman's appearance was momentous. Fat Woman never usually straightens her hair or wears make up around the gym.

Fat Woman ended up agreeing  to produce a food diary of the next three days for Personal Trainer. Fat Woman went out to lunch with Tiny Friend and because she was worried about what Personal Trainer would think chose such a small meal that she was hungry afterwards. Fat Woman felt unable to eat what she needed to. Fat Woman then felt angry with both herself for giving in and Personal Trainer for pushing at her boundaries.

Fat Woman sat down and wrote to Personal Trainer. Fat Woman cried a bit when writing it but mostly accessed her inner core of steel.

I know it’s hard for you to read long emails, but you’re going to have to work with me on this. I do everything you ask me to, and if you care as much as you say you do then I really need you to understand that this is not about you, as a person or a PT. It’s about me. My life, my health, my boundaries. 

Humans need food to live. Food is a human right. I was denied enough food because people were either ignorant or prejudiced about how much food I realistically needed. In their eyes I was less than human. I learned that the only person who was going to fight for my human rights was me. I will not be ashamed of needing to eat. I will not be ashamed that I need to eat differently from other people, and I will not hand over control of what I eat. I don’t want this to be a power struggle between us, because the power stays with me. It’s what being empowered means.

I said I don’t trust you on this subject, and that is true. I don’t trust that you aren’t going to make the same mistakes or exercise the same prejudices that other people have. I don’t trust that you have the knowledge to produce a diet plan suitable for someone living with Hashimoto’s syndrome (thyroid auto immune disorder) and the complications it brings. I don’t trust that you accept things that are the bedrock of nutritional science. I’d like to be able to trust you, but that won’t happen if you have an agenda and it certainly won’t happen if you aren’t secure in working with someone who has spent a long time learning about her own health.

The biggest mistake that people have made is assigning a daily calorie value that is way too low. Already you’ve started saying: “That sounds like a lot of calories”. It might well sound like a lot of calories to you, but I am the weight I am. It takes me more energy (calories) just to exist. When you dismiss calories it takes away my justification for my right to eat. The methods for calculating how many calories a person needs i.e. their basal metabolic rate are accepted and proven. One pound of fat is 3500 calories. If you don’t accept this and the science behind them then we return to you assigning me an arbitrary value based on your prejudices. 

Say you’ve got this far and you are willing to go with this idea. You can use the calculator at to find how much energy it takes someone to maintain their weight. At my current age and weight I need 2118 calories just to exist. To be out of bed and walking around I need 2542 calories. Doing the 8+ hours of exercise I currently do I’d need 3654 calories to maintain my weight. To lose a pound of weight a week I need a calorie deficit of 500 calories each day. If I was completely sedentary that would be 2042 calories a day. I currently eat 1800 calories – half of what I could eat on my exercise plan and maintain my weight. That’s the rough equivalent of you on less than a thousand calories. There’s not a lot of room left so forgive me if I get a little defensive of my right not to starve. 
The calorie amount I get is recalculated every week when I weigh in. The recommended guidelines are below; sometimes there might be more protein and less fat, depending on what I choose to cook.
Calories 1800
Protein 60g
Carbs 265g
Fat 60g

I feel that I took two weeks off my diet plan (when I didn’t gain, just didn’t lose) and you’re jumping on this as a chance to press your advantage. Of the 20 weeks we’ve been working together I’ve lost 30lb, and three of those weeks I wasn’t dieting. If I didn’t lose for two weeks it’s most likely because I wasn’t controlling my food intake closely enough. If I do a perfect week and still don’t lose weight then it’s probably a hormone issue, not necessarily thyroid. Two perfect weeks and no loss and I’m back to the doctor.

Fat Woman then added the following two paragraphs to move the situation on towards a win-win resolution.

I would welcome your help with making my diet become more supportive of the amount of exercise I am doing. I really need you to accept that I need to eat more calories than you might initially think, and that I need a diet that is high in fibre. I eat low GI carbohydrates because I stay fuller for longer, plus they are high in fibre which also helps will satiety. 

I don’t want this to become a huge sticking point between us. If you can tell me what you want me to do and why I’ll certainly do you the courtesy of listening. I’m open to the idea that you have knowledge that would benefit me. I need you to understand me, and I need you not to see this as a challenge.

Fat Woman read the email back and decided it was too personal, too emotional to send. Instead she sent the following message:

Dear Personal Trainer,

Would you like to (1) agree that the basal metabolic rate calculator ( and the accompanying Harris-Benedict equation is accurate and applicable and that we will work with it? Or would you rather (2) read my long but persuasive email with explanations, reasoned arguments and feelings? It's 850 words, but after writing it I realise that I just want item 1. Give me item 1 and I will feel safe. If you want to discuss it some more, you can have the email.

Fat Woman hasn't yet heard back from Personal Trainer. Fat Woman has descended into an icy cool where she has all the arguments and rejoinders she needs. Fat Woman hates fights, but will fight when she feels trapped. Fat Woman feels righteously angry, and that is when she is most powerful. Fat Woman is trying to bear in mind that Personal Trainer is only young, and that she needs to avoid doing anything to make him lose face amongst his colleagues. Fat Woman is wondering if that is what this is about. Fat Woman did say that "Personal Trainer and I don't talk about nutrition" and this may well have got back to Personal Trainer. Fat Woman doesn't think it is solely about what is best for Fat Woman.

Fat Woman feels a little sad that Personal Trainer is not acting totally in a client-centred way. Fat Woman has made a mental note to introduce Personal Trainer to the concept of being "client centred".