Sunday, 30 September 2012

Fat Woman and the game day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 28 September 2012

Fat Woman and the sound of pounding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fat Woman and the pit stop

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Fat Woman and the haystack

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

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

Fat Woman has stepped off the cliff.

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

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

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

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

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

Fat Woman has cancelled her contact lens fitting.

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

Fat Woman would like to stop fighting now please.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Fat Woman gets rated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fat Woman will take the pity points.

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

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

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

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

Monday, 24 September 2012

Fat Woman and the outside influence

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fat Woman and the drugs again

Fat Woman takes thyroxine. This is because Fat Woman has an underactive thyroid gland. Fat Woman also has the associated auto immune disorder, Hashimoto's syndrome, but that just means that her thyroid gland is being attacked by her own body. Fat Woman got fat because of the underactive thyroid, but she doesn't like be defensive about it. Fat Woman is still fat and is probably going to stay some level of fat her entire life because there is no evidence she can find of any woman with Hashimoto's syndrome losing 200lb.

Fat Woman struggles with her thyroid hormone levels. When Fat Woman loses weight her body needs slightly less thyroxine. First Fat Woman loses weight speedily because she is slightly over-medicated, then her weight loss crashes to a halt because she is definitely over-medicated. Fat Woman uses the NHS for her tests and it has been a struggle to be allowed more than a test once-every-six-months. Fat Woman is allowed more tests than that but relies on monitoring her symptoms to guess what her hormone levels are and  then gets a blood test to confirm it.

Right now Fat Woman has no idea whether her dose is too much or too little. Fat Woman has dry eyes for the first time ever. This is not only a new symptom but particularly galling as she was trying to get contact lenses. Fat Woman's tear response was apparently eight seconds instead of the usual two. Fat Woman hasn't had contact lenses for twenty years and was so looking forward to having them.

Fat Woman is also very cold. The weather where Fat Woman lives has recently changed to be much colder than is usual for the time of year. This means that Fat Woman has no warm winter coat that fits her and can't yet buy one in the shops because they have only light Autumn coats. Fat Woman tries to remember that she is lucky to have a house with central heating and coats that help keep her warm even if they are five sizes too big for her. Fat Woman is getting to the point where she is going to blow a hundred and something pounds on a decent coat even if it is too big for her by February.

The symptoms lead Fat Woman to think she is on the slightly low side of dosing but she is loath to change her dose in case it is a temporary blip.

Fat Woman considers it incredibly unfair that people assume that layers of fat keep you warm. Fat Woman isn't warm on the inside at all.

Fat Woman is very tired of having her hard work wasted because her thyroid dose isn't right. Every choice made is not progress but at best damage limitation. Fat Woman also finds it wearing that no one she knows in real life seems to understand the full extent of the problems an underactive thyroid causes. When Personal Trainer announced he thought Fat Woman was losing weight again because she had been retaining water Fat Woman just looked at him without knowing what to say.

Fat Woman would love to be one of those people who ate themselves fat with junk food and by drinking fizzy drinks. That would mean that Fat Woman would be finding the weight just falling off her without any crappy hormonal complications.

Fat Woman would get her thyroid cut out in a heartbeat if it meant an end to the up and down. Looking forever like your throat has been slashed has got to be better than this.

The only reason that Fat Woman hasn't rung Personal Trainer and said she isn't coming in today is because Fat Woman believes that if you stop for a good reason you'll stop for a bad reason. That and she doesn't want to cry down the phone to Personal Trainer. Fat Woman has some pride left.

Some days the pride is all that's holding Fat Woman up.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Fat Woman is awfully rude

Buddy and Personal Trainer are going away as part of a group of mates in order to get up to shenanigans. Fat Woman spends a lot of time raising her eyebrows at Personal Trainer, but actually likes hearing what the young fellows get up to. At 21 Fat Woman's friends were the not the type to go clubbing and pulling. Personal Trainer makes Fat Woman laugh with his stories of nights out.

The boys like to set each other challenges. Personal Trainer and Fat Woman have a properly professional relationship during training hour so Personal was explaining one challenge in deeply euphemistic terms. Fat Woman had no idea what he was talking about and requested that he stop talking in circles and just say what he meant straight out.

Personal Trainer said he didn't want Fat Woman to think less of him.

Fat Woman assured him that wouldn't be possible.

Fat Woman did go on to explain that she actually meant that nothing Personal Trainer got up to outside the gym would affect how she viewed him as a personal trainer, but she was inordinately grateful that Personal Trainer took the opportunity to mock, rather than simply giving her burpees.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Fat Woman and the short shorts

Fat Woman and Personal Trainer were doing half an hour of pad work. Fat Woman likes doing pad work, even if it should be one word instead of two. "Padwork" is so much better to Fat Woman's ears. Fat Woman loves this incredible form of cardio that doesn't involve her hammering on to her knee joints, giving her compressed cartilage.

Thirty minutes of boxing is a long time for Fat Woman. Personal Trainer was letting Fat Woman have little rests at the end of every round. Fat Woman and Personal Trainer were chatting about personal stuff during rest time. Personal Trainer was doing most of the talking and when Fat Woman recovered her breath enough to join in the conversation it would be time for the next round.

Thin Husband is thinking of adopting this conversational technique.

Fat Woman had seen Buddy the previous day. Buddy misses Personal Trainer but is doing his best to come to terms with the loss and fill the gap in his life with new people. Fat Woman suspects these people are ladies rather than training partners, but that's none of her beeswax. Young people are allowed to enjoy themselves,

Buddy is working hard at preparing for his 21st birthday trip with his boys at the end of the month and his efforts are starting to pay off. Buddy was working the short shorts so successfully that Fat Woman told him that she was going to tell Personal Trainer that Buddy had beaten him on the short shorts front this month. Personal Trainer had been claiming dominance over other trainers in the short shorts stake earlier in the week.

Buddy asked Fat Woman if she liked his new shorts. Fat Woman assured him she thought that the black shorts with the retro white stripes were very stylish.

Eventually Fat Woman took pity on Buddy and told him that not only were the shorts lovely, he looked very lovely in them. Buddy was very pleased.

Personal Trainer claims they were his shorts first. Apparently Buddy begged for those shorts. Fat Woman thinks that Buddy's longer legs might have contributed to a more impressive effect as she certainly never particularly noticed Personal Trainer wearing the short shorts. Fat Woman regards Buddy as an extension of Personal Trainer i.e. as a child, so was surprised she noticed Buddy looking different at all.

Fat Woman thinks it was probably Buddy's fake tan and leg wax that contributed to the overall impressiveness. Fat Woman wouldn't want anyone thinking she is going around staring at the legs of young men. Fat Woman really isn't. And definitely not Buddy's legs.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Fat Woman goes to Boxercise

Fat Woman has been going to BoxFit at her gym since April. At first Personal Trainer protected Fat Woman, but now Fat Woman holds her own in both boxing and mat work. Fat Woman is still awfully slow when it comes to running, but that may pass. Fat Woman loves nothing more than to spend the best part of an hour doing hard and fast pad work cut with some killer mat work. Fat Woman is still surprised that she thinks like that, but she's rolling with it.

Tiny Friend has been an absolutely marvellous gym buddy for Fat Woman. Tiny Friend has been paying a second gym subscription since Personal Trainer was no longer able to sign her in. This works out at £9.25 a class. Understandably, Tiny Friend wondered if perhaps there was another class that both she and Fat Woman could try. Fat Woman wasn't keen, but thought it was only fair that she be open to the suggestion. There are rules of reciprocity governing friendship after all.

Tiny Friend and Fat Woman got up on a Sunday morning to go to a 10am Boxercise class at the local community centre. Fat Woman was reasonably keen because the night before Thin Husband had taken her out for a fabulous dinner and she had eaten quite a lot.

The community centre has been much improved since Fat Woman was last therein 2007, although the receptionist - a middle-aged man with the most put-upon attitude Fat Woman has seen in a while - was not the brightest spark. The receptionist was insistent that Fat Woman and Tiny Friend had to do this, and come back to him, then do that, and come back to him. Fat Woman thought it was inefficient but suspects he couldn't cope with compound tasks. Fat Woman feels like that when she's been drinking the night before.

Boxercise class was held in the sports hall. The hall was host to six badminton courts, a basketball court, an indoor football court, a netball court and possibly a hockey pitch. Fat Woman was trying to decipher the markings laid out in different coloured tape. The Boxercise instructor made sure everyone made good use of the hall, which was lucky because he certainly didn't give anyone a chance to make much use of their pads or gloves.

After a ten minute warm up of jogging around the hall the instructor got everyone to do two jabs, one after the other, Fat Woman assumed he was warming everyone up and soon they would be punching away. Fat Woman made no issue with the instructions on how to punch one pad after the other, how the pad man should say "One-Two" and put the pads down afterwards, although she could practically hear Personal Trainer not saying anything in the special way he does. The instructions on where to hold your hands when you weren't punching were just shocking. Fat Woman is the first to admit that she has a lazy right arm, and has been hit on the head for it, but she fails to see what good your hands will do if you rest them on your boobs.

That was it. One-Two. Then Three-Four. This was two high hooks. That was IT for the entire class.

No combinations.

No sit-ups.

No rounds.

No uppercuts.

Fat Woman was BORED. Usually when Fat Woman leaves BoxFit class she feels she's had a great workout and needs a shower. In Boxercise the only reason Fat Woman broke a sweat at all was because the instructor got the pad men to stand in different parts of the hall and made the boxers run between them. If Fat Woman wanted to go running she'd go running. Fat Woman doesn't want to pay £5 and get up on a Sunday morning to go running. Fat Woman certainly doesn't want to go running hampered by a pair of boxing gloves.

Tiny Friend is now satisfied that the gym BoxFit class is worth the financial investment for her.

Fat Woman thinks it was worth £5 to be able to sneer forever at Boxercise classes and be able to refuse to go ever again. Fat Woman considered it would have been worth another £5 to have the experience of being too fit for a class billed as "hardcore".

Tiny Friend let Fat Woman go to the car boot sale afterwards as a reward for not telling the instructor how rubbish his class was and that he was a coward for not letting Fat Woman give him a pair of hooks.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Fat Woman and the larder

Fat Woman is a foodie. Fat Woman loves trying new food and really appreciates great quality food. This year Fat Woman is listing the trout, pigeon and pheasant provided by Personal Trainer alongside the freshly picked raspberries, courgettes and runner beans generously donated by friends with allotments as the best things to make their way into her kitchen. Fat Woman relies on friends with green fingers because the only things she can grow successfully is Jerusalem artichokes. Fat Woman was so pleased by her first crop of Jerusalem artichokes that she provided all her friends with some to eat and some to plant. Apparently, Jerusalem artichokes are the Japanese knotweed of the vegetable world and Fat Woman's name has been mentioned at the Allotment Owners Social, not in a good way. Fat Woman offsets her inability to grow produce by producing baked goods throughout the year, and turning large volumes of produce into preserves such as chutney. Fat Woman's kitchen is just recovering from her recent runner bean chutney efforts.

Fat Woman has a gorgeous kitchen if she says so herself. At the time of building both Fat Woman and Thin Husband worked in offices where they were surrounded by pale wood furniture. Thin Husband was insistent that he did not want his kitchen to look like his office. Fat Woman didn't think that a hand-carved oak farmhouse kitchen with granite worktops was going to bear much resemblance to Thin Husband's technology bunker, but when Thin Husband puts forth an opinion Fat Woman nurtures it as though it was a delicate seedling of some rare plant that appeared in the garden. Fat Woman's kitchen therefore has red cabinets with white counters and tiles with black and white checked floor. Fat Woman thought this was terribly stylish and a little bit 1950s Americana, although she became slightly less pleased with herself when the builder assured her that he now understood how the colour scheme was going to work because he'd seen the same thing at the weekend and it had worked really well. The stylish place using Fat Woman's combination of black-and-white diagonal squares with red was Burger King.

Fat Woman doesn't really care what her kitchen looks like, although she is terribly pleased with her vintage octagonal smoked glass table, which just completes the look, but she adores how marvellously well designed and functional the kitchen is. Fat Woman particularly loves what the builders called "the return" - the piece of counter sticking out into the room that separates the food preparation area from the dining area - and often stands there preparing dinner whilst chatting to friends.

The crown of the kitchen as far as Fat Woman is concerned is her larder. Fat Woman has a proper larder with vents leading directly to the outside. Visitors are often surprised to find an old-fashioned larder in a modern kitchen, or even to learn what a larder is. There isn't room to walk into Fat Woman's larder because it has modern pull-out baskets nearly all the way down.

Fat Woman likes to "turn over" parts of her home on a regular basis. This means that Fat Woman picks a location that needs some attention - the study booksheleves, the airing cupboard and her jewellery box have all gone through this process in the last year - and spends some time going through absolutely everything, weeding out damaged or unwanted items and putting everything back neatly. In order to make space for the latest batch of chutney Fat Woman found herself turning over the larder.

Fat Woman won't generally eat things past their "best before" dates. Fat Woman isn't a supertaster but she can tell when a can of something is past its BBF (Best BeFore for any pedants). Fat Woman has proved this ability in blind testing and has ruined too many dishes by thinking "it'll be okay" and remembers one particularly upsetting evening when she was so looking forward to a pancake with cherry pie filling and the pie filling had a metallic taste because it was a week past its BBF. To the frustration of elderly relatives Fat Woman simply won't eat stale food. Fat Woman spent far too many years of her life feeling guilty about needing to eat and now she has got over that she isn't going to risk developing food issues by forcing herself to eat things she doesn't need to. Fat Woman agrees that food past its BBF isn't going to kill her, but she also believes that manufacturers make the BBF as long as possible to increase shelf life.

By the end of the larder turn over Fat Woman had filled two sacks of food.

Fat Woman no longer makes carb-heavy Italian food such as lasagne and risotto:

  • three pints of semi skimmed long life milk
  • a pint of whole long life milk
  • three kilos of high grade pasta flour
  • a box of dried tagiatelle
  • wild mushroom sauce for risotto
  • a packet of dried lasagne verdi
  • a packet of dried mixed mushrooms
  • a packet of mix for minestrone soup

Fat Woman no longer makes cakes and puddings outside special occasions (even if means not finishing up food):

  • two jars of mincemeat (Xmas mince pies)
  • half a packet of trifle sponges 
  • a packet of semolina (Xmas shortbread)
  • a packet of Italian Ratafias (dinner party)
  • four packets of sugar free jelly (home eating)
  • a tin of macaroni (food for when Fat Woman is ill)
  • half a packet of pudding rice (from making rice pudding when Fat Woman was really ill)
  • a packet of dried mixed fruit (Xmas stollen)

  •  tub of glacĂ© cherries (Xmas cake)
  • a jar of strawberry jam (jam tarts)
  • a packet of whole blanched almonds 
  • a tub of cream of tartar (meringues)
  • a snack packet of dried apricots

Fat Woman no longer makes calorific food such as burgers, sausages or bruschetta for weekend brunch:

  • a jar of onion marmalade
  • a bottle of reggae reggae barbecue sauce
  • a bottle of HP barbecue sauce
  • a jar of Devon fire chutney
  • half a bag of sundried tomatoes

Fat Woman no longer makes a full roast dinner:

A packet of apple, cranberry and roast chestnut stuffing

a packet of paxo

Fat Woman was going to make recipes with these ingredients but changed her diet and they are no longer appropriate:

  • Massaman Thai curry paste
  • a spice mix for "cajun rice with beef"
  • a packet of soba noodles

Outside these items, Fat Woman had just the following:

  • two bags of coffee beans - from when the cappuccino machine needed maintenance.
  • a Food Doctor wholesome bulger wheat and quinoa pot - no matter what Fat Woman hoped, it's not as eatable as a  pot noodle
  • green Thai curry paste - this was a simple accident as Fat Woman does a Thai curry every other week.
  •  jar of gravlax sauce - Fat Woman is not entirely sure what she was thinking.

Fat Woman rather regrets the soba noodles but will find a specific recipe before she buys any more.

Fat Woman doesn't hate waste. Fat Woman hates it when people say they "hate waste". Fat Woman doesn't purposefully waste food, but giving the messages she has received loud and clear over the years about how obesity is so awful, even a killer (which she doesn't actually believe or she would be dead five times over by now) she would rather "waste" food than compromise her eating.

Fat Woman is only turning over the larder as a form of procrastination. Really Fat Woman should be turning over her clothes.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Fat Woman goes driving

Fat Woman was having a really bad week. Fat Woman was so sleep deprived that she was seven minutes late to a training session, which has never happened before.

Fat Woman warned Personal Trainer not to tease her because she was too strung out to handle it. Personal Trainer declared that he never teases Fat Woman, which was in itself a tease, or possibly a whopping great fib. Fat Woman didn't even bother to point out how ridiculous this statement was, just rolled her eyes.

Fat Woman's eyes are possibly the most exercised part of her in the gym. Personal Trainer makes Fat Woman roll her eyes or raise them to heaven more times than he makes her clean and press a kettlebell.

Personal Trainer's new gym has nice, Olympic standard kettlebells. Fat Woman's only problem is that the 8kg ones are pale pink. Fat Woman is allergic to pale pink gym equipment. Personal Trainer wears baby pink, but he is a big tough lad and his baby pink watch is nattily ironic. Fat Woman thinks that baby pink makes her look ridiculous, as though she is delusional enough to think that actually she is an itty bitty delicate ickle thing.

Personal Trainer offered to get the boxing belt out of the car so Fat Woman could punch him. Fat Woman thought this extraordinarily kind of Personal Trainer, but declined on the grounds that although she doesn't hurt him much she does hurt him a bit, and that rather took the fun out of it for her.

Personal Trainer announced he was going to the driving range after training. Personal Trainer turned to Fat Woman and said: "Have you got your clubs?" When Fat Woman said she had got her clubs Personal Trainer had to take her with him.

Personal Trainer has a full set of professional standard clubs. Fat Woman has four clubs. Personal Trainer didn't laugh, which was nice of him.

Fat Woman has recently learnt to play golf. Fat Woman needs to learn a lot more. Fat Woman had developed some bad habits since her introductory lesson, but after a couple of helpful tips from Personal Trainer she was at least hitting straight balls again. It also helped that Personal Trainer eventually showed her how to change the tee size.

Personal Trainer took his number one wood and hit some balls out of the driving range. After the fourth ball that neither Personal Trainer or Fat Woman saw come down they agreed it was time he switched clubs. This meant that Personal Trainer was making the balls travel over 300m.

Fat Woman didn't manage a hundred metres. Fat Woman thinks this is annoying because she did much better on the golf course.

Fat Woman was very cheered up after hitting fifty golf balls and thinks it was very nice of Personal Trainer to let her tag along.  Fat Woman has declared non-shooting Wednesdays to be driving range days and is looking forward to playing with her new 3 wood.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Fat Woman gets a pass

Fat Woman went back to the netball club and found it much more enjoyable. There was a different coach, which Fat Woman suspects was the major reason for a difference in tenor.

Fat Woman particularly enjoyed playing Wing Defence. There was a beautiful moment when Fat Woman was in the right place to catch the ball from the Goal Defence and then passed it on to the Centre. The play was textbook. For a moment Fat Woman was right in the game, playing netball like it should be played. It was a fabulous feeling.

Fat Woman got to select her positions this week. Fat Woman liked being a Wing. It means she gets to run up and down two thirds instead of one, getting some exercise, but is relieved from the pressure of shooting.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Fat Woman goes clubbing

Fat Woman wanted to play a team sport. Fat Woman has often acknowledged that she is externally motivated and the activities which have stuck with her - personal training, aquarobics, BoxFit - all have great people whose company she enjoys. Fat Woman wanted to take part in a game rather than just another kind of exercise.

Fat Woman researched the sports available and chose netball. Fat Woman doesn't like football, thinks hockey has too much running and is a bit scared of the very good local rugby team. Fat Woman played netball at school and had nice memories of being able to shoot goals. Oldest Friend plays on a netball team and said that it was mostly thirty and forty something women all having fun. Fat Woman liked the idea of playing a game with people who might become friends so signed up to the village netball club after some correspondence where she was assured that the club was very friendly and there was space for people who weren't very good.

Fat Woman hadn't realised just how much Personal Trainer had protected her.

The village netball club had just incorporated the "junior" section. This meant that instead of middle aged ladies Fat Woman was playing with two dozen 16 to 19 year olds, all fit and experienced players and in the physical prime of their lives. Fat Woman's heart sank rather, but there were some older players as well.

Warm ups involved a lot of running. Fat Woman doesn't mind running, but she is still very slow and simply cannot keep up. Fat Woman thanked her stars that Personal Trainer had decided to put running in to BoxFit class for the last couple of weeks so she was used to trailing along behind everyone. Fat Woman was fit enough to run, she was just very, very last all the time. Fat Woman is too used to this to find it demoralising but she was surprised to find that she simply wasn't expecting it.

Fat Woman was slightly surprised to find that the whole club operated at one level and that the level was reasonably high. The Coach made no quarter for the fact that there were some people there who knew nothing about netball. Fat Woman remembered her games teacher at school who always taught to the majority. Oldest Friend says that she remembered how the games teacher treated Fat Woman and when Oldest Friend became a PE teacher she practised inclusiveness. Fat Woman thinks that a club situation must be rather different.

Fat Woman didn't break much of a sweat playing netball because there is just one court for four teams until next month and everyone had to take turns. Of the new people Fat Woman was the last to be asked what she liked to play so she ended up as Goal Keeper. Fat Woman felt useless and pointless as Goal Keeper, especially when marking someone in the first team. Fat Woman feels it is much easier to play an attacking position as you can take the initiative.

Fat Woman is wondering what to say to the Netball Coach. Fat Woman doesn't want to end up as Goal Keeper. Fat Woman would rather be a useless Wing Attack and get some exercise. At the end of the ninety minute session Fat Woman didn't feel like she'd done more than fifteen minutes of exercise, ten of which were in the warm up. Fat Woman considers that as she won't be playing in a match situation it shouldn't be necessary to minimise the amount of damage she does or compensate for her weaknesses.

Fat Woman was made welcome, but not as welcome as her friend who came along on the spur of the moment. Fat Woman's friend is tall and likes running and was invited to matches that night. Fat Woman's treatment was rather different. Fat Woman felt the sting a little bit, but wasn't entirely surprised.

Fat Woman is going back to Netball Club tomorrow. At the very least Fat Woman is going to take a  little pleasure in confounding expectations.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Fat Woman goes to a new gym

Fat Woman went to train with Personal Trainer at his new gym. Personal Trainer hadn't made the best start at his new location thanks to an extremely heavy night out on Saturday with his old colleague and a new young lady friend. Fat Woman considered the boy needed a shave, a sleep and possibly a stiff talking to.

The new gym is very, very different. Fat Woman missed the people at the old gym. Usually Fat Woman talks to five people before she gets to the gym floor and seven people afterwards. This gym had seven people there. Fat Woman managed a conversation in the changing room though.

Fat Woman and Personal Trainer did pad work in a real boxing ring. Fat Woman liked the springy ropes. Fat Woman also learned to stand a little differently, which helped with her guard. Fat Woman's breasts were less in the way when she turned a little sideways.

Fat Woman was fitness tested again. Personal Trainer had forms where he recorded Fat Woman's results and a little folder for her to keep them in. Fat Woman smiled sweetly and made a mental note to upgrade the folder, and also the forms. Fat Woman's heart rate after the step test was apparently "poor". Fat Woman is gutted.

Fat Woman gave Personal Trainer a box of her lemon drizzle cupcakes to aid him in making friends. Personal Trainer suggested he would eat them all. Fat Woman suggested that he might have an eating disorder. Fat Woman said if he wasn't up to socialising today the cakes would wait until the next day. Fat Woman thinks that a gift is a gift and you can't dictate what happens with it, but she finds it hard to fathom why anyone would want to eat 12 lemon drizzle cupcakes rather than give half a dozen away.

Fat Woman didn't get to meet Personal Trainer's personal trainer friend. Fat Woman is interested to meet the man who enticed Personal Trainer away from her gym.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Fat Woman is FitFluential Q1

Q1: Did you set any fitness or health goals for 2012? What? How did it go?

I set myself the goal of becoming fit. I wanted to be able to move, to walk without panting, to be able to keep up with my friends. I wanted to become a person who wasn't regarded as practically disabled. Most of all, I wanted to get control of my body and avoid weightloss surgery.

Q2: Do you have a fitness-related goal for the rest of the year? What is it?
Q3: Who has goals related to healthy eating?
Q4: Long term goals? What’s on your #FitnessBucketList?
Q5: Do you share your goals with others for accountability?
Q6: How often do you set / evaluate your goals?
Q7: How do you reward yourself for meeting specific goals (short term or long term)?
Q8: What sorts of obstacles have been thrown in your way?
Q9: How do you overcome the challenges that arise during your pursuit of goals?
Q10: What is your proudest fitness-related achievement so far this year?

Personal Trainer is leaving

Personal Trainer is leaving Fat Woman's gym. Fat Woman has had a while to get used to the idea. In fact, the "I'm leaving" shock didn't really touch Fat Woman whose mental capacity on hearing the news was to ask where Personal Trainer was going and work out how far away it was. There was a teeny point in time of approximately twenty seconds when there was a possibility that Fat Woman would have to find a new trainer, but Fat Woman will be travelling to see Personal Trainer at his new gym. Fat Woman has calculated that at best it will be an extra seven minutes each way. Fat Woman is therefore cheerful about the move and doesn't really think it affects her.

Personal Trainer has been at the gym since he started working as a Personal Trainer. Fat Woman suspects he is a little bit apprehensive about leaving, as well as excited. Personal Trainer is quite popular, and Fat Woman hopes that his friends will make him feel appreciated.

Fat Woman did her part towards making Personal Trainer feel appreciated by buying a "Sorry you're leaving card" from Marks & Spencer and spending the last month getting everyone at BoxFit class to sign it. Fat Woman also bought a helium balloon saying "Good Luck" on it. Fat Woman got the longest attending lady to present the card, and the youngest, prettiest lady to present the balloon. Fat Woman disguised the balloon in shopping bags during class. Fat Woman likes both ladies and fancies they were the ones who would most appreciate the chance to give Personal Trainer a kiss. Fat Woman doesn't want to be kissing Personal Trainer. The day before Fat Woman woke with a shocked start from a dream where Personal Trainer kissed her on the cheek. Fat Woman was extremely relieved to find out that dream dictionaries consider a kiss on the cheek to be a symbol of friendship and respect.

Fat Woman also made up a gag gift for Timmy who works in the café. Fat Woman likes Timmy, he's good for a laugh and even some flirty banter. On Friday night Fat Woman went looking for ice and Timmy said: "You look hot!" Fat Woman can never miss an opportunity for comedy so turned to the little young, blonde receptionist standing next to Timmy and said: "I bet when young men say that to you they mean something different." Timmy is nice enough and likes Fat Woman enough to continue the joke by saying "That's exactly what I meant."

Timmy had the idea of presenting Personal Trainer with a champagne bucket to commemorate the recent occasion when Personal Trainer drank so much he had to throw up into a champagne bucket. Fat Woman doesn't approve of quite that level of drunken behaviour, but it had been the source of much merriment and teasing. Timmy confided to Fat Woman that he had failed to find anything suitable. Fat Woman was tickled by the idea, and found a solution during the break between training and BoxFit. despite being unable to find the silver ice-bucket that Thin Husband hates with a passion, she used a can of spray paint and a cut-down protein powder pot to whip up a champagne bucket. Fat Woman used polystyrene chips instead of ice and added a little bottle of champagne for scale. Fat Woman had been given the champagne as part of a classical concert experience when she was 17. Fat Woman only kept the bottle because her mother thought she should. Fat Woman has since experienced much nicer champagnes. Fat Woman wrapped the whole lot up with the fancy clear plastic wrap she uses for toffee apples and cookies and tied it with a big bow of black ribbon left over from her choir cake. Personal Trainer laughed so loud Fat Woman could here him in the changing room.

Fat Woman was invited to Personal Trainer's leaving drinks at uber trendy bar/club but declined on the grounds the invitation was issued after she teased him that he hadn't invited her. Personal Trainer said he hadn't invited Fat Woman because he didn't think it was her sort of thing. Fat Woman agreed thoroughly with this and pointed out that Personal Trainer was leaving the gym, not her. Personal Trainer seemed very comfortable with this idea. Fat Woman used the same line with three other women of a similar age. When they asked if Fat Woman was attending Personal Trainer's leaving drinks Fat Woman would laugh a little, pull a face and say the bar wasn't really her sort of thing, so she'd declined on the grounds that Personal Trainer wasn't leaving her. All three women nodded understandingly and said they would drop in for one drink. Fat Woman is very glad not to have to brave the under-dressed and under-aged crowds in town on a Saturday evening.

Fat Woman doesn't think Personal Trainer is going to be up for shooting on Sunday.

Fat Woman hopes that Personal Trainer is clued up enough to realise that she has done a fair bit to mark this big event in his life. Personal Trainer is likely to be sensitive enough to feel badly if he thinks Fat Woman hasn't done anything.