Thursday, 25 October 2012

Fat Woman and the weights

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

Personal Trainer declared that Wednesdays are now weightlifting Wednesdays.

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

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

Fat Woman and the other client

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

Fat Woman is never late.

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Fat Woman and the arse

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

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

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

This caused trouble.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Fat Woman meets a new person

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

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

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

Fat Woman and the eaten words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Fat Woman and the disbelieving PT

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fat Woman pulled less hard.

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

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

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

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

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

Sergeant PT declared that wasn't possible.

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

Sergeant PT said that Sweet PT wasn't trying.

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

Sergeant PT said that Sweet PT had trained legs yesterday.

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

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

Fat Woman said that rowing machines are completely different.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 8 October 2012

Fat Woman and the swinging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 5 October 2012

Fat Woman and the food blues

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

Apparently pea protein is the current fashion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Fat Woman and the strange conversation

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

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

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

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

Monday, 1 October 2012

Fat Woman and the surprising weigh-in

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

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

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

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

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

The print out

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

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

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

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

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

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