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.

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