Friday, 23 November 2012

Fat Woman and the hamstring curls

Fat Woman asked Personal Trainer if they could work very hard for the next three weeks until the end of their first year together. Fat Woman mentions this so that Personal Trainer knows that they have a landmark coming up. Fat Woman doesn't expect Personal Trainer to mark the occasion in any way - after all, she is only one of his many clients - but it is a huge deal for Fat Woman. Fat Woman never expected to train this long or this much or to achieve what she has achieved. A year later and Fat Woman feels so different physically that sometimes she finds it hard to remember how tiring everything was, and how much worry and planning she had to do all the time.

Fat Woman would make a cake to celebrate, but then someone would have to eat it.

Fat Woman also thought about telling Personal Trainer how grateful she is, how much it all means to her, how much his support and friendship mean to her etc etc but decided it would just embarrass both of them. Instead Fat Woman will buy Personal Trainer a mug with "Best Personal Trainer In The World" on it. Or possibly a water bottle.

Personal Trainer might not be intending to buy Fat Woman flowers for their anniversary but he is invested in her end-of-year results. Last session Fat Woman worked so hard that she was super hungry all evening and ate an extra 500 calories. This session Personal Trainer introduced Fat Woman to the weighted hamstring curl but only asking permission to make Fat Woman "hurt tomorrow." Fat Woman thinks that hurt tomorrow is like jam tomorrow, it might arrive but it might not so of course she agreed to hamstring curls. Frankly, Fat Woman's hamstrings need to be taught a lesson because they require horrendous amounts of stretching to the point that Fat Woman would take assisted stretching at the end of a workout over a voucher for a massage any day. Fat Woman likes that she is actually quite flexible (thanks to Tai Chi) and makes Personal Trainer work hard during stretching.

Fat Woman found herself lying face down on a gym bench gripping a dumbell between her feet and doing hamstring curls. The dumbell was 10kg. Lifting the weight was hard for Fat Woman but staying on the narrow little bench was even harder. Fat Woman was face down, balanced on something narrower than her ironing board trying not to draw a mental comparison between her undignified position and beached whales when she realised that to do the exercise her knees needed to be firmly on the bench, and that this was not where they naturally fell. Fat Woman managed to get through three sets of hamstring curls by clamping her knees together in a way that would make a nun proud.

After the three sets Fat Woman told Personal Trainer that it would be easier if she was doing it on a wider bench. All Personal Trainer had to say was: "Request denied." Fat Woman thought this was a strange thing to say, but then asked if perhaps he was saying that because he didn't have a wider bench. Personal Trainer admitted this was the case.

Fat Woman is going to make sure she never gets sent to prison and therefore never has to sleep in a terribly narrow bed.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Fat Woman and the hot pants

Fat Woman doesn't actually have any hot pants. What Fat Woman does have is a pair of hip-to-ankle neoprene leggings called "Flares" as made by Zaggora. The name "flare" is ironic as they squeeze you tightly and definitely don't flare out. Zaggora also make "hot pants". They look like capri pants to Fat Woman, but apparently the point it that they help raise your core temperature.

Fat Woman has been wearing her Flares since purchasing them. Fat Woman agrees that the Flares make you sweat a lot, but she found them more useful for support. Fat Woman hates feeling her outlying regions wobble when she does pad work. The laws of physics apply and suddenly Fat Woman finds she is working against bits of her that are still travelling in the opposite direction.

Fat Woman has become allergic to neoprene, or at the very least the stuff from which the Zaggora Flares are made. Fat Woman has had trouble with her legs for months but thought it was an infection. On the last day of her last set of antibiotics Fat Woman had a horrible reaction that could not possibly have been an infection.

Now Fat Woman has nothing to wear as a supporting garment. Apparently skins are only worn by very thin people. Fat ladies are only allowed to wear yoga pants and cotton t-shirts. Fat Woman is desperate to find something practical to hold everything in.

Fat Woman is just not catching a break these days.

Fat Woman and the weight loss challenge

Fat Woman had agreed with Personal Trainer that if she didn't lose 3lb by Christmas Eve the she would follow any diet Personal Trainer gave her for six weeks.

Fat Woman is delighted, nay, relieved to announce that during the first three weeks of November she lost 3lb. Fat Woman is therefore not going to be following Personal Trainer's diet for a bit. Fat Woman is not entirely sure what Personal Trainer would expect her to eat but she is pretty certain that it would involved (1) no bread (2) far too much protein powder for her liking.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Fat Woman and her friends

Fat Woman had a group PT session with Personal Trainer and two friends from her village. This was the first time that Fat Woman had ever got to take part in exercise as a fun activity with more than one friend.

Fat Woman had a great time.Tiny Friend and Nurse Friend also enjoyed the session. Even Personal Trainer seemed to have a reasonable amount of fun.

Fat Woman particularly like the moment afterwards where everyone stood around eating one of her new homemade chocolate orange protein bars. Walking down to the recreation ground in a group with matching exercise mats was also pretty cool.

Fat Woman still can't run fast because she's heavy, but she was sweating less and seemed to be finding the whole thing less hard than her friends. Fat Woman permits herself a little smile over that one.

The smile only lasts until Personal Trainer makes Fat Woman do more running.

Fat Woman had a good day.

Fat Woman and the private class

Fat Woman and Tiny Friend no longer go to boxing class together. Tiny Friend had been paying a gym membership just to attend Personal Trainer's boxing class but stopped the subscription after he changed gym. Tiny Friend was very keen to find another BoxFit class to attend with Fat Woman. Tiny Friend is the best gym partner Fat Woman ever had and had, after all, been paying a lot more extra than Fat Woman to attend the class, so Fat Woman felt obliged to put on a smiley face and try the odd Boxercise class.

Personal Trainer was so amused at Fat Woman's obvious disdain for the limited world of Community Centre Boxercise and her obliged-to-by-the-rules-of-friendship predicament that he offered to do a PT session for Fat Woman and Tiny Friend in their village. Personal Trainer stated that he would do this at his usual rate because he liked Tiny Friend. Tiny Friend used to train with Personal Trainer and thinks he is the best PT since sliced bread but Fat Woman had no idea they had such a mutual admiration society. Fat Woman also noted that Personal Trainer didn't make the offer until after he heard that Tiny Friend was involved. Fat Woman thinks that sulking is unattractive in a grown up, but might have indulged in a little pique. Just a tiny little bit because Fat Woman is not going to turn down an extra boxing class with Personal Trainer.

Fat Woman has concerns about her budget. Being sporty is expensive and Fat Woman is spending more than £100 every week on sport. Therefore Fat Woman was glad to welcome a third friend into the private class. Nurse Friend runs with Tiny Friend and has been training with Swimming Coach, although Nurse Friend has been unimpressed with Swimming Coach in recent months. An extra person meant that the session would be just £10 each, or £15 if the group decided to book a room in the community centre.

Fat Woman spent a great deal of time working out how many people she would need to make a class worthwhile, but in the end decided that a great session twice a month would hold more benefit for her than the diluted effects of a class every week, especially a class that she would have all the hassle of organising.. Tiny Friend agrees, and they decided they would see about converting Nurse Friend to BoxFit before extending an invitation to anyone else.

Fat Woman is extremely excited to be working out with a group of friends. Fat Woman has always been de facto excluded from fun sporting activities and is really looking forward to taking part in one where she knows she is as good as anyone.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Fat Woman and the return to class

Fat Woman had missed two consecutive Friday evening boxercise classes for the first time since she had started attending back in April because she was staying in a different city.

Fat Woman was a little nervous about returning because the new instructor had been very hostile to her, calling her feedback "criticism". Fat Woman had simply told him the same as she'd told every other instructor, that if they don't tell people to swap partners she doesn't feel able to say that she wants to when no one else does.

As it turns out the Boxercise Boy was as sweet as pie, going out of his way to be charming, funny and encouraging. Fat Woman had a great class and is looking forward to going again.

Fat Woman really enjoyed feeling that she'd had a great workout. Fat Woman has missed exercise during the ten days she was away.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Fat Woman learns to sprint

Fat Woman had developed the idea that she could enjoy going for a run. This was a major shift in perception because everything Fat Woman knows about running is that she is much slower than everyone else, that she doesn't enjoy being left behind, and if she tries to keep up with everyone else it physically hurts. Fat Woman has a particularly lovely memory of when it was the 1500m at school. Fat Girl tried extremely hard and spent her energy before getting to the end of the course. The gym teacher was trying to get Fat Girl to run the last twenty metres, which Fat Girl wasn't going to do because her lungs already hurt unbearably. Fat Girl heard the teacher say in disgust "She won't even try." Fat Girl thought that was particularly unfair because she had tried so hard for the whole thing and was still trying hard, both to get to the finish line and not to cry at the humiliation of being so far behind everyone else.

Fat Woman had asked Personal Trainer to teach her natural running. Fat Woman wasn't entirely sure that Personal Trainer was on board with natural running, but certainly they started with running. Personal Trainer taught Fat Woman a very useful technique for sprinting from a standing start. Fat Woman will apply this to netball.

Fat Woman found it all very overwhelming, especially coming on top of the most stressful week she could remember for years. To top it all off, it was what Fat Woman considered the first day of the rest of her life. Fat Woman had done the course she had been waiting for, thus ending the year of time-off fitness. Fat Woman wasn't going to melt down in session, but skipped a shower and promised herself a few self indulgent moments when she got to the car.

On her way out of the gym Fat Woman was waylaid by Personal Trainer. Personal Trainer wanted to introduce Fat Woman to Mrs Personal Trainer. Mrs Personal Trainer is not actually married to Personal Trainer but might as well be according to all accounts. Fat Woman was utterly brain frozen, only just stopped herself from saying: "Aha! The future Mrs Personal Trainer" and was in addition concious of her unwashed hair and red face. Fat Woman's only comfort was that Mrs Personal Trainer didn't seem too chuffed to be introduced to a new person whilst she was in the middle of her own workout. Certainly Mrs Personal Trainer wasn't stopping her progress on the elliptical machine to make conversation, so Fat Woman made a quick escape, concious that she had not covered herself with conversational glory.

Personal Trainer later wanted to know if Fat Woman had been "in a mood". Fat Woman made a mental note to recommend alternative phrases such as "Are you all right?" and "Is anything wrong?" but was fairly impressed that he had both noticed and asked.

Fat Woman takes up running

Fat Woman had some unintended therapy. Fat Woman was learning a new technique and had to have it practised on her. Fat Woman was asked to come up with a fixed idea. This was very hard for Fat Woman as she prides herself on not being a person of fixed ideas. You are extremely unlikely to hear Fat Woman say something prejudiced or sweeping about any identifiable group. Fat Woman even tries not to have fixed ideas about individuals. What Fat Woman does have fixed ideas about is her own experiences.

Fat Woman's fixed idea was "I could never enjoy going for a run".

Fat Woman had to think of this idea, then think of the opposite idea: "I could enjoy going for a run." Fat Woman visualised starting by tying her trainers, pictured herself running with some friends, then alone running around the nearby lake, and finally arriving at the park café being applauded by her running friends. It was a nice ending to the visualisation and Fat Woman felt positive.

For some strange, unearthly reason later that day Fat Woman went for a run. It wasn't a long run, perhaps thirty metres, from the seminar room to the ladies, but Fat Woman enjoyed it. Fat Woman enjoyed the run so much that she did it several more times that day.

Fat Woman has enjoyed going for a run.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Fat Woman and the burpees

Fat Woman and Personal Trainer weren't having the best session in the world ever. Fat Woman had been on a course for the best part of a week so had only trained once since the last session and had even missed the Monday session. As a result Fat Woman had tight muscles, which made her nervy and tetchy. Personal Trainer also had lots of lovely bodyweight work for Fat Woman, which never pleases Fat Woman. Fat Woman thinks that at least when she is hefting a dumbell that Personal Trainer knows how hard she is working. Fat Woman suspects that not even Personal Trainer understands just how heavy a truly fat body is, even from the inside.

By the time they ended up in the boxing ring Fat Woman was looking a distraction. When Personal Trainer told her that if she didn't work harder he'd make her do burpees Fat Woman essentially said: "Come on, then."

So Personal Trainer made Fat Woman do burpees.

Personal Trainer didn't actually make Fat Woman do full burpees. Personal Trainer came up with a modified version where Fat Woman had to put her legs out from the squat one by one instead of throwing them both out at the same time. Still, Personal Trainer said it counted.

Fat Woman had a big smile on her face because she hadn't thought she could do a burpee, at least not until she lost another 50lb.

Doing burpees made Fat Woman happy.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Fat Woman goes for a run

Fat Woman hates running. Fat Woman has never been good at running and has memories of how her friends in the playground loved her being "on" at catch the chicken because she could never catch anyone.

Fat Woman knows that running is something she needs to do sometimes especially now she is playing netball. Fat Woman even asked Personal Trainer to teach her natural running, but her metatarsals got extremely painful the week before and never quite got better.

Fat Woman is on a course. One exercise was about removing fixed ideas. Fat Woman's fixed idea was that she doesn't like running. The opposite idea was that Fat Woman could enjoy going for a run. Fat Woman had to visualise the first idea, then visualise the second idea.

At first it is easy to think of the idea you already have and hard to think of the opposite. As the exercise progressed Fat Woman found it easier and easier to think of herself enjoying going for a run. Fat Woman imagined going for a run with friends, running around the local country park and enjoying the sunshine whilst she did it, and arriving at the café where her friends were waiting for her, pleased and proud.

Fat Woman completed the exercise successfully, which was to be expected. What wasn't to be expected was that within the hour Fat Woman was thoroughly enjoying running down the corridor. It wasn't a very long corridor, so Fat Woman ran on the way back from the ladies as well as on the way there. What was amazing was that Fat Woman really, really enjoyed the run. Fat Woman estimates it was about the length of a netball court each way.

Fat Woman even ran a bit later on that evening.

Fat Woman's metatarsals still hurt, but she has emailed Personal Trainer saying they had better do some running this coming week before this strange keenness wears off.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Fat Woman is a gym snob

Fat Woman is becoming a gym snob. Fat Woman doesn't go to many gyms, but she knows what she likes and gets sniffy if what she likes isn't available. Fat Woman went to workout at Tiny Friend's gym and was deeply unimpressed by the lack of boxing equipment, kettlebells and barbells.

Thanks to shouty Sergeant PT Fat Woman now knows how to set the drag factor on a rowing machine. Fat Woman sets the drag factor to 120, which Sergeant PT says is single skulls.

Fat Woman only has one skull anyway, so that works for her.

Apparently a drag factor of 120 is quite high. Fat Woman has concluded this because of the number of rowing machines she has been on where she needs to set the damper on a high number to get that magic 120. The rowing machines at the holiday resort needed a nine, the machines at the gym today needed a setting of ten, and the rowing machines at Personal Trainer's new gym only went up to 55. Fat Woman gave up in disgust.

Today, Fat Woman went to another branch of her gym in a strange city. Fat Woman had lots of fun trying out different rowing machines and getting up in disgust when they wouldn't give her a high enough drag factor. There was only one person rowing and Fat Woman saw him watching her with a mixture of pity and curiosity. Fat Woman held her head high and knocked half a second of her best 250m interval time.

Fat Woman was also unimpressed at the lack of a heavy bag at the new branch of her gym. Fat Woman has to hit the heavy bag 500 times every time she goes into the gym because Personal Trainer says so. Fat Woman hit the medium bag today which is not at all the same.

Fat Woman and the weekend away

Fat Woman is having a weekend away. Thin Husband has declined to accompany Fat Woman because Fat Woman is on a course and is busy from 9am to 5pm.

When Fat Woman found herself alone in a strange city on Saturday evening what did she do? Did Fat Woman try a new restaurant, go to a club or a gig or even visit a bar? No, Fat Woman went to the gym and then cooked herself a healthy stir fry for dinner and quinoa for the next day.

Fat Woman got self catering accommodation specifically so she could go to the gym and cook quinoa.

Fat Woman is a sad old health freak and a billy-no-mates to boot.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Fat Woman and city living

This morning, Fat Woman stood , Personal Trainer safely behind her and away from the business end of her gun, looking across the English Countryside and thinking how much she enjoyed rural life.

This evening Fat Woman is suffering from city living.

Fat Woman is in Strange City for a course. Fat Woman has been waiting for this course for a year, and now it has come.

Fat Woman was so het up about keeping control of her diet that she went out of her way to book self catering accommodation rather than a hotel or bed and breakfast. Fat Woman plans to cook dinner and make a pot of quinoa for lunches. Fat Woman completely forgot about the need for tupperware so may end up improvising with one of her trusty Camelbak bottles. Fat Woman has four Camelbak bottles, all 750ml with the bite valve, but in different colours.

Fat Woman is not good with compromise.

Fat Woman also planned to go to the gym whilst staying in Strange City. Fat Woman's gym has a branch in Strange City. Fat Woman had scheduled in a visit this evening, but after rushing across town to find a mobile phone shop to replace her evil phone and climbing all the way back up the hill and up into the flat carrying her grocery shopping, going back downstairs to visit the local shop and then climbing back up again, Fat Woman considers she has done enough exercise for tonight.

Fat Woman is considering going to the gym tomorrow, but she will have to walk from the flat to her car, drive to the gym location, work out, drive back to the car park and walk back to the flat. Fat Woman will see how the course goes. Perhaps she will need the endorphins.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Fat Woman and the cunning plan

Sparky came to say hello to Fat Woman and Personal Trainer. Fat Woman was exhausted so welcomed the interruption. Sparky said he was sorry Fat Woman had missed seeing his beasting of his father earlier. Fat Woman remarked she had seen the gentleman in question, but hadn't said hello because they hadn't been introduced.

Sparky said that Fat Woman should say hello to his father next time. Fat Woman shouldn't wait to be introduced but should saunter on over and start chatting to Mr Sparky's Dad, asking about his golf game and his health. Mr Sparky's Dad would be confused at the woman who obviously knew him but whom he knew not.

Fat Woman said she absolutely would, except that Mr Sparky's Dad might think she was some random woman who was trying to pick him up.

Sparky said that would make Mr Sparky's Dad's day.

Fat Woman was more concerned about Mr Sparky's Dad having a heart attack through fright.

Fat Woman wonders if Sparky plans to make his father think he has dementia so Sparky can wrest control of the family empire. Fat Woman is making a mental note to ask Sparky if there is a family empire of which he can wrest control.

Fat Woman and the embarrassing moment

Fat Woman was walking through the bar area when she noticed a man smiling at her in greeting. Fat Woman looked at the man and realised that he was tall and good looking with an attractive smile.

Fat Woman wondered what an attractive man was doing smiling at her. Fat Woman has had attractive men smile at her before, but usually they are gentlemen of her acquaintance. Fat Woman has never scored highly on the pure looks front and it usually takes a meeting for someone to appreciate her. For a split second, Fat Woman enjoyed the surprise of being smiled at by an attractive person of the opposite sex.

Reality then washed over Fat Woman like an unpleasant cold shower. Fat Woman realised that actually she had recently been introduced to the gentleman. The good looking stranger was not a good looking stranger at all. The good looking stranger was Buddy's father.

Fat Woman is doubly embarrassed. First, Fat Woman shouldn't be fancying the parents of her friends. Secondly, Fat Woman has been reminded that the parents of her friends are in fact her age and her "friends" are actually young enough to be her children.

Fat Woman needs a sit down, some chocolate and some anti-wrinkle cream.

Fat Woman and the new boxercise instructor

Fat Woman has been going to the Friday night BoxFit class since April. When Personal Trainer announced he was leaving Fat Woman was instrumental in getting him to sort out someone to take over the class. When Big D PT announced he would no longer take the class due to insurance issues it was Fat Woman who galvanised the other class members to put in comment forms to get a replacement class tutor.

Last week Fat Woman went to her first Boxercise class with the new instructor. There were six people there. The instructor didn't speak directly to Fat Woman or introduce himself but he apparently knew three of the other six attendees already from another class. There was a running warm up, where Fat Woman was obviously unable to keep up with the others, and then they padded all night with the same people. Fat Woman was stuck with the same person all night.

Fat Woman spoke to the instructor afterwards, said thank you for the class, and pointed out that if they didn't say change partners she wouldn't feel able to. Fat Woman made a point of complimenting his music. The instructor was fairly blank about it, not really engaging with Fat Woman, but Fat Woman was feeling a bit shy.

Today Fat Woman was standing at the bar finishing her cup of tea and a chat with the barman. The boxercise instructor came to reception and was waiting for something. Fat Woman called out that she wasn't going to be in class for the next two weeks, but it wasn't because she didn't love the class. Fat Woman only said it because class numbers are a problem for instructors and classes get cancelled if they aren't strong.

Boxercise Instructor said he found that very surprising.

Fat Woman called him on it, asking what he meant.

Boxercise Instructor turned into the kind of mean Queen that Fat Woman thought was a movie cliché. With one hand on his hip Boxercise Instructor announced that Well, he wouldn't have thought Fat Woman liked his class as she had been very quick to criticise. This was said with a venom that took Fat Woman back.

Fat Woman said she was sorry, she didn't mean to offend and she obviously had. Boxercise Instructor declared he wasn't offended, then flounced off giving the lie to his words. This left Fat Woman with a red face and Sweet PT and the barman not entirely knowing what just happened.

The barman laughed and said that Fat Woman should see her face.

Fat Woman said well, that told her.

Fat Woman is non plussed and a little shaken up. What professional teacher feels attacked because a student shares with them what they need to make the class work for them? Fat Woman certainly didn't expect a public put down because she shared what she needed. In fact, Fat Woman expects professional teachers to be sympathetic to the fact that students find change difficult. If the teacher had genuine concerns about Fat Woman then he should have discussed them with her. Fat Woman does love the class, even if she isn't sure about the teacher.

Fat Woman is unsure what to do next. Fat Woman fails to see how this is conducive to her continuing class attendance. If Fat Woman doesn't go to class on a Friday night she can technically end her all-day membership of the gym. Fat Woman had hoped that this would be a good cardio workout that would compliment the rest of her week. However, Fat Woman has never found a PT or class instructor to be that dismissive and nasty. If the Boxercise Instructor had thought Fat Woman wasn't coming back to class all he had to do was to smile and say he'd see Fat Woman then rather than take actions which seem more calculated to put Fat Woman off.

Fat Woman is damned if she is going to give up on her class because one person is nasty to her. At the most generous part of her soul Fat Woman can only imagine that the Boxercise Instructor was actually very insecure and was counter-attacking because of that. Fat Woman also wonders if this is the kind of instructor who only wants very fit people, or even thin people, in his class.

Fat Woman wishes she could talk to someone about this.