Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Fat Woman and the underwear issue

Fat Woman was delighted to be able to purchase her first pair of trousers were the size did not start with "X". Fat Woman's latest pair of gym trousers - black, stretchy, natch - were marked "L". Fat Woman knows that in thin woman shops this would be an XXXL, but you might as well be talking about clothes shops in China so far as Fat Woman is concerned so she savoured the little victory. The new trousers were form-fitting, but this would hopefully stop the problems of the legs riding up. Calf-length trousers do not flatter Fat Woman and it is a source of constant irritation to her that however long her trousers she seems to end up flashing more skin than she wants to i.e. any. This is especially torturous during assisted stretching at the end of sessions when the stretcher (usually Personal Trainer) cannot keep the comfortable, professional distance and actually has to touch the stretchee. Fat Woman would workout in a onesie if it had elasticated wrists and ankles. And if it came in black of course. Fat Woman would be perfectly happy to wear bright colours at the gym but she avoids (1) anything that clashes with her face when it gets red and (2) having to do more than one load of gym laundry every day.

Fat Woman is starting to think that fully half her problems around fitness are caused by underwear. Having bought new trousers on the grounds that they will be more modest Fat Woman was unhappy to discover a hint of VPL (visible panty line). Fat Woman is always very careful not to show VPL, or flash bra either, and has a full grasp of all the strategies open to women for this. Fat Woman read every monthly women's glossy lifestyle magazine on the market for ten years so there isn't a lot she doesn't know about image improvement strategies. Not that Fat Woman bothers with most of the strategies most of the time, but that is not the point. Fat Woman no longer buys these magazines because they are repeating themselves, but that is also beside the point.

When wearing well-fitting trousers that show VPL a woman has the following choices:

  1. Wear really big knickers so that any VPL is so far down the leg it fits into the body's natural folds and disappears
  2. Wear a thong. 
  3. Wear no pants.

Fat Woman usually favours the Granny knickers approach. or as she calls them "Harvest Festival pants" (because "All Is Safely Gathered In").  However, Fat Woman's spending on new clothes has not extended to practical gym pants. In fact, the standard black gym briefs Fat Woman wears are the only things remaining from her largest size days. These elderly but functional and modest garments seem to survive squats and crunches without falling to pieces, unlike the modern ones Fat Woman bought to replace them. However, they aren't sized correctly and are causing the previously mentioned VPL.

The hard part of choosing gym underwear is that when working with a personal trainer they are looking at you all the time. When you squat they see everything. Fat Woman understands from some friends that going commando is de rigeur for this very reason. Fat Woman doesn't care how embarrassing having someone know that she is wearing plain, sensible underwear, it would be far more embarrassing to have someone watching her squat know that she was wearing a thong. To have someone watch knowing that you aren't wearing underwear sends Fat Woman into a cold swear.

As it turned out, Fat Woman's new trousers split at the seam on the first squat so her knickers showing was the least of Fat Woman's problems.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Fat Woman and the dangerous sweets

Fat Woman was making cake. Fat Woman likes baking, finding it puts her in her happy place. Fat Woman has become practised at making cupcakes because they are much easier to hand out than large cakes. Fat Woman was working her way through "500 cupcake and muffin recipes) by making a batch on Saturday, eating two over the weekend and sending the rest to work with Thin Husband, until she realised that she didn't actually want to eat most of the combinations and you can have such a thing as too much cake.

Fat Woman likes decorating cupcakes too. Sugarcraft is the only craft that Fat Woman has ever been anywhere near passable in. Fat Woman likes being able to give thoughtful gifts that are better than money can buy. Fat Woman might be boasting a little, but she doesn't compromise on quality of ingredients and she doesn't stint on the icing. For the record, Fat Woman thinks no icing = no point, but as a tolerant and accepting type of person she has developed a special set of recipes for those who claim not to like icing. Thin Husband can eat plain Madeira cake for breakfast. Fat Woman shudders at the very thought.

Fat Woman likes to present friends with a pristine white box containing a batch of cupcakes. If you are a close enough friend that Fat Woman knows what you like she will design a box of cupcakes especially for you. For example, Swimming Coach received a box with three different designs of banoffee cupcake for his birthday.

Personal Trainer likes Fat Woman's Ultimate Chocolate Cake and received one in good time for his birthday. However Fat Woman doesn't like to miss an excuse to bake so spent Sunday knocking out first vanilla and then chocolate cakes so Personal Trainer could have a box to share with his friends at work.

Fat Woman doesn't quite know where her A game was but it wasn't in her kitchen that afternoon. The chocolate cake recipe Fat Woman tried out was very strange with a crunchy top and not particularly chocolatey, so she was compelled to make another batch to a different recipe. Whilst distracted with the let-down of the latest recipe, Fat Woman let the buttercream on the vanilla cakes crust (dry). This made it impossible to put sprinkles on the buttercream so Fat Woman resorted to some miniature love heart sweets. Fat Woman has used these before to great effect. The miniature version of the love heart sweets have very short messages on them, each with no more than four letters. The messages include YES, HOT, DOLL, LOL, SIS, BAD, L8R WILD, GLAM, CUTE, HI, COOL and Fat Woman's personal favourite FIT. The pastel colours on vanilla buttercream worked quite well and the raspberry buttercream was topped with white love hearts.

Having made a second batch of chocolate cupcakes Fat Woman topped them with a dark chocolate ganache. To make the chocolate cakes fit with the rest of the box Fat Woman thought putting a single large Love Heart sweet on each would work. The pale colours would contrast with the chocolate ganache in an effective way.

What Fat Woman hadn't reckoned on was that a large love heart sweet has room for a much longer message and the little packets she had purchased were originally marketed as favours for weddings. Therefore instead of the childish messages such as "Funny Face" or "No Chance" Fat Woman remembers from her early years, these sweets had nothing but the most romantic messages printed on them.  Fat Woman sorted out the first four perfect sweets and was about to put them on the cakes when she saw that she had chosen BE MINE, I LOVE YOU, YOU AND I and most horrifying of them all, KISS ME.

Fat Woman went hot and cold at the thought of presenting Personal Trainer with cakes bearing such messages and had to sit down and eat a cake before she was strong enough to continue.

Fat Woman had to open four more packets of sweets before she found COOL DUDE, LUCKY LIPS, SMILE and DEAR ONE. Thin Husband picked out DEAR ONE because he says Personal Trainer is costing him a fortune.

Fat Woman is going to throw away all the leftover packets of love heart in case she gets accused of sexually harassing someone by cake.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Fat Woman is the favourite

Fat Woman used to be Personal Trainer's favourite client, but he hasn't said that in a long time so it probably isn't true any more. Fat Woman understands; she can be a headache sometimes. Fat Woman has probably been replaced by someone who has three sessions a week and looks better in gym clothes.

Sparky (the handsome, brilliant, funny personal trainer who works with Personal Trainer and who also reads this blog) said that Fat Woman was his favourite of all Personal Trainer's clients. Fat Woman thinks this is a lovely thing to say and thinks it might be enough get her over the "bazoomas" comment.

Fat Woman is sure that the fact she had just given Sparky a cookie had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Fat Woman and the whale

Personal Trainer had learnt some new facts. Fat Woman is not a terribly good person to tell facts to as she wants to know the source and how the experiment that established the fact was conducted.

Personal Trainer asked if Fat Woman knew that the late Steve Irwin was terrified of parrots. Fat Woman said she vaguely remembered that from his obtituraties.

Personal Trainer asked if Fat Woman was aware that she was related to a banana. Fat Woman said that she was au fait with the joke where the biology student says we should give gorillas human rights because their DNA is 98% the same as ours and the professor points out that we share 83% of our DNA with a banana.

Personal Trainer asked if Fat Woman knew how much a whale's tongue weighed. Fat Woman was about to say that she knew that the largest penis in the world came from the blue whale and weighed 60lb, but she stopped herself because although it is the kind of fact that sticks in your mind it is not the kind of fact you want to admit to knowing.

Personal Trainer said that a whale's tongue weighed the same as a bus. Fat Woman immediately asked what size of bus. Was it a mini bus, a double decker? Personal Trainer said it was a standard bus from the local bus company. There had been a special trip to the Arctic to make the comparison.

Fat Woman asked Personal Trainer if he knew how to weigh a whale. Personal Trainer said he did not know.

Fat Woman told Personal Trainer that the way to weigh a whale is to take it to the whale-weigh station.

Personal Trainer said that was very good and asked if Fat Woman had just made that up. Fat Woman could not believe that Personal Trainer got all the way to 21 years old without ever hearing that joke.

Fat Woman thinks Personal Trainer might have lived a charmed life.

Fat Woman thinks Personal Trainer was very sweet not to suggest that the way to weight a whale was for her to get on the scales as normal.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Fat Woman and the perfect present

Personal Trainer's birthday present has arrived. This is a personalised adventure with Disney's The Lion King. The book comes customised with the child's full name, address and also includes the name of some friends. Fat Woman thinks it is simply marvellous. Fat Woman ordered a copy for Personal Trainer because he is a fan of The Lion King and will surely appreciate being included in his own adventure with his friends Buddy and Sparky. The fact that Fat Woman finds such a gift hilarious, especially in view of Personal Trainer's insistence that she "Raise Simba up! Show him to his people!" when "Simba" was an 8kg kettlebell, is an additional advantage.

The dialogue in these books is sparkling:
"Personal Trainer" cried Simba. "I haven't seen you for so long!"
"Hello, Simba!" said Personal Trainer. "I've missed you!"
Fat Woman hopes that Personal Trainer appreciates the book as much as she thinks he might. Fat Woman knows that Personal Trainer appreciates customised gifts as her Christmas present from him was a bag for her boxing gloves stamped "Sponsored by Personal Trainer Inc".

Fat Woman is not too worried about how Personal Trainer will take the gift of a child's book as she is making him the Ultimate Chocolate Cake again and everything else will pale in comparison.

Fat Woman and the momentary lightness of being

Fat Woman was ploughing through her Monday training session with Personal Trainer. Monday is deadlift day and Fat Woman had a new personal best of 80kg for 8 reps.

Fat Woman is pausing for applause.

After deadlifting comes pull-ups. Fat Woman uses the assisted pull-up machine because there is no way her arms can lift the 67% of her bodyweight needed to do a press-up, let alone the 100% needed for a pull-up. This is due to lots of bodyweight rather than wimpy little arms. The assisted pull-up machine is helpfully counterweighted. When you stand on the platform it will sink down and you then pull yourself back up. During this motion you have to be holding the bar or you will not be able to pull yourself up (the point of the exercise) but will instead have to clamber ungracefully out.

Fat Woman is not entirely sure what her effective pull weight is, but it is probably the difference between the counterweight and her weight. Fat Woman wonders if Personal Trainer never did assisted pull-ups with her in the early days because there are only so many weights on the counterweight stack.

This was Fat Woman's third week using the assisted pull-up machine as part of her strength training. Fat Woman climb nimbly, if not entirely gracefully, to the platform at the top, grasped the handles and stepped on the platform.

Fat Woman got off the platform and stepped firmly back on it.

Fat Woman did a little jump.

Fat Woman asked Personal Trainer if perhaps there had been an error in the weight setting. Personal Trainer said there had not been an error because he never makes errors.

Personal Trainer enquired if it was possible that Fat Woman had lost ten kilos over the last week.

Fat Woman reported that she had not yet developed anorexia.

Personal Trainer went to get the silicone spray to unstick the counterweight mechanism.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Fat Woman and the moment

Fat Woman did the second week of her new abdominals programme, as prescribed by Personal Trainer. Fat Woman knocked out the following:

3 x 22 Dead Bugs
3 x 24 Russian twists
3 x 16 slow crunches (Fat Woman didn't have a Swiss ball but will buy one soon)
3 x 32 cycle crunches
3 x crucifix holds

Fat Woman remembers back in April 2012 when she managed five sit-ups at her first BoxFit class and two days later wondered if she had given birth. Personal Trainer told Fat Woman that he gave her this routine because he knows she has strong abs.

Fat Woman enjoyed being able to do something that she didn't used to be able to do and looking back across the last year to where she was.

If Fat Woman ever gets down to a low body fat percentage her abs are going to be really, really impressive. If that doesn't happen at least whichever surgeon ends up cutting her open (because that will probably happen one day for one reason or another) will have to press hard.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Fat Woman and the foam pad

Fat Woman is on a strength building programme for six weeks. Fat Woman would hesitate to claim to be power lifting but she is definitely lifting a lot of weights. Fat Woman adores weightlifting, partly because she finds it easy, but mostly because it has taken inches off her thighs and backside.

Fat Woman has been doing deadlifts for a while but it is only recently that her left knee was in good enough shape that she could start doing back squats. For those who are not yet informed, to do a back squat you have a barbell on the top of your shoulders, behind your neck, and you squat down and then stand up again.

Fat Woman knows that this sounds fascinating.

Personal Trainer is a hardcore weight lifter and scorns any extras such as gloves, although Fat Woman knows he approves of wraps. Personal Trainer prefers not to use the foam pad because then you have more of an awareness of the bar. Fat Woman aims to please so tried back squats without the foam pad but found it extremely uncomfortable. Personal Trainer made noises of mock disapproval and used the phrase "man up" but stopped when Fat Woman threw herself on his mercy admitting that she is a weak and feeble female.

Fat Woman likes how Personal Trainer knows that she is telling him to get knotted even when her words are saying something else.

The following week Personal Trainer produced the foam pad. With a big sigh, a sad shake of the head and a look of disappointment Personal Trainer told Fat Woman that she was a big girl.

Fat Woman said she was aware of that fact and it was why she was training. Actually, Fat Woman first said: "Well, DUH!" Fat Woman doesn't usually sound like a Valley girl, but feels that sometimes the situation calls for it.

Personal Trainer carefully explained he didn't mean "big girl" in the sense of "fat woman".

Fat Woman said she was aware of that fact too, and that what she said wouldn't have been funny if  that wasn't the case.

Fat Woman isn't sure that this interaction is that funny to anyone else but it made her laugh. The fact that she increased her squat weight by 2.5kg also pleased her.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Fat Woman gets back in the pool

Fat Woman had booked a swimming lesson. Fat Woman and Swimming Coach have had a rocky relationship in recent months (see Fat Woman and the Arse and  Fat Woman is Queen of Drama to catch up on the mildly amusing but frankly childish back story) but having got to the stage of not caring what Swimming Coach said or did, Fat Woman reasoned that as he was still her best option for learning a decent front crawl in time for Spring open water swimming, she might as well book him.

Fat Woman got into the pool five minutes before her 2 o'clock session was due to start. Swimming Coach may have several annoying characteristics but previously he had always been punctual for Fat Woman's sessions. At first Fat Woman thought Swimming Coach was late, then she thought he had stood her up in some kind of strange and slightly self-harming power play. Fat Woman is inclined to think the best of people so had "mistaken time" at the top of her possibility list, but thinks in the light of previous collected evidence she can be excused from having the other ideas cross her mind.

The schedule Personal Trainer had given Fat Woman demanded forty-five minutes of cardio work that day so Fat Woman swam up and down and thought over cancelling her gym membership and supplementing her membership of Personal Trainer's gym with attendance at the local leisure centre and other classes.

At twenty five minutes to two Swimming Coach rushed in, claiming that he had been waiting in reception since two o'clock and that he was terribly sorry, he thought the appointment was for half past two. Fat Woman did not say to Swimming Coach that he obviously hadn't checked his confirmation message from Fat Woman. Fat Woman had double-checked the time before she got in the pool so knew for sure what she had confirmed and Swimming Coach had double-confirmed. Instead of being sarcastic Fat Woman was sweet yet firm. In return Swimming Coach was concilatory and accommodating, suggesting changing to two half-hour sessions. Fat Woman much prefers a shorter swimming lesson and as Swimming Coach didn't put up the price thought she might as well grab the opportunity.

Fat Woman had the most productive lesson with Swimming Coach. Fat Woman learned how to pull the "S-shape" and increased her power and speed. When Swimming Coach commented on how confident Fat Woman seemed in the water, and how she wasn't worrying or hurrying Fat Woman didn't point out that it was because she didn't give a flying fuck what he thought any more.

Fat Woman finds that being ostensibly friends with Swimming Coach again makes being around the gym café much easier. At the very least it means Fat Woman no longer avoids being where Swimming Coach is. Swimming Coach can fall over himself to be as friendly as he likes, but Fat Woman is there for the training and knows he is there for the money. Fat Woman does not tolerate people getting in the way of her training and is watching Swimming Coach.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Fat Woman gets competitive

Fat Woman isn't a very competitive person. Fat Woman knows that to be considered the best you just have to move to stand amongst people who aren't as good as you. Fat Woman used to play competitive sport - actually, it was classical music, but it was really cut-throat - and knows that someone, somewhere will always be better than you. Unless you are a gold medal winning Olympian of course, but Fat Woman isn't planning to take part in the 2016 Olympics, unless either the weight lifting or the shooting start going really, really well.

Fat Woman saw a fat woman at the gym. Fat Woman wanted to run up and introduce herself and share stories and helpful tips and maybe make a new friend who understood what life could be like for a fat woman. Fat Woman restrained herself because she hadn't been introduced to the fat woman and because she knows how hurtful it is when people make assumptions about you and patronise you. Fat Woman also knows that a woman being fat is no indication of whether she and Fat Woman are going to get along. Fat Woman will not force a connection with another person in order to serve her own feelings. After all, what could knowing Fat Woman possibly add to the life of another fat woman?

Fat Woman asked Personal Trainer if the fat woman was fatter than her. Personal Trainer reacted with incredulity before catching himself. Personal Trainer said that Fat Woman was very much slimmer than the fat woman. Personal Trainer also said that compliments were due in week three of Fat Woman's six week training plan, but that he would allow it because Fat Woman had improved her lifting ahead of schedule.

Fat Woman is trying to adjust the mental picture she has in her head. Fat Woman was the fattest woman in the gym. Now Fat Woman is no longer the fattest woman in either her gym or Personal Trainer's gym.

Fat Women feels like she owes that fat woman an apology, although Fat Woman is not quite sure for what exactly. Fat Woman knows she is guilty of something, but Fat Woman is not sure that either projection or making comparisons is a stain on etiquette or the soul.

Fat Woman is no longer the fattest person in the room. Fat Woman is not sure how this is going to affect her sense of self.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Fat Woman and the ab routine

Fat Woman has a new ab routine from Personal Trainer. On Friday Fat Woman grabbed a mat and started working her way through the extensive list Personal Trainer had provided. Fat Woman saw the 3 x 20 dead bugs, the 3 x 15 crunches on the ball, the 3 x 20 Russian twists, the crucifix hold and the 3 x 30 cycle crunches and cursed Personal Trainer in her head.

An hour later Fat Woman felt very guilty for cursing Personal Trainer. Fat Woman found the routine entirely possible, even perhaps a little easy.

Fat Woman is going to have to mention the easiness to Personal Trainer. Personal Trainer will then say Fat Woman probably wasn't doing the exercises correctly, which is likely to be true. Then Personal Trainer will change up the routine.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Fat Woman and the missed opportunity

Fat Woman went clay pigeon shooting. Fat Woman hit three clays. Fat Woman gave up at the end of her first box of cartridges (25).

Fat Woman was very unhappy about this as she was a fabulous shot just three days previously, smashing clays on all counts.

  1. Fat Woman has thought of some reasons why she might not have been shooting very well:
  2. Fat Woman had worn the wrong coat. Instead of her collarless shooting coat with shoulder patches to stop gun slippage Fat Woman wore a bulky old anorak. It made mounting the gun quite hard.
  3. It was really, really cold. Fat Woman had her MacWet gloves on but in less than ten minutes her fingers were painful.
  4. Fat Woman's shoulders ached still from Wednesday's personal training session and her reactivated RSI.
  5. Fat Woman had a friend with her and was looking forward to showing off how she could smash clays.
Fat Woman knows that pride comes before a fall. In this case pride comes before a complete lack of hitting clay pigeons.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Fat Woman and the dead birds

When Fat Woman refers to "killing birds" she doesn't actually mean slaughtering wildlife. Fat Woman leaves that to her cats, who usually prefer rodents and frogs but who have disgraced themselves this week by presenting Fat Woman with a seasonally appropriate robin. Thin Husband refers to the cats as "ground game" and if they keep on with the birds Fat Woman might agree. When Fat Woman talks about killing birds she means pigeons of the clay variety. Fat Woman can see that shooting game is great fun but she has neither the connections or the money she would need to get into game shooting. Clay pigeon shooting is much more convenient and has a much lower cost of entry. Clay pigeons are also reliable and repetitive and actually there when you want to shoot them, unlike the real pigeons in Fat Woman's experience.

Fat Woman now has her own shotgun, a 1999 Browning 425. It is light and pretty and is Fat Woman's favourite new toy. Fat Woman hasn't been so keen on a new toy since she got her first laptop. Even Thin Husband has displayed an interest in Fat Woman's shotgun. Thin Husband asked if Fat Woman was going to name her gun á la Full Metal Jacket and suggested"Robert" as an appropriate first name. Fat Woman pointed out that her gun was a shotgun not a rifle and therefore she neither had to have the gun in bed with her or give it a name. Fat Woman also said that "Robert Browning" was an obvious and not very funny pun. If Fat Woman had been going to name the gun it would be called Gravy. When accepting sporting invitations Fat Woman could say "I'll be there, with Gravy". 

When Fat Woman bought her gun the stock was fifteen inches long. Fat Woman needs a stock which is closer to thirteen inches. The thing about buying a shotgun is that absolutely no one has guns to sell with stocks that short, let alone ones with butts that are properly shaped for a woman. Therefore it is next to impossible to learn to mount a gun properly. Fat Woman's Shooting Coach said Fat Woman should feel free to be gun up at first, especially when shooting with unfitted guns, which was sensible advice. 

Fat Woman was amazed by the number of people who felt that a novice shooting gun up was an affront to human decency. Fat Woman was very sorry to offend but having had a nasty bruise from the time she panicked and didn't mount a gun properly she is disinclined to do anything other that get the gun settled safely in the right place. Of course, most of these offended people were men who failed to connect Fat Woman's technique for mounting a gun with her gifted physical situation. Fat Woman would like have said: "Look, until you have tried mounting a gun with a butt that's pointy in the wrong direction into bazoomas like these you should BUTT OUT."  

Finding a gun to buy was particularly difficult for Fat Woman because the salespeople were keener on making Fat Woman go gun down than finding something for her to buy. The technique for finding a gun to purchase is apparently to hold lots of guns and then decide what you like. Fat Woman would be told she was holding a gun in the wrong way when actually she was compensating for an ill-fitting gun. The cluelessness of everyone surprised Fat Woman no end. Apparently gun shops are not used to dealing with (a) women (b) fat women (c) fat women who don't like being patronised. Even the gun shop that sold Fat Woman her gun  told her she wouldn't be able to test the gun. Fat Woman's Shooting Coach's colleague had to ring up and sort it out for her. Fat Woman wouldn't have bought a gun from a sexist gun shop apart from the fact she really, really wanted that particular gun.

Having spent so long picking up every gun in three counties Fat Woman is able to surprise people with her knowledge. When presented with a contact's very customised Miroku Fat Woman surprised and amazed by guessing it was an MK38. Actually, Fat Woman knows that the MK38 is the best selling Miroku gun and figured it was probably in the right price bracket for the person she was talking to. 

Thin Husband says it is scary how knowledgeable Fat Woman can sound with only the barest smidgeon of information.

Fat Woman immediately took her lovely Browning out to the baby range (slow clays, close in) and powdered birds A (left to right crosser), B (same, slower), C (looper), D (teal), and E (rabbit). Fat Woman then fell down on F, a right to left looper, but got there in the end. The Gunsmith had accompanied Fat Woman and he was kind enough to give her an hour of coaching. Fat Woman failed to get the really far away bird on a different stand, but managed several others and didn't embarrass herself on the skeet range either. Fat Woman was, in fact, awesome for a beginner and Gunsmith said she had a good eye. As Gunsmith has coached world champions this was a great compliment for Fat Woman.

Fat Woman now has to practice with her nicely fitted gun so she can go gun down and stop looking like a very obvious newbie. The only problem with gun down technique is that Fat Woman can't lift the gun in the straight line people keep on demonstrating to her because bits of her get in the way. Fat Woman has to pull the gun around her curve and then pull it back. 

Fat Woman is beginning to think that she is the only fat woman in Britain who goes has ever gone clay pigeon shooting. The only thing to fit Fat Woman so far is the gloves. This is probably because Fat Woman has large hands and long fingers like a man. 

Monday, 7 January 2013

Fat Woman is off her face

Fat Woman was excited by (1) her new stack (2) her new strength training programme. Fat Woman took her pills and packed her protein bar and post-workout pills and went to the gym where Personal Trainer  presented her with a special book of workout instructions with space for records for her to keep throughout the six weeks.

Fat Woman took 3g of L-arginine at 1pm followed by 80mcg of caffeine at 1.30pm and and 3.5g of Creatine at 1.55pm. By 2pm Fat Woman was pie-eyed and spacey. Personal Trainer could tell because Fat Woman had absolutely nothing to say on anything. Fat Woman kept smiling big warm smiles at people she had never met to the point she was worried that middle-aged men would think she was trying to pick them up. Fat Woman was numb but happy, and when Personal Trainer demanded to know what she was smiling at from the top of the assisted chin up machine, Fat Woman told him that he was so cute when he trains, like a puppy.

By the end of the session Fat Woman could feel herself staring around the room like an idiot. Personal Trainer had to keep telling her to focus on the display of the rowing machine as when her attention wandered she would go slower.

After training Fat Woman went straight out to the café to have a cup of tea and a protein bar. When Personal Trainer passed by on his way out he stopped briefly to check on Fat Woman. All he had to say was that Fat Woman looked very spaced out, and that when driving she should remember to aim for the middle one.

Fat Woman got home in one piece but is expecting a come-down.

Fat Woman and the wet suit

Fat Woman wants to go open water swimming. This has been Fat Woman's aim for more than a year. It's why Fat Woman continued lessons with Swimming Coach after her initial improvement. Swimming Coach even promised to join her on the open water course, although Swimming Coach promises a lot of things.

To go open water swimming in Fat Woman's village you need a wet suit. This is because the swimming is held in the lakes of the Country Park. The lakes are really old gravel pits.

Fat Woman did some research and found that women's wetsuits go up to a UK size 20/22. Fat Woman waited until she reached that size before she started making plans. Then Fat Woman found that all the large women's wetsuits had disappeared from the web. Fat Woman wonders if she dreamt the large sizes.

Fat Woman had asked the Open Water course leader if he knew anywhere she could get a wetsuit. The Course Leader replied with a shop recommendation and the suggestion that some people hire wetsuits.

No hire company has a plus size wetsuit. The Shop does wetsuits that fit women up to 79 kilos. That's 12 and a half stone. Fat Woman isn't going to get in that weight range for at least another year.

Fat Woman had a moment. The kind of moment Fat Woman used to have when she was Fat Girl and wanted a pretty dress for her first ball but couldn't fit in any in the shops. The kind of moment Fat Woman hasn't had for years thanks to the Internet and a Visa card. Yes, there were tears because when you find yourself regarded as a complete non-person and effectively excluded it's pretty upsetting.

Fat Woman has pulled herself together, without even eating a biscuit. Wetsuits for fat women are apparently freely available in the USA. Fat Woman can use the power of her Visa card and get them sent over. A wetsuit is no an insurmountable problem and Fat Woman will not let it stop her.

Fat Woman is particularly fucked off because when watching "A year to save my life" one of the women was doing a triathlong. This led Fat Woman to think that doing a triathlon would be possible for her as well. Somehow Fat Woman assumed that getting a wet suit would be also be possible for her, even though she doesn't have the power of a production team behind her. Fat Woman feels stupid and is kicking herself for watching a diet porn show at all, even though "A Year To Save My Life" was actually much healthier than most others.

Fat Woman was going to write a blog post for UK women on where to get hardcore sportswear for fat women, but write now it would read: "Don't bother trying. Pay the shipping. It's your penalty for being fat and having the audacity to want to take part in sport."

Fat Woman promises to adjust her attitude in bit, when she isn't quite so fucking cross with the world.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Fat Woman and her visible lingerie

Fat Woman has let Personal Trainer see her lingerie.

Fat Woman had no intention of this, but Personal Trainer dropped by unexpectedly before Sunday group PT. Fat Woman had failed to notice that Thin Husband had been too lazy to walk upstairs to the spare room and had helpfully hung up a load of her bras to dry all around the oval shower curtain rail in the downstairs bathroom. Any visitor using the bathroom would have been treated to a view of Fat Woman's lingerie. Not the practical sports bras acceptable to a fat woman getting fit but the new stuff in bright colours with lace to which Fat Woman had recently treated herself. As it had been a particular load of laundry it was all the black lingerie with a few black and red items for good measure.

Fat Woman is mortified. Fat Woman has gone hot and cold in turns. Fat Woman has only had one man clap eyes on her lingerie since she was 19. To add insult to injury, Fat Woman is still feeling incredibly sensitive over Sparky saying she had "bazoomas" and now she has displayed her large bras to someone who probably didn't want to visualise them anyway. There was no chance Personal Trainer didn't notice as he notices EVERYTHING.

Fat Woman needs chocolate, a stiff drink and a week off from training. Perhaps a month.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Fat Woman and her stack

Fat Woman has a stack. At least, that's how Fat Woman thinks she is meant to refer to the collection of pills and powders she has assembled.

Fat Woman has been aware that the boys take pre and post workout supplements (see Fat Woman gets chemically buzzed) but as she was concentrating on losing weight not on building muscle she didn't think such things applied to her. Fat Woman is not exactly a person of principles, preferring to evaluate each truth and reassess it on a regular basis, but she has stuck fairly well to the principle that she would like to get her nutrients through food rather than supplements. This lasted until Fat Woman was faced with giving up her morning granola. Fat Woman made the decision that it would be easier to swallow a protein shake every morning than cook eggs. Fat Woman is now drinking unflavoured whey isolate mixed with orange juice and not making a noise like a waste disposal unit immediately afterwards. This is all because Personal Trainer reviewed Fat Woman's nutrition and set her new guidelines. Fat Woman isn't feeling any better for it, but any change in her diet usually means a month of refocussing before she gets it right.

Fat Woman had announced to Personal Trainer that she wanted to "lift heavy". Fat Woman wonders what the hell happens to her grasp of the English language when she gets into the gym. Fat Woman puts it down to too much time spent in the presence of children young people like Sparky and Personal Trainer.

Personal Trainer agreed that Fat Woman could lift heavy weights, and so she did. Fat Woman then suffered severe DOMS for the next three days and realised that unless she wanted to spend five days out of every seven on painkillers she would have to take recovery seriously.

Fat Woman stuck her head into the Internet but it was some time before she could sift what works for men and what works for women. Thankfully, Muscle & Fitness Hers posted a link on their Twitter feed to this article on 24 hour nutrition  by Jim Stoppani. On the one hand, the article is five years old. On the other hand Jim Stoppani meets Fat Woman's twin requirements of being scientifically educated (at least, he has a PhD according to the website. Fat Woman hopes it isn't a PhD in literature) and being personally successful at training. See his personal photos at

Fat Woman extracted the following recommendations from the article:
3-5 grams of arginine
200-300 mg of caffeine.
20 grams of whey protein (one scoop of most powders).
20-30 grams of slow-digesting carbs
2-5 grams of creatine
30-40 grams of whey protein
30-40 grams of fast-digesting carbs
2-5 grams of creatine.

Fat Woman then sent the list to Personal Trainer for his approval. Fat Woman might be projecting but she thinks she might have sensed a moment of Personal Trainer rolling his eyes and wondering why Fat Woman trusts the Internet more than she does his professional opinion. Fat Woman doesn't exactly, but she knows that her autonomy and mastery are a big part of keeping her motivated. Personal Trainer gave it the okay, with a suggestion of not over doing it with the whey powder unless Fat Woman wanted very expensive urine. Fat Woman also liked that joke when Sheldon made it on the Big Bang. Personal Trainer also cautioned Fat Woman that you can get headaches from taking caffeine with arginine, so when neither shop had any caffeine pills Fat Woman skipped buying them on the grounds she can always have a coffee.

Fat Woman has been to the health food shop and bought arginine and creatine pills. Fat Woman also bought glucosamine from the pound shop because some people recommend that for recovery as well. Fat Woman has Branch Chain Amino Acids which she was taking instead of protein powder for recovery and is hoping to be able to use those in this new regime.

Fat Woman is agog at the cost of supplements. Pills look initially to be just a few pounds a box, but actually they are low dose and Fat Woman will need to take at least four of each to meet the requirements. Fat Woman is hoping they prove to be worth it. Fat Woman was thoroughly scared by the research showing that women who take ibuprofen lots are prone to hearing loss.

Fat Woman is going to rattle after training sessions as well as creak.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Fat Woman is the Queen of Drama

When Fat Woman and Personal Trainer were discussing aims for 2013 Personal Trainer said they would switch to timed rest periods. Fat Woman agreed that this was an awfully good idea as she and Personal Trainer do use training time to facilitate their friendship. This makes training fun, but can lead to more talking and less working. Fat Woman told Personal Trainer that she was in full support of this principle, and that without meaning to hurt his feelings if it came to a choice between the personal and the professional she would take the professional. Fat Woman is now thinking she ought to check back with Personal Trainer that she didn't actually hurt his feelings. Fat Woman is simply trying very hard to prioritise her health and fitness over everything else in her life. Fat Woman thinks that Personal Trainer is a great person but he is also a brilliant personal trainer and she is likely to find new a friend much more easily than she would a personal trainer of the same calibre.

This exchange set Fat Woman thinking. Fat Woman is glad that she doesn't have to chose with Personal Trainer. Fat Woman started thinking about Swimming Coach. To recap, Swimming Coach not only tried playing power games on a personal front (Fat Woman refused to engage) but had the temerity to warn a colleague off Fat Woman and imply that Fat Woman had had sex with either himself or Personal Trainer. Fat Woman had requested a talk with Swimming Coach but had been ignored. Fat Woman had been avoiding Swimming Coach until she calmed down, but Swimming Coach had escalated to the cut direct. By that point Fat Woman didn't actually care any more and left things alone.

When discussing 2013 activities with Personal Trainer Fat Woman realised that the open water swimming courses begin in April. Personal Trainer asked if Fat Woman had found a replacement for Swimming Coach and Fat Woman admitted that she hadn't. Fat Woman could sign up for a class, but that would take up yet another evening and be a fairly dilute amount of help. Fat Woman could ask the woman who does swimming coach at her gym, but Fat Woman has a fairly low opinion of her finding her insipid as a class teacher and frankly a bit thick. Fat Woman could call up a random swimming coach but would have to pay a fair bit more for the good ones with a public profile.

Fat Woman thought about all the options and decided that as she didn't give two hoots about what Swimming Coach thought she might as well use his services. So Fat Woman waited until Swimming Coach was sitting with Big D PT in the café, walked up to them, said hello to Big D PT, looked Swimming Coach in the face and said: "Would you like to coach me for swimming this year?"

To say Swimming Coach was caught on the hop was an understatement. Swimming Coach is used to DRAAAAAMA. For Swimming Coach, having a target of his drama walk up to him and ignore any personal undercurrent seemed to be a completely new experience. Fat Woman will go so far as to say that she caught Swimming Coach on the hop and that he was taken so far aback he was in Australia. Fat Woman enjoyed that moment immensely  it made her feel powerful. Fat Woman has an aim and no one is going to get in her way.

Swimming Coach has the natural cunning of a weasel and although he didn't bring off a completely smooth response Fat Woman has to admit that he managed to hold the conversation together, inspired no doubt by the smell of a fee. A written transcript would look remarkably civil and very professional. However, Fat Woman wanted no uncertainty. When given a conditional response of "Yes, if you want me to" Fat Woman asked the question again until she got an unconditional positive answer to the question. Throughout this conversation Swimming Coach looked simply terrible. Puffy around the eyes, tired, unfocussed. After some negotiating over date and time for a session Fat Woman thanked Swimming Coach, told Big D PT it was nice to see him, turned on her heel and left.

At no point in the conversation was their any acknowledgement of any of the conflict or drama or bad behaviour. Fat Woman guesses this is one of the benefits of being English: if no one actually says or does anything overt then it can be safely ignored at a future date. Fat Woman is chuckling a little inside because she bets that whatever Swimming Coach was expecting from her, it wasn't THAT. Fat Woman knows for a fact that Swimming Coach has had many messy ends to a relationship, and would put money on the message behind his eyes being NO INFORMATION ON THIS.

Fat Woman texted later just with the date and time and "confirmed". The text back simply said "Confirmed".

Fat Woman guesses this means that she and Swimming Coach are officially communicating again.

Fat Woman is chuckling over a little joke. The joke is so weak that Fat Woman isn't going to tell it to anyone in real life.

Q. What's the difference between Swimming Coach and a weasel?
A. A weasel is weaselly recognised, and Swimming Coach is a twat.

Actually, Fat Woman did tell Not Thin Friend, who laughed, so it obviously has some humour value. Childish humour but hey! any grin's a win.

Fat Woman thoroughly recommends being business-like and unemotional as a weapon in a personal relationship.

Fat Woman is the Queen of Drama. This means that it is Fat Woman who decides when there is to be drama, and when there will not be drama.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Fat Woman and the healthy recipe

Fat Woman is very good at dieting. Fat Woman has lost at least 150lb this century. Unfortunately, that wasn't a linear 150lb but approximately 75lb twice. Still, Fat Woman thinks that she has a pretty good handle on nutrition for weight loss.

The game Fat Woman plays is that you have to find food that you enjoy eating, that leaves you satisfied  that keeps you fuelled until your next scheduled meal, but that also has a 500 calories deficit a day. Fat Woman finds this a sustainable way of eating. If Fat Woman eats an extra 500 calories she simply doesn't lose weight. If Fat Woman eats more than her calorie allowance she may put on weight, or more likely the extra will be offset from deficit days. So long as there are enough deficit days to offset the maintenance or extra calorie days Fat Woman continues to lose weight.

Fat Woman thinks her mindset is a much healthier one than the mindset of "I'll restrict my food severely until I reach my goal weight then I'll eat normally." Fat Woman loses weight slowly but consistently. People on very hard restriction diets never seem to do well after a month. Fat Woman knows several fitness professionals who have not yet accepted their personal fallibility.

Fat Woman is very unimpressed by a lot of "healthy" recipes. Fat Woman forbids herself nothing - except for KP honey roasted cashews and peanuts because they are her kryptonite and they don't come in single serving packages - but if a savoury recipe has two or more of bacon, butter, cheese or cream it's not going to be that healthy. Fat Woman is not averse to a good quiche for example, but she needs bulk in her food as well as calories to make herself feel full. The bad four are an easy way of making anything taste amazing. Add an onion to that list and you would think Fat Woman made the most amazing pasta dish in the world ever.

Fat Woman tries not to be judgemental because not everyone has the same needs but thinks it is understandable that she gets annoyed with "healthy" recipes that aren't that great for anyone. Fat Woman avoids celebrity chefs now because they are annoying anyway, but when they are being "healthy" they simply aren't working to the same values or standards as Fat Woman. Hairy Bikers becoming Hairy Dieters was particularly disappointing. Fat Woman is not going to sit through a TV show of fat stigmatisation and "one last fattening meal" to get at a fish recipe.

Despite all appearances to the contrary, Fat Woman has a life outside her weight loss efforts. This means she wants recipes to be easy, practical and to use ingredients which don't require a special shopping trip on the day. Fat Woman doesn't think this is too much to ask.

Fat Woman has been modifying "healthy" recipes to make them actually healthy for herself. Last night Fat Woman made fajitas. Now, much as Fat Woman loves authentic food she confesses that her fajitas are about as authentic as an Old El Paso box kit. However, they do make Fat Woman happy. Also, the portion can be modified for Thin Husband.

Fat Woman's portion
Two low calorie flour tortillas
One red pepper
One green pepper
Half an onion
150g chicken or steak
1/2 tsp oil
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp spice mix
Low fat Greek-style yoghurt

Fat Woman fries the meat in the oil, then adds the chopped vegetables and spices. Actually, Fat Woman takes the steak out and lets it rest rather than cooking it to hell. Fat Woman will add some water and replace the pan lid so the vegetables steam.

Thin Husband modifies this dish and has four tortillas (or six on a very hungry day) with cheddar cheese. Thin Husband likes more tortilla to each portion of filling than Fat Woman.

Fat Woman has nothing funny to say about the trials and tribulations of finding appropriate meals for two people with very different dietary needs.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Fat Woman and the new information

Fat Woman received a surprise at weigh-in today. Usually Fat Woman's height is recorded as 5 feet and 4.6 inches. Today Fat Woman's height was recorded as 5 feet and 4.9 inches.

Fat Woman would like to know where the extra .3 of an inch has come from.

No, Fat Woman didn't forget to take her shoes off.

Fat Woman starts 2013

Fat Woman is looking forward to 2013. 1st January 2013 was a bit of a down day for Fat Woman, but she had indulged very heavily the night before at her fabulous dinner party, so it was to be expected really.

Fat Woman and Personal Trainer will talk less in sessions. Personal Trainer is going to time rest periods using his watch rather than waiting until Fat Woman stops talking. Personal Trainer and Fat Woman agreed that if they miss the conversation they will just go and get a coffee, like normal people.

Fat Woman wants to lift heavy weights. Fat Woman can already dead lift 70kg but she has found some very cool inspirational women in the power lifting community. Staci from Nerd Fitness has been soft, and then super thin but is now super strong. The photos of Staci show the difference between being skinny and being strong. Also British Powerlifting Champion 2012 Louise Fox lives really near Fat Woman.  Fat Woman is amazed that anyone sporty and successful comes from her neck of the woods. Personal Trainer says he has never seen a woman lift 100kg, but if Fat Woman wants to train for strength that's fine with him. Personal Trainer did add the caution that it is hard to bulk whilst trying to lose fat at the same time. Fat Woman accepts this, but has in her head the idea that training to life heavy weights will help her lose size. Certainly that has been Fat Woman's experience so far. Fat Woman has learnt so much that the idea of being thin yet weak is unattractive to her.

Fat Woman is following Personal Trainer's diet guidelines. This means Fat Woman is drinking protein shakes at breakfast. Protein shakes are a little close to Slim-Fast for Fat Woman's comfort, but at least Fat Woman can have unflavoured protein with fruit juice. Fat Woman can already drink a protein smoothie without going "Bleeurgh!" at the end. Fat Woman is also eating much more meat and fat than she used to. Thin Husband adores the new regime as he gets extra meat plus all the pasta or potatoes he personally wants.

Personal Trainer will be giving Fat Woman a six week exercise plan to follow. Fat Woman has been nagging Personal Trainer to be more proscriptive with her for six months. Personal Trainer has never given Fat Woman the same training session twice, let alone twice in a row before but Fat Woman pointed out that when she commits to something she does it. Fat Woman cited the no bread period as her evidence.

Fat Woman is prioritising her team sports (netball), the class with her friends (boxing) and swimming (so she can go on an open water swimming course). Fat Woman is going to continue with Tai Chi and Escrima because she likes them and they are a good balance to everything else. Fat Woman is a little sad that she can't continue with the choir but the rehearsals clash with netball and her voice has changed thanks to her latest auto immune disorder.

Fat Woman is on the lookout for a new class to take up. Personal Trainer might start a boxing class at his new gym, Fat Woman's gym is issuing a new timetable for the new year so hopefully there will be something good there.

Fat Woman is going to go shooting at least once a month and more often if she can get someone to button for her.

Fat Woman is hopeful that her motivation will continue.