Monday, 25 February 2013

Fat Woman and the clay shooting competition

Fat Woman has got rather in to clay pigeon shooting over the last year. Fat Woman would be even more into shooting if Thin Husband hadn't got her to agree to a sports budget. Nevertheless, Fat Woman gets to shoot at least once a month, sometimes twice.

One, no, two of the best experiences Fat Woman has had shooting were at the Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club.  Fat Woman learned about the Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club through Twitter, and despite having only had a couple of hours of shooting tuition went along to their Cambridge meeting back in September and had a lovely time. This year Fat Woman went to the S&CB meeting at the A1 Gun Club in Barnet and had another lovely time. Fat Woman was surprised to find she was now considered an "experienced" lady gun, but these things are relative and there were many, many beginners there. The highlight of the day for Fat Woman was receiving the pink "Winner" rosette for being the experienced lady gun who broke the most clays. This has warmed the cockles of Fat Woman's heart and she displays the rosette in her living room along with the engraved hip flask that was her prize. Fat Woman thinks that any woman who wants to have a go at shooting should visit a  S&CB club meeting.

Much encouraged by two successful S&CB meetings, Fat Woman signed up for a Clay Pigeon Shooting Associate (CPSA) registered shoot. Fat Woman is a "clubman" member of the CPSA. This means she may shoot at competitions on her home gun club but her scores will not be held by the CPSA. Fat Woman's score wasn't embarrassing, but it certainly wasn't good enough for her to want it kept as a matter of public record.

On this occasion there were 102 shooters, of which just three were female. Fat Woman can tell this from the day's records because there weren't any women shooting at the same time as her. Fat Woman knew that shooting was a male-dominated sport but hadn't quite understood the reality. When someone says that they had a lovely time at the Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club they mean that they turned up, were welcomed in by someone who was expecting them, met lots of friendly people who would make them welcome and make conversation with them. Following the usual social patterns, people would ask is this your first time, who do you know here, have you had far to come, have you shot much before, and so on until mutual connections are established. Further conversation and bonding happens over tea and cake immediately after shooting. This has worked very well for Fat Woman who now follows several S&CB club members on Twitter and is even meeting up with some for more shooting.

Fat Woman found that CPSA registered shoots aren't like the Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club. Of course, the Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club does not have such a strong competitive element, despite handing out very attractive hip flasks and pink rosettes as prizes. Nor do the organisers of registered shoots have everyone bring a cake to go with the post-shoot tea. However, Fat Woman doesn't think it would kill some of these men to make eye contact, or even say "hello" in response to here friendly greeting. Fat Woman does not like being grunted at unless it is by pigs who have seen her coming with the slop bucket.

Apparently a shoot where "everyone is very friendly" does not mean the same thing as it does when you are referring to S&CB. Fat Woman concludes that in normal shooting "very friendly" must mean that no one thumps you, trips you up or steals your cartridge bag. It certainly doesn't mean that people smile at you or even talk to you. People on a shooting forum have said that it gets friendlier the more you go, but Fat Woman isn't keen on splashing out £50 every month in order to spend two hours feeling like the invisible person until some people start to (a) recognise her and (b) treat her as a person rather than a SCARY, SCARY FEMALE THING. Fat Woman would rather go shooting with a friend the day after the registered shoot and have a go at the lovely, imaginative set-ups without being bothered by scoring or limited to the number of clays.

Fat Woman enjoyed the actual shooting. The stands were challenging, and Fat Woman managed to hit something on all but the hardest two stands. If Fat Woman had learnt a clay before then she was able to hit it on the day itself. Fat Woman needs to learn how to do fast clays, further away clays, and how to switch between two extremes such as a low rabbit followed by a high going away bird. Fat Woman made one new friend, a veteran who was comfortable enough with his own performance to be able to give Fat Woman some advice. The coaching annoyed a AA shooter who apparently found it distracting, but as several people pointed out this was only after he missed a very tricky rabbit and it was possibly more sour grapes than finding Fat Woman's existence an annoyance.

Fat Woman did find some value in being one of just three women in a male-dominated event. Even though Fat Woman scored just 39 out of 100, she was the second-placed lady gun. Fat Woman for the almost-win!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Fat Woman and the amusing surprise

Fat Woman likes Personal Trainer's new gym. The staff are very polite and helpful and always say hello and goodbye when you walk in, which is such a change from Fat Woman's gym. The gym is pretty clean and although some of the cardio equipment needs an upgrade there is a real boxing ring. Personal Trainer practically has a conniption if Fat Woman sits down during a session, but using the boxing ring ropes as a hammock is apparently allowed.

One of the nicest things about Personal Trainer's new gym is Sparky, the handsome, talented and witty personal trainer who coincidentally is a dedicated follower of this blog. Fat Woman doesn't get much chance to talk to Sparky, but he always says hello when they meet, and he might stop for a chat if he has time.

Sparky has taken to greeting Fat Woman by saying: "Morning! What did you have for breakfast today?" Fat Woman finds this hilarious, and is going to have to think up something good as an answer for the next time.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Fat Woman and the untaken hint

Fat Woman was not at her sunny best in the morning. Not only was Fat Woman's back hurting, she had slept unusually badly, dreaming on being bitten by a spider. Internet research initially suggested an enemy or a betrayal, but further investigation suggested conflict with your inner psyche. Fat Woman will go with this as she has killed all her enemies and the only person up for betraying her in anything is Swimming Coach and Fat Woman is not giving him the chance.

So when Personal Trainer bounced up in an inordinately full-of-beans manner Fat Woman was rather taken aback. Fat Woman didn't realise quite how witchy she was feeling until Personal Trainer ramped up the cheeriness and then enquired as to how she was. Fat Woman said she would be fine twenty minutes into session when the mood-lifting effects of exercise took effect.

Personal Trainer waited until 40 minutes into session to ask Fat Woman what she had for breakfast. Fat Woman HATES this question. Fat Woman has no problem discussing what she has been eating but the what-did-you-have-for-breakfast question is a screwdriver that Personal Trainer uses to prise the lid off her diet so he can start the game of constant improvement. Fat Woman does not like people critiquing what she eats; it gives her flashbacks to being Fat Girl and having ignorant and prejudiced people making unformed and simply wrong judgements about her diet. Fat Woman particularly remembers a church youth outing when everyone raised their hands wanting seconds but it was her that a youth leader singled out for a talk on gluttony. Fat Woman is prepared to discuss diet when she is prepared for it, such as when she presents a food diary, but she finds the only productive consideration is within defined parameters. There are so many opinions and views on what is "good" that it is pointless to open the conversation without stating what the priority values are. Is your priority to meet a calorie goal, to get a certain percentage of protein, to eat whole food, to avoid dairy/wheat/soy, to eat organic, to eat low GI?

Fat Woman has her own eating agenda and it includes eating mindfully. If Fat Woman isn't going to enjoy food she doesn't eat it. Reducing food to fuel isn't helpful to Fat Woman. Personal Trainer seems to feel differently at different times. So far as Fat Woman can tell Personal Trainer oscillates between eating everything before him (in the name of "bulking") or having an incredibly strict diet. Fat Woman has been very careful not to forbid herself anything and to have a slow but consistent weight loss programme, avoiding the boom and bust cycles of yo-yo dieting. So when Personal Trainer started wanting to talk about food Fat Woman did her best to shut him down. Fat Woman didn't protest the question - which she should have done because she has told Personal Trainer several times not to ask that specific question - because she hoped she could get the whole thing over with. Personal Trainer interrupted Fat Woman's answer to crow in triumph that she had answered immediately without protest. Fat Woman answered without hesitation because unlike last week when she had eaten protein pancakes without the protein but with maple syrup there wasn't really anything for Personal Trainer to criticise.

Fat Woman did point out to Personal Trainer that she didn't like the question and that he knew that. Personal Trainer asked if Fat Woman was going to ask him what he had for breakfast. Fat Woman said she wasn't. Personal Trainer asked why. Fat Woman said that she didn't care. Fat Woman doesn't care what anyone else eats and wishes they would not care what she eats.

Personal Trainer didn't care that Fat Woman didn't care what he ate for breakfast and described his five egg white omelette with blueberries. Fat Woman thought it sounded disgusting never mind nutritionally dodgy. Fat Woman was polite and asked if Personal Trainer was following a specific regime or just an eating style. Fat Woman has no respect for any weight loss programme that doesn't take into account calories consumed and is not willing to engage in conversation about diet with anyone who hasn't outlined their specific goals and parameters.

Fat Woman is going to have to talk to Personal Trainer about not bringing his attitude to food into her sessions. Personal Trainer should be talking to Fat Woman about her diet when he asked or when her end-of-month results suggest there is a problem. Fat Woman has got to her age without at eating disorder and isn't keen to pick up anyone else's.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Fat Woman gets asked the question

Fat Woman wasn't having the best training session she'd ever had. Fat Woman was aching rather from Monday's 5kg deadlift increase. Fat Woman marvels at how a deadlift can make nearly every part of her ache. Fat Woman's squat had increased a little and her bench press not at all. There had also been a little bit of friction when Personal Trainer turned up late but then announced he had another client straight after and they would have to have shortened timed rests so they could finish on time. Fat Woman retorted if that was the case he should have arrived on time. Personal Trainer got a bit miffed and said that he'd been there three minutes and they had done nothing but talk. Fat Woman pointed out that they had talked about nothing but Personal Trainer. Personal Trainer declared they would just not talk then, and flounced. Fat Woman said that was perfectly fine with her, and did not talk whilst Personal Trainer was sulking. Fat Woman doesn't know that Personal Trainer was sulking for sure, but if he wasn't he did a pretty good impression of as sulk.

Personal Trainer got over his sulk when he realised that Fat Woman wasn't bothered or paying it any attention. However it is important for Personal Trainer to have the upper hand in sessions. Fat Woman doesn't mind this because it means she has to think less, although she will only put up with letting Personal Trainer win the verbal sparring for so long. Personal Trainer is never entirely sure if Fat Woman means it when she says things such as "You're so right."

Personal Trainer decided to go for the jugular by asking The Question. Personal Trainer didn't ask Fat Woman to marry him.  The Question that Personal Trainer asked Fat Woman was: "What did you have for breakfast?" Fat Woman knows that The Question is simply an excuse to pry into her nutrition  Personal Trainer tried this the first session they ever had together when he suggested that 10g of golden syrup on 60g of oats was a lot, and that honey would be better. Fat Woman has since established that Personal Trainer likes exactly the same ratio of sweetener to oats on his porridge, and that the change to honey would have meant a difference of 0.1g of protein. Fat Woman nearly had a melt down the first time The Question was brought up. And the second time. The third time Fat Woman  told Personal Trainer that she wasn't playing that game with him because she could never win. It didn't matter what Fat Woman told Personal Trainer he would never say that she had done everything right, there would always be something she had done wrong. Personal Trainer protested this, but Fat Woman is wary of developing food issues and told Personal Trainer that if he wanted to ask about her nutrition he could ask straight out without being sly about it. The fourth time Personal Trainer tried asking this question Fat Woman used the same technique that toddlers learn, holding a hand up in the STOP position and saying NO very firmly. Each time Personal Trainer claims that he was just making conversation and wanted to talk about what he had for breakfast. Fat Woman does not believe this because Personal Trainer has no problem volunteering information about his diet and no problem being disingenuous when Fat Woman catches him being manipulative.

This time, after pointing out that The Question was banned, Fat Woman declared that she hadn't had any breakfast and that Personal Trainer should go ahead and tell her what he ate if he wanted to share. Personal Trainer was not happy with this answer as Fat Woman was obviously fibbing. Fat Woman always eats breakfast.

It just so happened that Fat Woman had woken up at 5am and had given up on sleep well before 6am. Standing in her kitchen at an ungodly hour Fat Woman decided that she was going to cook herself the breakfast she had been craving for several weeks - American pancakes with maple syrup and bacon. Fat Woman usually has granola or porridge. Fat Woman looked for protein pancake recipes but didn't want to risk an experiment. So Fat Woman ate protein pancakes without the protein but with maple syrup and bacon. It was grilled bacon but it was the streaky bacon that Fat Woman keeps in the freezer for cooking rather than the lean bacon medallions she usually has.

Personal Trainer didn't criticise much but he did point out that Fat Woman had had a lot of sugar recently. Personal Trainer mentioned there had been cake earlier in the week. Fat Woman doesn't remember telling Personal Trainer this but he might have seen her post-workout simple carbs AKA chocolate cake with ganache topping sitting in her car. Fat Woman said that she was on a calorie controlled diet and could eat what she liked so long as she stopped. Personal Trainer simply said that he had set her guidelines.

Fat Woman went home and thought about what she had done.

Fat Woman remembers that although her principle of calorie counting is the bedrock of her plan, she had actually given herself a good case of hyperglycaemia earlier that week. This was through bad planning and timing, but Fat Woman has to admit there was Dairy Milk chocolate involved. Healthy snack to keep you going + Dairy Milk + actual meal rather late = way too many calories.

Fat Woman is remembering that the reason she eats a certain set of things is that it makes her feel better. It keeps her healthy. Losing weight is secondary to that. So although weight loss is great, Fat Woman regards it as a side effect of eating enough food to stop her feeling hungry. This happens when Fat Woman makes good food choices. Fat Woman likes having energy and is going to try to keep in mind that although she can eat what she likes, she doesn't like feeling horrendously sleepy later. Fat Woman has been adjusting to the new protein requirements, but thinks she has got the hang of protein powder now.

Personal Trainer got at least three cakes for his birthday and did not bring Fat Woman a slice of any of them.