Gym joined

So I did it, I went to my local gym and spa and re-joined. I had my tour and I was about to book my first ‘assessment’ session for the weekend when I seriously grabbed that bull by both horns and said to the delicious young taut, bronzed, blue eyed chap who had guided me through the process “Please let me have my assessment now, I can be back in ten minutes in my lycra all in one, please do it now, don’t let me lose my bottle”. He laughed, probably secretly hoping I was joking about my lycra all in one (as I was) and said he’d have a word with the personal trainers and see if one could fit me in. I urged him to try all he could to cram me in sideways if need be and dashed off to get my gear on.

I’m not about to make myself look a prize git anywhere, so I just wore some cropped leggings (in fat lass black of course) and a big tee shirt (well let’s face it I would have looked like the only gay in the village in a lycra all in one).  British TV show for anyone who is wondering… this is the guy:


I returned to be told that Darren was going to give me a going over. Now step forward Darren and strangely enough my heart rate was up there at fat burning pace without me moving a muscle. Darren is my personal trainer… get that, he’s MINE! He is 26,  6’4, jet black hair, the bluest twinkliest eyes ever, dimples, gorgeous teeth and built like a brick sh*t house. He’s a power lifter. He has girth. Solid girth. That’s all I’m saying. Just imagine Darren for a moment.

“So what do you want to achieve sweetheart?” he asked me.

“Less fat” I smiled as I wiped my mouth with a handy tissue I’d thought to bring along.

“OK, from anywhere in particular?” he asked smiling and putting me at ease.

“My body please” I answered.

Darren laughed. I like Darren.

“What is your first goal do you think?” he asked.

“Are you good?” I flirted.

“Very good. The best.” he flirted back… yes he did! He did!

“I’m going to Barbados and I want to be a size 10” I put on my puppy dog ‘help me’ eyes.

“We can do that” he reassured.

“In 10 days” I smiled.

“Oh maybe I’m not that good” he laughed. “But we can get you there for next summer”

“Go for it!” I enthused.

“OK so you just want to lose weight and improve fitness in general? So shall we focus on that with some cardio and we’ll do some strength work which will help with toning and get you a nice strong core which will help with whatever you want to achieve” Darren’s mouth was moving, his eyes were twinkling but all I could hear was harps.

“Yeah, sounds good” I said “Strong core, that’s what I’m thinking”.

“So let’s just run through your general health shall we?” he said as he motioned to a bench and I noticed an ipad in his hand for the first time.

We ran through my health and medical history, he weighed me and measured my height, he measured my thighs… that was dangerous, thank goodness I had C-sections is all I can say or the excitement might have caused a catastrophe. He measured everything anyway.

He put me through my paces and he said he was pretty impressed that for someone of my weight and age I was as mobile and agile as I was. I’ve always been light on my feet, it comes from years of tiptoeing to the fridge.

So he said I’ve got really strong quads and glutes and so he wanted to make sure I was using them a lot in both cardio obviously and in strength training to burn up as much rubbish as possible. He approved of my eating habits and said we can focus on fine tuning when I’m rid of the majority of the weight. He noted my upper body strength is pants and said it was important to get this weight off as I carry so much around my torso and that’s not good. But he reassured me we can do it. He did accentuate the positive, which I liked but he did point out the dangers too. I like that he kept it real and it wasn’t all jokey fun. This is serious after all. It’s no laughing matter being this overweight at my age, but being able to see the funny side makes this mountain a whole lot easier to climb.

So he asked me to do a bit on the cross trainer, a bit on a bike, a bit on a treadmill while he worked me up a programme for the next ten days which we’ll review when I get back from hols.

I enjoyed it so much! I chatted to the lady next to me who seemed to follow me around and that made the time pass so quickly. I coped well with the settings he’d put me on and as I looked around I saw other people, a range of other people. Some older than me, some younger, some fatter than me, some thinner, some fitter than me, some not so and I felt good. The most important thing was not a single one was looking at me or slightly interested in what I was doing.

“I was thinking, do you want me to push you hard and make it hurt before your holiday? Would you be up for that?” a voice said to me as I was clambering off the bike, “You know, really stretch you?”

“Oh Darren you’re going to be a handful aren’t you?” I spluttered as I near fell into his arms.

“More than a handful, you will never forget me especially once I’ve given you the body you want” he smiled “By the way I forgot to mention, you’ve got a good deep squat there princess” and he freaking winked!

The dirty little bast*rd!!! Men eh? What are they like? They flirt with anyone. Tut tut tut 😉

So if you’re worried about being too old and fat to go to the gym… GO! Just go! Demand a Darren, I felt like I’d lost 50lbs when I’d finished with him. He wasn’t judging me, he was excited by the challenge, he was excited to get someone who he is really going to see results with in the long term, he’s as excited to get to work as I am. I’m not pushing for weight loss I listened to what he said and he was right, if I really stretch myself I will just feel fabulous when I go on holiday regardless of what I look like and that will help me to keep focused and not over eat or stop exercising.

Just get living. We fat folk, or at least some of us, miss out on all this fun, we miss so much life because we feel unworthy, self-conscious, lacking in confidence and really a lot of it is in our heads. People don’t notice our lumps and bumps as much as we do, they really don’t. Let your inner warmth shine through and I know we’ve all got bags of it because no body can spend as many years as we have being unhappy and hating ourselves and not have a good, wise, strong person inside with a solid character and a will to live. Get that person out. Go sign up for a gym if that’s what you have been wanting to do don’t let your fat stop you. You’re more than your fat and stronger than your fat. Fat is the enemy, don’t let it win!

Tomorrow I’m starting my programme with Darren at 9am and I’m taking my swimming gear and I’m going to go and have a steam and a flounder around in the hydro pools and jacuzzi afterwards Stuff it, if anyone in there is offended by my size they can always leave can’t they? I’ve got a holiday to prepare for.


13 thoughts on “Gym joined”

  1. This is a wonderful account of how going to the gym can be a positive thing if we let it be. You made it sound so fun, and oh I wish I had a Darren!! Congratulations on taking this step forward 🙂


    1. I felt so stupid when I got home for even imagining it would be any different. I’m a teacher, I love a challenge I love having a breakthrough, changing someone’s life through what I know. They are the same, the trainers want you to do well, they’re not judging you and I knew that from before when I’ve been a gym bunny. Fat clogs up our thought processes I’m sure of it. I just wanted to remind anyone else who has forgotten and is putting it off.


  2. Bloody marvellous, M – congratulations ! I would’ve gone gymming ages ago, but for the fact that I can’t afford it. Sounds like a whinge: not meant to be. Just a statement of fact. I would really love to have found my own Darren …


    1. haha if only you lived in the UK M-R, people who need the gym get free membership on the NHS, if they’re obese or elderly or depressed. Not the full spa gym membership but a good leisure centre. You could have come with me, Darren won’t know what hit him the cheeky little bugger him.


  3. Wonderful! I LOVE my gym! My trainer is named Olivia, she’s funny and tough, but probably not as interesting as Darren! 😉 My favorite part of going to the gym is working out in the exercise pool–I’m sure you’ll enjoy that as well!


    1. I’m going to let Darren do his magic and then I’m going to look at classes and I was thinking about aqua exercise to minimise joint impact and to get that resitance. I just want to mix in as much as possible so that I don’t get too routine, I know routine will bore me so the more I mix it up the better. I’ve never done so much exercise but it feels good.


      1. I really enjoy doing resistance weights in the pool. I’ve really built muscle in my arms from it. I’m such a water person that it took me a while to learn to love the equipment on the gym floor, but I’m finally there. My reward after each workout is time in the pool. Mixing it up is good and helps you lose more, as your body doesn’t get too complacent with the same movements.. The other thing I love about the gym is all of the new friends I’ve made. I’m sure you’ll meet plenty of new friends there, too! Have fun with it! 🙂


        1. The social element is one that I’d forgotten about and I was reading the notice board on my way out today and saw all of the fab groups and activities that are going on, walking and cycling groups, charity something-athons, groups for weight loss, for older people, for recovery from surgery, ex military sessions, outdoor bootcamp type groups… I’m looking forward to getting as involved as I can.


  4. I don’t know what Darren actually looks like, but the picture in my head from what you have described is pretty PHWOOOAARR! Can I have him once you’re done with him? I have rather a thing for tall brunette men 😉

    And I cracked up when you included a picture of dear old Dafydd, bless him, the only gay in the village! I LOVE Little Britain. I even found great amusement in the Marjorie Dawes ‘Fat Fighters’ skits because I’ve met people just like “her” running slimming clubs, the “I may be fat but YOU are SOMETHING ELSE!” types….LOL!


    1. I’ve just written up my morning with Darren and it was tough that guy is a brute haha. He’s so lovely though and really wants to get me to goal, he’s so driven and focused himself he obviously will see my triumph as his own too so it was a good move to get him involved.

      I love Little Britain, some of them like sicky lady i don’t quite get but the others I have met them all many times!


    1. Haha, yeah he told me that lots of people squat wrong, he’s all about technique as you’ll see from my about to be published post. So he wanted me to show him how I squat and he said that I had a perfect technique, bum out back straight head up, like I’m sitting down rather than just bending my knees.

      He said that getting the technique right for strength training is so important otherwise you can damage yourself and you render the movement ineffective because you’re just not using the right muscles appropriately so your weight loss and progress will be slower. He’s a real knowledgeable guy, he explains things so well with his little models and pretend muscles, he explains how the flexors work and the bones and tendons and ligaments and he’s all about safe training and maximising the way the body uses its fuel. I’m being educated it’s fab.


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