BOTH "525" - by agouderia (SSBHM, ~XWG, ~BBW, Dining)

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agouderia

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SSBHM, ~XWG, ~BBW, Dining - A SSBHM faces personal and professional decisions more demanding than putting together the next exquisite menu

"525“

The number rang out into the complete silence in the room. The physician looked shocked while pain, anger and distress washed over Warren Langdon’s face. In contrast he was astounded to feel only mild surprise, combined with a wicked tingle - so this was how 525 pounds looked and felt like. Over the past years he had gotten used to his expanding bulk, its weight, how it enveloped him in its roles, quivers and jiggles; the comfort of sensing its heaviness wrapped around him and resting in his lap. This reassurance surfaced again as he put both of his plump, well-kept hands on the sides of the vast pale expanse of flesh stretching before him, shoving it back and forth slightly, the familiar wobble re-vibrating through him. The sensation of moving flesh increased as he stepped down from the makeshift, awkward small manual fork lifter scale – and walked ponderously over to where he had draped his clothing over his desk chair.

“Jeez… 525 … that’s much worse than I’d imagined!” Warren groaned. “Christopher …. you have to do something about it! I can’t watch you slowly killing yourself with knife and fork! I don’t want to hurt you, believe me. You’ve been more of a son to me these past 10 years than my own children have. And I want it to stay that way, make you a partner in my hotels. You’re only 32…”

“Do you have any reason not to be satisfied with my work here at the ‘Langdon Residency’?”

“Not in the least my boy, not in the least. Your work is outstanding; you know that … hell, you’re better at it than I am by now.” Warren showed a sad grin. “But to continue in this line, become my partner, maybe take over the hotels some day, you can’t go on ballooning like you have over the past years – or sooner or later you’ll no longer be able to do the job. It’s for your very best, my boy.”

Despite sensing his sincere concern, Warren had gotten the fundamentals wrong in Christopher’s opinion. His girth was a in every sense of the word a big part of his success: His constant monitoring had made theirs one of the best gourmet hotel kitchens in the country, a league better than that of Warren’s own flagship ‘Langdon Imperial Residency’. Their, or better his, deli-range had received countless awards; he had even managed to revive his family’s bakery. And he had noticed his size seemed to put guests at ease, made them feel safe, comfortable, well taken care of in his presence.

He slowly sank into his wide, reinforced chair breathing deeply, his overinflated buttocks sinking into the cushion, the flab of his immense thighs spreading out to accommodate the enormous expanse of his stomach, his side roles flowing over the arm rests. Bending over as far as the flesh mountain of his belly permitted, he wiggled first one then the other leg into the tent like folds of cloth that made up his trousers, his feet somehow magically resurfacing from the much narrowed openings at the bottom. Pulling the cloth over the knees, he fitted his feet into the expensive, widened leather slippers with thick soles with the help of a long-handled shoe-horn, noticing how his breathing was becoming heavier as the pressure of his gut cut off some of the oxygen supply to his lungs. Leaning back, he took a deep breath as he pulled his button-down shirt over his arms. With another deep breath and a small grunt, he heaved his mass back into standing position in the movement tugging his trousers over his extra broad backside, the usual ton like slump of his belly giving into gravity, sinking lower towards his thighs running through him.

As he started to button his shirt, he noticed it had reached the degree of tightness that normally filled him with a certain naughty delight, since it documented the increasing volume of his body: It was not yet difficult to button in standing, but there was a palpable closeness and with his bulk expanding in sitting, the buttons would be put under tension, the fabric creased in tight folds and a agreeable light sense of constriction would encircle him. Same was true for his waistband – though only because he had had it let out recently: It was barely necessary to tug it a little to close the hook, but seated a conspicuous role of fat would now hang over it. He put on his tie and then his suit coat, closing the straining top button to put his wide bay window on best display. His stomach grumbled demandingly, since he had not been able to have his customary full breakfast because Warren had arrived earlier and the course of events had turned to the current nightmarish health check up.

“Christopher, I have several more business appointments in town now.” Warren fiddled with his phone not looking at him. “I’ll leave you with Dr. Wershowitz to discuss everything concerning a healthier lifestyle for you. We can all have dinner then together to talk about … well … I’d also like to know which events you’re planning and so on….”

He nodded, poured himself a glass of water and turned to Wershowitz: “Dr. Wershowitz, how shall we proceed? I do have some work to take care of.”

“Hmmm, actually, to get a good overview, also while we wait for the lab results, I would like to simply follow you around your work, maybe ask a few questions in the process, if possible.”

“Why not? Even though I do not know how interesting it will be for you. I need to make some phone calls first.” He sank back down heavily into his chair, his flesh stacking itself in the accustomed thick roles and tires around him, it taking a while until the waves lolling through the fat settled.

After he had discussed the necessary arrangements for a conference booking and talked about an offer for a new set of bar tables and chairs, he looked at his watch and once again raised himself, half pushing himself off from his desktop. “Now I have to go check on our laundry delivery, there have been some problems lately,” he gestured to Wershowitz to follow him.

“525, 525, 525 … this is 525 moving pounds,” kept running through his mind as he fell into his regular lumber down the long hallway from his office to the service elevator. Despite the thick carpeting, the weight of his tread was audible as a small thump, as well as the swooshing of the fabric of his pants as the blubber of his thighs rubbed against each other for one leg to pass the other in walking and his loud, steady breathing. At first he had been embarrassed by his loud breathing as his weight had soared, but he had noticed he got much further, did not get out of breath as quickly if he took deep breaths as soon as he started moving. His bulk, especially the gigantic expanse of his belly started shifting and swaying in front of him and his arms fell into the practiced rhythm of vacillating along with his legs, helping him keep his balance and move forward. How many of the 525 pounds might be rolling around him right now?

“This is quite a walk to the elevator,” Dr. Wershowitz interrupted his train of thought. “Do you regularly walk it? Have you ever thought of moving your office?”

“You can’t run a hotel professionally sitting at your desk all day – there are many things you need to get a first hands impression of. And why should I move the director’s office? It has an ensuite and the nice balcony to the park.”

Having reached the elevator, he called it with his master key and stepped into the spacious cubicle, habitually resting his belly on the handrail to take some pressure off his back. Wershowitz observed him from the side, and wrote down a few notes.

“Ah, good to see you boss. Here are the only some of the flawed pieces of laundry from today’s delivery,” Odile, the large black head of the laundry department greeted him. He liked and respected her very much, not only for her professional competence, the fact that she had given her fabulous Mississippi chocolate fudge recipe, a family heirloom, for their deli selection but also for the feeling of personal kinship her size, which was close to his, always inspired in him. She gave Wershowitz a shrewd glance, resting her shapely breasts the size of small water melons on the counter, pointing at stains, little holes or discolored spots in the laundry.

Christopher pushed his belly to rest on the counter, looked at the damaged laundry asking: “What do you suggest?”

“We need to try out a different laundry. Too many deliveries are flawed– and they’re often late. I know they were the cheapest, but at this rate, we’re throwing out more than we can save. I’ve already gotten two new offers from other laundries. Why don’t we do a sort of competition? Like have each do a third and see which over the course of the month offers the best service?”

“Sounds like an excellent idea! I trust you to manage this. Send me a copy of the various offers and document the performance during the competition – then we’ll decide.”

Turning to leave, Odile handed him a flat box with a motherly grin: “Boss, here’s a little thank you for giving the job here to my poor neighbor’s little girl Sally. Home-made pecan molasses pie, I remember you really enjoyed that.”

He reddened under Wershowitz’s raised eye brows as he accepted the box, his stomach letting out a very loud growl. “Sounds like you haven’t been taking good care of your tummy and its needs today, boss. Your lunch time is still too far off for such a growl!” Odile winked and gave his belly an energetic pat as he pulled it off the counter making it bounce. “But remember, the pie is for dessert – eat the good veggies Claire is cooking for you first!”

“Thank you very much Odile – that is really not necessary. It’s good you suggested Sally; she is doing a fine job in her team. Oh – one more thing: Please finally call me Christopher like everybody else!”

“Any time boss!”

He ambled across the laundry and through a heavy steel door into a dim stairwell, Wershowitz following him. “Well, Mr. Maynard … I do not know how to put it, since it obviously was very well meant, about the pie…”

“Dr. Wershowitz, no need for detours. Don’t you think it has occurred to me that one of the first things you would take off my menu is a molasses-pecan pie? Here – take it. You in contrast look like your palate could use something sweet for a change,” eyeing the deep furrows running from his nose to the hanging corners of his mouth. “Only one thing: Don’t let Odile know – it’d hurt her feelings.”

Handing Wershowitz the box, he turned towards the stairs, firmly grabbed the handrail and slowly, methodically started his climb, pulling himself and pressing his bulk up over his legs step by step, taking no break on the landing arriving on the ground floor puffing a bit.

“You take the stairs?” Wershowitz couldn’t keep the note of surprise out of his voice.

“According to my orthopedist, climbing stairs is good for my back and knees – while going downstairs is bad for both. It’s part of my day; after all, I live on the third floor with no elevator.” After a few deeps breaths, he opened the door, entered the lobby and walked over to the front desk, where the staff opened the barrier to let him in. Settling on a very wide stool, he went through papers, signed some, checked lists, took a few notes on complaints.

“Now I need to go to our restaurant, check on booking and menu suggestions for the days to come. Come along please.” As he made his way across the lobby, it seemed almost as if he were proudly pushing his belly ahead of him a lithe, long-legged blonde skipped over. “Wait, Christopher, it’s so good I get to see you before I leave.”

“Hi Cara, how’s my favorite model doing? Did you have a good shoot?”

“Everything worked out, thank you so much – all arrangements were perfect,” she beamed at him and squeezed his massive upper arm. “I want to introduce you to Jack Baines, our photographer he might want to use your restaurant for an evening dress shoot. Jack meet Christopher Maynard, the adorable director of this wonderful hotel.”

“Nice to meet you Jack. Haven’t you also done some food photography, I remember something in the Culinary Review..?”

“Pleasure Christopher – wow, you saw that? I was thinking of combining the two for a new client of mine– a stylish dinner dress shoot with real good looking food to go with it. Would that be possible?”

“Sounds great. Here’s my card. Why don’t you write me a short exposé – date, room you need, ideas for the menu, etc. – and then I’ll get back to you, see what we can do.”

Cara reached up and gave him a big smooch on the cheek. “Thanks Christopher, hope to be back soon and see you then.”

On entering the restaurant, he steered towards the stairs to the main level, once more heaving his weight up where the chef was waiting on the landing. He slumped a bit into a chair and asked for a certain tea. “Dr. Wershowitz – would you like anything?”

“I’ll have what you are having.”

“Sorry Christopher, I don’t have any samples for the menu suggestions for the next days for you. Claire said Langdon is here and you wouldn’t have time….”

“It’s okay Paul. Claire was right – this is not the occasion for me to start sampling,” his voice ripe with sarcasm as he shot Wershowitz a look of disdain. “What we do need to talk about are your menu suggestions in relation to produce prices. It looks like you’ve been going a bit too much for the show effect lately, when you could have achieved just as good, sometimes more innovative results with more basic ingredients. We should check if we can’t cooperate with the youth project that has started the organic gardens. They’re trying to do some good stuff, the squash we got there was very good – and it’s an idea worth supporting. Will you get in touch with them, or do you want me to do it?” His stomach growled more loudly than ever.

“The social stuff is a lot easier for you… shall I fix you something to eat? That sounds dangerous, like a whole pack of very hungry bears..”

“This tea is excellent, Mr. Maynard – very spicy, a sweet tinge to it, where did you get it?”

“Thank you Dr. Wershowitz – I recreated it from a tea I once drank in some back alley French Salon de thé. I’ll take care of the organic project … and lunch unfortunately has to wait.” Draining his tea, he got up abruptly, swept papers off the table with the sway of his bulk and headed towards the back entrance, from where he took the elevator back up to his office.

Half collapsing onto his chair, he took a few deep breaths to calm down and drank some more water. He was exhausted. The walking around was no problem – he was used to hauling his bulk, or his 525 pounds as he now knew, through the hotel. What he was no longer used to was going for so long with so little food to keep his energy level up. Normally he would have had a nice full breakfast, now tasted Paul’s sample dishes – and would be sitting here with his belly resting in his lap, ever so lightly puffed and satisfyingly filled, its soft heaviness confirming that everything was just the way it was supposed to be. Instead it was growling to the point he felt faint, he had to do everything under the scrutiny of this Wershowitz guy, disapproval for him and his fat seeping from his every pore.

After he had finished checking his e-mail, sorting the mail, he went over into the hotel room ensuite to his office, aware that he did prefer using his own, adapted to his needs bathroom since he had gotten so big.

“Oh so you do live up here,” Wershowitz commented on his return.

“No, it seems you have not been listening to what I say very well, instead only looking for clues to confirm your pre-conceived notions,” there was barely suppressed rage in his voice. “I told you I live on the third floor with no elevator – in my old student apartment I bought a few years ago. It’s right on the other side of the park.”

“That’s good. So you drive here every morning?”

“No, I walk here. It’s only a little over half a mile through the park – and it’s easier than maneuvering my weight in and out of a car simply to get stuck in a perpetual traffic jam. It’s probably even faster, despite my lack of speed,” sounding cynical by now. “Now – even though you seem to have the objective of keeping me from eating, I’m going for lunch. I feel literally faint from hunger, even if you think that ridiculous in my case.” He stumbled and puffed a bit on the way to the elevator, his flesh rolling around him with more force than usual since his anger had kept him from getting into the correct pace of movement and breathing.

“Mr. Maynard, please to not get me wrong. Mr. Langdon sent me to you with the best intentions. It’s not about criticizing you, it’s about finding ways for you to live healthier and lose weight. If I may ask, could I speak to your kitchen staff about what I would suggest as your lunch?”

“If that’s part of your commission, please go ahead. Ask for Claire, she’ll fix everything you think adequate for me.” His normally light brown, almost amber colored eyes had gone dark with resentment, his tone was cutting.

Some twenty minutes later, Claire brought out his lunch – a piece of steamed white fish with a plate of mixed steamed vegetables – her eyes wide with helpless fright and pity, her ‘Bon appétit Christopher’ only a whisper, hurrying off again. Taking two hungry bites, he called after her: “Claire come back – have you forgotten how to cook? How bland is this?”

“I did everything as this doctor ordered.”

“Well, it’s obvious then that this doctor cannot cook. Bring me the 5 pepper-mix, lemon juice, freshly chopped parsley, our French fish spice, a teaspoon of olive oil and grill three spring onions. Then this will be eatable.”

“Please Mr. Maynard; it really is for your best. This is a healthy, balanced ….”

“Dr. Wershowitz, to be very blunt – I am thoroughly fed up with your condescending manner as if I were some 525 pound imbecile. The additions to your meal I am having Claire bring will not add many, if any calories, but a whole lot of taste. It’ll stay as healthy, balanced as you intended.”

As Claire placed the ingredients as well as a hot plate on the table, he aggressively started seasoning the fish and vegetables, before he hungrily shoveled in almost the whole portion before turning to Wershowitz again, who was only picking at his food. “Just so you finally understand: All of this here is high quality fat, probably has a lot better ingredients than those measly few ounces of fat you might have to offer.”

He stuck out his belly farther, making the buttons of his shirt gape, the flesh pushing onto the table and patted it provocatively. “I’m not a lazy 525 pound slob who sits on the couch all day and stuffs himself with fast food. I’m a successful professional who happens to love, live and work with excellent food. My fat is made from scratch – no industrial chemicals masquerading as food, artificial ingredients, food substitutes, transfats or the like. I’m active because that’s the only way to run a hotel, and it’s my life,” finishing off the rest on his plate, frustrated at the lack of filling satisfaction. The portion had barely taken the edge off his hunger.

“I’m sorry if I offended you Mr. Maynard. You seem to have misunderstood my intentions. Mr. Langdon and I have the utmost respect for your professional credentials and achievements. We’re worried about your health. You must be aware you are severely overweight, or not? Technically speaking you have a BMI of 66 and are high up in the category of morbid obesity.”

“Morbid obesity,” he murmured, a warm glow rising in him. Like “amaretti morbidi” the wonderful soft, bittersweet Italian cookies – or the ‘Salon morbide’ 19th century French style, often depicting food in their paintings. How could something be bad that brought upon such delicious associations? From his ears, morbid had decidedly more positive connotations.

“Have you ever thought of, or tried to lose weight before?”

He shrugged and then shook his head slowly. “Is an espresso okay before we return to my office?”

 

agouderia

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To avoid the uncomfortable situation of Wershowitz further observing and lecturing him in front of others, he mainly stayed in his office all afternoon, reading through all sorts of papers, proposals and applications he normally would have taken the time for on weekends. He only left twice, once to sign off the delivery of sauna equipment replacements needing his signature and the other time to greet one of their regular VIP guests, a Senator, to accompany him to his suite.

By the late afternoon, he had a splitting headache, a queasily empty stomach and was having evil fantasies of suffocating Wershowitz with the weight of his stomach to be rid of him. Instead he took a banana, an apple and two kiwis from his fruit basket and had them with his tea like an obedient boy, receiving a benevolent nod from Wershowitz. Knowing he was not fit to have a constructive discussion with Warren about his weight this evening, he swallowed hard and asked Wershowitz as amiably as possible: “Dr. Wershowitz, on a day like this, I normally would go swimming to relax before dinner. Would it be fine with you if I go now – I can offer you a hotel room for you own use for some privacy?”

“Oh, so you swim regularly? Here in the hotel pool? ”

“Yes, I started that after I had injured my back some years ago on recommendation of my orthopedic surgeon. I go 3-4 times a week – back has been fine ever since.” He tried hard to keep his voice level, then made a phone call. “Namée, I’m coming down swimming now. I know it’s not my scheduled day, but would you have a little time for me? … oh, that’s not necessary … if you insist; you’re wonderful, thank you so much.”

Utterly relieved Wershowitz let him go swimming on his own, he closed the pool for maintenance, locked himself in and slowly started to swim his laps, overtime feeling the oppressive mental weight that had settled on his chest in Wershowitz’s presence lift. After showering, he lumbered over into Namée’s spa section, already feeling much better as his naked flesh bounced freely under his bathrobe, his belly hanging comfortably over his loose boxers.

Namée made him settle wordlessly on the broad tilted massage stool she had had custom made, adjusting the headrest for him since his belly had long ago gotten too big for him to comfortably lie down flat on it for a back massage. The stool matched the wide, sturdy wooden massage table – and somehow word had spread of this equipment, because he knew that Namée, her husband and cousin who ran the spa section made good money from many heavy weight customers who appreciated this arrangement and service.

For him it had all started as he had torn a muscle in his back some years ago from the combined hazard of a massively growing belly, a poorly exercised back and moving around heavy furniture with the interior decorators. Along with physiotherapy as treatment, working on the laundry weight pulley as he had already been too heavy for most gym equipment, he had started walking and swimming more again. Early on in his program, Namée had come to him stating he also needed her special massage for his back to heal and he must come to her three times a week. At first he had refused, being acutely embarrassed by the idea of one of his female employees seeing let alone kneading through his flesh masses. Namée was from the Philippines and had a polite, silent bossiness that everybody sooner or later succumbed to –so he had started getting his massages. After overcoming his initial embarrassment, they had done him a world of good – and even after his back had healed, he continued his sessions with Namée regularly, by now wondering if he could live without them.

“Mr. Christopher, so tense today. No wonder, I know Mr. Langdon in the house today.” Namée intensified her massaging his hard neck muscles. “Now go over lie on the bench.”

Her quiet empathy soothed him as he swung on the bench, his fat shaking like in an earthquake as he rolled himself into position and lay down on his back. The continuous soft jiggles of his huge belly along with the revitalizing massage of his tired feet and legs made him slide into the state of drowsy arousal and utter relaxation that made his sessions with Namée so rewarding. Come to think of it, much of the credit for his sense of physical well-being, of feeling genuinely comfortable in his excessively padded skin probably belonged to Namée. During the past years of his steady expansion, as gaining more and more blubber had made his body swell, she had helped his skin stay soft and stretch smoothly, made sure his feet and legs were well –tended to carry the added weight in addition to simply making his now 525 pounds feel really good.

Joining Warren and Dr. Wershowitz for dinner, with still damp black hair, freshly shaven and in his favorite pin-stripe shirt, he almost felt like his normal self again, apart from the gnawing hunger, confident he would not let out his anger and frustration with Dr. Wershowitz on Warren. As he sat down on his XL chair, his belly pushing demandingly onto and between his thighs, spreading them wide to make enough room, forcing him a good stretch off the table, a plate of soup was immediately set in front of him. Tasting it, he noticed it was Claire’s signature cream of Broccoli soup, only with less cream than usual. Unable to restrain himself, he spooned it down quickly, along with the tiny slice of rye bread.

“I thought it would be a good idea to leave the cooking and seasoning to Claire, with only some basic guide-lines, after my failure at lunch,” Wershowitz gave him a small smile.

“Claire knows what she is doing, I appreciate your consideration,” he acquiesced.

After the soup, the main course consisting of small turkey medallions and green beans well sautéed in savory with small pieces of tomato confit was quickly served. Since only small talk was made so far, he had the premonition that Warren and Wershowitz preferred him to be fed before they started on any uncomfortable subjects. Sure enough, as soon as he had finished his plate, Warren said: “So, Dr. Wershowitz said you had a very good day together, what do you think Christopher?”

“For me it was a successful day of work…,” he stated - and a miserably hungry one in the accompaniment of an ignorant food fascist, he thought in the back of his head.

“Mr. Maynard, I’ve all the results from your blood-test and all other information here,” Wershowitz looked into some papers to avoid his eye. “Apart from your high weight, you are in good health. As I already noted, I was very pleasantly surprised how active you are at your size – that is a very good thing. You clearly know everything about quality food – what we need to work on is the amounts you eat and the types of food, reducing your caloric intake for you to successfully lose weight.”

Despite the positive assessment and Wershowitz obviously trying to be motivating, he was seething inwardly again and clenched his fist under the table, which Warren saw. “Christopher, please … take it as it is meant. I’m here with Dr. Wershowitz because your health and well-being is very important to me. You do understand that you’ve gotten way too big, that 525 pounds are just too much – do you?”

Looking into Warren’s mild, worried blue eyes, he registered that he was actually expected to answer. Lowering his eyes, looking down on the vastness of his body, the thick mounds of his man boobs, his belly’s seemingly endless curve with its fat spilling onto the table, he tried hard to process that this was supposed to be all wrong. Somehow it had never dawned on him that the expansion of his belly from the small role of flab over his jeans to the shapely flesh do-nut around his middle to the duvet sized pillow of fat now in his lap might not be as good a thing as it had always felt for him.

In cooking and baking, expansion was something positive – yeast dough, beaten egg whites, a soufflé; the bigger they got, the better they were. He must have subconsciously applied this philosophy to his own body – interpreting its growing bulk as the result of good work and quality. But consciously there was no denying that Warren was probably right – 525 pounds was objectively too high a weight for a 6’3’’ man. How come he had never noticed that? So he quietly said: “I understand Warren, 525 pounds are too much. I hadn’t weighed myself in years.”

“I’m relieved to hear that,” Warren’s exhale was audible. “Ever since I’ve known you, you’ve been a big boy with a big appetite and an enormous talent for developing and marketing good food, making people comfortable. As I said, you’re better at our job than I am. We just need to make sure we get your big appetite and body back to a reasonable size, okay? Will you do your part in that?”

“I’ll try sir.”

Warren looked pained at the formality but went on: “In the next two years, I would ask you to get back down to the range of 300-350 pounds – I think that is realistic and achievable for you with non-too invasive measures. In exchange, to show you how much I value you, as a person and in your work, I will draft a contract making you my partner and sole inheritor of the hotels – leaving only a small percentage of the profits to my children as your then dormant 20% partners.”

He was shocked by the offer and stuttered: “That’s too much sir, I cannot accept…”

“Stop saying ‘sir’ to me – you last did that about 7 years ago!” Warren snapped at him, and then said more gently. “Christopher, you deserve it. I know the hotels, which are like children to me, will be in best hands with you – you love this one here as much as I do. I know you’re much better at taking care of it and the other 3 than my kids are. I just want to make sure you are in a good physical condition to be able to handle the job long-term. Now what so you say?”

“I’ll try my very best ….. Warren. I don’t know what to say, your offer is … so generous, more than a dream come true… well thank you ever so much.”

“Now that’s more the spirit my boy! Let’s hear what Dr. Wershowitz suggests as a program to shrink this monster gut of yours!” slapping the side of Christopher's belly, sending the familiar waves of contentment through him.
 

Tad

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The great white north, eh?
A new story from agouderia! What a delicious treat!!
This ^^^^

Lovely descriptions, I look forward to the next installment!
and that ^^^

Also: interesting to see where you take this, give the set-up you have created. You gave yourself an interesting challenge.....looking forward to seeing what you do with it :bow:
 

agouderia

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This ^^^^



and that ^^^

Also: interesting to see where you take this, give the set-up you have created. You gave yourself an interesting challenge.....looking forward to seeing what you do with it :bow:
Thank you very much everyone for giving this maybe slightly unusual set up a chance. It's an experiment in trying to capture in writing how obsessions and priorities in life can collide, and the probabilities of defending a world of one's own versus outside pressure.

So ... here's the second chapter.
 

agouderia

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12

questions lay on the table in the form of a questionnaire from the nutritionist Dr. Wershowitz had recommended to take care of his diet program. According to him, she not only held a degree in food sciences but had also been to culinary school so she would be able to relate to the importance food culture had for Christopher. Not finding a real flaw in this assessment, he had agreed and now had this questionnaire, as a printout and as a file, next to his meager diet breakfast, carefully assembled by Claire in a small basket. Warren had more or less ordered him to stay at home today, do the questionnaire, get three diet meals delivered from the hotel kitchen as his food supply.

Claire had nicely made him yoghurt with fresh strawberries, along with a whole wheat sandwich role with chicken, pineapple, salad and what probably was a diet version of her good curry spread. Famished after yesterday’s limited intake, he craved something like French toast with grilled pineapple after the yoghurt and then maybe an assortment of cheeses with relishes and grapes after the sandwich. Since he had been busy in the hotel lately, he didn’t have many fresh ingredients left in his kitchen – so he could go down to small organic supermarket around the corner, buy supplies and make himself exactly the food his appetite demanded. Still, no matter how much his inner self was wary of giving up the well-fed, tasty life that had grown his big body – he had promised Warren he would seriously try to diet and lose weight. He had to, after all, he owed Warren big time for having given him the life and work he loved. Not to mention the stupendous incentive Warren had put out on the table.

Sighing, he ate his breakfast as slowly as possible including a lot of coffee with the supplied skim milk before he turned to the 12 point questionnaire. Browsing through it, it looked like an extended, but admittedly more neutral and less biased version of Wershowitz’s questioning yesterday. Maybe he had warned the nutritionist how negatively Christopher had reacted to his interview, making her therefore decide to spare herself the displeasure of personally conversing with a difficult patient and have him do it in writing instead. Most likely not a bad idea, since he could think a while about his answers, starting straight away on his computer.

1. Were your parents overweight?
That was easy – clear NO. His mother was decidedly petite and he knew nothing about his father expect that he had inherited his black hair and height. His father had walked out on his mother when he had been barely three, leaving him with no real memory. His mother, an unbelievably unworldly art curator, who lived in a world of academic make believe, had been sweetly helpless in raising him as the lively, active strong boy he had always been. Thankfully there had been Uncle Tom, her brother, who ran the family bakery and had given him all the encouragement, support and guidance to set him on the track he still was on today.

2. What do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror? Describe your physical appearance (… looking at yourself at best naked or in underwear, if possible)

Now this was a bit more difficult; he was incredibly relieved he was allowed to do this on his own, not in the presence of a critical nutritionist. Pulling off his t- shirt in waddling bare foot to the bath room, where he kicked off his loose boxers, he looked at himself hard in the floor length mirror, for the first time in ages seriously observing his reflection. He saw himself in the many hotel mirrors at least three dozen times a day – how could he have overlooked that he had gone from big to huge somewhere down the line? Of course he had watched his belly grow extravagantly, pushing out further , hanging down obscuring his crotch, moving towards his knees in sitting. Or how his man boobs had swollen into decent sized round foot hills to the mountain of gut in front of him, being perversely fond of the thick roles they merged into under his arms, pushing up his ham like upper arms creating the perfect angle to comfortably fold his hands over his belly.

As he did a half turn he could see his buttocks jutting out like big round farmer’s market pumpkins, despite the deep fat still relatively shapely probably because of the walking he did. As he lifted his belly, appraising its weight, he could get a glimpse of his genitals, actually finding them more proportionate to his body today than he had as an awkward, lanky adolescent, below them the folds of fat bloating his thighs, how they creased and dimpled over his knees. It had been quite some time ago as he first became aware of how wide he was getting as he got stuck in a tight entrance turnstile of the Paris metro, when he was visiting a food fair. He had managed to squeeze his belly into the narrow lane, but the thick tires of his love handles widening his hips had refused to be fit in between the cold steel barriers. He had had to wiggle his bulk backwards out of the trap and call the attendants to open the extra door reserved for baby buggies or oversized luggage, unable to decide whether he found the experience embarrassing or exhilarating.

Shaving every day showed him that his face was fatter too, with plump cheeks, a thicker double chin with soft jowls rather harmoniously linking the two. He was indifferent to whether he could be called attractive or not; it somehow did not seem relevant. Since hygiene and personal cleanliness were decisive in handling food, he had always taken extra care to be freshly groomed and dressed, yet that was more in the line of feeling comfortable and being professionally convincing than caring about his appearance. His mother insisted the combination of his father’s black hair with the light brown, a bit flecked with yellow eyes that ran in her family was striking and good-looking, but he had never given it a second thought. What he saw today in the mirror was a rather tall, very fat, massively round man, every part of him heavily upholstered with well-tended flesh, presumably half-way decent looking for his size. Grabbing hold of his inflated love handles he shook them both, sending his fat off in a series of ripples, prompting a warm physical complacency to run through him.

Pulling his t-shirt back on and kicking up his discarded boxers so he could catch and put them back on in sitting, he went back to his computer to try to describe his findings in a comprehensible manner, making him not sound like a complete lunatic.

3. Which are your favorite foods?

Again an easy one – how easy he only noticed after he had typed more than three pages, at which he left it and made himself a pot of tea.

4. When (and how) did you start gaining weight?

Superficially a simple question -but one that made him awash with emotions triggering the best and worst memories in his life. Suddenly feeling restless, it struck him that he was not used to sitting all morning, normally his day started with the walk to the hotel. Deciding to go for a round in the park, he wiggled into his favorite black jeans which were almost too tight; his love handles bulged dramatically over the waistband, not to mention the heavy overhang in front. Under regular circumstances, he would start to upgrade his wardrobe, since a positively overindulgent – even by his standards - past holiday season had brought a sudden surge in his girth to the now confirmed 525 pounds. Namée was very strict regarding him not wearing too tight pants which cut red welts around the equator of his middle, saying they were terrible for his skin and forcing him to buy larger sizes as soon as necessary. Having committed to Warren to lose weight though, meaning shrinking his body, there was a chance that the jeans would fit him more loosely again before Namée noticed.

Lumbering around the small lake in the park left him calmer on returning, only his stomach growled hungrily. Fixing himself a second pot of tea along with an apple and an orange, he settled back at his computer, and started to make an effort to explain how he had gone from average 185 pound high school graduate to 525 pound, 5***** hotel director, a completely unplanned progression.

Almost from his elementary school days the plan had been for him to inherit the family bakery, run by his Uncle Tom, who had taken over from his grandfather its 125 year tradition. Established back in the mid 19th century, as a baker from the village of Maynard in the French Alps emigrated to the US after standing on the wrong sides of the barricades in the 1848 revolution – only to marry a Miss Schmidt, daughter of an immigrant German baker with a similar political background, in Beavercreek, Ohio. A match clearly made in bakery heaven, with the two not only having 9 children, but also combining two baking traditions and founding their own bakery in Cincinnati – passing it down along with a steadily increasing legacy of recipes over the generations.

Loving his uncle, admiring his work, Christopher had early on been captivated by the idea of taking over their family bakery one day – the logical solution also since the happy marriage of Uncle Tom and Aunt Katie to their chagrin had remained childless. The decision was made for him to do a two year apprenticeship in the bakery after high school before going to college to get the academic trimmings to further develop the business. The two years at his Uncle’s - living in their house, working in the bakery, learning all the old recipes for bread, cakes, cookies, patisserie, soon being allowed to develop new ones, getting to know his aunt’s great home cooking, cultivating his appetite and his taste buds - were the happiest ones in his life. There was great food, interesting work, love, encouragement and best prospects all wrapped into one big warm tasty package, only waiting for him to be opened and explored on a daily basis.

Then came the day when he noticed he could no longer button his jeans because there was a small strip of excess flesh round his middle. Its significance – he was much more importantly just learning how to make layer gateaux – did not register with him; he only went and bought a new loose size jeans. Developing his tastes, getting to know everything about ingredients, in the summer with an exciting internship in bakeries in Westfalia for dark breads and the Swiss Romande for white breads and patisserie, he was oblivious to physical changes. It was not until Christmas in his second year, when he was home visiting his mother – armed with a huge supply of baked goodies since she was a hopeless cook – and showing pictures that one of his old high school buddies laughed: “Look at you! You’re not only eating a doughnut, you’ve grown a doughnut on yourself!”

“That’s not a doughnut, that’s a raisin bun!” Christopher had protested, to then take a closer look at the picture, showing him in a way too tight t-shirt with an indeed sort of doughnut like thick ring of flesh around his middle, smiling with strawberry jam smudged across his cheek. Laughing, he had pinched his middle: “Hey, we do make world-class doughnuts, so I’d say I’m entitled to growing one of my own! Do you see the strawberry jam on my cheek? Aunt Katie’s recipe is great- it was my idea to produce it whole scale to sell together with the sweet breads in our bakery. It’s a huge success!”

Even though his uncle had urged him to go to culinary school instead, he stuck to the idea of going to college majoring in business and marketing, since he had observed during his internships that more business skills might be of use in the further running of the bakery. Starting as a very chubby, spoiled 275 pound freshman, he was appalled by the quality of dorm food, unable to fathom how anybody was supposed to gain the notorious ‘freshman 15’ on it. Struggling a bit to get back into the mode of academic work, lacking time and the facilities to regularly do his own cooking, he dropped to 235 pounds without trying, only annoyed by often feeling hungry, but never hungry enough to eat the terrible college food.

Towards the end of his freshman year, Uncle Tom sent him to one of his customers in the city just 25 miles from his small college town, to discuss new delivery options for their bread – meeting Warren Langdon. Somehow Warren took to him, offering him a summer job in helping manage the kitchen, do the ordering – so he came to work at the ‘Langdon Residency’. Much happier with the option of combining work and study, having constant access to decent – in those days not yet outstanding - food again, he moved into the city halfway through his sophomore year to this very apartment, then still with a roommate, belonging to the neighbor of a college mate’s grandmother. Warren even gave him the chance to attend courses at culinary school part time, increased his responsibilities in the hotel kitchen slowly, keeping him nicely fed and making him thoroughly enjoy his academic success as well as developing his other professional interests. Special treats were two summer internships, combining hotel business and bakery, one in Lyon and one in Parma.

Coming back from Parma at a seriously round 320 pounds at the begin of his senior year, it was as if he had tempted fate somehow by being too happy, challenging him with a series of disasters that left all plans for his professional and personal life in ruins.

The door bell rang as he sat rubbing his eyes, half-way content with the first section of his answer, dreading to write the second part. It was Claire with his lunch. “Hi Christopher, I thought I’d bring you your lunch – some fresh air in my lunch break always does me good.”

“Hi Claire, that’s really sweet of you. Thank you also for the nice breakfast you made me. But you should have taken your lunch break to relax, not rush over here, sent it via delivery instead.” He smiled down at her, noting how tiny she looked in the hallway mirror next to him, her straight cut blonde bob slightly tousled by the wind.

“No, honestly it’s fine… I just wanted to….” she stuttered, shrugging.

“See if I haven’t starved in the meantime? Or am sabotaging my diet by baking chocolate cakes?”

“No, really … I didn’t mean to … believe me…”

Her embarrassment made him feel particularly big, clumsy and unfair. “Sorry, I know you are just being very, very kind and trying to help. What did you make for me?”

“For lunch I made you a lean cut of lamb stuffed with dried, seasoned tomatoes and mixed vegetables baked in foil. As a small treat for dessert, a scoop of our new blood orange sorbet. And for dinner a large pot of minestrone. That doctor suggested something else, but I thought some soup of which you can eat the whole pot if you’re hungry probably is better,” she blushed scarlet and looked down on the floor.

He was touched by how considerate she was being, at the same time mortified at having to discuss the awful diet issue with her, murmuring: “As I said, that’s incredibly sweet and thoughtful of you, thank you. Umm, well … does Paul know? I mean, could you do me the favor … this, you know … stay between us? Not let anybody else in the hotel know?”

“Of course, I’ll do anything you want me to do.”

5. Have you ever dieted? How often? How long? With which results?
Twice – he typed this in deliberately after finishing his lunch, which had not been enough for his appetite, but an excellent blend of flavors; Claire probably was undervalued as sous-chef.

This question left him off where he had ended, since his first real diet had been on his return from Parma. His then girlfriend Liza had pressure-teased him into it, stating that 320 pounds was too much and she only had sex with under 300 pound boys. He had also been a bit embarrassed; 320 pounds in college did seem like a lot. Relying on the cafeteria again instead of the hotel kitchen had done the job, bringing him down to 285 again, before other issues completely overruled the weight question.

The second diet had been when he had torn his back muscle, his orthopedic surgeon weighing him at 402 pounds. That had been an unpleasant surprise because his home scale had been telling him forever that he weighed 350 pounds. He had wondered why he needed to buy bigger cloths despite the scale insisting on the same weight, also noting that his belly had undeniably grown to the size of a medicine ball, forcing him to read the scale in the mirror because he couldn’t see past it any more. Yet he hadn’t questioned the number, so the truth came as a shock, making him sheepishly realize that his home scale maxed out at 350 pounds. The 402 prompted him to do the prescribed exercises, plus cut pastries from his menu for a while, sample less, drink no wine until he reached 384 when his back healed – swearing he would stay under 400, simply because that sounded more normal.
 

agouderia

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6. Has your weight ever influenced your educational/professional life?
In his eyes, this question summed up his life: His education and profession had been and was everything about food and in consequence about his weight. His worst times had been those in which good food and professional opportunities had been absent. Studying hard during his senior year, all plans for his future literally blew up over night, as a broken valve in the gas pipe in his uncle’s bakery caused the entire building to explode one cold December evening. After the first shock he had thought it would be okay, his career would start off on a rough patch rebuilding everything. But bad turned to worst as they found out that Uncle Tom and Aunt Katie had been late on their insurance payments so the damage was not covered – on the contrary, neighbors were holding them liable for damages on their properties. Not able to face the situation, the sheer impossibility of starting afresh with no assets left, Uncle Tom committed suicide by eating a cake laced with pesticide. Aunt Katie, despairing over her role in the drama because she had mixed up the insurance payments, literally went crazy – screaming for hours before never again saying a word, to slowly wilt away in a mental care home.

Blow after blow seemed to crash down, leaving him totally numb. His mother was no great help, she only kept sobbing: “My poor baby, what are you going to do now?” clinging to him, clearly needing support instead of being able to give it. Liza and he broke up after 6 years because she could not handle his distress leaving the impression she feared his misfortune might be contagious.

As he returned to college after an extended winter break, all he had left of his future were the photo-copies and pictures of the bakery’s archive with all the recipes, photographs, price-lists, etc. – which he had fortunately meticulously assembled over Thanksgiving because he wanted to write his B.A. thesis on comparing marketing options for SME’s with large food chains. The original archive had all vanished into smoke and dust since Uncle Tom had unwisely kept it in his office with no further copies as a safeguard.

Throughout the rest of senior winter, he buried himself in studying, simply because it was the only thing to do – even though he was clueless as to what exactly he was studying for; he had lost the goal and direction in his life.
Shortly after Easter, he got a demanding call from Warren Langdon: “Christopher my boy, my secretary tells me you refuse to return her calls. I’m in town tomorrow. You’re coming to dinner with me at 7 at the ‘Langdon Residency’. We need to talk.”

“Thank you sir, that’s very kind, I can’t come, I need to study. I don’t want to burden you.”

“No back talk! You’re coming tomorrow evening – or else I’ll have the county sheriff come get you.”

Sighing, he had given in, dressing the next evening in a suit and tie which must have fit him 50 pounds ago, since the entire crisis had cut his appetite, making him drop to a still tubby, but much reduced 240 pounds, high-lighted by the loosely hanging clothes. Warren greeted him with compassion written all over his face. “My poor boy, I cannot tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Your uncle was an excellent baker, a good business partner to me and a fine man.”

“Thank you sir.”

“Let’s have a bite to eat before we talk, choose what you would like from the menu.” Christopher ordered and listlessly picked at his food. “Why are you not eating? From my memory you have such a healthy appetite, were a much chubbier and naturally happier boy. I know you’ve been dealt a very rough deal, but you need to look ahead. What’s wrong?”

“Ummm…. broccoli with basil is not really a good combination, and the tomato sauce kills the salmon…,” he had mumbled, to say something, making Warren laugh: “That sounds a lot more like you again Christopher! Tell me, what are you doing after graduation?”

There it was - the most dreadful question of all. Swallowing hard, he managed a very choked whisper, fearing he was going to lose his bearings any second, “I guess I’ll apply for some jobs. “

“ No, you’re not.”

“Pardon sir … I mean, why not?”

“Because you already have a job after graduation – and I dare say it is a career track position.”

“I can’t really follow sir.”

“Well, even before the accident in the bakery, I was thinking of offering you a position; get you to do something else before starting with your uncle. You have such a knack for the hotel and food business – so I would like to enlist your talents for the ‘Langdon’ group.” Warren smiled at him encouragingly. “I have a three year trainee program planned for you. In the first year you’ll come to our mother ship at the ‘Langdon Imperial Residency’, learn the essentials of our hotel business. You’ll spend your second year abroad; we can still determine exactly where. And you’ll spend your third year here at the ‘Langdon Residency’ as deputy director, to prepare you for the director’s job who will then retire. You start September 1st. What do you say? Deal?”

Never remembering whether he had managed to adequately thank Warren for what he felt was literally saving his life, he had shown his gratitude from the first day through hard work, dedication and true enthusiasm for the job. He found out that he was not only good at the culinary aspects of the hotel business, but also at the facility management, event planning and he enjoyed dealing with many different people as guests.

‘Chubbier and happier’ – Warren’s words often rang in his head back then, somehow establishing a connect in his mind, that being well-fed, chubby had something to do with him being happy. Next to learning everything about running a hotel, he spent his evenings in the ‘Imperial Residency’s’ kitchen, trying out new dishes, re-vamping their outdated menu, working on improving quality – feeling best when he sat down with the kitchen staff at the end of their shift, drinking a glass of wine, eating a bite or two and comparing notes. It was not long before soft flesh started spilling over his waist-band again, as the numbness in his insides faded to be replaced by warm satiation and an open mind for new ideas. After his year abroad in partner hotels in Paris, St. Moritz and Singapore, he spent his year as a deputy at the ‘Langdon Residency’ becoming thoroughly familiar with the house and making long lists of what to do differently, quickly realizing Warren had given him the job because the hotel badly needed a turn around. Before starting as director, he got Warren’s okay and budget for necessary investments. His predecessor, after a major row, had early on left the restaurant and kitchen to him, so he had already implemented many changes, picked new staff and started his first season with a completely revised menu and program.

Long forgotten was his senior year fasting as he hit 350 pounds after his first holiday season as director, which had been an enormous success with alternating theme menus espousing Christmas food traditions from different countries. Looking down at the scale over his round belly, feeling the flesh roles on his sides and pinching his double chin, he realized with an uncomfortable jolt that he was, well … fat.

Despite this not honestly troubling him - good food was paramount for him professionally as well as personally and he had come to appreciate the sensation of a full tummy - he was aware that being fat was commonly seen as bad, it had become more difficult to find clothes and low numbers on the scale were the ruling positive fetish. So he’d have to watch it a bit, try to eat a little less - but there were more important projects immediately at hand, like negotiating their take-over of the old city convention building adjacent to the hotel, remodeling it into an extension with more conference facilities. Or his dream of reviving the family bakery, finding out there was an old one for sale in the vicinity – and he might be able to win over Warren to become partner or give him a loan.

Sincerely enjoying his work, its challenges, the many interesting things and people he got to deal with, he lost track of his weight until the 402 pound back wrenching incident. Losing 18 pounds during his therapy convinced him he was now back on the right path, he’d be more careful this time – and wrote a proposal to Warren with the idea of selling their best small kitchen confections off in a deli. In addition, an interesting opportunity had materialized for him: His sweet old landlady had died at 96 decreeing in her will that he could buy the apartment at a rock bottom price if he committed to not selling it off for at least fifteen years.

These developments along with Warren loaning him the money for the bakery soon had him busier than ever, falling into bed late exhausted but satisfied with the level of progress he could see in so many fields. Two days before ‘Maynard’s – New French Boulangerie’ was to open, he slipped into one of his favorite shirts, startled at how it pinched his upper arms. As he tried to button it, there was a full hand wide gap between the two sides that could not meet over a belly which looked like the XL version of a medicine ball. With unease he remembered that he had worn this shirt as he had been weighed at 402 pounds – it not fitting anymore told him he had gained quite a bit past that mark again. Lifting his belly, soft, heavy and warm in his hands, he surveyed the small puff at its upper curve, testifying to his abundant breakfast. The bakery had delivered some of their trial run productions for him to examine, and he had done some extensive sampling. On the kitchen counter there was still a cinnamon bun and a brioche; with a greedy smirk, he settled back at the table and ate both; the cinnamon bun with plum preserve, the brioche with strawberry jam, both according to Aunt Katie’s recipes. The taste in his mouth reminded him so much of his aunt and uncle; he had to close his eyes not to be overcome with emotion. He chewed and swallowed with full cheeks in concentration, rubbing the big ball belly in his lap with his free hand. All of it felt and tasted so good, now that things were finally getting back to where they were supposed to be, who cared about a slightly inflated belly? It was shapely enough, sitting there big and round – he could deal with it some other time. For now he’d go buy himself several new shirts and a good suit to drape nicely around its large protuberance for the grand opening.

The grand opening was as wonderful, packed and successful as he had envisioned it in hopeful daydreams – it looked like they would get more orders for in-house deliveries than they could handle. Warren had come, blushing bashfully as he explained in his opening speech how much the Maynard bakery owed him. So had his mother, shaking her head in wonderment saying over and over, patting his belly: “You really are my big baby now – I can’t believe you resurrected our bakery.”

Coming home that evening, stuffed as never before since he had spent the entire day snacking, sampling, eating with customers, his belly was taught as a blown up balloon, no longer jiggling but swaying majestically with his movements. As he gingerly rubbed over it, electricity shot through him; his stretched skin ultra-sensitive to any touch. Savoring the pulsing arousal, he took Namée’s special massage oil to bed, rubbing and kneading his belly, pleasuring himself until he fell into deep sleep.

After these events, he dropped even his very sporadic concerns about whether he was gaining weight or getting fatter. Instead he developed an indulgent complacency regarding his belly’s needs, demands, appetites and expansion – catering to them as far as possible, feeling content when it swayed proudly in front of him or wickedly tickled, when it was squeezed into a slightly tight spot. Best was when it rested full, warm and very heavy in his lap sitting at his desk, working on improvements for guests, researching new recipes or simply munching on his favorite pastries from what finally was his own bakery, never mind Warren still being his partner, counting it’s mounting profits. Watching everything expanding and improving around him, it seemed the natural course of events, so it had not fully hit him until yesterday that putting on another 100 pounds to the incriminated number of 525 might not have been the best idea.

7. Has your weight ever influenced your relationship(s)?

A question he had never thought about – maybe because it hadn’t applied in recent years. Since he and Liza had broken up, he had shied away from relationships – first because he had been too wrapped up in overcoming his own problems, then too busy and preoccupied with interesting projects. And now – well from what he knew as common knowledge, women were not necessarily interested in 525 pound men, were they? So he’d postpone the question until he had lost some weight. Liza might have teased him a bit about his weight, but they had broken up because of the overload of family crisis that had hit him. She had been too young and inexperienced, had felt overburdened dealing with all the problems, he couldn’t blame her. Finding some of his answers already too long, he simply typed ‘No, not really’.

8. Do you ever feel guilty after eating?

What a bizarre question – why would anybody feel guilty after eating? Oh, maybe for eating junk food, that would make sense. Since he never ate junk food, he shook his head and typed NO.

9. Do you feel your weight makes it impossible for you to do things you would like or need to do?

Impossible things at 525 pounds? Where to start? He definitely could not go bungee jumping, learning to ski or surf was probably also out of the question; he was even doubtful whether he could still ride a bicycle. That along with not being able to use most gym equipment was a bit annoying sometimes, but not really significant. Not finding anything he sincerely regretted he decided again on: ‘No, not really’.

10. Have you made any lifestyle changes because of your weight?
This question left him uncertain – what exactly was she trying to find out? His lifestyle had not changed as he had gotten heavier, but he had made sure to adapt all necessities to accommodate his ballooning frame. In fact, it had been a particularly cherished part of indulging his swelling bulk to anticipate which changes might be needed next to keep it comfortable. Shortly after the discovery he was well over 400 pounds, he decided to upgrade to buying two seats when flying – easy since the hotel had several airline partner contracts. He disliked squeezing his pampered fat roles into too tight seats for hours, also ordering a handsomely padded seat-belt extension to take along, better than some cold metal digging into his soft tummy. In remodeling his apartment, he made the spaces in the new built-in professional kitchen extra wide and had his bathroom fitted with a reinforced toilette as well as a walk-in shower with a brick-built seat on which he could settle his outsized rear without trepidation. Much of his furniture was reinforced, at home as well as in the office. Having a fair share of his clothing custom made, marveling that he suddenly also needed to order XL clothes hangers for the tents which claimed to be his shirts or banning shoe laces from his life as far as possible.

As far as getting around was concerned, he was aware that he led a charmed life. Whenever he traveled, he stayed in partner hotels that catered to any of his known or even unknown needs. Going out in town, people knew him and always made sure he had the best seating arrangements possible. When visiting restaurants or so, the chefs were mostly keen on talking to him, maybe get a stint in his ‘visiting chef’ program at the hotel so he could ask for the moon if he wanted to. In the hotel, his staff went out of its way to make sure that everything ran smoothly for him, he was never confronted with potentially embarrassing situations and of course there was Namée who was almost militant in attending to his physical comfort.
 

agouderia

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11. Have you ever been bullied, harassed, made fun of, verbally or physically abused because of your weight? Or have you received pressure from peers, friends, family because of your weight?

He wanted to write, “No, not really” again – only Liza harmlessly teasing him into a diet so many years ago coming to mind. Sure he received some gentle ribbing with an occasional belly pat, lately also some more concerned questions as he had gotten so huge, but all in all people were friendly, respectful and accepting of him and his bulk.

In a flash it resurfaced - the one remark that had truly hurt him, so badly he tried hard to repress it. Yet it probably was the real reason why he was sitting here with this questionnaire. It was only weeks ago, the aftermath of a day he would otherwise consider as perfect – in hindsight it might have been one of his biggest mistakes.

Warren had come for a day of events with several of their major partners and guests – it was the festive December holiday season, the time of year in which life in general centers around good food. The ‘Langdon Residency’ was fully booked, he could have sold off twice as many tickets to most of their events and in this cheery, successful spirit he had admittedly gotten into the mode of indulging his tummy even more than usual. When Warren arrived, they met for breakfast at 9:30, he eating his way through the buffet, taking notes on possible improvements while they discussed business until 11:00. Paul came at 11:30 with the cooking samples for tonight’s gala dinner, where Warren declined to try more than a bite and he finished all, suggesting several major changes in ingredients and presentation to Paul’s frustration. Afterwards he was nicely full, absentmindedly giving his puffed belly pats as he presented Warren some remodeling on the park side he wanted to do. At 1:00 they went together to the Christmas luncheon their best airline partner had scheduled to greet the guests, naturally being invited to stay.

“You’re not seriously going to have a five course luncheon now, are you? You’ve been eating non-stop all morning!” Warren looked at him strictly.

“We can’t say no, they’re among our best customers. Anyway, I think the menu Claire and I assembled is really interesting, you have to try it!”

Returning to his office at three, he was deliciously stuffed, his belly much more distended than normal at this time of day, the waistband of his pants cutting into him painfully. Settling at his desk, he asked Warren apologetically: “You don’t mind if I loosen up a little do you? You were right, that was a bit too much lunch for me today,” rubbing his sore gut after unhooking the waistband and pulling out the shirt.

“If you have to. I warned you, Christopher, you really have to cut back on your eating!”

An hour later, as they were still working on distributing conference bookings between the four hotels, Claire came in with tea and a nice tray. “I thought maybe it would be a nice idea for Mr. Langdon to see and sample the Christmas cookies we are putting into the give-away bags tonight.”

Warren had politely taken two small pieces with his tea, while Christopher had subconsciously let his pudgy fingers wander over the table to the tray in short regular intervals, taking a piece, putting it into his mouth, relishing the sensation of sweetness and spice, his chewing sending cozy quivers through his plump jowls and the pleasant discomfort of his belly fat slowly digging into the table. Suddenly he felt a sharp slap on his fingers, the cookie was taken away and Warren got up removing the tray, setting it outside the door. Christopher stared at him in shock, before he relented: “Sorry, you’re right, that was too much. I can’t resist, these are my uncle’s best recipes, they remind me….”

“Don’t get me wrong my boy, but do you really think your uncle would be proud of you if he saw you today?”

“I don’t want to sound too self-satisfied, but I think he would. That I work for you in this position; that with your help I managed to get the bakery started again, it’s…”

“That’s not what I mean – and you know it. Would he be proud if he saw that giant gut on you, that you are hundreds of pounds overweight? Sure your uncle had a well-fleshed baker’s build, but he was slender in comparison to you. How much do you weigh, any ideas?”

He blushed crimson, never had experienced Warren angry at him – and this line of questioning was indeed uncomfortable. “Ummm, well, I guess it’s a bit over 400 pounds,” relieved there was no instant way to verify this claim and tried to make amends. “Yeah, you’re right, I’ve gotten very heavy. Uncle Tom probably would be pretty shocked. I promise I’ll cut back on what I’m eating, not let Claire bring me cookies anymore.”

Warren had nodded with a small sad smile: “I mean well for you my boy, I hope you believe me.”

Getting ready for the evening banquet, his discomfort heightened as he noticed there was no chance of him fastening his waistband again; it had been tight before and with his belly expanded after today’s feasting, the case was lost. This meant he would have to wear a different suit, his pants lower under his belly with suspenders and a more voluminous shirt over it – a look which really show-cased his mega stomach, a sub-par solution given Warren’s criticism.

As the cocktail before the gala banquet already got him many compliments, Warren did not say anything more and the champagne’s bubbles buoyed his mood again all qualms had evaporated by the soup course. The rest of the evening passed in a rosy haze, the 7 course menu with fine wines was excellent even by his standards. He derived an almost erotic satisfaction from feeling the delicacies first melt in his mouth, then further swell the outsized white-shirted orb resting before him to finally hear the guests praise and give him so many new bookings and requests, he could almost not keep up with writing them down on his little note pad.

At the end of the dinner, he was deliriously full, delightfully tipsy and struggled to get up as the now gargantuan expanse of his gut with its weight threatened to throw him off balance. Paul, who had come to accept the kudos for the kitchen team, caught his arm and helped him up, grinning: “A little too good this evening, even for you, eh?”

“You and your team seriously out did yourselves, excellent work! My warmest thanks to all of you; this has been an outstanding evening and a fabulous advertisement, bringing in more business. It’ll most likely increase all of yours end of the year bonus.” Patting his outlandishly inflated belly with both hands grinning sheepishly, he added: “Do you know those little cartoon-like characters in the old French cookbooks? Those men who have so absolutely gigantic bellies that they push them around on small wheel-barrows? That’s how I feel right now. Anybody happen to have a wheel-barrow I can role this big one around in?”

Out of the corner of his eye, he had caught Warren’s seemingly disgusted expression, heading off to the bar since he had stuck more to drinking than eating throughout the evening. Since it was too late and he seriously too stuffed to make the effort to go home, he rolled his way back to his office suite, puffing deeply in contentment. Undressing, the over stretched skin of his gut itched agreeably, so he took massage oil and started applying it, scratching energetically, before shifting to a true massage. It released the pressure on his overloaded stomach, while the moving heavy flesh intensified that in his groin until he let out a low moan of excitement, rolling over on the bed, finishing the job off with a guttural grunt. Hadn’t he recently read the term ‘food orgasm’ somewhere? This is what they must be talking about, fantastic, he mused, quickly dropping off to sleep.

Going down to meet Warren for breakfast the next morning, he found him ready to leave. “Warren, I hope you slept well? Shall we not have breakfast before you head off?”

“Breakfast? After last night’s dinner the last thing I need is breakfast! You don’t need it either!”

“How about just a nice cappuccino then?” getting the impression Warren looked a bit hung over.

“No, I really got to leave now. I can’t stand the thought of spending another day here, watching you stuff yourself like a prize hog the whole time, until that super-fat gut of yours maybe explodes!”

In this moment he couldn’t breathe, it hurt so bad. He had no sense of how long he stood there, only that sometime he managed to mutter: “Have a safe trip then,” before he turned and walked away. Somehow he got back to his office, sank down at his desk and sat there, Warren’s cruel words ringing in his ears, a stinging emotional pain clawing through his insides. The first straight thought he had was – if this was the way Warren really saw him and his work, how could he stay on here as director? Would there be a way to pay him off as partner in the bakery without having to shut it down again? Was he stuck now in the same dilemma as he had been at the end of college, having to give up his life’s dream – only this time self-inflicted because he had gained hundreds of pounds?

Anger and resentment soon joined pain and desperation: His fat was mainly occupational hazard, after all Warren got a lot of positive publicity out of his management of the kitchen and bakery. While his ‘Residency’ was in all gourmet guides and had won a number of rankings, Warren’s ‘Imperial Residency’ had flunked all of the latest ratings! And he certainly was no hog, but a highly educated culinary professional!

It was already past noon as his stomach rumbled hungrily and the phone rang with the caller id of Warren’s cell. Not wanting to see or talk to anyone, he turned off his cell phone, took two bananas for the road and walked home. Fretting all day, he was ravenous and started to bake in the evening, fixing a dark chocolate and a mango-yoghurt gateau until three in the morning, eating half of each as consolation. He was woken by his private phone the next morning – Warren again, he did not answer. Instead he called the front desk saying he was working from home and to only call in emergencies. Now he was in the mind-set that he’d show Warren who was the better hotel manager and started writing exposés energetically, trying to eat sensibly with fruit and two turkey sandwiches.

In the afternoon, Namée called reminding him of their session which he ineffectually tried to cancel. She let him know in no uncertain terms he needed his swim and massage, so he better be there. Afterwards, he was relieved he had obeyed her as usual. Her infallible instinct deriving something was massively wrong, Namée had first made him swim for 20 minutes longer and then extended his massage to a full 60 minutes with warm oil, working the magic of making all his many flesh roles feel tender as well as vibrant, restoring much of his energy. Going freshly dressed to get a sensible three-course dinner in the restaurant he actually pitied Warren that he had no real appreciation for the pleasures of culinary excellence and the comforts a resulting abundant body could bring.

Sitting at his desk the next morning, he deleted all messages from Warren and started to catch up on yesterday’s files, as the front desk called: “Christopher, Mr. Langdon for you on line 3.”

“Sorry Tricia, please tell him I’m busy. I’ll call back later,” not wanting to speak to him before he had talked to his bank about the potential of a loan for buying back the bakery.

“Sorry Christopher, he insists to be put through. Or get you to take it here at the front desk.”

“Okay, I’ll take it then,” immediately hearing Warren’s voice as he pressed the button: “Thank God, I’ve been trying to reach you for two days now! Are you okay, my boy? Is everything alright?”

“Everything is fine sir, thank you,” he answered stiffly. “If you have no pressing matters, I would ask to postpone our talk since I am pretty busy.”

“Christopher, you know I’m calling to apologize sincerely to you – that cannot wait any longer. What I said on leaving was unforgivable – and I want to let you know how very sorry I am.” A silence followed since he was unable to speak; Warren’s apology only caused his cutting remarks with the awful hurt they created to run through his mind again, looking down at his overflowing stomach. “Christopher, are you still there, did you hear my apology?”

“Yes sir, thank you sir, I accept your apology.”

“Doesn’t really sound like it, I know how you sound when you’re insincere.” Warren sighed heavily at the other end of the line. “As I said, I know what I said was absolutely unforgivable; worse it was also unfair and not true. All I can say in my defense is I didn’t mean it. It burst out because I was hung-over, had slept poorly. And because I’m simply very worried about you and your health.”

“It’s okay, really. Let’s forget about it.”

“I can tell you haven’t even considered forgetting it. Now spit it out, what would you like to tell me, which shit can you give me? Get it off your chest; I don’t want anything to stand between us.”

“Well … it’s just .. what you said showed me that you might no longer see me and my work as I do. That’s not a good foundation for working together.” He swallowed very hard, fighting back a small choke. “Maybe it’s better if I leave the ‘Langdon Residency’ – I’m working on a way to buy off your shares in the bakery, if you let me.”

A groan came over the line. “That’s how I feared you would react. I can understand it. My reaction probably would be no different. My remark was totally out of line. No matter what you think now, I still see you as the best executive I have, whose dedication and talents I honestly admire. Above all, whose well-being is personally very important to me. Can I please ask you to forgive and hopefully over time forget this awful faux-pas? Let us continue working together as well as we always have?”

Having known Warren for so long, all he had done for him, he knew the apology was heartfelt and he had to accept it and move on. “Yes Warren, thank you, for your apology. Let’s really forget about it.”

“Okay my boy, I’m a little bit relieved -but still very worried. So promise me one thing – do make a New Year’s Resolution to limit yourself to three courses in the future, yes? We can talk about everything else when I come next time.”

And the next time he had come had been yesterday, with Wershowitz and the diet plan, he sighed heavily as his stomach growled. He knew Warren truly had the best intentions and meant well for him, but that didn’t make it any easier. What he was asking was no less than coercing him to decide between the two essentials in his life: Good food and his work at the hotel.

Despite having the bakery again, it was not the same without Uncle Tom – it was no longer family, just an, albeit very good, business. The hotel had turned into his home, his family, his haven, his stage, his baby …. he simply could no longer see himself without being able to amble through the park every morning to take good care of it, make it even better, make sure the people working and staying there were as content with it as he was. Still more, the idea of getting the opportunity to turn the other ‘Langdon’ houses into the same truly modern first class quality hotels made his fingers itch in anticipation and his brain start whirring excitedly with ideas. But if he wanted that, he would have to forsake, or at least massively reduce his love for food.

Food on the other hand was the second focal point in his existence – his best friend, soulmate, almost lover given the semi-erotic satisfaction he could get out of eating. It was his inspiration, consolation, favorite toy, continuous challenge, the last existing link to his family traditions and by now probably also claim to fame. He couldn’t see himself without working with food every day, trying new ideas, finding success with physical satiation. True, maybe he was exaggerating, on a diet he still would be allowed to eat – but it would be all about control, restriction, denial not about creativity, pleasure and fulfillment.

Patting his big, soft, empty, hungry, growling tummy soothingly, every shred of his emotional self rejecting the diet project, his rational brain reminded him there probably was some truth in what Warren had told him. No matter how comfortable he currently was with it, 525 pounds was objectively too heavy – and if he went on as he had, if he did gain another 100 pounds, would he then still be able to do the job? Simple decency and gratitude obliged him to at least try not to disappoint Warren – difficult as it might seem to him, so he finished by typing ….

12. Which reasons do you have for losing weight now? Which are your goals?
Found out I weigh 525 pounds – that is too much. Need to lose about 200 pounds to be able to make next career developments.
 

Tad

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The great white north, eh?
You really are showing off your writing chops in this story. Great way to tell his back story, with excellent interleaving of various parts of his history. *applauds*
 

agouderia

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Outstanding! This story is awesome.
Thank you!

You really are showing off your writing chops in this story. Great way to tell his back story, with excellent interleaving of various parts of his history. *applauds*
:blush: - being accused of vanity probably means that what I considered to be a risky experiment in writing must've somehow worked .... merci beaucoup!

Now here's the next chapter...
 

agouderia

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steps … that is how far it was from his apartment to the hotel – or at least what the odd little step counter said he was wearing by Wershowitz’s order for a week to test his activity level; official goal was 4000 steps a day. Considering that his walk to and from the hotel was already 3432 steps – how was he supposed to get through the day with only 568 more steps? Who came up with these absurd ideas in diet programs?

“Good morning Christopher, good to see you again,” Tricia greeted him with an unreadable smile. “I’ll call Claire right away; have her bring your breakfast up to your office.”

She was on the phone again before he could respond, handing him a pack of papers over the counter. He wondered what that was all about – everybody knew he either had breakfast at home or here at the buffet, doing his first daily check in the restaurant. As he turned to go in that direction, Tricia waved him back: “Christopher, everything is waiting in your office, you can really go up now. Mr. Langdon has made all arrangements.”

Bewildered, he did as told, arriving at his office door together with Claire, who with a shy, apologetic smile set a breakfast tray with a pink grapefruit, a banana and his favorite dark bread with baked ham and lettuce on it before him. “Good morning, I hope this is an okay start for your day.”

Then it struck him: “Claire … you didn’t tell anybody about my diet in the past two days I wasn’t here – did you? You promised you wouldn’t!”

Claire shook her head forcefully, her dark blue eyes full of compassion, pointing at a sheet of pink paper on his desk with Warren’s signature. It was yesterday’s meeting invitation for all heads of unit of the hotel, confidentially, on how to support him with his diet. He groaned and buried his face in his hands. How humiliating – everybody knew that he had gotten so fat that the hotel corporation CEO in person had put him on a diet! Asking them to help, as if he didn’t trust him to manage it on his own! Great – how was he ever going to be able to exercise authority over his employees now?

“I’m so sorry Christopher, I tried everything to convince Mr. Langdon and this doctor not to do it, that you’d hate it, that it’d be better for you to do it yourself, but they wouldn’t listen to me! “

He looked up at her, seeing her distressed expression, and put his large padded hand over her small one resting on the table. “Thank you so much Claire, you’re such a help for me. It’s not your fault, I know. Did you go to the meeting? What did everybody say?”

“Everybody was really nice, understanding and supportive, came up with very constructive ideas, you know. We all like working here for you, you’re a good boss,” she gently squeezed the dimples in the flesh on his hand with her free one. “Like Namée already handed in your new schedule with her - 12 instead of 6 sessions a month now; it’s on the yellow sheet under the pink one.”

“That’s very nice – but no one here will see me as the boss now anymore, only as the super fat guy who has been put on a diet and needs an entire hotel to watch it for him,” he sounded bitter.

“That’s not true! We all like and respect you just the way you are –because you’re a good, competent boss who knows what he is doing!” she blushed, nervously pushing her blond hair behind her ears.

“Claire, you being really sweet – what can I say? Thank you for everything – starting with this breakfast here, it looks just fine.” He had to think of some way to truly thank Claire, also give her the chance to show her talents more than as Paul’s sous-chef.

“The nutritionist Dr. Wershowitz booked for you is coming at 2 p.m. – do you want me to come to? All information about her is in that envelope. Shall I bring your lunch then at 12:30?”

“I’ll look into everything and let you know then. 12:30 sounds perfect.”

Struggling with coming to terms with the mortifying fact that the hotel staff had been enlisted to help him with his diet, his mood went further downhill as he got an overview of what Warren had been up to the past two days he had taken over the office. Not only had he signed a contract with a tour operator Christopher had black-listed for not meeting financial obligations, but he had also given into Paul’s whining and increased his budget by 7%. As he wanted to go down check on the menu suggestions for the next days – no more sampling, he was aware of that – Paul and Claire came up instead, armed with the suggestions, recipes and a small bowl of Greek yoghurt for him, to appease his stomach, as Claire shyly put it.

The discussion with Paul was more than annoying: He was smugly self-satisfied that Warren had agreed to his ideas and seemed to believe he would have the upper hand now that Christopher was officially not allowed to sample, correct and re-cook his menu suggestions. He knew Paul was an excellent chef, with outstanding technical skills and very creative – but he needed to be reined in since he was blind to customer demand and lacked common business sense.

Lunch – a small omelet and salad with fresh mushrooms - was served at his desk and he took the time to look through the file of this nutritionist, Stephanie Weymouth was her name. She seemed to have some diverse experience, was trained in food science and had been to culinary school in Boston and Switzerland. Most recently she had run a so-called ‘holistic’ program for teenagers with eating disorders – fabulous, so Warren and Wershowitz had chosen some sort of baby-sitter for him, probably to do all sorts of silly diet motivation gimmicks.

Bringing his lunch tray back down to the restaurant, Claire looked at him in concern: “Christopher, you needn’t have come; I would’ve picked it up later.”

“It’s okay Claire; I have to take a few things down to the front desk anyway.”

At the front desk, Tricia was flustered too. “Christopher, you should’ve called me, I would’ve brought you everything. You don’t have to come all the way down here. That’s too much….”

“Tricia, I’m on a diet, not ill! I can walk; it’s actually good for me! Dieting is not any easier if I’m cooped up in my office all day. Or are you afraid I’m going to bite one of our guests because I’m so famished?” Tricia blushed, stammered and shook her head.

Back in his office he started on the tedious task of checking inventory lists as there was a knock on his door and a young woman entered. She was a very curvy, decidedly pear-shaped brunette with nice high breasts, accentuated by fitted black jeans, a black velvet jacket and a soft rose&black low cut t-shirt. “Good afternoon, I’m Stephanie Weymouth. Dr. Wershowitz sent me for your diet program.”

“You’re the nutritionist? I thought you were supposed to be thin for that job!” it blurted out of him, unthinking, since from his perspective she had to be about 50 pounds heavier than he would expect from somebody with that job description.

“Yes, I am a nutritionist, an academically qualified one as such. My own size is mostly seen as helpful and reassuring by my patients because I know firsthand that keeping your weight in check requires hard work and healthy choices.” She had flushed slightly with an indeterminable glint in her eyes as she surveyed him before she set down her bag, bent over and took some papers out.

At the sight of her very shapely, broad cushioned back side, his mouth went dry and to his disbelief he felt his manhood stir eagerly under his belly. If he had farmer’s market pumpkins as a rear, she had two of the most beautiful Halloween children’s pumpkins as backside he had ever seen. Dazed he tried to make up for his gaffe: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean … I’m about the last person who can call anybody else fat….”

Her raised eyebrows told him this was no better … as he realized what he had said probably was even worse. “Cut Ms. Weymouth, I’m so sorry… could you maybe please go out the door, knock again and then we’ll start over? I’ve talked myself into a hopeless situation.”

Letting out a small laugh, she walked back out, showing off her spectacular backside again, rounding over Rubenesque thighs and came back in after a knock. “Good afternoon, I’m Stephanie Weymouth. Dr. Wershowitz sent me for your diet program.”

“Thank you for coming Ms. Weymouth. I’m Christopher Maynard, director of this hotel, 525 pound impolite idiot and your patient, client, whatever.”

“That does sound a lot better. Nice to meet you – is it okay if we stick to Christopher and Stephanie?” she had a bit naughty, tinkling laugh.

“Why of course. Sorry for my initial reaction – don’t know what I was thinking, I guess …”

“No, it’s okay. I get that reaction regularly. Nevertheless, I do think I have comparative advantages in my job over the born size 0 nutritionist. I know what it’s like to diet, to fight the daily fight between healthy choices and the sheer pleasures of good food,” she winked at him, eyeing his belly mass, making his face grow hot. For a second he thought of sitting up, trying to suck it in and cover it up – but who was he fooling? She knew how much he weighed, and every part of his body was encased in countless inches of excess flab, so one or two less in the belly made no difference.

“Now thank you for sending me back the questionnaire so promptly, you gave a few very interesting and unusual answers,” Stephanie continued with a smile. She had plump, slightly puckered lips in a heart shaped face, wide brown doe eyes and glossy dark brown hair over her shoulders, which swept across her high round breasts with some movements. “There are a few more things we should talk about before we get into the details of your program. As you know from my profile, I believe in not only putting together a balanced meal plan for you, but setting it in context of exercise and other personal activities. So far, Dr. Wershowitz has put down a standard plan for you – and from these notes, a certain Claire, your sous-chef here is taking care of it, is that correct?”
He nodded, having a hard time concentrating on her questions.

“The goals you wrote down are long term as well as ambitious – 200 pounds in 2 years in an awful lot and a relatively long time period. Especially since, given your weight, you have rather limited diet experience, time as well as weight wise. Don’t you think it might be a good idea to maybe come up with a smaller, more short- to mid term goal – let’s say 6 months?”

“Limited experience?” His brain was preoccupied with two of the most basic needs, hunger and sexual desire; it didn’t have the capacity left to try to unravel diet gibberish.

“What I mean is, most people in your weight category have or claim to have dieted much more frequently and over longer periods of time than you do. So you are either very inexperienced in the field – or particularly honest.” There it was again, that cute little wink which made him forget the awful issues she was talking about, just see those puckered lips and round breasts. “So my question is – don’t you want to maybe give yourself a goal for the next six months first?”

All he could think of was that Warren had said 2 years and 200 pounds, so he shook his head.

“Okay, if you say so, are convinced. Next step is to look at your regular diet, meaning what you have been eating so far. Normally that’s done with a so-called food journal monitoring your intake over a few weeks. But Dr. Wershowitz said to start right away, so we’ll sort of re-enact that – and please be as honest as you were in the questionnaire, if possible. May I use your white-board over there?”

As she got up again, swaying those luscious wide hips, flaunting her big round booty his mind went completely blank, the discomfort from his sexual arousal heightened and he nodded again. What was wrong with him – he couldn’t remember having reacted so strongly to a woman in ages? In addition, she was talking about something he hated and she probably wasn’t even conventionally attractive! She reminded him of … it took a while to surface in his mind … of the beautiful abundant colorful female ‘Nana’ statues by the French artist Niki de St.Phalle; she had the same lovely exaggerated feminine proportions! In Lyon, he had done an incredibly silly but very fun course once on art and patisserie, copying paintings and sculptures from renowned artists in chocolate, caramel, sugar confectionary or whatever. He had made oddities like the Mona-Lisa engraved in chocolate medallions or Niki de St.Phalle statuettes in Marzipan … oh he’d love to make a life-size Stephanie ‘Nana’ statue and bite into one of her bulging ass cheeks. Above all, he looked at the rings on her fingers, she was married. Brilliant, he was lusting after a married, chubby diet talker while starving to death …

“Christopher – are you listening?” He shook himself to focus again, re-shifting his bulk, but the discomfort remained, looking at her in questioning. “Let’s get started on putting together what and how you eat on a normal day. What about breakfast – you have breakfast, don’t you?”

“Yes, I always have breakfast. Depending on time, mood, appointments either here at the hotel breakfast buffet or at home.”

“Okay – what do you normally eat for breakfast?”

“Again, that depends: how hungry I am on waking up, how much time I have, what was for dinner the night before, if I want to try a new recipe. Always something fresh, sometimes fried a different style of eggs about twice a week. I like inventing new cereal combinations, but also good breads with cold cuts or cheeses and fruit, in the winter something warm like oatmeal or rice pudding.” Talking about food made his stomach grumble loudly.

Stephanie nodded, wrote some of what he had said down on the board. “Then what’s next – lunch?”

“Well before lunch, about 11:00/11:30 we always have our restaurant and deli planning session – we often sample something, try out new recipes, and the like.”

“Instead of lunch?”

“No, before lunch. This monster here needed a lot of work and ingredients to get to this size.” He couldn’t help smirking bashfully at her, sticking out his belly and patting it fondly and energetically, till it jiggled visibly. “Then there’s lunch which I either have at the buffet, testing quality and presentation – or in case I have a lunch meeting, that would be the 3-course business lunch. In the afternoon I have tea around 4:00, always with pastries, ice cream, fruit, cookies, etc. Then dinner in the evening, mostly at home to try out new recipes, or cook an all time favorite if I’m stressed. Or otherwise here in the hotel, and sometimes I go out to do some competition monitoring.”

“So you normally have five meals a day?”

“Yeah, I guess you can call them meals – none of them qualifies as a snack.” Looking at what Stephanie had written down, he suddenly remembered Warren witnessing him eating like this on a particularly indulgent day - no wonder he had thought he was a hog! From his point of view, it had been normal-plus, but he could see how an outsider might perceive it. What was Stephanie thinking?

“Regarding the number of meals you split your daily ration into, that’s something I’m open about – different things work for different people. If I diet, for instance, I stick to two meals a day with plenty of time for them. I know some people, who need like 5 meals, even if they’re only bigger snacks. My advice would be to try to reduce your intake to 3 meals a day, also to keep the overall amounts and calories in mind. You’re a food professional, so I don’t have to start with the basics – like you need more than a micro-wave and a freezer in your kitchen or that vegetables are eatable. But I’d ask you to focus a bit on calories in your meals – something we all normally prefer to blend out,” she smiled indulgently at him.

“Sure, in theory, I know how to do that.”

“Dr. Wershowitz gave me a standardized plan for you I’m not fully convinced of. He ignored how heavy and active you are, meaning you do need more energy just to maintain your weight. So we should develop something more personalized for you. If I may give you some homework – why don’t you write up ‘diet versions’ of your 10 favorite recipes for me? Then we can discuss them next time .. and move on from there. Is that okay for you?”



Despite expecting the diet to be difficult, he was deeply disturbed how awful it turned out to be in reality. Since he had indulged his appetite with few restrictions over the past years, simply cutting back to three meals a day was hard. Yet it was not only constant hunger – gnawing, biting, grumbling, even aching hunger – bothering him, there were more levels on which he keenly felt the absence of the exquisite, plentiful food he was accustomed to. Not only his stomach was used to being nicely full most of the day, his entire body had adapted to the sensation: The warm fullness, the light puff distending his belly, forcing him to push it forward with a lightly rolling gait, sticking out round and proud or resting expansively in his lap giving him a feeling of comfort, reassurance and strength. Now it seemed just very heavy, a bit ungainly, more like hanging sad and hungry in front of him.

Missing was the emotional satisfaction the taste and texture of good food gave him … plus he quickly was also fighting basic boredom. Cooking, baking, eating, sampling, researching, inventing or revising recipes had taken up a major, most enjoyable portion of his work as well as leisure time. Now when he came home from the hotel, he was at a loss of what to do. Researching und re-writing recipes was no fun if you could not try them out. He had re-organized his cook book collection as well as his electronic recipe archive twice in three weeks. To have something else to do, he had started playing around with the architect’s remodeling software, coming up with no less than four more alternatives – to the already proposed three – for the hotel’s park side, driving the builders crazy. He stayed long hours in the hotel, even though it was low season, annoying his heads of units because he meddled into their business in such detail. The pool and gym team carefully but seriously told him he could not lock himself up in there to hang out in the pool or Jacuzzi endlessly because hotel guests and regulars were starting to complain about extended closing hours.

Had he so far always gone to bed physically, mentally and emotionally satiated to sleep like a log, waking up refreshed and full of energy, now hunger and frustration kept him awake, to later sleep fitfully before being roused by his alarm clock, feeling groggy and only howling hunger moving him to get up. All this left him grumpy, irritable and moody, which he to his own embarrassment let out on almost anybody who got in his way. The fact that much of his staff responded to his behavior with gentle understanding oddly did not make things easier – he hated being perceived and treated like the irascible dieter who needed to be humored, instead of the nice, big, competent boss.

Part of his frustration seamlessly parlayed into his dealings with Stephanie: He anticipated their meetings with a weird mixture of resentment and eagerness. On the one hand he hated talking about all diet issues. He didn’t want to think about the endless months, years he still had to live with this diet or discuss the boring diet recipes, which seemed to all consist of the same list of rather limited ingredients. Most of the exercises, questions and recommendations that supposedly supported him in dieting only left him feeling ridiculous or as if nobody was taking him seriously.

On the other hand, he for some inexplicable reason totally had the hots for Stephanie, her very pronounced curves and spectacular backside. Sure, she was rather cute with those big brown eyes, plump, puckered lips and nice cleavage – but he started to think he was mainly so aroused because her juicy plumpness visually promised the quenching of the painful hunger he was currently suffering from. If he was realistic though, she was rather nice and helpful – so he tried hard to come across during their sessions as a normal, competent, easy-going guy, only to fail miserably most of the time. Either the issues she talked about irritated him to sooner or later snap or whine at her like a spoiled child, or some movement, shift, sway of her hyper-feminine body triggered such unbearable feelings of lust in him that he could no longer concentrate on what she was saying or he was supposed to do so he repeatedly made a fool of himself.

After the first two weeks of his diet Stephanie said on coming in: “Now today we have to face the dreaded contraption to see how you’re doing.”

“Which dreaded contraption?”

“Well – the scale. We have to weigh you to keep track of your progress.”

“Yeah – dreaded contraption fits. How often do we have to do that?”

“Normally once a week, at least every two weeks. So where do you have the scale?”

“We need to go down. If it’s necessary, let’s get it over with.”

As they reached the basement level, Stephanie turned left towards the gym and pool. “No, over here,” he unlocked the door on the right towards the laundry and other facilities in the basement, heading directly towards the rear delivery entrance. Arriving there, he looked around to then pull out the small manual fork lifter scale.

“What’s that?” Stephanie’s eyes went wide.

“Um… that’s the mobile scale we used last time, only Wershowitz had had brought up to my office. It carries up to one ton, so we’re fine.”

“You can’t use that, that’s awful … how could he, how cruel, I’m so sorry,” she couldn’t stop stammering and apologizing, taking his hand and trying to pull him away.

“Wait a minute, calm down, it’s no problem, it worked alright last time. This is the easiest here, better than the huge laundry scale. And the regular ones in the gym only carry up to 300 pounds – no idea if I’ll ever fit on one of those again.”

“No, this is impossible, it’s degrading, no wonder it’s difficult for you to find the right attitude towards this diet, you poor thing,” her voice was almost choked.

“Stephanie, I appreciate you’re so considerate, but it’s no big deal, I hate getting on any scale – no matter which scale it is. Running a hotel, you constantly have to improvise – like there’s a snow storm and you’re suddenly double booked, have to set up beds in the gym. Or somebody screwed up the reservation for a wedding reception and you have to decorate extra tables out of nothing with bed sheets, flowers from the front desk and ivy we stole in the park. Something like this is normal for me. I’ll take off only my shoes though, not undress as far as I did last time, okay?”

She nodded with a small sniff and then mumbled: “520” looking at the scale.

“Aha – is that good or bad?”

“Five pounds less in two weeks is normal for your size to start out with.” As he plopped down heavily on the elevated ramp step to try to pull his shoes back on in sitting, difficult with the fat tires of his chest and gut in the way, she quickly went down on her knees and slipped his feet back into the shoes, her eyes wet with tears as he noted in surprise.

Maybe the fact that Stephanie’s behavior was almost as inconsistent as his made things so difficult, yet admittedly interesting. Most of the time, she was cool, professional and therapeutically motivating, which surprisingly annoyed him more than anything, because he hated being treated like a patient and found much of the ‘diet talk’ borderline ridiculous. Sometimes he noticed she could barely keep her patience with his mood swings, almost as if she’d like to give him a telling off with a slap like a misbehaving teenager.

Now and then she got into a flirtatious, lively mood, turning him on so badly he had to physically restrain himself from grabbing her into his arms. Obvious was she maintained an extreme physical distance, never even touching him when showing him exercises or the like. In one incident when she was showing balance and breathing exercises, she happened to grab into his love handle to steady him, immediately pulling back her hand as if bitten and shuddering visibly. This had hurt him more than he liked to admit, thinking her behavior was not only unprofessional, but also unjustified. She had enough padding herself to know how it felt like - namely very nice, warm, soft, palpably pleasant.
Then again she had moments like now, when she was incredibly caring, considerate and compassionate often over such trifles he had difficulty in understanding their significance. What more, Claire treated Stephanie quite frostily and could not mask her dislike – making the air tense when both of them happened to be together in his office.
 

agouderia

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A particularly awful day came at the end of his fourth diet week: It had been trying with a big conference by an incompetent team of organizers, so the hotel staff had to do constant emergency fire-fighting to make things run halfway smoothly. Before lunch he had had a major argument with Paul that it was a complete business insanity to plan a $75 engagement dinner with ingredient costs per person coming up to $55. He had slept poorly because he was so hungry.

Now his stomach was grumbling achingly as first Stephanie came for their next session, and then a little later Claire with his lunch – a wrap with chicken breast, arugula, grilled tomato and zucchini.

“Shit - not another chicken breast! If I eat any more of these, I’ll start clucking around!” he fumed as he saw the plate. “And it also looks like the smallest one you could find, how am I supposed to survive on that? But from the looks of it, big breasts are not your thing!” looking at her flat chest scathingly.
Claire’s eyes filled, as she barely murmured: “Bon appétit” in reflex before she quickly left the room. Seeing her tears, instant shame overcame him: His remark had been unbelievably stupid and in rotten taste–Stephanie’s eyebrows reaching her hair line didn’t improve matters. “What?”

“Why don’t you eat first before we discuss the next steps,” her voice was cool and smooth.

Claire’s tears and the uncomfortable knowledge he had behaved like an absolute asshole in front of the two women he currently cared most for had dented his appetite and he slowly chewed his way through the wrap, knowing he’d regret it if he didn’t at least eat up the measly portion. Finishing, he sighed to Stephanie: “Look, what I just said to Claire was dreadful – you don’t need to tell me. I don’t think I’ve ever said anything so … whatever … to a woman before. I don’t normally go about treating everybody like shit. I can’t understand what’s wrong with me – maybe I’m suffering from diet induced brain damage or something. I’ll honestly apologize to Claire, think of a really good way of making it up. I know she’s the last one here to deserve such treatment.”

“Fine-that’s a good idea,” her eyes were warm and seemed understanding. “Still – what we’re doing here is not working. Deep down you resent this diet … and you let it out on Claire, as if she was the evil one denying you the food you love out of pure malice. The problem with this set up is you’re not personally taking responsibility for your diet. Dr. Wershowitz seems to have had the idea it’d be good to keep you out of the kitchen and away from food. That’s an approach I generally don’t believe in – and currently seeing how you’re doing confirms this. You know how to cook; you’ll only be able to really change your eating habits if you are fully in charge of them.”

“You’re right, I miss cooking and baking a lot. Never thought that would lead to such outbursts.”

“Well, it normally doesn’t. But it’s a problem you also have in diet clinics - patients take on only a surrogate responsibility for their lives and wonder why things go wrong when they’re back in the real world. So-starting tomorrow, I want you to cook your own food again – now diet style. Have breakfast and dinner at home, bring lunch to the office.”

“Sounds like a worthwhile idea – maybe I’ll be more focused then. Can you give me those plans and lists of ingredients so I can go shopping?”

“I have a different plan. Tomorrow is Saturday, would it be okay if I came to your place, take a look at what you have in your kitchen and we work out together, what you need to buy, go shopping? That might make the shift more productive. Or do you mind showing your kitchen?”

“ Absolutely not. I like my kitchen, my apartment. But it’s Saturday, what about your weekend, your..?”

“No, that’s fine, no plans this weekend. So, I’ll be there tomorrow morning, 9:30 for breakfast.”

“What do I need to do?”

“Have coffee ready – I’ll bring everything else!”


The next morning he was ready at 9:05 and nervous as he would be on a first date. In the evening, he had made his apartment gleam, although this was unnecessary since Uncle Tom and Aunt Katie’s teachings and the years in the hotel had made him internalize keeping everything pristine as part of the business. On the upside, he noticed that his favorite black jeans did fit normally again, no more excessive overhang, and he paired them with a nice black, white and red Vichy plaid shirt. But if this was supposed to be diet success, he moodily thought, it was a small reward for four miserable weeks – it would’ve been easier to buy a new pair of larger jeans.

His overall size still was huge as he noticed in the mirror, greeting Stephanie on coming in. Yet next to her, he did not look as monstrously fat as he did next to petite Claire – her own statuesque abundance, excitingly shapely in black jeans and a laced blouse in black with red and white embroidery was a better balance to his bulk. Watching her round buttocks move rhythmically as he followed her into the kitchen his jeans did all of a sudden feel very constricting again.

“Weekend breakfast goody for you – you have a waffle maker, don’t you?”

“Of course I do!”

“That’s what I thought. So- my personal development – healthy but tasty: Whole-wheat buttermilk waffles with grated apple and cinnamon-sugar. How does that sound?”

“Fantastic! Just what I need this morning! Thank you!” he beamed at her.

“Thank you!” the response was a bit pointed.

“Why do you thank me?”

“For the first true smile you’ve ever given me!” her grin was sweet with a wicked edge, making him feel his cheeks redden.
“It probably good you have so much experience working with problem teens – so you know how to handle guys like me, who behave like a hungry bear running amok all the time. I’m sorry; I’m not normally such a jerk. This diet brings out the worst in me.”

“Don’t worry, you’re doing fine – except for the hungry bear part,” she gave him another of those winks. “A strict diet is an extreme situation, people respond differently to a total lifestyle change – that sometimes is a bit like puberty all over. So the teen experience does help. Will you please put out the waffle maker and then peel and grate these apples?”

Watching her make the batter and bake the waffles, he couldn’t resist positioning himself behind her so that the full round curve of his belly half rested on her seductive backside, forcing him to hold his breath so turned on was he. His stomach ruined the moment since it growled demandingly and Stephanie turned around, looked at him with the saddest expression possible, muttering: “Go sit down, I’ll bring your waffles in a minute.”

While eating they made small-talk about the waffle recipe and as he had hungrily finished his three waffles, she with a sly grin pushed over her third on his plate: “A very small indulgence,” strictly shaking her head as he wanted to protest. Gratefully, he devoured the fourth waffle to lean back, rub the curve of his belly which for the first time in weeks had a small puff again, making him sigh in contentment. “That was wonderful, thank you.”

“It’s more than the plan prescribes, but relaxing a little once a week helps a lot. Let’s check on which staples you have in the kitchen, before we discuss next week’s plan and what we need to buy.”

Going food shopping with Stephanie in the sunshine, debating what exactly to buy, ogling her cleavage when she bent over, his tummy half-way soothed made his Saturday better than he had thought possible. When only bread was left on the list, he suggested shyly: “As you might guess, I only eat our own bread. I can call to have it delivered. But … well … I’d like to show you the bakery. Would you mind if we called a cab to drive over, pick up the bread and I’ll show you around a bit?”

“Why yes, that’s a great idea! I haven’t been behind the scenes of a big bakery in ages. But why call a cab? We can take my car, if yours isn’t here.”

“Ummm … I don’t have a car. I well … it was old and rusty from college and I sort of out-grew it too,” he was a touch embarrassed. “Now if I need to drive I can take one of the hotel rental cars… they’ve two models which are perfect for me.”

“Okay, we’ll take my car then, it’s parked right around the corner from your house.”

“No… really … a cab is bigger … I don’t want to break ….,” he rarely felt so uneasy.

“Don’t worry, you’ll be fine,” Stephanie reassured him, opening the door of one of these smaller city SUVs. Working his bulk in, he was surprised the seat was comfortable enough, pushed far back and even had a seat-belt extension that fit around his circumference perfectly. Breathing an audible sigh of relief, folding his hands in relaxation over the big mound in his lap, he noticed from the side she was somehow agitated, taking deep gulping breaths and closing her eyes.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine… maybe open the window, get more fresh air…” she turned the ignition and headed off, concentrating on the traffic, avoiding looking at him, leaving him to revel in the warm sensation of one of his thick sides roles squishing into her plump, cushioned thighs.

Once in the bakery, Stephanie was less tense and followed his explanations with what seemed to be increasing amusement. He knew he was getting carried away, but he was so proud of everything they had accomplished, of the history of their recipes, that he went into lengthy details. At the end they picked up a small loaf of rye bread and two sunflower seed whole-wheat roles and he asked: “May I invite you to a pastry, my latest creation, lime-meringue tartlets? Who knows, maybe they’re the last pastry I’ve ever created,” defeatism overcoming him.

“Hey, you’re on a diet not on death row, don’t exaggerate! But you know what I say about snacking – so I’ll be happy to take a lime-meringue tartlet along if you are so kind to offer it, to have it tomorrow for Sunday dessert. Why don’t we have another coffee out on the terrace? You’ve done a beautiful job on making it look very inviting,” making him smile again.
He had made sure to buy comfortable, sturdy outdoors furniture for the terrace, yet he did settle on a two-seater knowing his flesh could spread more comfortably around him than being tightly stacked in one of the single chairs. Sitting there in the sun, with a coffee, feasting his eyes on Stephanie’s curves, he thought that life would be perfect now if he could have a fresh rye role with Emmentaler or a country baguette with Brie and then a sweet pastry- unaware that he stifled a sigh.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing really, just thinking of what I’d normally like to eat … very stupid thoughts….”

“That’s not unusual – it’s common with any addiction, to have thoughts circle around your ‘substance’ - and food is the most difficult of all. If you’re hooked on something else – cocaine, alcohol, cigarettes – those are things you can really live without and avoid quite well in daily life. It’s different with eating issues and food – no matter what; you still have to eat to live. And food is always around you, you cannot well ignore its existence.”

“You think I’m an addict?” he stared at her crestfallen, making her in turn look at him searchingly over the rim of her sunglasses. “You mean to tell me, at your size, it never occurred to you that food might be like a drug for you, that your relationship with it is not altogether normal and healthy?”

“I’ve never thought of that. Addicts are sick, or bad people, or both – is that what I am?” he stared helplessly at his pudgy fingers laced over his belly.

“Christopher, look at me,” Stephanie said as gently as never before, “you’re completely misunderstanding what I’m trying to make you realize. It’s not about moral judgment.” She placed her hands over his on his belly, rubbing them a bit, sending warm electric shock waves through its flesh masses. “All I’m saying is you have a more intense relationship with good food than is the physical, mental, emotional and in your case also professional norm. That’s neither sick nor bad; it’s a fact of your life. And I think it’ll make this diet easier for you if you understand that, think of ways of how to deal with it, okay?”

He nodded, mainly reassured by her warm touch on his stomach. “What do you think I should do about it?”

“That’s actually a very difficult question. What we’re trying right now, get you back into personal responsible contact with food by doing your own diet cooking is an attempt. You’re an unusual, challenging case.”

“Why am I challenging?”

“Because almost none of the normal patterns you find with many people in your weight class apply. Mostly it’s about making the classic obvious lifestyle changes: No more fast food, cooking fresh meals from scratch, often regaining a basic activity level, finding interests outside of media consumption at home, intensifying social contacts. You eat only freshly cooked and baked high quality food, you’re very active for your size, you’re around people all day and your life is focused on your personal and professional interests. Only drawback is – one of the latter is unfortunately food. Re-aligning that is much more difficult than making clear cut big changes.”

“So you think I’m hopeless?”

“No, of course you’re not hopeless! You have two major assets: One, you’re really strong and healthy. Second – you have a wonderfully intact self-image. Don’t let anybody take that from you – like people with Wershowitz’s attitude. ” This probably was the thing he loved most about Stephanie apart from her mouth-watering curves – the off-handed critical comments about Wershowitz. “Now, shall we drive back; put the groceries into the fridge?”

During the drive, he observed Stephanie doing odd breathing exercises again and as they reached his front door, her stomach let out a plaintive growl. “Sounds like your stomach doesn’t agree with giving your third waffle to me – or refusing the lime-meringue tartlet. Why don’t you come along and we’ll fix two portions of that diet Salade Nicoise for lunch?”

She looked at him uncertainly, clearly debating what to do and then said: “Okay, why not?”

Watching Stephanie take off her rings – clearly a double-laced wedding band and an antique ruby and diamond engagement ring – to wash her hands before starting to help prepare the salad ingredients sent a resounding pang of jealousy through him. If he was the lucky guy who had given her those rings, he could now pin her to the counter with the mass of his belly, grab deeply into those sensational butt cheeks and start devouring her, beginning with her cute plump puckered lips.

“You really have a very nice apartment. I especially envy you this professional kitchen,” her remark made him crash back into reality.
“Thank you – when I had it remodeled after being able to buy the place, I wanted to do it right. Naturally the kitchen was my priority. But more in general - it’s one thing the hotel property management got me interested in – turning a bit into a hobby: architecture and interior design.”

“Your girlfriend sure is lucky – few guys come with such a stylish yet comfortable apartment.”

“Ummm …. I don’t have a girlfriend,” he semi-stuttered, aware it cost him some effort to admit this.

“Oh, then I somehow misunderstood your answer in your questionnaire. I thought you had one …. sorry, this is getting too personal. It’s difficult with these diet programs, to draw the right lines because some aspects do go deep. Sorry.” She didn’t look at him but continued to cut beans.

“No, it’s no problem – it’s not a major issue for me. I’ve just been too busy the past years, other things like the bakery were more important …. and now ….”

“And now what?” It seemed Stephanie’s curiosity had gotten the better of her.

“Well …. I guess right now … well I know there’re women who don’t mind my fat … and of course most women like a fit guy, who diets … but the market for super fat grumpy, frustrated dieters is probably pretty limited …”

She looked at him in doubtful surprise, her head cocked to the side with a small laugh. “Oh that. I couldn’t see you as being convincingly insecure about your weight, it holding you back from anything. You radiate physical confidence - women like that, no matter at which size. “ She gave his belly a playful slap, touching it for the first time voluntarily, making him almost swallow his tongue, a hot jolt running down into his groin. “Some women might even overlook the grumpy dieter part - Claire for instance would move here in a wink if you finally responded to her.”

“Claire?”

“Oh come on, you know Claire is mad about you … would do anything for you if you let her.”

He shook his head incredulously. “Claire? I never realized she might be interested in me – I always thought she was just being an excellent employee. And I’m her boss … she’s so tiny ….”

Stephanie laughed. “Well – now you have something to think about. Believe me – it’s true. She’s overprotective, clearly loathes me for doing this program with you. I’m surprised you haven’t noticed it yourself. Maybe that’s something you should think more about in general – yourself and your needs as a man. You seem to have spent the last years working hard, developing professionally, reviving your family bakery … use this diet as a break from that, to concentrate on yourself, your personal development, your needs as a man.”

He was dumbfounded: There she was standing in his kitchen, routinely mixing tuna fish in the salad, her round breasts hovering appetizingly over the bowl, off handedly stating Claire was in love with him and he needed to think about his needs as a man. Hell, the only needs as a man he had right now were how to wrap himself around her … And all that after she had confronted him with the charming fact that he was a food addict, something he still had to come to terms with…

To not sound too stupid, he made an effort to respond casually: “You sure have given me more than enough food for thought for one weekend.”
 

Tad

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The great white north, eh?
:blush: - being accused of vanity
That was meant to be an observation that you were using your skills to do something difficult, not an accusation of vanity--sorry for sloppy wording!

And speaking of which, another very fine performance with these new chapters. In particular I thought you caught the nature of his physical distraction around Stephanie wonderfully :bow:
 

Xyantha

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Your stories are always so detailed and vivid - I can't wait for the next chapter
 

Island Girl

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I love how the worlds your characters inhabit are always so complete. I have such a crush on your current protagonist, too. :wubu:
 

agouderia

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I love how the worlds your characters inhabit are always so complete. I have such a crush on your current protagonist, too. :wubu:
Thank you and all other respondents for the kind words!

So - here's the next peek into Christopher's world.....
 
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