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

Dimensions Magazine

Help Support Dimensions Magazine:

stufferdude

Active Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Messages
31
Location
,
If the story is going where I think it's going, you did a marvelous job of setting it up much earlier than the latest installment. Great work!
 

agouderia

Library Girl
Staff member
Library Mod
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
2,569
Location
,

agouderia

Library Girl
Staff member
Library Mod
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
2,569
Location
,
[Author's note: Since nobody in the end volunteered their continuations of this story, you have to put up with my version. ;) ]

847- 316 9573

read the caller id – as he opened the message, it was from Stephanie: “Cannot say how sorry I am – please forgive my behavior. I’ll try to explain as soon as possible.” – not really answering any of his questions. In the last three days since the incident at the pool, he had been beside himself: worried, agitated and a bit humiliated, searching for a good response. After Jason’s words, he had written her a short e-mail hoping she felt better soon and to contact him again when she was able to. Her response now answered nothing, including how they would continue with his program.

That was all the communication he received from her, so he simply went on with what they had established as his current diet program before he had a regular check-up with Wershowitz the beginning of the following week.

Entering Wershowitz’s practice, he realized it was the first time he went to see him on his own, without Stephanie as moral and practical support since the initial check-up with Warren, increasing the unpleasant cold sting in the pit of his stomach. Yet he had to grin involuntarily as he was greeted by one of Wershowitz’s assistants, who was so fat-phobic it was plain comic. Everything about her strongly resembled the cartoon character of a bimbo: an emaciated body with full lips and breasts which had ‘fake’ screaming all over them, long elaborately designed finger nails, a fluffed up blonde hairstyle with visible extensions, a Mickey-Mouse voice and the pretentious – possibly also fake – first name LaBella. At his first visit he had instantly noticed she had a physical rejection of fat as exaggerated as many other things about her – and he couldn’t help provoking her by flaunting his flab and bringing her in contact with it as much as possible.

“Lovely to see you again LaBella! How are you?” he warmly squeezed her hand, taking it between his well padded ones, inwardly grinning at her shivers and attempt to worm her hand out from his.

“Fine, thank you,” she barely opened her lips, and if they weren’t puffed up to much, they would have formed a thin line of disdain.

“So, I’m back – slowly getting smaller,” he stuck out his still enormous belly as far as possible, lightly slapping it so it wobbled nicely.

“Ummm …. smaller?” LaBella sputtered a bit.

“Well, relatively smaller compared to when I first came here,” he gave her a pout, putting a hurt whine in his voice. “Don’t you think so?”

Her expression went off track, she gulped for air, frantically trying to swallow what she really thought and stay professional: “No …. well I mean, yes … oh no, somehow ….”

“Shall we go over to the small treatment room to check on my progress?”

“Why don’t you wait here until Sandra comes?” LaBella blurted, trying to get rid of a task she dreaded – and as he knew from experience, was no good at.

“But you always do it so nicely … and I don’t have much time, I need to be back in the hotel for a meeting soon,” he wheedled.

“Oh alright, follow me…” she took off as fast as her stilettos would carry her to put as much distance between him and her as quickly as possible.

In contrast, he took his time, kept his belly sticking out making it sway ponderously and added a notable waddle to his walk so his love handles also undulated more heavily than usual, inwardly smirking at her horrified look. The only empty treatment room was indeed small, with a lineup of equipment along one wall and only a narrow aisle to go through. Since LaBella unthinking had already gone in, he had to squeeze by her to get to the treatment couch to settle down on, murmuring in pseudo embarrassment as his flesh brushed her hip making her shudder: “So sorry LaBella – but you know I’m still too big for that chair, need to sit on the couch…..”

Flustered, she thumbed through the file and finally asked: “Shall I take your blood pressure?”

“Yeah … even though with you around the reading won’t be too accurate,” he tried to make his expression as naïve as possible. “Probably many of your male patients have the problem…”

Reflexively, LaBella gave him a coy smile and ran her hand through her hair, twirling an extension, only to have her features derail again as he took off his shirt, showing his cascade of roles and bulges camouflaged only by his t-shirt. With distended fingers and pursed lips she tried to fit the Velcro of the cuff around his bulging upper arm without touching his flesh, a maneuver which was destined to fail and had her nervously rubbing her hands.

Letting her fiddle helplessly for several minutes, amusing himself with watching her try not to touch him, the blood pressure gauge falling to the floor several times, he finally released her from the task by suggesting harmlessly: “If my upper arm is still too fat, which of course is awful …. why don’t you put it on my forearm, just below the elbow? I think that’s been done before…”

In her third attempt, LaBella did get the device fitted on his forearm and then read: “150/90” – which was higher than he remembered, but his confidence in the accuracy of her reading was limited. “Now how about my blood test? Dr. Wershowitz said last time he wanted it to be tested regularly….”

Blanching under her heavy make-up, LaBella fluttered with an artificial smile: “Shouldn’t we wait for Dr. Wershowitz?”

“I don’t have much time… and you do such a great job, are so gentle, it doesn’t hurt so much, you know, since my arm is so big….,” he gave her a puppy dog look, barely suppressing a wicked grin on seeing how she lapped up this outright lie, because her poking his arm was not only unskilled, but also unpleasant. With a sigh, she set to work, tying off his arm, amusing him with her fumbling and hysterical little responses to any contact with his thick padding, making it as difficult for her as he could by relaxing and letting his flesh bulge freely.

LaBella was still struggling to draw his blood about 20 minutes later, giving his arm fat hesitant prods to find the vein as Wershowitz with his other assistant Sandra came in. Sandra was in every respect LaBella’s opposite: calm, professional, competent, understated in appearance. Surveying the situation, she waved LaBella aside, pulled on gloves and set the syringe instantly – admittedly with his help, for he now did cooperatively strain his muscles fully for her to easily hit the vein.

Wershowitz’s appearance and disapproving mien made his teasing mood with LaBella vanish in a flash, the tense discomfort returning. Looking at the file he asked: “We still need to weigh you today, Mr. Maynard, correct?”

“Yes…,” he muttered dully, bending over to pull off his shoes and then get on the large scale.

“486” Sandra took a note in the file.

“Mr. Maynard, I don’t know how to put it, but do you have the feeling you’re meeting your commitment to Mr. Langdon?”

“Well … yeah … I’m trying very hard. It’s a slow process, but I am losing the weight. It’s almost 40 pounds by now ….,” a wave of minor nausea wallowing up in him.

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but during our last weighing at the hotel with Mr. Langdon, I could notice he was severely disappointed in you.”

“Warren was disappointed?”

“Yes, he had clearly expected you to have made more progress, also visible progress by now,” Wershowitz gave his gut a stern look. “And I’m disappointed too. According to my graphs, you should have lost about 50 pounds by now … even better 55. You’re not trying hard enough.”

“But… I’m honestly trying … I follow the diet plans from Stephanie as best I can…,” he cringed at how defensive he sounded.

“Oh yes, Mrs. Weymouth’s plan… where is she by the way?”

“She’s currently on leave … I had mentioned that to you. She’ll be back as soon as possible.” Sandra injected with a pronounced undertone.

“Ahh, yes, yes … I remember, completely understandable … of course she can’t now…,” Wershowitz nodded. “I know you appreciate Mrs. Weymouth’s work, the support she’s giving you. But don’t you think you should be a man about this? Be tougher on yourself? Try harder to lose weight faster, meet your commitment to Mr. Langdon?”

He stared at Wershowitz helplessly, the nausea intensifying itself, shrugging, unable to respond.

“Mrs. Weymouth’s, hmm, softer approach might be good for people who are not as morbidly obese as you are, who need to lose less weight. You need to put more effort on cutting your intake, exercising more so you have a more significant reduction of your weight. Can you do that?”

Once again he was at a loss of what to say: Wershowitz had effectively hit his sore point that he indeed felt like he was only inadequately fulfilling his promise to Warren with his weight loss at a snail’s pace. On the other hand, he was already miserably hungry as it was – how could he get by eating even less? Staring down at the incredible reservoir of fat forming his gut, he once more had trouble fathoming there had been a time when he had cherished the sense of its weight in his lap, the physical and emotional satisfaction it had given him. Now it was the constant memorial to his losing battle, leaving him with the unpleasant afterthought that he must have somehow been benighted in his super-sized comfort. At a loss for words, he shrugged, not looking at Wershowitz.

“Why don’t we try something different while Mrs. Weymouth is on leave – to get you really back in the mode of seriously tackling those hundreds of pounds,” Wershowitz clapped him on the back, handing him some papers. “For the next five days you’ll stay on a liquid diet with these protein shakes here …. moving on to a more reduced plan with 1800 calories from there instead of 2500. Normally I would prescribe only 1400 – but that might be a little hard given your size and activity level. Will you try that? I’ll also give you some prescriptions along to help control your intake ……”

With a sinking heart, he nodded wearily, accepting the prescription.
 

agouderia

Library Girl
Staff member
Library Mod
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
2,569
Location
,
9

“9? We’re only 9th in your new ranking? But we tied in 1st place last year!” He thought something was wrong with the phone line – or his headache was making him hear things.

“I’m sorry Christopher, but no. 9 on the list of best hotel restaurants in the US is pretty good for you this year – the ratings of some of our testers went as low as 25th,” Ed Romario’s sigh, editor-in-chief of ‘Gourmet Traveller’, came through the long distance line. “I’m calling you personally because I highly respect your work – and have always enjoyed our meetings at the ‘Langdon Residency’. Normally you would have just read it in the new edition.”

“Thanks a lot for telling me ahead of time Ed; that is very fair of you. How did the ‘Langdon Imperial Residency’ do?”

“Frankly, we didn’t even list them anymore. Will you do me the favor and inform Warren Langdon?”

“Guess I owe you that one. Sure, I’ll tell him … along with my failure….”

“Christopher … being number 9 nationwide is not exactly a failure,” Ed reasoned. “But what’s going wrong in your kitchen? Is it only that Claire is no longer there? When I checked it out myself, yeah Paul still offered a brilliant fish course … but the other dishes were subpar. And service was pretty chaotic. What’s the problem? You always kept everything under such perfect control the past years … the improvements and standard were impressive…”

“Yeah, I’ve let things get out of hand a bit … haven’t supervised everything myself anymore…. busy with other things….,” he muttered, thinking to himself – like starving and being totally miserable. But he kept it to himself, thinking his diet was too pathetic an excuse. “I’ll try my best to get things back on track, talk to Paul, check on the kitchen. Thank you for letting me know Ed. More luck and better work next time…”

“Don’t be so disappointed Christopher – I have other, still top secret news to cheer you up. If you promise you won’t say a word until it’s official in the next edition…”

“It’s okay Ed, I’ll get over it – and you know I keep everything confidential that needs to be…”

“Well, your new deli-bistro is shortlisted for best new bistro/café of the year, final decision is end of the month. Claire is doing an impressive job with quality and service. It’s good you saw her talents and promoted her – it wasn’t fair all those years than Paul received the laurels for her work.”

“That is good news – thanks so much Ed. I promise everything here will be the best again next time you come.”

Despite the positive news about the bistro, Ed’s phone call made his already depressed spirits droop further. He was now on the 4th day of Wershowitz’s liquid diet and feeling positively ill: The hunger pangs of his stomach literally hurt, his headache was perpetual, and he was so exhausted he not only started to take a nap in the afternoon in his office suite, but had to sit on a bench in the park and rest three times on his walk home in the evening. The five protein shakes a day he was supposed to drink had the most revolting taste and consistency that had ever entered his body – he had to clamp his nose while pouring them down to numb his taste buds so he didn’t immediately spit it out again as he had done the first few times he had tried to drink it. As disgusting as they were, they gave him the modicum of energy he needed to keep going – skipping them had made him feel even worse. So he poured them down defiantly, before either having a very strong espresso afterwards or brushing his teeth to get the awful taste out of his mouth.

Right now his head was splitting again and he’d have to take some more aspirin before he took a nap, otherwise he could forget continuing with his work. Just as he had thrown in the pills, there was a knock, the door opened and Claire walked in, smiling with a stack of papers. “Wonderful news and some new ideas from our deli bistro,” she beamed. Since she had adopted the habit of getting very close to him while they had worked together, she came around his desk, spreading proof sheets out before him perching herself of the armrest of his chair, leaning fully against him.

“Look, we get the headliner story of the weekend supplement of our paper – with lots of pictures, some testimonials from happy guests … and if you agree, two signature recipes to increase interest …. or for our fans to re-cook at home. What do you think? Can I have your okay for that?”

Claire’s light warmth leaning against him, her small elbow digging into the thick padding of his shoulder, looking at the proof sheets together in a flash made him, after weeks of searching, finally able to pin-point the nature of his affection for her: She reminded him of Jana; Liza’s little sister and how he had felt for her. The familiarity, the closeness, the affection, the urge to protect her from harm, to be her big, strong, loving and caring brother, in turn being adored and coddled by her.

Liza’s extensive, tight-knit lively family initially had been one of her main attractions for him. Her mother was Aunt Katie’s second cousin, so they had met at his aunt and uncle’s house – who had actively fostered their puppy love. As the only child far and wide in his family, his mother’s only boy, his grandparent’s only grandchild - due to Uncle Tom’s barren marriage and the fact that his other two uncles had been killed in Vietnam before he was even born – he had taken the role of heir apparent to all the family’s hopes and dreams with the privileges it brought for granted. As anti-thesis to always being the center of attention of all the adults in his life, he had envied his peers who had siblings and cousins galore and who could sort of blend in to the bigger picture of a large family.

With two older brothers and two younger sisters – and an exact number of cousins he couldn’t even remember – Liza’s family had been the perfect match for this secret desire of his. They all had taken him in warmly, and he had had an especially close friendship with Jana, her youngest sister and ten years his junior. He had helped with her home work, picked her up from ballet or flute class with his car or let her play help-out in the bakery, having fun with her, enjoying the unfamiliar role as big brother and basking in her unconditional hero-worship. Jana had always sat on the armrest of their family room sofa like Claire was now, leaning over him when they were doing French language exercises together - she for school, he for culinary classes - later cuddling his growing middle playfully or monitoring his diet for him after Liza had put him on it.

Liza breaking up with him had shocked and aggrieved Jana almost as much as it had him. During the rough weeks following the explosion, she and her mother had been much more of a moral and practical support than Liza had been – and he had been exceedingly grateful for it. After the break up, he had only gone back to their house twice, even though they had insisted he would always be more than welcome. It had been too awkward a situation with an icy Liza and father, who had welcomed him as heir to a well-established local business, but clearly thought him unworthy of his eldest daughter as a prospect-less college senior, so he had left the whole family behind him. Jana, then thirteen, had made the trip to his college to visit him, tell him she loved him no matter what happened and ask him to wait for her to turn sixteen. But he had shaken his head, saying he was too much of a bringer of bad luck, she deserved better. The idea of burdening a trusting child like Jana, as such he saw her, with his problems seemed so totally irresponsible, he didn’t consider keeping up the contact with her for one second, as much as her affection meant to him.

Claire being so petite and caring brought back all these memories and emotions for him, making him realize that his admittedly strong feelings for her were those of filial affection, not of adult attraction.
“Isn’t this a great article? The journalist spent a whole day with me last week with a photographer, and now sent the proof to me to make sure there are no mistakes in the recipes,” she gushed, pointing at two cute pictures of her in the kitchen and one serving the journalist.

“The idea with the recipes is good, go ahead with it. Good job also of turning that journalist’s head – look at that picture, he’s clearly totally smitten by you,” he teased, his stomach letting out a loud growl combined with an aching pang, which automatically made him clutch his currently very flabby, since it was so empty, upper belly.

“That sounds awful – you didn’t skip your lunch, did you? Shall I make you something small?”

“No, I’m fine ….,” clutching his belly tighter as it let out another growl.

“Christopher, look at me…,” Claire’s voice was soft, but her eyes full of concern at he looked up while she had put her small hand on the one he was clutching his belly with. “What’s going on here with your diet? You’re clearly not doing well … and I don’t mean to snoop, but sitting here I can see a whole line up of pills in your desk drawer and a can of one of these awful diet drink things in your trash. Have you started a more radical d…”

“Yes, you are snooping and that’s none of your business! I don’t want to talk about it, leave me be!”

“Fine, I meant well, I wasn’t snooping since all this evidence is out in the open. I’ll leave you alone then, have a nice day!” In a huff Claire got up, scooping her papers and turning to go, but he held her back by taking her arm.

“I’m so sorry Claire, I didn’t mean it. You’re right, I feel lousy. It’s a new stage of the diet Wershowitz prescribed and it’s going awfully. But I don’t want to talk about it – yet I want you to stay. Can you please stay and we talk about something else? Please?”

Anger and worry fighting in her expression, Claire nodded and wanted to sit in his visitor chair on the other side of his desk, but he preferred having her physically by his side right now, so he gestured to his armrest again with a pleading look, making her blush, smile and settle there again.

“In contrast to your great upcoming publicity, I got some pretty bad media news…,” he related the essentials of his conversation with Ed Romario to her, leaving out the details on the bistro.

“No. 9 only? Ouuh, that’s awful, down 8 ranks …. Uggh. What are you going to do?”

“Good question – that’s something I’d like to talk to you about. We need to find a true replacement for you in the kitchen, someone from whom Paul will accept kitchen management decisions or who is able to run part of the operations on his or her own. He’s so difficult – I can’t admire enough how you always kept him on track. Then again – who couldn’t be nice and cooperative with someone as sweet and competent as you are? Unfortunately, they don’t grow you on trees, do they?” he gave her a twisted smile, making her blush and take his thick hand between her small ones.

“Well – until you’ve found a replacement, I’d be happy to work evenings again in the main restaurant kitchen …”

“No, Claire, strict no. You’re working 1.5 jobs in the deli bistro as it is anyway – I have to make sure in my responsibility as your boss that you don’t overwork yourself even more!”

“I honestly wouldn’t mind …I’m fine … I could…”

“No. N –O, no! If it weren’t for this f***cking diet I’d do it myself. I could kick myself in the ass that I don’t have the discipline and will-power to control myself around good food…. but I can give up on the diet right away if I started working in the kitchen,” he sighed. “These days, Paul doesn’t take anything I say seriously anymore because he knows I can’t come and double-check, revise menus or re-cook recipes….”

“Poor Christopher, that’s all not true. You’re such a hard-working disciplined guy …. Wershowitz’s awful diet is no measure for character judgment. Paul knows he couldn’t have a better boss than you…,” Claire took his head in his hands, starting to gently stroke his cheek. Comforted by her touch, he vaguely realized that he had let her get too close, was leading her on by allowing her to touch him like this. As his stomach let out another protesting, painful growl he asked: “Could you maybe please make me that special fresh ginger tee of yours to calm my stomach – that always helped so much. And then we can talk about which solutions for the kitchen problem we can come up with.”

“I’ll do anything you want me to …. starting with that simple tea task….”
 

taco

Active Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
27
Location
,
its so sad... he used to have the self respect and strength to tell the doctor to back off. they broke his spirit.
 

agouderia

Library Girl
Staff member
Library Mod
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
2,569
Location
,
8

8 Teams in 4 weeks, two always competing with each other – that was the solution he had come up with together with Claire, short-listing the top 12 cuisine teams he wanted to try to engage, knowing there would be some cancellations. After having mailed the suggestion to Warren, he was waiting for the response, with the knowledge he would then have to give him the less than thrilling news about their recent crash in culinary rankings.

“Christopher, what on earth is this cook-a-thon you wrote me about? Isn’t there anyway to stop you from constantly thinking about food and eating?” Warren’s very irritated voice came over the phone as soon as he had picked up the receiver. “Your and our kitchens are fine, we don’t need any new staff or star chefs or whatever….”

“Oh yeah, our kitchens are doing fine? We just crashed 8 ranks with ‘Gourmet Traveller’ …. and you’re not even listed anymore!” Instead of making a convincing pitch for his project, Warren’s initial question made all his frustration, resentment and hunger grumpiness boil over. “In my humble professional opinion that is pretty much a disaster for any hotel that claims to be truly first class – and has something to do with me no longer being allowed to think enough about food and eating. You never put enough thought into it for your restaurant in the first place!”

“What? Who say’s we’re not listed anymore? Which rank are you on now?”

“Sorry Warren, you caught me wrong-footed, I didn’t mean to let my frustration out on you. Ed Romario called…,” he tried to return to professional mode, relating the essentials of his phone conversation. “The deli bistro is a huge success – but we badly need a replacement for Claire in the main kitchen, someone who can ground Paul. I can’t fill in because of the diet – you said it yourself you didn’t want me any closer to food than necessary. So I came up with this idea of a competition, bring in new guests and publicity as well as having a sort of in-house fair to hire new talent. Also use the opportunity to find some fresh blood for the ‘Imperial Residency’. Under those auspices … how do you see my suggestion now?”

“Hmmmph, I guess the idea is not that bad then. But why can’t you manage Paul like you used to? You can’t blame everything on the long overdue diet! I expected more from you – go ahead with your diet while maintaining your high professional standard in the hotel. Don’t tell me you can’t handle both ….”

“It takes time to adjust, to re-align our regular procedures in the restaurant. Paul did worse than I expected with losing Claire and myself as supervision. I’m perfectly capable of running a hotel and dieting. How do you intend to proceed with the ‘Imperial Residency’s’ restaurant?”


After hanging up with Warren, he let his head drop on his desk with a groan of frustration – fabulous, now Warren not only saw him as a diet failure, but also as a professional loser. If things continued in this vein, at the end of the two years he might have lost everything: Not enough weight to meet his commitment to Warren, but too many of his professional credentials to be convincing in the job.

The bleep of his cell phone interrupted his train of thought, especially on seeing Stephanie’s caller id. Opening the message, he was stunned to see the picture of a very round younger man, the type with a soft face, blue eyes, boyish hair and the good looks of a hugely overgrown baby. The next picture showed this man, now seated, a massive gut stretching a rather tight polo shirt confirming he was a real heavy weight; not as fat as he was, but surely around 400 pounds. The last picture featured the man with a shy smile, holding a beaming Stephanie in a pale pink dress in his arms, followed by the text: “My husband Timmy – killed in a work accident 13 months ago. Trying to explain.”

Staring at the pictures and text, it took a while for his mind to get back into motion. Having sometimes in the past months fanaticized of Stephanie divorcing her husband, giving him a chance with her, the news that she actually was a widow left him shaken, his main feelings those of guilt, pity and awe. Now he understood her reaction at the pool in a flash – the last supersized man she had seen in swimming shorts might have been her husband, so he probably unintentionally triggered sad memories. Several of her other quirks appeared in a different light – coming with her brother to 4th July, her contradictory reactions when he got physically too close, always wearing black, which he had simply seen as a fashion statement, or her odd double wedding band. Remembering how long it had taken him to get over the death of Uncle Tom and it’s circumstances, he had an inkling of how extremely difficult her life must now be for her – being so young a widow was extremely unusual, and then working with overweight men who must constantly remind her of her deceased husband.

After he had gotten over the initial shock, he mulled around what to do before writing her a short text: “Cannot say how sorry I am for your loss. Would fully understand if you do not want to continue with my program. Let me know if there is anything I can do.”

Two days later he got a response: “Thank you. Our next appointment is Monday, 3:00 pm” – making him go to the bakery right after office hours to talk to Jerome, their chef patissier.

“Jerome, can you do me a big favor?”

“Hey Christopher- good to see you again over here. We honestly miss you,” Jerome, lean as a plank with slender nervous fingers did not look much like patisserie at all. But his build belied his talents: he had chocolate in his blood so to say, being the product of NATO love with a US army father and a Belgian chocolaterie mother, who had met during his lengthy posting in Mons. “How’s it going? You’re clearly getting smaller… so I should say congratulations, yes?” eyeing Christopher’s middle with a well-practiced sense of proportion.

“Totally shitty ... thanks anyway. If at all, I’m shrinking in ultra-hyper-slow-motion,” he grimaced. “Nevertheless I need to … well have the occasion … I’d like to develop a new gateau for someone … well as apology, thank you, whatever. I want to make it myself but …,” he swallowed twice hard and took a deep breath, “I don’t trust myself with sticking to my diet while around baking ingredients. And I’m at bit out of practice by now. Would you join me in the development, play diet police so I don’t taste too much, please?”

It had taken some effort to ask, but Jerome showed only friendly understanding: “I’m happy to get the chance to work with you again. Since you really know our trade, you’re more than a boss – we truly miss you coming in to work on new things with the team. I don’t even want to think what the holiday season will be like without your input and expertise…,” reminding him how dreadfully long a way he still had to go with his diet. “Let me know when you want to do it, which ingredients I should get and then we’ll set to work. It’ll be so good to have you back for a change.”


Now the artful product of his and Jerome’s efforts stood waiting for Stephanie before him on his desk, in a stylish transparent case, looking every bit as mouth-wateringly lovely as he had hoped. Nervously he checked the clock every few minutes until there was a knock on the door at 3:04 p.m. and Stephanie entered. She looked paler and also thinner, her luscious curves no longer filled out her clothes, the pants in loose folds over her less well padded, shapely thighs.
“Hi,” she said with a shy smile, shaking his hand.

“Hi Stephanie, I’m really happy to see you. I hope you’re fine again,” he took three deep breaths before he could go on. “I’d honestly like to apologize – I don’t think I was on my most considerate behavior last time we met … I didn’t want to ….” – making her interrupt him with a wave of her hand.

“Christopher absolutely no need for apologies. You did nothing, you couldn’t know. I was highly unprofessional, complete lack of judgment, thought I was already up to handling it again.”

“Hmmm, well, still …. I wanted to do something for you. It’s my way of .. well…. I created this gateau especially for you…, hope you’ll like it … tastes good.” he felt himself blush and stammer, gesturing to the case with the gateau showing a stylized rose made of raspberries arranged on white chocolate shavings as petals: “It’s white chocolate Marc de Champagne truffle with raspberries and a dark chocolate short crust pastry. And I swear I didn’t ruin my diet for it, Jerome supervised me very well.”

“It’s beautiful … and it looks literally too good to eat … it’s like destroying a work of art…,” now Stephanie blushed raspberry pink. “You shouldn’t have … it’s more like I owe you something….”

“It was a true pleasure for me. Would you like to try a piece now …. or take it home with you?”

“I would like to try a tiny piece now … and ask you to please share one with me. It won’t ruin your diet …. and we’ll do a few more exercises later on to compensate-okay? It feels more right to have it together – a small occasion to indulge….”

“Do you think so?” he asked very doubtfully, but seeing her energetic nod, he took out 2 plates and dessert forks as well as a sharp knife and let her cut the gateau. The first bite on his tongue was pure sinful bliss – he hadn’t lost his touch after all. The sweet cream with the rich alcohol taste, the velvety white chocolate, the tanginess of the raspberries, the bit or crunch of the short crust … despite being a new combination, it tasted like coming home.

“Mmmmhhh,” Stephanie moaned. “You created this just for me?” seeing him nod, she took another forkful: “So yummy, one of the best I’ve ever tasted …. you really have baking in your genes.”

As much as he tried to extend the pleasure, take little bites, his small piece was gone way too quickly. Looking at his empty plate, scratched as clean as possible and then at the barely cut gateau, he had a cake craving attack so bad he had to close his eyes. If he had been on his own, he would have demolished the entire gateau in maybe 10 minutes – but in Stephanie’s presence he had to find a way to restrain himself. Yet it caused him physical pain: His stomach cramped in anticipation, he salivated profusely, felt the hinge of his tongue furl itself making him almost gag in greed, his mind went blank with the single compulsive thought of putting something in his mouth and he noticed with shock his hands were trembling. After taking a long drought of tea, he hid them under the table.

“So, so good. It’s in every sense of the word very sweet of you to make this for me … even though I don’t deserve it …. let you down in the past weeks, how can I try to explain …, I had a bad nervous relapse, like right after Timmy’s death … ” she went from gushing to sighing in half a sentence.

“Stephanie … you don’t need to tell me anything. I honestly understand those are very painful, personal matters …..”

“No, I want to tell you …. let you understand why it wasn’t too unrealistic and irresponsible to take you on as a client so shortly after Timmy’s death,” her voice was barely more than a choked whisper, but she got a grip on herself. “Being about the same age and very heavy is all the two of you have or had in common. That’s why after reading your questionnaire, seeing you were so different, I thought I could handle it … maybe even do some meaningful work….”

“Ummmm …. sure….,” he responded to show some reaction, not comprehending what she meant and pre-occupied with smothering his cravings.

Somehow she must have read his blank look. “I’ll try to explain. You didn’t gain weight until you were a grown up, then mainly because of your professional circumstances – and until this diet, you were pretty comfortable with yourself and your eating habits. Timmy was the exact opposite – he grew up fat, with all the teasing, bullying, ruined self-esteem and other psychological damage that go with it. He was the boy then man in my life ever since we met in my sand-box. Seeing his suffering was one of the reasons I specialized in nutrition, hoping I could help him out of the vicious circle of eating, weight gain, guilt and dieting.
But nothing really worked – he struggled with self-hatred all the time. I could never get him to see what a wonderful man he was not only to me, and that we could have a great life together. It actually got worse as I moved ahead professionally. I‘ve never been bothered by the fact I’m not stick thin – as you observed during our first meeting,” she gave him a sly grin making him blush furiously, his food cravings briefly replaced by a pang of lust. “I come from a family with a robust build, I’m fine with my size and staying fit just the way I am.”

After gulping down some water, she went on: “Timmy was a sweet, caring guy – and as you can see in the pictures, objectively good looking. But he was obsessed with the idea that he was an embarrassment to me. I had just started working here in the city; had to commute 30 miles into town … and he took on a job 60 miles in the opposite direction, to make sure our professional and social circles never collided. No matter what I said, there was nothing I could do about it – in the end, he only came along to family events where everybody knew him.
The accident probably happened because he was running late after the long commute …. the fork of a fork lifter hit him in rounding the corner in the warehouse ….,” her voice quavered, tears welling up in her eyes. “The bitter irony was he had been dieting strictly before the accident, had lost around 50 pounds getting down to 350 …. and the injury of his kidneys from the impact of the fork might not have been lethal if he had still had that extra inch or so of padding…,” tears now streaming over her face, making him silently push over some tissues.
“I’m sorry; you probably think I should be able to control myself after over a year by now ….everybody says get on with your life…..”

“No, I know how awful it is, how long it takes to get over losing someone who is such an important part of your life, who dies young and of an unnatural death. I still can’t look at pictures of myself together with Uncle Tom very well ….”

“How come …. I didn’t know…” she looked at him in questioning.

“Yeah, I strongly abbreviated that part of my story in answering your questionnaire. Uncle Tom was like a father to me … he committed suicide a few weeks after the explosion in our bakery. It probably was not until the re-opening of the bakery, some 7 years later, that something like the final closure of that drama came about for me - so I can relate to what you’re going through….”

“I’m so sorry to hear that …. but then you can understand what I feel like a lot better….,” she swallowed very hard several times before she inhaled sharply and went on: “The day at the pool, when I saw you in swimming shorts … your build reminded me so much of Timmy, confronting me with how much I miss him, just having him around me. And when you were all hurt and angry because of how I looked at you … it was a terrible déjà vu- he always interpreted all looks as negative or disgusted, too …”

“I’m awfully sorry … I overreacted totally that day … it’s my fault…. I didn’t mean to, couldn’t know…”

“No, of course you couldn’t,” Stephanie wiped her eyes and looked at him searchingly. “But your reaction worries me. You seemed so confident about your size. I never expected such a misinterpretation of my look from you. Is everything really going well with your diet? Are you comfortable with the program?”

Yeah .. everything is fine … still terribly hungry … but I guess that does with the deal…”

“How did your last check-up with Wershowitz go – I haven’t seen the file yet.”

“Fine, they’re just nicer when you’re around … he’s not exactly my favorite person,” he grimaced.

“How do you feel about the weight you’ve lost so far? Is there anything we need to talk about?”

“Okay … it’s a bit over 40 pounds now … nothing worth writing home about….”

“That’s a very good job you’ve done so far …. you should be more positive about it, give yourself more credit.” He shrugged, rearranging some pens on the table, not looking at her. “Christopher – are you really at ease with your weight loss?”

Unable to raise his eyes, he nodded for convenience’s sake. “Somehow, I’m not convinced; you never struck me as someone who isn’t able to verbalize his feelings. Lately I’ve gotten the impression that you are struggling more and more with typical diet frustration: Weight loss slower and harder than expected, negative reactions to your size harming your self-image. That is a like a u-turn from the beginning of our program: Then I sometimes had the feeling you actually resented the diet, that you secretly mourned every pound that melted off your big belly, like it was losing a bit of your identity.”

In half shock he looked up, it was as if Stephanie had managed to x-ray the hidden recesses of his brain, uttering insights he only rarely admitted to himself in their full extent. What must she think of him- that he was some deluded fat ass? Had she shared any of this with Wershowitz – maybe that being the reason why he had pressured him into a stricter diet?

“I’m honestly trying to be positive about it,” he finally mumbled, attempting to close the topic. “It’s tougher than I thought …. I’m not very good at this, eating and gaining is a lot easier than not eating and losing weight. I’m working on developing a more realistic perspective on my size.”

“I’m relieved to hear that. Remember, you can talk to me about any problems you have with the diet – I’m there to help as best I can. After all, I have almost a lifetime of experience with male diet frustration…,” there was a touch of bitterness in her voice.

“Sure … thanks a lot.”

“But I’m still worried you might be overdoing it, putting yourself under too much physical and psychological stress by wanting to change too much too fast. I have a suggestion regarding your program which I think would be a good intermediate step to make you feel more comfortable with yourself again, let your body adapt and get longer term stable results,” she eyed him intensely.

“Well, yeah … if you think so…”

“My suggestion is to now reduce your weight by 50 pounds. Then we let you stabilize, take a break in your diet, find an eating and exercise mode that lets you maintain the weight for a few months before moving on with more of a diet program to further reduce your weight. What do you think?”
 

Qit el-Remel

Geek and FFA
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
459
Location
,
Okay, I won't say that I didn't see that twist coming...but I didn't see it as early as I probably should have. :doh:
 

Undine

Jigglypuff!
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
340
Location
,
You're really outdoing yourself with this one, agouderia! I can't wait to see where you take us next!
 

agouderia

Library Girl
Staff member
Library Mod
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
2,569
Location
,
Such a good story, I'm constantly checking back for new additions, keep up the good work!
Thank you!

I seriously love this story!
Dziękuję bardzo!

Okay, I won't say that I didn't see that twist coming...but I didn't see it as early as I probably should have. :doh:
You're in the same boat as Christopher then ;) - he saw the signs, but didn't read them. But I guess that's rather common, especially with communication in professional contexts, or where we don't feel really comfortable - we often don't question personal indicators as openly as we should.


You're really outdoing yourself with this one, agouderia! I can't wait to see where you take us next!
:blush: - oh dear, don't know what to say - except a very flattered thank you!
I know where I want the story to go, but not quite sure how to get there. Apart from time constraints, too much work - I currently feel so sorry for poor Christopher I have trouble writing down some of the ideas and scenes that play in my head. :doh:
 

agouderia

Library Girl
Staff member
Library Mod
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
2,569
Location
,
I'm begging you! Continue!
Thank you ... and sorry for taking so much time. I'm currently wound up in various projects and can't find the peace and quiet to give Christopher the attention he needs. But I promise I'll update asap, maybe even in August. So please a little more patience!
 

agouderia

Library Girl
Staff member
Library Mod
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
2,569
Location
,
[Author's note: Thank you for the patience everybody! 10 hours on an ancient train required an escape into my own fictional world and let me actually write up some more of Christopher's life - so here is the next chapter of the 'beast' (= terminology courtesy of Tad ;) )]


“10”

“10 more minutes everybody, then I would like to have the menus presented by the six candidates I had named before!”

Eying the final round of the 6 closest contenders for the sous-chef position, how they were giving the final touches to their menus, mumbling to themselves of how to explain their recipe selection, it was the seventh potential candidate who caught his attention. The young chef, Marcus Billings was his name, was staring at Claire with besotted eyes, his round apple cheeks bright pink. He had shown himself as a conscientious worker who knew how to come up with interesting and tasty combinations of ingredients, but seemed all in all too shy, quiet and a bit too slow to handle the task of keeping Paul in check. And to his surprise he had been the only seriously fat candidate; Christopher estimated him to be a good 300 pounds at about 5’10/5’11 in height. All others looked like they spent their free time at the gym or only cooked and never ate themselves.

“Marcus Billings, why don’t you join in as candidate, introduce us to the meal you would cook?” he addressed him on impulse. Marcus blushed even brighter red and looked up and down uncertainly a few times before asking doubtfully:

“You really want me to present my menu suggestion too, sir?”

“I think that was the essence of my suggestion!” annoyed by so much shyness.

“Maybe he can’t present it because he ate it all up?”
The color on Marcus’ cheeks now neared purple as Jake, Jay or whatever the pretty boy chef’s name was let out this barb with a smirk making Christopher state smoothly: “Aha. I had not deemed it necessary to explicitly mention that the ability to work respectfully with your colleagues is an essential criterion for joining any of our kitchen teams.”

Now it was pretty boy chef’s turn to go dark red and look at him uneasily. Too bad, he had been very talented, but he would not take anyone on board who could not be trusted to do his part in ensuring a positive dynamic in the team.



Before the final round of interviews with the four remaining contenders, he had a session with Stephanie. As she entered, he tried to give her his nicest, most sincere smile but somehow it turned out very forced. Ever since finding out she was a widow, his interactions with her had actually turned more complicated, not easier as he would have expected. In his former day dreams of Stephanie divorcing her presumed husband, they always ended with them getting together and having great fun and sex. The fact that she was his nutritionist hadn’t seemed like anything that could possibly be an obstacle for personal relations – now it suddenly did appear as such, there seemed to be an illicit element to it. Also he was surprised to notice that somehow her being a widow made him more squeamish than if she might have been divorced or married and willing to go astray. It was ludicrous, but the idea of cheating on a dead man raised qualms in him he had never had in any other constellation.

All these mixed emotions came on top of his continuously deteriorating physical and emotional sense of being: He simply no longer felt like his former fat, cocky self who had something to offer to any woman who was only remotely interested and willing to give it a try. Reviewing his earlier banters with Stephanie, he was convinced he would be able to interest her – especially since she clearly had no problem with fat guys. But now he could barely look her in the eye – also feeling guilty for not being honest with her that he was following Wershowitz’s prescriptions as best he could and not her more relaxed - and undeniably more sensible - plans.

“How are you doing, Christopher?” Stephanie looked him searchingly, her brow slightly furrowed. “Are you feeling fine? Is there anything we need to talk about?”

“No, no… I’m okay…, everything is .. well … I guess normal… as it is now…”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, sure, I’m doing okay.”

“Well then, you know today is one of these days when we do need to check on your progress, weigh you, take your blood pressure and such.”

“Okay, let’s get it over with!” In his ensuite bathroom he clambered on the scale with read “472”, causing a small surge of pleasant excitement – this was more than he had lost previously. Maybe Wershowitz was right and he really needed to be tougher on himself, not matter how awful it felt. Looking down, his gut did indeed no longer seem as mountainous as it once had. Glancing in the mirror the sense of accomplishment vanished in a flash: All he saw still was nothing less than a hugely fat guy in boxers and t-shirt. With a small sigh he started dressing again.

“Oh wow …. that’s significantly less than last time! 15 pounds in four weeks!” Stephanie exclaimed. “How did you do that? Have you been skipping meals?”

He felt himself blush furiously, reflexively shaking his head. “Nah … I guess… hmmh … probably …. well … probably I finally managed to stick to your diet plan. Not be a bad boy and eat pastries in secret anymore,” giving her a guilty look which was heartfelt.

“Still – even taking that into account that was a lot of weight in a very short time now. This means you’ve lost 10% of your starting weight by now. Have you thought about my suggestion of taking a small break from your diet? Trying to stabilize at let’s say 470 pounds for three months before continuing with your weight loss program? Let your body adapt to the rather significant change?”

Not looking at her, he shook his head. “I can’t. My job, my professional future … all of it depends on losing the weight.”

In the meantime she had put the cuff on his arm to take his blood pressure, actually checking a second time with a pronounced frown: “160/110 – that’s way too high! And your resting heart rate is 88 – also too high! What’s wrong Christopher? Are you somehow sick? Do you have any other illness which might be causing this? It’s totally abnormal – blood pressure and heart rate should go down with so much weight loss in so short a time span! What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know. I feel so – so … am tired a lot … thought it was the diet…,” he didn’t dare mention his constantly aching stomach, or the various prescription pills from Wershowitz he had been taking to increase the effectiveness of his diet.

“Well, you should definitely get a full blood test again with Wershowitz. And I need the complete file from him – somehow this is just the statistics sheet,” she looked very worried by now thumbing through the papers. “Please Christopher think of my suggestion of doing a stabilizing phase – your body clearly needs to recuperate from the stress which every significant weight change brings with it!” Seeing him shrug and shake his head, she went on: “It’s not directly my business, but I do think Mr. Langdon would understand. Would it be helpful if maybe I talked to him? He can’t possibly ….”

“No, absolutely not! I’m okay … I’ll get a check up and see that things get back on track!”

“Nothing is more important than your health. This job…”

“Really Stephanie – you’re being very kind, but I can handle it. Everything is under control – I’ve made a professional commitment – and I’ll meet it.”


For reasons he could not explain, he had left his interview with Marcus Billings about his potential as sous-chef to the last one of all candidates. Very obviously as nervous as can be, small beads of perspiration on his upper lip, his dark eyes behind small round glasses blinking hectically, Marcus entered. His brand new snow white cook jacket was clearly a bit too big, presumably in an effort to make him appear slimmer than he was.

“So, Marcus, it’s been interesting to see you work. Where do you personally see your strengths? What do you intend to contribute to the team in the Langdon Residency’s kitchen?”

“Hmmm…,” Marcus took a deep breath and blushed, to then say surprisingly steadily: “My strong points as a sous-chef clearly are that I’m good at giving even simple ingredients an innovative touch in new combinations and seasonings. I’ve also worked hard on high quality but not extravagant fish dishes, which I think in these times of economic crisis are more appropriate and appreciated by customers than ostentatious luxury. And I know how to plan well, know how to stay within even a limited budget or finding ways to minimize costs,” – exhaling audibly at the end, creating the impression that he must have prepared his answers meticulously.

“So you would like to work at the Langdon Residency, even under a chef as – I presume you must have noticed this – as high maintenance as Paul?”

“Yes sir. I’m positive I can handle the situation and offer a valuable contribution to the team. It also fits in with my long term career goals of working in a first class kitchen as sous-chef, to prepare myself for becoming chef one day on the same of even more superior level.”

Another well rehearsed answer, Christopher thought. Looking at the young chef’s overtly earnest round face, all pink with stress and how he was trying to sit so his belly didn’t surge forward, he felt obliged out of a feeling of kinship to give him a chance, even though he wasn’t convinced it would work with Paul: “So … you can see yourself working here … and you really like Claire, our little blonde deli-chef, don’t you?”

All color drained from his face as Marcus gasped in shock, blubbering: “Why no … not … certainly not …. never ….impossible…,” before looking up at him briefly in shock.

“Well, there’s nothing wrong with liking Claire. She’s a wonderful person in every respect. I just noticed how you looked at her… more than obvious. So you’re not only looking for a job, but also for a cute little girlfriend?” he couldn’t help teasing.

Marcus by now looked mortified and his features had reverted to an intense shade of beet red. “Really sir … I’d never… impossible … unthinkable…. “ not getting any more coherent.

“There’s nothing wrong with having a crush on Claire – she is crush-worthy and deserves a nice guy,” warming to his theme. “You can get to know her when you work here, talk to her , ask her out…”

At this, Marcus abruptly got up: “I’m sorry sir, I’m applying for a job here, not to be insulted… if you will please exc…”

“Sit back down, calm down. I’m not insulting you. I’m offering you not only a great professional opportunity, but an advantageous personal happiness package to go with it. We big guys need to stick together, don’t we? So when you start here, go right away to introduce yourself personally to Claire, ask to volunteer….”

“I think I would like to end this interview now,” Marcus rose again, stepping out from the chair.

“But why? You want the job here, don’t you?”

“Yes, at least I thought I did….” uncertainty in his voice, stepping from one foot to the other.

“And I did observe correctly that Claire is your type, or not?” Swallowing hard, looking under himself, Marcus finally showed an almost imperceptible nod.

“So what’s the problem? I’m offering you no less than a personal and professional dream combo. Who else is going to offer you that?”

“Ummm …. It’s, well , I can’t talk to Claire.” His voice was barely a whisper. “I’m not the type of guy who is appealing. I’ve been ridiculed enough. I’d really like the job – but … yeah .. I couldn’t… not if this is known, really can’t .. , ”he turned to leave.

“Oh of course you can! Sit back down!” He felt he was losing his patience with Marcus’ insecurity. “Claire likes us big guys, believe me. And she’s the most caring, helpful person I know, she’ll love assisting you in getting settled and comfortable here. Now what you need to do..”

“I can go on a diet too sir, if that’s what’s required . Well … I was told that you .., um … I’m not good at it, but I can make a serious effort to lose…”

“For chrissake , I’m your boss-to-be. Will you finally let me finish my sentence and simply take my advice, follow it? And my dieting by the way is none of your business and has nothing to do with this!” raising his voice. Marcus gulped to then nod, sit back down and say quietly: “Yes sir. I’ll do my best, sir.”

“Okay. And this is well-intentioned advice from personal experience: Buy these insoles and medical socks for your feet. That’ll help a lot with standing all day at your weight – I know what I’m talking about,” scribbling down a few references and pushing them over the table. “On this sheet here are all the exercises you should do for your back to keep it strong to balance your gut. Go to Namée, get a weekly back & leg massage, she offers it at a discount for hotel staff – tell her I sent you. And have a nice introductory coffee with Claire within the first three days you’re here – I’ll check on that. Don’t disappoint me!”
 
2

Latest posts

Group builder
Top