Saturday Afternoon at the Mall -by Jerry Thomas (SSBHM, ~FFA, Romance, Feeding, ~~WG)

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fatgirl33

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I'm really enjoying this one! I hope to read more from her perspective.... thanks for posting this excellent work!

Brenda
 

jim austin

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Very nice transition from male to female point of view. I can't weight(lol) to see the build up of Bruce to make sure he's in shape to hit the beach and then the actual axtravaganza itself. Maybe Bruce should put his foot down and insist on red or blue trunks not pink. Laura could trade that off for a smaller size so that they would only fit under bruce's belly so he in essence looked naked from the front. But whatever;you're doing great,and I can't wait for more
 

agouderia

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(Also, who is Perry Mason?)
I just don't believe anyone (even a Brit like me) can ask that. :doh:
Actually I think this says more about the age of the OP than anything else!

Although having some decades on the OP myself and having grown up in North America, Perry Mason for me is a historic figure or later a remake figure, but not someone who was part of my personal pop-cultural upbringing (but I do know who he is).

On another note regarding the story itself, I confess I find your male characters in general quite appealing and realistic, but I have problems relating to your female characters. They're so oddly mean-pushy-positive.

Have you ever thought of discussing them with a woman friend or female reader?
 

Jerry Thomas

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On another note regarding the story itself, I confess I find your male characters in general quite appealing and realistic, but I have problems relating to your female characters. They're so oddly mean-pushy-positive.

Have you ever thought of discussing them with a woman friend or female reader?
Someone else has told me that she finds some of my female characters to be "not nice girls." For example, Jennie in my previous story "Jennie's Diet" (now in the BHM general achive). Maybe I'm just attracted to dominant women :batting: ! Actually, I didn't think of Laura as being that mean in my own mind. Maybe she just came across that way because of the words I put in her mouth.

Thanks again for all the comments. They are more appreciated than you may realize. The next installment is already written, I just need to do some proofreading and then it will be online. I think you'll like it. I'm still not quite sure where this story is going, but I will try to keep it going, and hopefully at the end we will all have a big party on the beach with Laura and Bruce!
 

Jerry Thomas

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On Monday morning, I walked slowly -- I always walk slowly -- to the bus stop on my way to work. Despite the fact that it promised to be another beautiful summer day, I was depressed. A middle aged man who rode the same bus with me every day noticed my glum expression. “Another Monday morning, eh? Too nice to be going off to work. Perfect day for the beach, if you ask me.”

I groaned inwardly. The beach! The very thought of it made me shiver, in spite of the warm rays of the summer sun. After my afternoon at the mall, the idea of a day at the beach made my stomach turn. I couldn’t help picturing it in my mind – a fat man in pink trunks waddling along the beach, the stares from the other swimmers, the laughter, the snide comments, the humiliation – and a pretty slender girl in a sexy pink bikini, smiling and enjoying the whole sordid experience. Gawd!

I boarded the bus and sat down in my favorite seat, the one at the front facing sideways behind the driver. It was designed to seat three normal passengers, which meant that I occupied at least two-thirds of its width. I usually had it all to myself, as most passengers would rather stand than try to squeeze into the spot beside me. I tried to look straight ahead and focus on the ordinary urban scenery passing by the window. But every now and then, I felt compelled to glance to the side at the passengers sitting further down the aisle. Behind their impassive Monday morning faces, I knew they were looking at me, laughing inside themselves at the sight of the big fat guy in his too tight white shirt and snug dark blue trousers. Man, I’m sure glad I don’t look like him. What a tub!

I waited impatiently for the elevator up to my office, even though I should have taken the stairs, as my company frequently urged us to do in broadcast e-mails that said “Exercise for Good Health!” or something similar in the subject line.

I settled into the chair in my tiny cubicle, switched on the computer, checked for phone messages, and generally tried to catch my breath and gather strength for another challenging day in the office. I was starting to calm down as I read the morning e-mail, which helped me to banish all thoughts of Laura’s planned trip to the beach from my mind.

It was still early and I had scarcely had a chance to take a few sips of my coffee, when I noticed my supervisor approaching my little home away from home. Supervisory visits are never a good thing and my supervisor was not in the habit of stopping by for idle chat like other people. I braced myself for the inevitable unpleasantness that was to come.

She was a thin, shriveled little woman in her fifties, unmarried as far as I knew, with a narrow beaky nose and hair that looked like it had been styled with a hatchet. “Hi Mary, what’s up?” I said in an attempt to project a casual, positive attitude.

“Good morning, Bruce. How are you this morning? Did you have a good weekend?”

“Um . . . yes, yes, it was fine. Nothing out of the ordinary. You know, just some shopping at the mall. No big deal. Yep, situation normal, definitely.”

“Right, of course. Still going out with that friend of yours? What was her name again?”

“Laura,” I replied. “Her name’s Laura. You should meet her sometime. Nice girl, I’m lucky to have a friend like that.”

“You sure are.” She chuckled, as if the idea of a guy like me having a real girlfriend was the funniest thing in the world. “You really are lucky, Bruce. I’d like to meet her. She must be an interesting person.”

She chuckled again, perhaps because she suspected that there must be something seriously wrong with Laura for her to go out with me. Blind? Horribly disfigured? Psychotic?

“At any rate, Bruce, there’s something I need to talk to you about. As you may know, our company is putting a lot of emphasis on fitness nowadays. Our health insurance costs are going through the roof and we feel it’s important for all of our associates to be as fit as they can be. In your case, well . . .” She hesitated, wondering how to put the delicate matter into words. I knew what was coming next. “In your case, uh, it’s extremely important to maintain a healthy weight and to exercise regularly. Obviously, you do have a bit of a weight problem.”

A bit of a weight problem. Duh! The understatement of the year, I thought. Obviously, you’re fuckin’ stupid, you skinny, ugly bitch!

“Yes, Mary, I’m aware of that,” I replied, trying to keep my voice even and suppress my anger. “I try to do my best, I really do. But it’s hard sometimes. You know, the stress of daily life, the pressures of the job, all that. I admit that I do overeat a little from time to time.” That was the understatement of the year too.

“Well, of course, Bruce. It can be difficult for many of us. But, as I said, that’s why it’s so important to exercise and try to control one’s weight.”

“Sure, I would agree with that.”

“I’m so glad to hear that you agree. Because this afternoon I want you to go over to the Fitness Center and start their weight control and exercise program. It will only take about an hour every day and I will even authorize you to use company time to do it. It’s that important.”

“Weight control and exercise program?” I could feel the earth crumbling beneath my fat feet.

“Yes, that’s correct. I’ve already called and they’re expecting you. Report to Susie at 4 pm sharp. She’ll be your personal trainer. I’m sure she’ll take good care of you. She quite an attractive young lady, by the way.”

She smiled and winked, as if hinting that I should be tremendously pleased to be placed in the hands of someone who was undoubtedly a sadistic fitness Nazi. I imagined a Germanic-looking blonde in an SS uniform with a whip.

“Susie, right. Four o’clock sharp. I’ll be there. Thank you very much, Mary.”

As soon as she walked away and was out of sight, I smacked my forehead and started pulling at my hair. Goddam, goddam, goddam! I started pounding on my desk. Why? I asked silently in a sudden fit of despair, looking up at the ceiling. Why are you doing this to me?

Just at that moment the phone rang. It was Laura. “Hi, dumpling. How’s your day going? I was just thinking about you and I thought I would give you a call, you big sexy thing.”

I groaned loudly.

“What’s the matter honey? Having a bad day already? Did some idiot call you who couldn’t find the ‘Any’ key?”

“No, it’s not that. My supervisor talked to me this morning. She wants me to enroll in the company’s weight control and exercise program. Apparently they think I’m too fat. Imagine that. I have to start this afternoon.”

There was a silence at the other end of the line as Laura processed this information. Then she exploded. “What the hell! You don’t need any damn exercise program. You get plenty of exercise already. And besides that, don’t they realize how dangerous this is? For a man of your size? Why, you could have a heart attack and drop dead. No, sweetie, I won’t allow it. I’m responsible for you. Tell them to go to hell.”

“I can’t do that, Laura. I don’t think I have a choice. I’m vulnerable here. They’ve already been talking about cutting staff and they could very well decide they can do without a 400-pound computer geek.”

“Well, I’m still against it. I think it’s a very bad idea. Bad for you, bad for both of us. I just don’t want to lose the man I love.” From the tone of her voice I could tell that she was extremely upset.

“Maybe it won’t be so bad. You know, they might just talk to me about dieting, tell me to eat lots of salad, take a walk after dinner, or something like that. I could always go and see what it’s all about and then we’ll take it from there.”

“Well, okay,” she said reluctantly. “But please be careful, honey bun. Don’t overdo it. I don’t want them to exercise you to death. If it’s too much for you, just tell them you can’t do it. Maybe you should think about finding a different job.”

“Not an option. Jobs are scarce nowadays. I’ll just have to bite the bullet and make the best of it.” I gave her a kiss over the phone and told her not to worry. We agreed to talk about it some more over dinner.

I ate lunch like a man condemned. At the company cafeteria I loaded my tray with even more food than usual. The girl at the checkout gave me a look. That’s a lot of food, even for you, Bruce.

At precisely 3:50 I logged off the system and got ready to head over to the Fitness Center. It was located in an adjoining building. I arrived sweaty and out of breath at a minute past four, thinking that I had already had enough exercise for the day. I walked through the glass double doors up to a counter, my heart pounding heavily. Standing there behind the counter was a trim-looking young woman with a ponytail. They always have ponytails, I thought. She was holding a pencil and was busily reviewing a long list of names on a sheet of paper. The names of today’s victims, no doubt. She didn’t look up, but merely mumbled, “I’ll be right with you,” as she continued her vitally important task.

I waited patiently, using the time to get a good look at her. She was indeed quite attractive, short, slender, and virtually gushing with good health and fitness. In many ways, she reminded me of Laura. I cleared my throat. “Sorry I’m late, but . . .”

She looked up. “Yes, how may I help you?” She took one look at my face, then her gaze dropped to my torso and then back again. “Oh, my. My goodness,” she stuttered in surprise. It was apparent that I was not her typical fitness customer.

“Yes, hi, my name’s Bruce, Bruce Felton, from the IT Department. I have an appointment to see Susie at four. My supervisor sent me over.”

At first she just stared at me with her mouth open. “Uh, Bruce, yes, of course. I have you here on the list. Four o’clock, right. I’m Susie Schmidt. I’ll be your trainer. Pleased to meet you.”

She extended her slender hand and I gave her my best smile. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all. She doesn’t exactly look like an evil exercise Nazi.

“Glad to meet you too. I’m so sorry I’m a bit late, but it’s a long walk over from the other building, and I’m, well, I’m a little out of shape.”

She relaxed and smiled broadly. I had the feeling she was about to burst out laughing. “No problem, Bruce. No problem at all. That’s why we’re here. To help people get into shape.”

“Yes, well, I’m afraid I’ll be one of your more serious cases. Computer guys aren’t exactly known for getting a lot of exercise.”

“Oh, don’t worry Bruce. It’s quite alright. This is a big company and I deal with all kinds of people. All kinds of ‘cases,’ as you say.” It seemed like she was trying to put me at ease. She came around from behind the counter and put her hand on my shoulder. “Come over this way, please. We’ll start off with a general assessment of your health.”

She led me into a small room and asked me to sit down on an uncomfortable metal chair, while she took a seat across the table from me. The room was somewhat similar to the examination room in a doctor’s office. It had that nasty, clinical feel to it. Colorful posters on the walls showed smiling, ecstatically happy people engaging in various forms of exercise, many of them exercising with attractive members of the opposite sex. I noticed an upright scale in one of the corners. I shuddered.

She opened a drawer under the table and took out some papers. The one on top looked like a questionnaire of some kind. She smiled at me again.

“This whole program won’t be dangerous, will it? I mean, I’m not going to keel over on the treadmill, am I?” Laura had put the thought in my head and I couldn’t help asking about it.

“Dangerous? Why of course not. Why would it be dangerous?”

“Well, it’s just that somebody, um, somebody I know told me this might be dangerous for me. Because I’m so . . . big.”

“No, not at all,” Susie reassured me. “I am a highly trained fitness professional and you will be under my direct supervision. I may challenge you at times, but I would never ask you to do more than you are capable of.” She looked at me with her big brown eyes and there was something about her expression that struck me as vaguely familiar.

“Now, let’s get started,” she continued. “I need to ask you a few questions in order to form a complete and accurate picture of your current health situation. Please don’t be offended if some of the questions seem a bit personal. I am merely asking for informational purposes. You understand, I hope.”

“Okay,” I said, though I didn’t have the foggiest idea what she was referring to.

She started asking me the standard kind of health questions, about childhood diseases, alcohol consumption and smoking, my eating and exercise habits, and so on. The very last question threw me for a loop.

“Now, Bruce, let me ask you, Have you experienced any kind of sexual dysfunction within the past 12 months?” She looked me right in the eye and blinked innocently, as if asking a stranger a question like that was entirely routine for her.

“Um, well, no, not really. I haven’t had any problems.” The image of Laura bouncing insanely on top of me flashed through my mind. “But, uh, why is that important?”

“Well, you see, Bruce, there is clear evidence that obesity – especially extreme obesity like yours – can be detrimental to sexual satisfaction and functioning.” She looked at me again with that innocent doe-like expression.

I swallowed before answering, not quite sure if what I was feeling was anger or embarrassment. “Oh, I see. Well, I don’t know where this information is coming from, but I’m fine, believe me, in spite of my ‘extreme obesity.’”

“And your partner, if you have one. No problems there either?” She fixed her eyes on mine. This question was definitely not on the questionnaire. She was winging it.

“No,” I replied, aware that her questions and the way she was looking at me were having a certain effect on my sexual functioning. “No, no worries at all.” I decided to leave it at that and not provide additional details.

“Good, good. Well then, that just about concludes the interrogation. I’ll just get your weight and then we’ll be done.”

“You mean no exercise, no torture for today?”

She laughed. “It’s not torture, don’t worry. But no, I think we’ve done enough for now. The actual exercise program will begin tomorrow, Tuesday. Same time. If you have gym clothing, a sweatsuit, or anything like that, you could bring it along. You might be more comfortable. We have facilities here where you can change. Otherwise, I think your street clothes will be adequate for our purposes. Just bring along a pair of running shoes.”

She led me over to the scale in the corner. It was the old-fashioned kind with weights and a ruled balance. I stepped up carefully onto the platform. Susie moved the weights all the way to the right as far as they could go. They showed 300 pounds, but the scale was still not balanced.

“I was afraid this would happen,” she said shaking her head. “I’ve told them over and over that I need a proper digital scale. Cost-cutting, that’s what they tell me. Well, alright then. Why don’t you just tell me how much you weigh?”

It was moments like this that have always filled me with dread. Like in grade school, when the school nurse weighed our class as a group for the annual health check, calling out my weight loudly for the entire class to hear.

“396, more or less,” I said in a quiet voice.

“What was that, 326?”

“No, three hundred ninety-six,” I said, forcing myself to speak louder and more distinctly.

“Oh,” she replied, jotting down the number in her papers. That single “oh” carried more meaning than an entire sentence.

“There’s just one more thing, Bruce. I need to take some measurements so I can track your progress.”

“Measurements?”

“Yes. I want to measure your waistline.“

I was starting to feel real panic. “Is that really necessary?”

“Well, yes. It’s just for the records. Relax and hold still.”

She took a cloth tape measure out of her pocket and reached around me. It was hard for her to do it because I was so wide. She had to press herself firmly against my belly in order to catch the other end of the tape with her other hand. We remained in an awkward semi-hug for several seconds until she was finally able to pull the entire length of the tape around my middle. It was too short. She tried to pull it tight, but it was obvious to both of us that it wasn’t going to reach.

“Well,” she said with a frustrated sigh. She looked at me and she seemed to be blushing. “This tape is 60 inches long, so I guess we’ll just have to estimate. I’d say we’re short by about six inches, so that would make it 66. Does that sound right to you?”

“Yeah, I guess so.” I wasn’t aware of how wide my waist had become, but the realization that I had a 66 inch waist shocked me.

“Okay, right, 66 inches. And your height, Bruce?”

“I’m 5 foot 6.”

“Right, 5-6, that would be, um . . . 66 inches.”

She said the last number in a soft, hesitant voice, as if the reality of my situation had finally hit her like a ton of bricks. She just looked at me with a pathetic expression and shook her head slowly. I think she wanted to cry. I wanted to cry.

She walked over quickly to a laptop that was on the table and entered the data. She didn’t say another word and now she avoided looking at me. She pressed the Enter key and looked closely at whatever appeared on the screen. She put her hand to her chin and I saw her shaking her head again. “Wow,” she said, her lips moving silently. Wow!

She closed the cover of the laptop, got up, and came back to where I was standing in total humiliation. “Bruce, it’s not good news. Based on these numbers, your Body Mass Index is 63.9. That’s truly terrifying. I myself have never met anyone whose BMI was so high. It also means that over 60 percent of your body mass is fat. Pure fat. You would have to lose 245 pounds to be at a more or less normal weight for your height. It’s a daunting task.”

“I don’t know what to say,” I stammered. “I never thought it was so bad.” This was considerably worse than my afternoon at the mall.

“Well, Bruce, all I can say is that I think we’ve got our work cut out for us. But, all that will be for tomorrow. I think I’ve put you through enough grief for one day. In the meantime, here is some information on proper eating habits and some daily menu suggestions. Take a look at this at home and then we can discuss it later.”

“Thank you,” I said as she handed me a sheaf of papers, not sure what it was that I should be thankful for.

She patted me again on the shoulder on the way out the door. “Don’t be discouraged, Bruce. I can help you. Just remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
 

Jerry Thomas

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“Fat! That’s what I am. Pure fat!”

I threw my briefcase on the floor of the apartment and dropped my poundage into the love seat in the living room. Laura had already arrived home from work and she came out of the kitchen at the sound of the door slamming shut.

“What’s that, pumpkin? Did you say something?” She wiped her hands on her apron.

“I said I’m fat. Hopelessly fat. I have a 66 inch waist. Can you believe that? I had no idea I had gotten so big.”

“Of course I can believe it. After all, I’ve been buying your clothes for you, remember? So what? What’s the big deal?”

“I’m the big deal! I went to that damn Fitness Center this afternoon. They measured me. I’m 66 inches around and 66 inches tall. I’ve finally turned into a perfect ball.”

Laura laughed. “Don’t make it sound so dramatic. What’s so bad about being a ball? Girls like me love to play with balls.”

“Don’t try to make a joke of it, Laura. It’s horrible, horrible. They said that more than 60 percent of my body consisted of fat. Pure fat! I’m just a big fat ball.”

She sat down on the wide arm of the love seat and leaned toward me. She put her arm around my shoulders and gave me a kiss. “Oh, honey, it’s not so bad. Really. Who is this ‘they’ that made you feel so bad?”

“The trainer, my new fitness trainer. The one who’s going to be exercising me to death for the next couple of weeks.”

“I see. I should’ve known that would be the reason. I completely forgot about it. Who is this stupid fitness trainer? Probably some disgustingly muscular hunk, right?”

“Well, no, actually it was . . .” I thought for a moment and all of a sudden I found it difficult to describe my afternoon with Susie. “Um, it was this, well, yes, it was this big muscular guy. He really put me to shame. You know, all those rippling muscles and all. And there I was, just a big fat ball of lard.”

“Was he, you know, funny?” Laura made a gesture with her wrist.

“Oh yeah, for sure. He was definitely . . . like that. Most of those muscle guys are, you know.”

Laura laughed again. “Well, that’s great. At least now I know you’re safe. Unless he has the same preferences in men that I have. I was afraid your trainer would be some sexy chick with a ponytail.”

“Um, no. No ponytail, nope. Just all those . . . muscles.”

She gave me another kiss and told me to relax. She came back a few minutes later with a large gin and tonic.

“Here, sweetie, drink this while I get dinner ready. I can see you’ve had a hell of a day. Then you can tell me all about it.”

“Yes, it was hell, Laura. Pure hell. You have no idea.”

I sipped my drink, wondering what I was doing and how I was going to get out of it. I had never lied to Laura before and I was feeling guilty. I thought about Susie. Even though she had thoroughly humiliated me with her well-meaning advice, there was something else about the whole experience. I felt strangely stimulated by it, though I couldn’t quite figure out why.

A half hour later I sat down to a huge spaghetti and meatball dinner. Two glasses of red wine sparkled at our places. Laura brought in two candles, put them on the table, and lit them. “This will make it more romantic,” she said. “Candlelight dinner for two.”

The meatballs were humongous and shaped just like me. Stressed out and angry, I greedily shoveled the food into my hungry mouth as Laura watched approvingly. She wrapped the strands of spaghetti around her fork in ladylike portions. She let me eat half a plateful before interrupting me with conversation.

“So, honey bun, tell me about your afternoon of strenuous activity. Did he work you very hard?”

“Who? Oh, right, the trainer. Well, no, not exactly, to be perfectly honest. They, I mean, he asked me all kinds of health questions and we talked a little about the program. Then he measured my waist and calculated my Body Mass Index. It was almost 64. Sh . . . he said he had never met anyone with such high numbers. I think I really shocked him. He couldn’t even weigh me – I was too heavy for their scale. The real exercise starts tomorrow.”

“Poor baby, you must’ve felt awful.”

“I did. You know how sensitive I am about my weight. They even asked me questions about my sex life.”

“Your sex life? Why on earth would he do that?”

“Well, it seems that fat people have trouble with sex.”

Laura snickered. “Trouble with sex? Us? You gotta be kidding. I hope he didn’t ask about how we do it.”

“No, never got into the details, just in general.”

Laura took another bite of her meatball. “Well, I’d watch this guy if I were you. Seems kind of weird that he’d get into that. Be careful if he asks you to take off your shirt. He might want to check you out. You just tell him that it’s already spoken for.”

I polished off three-quarters of a banana cream pie for dessert and then, feeling agreeably stuffed, rolled my 66 by 66 inch body into the kitchen to help Laura with the dishes. Later that night we tested the theory about the negative effects of obesity on sexual pleasure. And found it to be one hundred percent wrong.
 

imogenbakerbell

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Wouldn't he be a true ball if his diameter, not circumference, was the same as his height? In which case, he's got a way to go yet :eat2: Unless you're talking about a rugby ball...

'“Was he, you know, funny?” Laura made a gesture with her wrist.' Is she trying to ask if he's gay, or have I completely misunderstood this? What kind of gesture is she making exactly?
 

Jerry Thomas

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Sorry, I'm not a mathematician! So, you're right, he's not literally a ball, but you get the idea. He's just not happy that his height is equal to his waistline. What would happen if his waistline exceeded his height? Would he still be a ball, or something else? (Rhetorical question). Poor Bruce! As for "funny" - yes, exactly, gay. Haven't you ever seen the limp wrist gesture? Hope I'm not offending anyone, it's a stereotype, I know, but after all, it's just a dumb story!
 

imogenbakerbell

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As for "funny" - yes, exactly, gay. Haven't you ever seen the limp wrist gesture? Hope I'm not offending anyone, it's a stereotype, I know, but after all, it's just a dumb story!
I think I've heard of it or something similar before, just wasn't sure if that's what you meant. I would be careful about using "funny" to mean gay, "dumb" story or not...though in this case its use could be put down to Laura not being the most politically correct person :s
 

Jerry Thomas

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The purpose of the story is not to be politically correct, but to be as realistic as possible and, I hope, at least somewhat entertaining to the readers. So, like it or not, this is way real people think and talk.
 

Jerry Thomas

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“Another beautiful day, isn’t it?” my bus buddy chirped on Tuesday morning at the bus stop. I merely nodded and forced an unconvincing smile. Like a dark cloud, a sense of foreboding overshadowed me. I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that in the afternoon I would again have to report to my company’s Fitness Center, except that today there would be some serious exercise. Susie would see to that, I was sure. I was carrying my only pair of sneakers in a plastic bag. I rarely wore them at home.

Turn on the computer, check phone messages, read e-mail. No sign of my supervisor Mary. I pulled open my desk drawer and noticed that I still had almost a full box of Twinkies in my stash. So far, so good. Maybe I would make it through the day after all.

The phone rang at about ten o’clock. I was surprised to hear Susie’s voice at the other end of the line.

“Hi Bruce, how are you this morning?” she asked in a cheery, upbeat voice.

“Good morning,” I replied flatly. “I suppose you’re calling to remind me not to forget our little date this afternoon.”

“Date? Oh, right, your exercise session with me at four. Actually, I was calling for another reason.”

“Really?” I couldn’t possibly imagine why else she would be calling me.

“Yes. You see, we didn’t have much time yesterday and I still have some other issues I’d like to discuss with you. Exercise is only part of the program. The other part is your diet. You can’t have one without the other.”

“Of course.” My heart sank and I decided that my earlier optimistic outlook for today was totally unjustified.

“So, Bruce, if you don’t mind, I’d like to meet you at the cafeteria for lunch. That way I can monitor your food intake and show you how to eat to be fit and healthy. It’ll be my treat.”

Well, this was a horse of a different color. On the one hand, I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of having a tasteless salad for lunch. On the other hand, an intimate lunch for two with a cutie like her wasn’t such a bad idea either. “Okay, sure, that would be fine. I usually eat by myself, but in your case I’ll make an exception. I’d be glad to.”

“Great! Is 12:30 too late for you? That way we’ll miss the early crowd.”

Usually I was one of the “early crowd,” since my grumbling stomach would force me to take my lunch as soon as possible. However, I resolved to be strong and try to hold out until later. And if worse came to worse, the Twinkies were always at arm’s reach in case of an emergency hunger attack. We agreed to meet in the area near the checkout. Not that I had any real fear that she could miss me.

I found it hard to concentrate the rest of the morning. Lately my previously calm, emotionally undemanding life seemed to be changing. First, there was my traumatic experience as fat man du jour at the shopping mall. Then the pink swimming trunks and the prospect of a degrading day at the beach. And now this whole friggin’ diet and exercise program, possibly the last chance for me to keep my job. Not to mention my conflicted feelings about Susie. Just last night Laura and I got all hot and sweaty in another of our little private sex orgies. Now I was breathless at the thought of having lunch with a woman who in many ways could have passed for Laura’s sister. With the difference that she would do her best to get me to lose weight, while Laura obviously delighted in fattening me as much as possible. To gain or not to gain, that was the question.

Susie was already waiting for me as I waddled into the cafeteria at half past twelve. I was more conscious than usual of the swaying motion of my body and I tried unsuccessfully to suck in my bay window. She greeted me with a pleasant smile and put her hand on my shoulder. “You must be starving, Bruce. Why don’t you find us a table. I’ll go get our lunch and be right back.”

I found a nice place by the windows and sat down. I was especially aware of the way my round hips extended well beyond the sides of the chair. It had never bothered me all that much whenever I sat here eating lunch by myself, but today it did. Gloomy thoughts started to fill my mind as I considered my appearance. Ever since meeting Laura I was starting to feel more comfortable about my size, but now all my old hangups were coming back to haunt me.

Ten minutes later I spotted Susie and waved to make sure she would see me. Holding a large cafeteria tray, she nodded and headed in my direction.

“I didn’t want you to miss me. Even though I’m probably the biggest person in the whole room.”

She ignored my self-deprecating remark and sat down across from me. The tray held more food than I expected. Well, here comes the rabbit food, I thought to myself at the sight of the large salad sprinkled with a few drops of low-fat dressing.

“So, here we are,” she said as she picked up the salad. To my surprise, she placed it in front of herself. “And this is for you, Bruce.” She picked up the other plate crowded with a large hamburger and an ample quantity of fries and handed it to me. “Soy burger on a whole wheat bun,” she explained. “And the fries are made from sweet potatoes. Much better for you than regular white potatoes.” She also handed me a dish of mixed fruit and a container of blueberry yoghurt. “The yoghurt’s for dessert, Bruce. I have the feeling you’re not the kind of guy who would skip dessert.”

“You guessed my secret.”

“I’ve planned a diet that I think is best for your specific situation,” she continued. “You need food that’s filling and that will give you energy. This diet will help to increase your metabolism and stimulate the production of serotonin. Serotonin’s the stuff that helps maintain a positive mental attitude and keeps us from getting depressed. It’s well known that people often overeat when they’re feeling down.”

“That’s true. I only overeat when I’m depressed. The problem is, I’m depressed all the time.”

“Well, Bruce, hopefully a proper diet will help you. The right kind of physical activity will keep you from getting depressed too.” She locked her beautiful brown eyes on mine for a moment longer than was necessary, just like she did yesterday while asking me the intrusive questions about my love life. Was there a message in that look, or was I just a victim of my own overactive fantasies?

We had a pleasant conversation and enjoyed our lunch together. I had to admit that the meal Susie had chosen for me was really quite good. It wasn’t as much food as I normally ate for lunch, but it satisfied my hunger and made me feel full.

We were just about to leave when my supervisor Mary discovered our little lunch hour rendezvous. She stopped by our table and flashed her fake smile.

“Well, Bruce, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend? You don’t usually have a companion for lunch. How nice of her to come . . .”

“This is Susie,” I replied quickly. “From the Fitness Center. She’s going to be my new personal trainer.”

“Oh, I see. Pleased to meet you, Susie. You’ll have your work cut out for you. Bruce has a long ways to go to get into shape. Maybe it’s an occupational hazard, all that sitting in front of a computer. But we all have to tighten our belts, don’t we Bruce? Lean and mean, that’s what this company wants from now on.”

“Yeah, sure. Of course.” My positive mental attitude was starting to sour.

“Bruce is going to be a wonderful person to work with,” Susie interjected. “I’m really looking forward to it. Everything’s possible if you put your mind to it, right Bruce? Don’t forget our session this afternoon, okay? Four o’clock on the button.”

“I’ll be there. I’m . . . I’m looking forward to it too.”

After Mary had walked away, Susie quietly slipped me something from her purse. “This is for you, Bruce. A granola bar for your afternoon snack, so you won’t feel hungry. I want you to be full of energy for our workout today.”

I thanked her and put it in my shirt pocket. I was having that funny feeling again.
 

Jerry Thomas

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I was already waiting for Bruce when he walked through the door a few minutes before four. More waddled than walked, actually, but I just loved the way those massive hips of his swayed when he moved. Poetry in motion. He was quite a round little ball of fat, but cute, in a way. Squeezable. It was weird and I didn’t understand it myself, but there was just something about him.

I wondered if he was already in a relationship. I didn’t notice a wedding ring when we had lunch, but of course that didn’t necessarily mean anything. I tried to worm it out of him yesterday with my carefully crafted questions, but his answers were vague. Deliberately so? It was hard to say, but I assumed a fat boy like him wouldn’t have a girlfriend. And he didn’t seem gay either. At least not based on the way he kept looking at me over lunch. Poor guy, he must be desperate -- probably not getting much action, are you, fatty?

He’s just so different from my live-in boyfriend. Brett looks more like a model for a cover of Men’s Health magazine. Hard, rippling muscles, and well-hung too. And yet – totally lacking in imagination. So damn boring! In bed it was always the same thing. Adequate, but nothing to write home about. Then again, maybe there was something wrong with me. After all, here I was, fantasizing about cuddling up next to this super-sized blubbery Teddy bear. I should have my head examined.

“Hi, Bruce, you’re a little early today. Looks like you survived another afternoon on the Help Desk.”

“Yeah, it wasn’t too bad today. All the idiots must’ve taken the day off. And I think I shaved 30 seconds off the walk over from the other building. Your high-energy granola bar made all the difference. I’m feeling more fit already.”

I couldn’t help laughing. They say fat guys are funny and Bruce just had this low-key sense of humor. So different from Brett. What a humorless dolt! He couldn’t crack a decent joke if his life depended on it.

“Well that’s great, Bruce. Sounds like you’ve accepted the need to change and that’s always the first step. That, and maintaining a positive mental attitude. So, I assume you’ve brought your shoes along?”

“Yep, here they are.” He held up a plastic bag that had “Scardino’s Italian Bakery” printed in large lettering on the side. Another lifestyle change that we would have to work on. But that would come later.

“Go back into the men’s locker room and get your shoes on. Then I’ll show you around the gym and get you started.” I put my hand on his shoulder and gave him a gentle push in the right direction.

He came back almost five minutes later and I wondered why it would take him so long just to put on a pair of athletic shoes. He was puffing slightly and seemed embarrassed. I noticed that he had the shoes on, but that the laces were untied.

“I . . . um, I couldn’t get the laces tied,” he said quietly with a sheepish little grin. “I usually wear loafers so I won’t have to bend over and tie them. I didn’t realize . . . my belly’s too big . . . I tried but I couldn’t do it.”

I bit my lip to keep from laughing. He was just so adorable. Like a helpless little boy.

“Come over here,” I said, pointing to the couch in the lobby. “Sit down and I’ll help you.” He sat down and I made a motion with my hand for him to lift his leg. He put his right shoe on my thigh and I tied the laces in a double knot. Then I did the same with the left one.

He was turning red and it was obvious that he was embarrassed as hell. I wanted to say something to make him feel better, but I just couldn’t find the right words. Instead, I took him by the arm and helped him up from the couch, feeling intensely sorry for him. “Come on, Bruce.” I gave him a pat on the back as the only way I knew of comforting him. “Let’s get you started on the treadmill.”

“Treadmill?” he asked, as if I had said the word “guillotine” instead. He walked slowly like a sheep being led to the slaughter.

“I’m going to start you off slow,” I explained as we stood next to the treadmill. I had intentionally picked the one located in a remote corner of the room, away from the other men and women who were busily going through their paces. This was already a bad enough experience for him, and I wanted to spare him further embarrassment. He was by far the biggest person in the gym and he stood out like a sore thumb.

“Step on up. We’re just going to go for a nice, easy walk. Think of it as a walk together in the park. That won’t be so bad, will it? Walking’s a low impact activity and it’s one of the best forms of exercise.”

“Okay, I guess.” He stepped onto the treadmill and suddenly seemed dizzy, like he was going to fall off. I wondered if he had ever even been on a treadmill before. I took his hands and positioned them on the handles on either side of his body. His hands were fat, like the rest of him, but as I held them I could feel that they were soft and warm.

“Now, you just hold on. When I turn on the treadmill, you’re going to walk, just like you do on the sidewalk, alright? Nothing to it, piece of cake.”

He nodded and I turned on the treadmill to the lowest setting. The machine came to life and Bruce seemed startled by its motion. “Now walk!” I ordered.

He started moving his heavy thighs and legs, trying to keep pace with the treadmill. I held him by his upper arm to keep him steady. After a few steps he started to relax and get the hang of it.

“That’s good, Bruce,” I encouraged him. “Just keep that up. Nice and easy. Are you okay so far?”

“Yes, fine,” he huffed, out of breath. I thought it was more from the excitement of a new experience than from the exercise itself.

“You’re doing great, Bruce. Relax and breathe.”

He did as I told him and started to gain confidence. I let go of his arm and let him walk by himself.

“Good, Bruce. Now you’ve got it. Great! Are you still okay? Just nod if you’re okay.”

He looked at me and nodded, beginning to breathe more heavily through his mouth. He gave me a little smile and I smiled back at him, still trying to do everything in my power to help and encourage him. I could see that even this miniscule level of exercise was an effort for a man of his size.

I stood back, folded my arms, and watched him for a few minutes. He was so hopelessly out of shape. It was pathetic and I asked myself how and why he had gained so much weight and gotten himself into this situation. It was hard for him just to walk at a normal pace and his thighs were so fat that he had trouble moving them past each other. But I still liked the way he moved his body. It was just so cool. I felt attracted and repelled at the same time.

By now he had begun to sweat profusely and streams of moisture were running down his face. His tight white shirt was starting to cling to his chest. “Stop!” I commanded suddenly. I had made a decision.

I switched the treadmill off and he stood there panting. “You’re doing fine, Bruce. Very good for the first time. But . . .” I hesitated, wondering how he would react to my suggestion. “You’re starting to sweat a lot and I can see that your shirt is restricting your movement. It would be easier if you would just take it off.”

“No!” he groaned, horrified at the idea. “No, please. I don’t want to. I don’t want you to . . . see me!”

“It’s okay, Bruce. We are here all by ourselves. Nobody else is around, nobody will see you. It’s just us. And I’m your trainer, you have to trust me. You do trust me, don’t you?” I put my hand on his arm again, trying to persuade him. “It’ll be fine, you’ll see. Much easier for you to exercise, believe me.”

Without waiting for an answer, I started to tug at his sleeve, though I knew it would be impossible for me to remove his shirt unless he cooperated. He looked at me imploringly and I made eye contact and batted my eyelashes. “Please? For me?”

His resistance broken, he merely sighed and slowly started unbuttoning the front of his shirt. I had to restrain myself from reaching over and doing it for him. One by one, he opened the buttons and then I helped him as he pulled the shirt up and out of his trousers. I held the back of the shirt as he first took out one arm, and then the other. I took the shirt, folded it once, and put it over my arm.

“That’s good, Bruce. Much better.” My own voice sounded strange to me, hoarse, and I realized that my nipples were getting hard under my sweatsuit. He merely stood there, arms at his sides, looking straight ahead, mortified. He avoided looking down at the immense curve of his fat belly.

I cleared my throat. “So, let’s start again. You’ll do even better now.” I turned the treadmill back on and he started walking again, slowly, mechanically. I had the feeling I had done a terrible thing to him, but I couldn’t help myself.

His humiliation was written on his face, but I tried to ignore it. “Good . . . keep going . . . doing fine . . . excellent, Bruce.” I kept it up, hoping that he would forgive me. He walked, puffing out his cheeks from time to time, still looking straight ahead, refusing to look at me. Now I could view him in all his obese glory, his rolls of fat shifting and jiggling with every step he took, his man boobs bouncing gently. What a specimen he was! I squeezed my thighs together, feeling a wetness between my legs. I was ashamed and embarrassed, for him, and for me too. This was completely new, I felt a flash of heat, and I made an effort to control my breathing.

Finally he turned and looked at me. He smiled, shyly. Was he mocking me? Did he realize what he was doing to me, what was going on in my mind? No, he couldn’t know. He was just embarrassed to be half-naked and to have me looking at his fat like this. Or did he like it too?

After another five or ten minutes, I couldn’t say for sure how long it was, I looked at my watch, forcing myself back to the real world. “Okay, Bruce, I think that’s enough for today. You did great, excellent effort. You should be proud of yourself.” I switched off the treadmill.

He stood there, breathing hard, the sweat pouring down his face and chest. He wiped the glistening moisture from his round belly with his hand and I held my breath. I helped him down from the treadmill, close enough to smell his body odor. I handed him his shirt and he put it back on, leaving the buttons open for now. Together we walked back towards the lobby. He was tired, but he seemed pleased.

“That was a great workout,” he said. It was a comment that I wasn’t expecting. “Not as bad as I thought it would be. I feel really . . . good! Relaxed, in a way. Thank you, Susie.”

I merely smiled, not trusting myself to say anything. “Go get dressed, Bruce. Tomorrow’s another day. And . . . could we do lunch again? 12:30 in the cafeteria?”

He nodded happily. I felt weak in the knees. He had had the workout, but I was utterly exhausted.
 

agouderia

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That was sexy :p Ah, but poor Bruce - all the women in his life want to humiliate him!
Actually I disagree! Humiliation is not Susie's main motivation imo. She seems more like an ambiguous and thus genuine character, dealing with conflicting emotions and perceptions. I highly approve of her and am increasingly liking the flow of the story!
 

fat hiker

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Actually I disagree! Humiliation is not Susie's main motivation imo. She seems more like an ambiguous and thus genuine character, dealing with conflicting emotions and perceptions. I highly approve of her and am increasingly liking the flow of the story!
I agree - I think Susie is showing great signs of conflicting emotions.
 

jim austin

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Absent knowing what the writer is thinking or what direction he is leaning in for his characters I would find it hard to say for sure which way the lady is leaning. However, why is it humiliation and not attraction? Although, I can see the humiliation side I can also see an inncoent attraction tempered by whether or not she should feel this way or press Bruce to act or be placed in the current position. Either weigh(pun) I love the story and hope it continues. Very nice the changes from one character's view to another and nicely presented as well. More please!
 
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