I am not sure if I wrote about this before, I looked back over all my old posts and couldn’t find anything, so if I did, my apologies. I know I shared this story in my TBL video last winter/spring, which is probably why I am not sure if I shared it here or not.
Anyway, anyone who has ever had a massive amount of weight to lose will know EXACTLY what I am talking about when I talk about the Phenomenon of the Fat Slap. For those who don’t know, let me explain.
When a person of a certain size exercises vigorously strange things happen. Weird noises are emitted from the body that should not be there. If one does the given activity once or twice, it can sound like a fart, which of course is quite embarrassing!! However, if one does the given exercise/motion repeatedly in a rapid fashion, it can sound rather like applause…except there is none! Again, quite embarrassing!
What kinds of exercises might cause this sound to be emitted you ask? Well, just about anything that causes you to move up and down. Jumping Jacks, Jumping Jessie’s(jacks followed by a squat), Olga squat pulls, anything that is jumping related really or really really fast running!
What causes this you ask? Again, let me tell you, for those who do not know. A brain may tell its body to jump or run as the case may be. So the body jumps. However, what happens is, the body starts its return to earth long before the belly has had a chance to get up to the height of the rest of the body. The body lands and shortly thereafter, the belly lands too…and slaps against the body…causing the dreaded “noise”. Coach says this is my body applauding my efforts….I however, want it to withhold its applause and simply show its appreciation by growing smaller and smaller and simply SHUTTING UP!!
So how does one combat the dreaded Fat Slap? Well, one doesn’t run at high rates of speed. One doesn’t do jumping activities. By refraining from such activities, the body is not forced to go in two directions at once and ultimately meet together in that humiliating fashion.
So…you must know, that I am not just talking about the Fat Slap in theory. Sadly I have experienced it and work hard to never experience it again…up until now, my work has been mostly in avoidance methods. However, when one hires a trainer to do a certain job that they are trained and experienced in doing, it is best I shut up and listed and do as they tell me to, right?
Theoretically. However, when G.I Jess tells me to jump in some fashion I find myself timidly doing so. She has pointed this out to me, about how timid I am being, but I am not sure she knows why. (well if she reads this she will know now:-) When I am supposed to hop backwards into a squat and then pull Olga to me, I first hop one foot back then the other. Part of this is a balance thing. NO WAY do want to fall in front of all the mirrors and the entire gym! Part of it may also be due to leg fatigue, at least at the end of a set. However, much of it has to do with Fat Slap avoidance.
I realized all of this tonight when G.I Jess asked me to do a two footed jump and hit the pads she was holding with my knees, 15 times in a row. At first I didn’t think I could do it. I don’t like jumping! I think I have good reason, don’t you?! I started out pretty timidly, first one foot then the other going up.
She didn’t like that move. After a couple tries I got a “Good Job” from her. However, with that one came the “noise” and I reverted back to my one-footed ways. Now mind you she is standing right in front of me,bent over. In my imagination her entire view is taken up of my belly going up and down inches in front of her face and then…out pops this noise…Awful I tell you!! Awful!
While I have all this going on in my head, I also want to do this stuff right. I mean seriously, if I am not going to do what she asks me to and trust her expertise, why am I paying her? By the time we got to the second to last set of this awfulness, I was finally getting comfortable with the motion and she wanted me to attempt it without a pause between jumps.
“Dear Lord, she knows not what she asks for!”, I thought.
I did it though and with every jump I heard, “SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!….PAUSE….1 FOOTED…Pause…SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!
Either she didn’t notice or simply did not care or had no idea what the noise was.
So for my last set, I decided, I would just pretend it wasn’t happening. I did it. Shot off 15 jumps in a row, no pauses. Lots of Slapping going on….but whatever…one day, the Fat Slap will be a distant memory…for me and for her.
It is fascinating to me as I sit here, how much internal conversation goes on about this stuff and how much it holds me back from what I say I want. I mean, what if there is another reality. Perhaps no one notices, but me. No one hears what I hear or sees what I see. What if Jess heard nothing and saw nothing but a woman working hard, doing hard things. What if I lived as if THAT were the truth..as opposed to all the above fodder.
I am certain this won’t change overnight. I am sure I will still hesitate when she wants me to jump. I am sure I will still have fears of grand embarrassment. But perhaps, each time it will get a little bit less until I no longer hear the Fat Slap myself, regardless of my size.
Yes, that is where I want to be.