Big Boy by Skyler Snow
Time: 6:38 pm
Breakfast: Toast and an apple
Lunch: Salad without dressing
Dinner: Double cheeseburger, fries, large soda, apple pie w/extra whip cream.
I staredat the journal in my hands and groaned. How had I fallen off of my diet in three days? Seriously? It was a new record low. Looking over the calorie numbers etched under each meal, I frowned. I'd stayed under my calorie demands all day, but I couldn't resist a burger and fries for dinner. My stomach had growled all day and I was going crazy.
This is the last junk food binge I swear. After this, I'll stick to only fruits and vegetables, no carbs, no soda. I'll lose the weight.
Reaching down, I touched the round belly that strained against my t-shirt. I'd bought the last pack a size smaller. My mother insisted that was going to be a motivator. If I brought all my clothes too small I would have nothing to wear and then I would have to lose the weight. Except that never happened and I was dangerously close to having nothing left that was wearable in my wardrobe.
My phone rang and I sat my leather-bound food journal on the counter. Speak of the devil. My mother. I quickly wiped off my hands on a napkin and picked it up. Before I could even get out a hello, she was talking.
"Are you going?"
"Going where?" I asked with a sigh. "Hello, by the way."
"I don't have time for all of that right now, Carter. Your brother is driving me crazy, your father can't do anything to help himself, and I'm stuck running a thousand errands. Are you going to the gym I showed you? I already bought a membership."
Groaning, I plopped down on a barstool. Why did she insist I go to the gym? It wasn't like it was a revolutionary idea. Dieting and working out, I had done it all with little to no results. I always gained the weight right back if I lost anything at all.
"I have some things I need to do," I said as I tapped on my laptop and it woke up. I typed in my password and started scrolling the job site. "I don't think I can go today."
Here we go. Every time I said I didn't want to do something that she wanted me to do, I had to endure a lecture or guilt trip. It wasn't like I didn't want to get in shape, be healthier, but it wasn't my priority right now. After all, I had just lost my job.
And no one knew.
It wasn't as if I had liked my job. Entering data while locked into a tiny cubicle with a bunch of people who barely acknowledged my existence? Yeah, it wasn't a dream job. No little boy thought that when they grew up they would be doing something boring and monotonous. But it had been enough to support me and my hobbies. Which was more important.
Not like I'll be able to do anything now. I can barely pay the rent for the next few months.
"Are you listening to me, Carter?"
"Yes, Mom," I sighed.
"Don't sigh. Look, I'm not trying to be hard on you, okay? But being your size isn't healthy. You need to at least try to put down the burgers and steaks and pick up a vegetable. Some exercise won't kill you."
I clenched my fists, nails digging into my palms. The pain helped me force it all down, but it wasn't enough. Hearing her say those things always made me want to retreat inside of myself. I glanced over at my TV. I wanted to play a video game, relax, try not to freak out over this job thing, but now I felt like shit. If I sat on my ass it would prove that she was right and I was lazy.
"I hear you," I whispered. "Yeah, I'll go. Why not? Where is it?"
"I'll send you the address. Just check-in at the front desk and they'll get you squared away. I even got you a trainer. You had some trouble going by yourself before so I figured a little motivation should help."
"Yay, more motivation."
"Don't get smart. I'm trying to help you."
You can help easily. Stop putting pressure on me!
I never said any of that out loud. There was no point in upsetting my mother. I know she loves me and would do anything for me, but sometimes it felt like I was the odd one out. I was the one that was shoved to the side because I didn't fit in with my perfect little family.
"Anything else, Mom?"
She sighed. "No, that's all I wanted. Are you coming over for dinner Sunday night?"
"Not this week," I said quickly. "Maybe next week."
"Okay, well good. Maybe I'll see some progress by then, huh? That'll be exciting."
"Looking forward to it," I mumbled.
"I love you, Carter. Go to the gym."
"I love you too."
Once I hung up I stared at the phone. It took everything in me not to throw the damn thing. Why couldn't they accept me for who I was? There were always talks about diets, working out, finding a husband. I was in my thirties, I wasn't dead, but she acted like I would keel over, alone and fat, at any moment. And she took it personally, as if it was somehow her fault that I was a failure.
I pushed myself up and walked over to the couch before I plopped down. Yeah, I would go. But first I would play some video games and try to regain at least a little bit of serotonin.
Booting up my console I logged onto StarBattle. A few of my friends were online and hearing their voices made me feel better. For a while, I could detach and give in to being a kid. Video Games, snacks, and a huge soda. Screw it. If I was going to disappoint my mother, I might as well enjoy it.
I avoidedthe hell out of the gym for as long as I could, but my mother was relentless. Eventually, I gave up and decided to get it over with. At least if I went I could say I hated it and move on. But until then she was going to be on my ass.
Gyms were never a place I enjoyed going. Everyone had perfect bodies, chiseled and strong, tanned and perfect. I was none of those things. I couldn’t tan because I burned and I hadn’t been small in a very long time, but even back then I probably would still be considered fat by some people. It left me feeling out of place in their world as if every set of eyes in the room were on me.
‘Look at the fat ass struggling.’
That's what it felt like they were saying behind my back. And it wasn't as if that had never happened. More than once I caught people's eyes at the gym as they chuckled with a friend when I was out of breath and sweating on the treadmill. I'd stopped going to those gyms and I was prepared to quit this one too.
I wore a pair of sweats and an oversized t-shirt. The hope was that I would be comfortable, but I was already annoyed. I stopped by the reception desk and gave the woman working behind it my name.
"Oh, you're Carter!" she said with a voice that was so sickeningly sweet it made my ears almost start to bleed. "I've been talking to your mom almost every day. She always calls to see if you've checked in. I thought that was sweet!"
"Yeah, sweet," I mumbled. Not intrusive at all. "I'm supposed to have a trainer?"
"Yes, you're with Samuel. Oh, you're going to love him. He's very good at his job and he has a killer smile!"
I wanted to shove this girl into a closet and lock it, anything to stop hearing that annoying voice. "Where can I find him?"
"Don't worry, I'll call him up." She picked up a walkie and pressed the button on the side. "Hey, Samuel, you have a client here for a first-time visit. You available?"
"I'll be there in five minutes."
She smiled at me. "You can wait for him right there, okay? He'll be here shortly."
I glanced around and looked through the glass doors leading to the workout area. Everyone looked hard at work and each of them was as hot as the next. Great. I was going to be the only overweight one panting and sweating up a storm. It was going to be a great day.
"I'm here, I'm here. I was just finishing up with Emma. Where's my newest client?"
I glanced up at the man who swaggered toward me and my jaw dropped. Brown skin, a short, well-kept beard and mustache, and his hair was long and twisted into what I assumed were dreads that he kept in a ponytail. His waist was small, his upper torso toned and covered in tattoos.
His smile really was amazing. It lit up the room and I swallowed thickly as he drew closer. Deep down I'd known that my trainer would look like he was carved by the gods themselves, but I hadn't expected him to look so...
Drop-dead fucking hot. How is this man real?
"You must be Carter," he said as he stuck out his hand. "I've been waiting for you to show up. Glad to finally meet you."
"T-thanks," I whispered before I cleared my throat and took his hand. "Um, yeah I was kind of busy so I didn't get a chance to come right away."
"No problem. We all have our own timelines." He waved a hand. "Follow me into the gym. We'll talk about health goals, workout plans, and everything in between."
I nodded and followed him into the gym area. He led me to a back corner and I felt more comfortable not hanging out in the center of it. Samuel patted a seat and I took it before he sat across from me in another chair.
"So, I'm Samuel. You can call me Sam if you want though." He tapped his clipboard. "What brings you to Palace Gym?"
Yeah, I wasn't going to say that. I didn't want someone as hot as him knowing I had rampant mommy issues.
"Um, I want to lose some weight," I said slowly. "I've been trying to eat better and smaller portions, but it's hard and I guess working out will help."
"Eating less isn't necessarily a good thing," Samuel frowned. "Why don't we go over what you eat in a day and I can help you with that first?"
I shrugged. "Alright, I guess."
He tilted his head. "Or you don't have to. Hey, I'm here to help you in any way that I can. But it has to be something that you want or it's not going to work."
I nodded, but deep down I wanted to yell that I didn't want this. Not now. There were a million other things on my mind, none of which involved my weight. But if I didn't come, I would feel horrible about that too. So, I would suck it up and do whatever I needed to do.
"No, I want to be here."
"Good." Samuel beamed and my heart sped up. "Let's get to work then."
I would much rather you get to work on me.
Quickly, I put that thought out of my head as my cheeks burned. Going to the gym still wasn't my favorite thing in the world, but my trainer was hot and nice. Even if his voice held that stern edge that said he didn't mess around.
I could stick around a little longer.