Reading Comprehension in the Age of Internet Dating

I’m part of an internet dating experiment.  That lead me to have a date on Friday night.

We had read and commented on each other’s profiles, had exchanged a number of e-mails and decided to meet.  He opened doors, offered me his hand, paid for the date etc.  (While I don’t need/require this behavior but I like it sometimes.)  During the date he (not I) kept making reference to future dates and things we would do etc.  The date was three hours of really nice conversation.  That was Friday.

He e-mailed Saturday  to say that he had a great time and looked forward to  seeing me again, but he e-mailed after I had gone to a friend’s birthday party so I didn’t get back to him.  Then he called yesterday to ask me to go on a walk and hang out.  I got that message about an hour after he left it so I called him back.

We talked for about an hour and a half just about hobbies and stuff and he kept bringing up going on other dates.  We set a time for a next date.  That’s when he paused and then this happened (this is an abbreviation of the conversation hitting the high points).

Before you read the conversation, you should know that my profile says the following:

“I’m an active, fat, athlete.  I suppose I could say I’m voluptuous or pleasantly plump or whatever people say but I think euphemisms tend to give a sense of discomfort and I’m very comfortable and happy with myself and my body just as I am.  I also know that my look isn’t attractive to everyone and I think that’s fine, I’m just not the woman for you.”

At the end of the profile I have a list, the title of which says:  “If any of the following are true, you should look elsewhere.  No hard feelings!

#5 is:  If you aren’t attracted to bigger women.

Just in case literacy is not someone’s strong point I also included picture of me hanging out, you know…being fat.

So here is the conversation:

Him:  Um, size is a problem for me when it comes to lust.
Me:  How so?
Him:  I just can’t see ever wanting to tear your clothes off and throw you down.
Me:  Well, I’m not willing to date someone who wouldn’t want to tear my clothes off and throw me down so that doesn’t work for me
Him:  I guess we’ll just have to hang out with me cursing the fact that you are…. we could do healthy stuff like go for  walks until you lose weight…(long pause) are you happy with your body?
Me:  Yes I’m very happy with my body.
Him:  You don’t look healthy.  I don’t think your knees and back will hold out
Me:  I hear that a lot from people who aren’t educated about health.
Him:  You’re a great person…CURSE YOU FATE!  We can still be friends.
Me:  I already have plenty of friends, and honestly, I put this in my profile several times specifically to avoid having to have this conversation.  I’m really looking to date so I don’t want to hang out with you.
Him:  I guess I understand…sorry if this stung.”

FTW?  First of all, could I have been more damn clear in my profile?  Second, we talked about my dance and training schedule (I exercise about 20 hours per week), if that has me at this size I don’t think taking walks is going to be my path to thinness.   Third, why are you cursing fate?  This is your body issue that you choose to hang onto.  I’m totally ok with your choosing the issue but could you at least own it?

Most of all, it’s not that the rejection stung – as I already freaking mentioned in my profile I’m aware that not everyone is attracted to bigger people and I get that.  What I don’t get is why the frick he went out with me in the first place when my profile clearly demonstrates that I’m Fatty McFatterson, Mayor of Fatville, and he knows that he is only attracted to thin women.

If there were a Darwin award for dating, this guy would win it.

Fat Girl Lifting

I went to Efficient Exercise.  It was, hands down, the best workout I’ve ever had.  It’s a 30 minute workout that uses a number of protocols including eccentric only, super slow motion, and body weight  to give strength, cardio and flexibility benefits.

I arrived and met my trainer – Mark Rogers.  One of the coolest things about this is that it’s a one on one situation so I was the only one in the gym.   As I explained in my previous post about this, I had mentioned in my e-mail that my goals are strength, stamina, and flexibility and that I didn’t want to discuss weight loss and he was very respectful of that.

He explained the  efficient exercise theories, we talked about my goals and my workout schedule.  Then he asked the fateful question “Do you want me to go easy on you for this first time or do you want me to hurt you?”.  My stupid jock side took over and I said “Hurt me”.  That was dumb.

I laid down on what I can only describe as a massive contraption.  I put my feet up on a platform.  This was an eccentric only exercise so we easily pushed the bar up.  Then he pulled the bar and a bunch of weight toward me while I tried to push it away as hard as I could.  The more my legs bent (and therefore the weaker I was) the slower he pulled and the more difficult it was.  My legs were BURNING UP.  We did similar exercises with military press and pull downs.  My upper body is definitely not as strong as I would like it to be.  We set a goal for me to be able to do a full pull-up.  I was ready to say thanks and go home.

But wait, there’s more.

We moved on to cables.  That probably calls to mind images of something really helpful and secure.  Those images would be wrong.  The cables are  metal handles attached to ropes attached to a metal frame.  I tilted my body out at about a 55 degree angle with the floor and did push-ups into my own hands,  then flipped and did pull-ups.  If you are now picturing something that looks death-defying then you’ve got it about right.  I was able to do them though and it’s actually really cool – it’s almost like a carnival ride – if they made you do push-ups at the carnival.

Then, we started the most evil exercises ever.

He told me to lay on the ground on my back which, at my current level of exhaustion, sounded like a fabulous idea.  That’s about when things went downhill.  He had me put my feet in free hanging slings.  I had to bridge my hips and pull my feet in and out 15 times.  That was not fun. I  thought about mentioning that I had only actually agreed to the laying down part but I didn’t want to whine (or vomit…) so I just tried to concentrate on breathing (and not vomiting).  He  made me flip over, do a plank (with my feet still in the slings) and pull my feet in and out 15 times.  At some point during those reps I wondered if I could fake my own death to get out of doing anymore.  I had to rest a couple of times but I did all 15 reps.

Finally, he said that I should pike my body up (so that my butt was up over my shoulders and my body was in a reverse V). I laughed.  Out loud.  Now, I do this move in pilates all the time but not after someone has just  tried to kill be with a 20 minute workout.  I explained to him that I didn’t think it was physically possible but that I was willing to try.  I did one that was respectable, 9 that were patheti-sad and then I just couldn’t do anymore.  He reached out his hand and I realized that he actually expected me to GET UP off the floor.  Obviously just a bad idea,  what could he be thinking?  I wanted to be proud and get up on my own, then I looked down and observed that my legs were actually shaking.   So I let him take my hand and thanked all the gods that he was a power lifter.   I got to my feet in a manner much less graceful than befits a dancer and barely made it to my car.

It. Was. Awesome. I asked him how I had done (I have a need to be above average at everything – it’s a personality flaw) and he graciously said that I had done well.  I was a little sore the rest of that day.   I was  SORE on Wednesday (sore enough that I had friends doing things for me so that I could sit) and am still just a little sore today. I noticed flexibility gains immediately and am now only about an inch away from doing my splits.  This is the biggest flexibility gain I’ve ever seen in this short of a time (I was about 3 inches away before the workout).  I’m going back Tuesday. I immediately called my oldest friend and told him to do it and now he is hooked as well.

If you are in Austin you can check them out in real life at  The first workout is free!  I highly recommend Mark Rogers, you can tell him that Ragen sent you and he’ll be extra nice (or extra mean).

Cool New Body Positive Newsletter

In a continuing effort to create a world chock full ‘o people who love and appreciate their bodies, my dance company has created the Body Positive Newsletter.  It contains happy news news, profiles of people in the body positive movement, and other cool stuff that comes along.

Subscribing is super easy, just go to and sign up.  (If you decide it’s not for you, it’s just as easy to unsubscribe).

We are all super excited about this so if you wanted to repost this to your journal, tweet it, facebook it, or tell your friends about it, that would be totally and completely awesome.

Have an awesome Body Positive Day!

Efficient Exercise

So, I recently heard about “efficient exercise” from a friend of mine.  The idea is that you work out twice a week for 30 minutes.  I don’t want to get too into the claims now since I haven’t had a session yet.  I did go to the website for the gym my friend referred me to in Austin ( and filled out their form for a free workout and “physical examination”.  I didn’t know what that meant so in the box that said “How can we help you” I typed:

“I was referred by D…K….  I am a competive dancer and athlete. I am intrigued by your concept and I’d like to give it a try.  The closest location to me is Rosedale. I am a fat athlete and my goals are improving strength, stamina and flexibility, not weight loss.  I will require being paired with a trainer who is happy to work with me in that way.  (For instance, we won’t be discussing weight loss in my sessions and I am not interested in being weighed or body fat tested at any point.)  As long as that works for you I will look forward to hearing back from you and am jazzed about giving this a try!”

Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how it goes!