the health food addict

Chapter 1 - done

Rykers’ Fitness Center stood before Alex and Candace as they looked on begrudgingly; neither of them wanted to be there. It was their parents' idea, they thought the kids were showing "signs" of the Freshman 15. Despite them being slender, their first year in college was already requiring them to sit for most of the day and the food wasn't helping.

The siblings, annoyed by their parents' persistence, had no choice but to go since their memberships were already accepted. They thought the name of the place indicated it would be for insanely obsessed exercise-lovers who worked out 24/7 and pretentious fitness nuts and neither didn't want to be in an environment like that. Once inside, however, they were mildly shocked to see a surprisingly less intimidating sight.

The place consisted of many people from all walks of life in the lobby and various rooms. Families, hobbyist bodybuilders, teens, and the elderly were busy running the treadmills, lifting weights, or playing with the yoga balls. It gave off a roomy, cozy atmosphere that welcomed the siblings warmly. The kids lightened up and smiled a bit when seeing the microcosm of patrons engaging in physical activities, combating the daily ills of health problems, or just beating out the plain old sedentary lifestyle. This made the twins feel right at home.

An employee approached them. “You must be the Perkins twins. I'm Derek. I'll take you to your personal trainer.”

“Thanks.” the kids said in unison and followed the man. They entered another room in the gym.

“Yesenia, here are the two new gym recruits.”

“Alright, I'm coming out.” called out a woman from a booth. She had a bun in her black hair, wearing a training tank top and black sports shorts. What had the kids’ attention was that their new trainer was someone entirely out of place in a fitness center but somehow made it their second home, the other being a burger joint.

Sure, the kids saw plenty of overweight customers coming here to shed the girth off or at least keep their well-being in check, but this was something different. Yesenia was hefty. Borderline morbidly obese. Her legs were round but also had subtle outlines of tonnage and muscularity, with little traces of cellulite. Her arms were another story, they were definitely more muscular out of any part of her figure.

“Wow.” That was only the word Candace could say right now.

Yesenia smiled, “Surprised? I'm not the only big person out there who actually loves fitness, at least voluntarily. Hopefully.”

“Can we start now?” Alex asked sleepily.

“That's why I'm here son. Let's start out a warmup with some stretches.”

The students stretched their limbs, Alex was almost startled that he hadn't stretched or loosened his muscles today and it felt good as his body finally started to wake up. Then he and Candace got onto the treadmill and started exercising. They started slow, the first six minutes went well and almost felt relaxing but after that, the effects of the sedentary lifestyle and college life caught up with them. They stopped running after twenty minutes and hopped off the treadmill to catch their breath.

“Wow…. Looks like we haven't moved around a lot than we should have…. My legs are already hurting as if I just ran a mini-marathon.” Candace said.

The trainer said, “Oh dear. I probably should have told you two to try the recumbent rowers if we were going to have this little setback.”

“We'll keep that in mind. Thanks, Yesenia,” said Alex.

“Before you kids continue, you need to get some fuel for the rest of the day. Follow me.” the plump trainer said.

The kids joined Yesenia at one of the tables in the break room where there was a small kitchen. Candace said, “I know I did fine in PE during high school … but this isn't high school anymore. We've only been in college since last August and now we've been reduced to this.”

Yesenia said, “Yeah, college can be pretty sedentary, but as long you're close or able to do anything to keep yourselves active, it's all good. Believe me, I see students get attacked by the Freshman 15 all the time, and I seen more than fifteen pounds packed on them. I feel sorry they never get to train with me.”

Alex raised an eyebrow, “Why's that?”

Yesenia tossed the kids a few cold water bottles and they found it to be a very delicious smoothie.

“Whoa! What is this?” Candace asked while taking a sip.

“Apple and kale. With a hint of orange juice and beet extract. For someone like me, I need to make my food healthy and nutrient-enriched as possible,” the trainer said as she slurped down the smoothie, “Okay, make that more of a want.” She then took out a bag of homemade strawberry granola bars and munched on them almost absentmindedly.

The kids chuckled while watching the woman drinking the whole beverage like it was just water. They continued drinking the smoothie and it worked its way to refresh their bodies and bellies. They almost felt more confident to go back on the treadmill and run again!

“This is pretty good, I'll admit. Our mom can't make smoothies this good.” Alex said as he finished his.

“You two ready to go back on the equipment?”

They nodded.

And so the twins resumed their session with trying out the recumbent rowers and by Yesenia’s recommendation, it was definitely easier on their legs and they spent the half hour. She said that the treadmills would be off-limits until Alex and Candace were comfortable and strong enough to run more. Or least using them in small intervals until then.

“Kids, you wanna see me run?”

They nodded, both thinking this should be interesting.

Yesenia stepped the treadmill and dialed to twenty miles per hour. Surprised and intrigued, the siblings watched as the heavy woman stepped on it and started running. She ran. And she ran relatively fast for someone her size. Someone like her but less active wouldn't last a minute or two without wheezing while catching their breath and sweating a waterfall. The most amazing thing was that her body wasn't as jiggly… because she hardly had any rolls to move with! They really saw how well-toned and built she truly was under all that bulk. To their surprise, she picked up the speed, and she didn't look tired out yet. Seeing this made Candace and Alex motivated to do more and train their bodies. At the end of the demonstration, Yesenia ran for a solid thirty-four minutes on the treadmill.

For the remainder of the day the siblings put just a tiny fraction of more effort into the workout session and along with the encouragement from Yesenia, they had probably the best fitness session so far. Yesenia's homemade blueberry granola bars and protein shakes were an excellent motivator as well.

Even though it was their first day Alex and Candace couldn't wait to come back and see the results of their upcoming exercise regimen. Seeing Yesenia being outside of the norm in the fitness community really showed them that any kind of person can be active and make the most of it in their own way.

Before heading home, the kids had a talk with the trainer about tips to stay fit and sustain good exercise habits outside of the gym, but truthfully they were mostly curious in Yesenia’s unique approach to healthy eating.

She said, “First things first, you kids must be wondering about my way of doing things. Well, I will tell you that I did indeed come from a big family with big eating habits. My mom spent everyday in the kitchen and if you already noticed I got it from her--I even volunteer in cooking classes occasionally. But despite my lifelong chubbiness, I always had the energy to walk more, run more, and be active. I even offered to do extra chores when no one else was available.”

The kids were almost amazed by this. With all detrimental stereotypes of ill health surrounding obese people, this was no doubt a refreshing change of perspective. Sure, there were big, fitness-inclined people out there, but Yesenia really seemed to take it to a whole new level. More importantly, she took pride and had a positive attitude and confidence in her physical wellness just like any other person.

“You kids like to have recipes for healthy food? Here's the link to my website, you can find it all there. It helps, a lot.” Yesenia said while giving the siblings two business cards.

“Oh, and one more thing. You kids can have this.”

Alex and Candace saw Yesenia bring out something from the fridge, a package.

“What is it?”

“It's my apple crisp. Go home and eat it all, it's delicious. I make three batches on Sundays and eat all of them after dinner. My husband always gets steamed when he only gets one plate of it.”

The image of Yesenia gorging like a pig made the kids laughed.

Then she took out a pack that contained cheeseburger sliders. Alex and Candace raised eyebrows. Yesenia smiled and said, “Yes. I am also capable of eating fatty and greasy food. It's all about moderation.”

As proof, the anecdote and evidence of sliders told Alex and Candace that despite her occupation, Yesenia was still one of those fat people, especially one who loved to indulge.
1 chapter, created 3 years , updated 3 years
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