While I am not considered obese by any standards I am aware of, I’ve got a spare tire around my middle. It ain’t pretty. I could blame the two pregnancies I endured but that would not be completely accurate never mind fair. Lack of regular exercise and my love of craft beer and sweet treats are also to blame. I’ve grown to hate the expression “it is what it is”, but in this case it’s true. While I attempt to shrink my spare tire by doing 50 sit ups each morning, getting a walk in every day, and eating healthy 88.8% of the time, I suspect that the chance this belly fat will stay put is closer to 100%. The catch 22 is that I prefer wearing flowy, bohemian type tops for their style and comfort. However, to some who are not fashion minded, they may appear to be maternity tops.
It’s a really good thing that I no longer take myself too seriously, because it allows me to share the following stories about said belly fat.
So a few years back while working as a social worker, I was in the home of one of my clients for a visit. His (pudgy) wife was in attendance as well. After I seated myself, this wife comments that she “didn’t know I was expecting”. Awkward moment! I sat in shock and horror, and after sucking my gut in as best I could, I mumbled something to the effect of “no I am not expecting, I’m just fat”. Of course we all know that hindsight is 20/20, but…maybe I should have retorted in an innocent tone of voice “Expecting what?” At which point I presume she would have said “a baby” to which I could have replied “Why do you think I would be expecting a baby”, hence putting her on the spot so she could tell me I looked fat that day. I then could have pointed out that she in fact had a good 150 lbs on me. However, I was a professional and was/am a Christian so it’s likely best that I did not respond in this way.
Then there was the time that Hubs and I were walking on a lovely trail in the town we lived in in Wisconsin, when we walked past an older, scrawny looking man who was accompanied by what I can only assume was his wife and daughter (both overweight). After (I kid you not) we passed by them going the opposite direction, I hear this man’s voice saying “Excuse me ma’am? Are you expecting?” Again I maybe should have replied “Expecting what?” but I just turned around in shock and said “no” to which he responded “Well you look it”. I give myself credit for not immediately charging at him with raised fists, hollering something about his fat wife and daughter. Hubs thought it was hilarious. Fucker.
The most recent occasion in which I was suspected of being “with child” came more recently, during my weekly volunteer gig at a nearby food bank. I seated this middle aged hispanic woman and her husband in an office to begin the client intake process. As I sat down, the woman asked me “Is this your first?”. I was completely caught off guard yet again. For a second, as I am still a relatively new volunteer in this setting, I assumed she meant “first client”, but for clarification I responded “First client? No”, but when she said something about how she needed to be wearing her glasses at all times, it dawned on me that she thought I was pregnant. I agreed that she needed to be wearing her glasses and laughed it off. When I told Hubs this story later that day, he of course laughed his head off. Again-fucker. Then he came up with the line I should have responded with, which was “Oh, thank you for thinking I look like I’m still of child-bearing age”. Well, okay, that would have flipped things around right?
So the question I have for myself about my belly weight, is what am I going to do about it? I see several choices here: 1) Liposuction. Fact: out of my price range and I have a low pain tolerance. 2) Discontinue consumption of craft beer and chocolate. Fact: my life would be much less enjoyable if I did this. Not happening. Life is too short to deprive myself of these pleasures. 3) Wear a corset under my clothes when in public. Fact: That would be so uncomfortable, not to mention itchy. And it probably would not be healthy for my innards. 4) Suck it up and suck it in as best as I can. Especially when in public. And memorize some great comebacks if (or shall I say when) a stranger asks me when the baby is due.
I think I’ll go with choice #4. Life is to be enjoyed, not lived for other’s approval. Especially for how you look.