It’s creeping back. Hard like dough, not like when first made but after it’s been sitting under a towel for a time rising. Before you punch it back down. The belly.
It’s keeping me out of the five pairs of smaller size dark wash jeans and into the larger two pairs fast becoming more and more faded from the wash. Leggings and tunics hide wonders, but underpants that ride down over the hump or cut in at the edges serve as a reminder that the vanilla Absolut over ice (like I’m sipping now) and Rudi baguettes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, Murray River flaked (and light as a damn snowflake) salt and fresh cracked pepper that I snack on like popcorn aren't doing me any favors.
Luckily I kept few clothes from my formerly fat(ter) life, given to Goodwill, tossed in the dumpster or folded into boxes in my basement (too large to wear, even now, praise be.) I don’t fit into women’s sizes ("The Scarlet W"), Lane Bryant and Torrid fashions cut with droopy shoulder seams and too high rises.
But damn if I’m not fat.
I could make a list of the why. The relationship, the one who heartily devours both food and me, injuries that have interfered with a regular gym schedule, the pills and the potions and the doctors and the white wine instead of red. And the bourbon. Oh, god almighty-Jesus-Mary-and-Joseph the good bourbon.
Oddly it's the fat person who'll feel most welcome and wholly accepted at the gym. I’m serious pudgies. For years I too was intimidated by the boys with large quads and small packages and overly tan girls with asses you could eat lunch off of. But I've found some of the most respected and encouraged folks sweating it out are the big ones. There’s little to no (zero-nada) stink eye or sideways glances. If anything there's an appreciation about taking charge of one's health. Doing it. Doing something. There are plenty of skinny fat folks wandering around, but the bitches who earn my respect have biceps. Nothing comes naturally – especially health – and committing to a workout regime is balls hard work, for the fittest and the fattest.
Cross my heart and jiggley thighs.
Ran into the fitness director morning, a tiny former dancer and cheerleader from somewhere in Cali where that kind of thing equals celebrity, so slim a large man could palm her entire waist. She always remembers my name. Told her I’d been a bit absent mostly due to the crack in my hip and an intense, bone snapping fear of anything jumpy. She reassured me, told me to come to class and we’ll modify. Amazing people teach at my gym, like my spinning coach who likes when I call her Chrissy (Christy to everyone else). She’s certified, trained by Schwinn and just launched a web site that marries music and cycling drills to keep it interesting and challenging. I attempt (and succeed) in pacing her every stroke, every rotation of the heavy silver bike wheel. I do the same with her husband when he comes to class. Good folk both, solid and all-American. They must have a chocolate lab at home.
So don’t fear flabbies. I’ve re-committed to cardio, 5-6 days a week and as many steams afterwords as is healthy. But damn if I can’t quit the crostini’s. And the drink. It’s just bread, right? And wine. It's like god’s diet.