Hey there, buddy. You’re probably wondering why I asked you here today. Two reasons: 1) We need to talk. 2) You’re physically attached to my person; wherever I go, you go. You didn’t have much say in the matter.
So listen. You and I have been chummy for a while. Why, I even remember when we got acquainted! My close friends Pizza Rolls and Mt. Dew threw a party that lasted for pretty much the entirety of high school and college. Pizza Rolls, sweaty and breathing heavily, introduced us. “Katie, this is Belly Fat! Belly Fat, Katie. Y’all are gonna be tight as fuck, whether you like it or not.” Mt. Dew hollered at us from the kitchen. “DUUUUDE, Belly Fat is my BROOOOO!!” Then he did a sick kickback on his skateboard or something.
Point is, we go way back, you and me. But I think it’s time we reevaluate our relationship a little. I realize that the legal parameters of squatting rights aren’t a specialty of mine, and it’s perfectly possible that your having chilled at my middle section for the better part of ten years probably gives you some rights as a legal tenant. But that doesn’t mean you have my permission to invite your friends, Muffin Top, Fat Roll, and Chunky McWaistChubbers O’FlopFlops. They showed up around my 27th birthday and have refused to leave since.
Granted, it’s not like I’ve worked real hard to get them to go away. Case in point, the following is a transcript from the last time I voluntarily went to the gym:
Hhhhnnnnnnnnnnnnnng. No. No no no no no no no. Ooooow. OOOOOOOWCH. Ooooooowie it hurts whyyyyyyy why am I doing this to myself this is abuse! This is self-abuse! Someone should call Adult Protective Services on me on my behalf! I didn’t emerge at the back end of millions of years of human evolution to have to TAKE CARE OF MYSELF and WATCH WHAT I EAT and CONTROL MY PORTIONS like some sort of…well actually I guess those are pretty unique to humans but WHATEVER STILL I FUCKING HATE THIS WHYYYYYY.
And that’s before I’ve even left the house.
You’re like this weird conjoined twin that nobody else claims to notice but who screams in my ear pretty much constantly, just to remind me you’re there. HELLO HI. YES, HELLO. YOUR BELLY HERE. JUST SAYIN’ HI, LIKE USUAL. HOW ARE YOUR PANTS FITTING THESE DAYS, NOT GREAT? HAHAHAHAHA YEAH I KNOW. SORRY JUST A BIT OF BELLY HUMOR, DON’T MIND ME I’LL JUST BE HERE FOREVER BECAUSE YOU’RE A LAZY BASTARD.
On the one hand, I want to just learn to own you. I want to learn to accept the fact that I’m a woman in her late 20s who loves loves loves eating food and also it’s pretty normal for fat to just start to show up in that area in anticipation of future fetuses that may never happen, like prepping a five star hotel room years in advance for guests who might not show up. On the other hand, I’ve sort of let you consume my life and sometimes I’ll just stare at you in the mirror after I get out of the shower and try to imagine which fruit I most resemble. I don’t have the hips to be a pear, I’m not round enough to be an apple, and my hair’s not pokey enough to be a pineapple. I’m more like a skinny mango. I cannot but marvel at how disproportionate you are to the rest of my person; long legs, thin arms, small boobs, slender neck…I have as logical of body proportions as Spongebob Squarepants.
The one force keeping me from coming to terms with you is every single other person in my life. “Nooooo, you don’t have a fat belly! That’s ridiculous!” they say, unconvincingly, as my stomach brushes their arm while we have casual conversation. “But you’re so skinny!” they argue (which is mostly true), ignoring the mound atop which I am gingerly resting my plate of chicken wings while I tear into them like I’m a velociraptor and they’re some terrified children trying to hide from me in the kitchen. I SEE YOU, TERRIFIED CHILD. IN THE REFLECTION OF THAT CHROME CUPBOARD. THIS IS WHAT YOUR GRANDFATHER GETS FOR PLAYING GOD.
My point is, I’m not trying to be self-deprecating here. I mean, I’ve got a pretty level sense of self-awareness. I am fucking awesome at quoting The Emperor’s New Groove. I can say the alphabet backwards as quickly as I can say it forward. I can belch on command. The fact that I’m aware of my built-in flotation device doesn’t mean I have some misplaced body dysmorphic issues, it means I know my body. Telling me I’m wrong, or I’m seeing things, or I’m exaggerating, means you think the way I see myself isn’t as important as the way others see me. But it is, because I’m the only person whose opinion matters. Sometimes I just wanna hug my middle and whisper it’s ok, baby. I see you. I know you’re real like it’s my own personal chubby unicorn.
I’m not even really sure what I’m getting at. Just think of it like this: you’re dead weight like a 30 year old kid who won’t move out of the house. I love you, you’re a part of me, and I’ve probably put more time and energy into cultivating you than I have into any one of my college degrees. So I’m just gonna need you to decide for yourself that it’s time to go, because I don’t have the heart to ask. And by “I don’t have the heart” I mean “I’m a lazy bastard” in case I hadn’t already made that abundantly clear.
XOXO, your host body,
–Katie Sisneros‘s mother freely admits she has a poochy belly, which Katie appreciates.