my paunch.

It first became apparent that it was what it was – a paunch, and not period-related bloating- around November, and I did have a minor panic attack because I had two weddings to attend in December and a dress to fit into. And it also became apparent that mild dieting (i.e. cutting out chocolate after dinner and exercise which is all I’m capable of) was not going undo the excesses of our birthday month plus the adoption of the two-samosas-at-teatime and kebab roll at lunch tradition.

Yes, the above had become a thing since a kebab franchise opened an outlet at the uni, and it was like manna from heaven, because the food on campus sucks . The only tolerable food to be found is way across campus, and so the arrival of a desi food option right at my doorstep was too much to resist and for a good month or so, it was biryani or roll for lunch and quite often if I’m honest, samosas for tea. Until I realized that it was showing quite obviously on my belly. Once period-related bloating was ruled out as an explanation, I briefly considered that I might have ovarian cancer, but seeing as I had been eating a lot of fatty food, I think I figured I needed to just face that it was my own gluttony to blame.

For the  weddings, I briefly considered wearing spanx, and even bought a pair of slimming underwear (unfortunately, I bought a cheapie one from a roadside stall manned by Chinese grannies, don’t ask. And it turned out it was small for me. That’s what you get for being delusional and not buying the large size when in China). However, my brief trial of said underwear in which my girdle actually looked like a sausage or a pair thereof convinced me that having my middle squeezed in the service of fashion was not for me. While I wanted to look nice at the wedding, I also wanted to eat at the wedding, because, well, the buffet.

So instead of investing in more expensive spanx that I would probably not wear, I bought a new dress that while not exactly hiding all the bulges made them look tolerable. My other dress option was A-line and fluid, therefore buffet friendly. I am pleased to report that I got lots of compliments and for photos I had Mimi stand in front of me covering my middle, just to be extra sure.

I was counting on falling sick after India and losing the paunch but unfortunately fortunately that did not happen (the falling sick that is). I’ve been exercising since, and I’ve cut the kebab stuff out of my lunch plan (sob!) but the paunch remains.

I’m now on the verge of making my peace with it. Instead of being constantly conscious of it and trying to suck it in at odd moments, or nitpick through my wardrobe for tops that might hide it, I am just going to let.it.go. And if the odd person in the MTR gives me their seat thinking I am pregnant, I will graciously accept in lieu of those many times when I was indeed pregnant and noone gave me their seat.

ETA: Okay, I started feeling twinges in my back and realised I cannot let the paunch get out of control because I cannot deal with the physiological effects of it. I am actually exercising, so hopefully it will stay at little poochie level.

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