There are times when I don’t mind my soft, flabby belly. It happens whenever I reinvest myself in a health and fitness regimen, and I suddenly have this newfound patience with my unwanted midsection. At night I lie on my side and I run my hand over the pillowy flesh around my waistline and I regard it with something like fondness. I think of it as a transitory state. It feels so familiar, and yet I’m about to bid it goodbye. Am I almost sentimental over this belly fat? I think I am.
Soon enough, though, I become frustrated. It’s not leaving as quickly as I’d like, after all. My belly is a houseguest who has overstayed their welcome. Lying in bed, I pinch the rolls, crush them between my fingers. I imagine them dissolving under my unfriendly touch. My body feels like something I’m wearing, rather than something I am. The sensation of touching my skin creates jeering little surges of self-loathing. Lazy slob. Pig.
It’s ridiculous and unhelpful and I know it. Will you stop, I think. Meanwhile, my belly is exactly the same. Or maybe it’s ever so slightly smaller, or slightly bigger. So many miles of headspace over so few inches.