Like so many women, I never know what I’ll see in the mirror. Sometimes I catch sight of myself in a window and cringe, appalled at my own body. My belly seems to look like it did when I was seven months pregnant. Fat rolls between my breast and armpit. I shouldn’t be in this dress; I have no business in this dress. You can see a hump of fat above and below my bra. My stomach comes out as far as my breasts, and my breasts are double Gs. I’m a wreck, a mess, a mass of jiggling fat.
Other times I look and I think, I look good. My belly really isn’t that big, like my husband tells me. I don’t look pregnant. If I have some pudge near my shoulders, so what? It doesn’t look bad. I have a great ass. I have some great tits. Those Spanx sure do suck me in well. I don’t jiggle. My legs look like a pinup girl’s, especially in red shoes. If this were the Rennaissance, I’d be the hottest chick on the block.
Unfortunately, the days are usually more like the first than the second, or will be until I lose another 15 kilos. My weight has yo-yo’d ever since I had my first son, now almost seven. I’d have doctors shaking their heads at my huge pregnancy weight gain, then I’d lose it slowly over the course of a year, all but about five kilos. I even did this with my youngest son, with whom I had gestational diabetes, with whom I gained 45 kilos.
Over the course of several months, I ballooned up to 20 kilos above my normal weight. I knew I was gaining weight. I just didn’t know how much.
Now I’m stuck in a body radically different from the body I picture, radically different from the body I had, radically far from the clothes in my drawers. I gained four sizes, went from a medium to an XL. I’m perpetually startled at what doesn’t fit. The mirror shocks me. I notice new rolls on a regular basis: I chart how far the line of my belly travels, how deep the crease in my side.
I hate it. I see it and I hate it.