We’d just gone through a couple of UK winters, my stomach and I and they were cold ones. So we enjoyed roast dinners, hot chips, goose fat, gammon and alcohol, like you do in winter!
But, no matter what we did (exercising), we still managed to get the almighty Heathrow Injection.
So, after these long winters, on travelling back to Australia via the Philippines, we happened to visit my grandmother.
Me: “Hi Amah” That’s what I call her. She’s on the Chinese side of the family. I hadn’t seen her for 11 years or more.
Amah: “OH MY GOD! WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR STOMACH?!?”
LOL. Yup, those were her first words to me after 11+ years. No, she didn’t see me or acknowledge the fact that we hadn’t seen each other for years… No time for hellos… all she saw was my stomach and she greeted it with mouth gaped and eyes widened in shock and horror.
My grandma’s hilarious like that. She does make me laugh. Bless her. She comes out with some real gems!
I didn’t mind. In fact, I understood her perturbed reaction to meeting my stomach after all those years and wondered why I hadn’t expected such a greeting. My grandma was afterall, a woman who had an 18″ waist through most of her adult life and maintained having a 24″ waist after bearing 7 children! Unfortunately, I didn’t get those genes and at the time was at my heaviest, looking like I was carrying a spare tyre. In the case of an emergency, no need for running, I could have just dropped and rolled.
When we went out to the mall, my grandma would point out every round person there was and say “Look at that… that’ll be you if you’re not careful”. She was right.
It took a while to sink in though because even though I knew I needed to get my stomach back in shape, I would instead protect it.
You see, me and my stomach are best friends – we love “hanging out” all the time!
She’s my emotional centre, my emotional core. Only she knows what I’m feeling all the time without me having to explain. Sometimes she knows what I’m feeling before I do!
And when I feel down, she’s right there with me on the ice cream, cake, sugar and high fat food binge eating. She even stores some of that for a rainy day. When I’m in love, she flutters, when I’m afraid, she tightens up and when I’m sad, she feels empty and helps me curl up into a ball.
She really is an awesome friend and very comforting at that so to protect her and let her know that I accepted her no matter what, I covered her up and just got her bigger clothes so she’d feel comfortable.
As a friend, I didn’t want her to feel bad or to punish her by binding and suffocating her in a really tight corset and sleeping in that every night, perhaps breaking a few ribs. I didn’t want to starve her by becoming Breatharian but what I ended up doing was enabling her to be pudgy and it was because I liked just hanging out too. That’s not the sign of a good friend.
So now I’m saying goodbye to the cute, cuddly, soft and pudgy friendship we’ve got going on..
..and telling my stomach to”harden the f*ck up”.
One of my favourite yoga teachers said to someone the other day. “I don’t know what you’re eating or doing but whatever it is you have to change it because your stomach is just sitting there like a dead animal!” He’s right.
With his and my grandmother’s words reverberating in my mind, me and my stomach are now going for a bit of hard slog. And just to make sure it gets done, crop tops and shorts are the new uniform in the yoga room.
Oh… it might take time but it WILL be done! And it WILL be glorious!