I cannot kid myself any more, sweep the glaring fact under the carpet and turn a blind eye to it.
I am, the truth be told, piling on the kilos. And I have been doing so steadily over the years, alarmingly so recently.
Forget the yesteryears where I could bare my midriff with careless abandon, and the insides of my thighs never met each other. Now, I can hardly bear to stare at the mirror, and my thighs are the best of friends, meeting all the time.
Yes, my muscle mass has gradually turned into fat. And being increasingly deficient in sleep is making things worse. Never mind that I’m starting to incorporate more exercise into my otherwise sedentary lifestyle; dancing and swimming aren’t helping that much, as far as I can see.
On several occasions, the kids have taken turns to put their hands on my tummy and asked if there is a baby inside. I would always correct them, albeit indignantly.
The final nail that sealed the undeniable fact, however, came unexpectedly.
I wore a sleeveless dress to work just the other day; a change from my usual blouse-pants ensemble. In the evening, as we were about to leave my parents’ house, I was distracted collecting all our belongings, saying goodbyes, while slipping my feet into my shoes at the door.
Suddenly, I felt a small, cool, and dry hand on my exposed arm, and a softly-spoken “MaMa”. I turn my head a little too quickly to my right, startled by the touch. It was Matthew, successfully catching my attention.
With his hand still on my arm, eyes bright with concentration, he said with 100% seriousness but none too softly, “MaMa, you’re FAT.”
At that moment, time seemed to stop existing. I could even feel my mum and sister, who were also at the door, holding their breath. Then, the world came whirling back into reality. It was surreal. There, the truth spoken plainly as it was. I took it very calmly; surprised my instinct to deny was missing, for once. That was when I knew there is no more escape. Kids speak the truth as they see it; no candy-coating nor nice packaging required.
I had to say something still, right? Deliberately putting on a sad face, I asked Matthew, “Oh dear. So what should I do?”
Matthew pondered over my question for a while, head cocked slightly to one side, as he always does when he’s thinking. Then he answered, matter of factly, “I think you shouldn’t eat so much.”
What good advice! I think I shall start following his suggestion very seriously, and hopefully it will slow down the expansion of my arms sideways.
At the same time, I think I should also start accepting that I can never regain my pre-pregnancy weight (gosh, seemed like a lifetime ago) no matter how much I fantasised about it.
And time to shop for clothes with new discerning eyes; with full sleeves, wide hips, loose at the waistline and whatever else that is effective in hiding THE figure. Oh, and value for money too. Because it will be upsized for the same price…