the porridge is never just right

I can’t seem to get my body just right. Not for me… for my mother. Not in a my-mom-puts-me-down-and-makes-me-feel-bad-about-myself way, but more of a my-mom-is-always-worried-about-me-and-I-don’t-know-what-to-do sorta thing.

Honestly, I’m quite happy with my body right now. After years of being mocked in high school, I’ve accepted and have even come to love my towering height of 5 feet. I like having iddy biddy feet that would make me super hot in China. There are even parts of me that I’m rather vain about and will openly boast about if I know you well enough.

I won’t turn this into a woman-whines-over-her-body post because that’s boring. You don’t want to hear about it, I don’t want to write about it. I mean sure, there are parts of me I’d like to change… I’d swap my three mini-rolls and “muffin top” for flat abs any day, and I’d like to find jeans where I don’t have to do a butt-jig to tug over my “baby bearing” hips, but that ain’t happenin’.

The truth is, about a year and a half ago, I was the heaviest I’d ever been. Looking at pictures I laugh at how… round… my face is, and how… robust… my hips are and how… massive my chest is. Sometimes my sister and I talk about it, I refer to it as my “chubby” phase, but just the other day my sister so gently informed me that I was plain and simple fat.


Since then, I’ve lost a lot of weight. I came down to my “normal” body size and was cruising along just fine with the “cushioning” I had around my mid-section. Even without a beach body I was happy to just not be what I was at my heaviest. (I’ll admit it, I prefer to be thinner.)

As of the last few weeks I’ve lost even more weight (thanks to being massively sickly and having my body reject most intake of food) and am now bordering on “skinny”. I cringe at that word because I’m not skinny, I’m normal, but the fatty lining has decreased, my love handles (which I often called my “like” handles) actually give me more of a curve (one that is desirable). Just the other day, I was looking at my shadow and was surprised at how defined my contour was. Like… it went in at my waist and out at my hips!… as cliché as it is, I think I almost looked “hourglass” shaped.

Anyways, point being, when I was on the “healthier” side of life I would hear comments from my mother like, “You look better in pants, dresses make you look fat,” which was the truth, so I stored my dresses away and squeezed into almost-too-tight jeans. More than once I had her raise an eyebrow at the generous portion on my plate to have her state, “Sure, eat that now… see where it goes,” and then I’d shuffle back to the kitchen and scrape off a serving.

Allow me to say, my mother is not a cold-hearted woman. She’s just super honest and blunt (we wonder where I get it from) and she has no problem speaking what is on her mind. I adore my mother and her opinion matters to me, she’s just not one to sugar coat things and I appreciate it and mimic her in that regard.

Lately though, her comments have done a 180. “Are you trying to kill yourself?” is a line I’ve heard more than once when I can’t digest everything in front of me because after not being able to eat for two weeks my stomach might have shrunk a tad bit. “Please eat, naw-bhayee timi dhhalla” she says worried that I’ll faint. Just last night I was picking out a sari for a wedding I might be going to on Monday, the last time I wore a sari I wore one of my mom’s blouses but this time her’s were too big. Oddly enough, one that had been fitted for my sister (who is teeeeeeny) actually fit me. I was surprised. And then came the comment, “Timro jew ta eetru bhako cha”, (“Your body has become puny”) which I honestly took as a compliment.

I’ll be even more honest and confess that I am overjoyed with the recent weight loss. It makes me feel more confident and when my man puts his arm around me, I’m glad he doesn’t have a side-shelf several inches thick to stretch his fingers around. It’s nice to have to do less of a jig to get into pants, and it’s really strange having my previously “fitting” jeans be a little loose on my thighs. I even found jeans that FIT which is quite the feat because the last time I found jeans I liked might have been…never.

Regardless of how I feel about my body, my mother seems to find fault. Too fat. Too skinny. The porridge is too hot, or it’s too cold (I almost feel a little bad for Goldilocks). She even told my sister she’s worried about me and thinks I might be dieting… which is a laugh riot because I’m more likely to join a nude colony than I am to diet.

So here we are… end of my post… I feel like I should have some conclusion, but I don’t… what’s the big deal with a woman’s body anyways? My man, in his infinite wisdom, has phrased it so well, using my full name he says, “You will never be a size zero,” (I tried to protest… “If I worked out…” but he cuts me off, “No. You will never be a size zero.”) Chances are, when I get my full health back, along with my deceiving-for-my-size appetite, the kilograms and pounds will find their way back onto my bones, and I’m curious about what my mother will have to say. Either way, I guess it doesn’t really matter, I’m still happy with being the less than perfect me.


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