Gretchen Anthony
MeAndMary.jpg

Essays

Hmm, This Belly Wasn't Here Yesterday

Yeah, I'm gonna talk about feeling fat. 

Okay, not feeling. Being. I got fat. For realsies. My BMI told me so. It said, “Hey Gretchen, you weigh a whole lot of pounds.” Then it handed me a tissue. 

Now, friends, don't do that. Don't tsk-tsk and assure me that I look great and I've got height on my side and you've never thought of me as heavy. I appreciate the sentiment but I don't want to be the cause of your lies. 

I. got. fat. 

Good. Now that's out of the way we can have a real conversation.

I knew this day was coming. My grandmother got fat and, as I've written before, I’m her genetic reincarnation (minus the musical skill but plus the ability to cook a whole meal without breaking down crying). 

Also, I love three things: food + television + my couch. I was never a big fan of math, but that's one equation I understand. The day I realized I had a knack for pairing wine with cable news personalities, there was no longer any doubt in my mind; I was headed for trouble. 

So I'm flabby. Now what? And even more to the point, why am I going public about it?  

For starters, this probably isn’t news to anyone. In fact, I think I may be the last person to notice. My profile may have even kick-started a few diets. Reading this, at least you know we’re square. 

Oh, stop cringing. I’m alright. Don’t freak out and text me with platitudes and rainbow emojis.

As for going public, I think it comes down to a renewed promise to myself to write honestly. I could have written today about our lovely 4th of July weekend with friends (it was perfect) or how it feels to leave a list of jobs for my boys and have it completed by the time I come home (is “amazing” a feeling?). But that's not what currently occupies my mind. 

In the end, I don’t exactly know why I’m writing about my waistline. Maybe this confessional is simply necessary, a step in the process of whatever comes next. I don’t know, but you’re still reading, and I'm still typing.

Even more than fat, I feel mortal. Everyone's body changes with time, but I want time to quit taking my body out back and beating it up. I want time to slow down, it’s always in such a hurry. Right now — today — life is ideal. The boys are at their perfect ages. I love my work. I live an enviable life. I don’t want any of it to change.

The philosopher in me then asks, “Would you rather live a happy life at your current weight, or change your body and accept whatever else comes with it?”

Alright, alright. I know. We agree. The choice is obvious. I need to stand up, give the philosopher a roundhouse to the head, then put a few more steps on my Fitbit by walking to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine before heading back to the couch. I mean, seriously, have you been watching the news? The world has gone bananas (which my dietician says are very high in sugar).