I saw myself on camera and realised I’m a tubby now.

There’s just so much softness on my body right now. It would be adorable squishy softness were I a wee babby but sadly I am a girthy 29 year old lady.

Hello everyone, good of you to come.

Now let me tell you what this isn’t. This isn’t some self-shaming, “woe is me”, I am society’s black sheep type of article where I talk about how embarrassed I am by all the junk stowed away in my trunk. But nor is it a moving, self-empowerment piece that leads to body positivity anthems playing in your head. I… I can’t write to either of those audiences.

What this is, is an exploration of the cycle of pudge growth and how quite normal it is but really also quite annoying that it keeps happening and how jeans sometimes fit but then don’t but then do and how I never see it coming and think everything is fine then I sit down to film a video like I said I would and look like a pimpled potato – nO tHe AcNe IsN’t GoNe YeT MOOM!

It’s just about that. About all *wild gesturing* that and how it exists and I experience it and if I don’t write about it, all my thoughts would continue to fester in my brain and I’d get some sort of infection. (I was going to write how it’d be like a virus growing in my mind but I have way too much tact for that #pandemictact).

The Cycle

Currently there is pudge. There is always pudge at the beginning of a year. It’s cold, Christmas has just happened, you need more tea and more croissant – there’s a whole science behind this. It’s why in the new year a common resolution is to lose the belly rolls. It’s also why Veganuary is such a cunning idea. Target the pudgy post-winter, New Year resolution crowd for your ethical, environmentally conscious leafy lifestyle. Incidentally, my fridge is currently full of vegan food.

The autumn and winter are leggings seasons for me. It’s all elasticated waistbands and stretchy polyester. Maybe some cheeky woolly socks. I have a fluffy pink robe that I wear too (more on that later). Usually, around the latter end of winter in the new year, I tentatively begin wearing trousers again. Proper ones with a zip and button that would cut into my belly a bit. I might walk around like a penguin at first but by mid-March it wouldn’t be too much of an issue. The sun would start staying behind to play after work. My mood would lift, I’d stop nesting as much and would engage in the outdoors. Spring is truly a time of rebirth.

Except last spri- No. We’re not talking about that yet.

Spring is when the pudge truly begins to recede. It first becomes a bit of plumpness. Then a rather too healthy glow before… Oh, why hello cheekbones, I didn’t know you’d be here. Where’ve you been hiding yourselves? *twirls hair around finger* I like how you… protrude. Oh is it summer already?

Then a summery song plays and jeans fit, dresses hang loose and hair flows. Sunglasses are on. Confidence is booming. Confidence is exploding. I am so happy. Oh it’s chilly today. Yay my birthday! Wait… why is it so dark? Why am I so tired? What’s happeniiiiingg?

Then I’m pudgy again.

This is the cycle.

The Complacency

Now perhaps I have removed my agency from all of this. Perhaps you’re sitting there thinking seasons do not affect caloric intake and actually it’s all just “calories in” and “calories out” and the cycle is my own dang fault.

And there is evidence to support your thinking. Last year, I obtained and consistently utilised 4 sets of pyjamas, two leggings and a new fluffy, pink robe. This is a 110% increase in cosy clothes from the year before, when I used to wear daytime t-shirts to bed. And I spent much of 2020 wearing only these items. You can use these facts to wildly speculate that I was a bit lazy and complacent about my appearance in 2020, which led to complacency in my diet and inevitable weight gain. And you’d be right. Well done you.

But I am not arguing that I’m eating the same amount of calories. I fully admit that “calories in” fluctuates and it’s my own behaviour that causes this. I can be found eating hummus straight from the pot at 2am in the winter time. I am not surprised at the weight gain. Winter is usually a time of plumpy growth due to the darkness, the exhaustion and the cold – among other reasons. I start snacking more and more from Halloween and Christmas just finishes off any restraint I had once had. And this is a yearly occurrence. It’s the chunky season.

However, in 2020… I needed comfort for a whole host of other reasons. The currently still ongoing never-ending unrelenting pandemic being the main umbrella reason and a variety of sub-reasons that descended from it; unemployment, working from home, working in the same room as the fridge, everything on the news, stress, that banana bread craze…

Then around winter I needed winter comforts as well as 2020 comforts and I got all blobby. (There are so may cute ways of saying one has gained weight. I’m just a little blobby. Awwwhh) Oh! I also had a shoulder injury at one point. I wrote about it. So that stopped me from exercising – even light yoga. And then it got better but the exercising never came back. I mean it did briefly but that was embarrassing and I won’t talk about it.

The divorce from all of society’s social pleasures also caused me to care less about my appearance. And when I did go out, I was often in a mask so really, very little of my body mattered in 2020. There was less pressure to look good, priorities shifted, my mental health suffered and sometimes my physical health and weight and other such concerns become a little secondary as I dealt with my brain telling me I am not good enough.

So yes, I was complacent but that’s okay because exceptional circumstances say it is okay. I still feel the cycle will continue and I will lose the weight, but I am particularly shocked at this round of weight gain. And if I really crunch the numbers, I don’t think I gained more weight in 2020 than 2019. I don’t actually think I’ve done much worse. But I did do a bit worse a bit more gradually. And the main issue is that I have added a new variable into the equation of my life that makes me feel worse than I ordinarily would about my complacency and the cycle of pudge.

I want to make videos.

The Video

They say the camera adds 10 pounds. And it does. It also makes you look like a potato.

Every famous person on television looks like less of a potato. Think about it. Pick a famous person you like. Now make them less potato-ey. That’s how they actually look.

And whilst I don’t want to appear a little too “woe is me,” I am struggling with it. I made peace with my weight fluctuations a while ago. I know that it goes up and down and some months I just need to be a little bit more complacent because my environment and circumstances change and sometimes a few extra croissants help me with that.

But I am struggling with it because I want to make videos and physically appear in them. And I am not naïve in saying that being above a certain weight and appearing publicly on the internet can lead to certain amounts of negativity being directed towards me… a woman. And this is why I cannot write to body positivity stuff or ‘woe is me’ stuff. I’m in the middle. I know what I say matters more than what I look like. But I also know that there are mean people online that want to see their idea of ‘normal’. And it’s less that I feel bad about myself and more that I really care what people say. Because what they say makes me feel bad about myself. Even the thought of what they might say makes me feel bad about myself.

I end up thinking about my complacency and treating it like a bad thing. But it’s not a bad thing, it’s just a thing. Just another facet of life that I am living through. And it’s easy to think about life in that way when you’re scribbling an anonymous blog online and just being a person in the world. Actually, it isn’t easy. It took time and introspection and personal growth to get to a place where I am comfortable with not being consistent all the time. But when you go public with yourself and give up your anonymity, you’re painting a bullseye on your face. You can’t be a changing inconsistent, normal person because people start to expect certain things. And I don’t know if my skin is tough enough to handle that pressure yet.

On the flipside, how will I know that until I test it? Perhaps I am soft yet my skin is strong. Like a crab.

So yeah… we went from pudge is normal to pudge is kinda my fault to pudge is halting my dreams.

That’s where I am in life. Apparently I was meant to end this post on a downer. Tune in next week when I upload a video of me crying and poking my belly blubber for 10 minutes straight.

What about you? Do you have pudge? Do you care? Should I care? Do your jeans fit?

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2 Comments

  1. Trust me! The pudge struggle be reeeeaal!! Esp the fupa after babies😭😂 Seriously with 2 kiddies trying to make me time for excersie can be so challenging, but I just try to do what I can when I can. I found the best times are now at night when they are both asleep and I can just zone out and get a quick HIIT workout in 😄 from trying to work out everyday I realised aiming for every other day works, just do whatever you can and make some mini goals!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You speak of what many people have felt this year. The rollercoaster of emotions makes it difficult to be “normal” in any sense. I’m pretty obsessive about exercising no less than 5 days a week, but even during lockdown, when walking around my apartment amounted to a little over a thousand steps, I also struggled with pudge. And I definitely cared. Do what you can with what you have where you are at, and remember that all things are temporary.

    Liked by 1 person

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