A few days ago, I was running to catch a bus back home after a long afternoon of running errands. Because it was rush hour, the bus was full and felt more and more like a clown car as it seemed to stop at every single stop and allowed more and more people on. The heat combined with the increasing number of bodies on the bus was overwhelming. I felt sweat accumulating on my brow and upper lip and wiped it off with one hand while I grabbed on to a pole on the bus to attempt to keep my balance.
Because South America has currently been experiencing suffocating hot summer weather, I was wearing one of my favorite dresses – a black and gray striped A-line cotton dress that I had purchased back in the United States during my last trip. I allowed my mind to drift of and daydream, pondering something deep that I can no longer remember, until I abruptly snapped back to reality when I felt a blunt tap on my arm.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” said a woman in Spanish, who appeared to be about 60 years of age. “I didn’t notice you there. Please! Sit!”
For a split second I was confused and tried to register the situation. I didn’t understand. Why was this older woman offering me her seat when it was so obvious that she needed it and that I was just fine? Why was she…?
Oh my God. She thinks I’m pregnant.
I swallowed hard and tried to regain my composure. “No, no, thank you so much! I am fine standing, it’s no problem at all,” I told her with a sincere smile.
“No, no, no! You must sit!”
“No, I promise that I am fine, it’s really not necessary!” I protested.
“Sit DOWN!” she insisted, tugging at my arm. People were starting to look in my direction, offering me reassuring smiles. What else could I do? I simply didn’t have the heart to embarrass both of us in that moment and tell the dear woman that I was not with child, just with hamburger.
I finally thanked the women and sheepishly took a seat. I proceeded to look at the ground for the remainder of the bus ride, my face burning with a combination of the unbearable summer heat and shame.
Ugh. Is my stomach really that bad? Does it really look like I’m big enough to falsely convince people that I am seven months pregnant with triplets? So I took a selfie to see for myself (below). My very first impression? “Yikes.”
I know that I’ve fallen off the fitness wagon (and exercise bike) more times than I care to admit. I know that I could have done more with my exercise regimen during my summer vacation to get back in shape. I also know that, with a BMI of more than 40, I am not even just overweight. I am obese, plain and simple. Damn. I scarcely recognize myself anymore 🙁
It’s a fact that causes me shame that it’s gotten to this point, that it really is starting to take its toll on me in many ways. I guess it’s time to get back on the wagon, back on the treadmill, and try yet again to get this whole thing under control. What else can I do, but to try to continue marching forward?
But until then, I think it’s time to stand up straighter, stomach in, shoulders back, and to retire that A-line dress.