Rub and Repeat
Aside from the fact that I’m a plus-sized person, I really don’t have a lot of body image issues. The only issues I ever had involved my body not looking masculine enough for my liking, preventing me from pulling off wearing men’s pants, or rock a short haircut. See, my body type is somewhere in between an adult version of a cherub (sans wings) and Buddha. It’s round in all places that could be round – round face, round tummy, round butt. My belly is most Buddha-like, as I’m kind of built like a beer-drinking 40 year old man. I’ve had this belly since I was about 10 years old (despite my mother telling me that my baby fat would go away), and have learned to accept that it’s just a part of who I am. I keep it hidden, though, under baggy sweaters, and constant double layers – t-shirts under t-shirts, and so forth. Something it always tucked in to prevent its escaping and showing itself to the world.
We’ve had some speculation as to what will happen when I start to show. I joke that it’s like a jack-o-lantern, that the baby will just hollow out a spot and settle right in the ready-made space. I fortunately (and sometimes unfortunately) don’t have any kind of “lady chub” – can we call it that? I always wanted lady chub, though, so that I could fill out my plus-sized pants, instead of needing the waistband to be big enough, but then leaving this huge pouch of fabric under my belt, but before my legs. Instead, my belt falls under my belly. But try to get a belt under your belly, but then have enough ass room to cover a rotund backside. It is challenging, to say the least. But nothing that’s different than any pants-related struggle I’ve been having for 22 years. I’ve also wanted bigger boobs (I know, counter-intuitive to the masculine sentence from above), if only to fill out plus-sized shirts. As a B/C cup on a good day (and now in pregnancy, a steady D cup – woo!), sporting a plus-sized shirt needed to accommodate a sizable belly always assumed you had a sizable chest. Not so, Lane Bryant – take note, por favor.
Back to belly talk – it’s not like I’m panicking about the impending body changes, but much like thin ladies have come to be used to and love their washbord abs, I secretly love my round, smooth, white-as-snow-since-it’s-never-seen-the-daylight belly. As does my wife. So when we started talking about *gasp* inevitable stretch marks, my wife researched and found a recipe for a magical belly rub. Over the weekend, she whipped up a batch and every night before bed, she diligently slathers my belly (along with other non-belly stretch mark-prone areas) with the chocolate-smelling concoction. This has been a delightful way to connect in a quiet and comforting way, while preparing my skin for some wear and tear, and observing the small but noticeable changes that are already occurring. It’s become my favorite part of the day. My wife has vowed to keep this up for six more months, which is awful generous. She also took me out for the best BBQ lunch this past weekend – I couldn’t be luckier.