It was casual Friday – One of my lady bosses in her early 50s came to work dressed in her brand new jeans she bought from a recent trip to the US paired with a classic white polo tee. A few of us who were all making coffee in the pantry while sharing our daily dose of grind with one another complimented her over the absolutely amazing fit of her jeans that just made her look really good.
In her usual dash of confidence, she proudly told us that her pair of jeans was actually in a 26 inches-size, something she achieved effortlessly by playing badminton twice a week.
A wh… What? 26 inches? Like, really? I don’t think I was ever anything below 28 inches, even during my college years. For years after having the kids one after the other in a span of a decade, I tell myself that being a little bit fat is a form of art. Wasn’t it not too long ago that women were deemed beautiful being a little plump? A remarkable blessing that means you actually have love in your life. I don’t even want to know what my waistline is now but at the back of my mind I suspect it has a life of its own and a motto to keep expanding happily. I even blame whoever wrote the amazing story of Eat, Pray, Love and made it into a mega bucks movie is to be blamed for my love of good food.
Heck, the last time a measuring tape actually stood a chance to get close to me was when Cheeky Koko suddenly got hold of one at the IKEA store and exclaimed in a bewildered tone in front of at least four strangers that ‘Wow, Mom, you have such a HUGE backside! Wow, (AGAIN he said, as if he was genuinely impressed) look mom, the two ends of this tape can’t even meet around your hips!’.
Any mom who survives humongous humiliations such as this totally deserves a medal. Yes, I had to hold on to one of the sales bins to make sure that I wasn’t going to pass out from this acute attack on my ego. I also did try so very desperately to hide my head under the pile of cushions on sale but then realized that all I had surrounding my pathetic state of self consciousness were a few standing IKEA mirrors which seemed to magnify my motherly curve out of its usual proportion.
The long awkward silence eventually broke when all four random, furniture-shopping strangers gave me a knowing smile as if to comfort my crushing ego that kids always say the darnest things, but then, I wasn’t so sure about the smirks at the corner of their mouths after I caught them trying to size up my hips where the tape was still being held up by my boy.
Gee, I just absolutely adore my kid’s sense of humour, inappropriately timed as it sometimes would take place. But that 26″ waist of my boss did give me a real slap in my butts along with my self-esteem. Short of making it a mandatory weekly regime for the family, I dragged a half-asleep Daddy Joe and the three not-so-enthusiastic little people into a morning walk with me at 8am one Saturday armed with a stroller and a bottle of water for the whole family.
Like a crazy marching commando, I barked out motivations and long lectures about the importance of staying fit only to be greeted with annoying complaints from two pre-teens who had everything from proverbs, music to growing pain theory to debate with me all through the whole morning and all through the hilly path.
Despite the endless bouts of complaints, the numbing ‘are we done yet?’ questions and a bucket of sweats, we got through our family walk that sunny morning just fine. I suppose the fresh air, the curious monkeys sitting on the tree branches, the gorgeous fallen leaves and troops of strong mountain bikers who kept praising our kids did help a lot.
Although the happy small set didn’t even dare to commit into a family walk again next week, the week after next and the months that follow, this mama firmly believes that her scheme to walk herself to a 26′ waist won’t be too far fetched either If she could convince herself that shopping does not count as an exercise and then really, really, really gets into walking at least once or twice a week. Watch this space for her progress after a month. 🙂