I don’t mind getting fat, I tell people. This is the reward I give myself for having to care so much, for so many years, about how I looked, how I dressed.

But today a man looked at me like he was checking me out, and I squirmed under his stare.

I could feel the judgment in his stare, maybe a bit of curiosity and desire, but what I wanted to believe he could see was mostly blotted out by my shame and self-loathing.

My belly. My muffin top. My round thighs. I tried to hide my self-consciousness and push it to the back of my mind, but it keeps on resurfacing, like a stubborn hunk of debris that you wish would just drift away and disintegrate, or get buried under the great weight of time.©


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