A Woman Ponders Her Fat Rolls on Thanksgiving Eve

Mmm... hot cloverleaf rolls
Mmm… hot cloverleaf rolls (Photo credit: jeffreyw)

Dear Fat Rolls:

It seems only right that I would acknowledge you on the day before your holiday. I am conscious of your presence with every rise and fall of my breath. Yours is a landscape I view often, but never admire. Jill Scott once said that there is power in these rolling hills, but in you, my fat rolls, I have only found shame and defeat. I cannot eat my way out of this feeling.

It is a cruel joke that we women call you cute, appetizing things to disguise our misgivings about your existence. It is not fat, but a muffin top bulging over the constricting wrap of denim fabric. We peel jeans off slowly like the delicious prelude to eating a cupcake. We call them love handles, when love often has nothing to do with it. Even the less flattering word, rolls, conjures up that sweet King’s Hawaiian bread; I should invite someone to spread butter on me and nibble. But I do not feel appetizing, I feel lumpy, like poorly beaten gravy poured over chunky mashed potatoes.

Homemade Dinner Rolls
Bread is the stuffing of gods. (Photo credit: dmachiavello)

I pinch myself where I am thick and yeasty. Take forefinger and thumb, grab flesh and tug to see what new terrain you have spawned on me. I hope for pregnancy and PMS in the same bloated moment. Some days, I wonder why I am holding my tummy in when there is no one but us. And I realize that I am uncomfortable with the swell of the hills on my body, so much so that I cannot be myself with myself. This, then, is the battle of the bulge: self-acceptance.

I can chart your growth like the menu for a tailgate. Rounder left flank? Gotta be those buy one-get one free Klondike bars. The soft fold on my belly when I sit up is all potato chips and salsa. The jiggle in my thighs is frozen pizza, and that lump of back cushion is a double Checkerburger with cheese.

And tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I will no doubt add curves to my body where hills were once plains. But I am thankful for this body, as imperfect as it is. It has carried me 31 years and it carried a baby for 10 months. It deserves more respect than I afford it.

Although I have claimed myself to reject society’s standards of beauty, fat rolls, you challenge me to walk upright even knowing I am pudgy. Loving yourself is easy when you fit in; this roundness places me squarely outside my comfort zone. I am forced to ask myself, Why did you maniacally eat healthy when pregnant and nursing, but abandon veggies after weaning the baby? I cannot forget to baby my own body while mothering.

Fat rolls, you are my overflow, the softness pillowing my walk through life; funny how cushion is deemed beneficial everywhere except on bodies.

I can’t go ruining Thanksgiving apologizing for each bite. Everyone knows that eating sweet potato pie with a dollop of recriminations causes indigestion. I promise, right after this holiday, I can and will do better. Exercise, healthy eating, appropriate bed times that allow for more than four hours of sleep.

But more importantly, I will butter my fat rolls. I will tell them they look delicious whether they swell or shrink. I will nibble away at my own shameful habits and bloated expectations about what my body, this body, should look like. Because the only thing that truly feels unattractive on a woman’s body is her own shame.

P.S. And if anyone would pshaw your existence on me, I caution them to read my defense of petite women’s body issues.

in love and war,

8 thoughts on “A Woman Ponders Her Fat Rolls on Thanksgiving Eve

  1. I am on your side..found a recipe that makes only 8 rolls..guilt factor gone..got my roll grub on all Thansgiving weekend!

  2. Fantastic post, but don’t ever apologise or feel guilty for your body! I would say that the worst bit of putting on weight is feeling sluggish if you have been eating too many bad carbs and some gentle exercise and more veggies might help.. but don’t change your body if you are comfortable with it – just buy bigger jeans! And Christmas/Thanksgiving is not a time to be thinking about losing weight! haha x

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