The one I swore I'd never write

My rear end jiggles like a sackful of Ultimate Fighting Champion squirrels. This is a recent development. I’d never had a twiddleable belly, until now — you know, the kind you can play with idly, the kind that Will Not Be Denied, the fleshy bounty that splooges overtop of your pants like bionic souffle. For the first time, my midsection has folds (my past, perky self chirps ewww! and I stick out my imaginary leg and trip her).

There’s no relativity more potent than the relativity of self-image. My eminently practical, non-ridiculous, nutritionally and mentally balanced dearest BFF, to me as svelte as it comes, fingers her three milimetres of pinchable junk and laments, earnestly and without a hint of falseness, about her need to get to the gym (sharks, frenzy not: read on).

I fight the urge to stick out my leg, knowing full well there are people out there who would do the same to me. And people who would do the same to them. And so on. And so on. Someone else always has it better; someone else always has it worse. We all feel like shallow twits to worry about it (exponentially more so to talk about it) but we must, learning to live with and loathe this literal and metaphorical weight, all of us so profoundly changed with pregnancy and its 'hey-where-did-all-my-MeTime-go' aftermath.

Like anyone, I’ve never been overly pleased with the sum of past parts. Typical complaints bubbled benign on a typical surface, but not enough to demystify the lunchroom antics of calorie-obsessed female colleagues as they microwaved pucks of prepared diet frankenfood laden with chemicals and petroleum by-products and teeny tiny print that read WARNING: MAY CAUSE RECTAL SEEPAGE.

The gravity of thirty-plus years, a slower metabolism, and a multiples pregnancy is a freight train of comeuppance. I’m at the top of an unforgiving slope greased slick with inactivity and excuses and stilton and devon cream sauce. If I don’t start eating less and moving more, and soon, I’ll wake up one day to realize I’m beyond what can be reversed without drastic measures.

As in: I’d have to start running without being chased. Which would be problematic for me, born as I was in the Year of the Slug. So here it starts. I want to get a handle on it when it’s relatively easy to do so, but I’m new to all this. I love food, and cooking, and exercise doesn’t come easy aside from yoga, which I’ve been absent from for a couple of years. A blank and doughy slate.

What have all of you done (or not done) to reach some degree of peace and contentment with your post-inflation selves? Countermeasures, please.