Pandemic or Menopause?

I was six years old when my mother taught me to suck in my stomach.

Well, she didn’t so much teach me as just tell me.

And I can’t be real certain about the age at which this happened.

Or the way in which she said it.

Or even if it ever actually happened at all.

As I’ve already explained in previous posts, I’ve lost most of my words. I can’t be trusted to maintain true and accurate memories, either.

But the point here is that I’ve always managed to have a pretty flat stomach. Reasonably flat. Like, I haven’t seen my actual abdominals since my twenties. But even with a subtle layer of insulation, I’ve managed to maintain the appearance of a flat stomach.

I’ve managed this by sucking in my stomach.

All. Of. The. Time.

My abs are just constantly engaged.

Just always.

Sitting at home. Alone. On my couch. With a bag of Doritos and a bottle of beer. Abs sucking my stomach in.

Chillin on the toilet. Having a nice poo. Abs sucking my stomach in.

Lying in bed falling asleep. Abs sucking my stomach in.

I just keep those bitches engaged.


But the test that I have been putting them through since returning to work is unreasonable.

I just keep shoving more and more food at them.

So. Much. Food.


Ok. I mean, I’ve also already explained how much I’ve just collected my extra pandemic pounds. Right?

But mostly I’ve been collecting them on my ass and thighs.

And really. As long as I can keep struggling my expanding ass up and down mountains on the regular, I can mostly contain all of that in a reasonable shape.

I’m ok with it.

And I’ve grown to anticipate all the chafing that comes with that. Using it as a gauge for how hard I worked.

More chafing. Harder work. Yay me.

But what has happened over the single week that we have been back to work. Is that my stomach is now…un-suck-inable.

Like, even when I’m sucking it in. It’s still just out there.

I blame COVID.

I spent Monday night comparing Rona babies with one of my super hot friends.

It helps. To know you’re not alone. And that even the super hot chicks are experiencing this shit, too.

Also, it’s kind of liberating to just let loose the beast. Instead of trying to contain it.

Who knew?

Except when you unbutton your jeans to show your super hot friend your Rona baby. You can’t recontain the beast and get the jeans buttoned back up.

There is no jeans rebuttoning after 6pm. That’s a transition straight into sweatpants. Or, preferably, just no pants at all.

So, maybe I’m only partially dressed in every post-podcast pic that may get posted to the social media.

It’s fine. They’re family.

But this week. Was so far off the hook. That I may never bounce back.

I mean, not the stress.

Except…the fucking stress.

I may have had a few minor break downs at work.

One of them may have happened over the radio.

But that’s not new. Breakdowns are part of how I cope.

My co-workers barely even notice anymore.

But it was the food.


I’ve trained my co-workers well.

When in doubt, throw food at it.

I mean me. It is me.

Throw food at me.

And they do.


I think as a sort of preventative measure.

If we keep it distracted with food, maybe it won’t cry today.

The morning kicked off with co-workers dropping a dark chocolate bar on my desk.

And then a Hardee’s cinnamon bun.

Which I super appreciated.

And the PTSA is giving us snacks everyday.

So I found two bags of chips in my mailbox.

And this seemed like it would be sufficient to get me through the day.

But then the day happened.

And on Monday, My Weird Left Pinky Toe brought me a huge container of this delicious peach dump cake trifle accident delight.

And because I’ve been trying to control my eating before I bust entirely out of the boy short panties that used to be the comfortable choice and are now under so much pressure containing everything I’m carrying around behind me that they dig into my groin in such a way that I thought I was having some sort of life-ending muscle spasm blood clot situation…

Anyway, I was only planning to eat a single mug-full daily.

That’s called moderation.

I’m not known for it.

But I was gonna try it.

But then yesterday happened.

And I tore through the last half of the container in ten minutes.

Then I ate my lunch.

Because we don’t waste food.

Then the day happened some more.

And I maybe broke down a few more times.

Maybe I got a little hysterical.

So payroll lady called her husband. In a panic. And made him stop working. And drive to a bakery. In Forest. And then drive all the way to our school.

To give me this.

This is a double chocolate cheesecake.

Sweet mother.


So, I sent this pic to Lil T

Look. Normally I might say that’s just gas and bloating.

But it’s not.

I mean not just gas and bloating.

There is some other level shit happening here.

Like, for real, it feels like my endometrial lining is just continuously building. And never shedding. And so it’s just gonna keep collecting in there until my uterus finally explodes.

And then I’m shoving in all of this extra food. So that my stomach is also continuously building. And it’s not even really processing the food in an efficient manner. So it just sits in there. All fucking day.

And so my abdominals have finally just said, fuck it. We give up. We can’t keep doing this shit. We’re gonna go take a nap.

At that point, my stomach was as big as my ass.

And my ass is larger than it has ever been.

And it shows no signs of stopping its expansion.

And seriously. I started July by ramping up my strength training and scaling back my bad eating habits…so that I might possibly be able to wear any of the buttons and zippers that have been collecting dust for half a year.

I’m not sure how dust is getting into the drawers.

Because I haven’t opened them in six months.

Maybe just stink bugs. Maybe my button/zipper clothes are just collecting stink bugs.

And I had visions of being so incredibly healthy.

And being able to wear all of my clothes.

And in under a week, I am struggling to even maintain a single workday inside of the stretchy pants that I try to only wear when I’m super PMS-y.

And I really do not enjoy wearing dresses. It’s freezing in the office and also I just can’t be expected to sit appropriately for an entire day.

I am running out of options.

And I can’t just go out and purchase a new wardrobe.

I work in education.

So I have to figure out how to keep shoving my middle parts into the clothing I have now.

I’m not sure that that “how” can possibly include not eating the food people bring me.

Food gifts are how I measure people’s love for me. And I need to be loved. And adored.

Also I just really love food.

So…who can teach me how to alter my clothes? I think I’ve heard people reference letting something out? And I’m not exactly sure what that means. But it feels like something I should learn to do.

Like it might be a way to adjust the waist band of my pants.

So I can let my stomach out.

I’m not sure what we do to ensure my ass stays contained.

But let’s focus on one emergency at a time.

Now. A good night’s sleep has rejuvenated my abdominals. So that they’re once again willing to maintain my stomach back within its somewhat normal limits.

But I know these bitches.

They’re gonna give me until 1pm. And then they’re done.

So even if I can manage to shove everything into a pair of pants that button.

We could be looking at an emergent situation by lunchtime.

But here’s my question.

Is this pandemic or menopause?

Like, is my body gonna get its shit back together after the pandemic ends? (And it WILL end.) Or do I have to get myself all the way through menopause before I can even think about buttons and zippers again?

Or is this just some 2020 bullshit?

It’s 2020.

Dammit. I knew it.

Fuck 2020.

And all its dramatic bullshit.

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