I know what you’re thinking, FINALLY she is hitting the hard issues like the Fair Use Protection Act. But, no, this is definitely not the FUPA my title is referring to.
I can remember being 12 years old getting ready for my Christmas concert. My mom took our Christmas concert attire extremely seriously. As if Bill and Hilary themselves were going to be gracing Crivitz Elementary School. So, as I stood perched on a stool in my underwear as she creatively doused me in Aqua Net and lace. As she sprayed and teased, she made a comment that puzzled me.
“Oh, you have a little belly pooch just like me,” she said without a passing glance.
Huh? What’s that mean? I thought as I stored that memory away like a worry stone to refer back to for the next 18 years. Didn’t everyone have that little banana bread loaf below their belly buttons? What am I missing? I racked my brain as I stared at my doughy midsection.
Shockingly, I lived before I was lambasted with information from the good old internet on a daily basis. I had not known that my stomach was much to write home about. But, I considered my mother one of the most beautiful women in the world, so I figured it couldn’t be that bad.
Little did I know.
As years went on, my Fat Upper Pubic Area (aka FUPA) began to gain ground. Bikinis were a no go. Underwear needed to reach belly button level in an attempt to stifle the jiggling. Shirts needed to be long enough to cover it. It was a part of me that needed to be considered for nearly every item of clothing.
Now, as I mentioned before, I am currently on a weight loss journey. Sadly, I would kill for that doughy little belly I had in middle school now that I stare at my ravaged body. Three pregnancies, one of which was with two babies, depleted all the elasticity my poor body had left to give. I had a discussion yesterday with two of my friends currently at war with their FUPAs. We all damned them to hell. One cheering that I am finally shrinking my FUPA enough able to see my lady bits and others just trying to find shirts long enough to pretend they don’t exist.
My FUPA as a whole just really depresses me. It makes me sad that after working as hard as I have been to lose 90 pounds (with more to go) I still feel like I’m not good enough. That feeling looking in the mirror that your body is still an eyesore but just in a new way is a hard pill to swallow.
I’m so very grateful for the internet and being able to stand in solidarity with other women like myself. We can laugh about looking like melting women. I can see other women who are proud of how far they’ve come and it makes me feel empowered. It’s nothing new that being a woman in this world is not easy. Now, I’m not about to burst into tears over this giant First World Problem, but I am going to say thank you to the other women who don’t give a fuck when talking about their bodies. Sometimes shit jiggles. Sometimes jeans aren’t an option. Sometimes I eat my weight in nachos and then stare at my jiggly bits and get sad.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay because, while I might not spring back like I used to, I can feel the depression and anxiety I battle loosening it’s death grip around my psyche. I can feel that I might just be on this earth with my four kids a little bit longer. Sure, they might jiggle my “chicken wings” and laugh, but hell, at least I am here for them to laugh with. And I can see myself do things I never thought possible. I can run. I can complete an entire yoga class without sobbing. I can wear knee-high boots and I can stop hiding.
It’s all going to be okay.
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