Double Bellies: A Love Story / by Dana Bergstrom

I've been eating whatever I want this summer without any judgment.

It all began when Pauly and I shared a sweet treat from the ice cream truck lady.

A surprise midday snack for 3 dollars! I love it!

The next time I went to the store, it occurred to me that we could use waaaay more access to treats.

I gotz to have ice cream in our HOUSE, not just in the truck that randomly drives by blasting weird nursery rhymes.

That's when my sweet tooth spotted a sweet deal - a case of 24 Klondike bars for less than 9 bucks.

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAA?!

TOO BAD, FELLOW SHOPPERS!

THEY'RE MINE NOW!

I brought 'em home and shouted the good news at Pauly. Our freezer's bursting with ice cream bars! We can eat 'em all day long!

About this same time, I started wearing overalls every day, not thinking about what might happen if I enjoyed regular sugary snacks in clothes that BARELY TOUCH MY BODY.

But something did happen under all of that denim.

I grew a super cute, extra potbelly.

But first, a lil' potbelly history!

I'm three and I'm all about flaunting it. BAM!

I'm three and I'm all about flaunting it. BAM!

I had one as a kid and then lost it due to regular spazzy dancy jumpy activities. It showed up again in college from non-stop pizza eating. It disappeared again when I got sick with rheumatoid arthritis, then it quickly came back and never left. Weight has been a hot topic among relatives and family, and we all know how our culture feels about it; so as I grew up, it became an area where I felt I wasn't good enough.

Flash forward through a couple of decades of potbelly-related self-judgment, when I posted a dance video and then decided to write a post about how my ego was going bonkers on me. That post is actually what helped release my resistance towards my belly and finally accept it.

Then a few weeks ago, my overalls were too dirty to wear, which meant donning regular jeans. They felt tight when I pulled 'em up but it wasn't till I sat down and saw not just one, but TWO big rolls spilling onto my upper thighs, that I knew my sweet intake had caught up with me.

OMG.

I have TWIN potbellies!

And they're taking up MAJOR lap real estate!

"This is not good," my ego began to say.

Thankfully, I have days where I'm quick on the draw.

Not good according to WHO, Ms. Petty Ego?!

What external authority is gonna tell me that it's not okay to have two potbellies?

And who is this external authority who gets to decide what my body looks like and feels like to me?

Nobody! That's who. I choose how I want to look and feel.

I was already fine with the first potbelly. I know I can be fine with this one too. It just might take some time.

True true true.

But then something amazing happened.

Whenever I'm not working on a task that requires both arms, I usually have one arm resting inside the bib of my overalls, directly on my paunch.

It's one of the best things about wearing overalls. It's an incredibly relaxed posture.

I love running into other overall wearers who are in the same exact stance. We're all wandering around in public with our hands in our pants. It's not only a chill way to stand around, it's kinda gangsta. It makes me happy.

So.

The other day while driving with my right hand, my left arm was in it's favorite, little spot on the tum-tum.

Suddenly, I realize that my wrist and hand are being softly cradled - in fact, it was a PERFECT FIT - right in between my potbellies!

Oh my! What is going on here?

My arm is gently nestled in a super cozy way and it feels incredibly...

SWEET.

A wide smile grew across my face.

It sounds strange, but I immediately noticed how

CALM and COMFORTING,

wholly ACCEPTING,

and surprisingly MATERNAL it felt to be supported in this way.

And THAT is the exact moment when I fell in LOVE with my two potbellies!

How magical!

I was driving (rather unsafely, it occurred to me while writing this) and grinning and loving my body!

Now when I look at myself or even notice other people with what society would call "extra weight", I no longer have a sense of judgment or lack. I usually think NOTHING AT ALL but sometimes I think "Look at all of that wonderful COMFORT!" and immediately sense the pleasure and sweetness of my bellies.

I've even surprised myself by looking down to find that I'm rubbing and patting my bellies.

HEY!

How 'bout that!?

I can do without another dog for awhile!  I have super adorable tummies to pet instead!

Ya know...the great thing about falling in love with this new part of me is that whether the bellies stay on my body or go, it makes no difference.

They could eventually come off without much effort, simply because I'm not judging and resisting it, but I don't know that for sure. They may stick around and that's fine too.

The only thing I do know is that what I choose to focus on in this very moment determines my experience.

And I LOVE to focus on feeling good, no matter the conditions.

Unconditional love.

That's what my potbellies are showing me it's all about.