Back in high school, Deirdre Barnes poked my belly on the school bus and giggled. I giggled too because I am ticklish everywhere I have skin.
“Why’d you do that?” I asked, confused.
“You’re so jiggly,” she said. It had never occurred to me that a thin person might not know what rolls of belly flab felt like. I didn’t like being poked. I hadn’t given her permission to feel me up. But I understand her curiosity now. I didn’t know what a thin person’s body felt like either. The closest I’d come to feeling up a six-pack was when I’d grab a Mountain Dew from the fridge.
I still haven’t felt up six-pack abs, but I’m sometimes surprised by how firm my body is becoming. When I but my hands on my sides I can feel solid muscle beneath my thin layer of fat. If I squeeze my thighs, there is extra skin and adipose tissue, but I also feel the ungiving firmness of muscle. My scale says I’m about 30% fat now, which means 70% of me is bone and muscle and water, and you can definitely feel it.
It’s different, but in a good way. I like to imagine I have amazing abs underneath what remains of my belly flab. I know my bones are stronger and denser from lifting weights. And I may have batwings of arm flesh, but I have curvy biceps too. I’ll even let you feel them if you want to. But no poking.