“Eh, inaonekana mambo yako sio mbaya sana.” That’s the most common phrase you will hear mentioned to you when you start growing a potbelly like I have done recently.

I feel pregnant. Like a teenage girl who’s preggers and doesn’t want to admit or show it. And when it can’t be hidden no more, she starts pulling her stomach in when people look at her abdomen a little too long. Or she gets herself that bullet proof thing that will miraculously overrule her pregnancy and no one will notice. What’s it called again? A coset?

Heck I suspect I have even changed my walking style. I don’t breathe easy like I used to, when I didn’t have to wonder whether my stomach is showing.

Like how did we get here? One moment you are flaunting a six pack that’s 75% in the making and the next moment you have to walk feeling uncomfortable visibly showing the world the many wrong lifestyle decisions you are making.

Well, it’s somewhat inevitable since I can’t remember the last time I held a week worth of workout. I used to be a sportsman, I am still athletic though, not this type of couch potato human being I’ve become.

Some of you are probably wondering what’s wrong with this new-sign-of-wealth-fast-approaching. I’ll tell you what’s wrong. To begin with, people assume that ‘sasa umeanza kupata pesa’ when they see that belly forming on a once flattened stomach shaped by hunger or intense work out at the gym with nothing else to fill your schedule. It’s assumed that now you’re eating more, hence the bloating. And if you can afford to eat all that much, you definitely have lots of cash. It could be true.

It could be that more money is running through my hands but also comes more responsibility so really, pesa iko lakini iko na matumizi boss. I’m only happy to help if it’s a genuine reason so don’t expect me to be M-PESA happy and send, send cash.

By and large I think men should never be too bothered by how they look. A man is built tough, rough on the edges and though he is equally allowed to clean up and groom properly, it’s never that much of a big deal. As long as you’re not smelling like a garbage track in traffic. That said, I’ve quickly realized how uncomfortable it is to have Mr. Inflated Abdomen with me.

More people are commenting about him. It’s like how I’d join the gym and work out silently and a few weeks later people start making loose comments like, ‘Eeeeish, you guy. Siku hizi umejaza, kwani you’re hitting the gym?’ Such a comment would leave you with a pleased smile as you downplay the reality and say you’re simply eating well and sleeping eight hours a night schedules. What’s up with people never admitting to what they are doing to get what they have? A world of hiding your cards it seems.

Try having a potbelly like me and tell me how such comments as, ‘Ai bana, kumbe uko na kitambi,’ will make you feel. It’s a letdown. I’m not even thirty yet and this ‘abdomen abnormality’ is starting to form.

Then there is the whole eating habits and lifestyle decisions. Could it be the meat on a daily, booze, too much carbohydrates? The list piles on. But definitely, I’m not on a healthy diet as I should be. And sooner or later it had to show.

At this point I bet you’re wondering what this post is about. Well, you guessed right, we are not going past my potbelly with this one (see how it’s made me accept it as mine, this freak). Maybe it’s my lame excuse to not be judged harshly when you bump into me and notice my t-shirt hanging over my waist. And if you’re thinking of heading down this direction, I want to discourage you.

But can I tell you something, I’m turning 27 in eight days. One of my resolves for the new year will be this, to get back my once finely chiseled body and not this floating balloon thing that’s threatening to steal my joy.

Hell no.

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