I've never been skinny. In fact, since the age of about 3 I've had a belly that seems to think it's attached to Jocky Wilson. Somewhere there's a photo of me standing in the garden aged 5 in a pair of awful brown flares with a gut similar to a truck driver who drinks 10 pints of Watney's Red Barrel a day. My vicious rabbit, Flopsy, is next to me on the grass, but you can barely see the little shit because my belly is BLOCKING OUT THE SUN.
The thing is, I'm taking it on holiday in a couple of months, and for once in my life I'd like to wear a bikini. In theory, that should be fine. My bum is still OK and my boobs are alright, as long as they're supported and lashed to the upper half of my body with a series of wires, bows and buckles. But I can't vouch for my jelly belly. It has a mind of its own. Give it French bread and butter and cheese and wine and it will spread, until one day I will find woodland creatures sheltering under it from the rain. I can't be responsible for it.
Now I've had a child, it's got even worse. Now I have the 'roll'. I'm not one of those women who loves their floppy bits and their episotomy scar because they 'tell the beautiful story of childbirth'. I hate my conjoined lard twin. I want it gone. The roll (let's call him Roland) conspires to push down every pair of jeans and trousers I own. He makes skirts ride up so I end up inadvertently flashing my pie at people when I bend over. Roland sits there, directly on my waistband, and no matter how much weight I might lose from other parts of my body, the malevolent bastard lives on, quietly chuckling to himself like the pigs in Angry Birds.
OK, so I could stop eating so many Gregg's toffee popcorn doughnuts, or I could do sit ups (ugh) or I could have a wheatgrass enema, but I refuse to have anything to do with the idea of getting 'beach ready'. I will not starve on rice cakes and water for a month just so I can look good on a beach full of fat people on lilos. I particularly hate the word 'de-fuzz' (which is such a quaint term for 'having hairs manually torn out of your vagina with a piece of glorified fly paper'). I will not change my lifestyle just to wear a bikini. Fuck you, THE MAN.
So as far as I can see I have three options:
a) Wear a full length burkini, like Nigella
b) Hide my gut at all times with a large print copy of Jo Nesbo's The Snowman
c) Embrace the lard and make Roland into a feature, like this guy
I think I'm going to choose c. I'm going to be a man about this. I'm going to let it all hang out. It'll take guts, but I got plenty of those.
Just don't lie near me if you want to see the sun.
7 months ago