29 January 2013


There are many times in the last two years when I thought that I would be confronted. In my mind, the scene would have been on a bus or a train. I would have been standing and someone would have offered to give me a seat. Instead, the day I had laughingly looked forward to, though somewhat dreaded,was a day that became yesterday.

I had already had a pretty rough morning, learning that my blood test results revealed that my cholesterol levels, after a year of testing, were the highest to date. I was so frustrated because I thought there was a light shining on me. I had changed my diet, increased my exercise, trained for and ran a 5k, participated in pilates and yoga classes six days a week. I prayed over my sickness, had a chat with God and was confident that I was healed. And then the doctor called and I wanted to cry. So I did…in the back of a taxi.

No, the tears were not flowing and I was not sobbing, but my eyes were filled and I was trying to find the why behind all this. After briefly researching causes for high cholesterol, I found that I met none of the criteria:
  • Am I a man? No.
  • Am I in the “older person” category? No, I just turned 30.
  • Am I of Asian, specifically Indian descent? No, I am a white girl from the eastern U.S.
  • Do I have diabetes? No.
  • Am I obese? No, I weigh less than 60 kgs.
  • Am I lazy? No.
  • Do I smoke? No.
  • Am I on medications that may cause this? No, not that I can find.
  • Do I have liver or kidney disease? No, not that I am aware.
  • Family history? Shaky. Mom has high cholesterol due to the diabetes that I do not have and my dad is a big question mark. He had high blood pressure but my mom doesn’t know anything about his cholesterol levels.
  • Red meat? I love it but I couldn’t have eaten so much to suddenly make my cholesterol sky rocket.
Turns out the investigation portion of my day only made me worse. It was like I was searching for answers that I thought the Internet would provide.

Before depression set in, I crashed Paul’s pilot lunch. I knew he would be in town having lunch with one other guy, so I invited myself along, hopped in a cab and joined them for what I was hoping was some excitement and something else on which to focus, at least for a little while.

I did get this thing out of my mind once I had continued on with my day, going to the store, having a rest and a read about Psalms 23 and then having a coffee while reviewing a business contract. I went to the RDA for a couple meetings and, before I knew it, my mind was altered and I was focusing on things that really mattered – like raising a million dollars for the charity and setting new goals at our annual fundraiser (P.S., if you have money to donate, no matter the amount, find information on rdasingapore.org).

So, there I was, at the RDA, in the conference room attempting to make the contract changes that were discussed in the prior meeting. And it happened.

A local woman I know very well started to talk to me about something and then her gaze, her mind, her body and the conversation shifted. She took in a deep breath of excitement, threw out her arms and place her hands, rounded, on my belly. The words, “Are you pregnant?!” came out of her mouth. Somewhat terrified but mostly laughing, I gently moved her hands and said, “OMG no.” Then she said it. “Oh, so you just gained weight.” “Uh, coffee belly,” I said, pointing to my empty Starbucks travel mug sitting on the table next to us.

I love this woman so I could not be angry with her, even if I tried. I laughed through the whole situation while still not believing that she actually said what she said. I was wearing a new cotton dress that I bought in Chinatown. The dress is one that hugged at the breast line and then just dropped like a sheet. Other than the fabric around my shoulders and chest line, there was no shape to the dress, which is why I like it. The fabric is light, the dress is flowy and I don’t have to worry about which curves to accentuate – the dress simply doesn’t show any. Have I gained weight since December? Over Christmas, yes, but not now. Now I am back to normal. Every time I walk into my doctor’s office she says, “Oh, you look great. You lost weight.” And she means it. So this moment kind of threw me.

While I was definitely waiting for the day when someone would mistake my belly for a pregnant belly, I did not think that day would come this week. But it did, and it made me laugh. 

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