Pop-Pop’s Squishy Belly, and What To Do After a Storm

“Pop-Pop, your belly’s squishy!”

My granddaughter giggled as she poked her finger into my stomach. Apparently the sight of my gut overlapping the belt I was wearing was enough to distract her from the Anna and Elsa dolls we were playing with at the time. Now her attention was focused directly on the jelly-like effect that was caused by her poking me in the tummy.

“Pop-Pop’s belly isn’t squishy!” I said.

I sucked in my gut and gave it a couple of firm slaps in an effort to show her she was mistaken, but this only seemed to make it more amusing to her. She poked my belly again, and confirmed her opinion.

“Pop-Pop’s belly is squishy.”

Well, she may be three, but she’s incredibly observant. Pop-Pop’s belly is squishy. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but Somehow all the work I had been doing over the last two years with my diet and exercise fell by the wayside, and I had gained a massive amount of weight. The scary thing is, not only has my belly become squishy, but it’s squishier than it’s ever been before!

Now, I suppose I could blame 2020… the Covid… my job change… or even having to work from home, but none of these things alone are really the reason for my squishiness. It’s actually all of them. All of this stuff combined with the most obvious factor: I stopped exercising and eating right.

I even stopped writing this blog! In fact, I started writing this post over six months ago, and now I’m in the process of trying to finish it. And let me tell you, a whole lot of other stuff has hit me since then, on top of that list of junk I just mentioned.

But it wasn’t like I quit and gave up in frustration or anything. I just simply lost track of what I was supposed to be doing and began heading in the wrong direction. So many crazy things had happened in such a short period of time, that my priorities got shifted and a lot of my goals, including my health and fitness plans, just kind of fell off.

So should I beat myself up and feel like a loser? Absolutely not!

Let me tell you why…

Imagine rowing a boat toward a certain place on the shore that you want to get to. Then suddenly, from out of nowhere, you’re hit by a storm. Now, as the boat gets pushed around and starts filling up with water, you’re busy trying to bail the water out of the boat and fighting to keep the waves from flipping you over. Then when it finally stops, and the weather clears, it occurs to you that you forgot to row and now you’re headed in the wrong direction and further away from where you want to be.

That pretty much sums up what happened to me, and I feel like I’m not the only one. I’ll bet it happens to a lot of us. When we set goals, or set out to accomplish something outside of our normal routines, we always get hit with things that get in our way, knock us off course or make us forget what we set out to do.

We don’t necessarily quit, we just forget to keep going.

This can really make you feel bad about yourself if you let it, and that sucks, because you really have no reason to feel that way. Honestly, if you just got slammed with adversity and you came through it. You are a champion!

If you survive a storm and your boat didn’t sink, what do you have to be upset about? Simply sit down, plot your course, grab the oars and start rowing again. There is no reason to let this effect you negatively. There will always be storms and you will always have something that slows you down. Just pick up your oars and start rowing again.

So that’s where I am now. What’s done is done, and all I can do is get started again. As I look to the future, I know I have more adversity coming my way, I can see the dark clouds in the distance. But that’s the good thing about surviving a storm, it better prepares you for the next one, and it makes you stronger to get you through it. And there’s always another storm.

Me? I’m ready for the next one. I can only be slowed down. Nothing can stop me.

Besides, what was so bad about being squishy again? It made my granddaughter giggle, and nothing makes me happier than to hear her laughter. Unfortunately though, I‘m going to have to find some other way to make her laugh. Pop Pop want’s to see her graduate from college and he plans to dance at her wedding. A squishy belly could prevent that from happening, so I’m afraid it has to go.

Maybe I’ll buy her a pony, that ought to make her smile.

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