It’s new to me. The flesh that occupies what was once a bony physique. To the naked eye, it appears in all the right places; fuller C-cup bust, widened hips, a derriere that cuffs under to meet the tops of my thighs. My walk — two parts strut, one part bounce — is accompanied by light jiggling, evoking hungry glares where there was once passive appreciation.

My long, lean build remains long and lean. Stripping down tells a slightly different story. There’s a light layer of flesh around my midsection. Small folds on my once-smooth back. “It’s the cost of a curvier frame,” I’m told. This doesn’t stop me from frowning when I stare too hard in the mirror.

With the flesh comes responsibilities. I think before I inhale large bowls of pasta drenched in cheese sauce, or knock down a bottle of wine in my underwear while Netflix binging. The flesh reminds me I need a proper breakfast instead of coating my stomach with a layer of coffee until my 11:30 A.M. carb load. The flesh gets me out of bed at 5:15 A.M., requiring I hit my yoga mat to wake my body before a 20-minute treadmill walk. The flesh means instead of drowning an exhausting day in a six-pack, I open my laptop for an hour and pound my frustrations into my keyboard.

I finally look like a grown woman. My ego clings to that when I’m naked in the mirror, wondering how many months of less junk food and 20-minute treadmill walks will melt the undesirable flesh. But witnessing my life’s new rhythm, with its mindfulness and consideration, I don’t just look the part of an adult.

I’m becoming one.

Skinny Black Girl is a thirtysomething blogger hailing from the Mighty Midwest. An MFA dropout, writer by calling and wise ass by craft, she posts her tales, interests and observations on her award-winning blog, The Skinny Black Girl.

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