Where are you hiding from me this time?

P Chang
4 min readMay 1, 2023

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Author’s photos: some recent food indulgence

I have been very proud of myself for keeping the same stable weight for nearly two decades. I attribute it to my secret daily morning weighing ritual where I strip off all my clothes (or earrings or rings if I happened to wear any) and step on a scale. The scale would command me on how much I should eat or not eat that day.

Over the years, my eyes have become so trained to spot my weight gain just by a small glance of my morning naked body, without getting on a scale, to an accuracy within an 8-ounce error range.

But it started to get trickier in the last three to four years. The weight could go over the board more often, and the fight to get it back on track took longer time. “These days, even drinking tap water would trigger a sudden weight gain!” I have been joking about this old joke for more than a decade, but the joke is becoming more and more like a reality.

This latest battle becomes the strangest and is setting a new record to my dislike because I gained almost ten pounds since I came back from my last trip from China.

But unlike the previous occasional weight hike, this time it fooled my eyes. There is no suddenly ballooned face and (obvious) double chin, nor swollen legs or arms. Due to the treacherous nature of this trip and my loose control of food indulgence while I was there, after I came back home, I gave myself the benefit of the doubt for three weeks, all in the name of grieving and almost four years of absence from the childhood food back in China. But the stubborn ten pounds just refused to leave me. And adding insult to the wound, I don’t seem to see myself gain those ten pounds at all.

Where did it go? Or did I somehow develop very tolerant eyes on my body weight gains? I even went so far as to change the battery on the scale to make sure it functioned properly. I felt I needed an honest third-person opinion.

Then, my husband was finally home after two months of travel abroad. One thing that has been super annoying about him was that he acted like he owned my weight more than myself. His trained eyes on my weight had scored even higher precision than my own, and I would say it is close to a 4- to 6-ounce error range. Occasionally, his concerns about my slight weight gain would shock our daughter if he was not careful enough to keep them private. He would then hear an earful from our daughter, but he never changed and kept his stubborn weight watch on me.

His reaction should act as the most honest third-party opinion.

But he seems not to notice anything off the chart this time when he came home.

A few days passed, and I could not hold the itch any longer.

“Hey, can you tell if I gained any weight?” I made it sound very casual and absentminded and vain, totally opposite of an overly-dwelled troubling thought of a reality.

He looked at me, up and down, then said with his usual poker face that he did not think so, and I almost looked unchanged, body-wise.

Hmm, I thought to myself. Where did these ten pounds go?! I hope it is not a growing cyst or anything.

It’s been a mystery.

“The most unthinkable possibility is that all these weight has been gone to my bone density!” I finally confessed and concluded to husband only to meet a pair of rolled eyes.

The weight loss battle charged on. However, without much physical evidence of troubling spots, it felt like a battle against the imaginary windmills of Don Quixote’s.

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P Chang

It all started with the 2020 SIP, when suddenly you became very reflective.