Much like Scarlett O’Hara, I once took much pride in my tiny waist. But that was long ago. Now, more like Santa Claus, I have belly fat. But no belly laughs from me. More, oh, no, no than ho, ho, ho!
Yes, once, I was a lass with a classic hourglass figure, but time, two children, plus an untamed fondness for croissants, cookies, cakes, and other caloric delights have taken their toll. Indeed the sands in my hourglass have shifted and not for the better.
But what’s been particularly frustrating is not that I’m “simply” larger, but that my middle has expanded faster in my middle age than any other part of my body or any general weight gain can explain.
The Midline Pudge Won’t Budge!
Of course, I do stomach crunches and planks with the best of them to combat this losing Battle of the Bulge, but still, this middle-aged pudge remains. I march off to Pilates faithful two times each week. I’m getting stronger, but my middle stubbornly stays. My pants are uncomfortable. My Spanx tights are too tight. They roll, pinch, and press. I’m just a mess!
“Saved” by Science
Now, instead of blaming my caloric intake or cursed body, I have found salvation in science. Belly fat is a fact of middle-aged life. So says science and who am I to argue?
“It happens to virtually all women as we age,” said Victoria Vieira-Potter, an associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri. “It’s not something you did,” she added, or an indication that you’re letting yourself go.”
It has to do with estrogen, menopause, and where women store fat as they/we, a-hum, mature. Where once we were pear-shaped, with ample hips and thighs, now we older gals have rounded stomachs.
So, Maybe it is Time for a Few Belly Laughs?
Well, it may be science and Mom Nature’s fault, but still, it makes you wonder what’s the point of watching what we eat and exercising? I for one am tempted to say, “Let’s throw in the towel, grab an ice cream cone and go at it, once and for all.” How about a double scoop of Rocky Road for everybody?
I know that’s the wrong attitude. Doctors say while this belly bulge is discouraging, it’s important for our overall health that we continue to watch our diet, exercise, and, also practice a little self-compassion. Probably a trip to the store to stock up on Spanx — and Spanx stock — is probably a good idea too. Sigh!
I’m lucky though. I’ve got a loving husband who says I’m perfect the way I am.
That’s what’s been on my mind — and midline — this week. Hope you are well as we head into Spring. Happy Passover and Easter holidays to all.