On a good day, it sits quietly and unobtrusively in its assigned space. Don’t notice it or feel it really. It is well behaved and stays within the boundaries set forth by the jeans. On a bad day, it protrudes. Takes on a life of its own. If it had a voice, the voice would be raspy, like the old truck stop waitress who has been a chain smoker since she was 10 years old. It resembles a 5 month pregnancy only flabbier. To add to the reverie are the love handles around the back – together, they become this trio of chubby cheerleaders, bouncing around as if someone made the touchdown in the final moments of the game. Totally out of control – breaking through the fence and running out onto the field!
Yes, I’m talking about my belly. I’ve worried about this thing since I was 15 years old. Before then, I never gave it a second thought. A well-meaning teacher told me that if I lost a few pounds and I toned up my stomach, I could be a good gymnast. Thank you Mr. Smith. Then in college, a boyfriend told me something similar, not about being a gymnast but about losing some of the stomach, firming it up and then I would have a great body. Thereby, cementing the thought that if I had a nice flat stomach – I would be perfect and loveable. Lord, this has been a long row.
I’ve done sit-ups fairly regularly since that time. And my stomach has been my mortal enemy – one I can “feel” all day long most days. Here’s the really sad news:
“The location of fat, as well as the proportion, typically changes with age. In women, a drop in estrogen levels with menopause coincides with a shift of fat from the lower portion of the body (a “pear” shape), toward the midsection (an “apple” shape). This “belly fat” is comprised of both subcutaneous fat under the abdominal skin, as well as fat that accumulates around organs, called visceral adipose tissue, deep within the abdomen. ”
Here is a great article for what you can do during your aging process – as I was “researching” I happened upon it. (Have no idea if the link will work – if not, you can copy and paste). I am happy to report that I was aware of the things suggested in the article and am currently practicing most of them – i.e. walking, trying to eat healthy, staying active mentally and physically. (Need to start working on the whole “stretching” thing though…)
I have realized over the years how unhealthy it is to obsess about weight and my “belly”. Some of the time, I can forget all about it. But when I feel insecure or worried about something – that old truck stop waitress will give a little chuckle and I’ll be thrown right back into the fray. Hide it! Buy something to cover it up! Do more sit-ups! Eat less bread!
I guess we all have our burdens to bear, even those that are self-imposed.