31 Days:: Making Peace with Muffin Top
Day 26: Making Peace with Muffin Top
It recently occurred to me that it is silly for me to still be self-conscious of my spare tire. Sometimes I look at my midsection with disdain and think it’s a new addition to my body or that it just came along after my body was taken over by multiple pregnancies. Sometimes I see how it fits in clothes and I tell myself “I didn’t used to look like this. What can I possibly do to help this go away?”
I was on a hike Sunday morning and was passing a couple of lean-looking young women and I immediately felt self-conscious about my midsection. Before these beauties had come into view, I had been having a grand old time hiking in the gorgeous hills near my house, blissfully unaware of anything except how grateful I was to get some time to myself and move my body in the great outdoors. But as soon as I saw these stylishly-dressed, lithe young bodies approaching me, I instantly became acutely aware that the workout pants and tank top I was wearing were joining forces to display the fact that, unlike them, I do not have a lean, small waistline. And I promptly wished I could either shred some belly fat within the next 5 seconds or somehow adjust my pants so that the muffin top wasn’t as noticeable.
As soon as that thought crossed my mind, however, I remembered a photo I recently saw of myself as an eighteen-year-old young woman in what some would consider the prime of life. And as I remembered that photo, it occurred to me: the reality is that I have had this extra cushion around my waistline for a really long time. Even when I was still a budding young woman, fresh-faced and naively eager to conquer the world. Even before any pregnancies came along to wreak havoc on my body. Even before marriage and all its drama became part of my life. Even before the hardships of my parent’s divorce and my first heartbreak came my way.
Muffin-top preceded all of that.
The only time I can recall not having some extra stuffing around my middle was during a very brief period of time, about six years ago, when I was not only in deep Depression due to my miscarriage, I was also a brand-new Personal Trainer, overly infatuated with nutrition and fitness, trying to maintain a level of physical activity that simply didn’t mesh with the season of parenthood I was in. To put it plainly, it wasn’t realistic for me to exercise or remain as active as I was and maintain the kind of home and family life that I craved. On top of all that, as I said, I was seriously and even dangerously Depressed with a capital D— and I wasn’t eating much. I was perpetually irritable, discontent with my life and my loved ones, and mostly numb to the deep pain I was experiencing. I was as thin as my adult body has ever let me be— and I still wasn’t satisfied with how I looked.
So by the time I finally eased into a more sustainable level of physical activity and sought professional help and healing regarding the Depression, my body balanced out and settled back into it’s “comfy weight.” Then, content, healed, once again present in my life, and much more balanced in my time-management and stress-coping skills, muffin top reentered my life. Ahhhh… hello again, old friend.
And honestly? Even though I definitely have times of insecurity and self-loathing, as I did Sunday morning up on the Ridge… on the whole, I am usually pretty okay with it. Yes, I have my moments. But all in all, when I’m honest with myself, I know that this current shape of my body is simply the way my particular body likes to be. I am healthy and active— hiking, walking and doing resistance training several times per week— and, although I could certainly ease up on my portions, I typically eat pretty darn nutritiously. And to tell you the truth, I feel good. Sure, I’d prefer to not have to fuss with muffin top every time I put on some jeans, but all in all I think it’s high time I just get over it. I’m 37 years old for goodness’ sake. I need to just bite the bullet and come to peace with the fact that I am who I am I am and I’m shaped how I’m shaped and that all of the above is okay.
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What about you?
Have you yet made peace with the shape of your body? What is holding you back?
Please feel free to share your journey in the comment section below.