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The case for belly fat from a bitter (yet bouyant) mid-life woman

March 29, 2009 at 8:48 pm

In the darkness of the movie theatre last night while suffering through the molasses pace of Last Chance Harvey (brava Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, not so much), I passed the time fumbling with my least favorite body part — my jelly belly. The bloom on the wilting flower of my midlife.

The weirdest sensation I experienced as I pinched more than the once acceptable inch on my middle is that it felt like it belonged to someone else. It’s clearly not mine and I’d be most grateful if its rightful owner would please come and collect it. The tubby tummy has been in safe keeping, but I’ve worn it long enough, thank you.

If only.

This recent addition to my otherwise acceptable and mostly intact physique has created havoc with my wardrobe as well. That can get expensive not to mention limiting in fashion choices. What used to lay smoothly across my midriff  has dramatically changed. Fabrics that once fell freely from my shoulders are now interrupted on their descent to my lower body. There are new hills and valleys, lumps and bumps, and sometimes  a cascading tube of flesh against the indentation of a leather belt. Ugh.

Love handles, my foot.

In preparation for this post I even googled for hope, looking for articles and case studies about the acceptance of women’s  fat bellies around the world. The recent media coverage of the obese women in Mauritania kept appearing online and a bit about Arctic women who still pride themselves in big bellies. If you dig back far enough you’ll find some Medieval women in China who equated expanded stomach regions with great wealth.

Mostly, I turned up articles about health hazards and a myriad of promises of flat, not fat bellies.

I want one. The flat kind, that is.

There are a few authors out there who will be tsk-tsking me upon reading this while wagging their fingers and throwing up their hands in disappointment.

Haven’t I learned anything?

Okay. I have the tools. Even more so than the average fat-around-the-middle gals. Time to start enacting the knowledge that I promote from and for some very talented doctors.

Is this a commercial? No, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the geniuses who have have been slimming female tummies for years.

From Belly Fat to Belly Flat is a current HCI favorite. Dr. Randolph and his partner/wife, Genie James present great information, most interestingly alerting women that they need to tend to the state of their hormones as early as in their thirties. Who knew?  Most of us never even uttered the word “hormone” until we hit forty. Apparently, the earlier we keep our eye on our hormonal balance (or the lack thereof), the more control we’ll have over the prospect of midriff protrusion.

It’s about guarding against or reversing estrogen dominance by eating right, taking certain daily supplements, exercise (of course), and the possibility of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Then there’s instruction on how to prevent stress from sabotaging your weight loss. The program is pretty straightforward and pretty great. Cruise around the authors’ website. You’ll learn a alot.

Then of course, there’s the diva,  Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, the mentor to Suzanne Somers and one of the pioneers in the field of progressive women’s health. There’s a series of book, The Schwarzbein Principle, that are tried and true and you might say that she actually “wrote the book” when it comes to hormonal balancing and weight loss.

Commercial or not, if you’re female, feeling a chubbiness that doesn’t feel like yours and is causing you to consider a very costly foray into the next size up and if Chico’s is becoming the only place where clothes fit your body (God bless them, I love the chain, but…) join me in the journey to reclaim the waistline.

It’s time. I’ll be right with you as soon as I finish the brick of dark chocolate in the pantry that actually sings my name.

Chocolate is magic. Chocolate is love.

Belly fat. Go away!

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Comments (9)

9 Comments »

    I’m with the post above about female power over men.

    Aging isn’t fun for us guys either but it’s time to grow up.

    And, all knees & elbows is no goal.

    Who can write a book or sight sing or wax on ornithology??

    Comment by PCMarch 2, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    Um… am I the only guy visiting this website? Most of us over the age of thirteen don’t really care if you’re swinging an extra twenty or more around the waist…

    Don’t listen to other women talk- they will only crucify you for being 7oz more than their own current weight. Women are all racing towards zero, and then they get ticked-off when the world introduces realities like child-birth or age along the way. OMG! She’s 13oz overweight! Call the Mayo Clinic!

    This is a confession- As a chick, you have way more power over guys than you probably even realize. So shop at Chico’s or wherever you need to go to find hip-hugging jeans and flattering tops. The guys will still be here waiting for you– dumb as a bag full of hammers, maybe– but we’re all on the same team and rooting for the same thing as you!

    Girls rock our worlds. You have no idea how much power you hold over us! Don’t let your own self-doubt and a few extra pounds stop you from slaying us dead-on-the-spot!

    🙂

    .

    Comment by jpdMarch 31, 2009 @ 8:21 pm

    Being in my 40s, I can really relate to this! It does feel like this unsightly bulge that was never there before belongs to someone else. Ugh. My eating habits haven’t changed, and I exercise regularly, so WTH?? I miss the days of looking good with little effort.

    Comment by LisammMarch 30, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

    Hi Kim,

    This is so spot on for me. A friend of mine has been telling me about the changes Im going to have to deal with as I age-never thinking it would happen to me….

    Well here I am, a nice layer of fat has found a home around my middle. I have now developed back fat and the pooch I swore I would never get. I’m eating healthy and half the amount I use to eat, Ok-need to exercise more but I hate not being able to get away with minimal effort and thought.

    To make matters worse, my 9 year old likes to squeeze my jiggles because it makes him laugh. I am some where in between embracing my new body and wanting to fight it till the cows come home so I don’t become one of them!

    It’s nice to know I’m not alone. Will check out the book and thanks for the post. I guess it comes down to doing what we can that makes sense for our health and also getting comfortable in our new skin while still connecting to our hot factor.

    Comment by Amy BotwinickMarch 30, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

    Boy, does this one hit close to home! This latest book deadline has resulted in at least an extra inch to pinch, so “From Belly Fat to Belly Flat” just might be required reading now–especially after garnering so many good reviews. How many recipes are included in the book? The cauliflower crab cake recipe and others listed sound delicious.

    Enjoy your chocolate, Kim. You deserve it. Now howabout a few bars from “The Candyman Can”?

    Comment by Olivia RupprechtMarch 30, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

    Hey Kim, cute blog, purrs from my spoiled rotten kitties to your little darling….
    My pretty 10 years younger sister introduced me to her slimming trick (in addition to her pilates classes and healthy eating), her black Yummy Tummy chemise. It looked real cute under her tops, as it is longer on the bottom and smoothed indeed! I need more than THAT at age 56, sigh. One site to show it:

    http://www.herroom.com/Yummie-Tummie?cm_mmc=google-_-her-_-yummietummie-_-yummietummie&gclid=CNzpx7feypkCFRJdxwodm0_iuA

    Comment by Linda HickamMarch 30, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

    Ha! I have some of those “singing” chocolate bars performing in my kitchen too! As a matter of fact,I hear them warming up in the background!

    Comment by FreddaMarch 30, 2009 @ 11:36 am

    I must be your biggest fan when it comes to your writing style!

    I want you to write a book!!!!

    Comment by Vashon SarrkisianMarch 30, 2009 @ 9:31 am

    From Dr. Bliss:
    Its not just women….. Its a low grade carb thing and a digestive enzyme thing (as we age we produce less of them) and an exercise thing and a personal integrity thing (as is when I am lying to myself that the “comfort food’ I am ingesting is really being loving) and LOL, maybe we need a support group/workshop where we are kissing/loving each others middle bulge, accepting them as they are so the resistance to their going away melts…. or, LOL again, another 12-step group, funny name TBD escapes me now….

    Comment by KimMarch 30, 2009 @ 8:58 am

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