Oh Miss Muffin Top, my new and expanding friend. I don't quite remember when you arrived on the scene but it is clear that you are going to be here for the long hall. No fair weather friend, you my bootylicious babe. You are there for me through thick and thicker. I am so used to your warm embrace now I feel absolutely no desire to see you out the door.
Once upon a time Miss Muffin Top was not in my life. She has only arrived on the scene in the last year or two, though I have a sneaking suspicion that she had been lurking around prior to this just waiting for an opportunity to come out and say hi. Lets face it I'm 36, I've had two kids and, according to Oprah I'm probably in peri-menopause, my metabolism is now pretty much a crappy 80's Datsun hatchback. There are also those damn genetics. On my mother's side we have something called "The Hellsten Curse" which afflicts every woman in the family. If you looked up pear shaped in the dictionary you would see a large picture of all the women in my family. No boobs, big arse, this is "The Hellsten Curse". Now my mum is of Swedish stock, traditionally tall, blonde haired, blue-eyed and big boobed. What the hell happened? Tall is about it for us now. I was cocky. I got to my early 30's still the same weight as when I was 20, I thought I'd avoided the curse, but no that was not to be. I now know that Miss Muffin Top was only a Tim Tam away. Then I of course I added Bob to the picture and she managed to get the red eye and landed on my doorstep ahead of time.
Now I must give Bob some props. Initially I lost weight. A lot of weight. Jenny Craig eat your heart out. Nausea from hell is not conducive to eating and what little I could get down was used in my bodies desperate attempt to repair itself. Well that was food well spent wasn't it. My bodies repair team need to be on A Current Affair, with all those dodgy builders who have never heard of a right angle or a spirit level. But alas Bob has the attention span of a gnat. Now all that weight I lost has come back home and brought along all its friends for the ride.
Nausea and reduced intake are no longer a barrier to my attempts to be the first female sumo. Now I only have to look at food and it appears to beam directly to my hips, thighs and buttocks. There's a whole lot of love in my house judging by the size of my love handles. Now I must admit I do prefer to consume my daily salt prescription with hot chips, cold chips, chips with gravy, potato wedges (with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce), potato cakes, dim sims and the like but they were on the list given to me by the cardiologist so they can't be the culprit, can they? In general I do eat healthy foods. I cook most of my own meals, really have to now thanks to my dietary issues. Spinach was not really that high up the calorie scale last time I looked.
There has to be some link to the ridiculous amounts of water we are forced to consume. We all know about water weight. This is what disappears when you do those farcical, 24 hour detox programs. Now I do remember from my Year 8 science class that 1 litre of water equals 1 kilo of weight. Now doing the arithmetic (bear with me here, brain fog girl doing math): if Y is water, X is kilos, and Z my muffin top. Then:
Z = (X + 3Y)
Then X equals 3 and my muffin top is going up by up to 3 kgs a day. That of course would make me the size of an African elephant within the year, so we must take into account other variables such as: a,frequent going to the loo thanks to my now acorn sized bladder, b increased salt intake increasing water retention, c metabolism in neutral. Basically this formula says that Miss Muffin Top is here to stay and will probably move me towards the Rubenesque woman rather than the modern ideal of the stick figure. (okay so the math aint great but you get the point).
So I now have two choices: Self-loathing each time I look in the mirror, or acceptance. Women are supposed to have curves. Remember Marilyn? She would now be considered fat in her size 14. If that's the case, then society is truly warped. I'm not talking about aiming for obesity as the norm, but there is nothing wrong with a little bit of extra healthy cushion for the pushin'. We need to re-evaluate how we look at our bodies. Just like the wrinkles on our faces our bodies tell the stories of our lives. Yes I have stretch marks and my stomach muscles are like the elastic in an old pair of undies, but I gave birth twice! Now it would be great to fit into my size 6 skirts once more but trying and failing to do up that zip really is a depressing form of self-flagellation. Frankly I have enough other crap to deal with thanks to Bob, I don't need to depress myself further by busting zips overs my now curvaceous butt. I need to suck it up and move to the size 10 rack (it may be a 12 in other stores but I'm sticking to the ones that let me be 10, denial 'aint just a river in Africa my friend), the maxi dress and dressing to match my current curves, not the curves of my 20s. To come to terms with my saggy fat butt, that my boobs will eventually touch my knees, that cankles are forever, and that Miss Muffin Top is here to stay. I will admit I would like it if I could find a way to transfer some of this insulation upwards to my boobs so I could do the whole hourglass thing, but I am resigned to this now. Short of a boob job, pear is my lot in life.
So I have decided to embrace my curves. I now have a new mantra thanks to that pinnacle of the feminist movement Sir Mix-A-Lot:
I like big butts and I can not lie
So Fellas (yeah) Fellas(yeah)
Has your girlfriend got the butt (hell yeah)
Well shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake that healthy butt
Baby got back
(I like Big Butts, 1992)
Michelle and her new BFF, Miss Muffin Top :)