OUT OF ORDER: A tale of two stomachs

OUT OF ORDER: A tale of two stomachs

The "new stomach"

I'd been talking about joining the gym for months now and finally got myself signed up at LA Fitness last Sunday. Not that anyone really cares though. It seems like when you're "naturally thin" or have been historically thin for most of your life, people tend to mock you when you tell them you're working out or watching what you eat. It's the double-edge sword that I'm guessing is only dulled in sharpness when compared to the knife really obese people get sliced and diced with when they tell folks they're working out and watching what they eat.

Aren't we all supposed to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily? Aren't we all supposed to be conscious of what's going in and coming out of our bodies? So why make sideways comments to smaller people because they want to be healthier or tone up, or to larger people that are finally doing what everyone always snickered behind their backs to do--get up off their fat azzes and work out?!

In the membership paperwork, they ask you to check off some of the things that have kept you from working out in the past. I put giant checks next to "Money" and "Procrastination".  They should have had an option on there for "Image." If I had a dime for every time someone has said to me, "You look just fine," or "Why are YOU working out?," I'd have a dime for every time someone has said those two things to me. I realize now that weight is very subjective.

You know how they never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games? That's how I feel when it comes to me joining conversations about weight and body image with other women. There's an invisible mute button when my girlfriends start talking about dieting and weight. I mean really, what can I say? No one wants to hear the plight of the skinny chick who always wanted to gain weight and is now unhappy that it finally happened because the weight had a bad roadmap. All I can do is nod my head in affirmation and say "Girl, I support you one hundred percent! You'll have that weight off in no time!"

But, I don't want to be mute. Dammit, I'm skinny and I have a story, too!

If I had my way, I'd have a big sign across my chest like an adult bib that reads OUT OF ORDER with two arrows facing each other, pointing toward the center of my stomach. These days, my stomach is like a flooded bathroom stall. The OUT OF ORDER SIGN doesn't mean it's broken forever; it just means that it's temporarily out of commission, but it will be back to working order at some point. That's my stomach. I've picked up some excess weight there, but I promise you this is only for a limited time. I don't know who this stomach belongs to, but I'm going to lose it and pray it doesn't find its way back to me.

Last week, one of my friends told me what I have is a "happy stomach." There are "unhappy stomachs," the kind that are big and hard. These people are holding on to a lot of waste and a lot of bad emotions. Happy stomach is soft...kinda pudgy...jiggly. It would be baby fat if I were a baby. I agreed with her assessment. This stomach is the proud by product of eating meals on a regular basis, something I wasn't doing a year ago.

A year ago, I was unemployed, stressed and starving for a lot of things. Food was a luxury. Once my circumstances changed I began to "luxuriate" (as Wendy Williams would say) in food. It felt really good to be able to buy whatever I wanted , when I wanted. Pasta, cake, burgers, dinner with the girls, dinner with the guys. It makes so much more sense to me now when I see people who get a little bit of money and fame go out and buy crazy, expensive cars and jewelry. They do it simply because they can! It feels good to be able to do something you couldn't do and now you can do it whenever you want. I realize it is very lame that food has been my vice of choice, but oh well.

But, I think I'm finally getting to the point now where the novelty is wearing off. Yes, I can buy pasta for lunch and dinner and eat Panera every morning for breakfast if I want to, but do I really want to? Is that good for me? Does it even make economical sense? I'm so over it now. I'm obviously not starving anymore, so let's get out the past and dive back into the present. My new stomach is the gift that keeps on giving.

I really do understand when other people look at me and say I look fine. I do look just fine. But in my mind, I think my stomach should be a little more sleek to be compatible with my overall body frame. Compared to most people, my stomach is flat as a board. But comparing my body to the average person's is like comparing apples and bananas. My stomach on me at 5'10 looks a helluva lot different than my stomach on someone that's 5'5.

My "happy" stomach isn't making me happy anymore, so I'm doing something about it.


Leave a comment
  • Good Luck girl, you can tame the beast...and as I always say your perception is your reality! You know I have that Happy Belly syndrome too...and I walk at least 30 minutes a day in the mall (LOL), guess I should step my game up a notch...

  • In reply to sburrel:

    Thanks, Sherry! Just trying to get forreal healthy. And I think 30 minutes in the mall is just fine (which I sure 30 is an understatement, lol)

  • Way to go! Good luck, lady!!

  • In reply to VelvetJinxx:

    Thanks! Only into Day 4 of my gym membership, but so far so good :-)

  • In reply to VelvetJinxx:

    I'm a ChicagoNow blogger too and I just started reading your blog. Like you I'm a think girl with a challenging middle section. This little exercise helps. http://www.t-tapp.com/articles/flatstomach/index.html. Along with this I also do cardio and strength train but that move really does work. I welcome your thoughts.

  • In reply to PatriciaBiesen:

    Thanks for the tip and for checking out the blog! I'm having issues accessing the link, but I'm going to see if I can maybe find it through Google. Cardio and strength training is definitely the way to go (I need to incorporate yoga back in my life, too). If I can pull up the link, I'll try out the move and let you know how it goes!

  • In reply to VelvetJinxx:

    I will not pay to exercise. A few years ago, I picked up Bob Greene's (Oprah's trainer) first book. I started walking, incorporated a few of the exercises I could handle and before I knew it, I had ABS! I went from a size 8 to a 4 and I lost 18 lbs.

    Then I fell off the exercise wagon. I'm still a size 4, but the dreaded "muffin-top" has returned. So ... I'm trying to get back into it.

    I'm also a lot older then you and trust me, it gets tougher when you're older. I've never had a weight problem, but like you, I want to be healthy and live long enough to annoy my children!

    The good news is, I felt really good so that was a major motivation. I just got lazy.

    Good luck!

  • In reply to siblingless:

    I think you've sold me on Bob Greene's book! I definitely don't think it's necessary to go to a gym or pay to exercise, but I'm trying something different since I haven't been doing much exercising at home on my own.

    Hopefully, you can get back on the bandwagon; keep me posted :-)

  • In reply to VelvetJinxx:

    Thanks! It's only Week 2 of exercising and I can tell already that I am not a big fan of this. Carrying a gym bag AND my regular bag for work is too cumbersome...

Leave a comment