Okay, so right there, you see where we have a problem?
Because this is not the kind of question you can ask without definitively already knowing the answer. Research is required. Certainty is essential. If you have collected faulty data, well, you had better have a reasonable explanation for your miscalculation; something that has to do with what is terribly wrong with you, or how you were just teasin’, or how you said pagan, not, pff, pregnant.
She had a lot of 'splainin' to do. But instead:
“Oh, wow, really? Because, I don’t know, your stomach looks like, so like, weird. Like, why does it look so weird?"
Like, I don’t know.
“I mean, it just looks like, like from that angle, well, like, what’s that? You know, that, like...there.
Pointing? There is pointing at my weird but not pregnant stomach? Just now it feels like someone has poured Frank’s RedHot Sauce in my eyes.
Had I been in a private examining room, alone with my obstetrician, I would have been merely mortified by the gaff. But alas, I was in a room full of people, all straining to sneak a peek. People who had come to take the exercise class I was about to teach in a bra top and Lycra leggings, exposing my apparently swollen and weirdly misshapen abdomen like an exhibition for Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
“Did you always…” she continued. With a full-fledged investigation apparently underway, I began to hope for a water boarding option.
“Can you just...I have to start the class now” I asserted in my bravest three-year old voice as I stifled an emotional tsunami.
For the next hour, I held in both my abdomen and tears while instructing the class in all manner of core-crushing exercises for those of us suffering from protruding paunches. I then dedicated the following 23 hours to developing snarky retorts I could-a, would-a, should-a said.
If only she hadn't been, like, right.
You know what I hate? I hate when you convince yourself that you are being totally ridiculous and insecure about something that no one else even notices, only to discover that, no, actually, everyone is focusing on it because it is just that troubling.
You see, I have a flesh flap; a swag of skin that drapes like a window treatment from hip to hip. Hold a raw Perdue Oven Stuffer Roaster up on her drumsticks and you'll get the gist of my saggy situation.I have been plagued with a Poultry Pouch ever since the birth of my twin boys who, while overstaying their welcome, inflated my once flat abdomen to stability ball proportions. After a 42 week pregnancy (yes, that is two weeks too long), the Demolition Duo were evicted at knife point, leaving behind an empty hanging hammock where they once lay. While I realize that I cannot blame two innocent newborns for my demise, I see no reason to pardon a full grown obstetrician. Surely he could have hacked off that excess yardage before stitching me up. Instead, he tried his hand at tailoring and gave me pleats.
I have spent the better part of of the last two decades working myself up into a frothy sweat in an effort to defy the cruel intentions of Mother Nature. But it seems that no amount of hocking and shvitzing will correct my crinkled condition. Of course, there is a surgical option, but the thought of being carved and gutted like a trout makes me seasick. Left to my own devices, I have been involved in elaborate machinations to keep my ravaged rectus abdominis under wraps. Early strategies may have possibly once included trying to duct tape the droop down under...but ultimately, I was forced into a fitness protection program known as Operation Lycra where I have perfected the art of strategic origami waistband folding.
The thing is, until quite recently, the outing of my tissue issue occurred to me as evidence that I was not really fit. Being fit was being perfect and something was clearly wrong with me. I was a fit fraud. And I was so uncomfortable with the pretense that the minute someone complimented me on my fitness level or physique, I would yank out the flank like a confession. Let me cut you off and show you what's wrong with me before you notice and recoil in disgust. Fortunately, after one such "meeting in the ladies room" post-workout show-and-tell, I learned that my kangaroo kilt was actually not an original design. Apparently, there were a large number of us Secret Saggy Sisters, all convinced that what lurked beneath our Lycra was a unique ab-omination.
My friends, sadly, I have not found an exercise, diet or lotion that will shrink wrap the flap (yet), but I can show you something that will probably make you feel better. First, I should warn you that some images may be disturbing to, you know, people with eyes. But in the interest of full disclosure...here you go...
It's all me, and it's like, fine...
I am in no way suggesting that I am ready to flaunt my flesh flounce like a front-facing fanny pack, but I am done allowing it to define or diminish me. People will see what they see, think what they think, say what they say. It is what I say that defines who I am and will be.
And I say, I am fit and powerful, flesh flap and all.
Giving up the notion that there is something wrong with me that needs fixing, frees me up to focus on the ongoing process of living powerfully. I have found that following through on my commitment to exercise and eating right, not because I have something to repair or undo, but simply because I said so, gives me the physical and mental fuel to be fit without having to be perfect. I am convinced that it's why some of us get turned on to a fit lifestyle that lasts a lifetime while others start, stagger and stop, over and over again. If what you are doing is just to fix something, the minute you fix it, you stop what you were doing to have that result. And around you go again...
Listen, I totally get that you want results: to lose five pounds, flatten your abs, slim your thighs, trim the back fat. I have made a career out of helping people do just that. But I am discovering that the powerful state of "being fit" isn't really about getting fixed.
Your weight, physique, physical condition, fears and perceptions of what others may think of you, have nothing to do with you being fit, right now, in this moment.
What? I know, isn't that a relief?
Being fit is a process, a practice, not a specific result. The process and the practice will inevitably yield results if you have integrity about the things you say you want. I am practicing being fit when I make choices that fuel my muscles, heart, lungs and mind. I am not dieting to overcome my being a fat pig the night before. I am not going to the gym to murder the sloth that let myself go. I don't need to be punished or ridiculed or beaten up. I am not, like, weird, for having loose skin or a protruding stomach.
We do not need to be perfect to be comfortable in our own skin. Commit to feeling powerful, vibrant and fit and do the things that make you feel that way as often as you can. Results develop naturally, like ripe fruit, from strong and healthy roots.
Should you need a coach for being fit and powerful, or wish to learn the art of strategic origami waistband folding, visit me at www.fitnessbyloren.com.