- Women's Health
Muffin-Top Mama: The Real Hero
A Mother's Legacy
There is a phenomenon that a woman's body experiences after it has carried a child and given birth. Our internal organs have been pushed around, kicked, pinched, and sat on by another human being - and our outsides have been stretched like a balloon. The result is inevitable, and often not-so-lovingly referred to as, "The Muffin Top". Unless you enjoy a supercharged metabolic system, or a full staff of personal trainers and home chefs, you know what it is I'm referring to. It's the condition that occurs after we've put on our clothes for the day - when everything around our middle gets pushed upward and over the top of our pants or skirt. We are women with life-size silhouettes of a large, blueberry muffin from your local Starbucks.
The truth is, we think about our muffin tops every day. Our society programs us to believe that after popping out a few children, we should be able to snap like a rubber-band back to our pre-natal body type. I mean, after all - don't we see it on TV all the time? And what about our girlfriend or the mom at the park who eats goldfish, corn dogs and ice cream sundaes with her kids - yet her tummy is as flat as a pancake? It's not fair. So, we diet, and then we gain it back. We do a thousand sit-ups, and while we feel better - not much happens physically. We might even contemplate life-risking surgery that would cost as much as a kitchen remodel (tummy tucks, liposuction).
Oh, and we know how to hide it, girls, don't we! Thank goodness for a-line black dresses, baby-doll tops and oversize shirts. We know how to wear a tight pair of capris or even a miniskirt - so our legs look great, and cover it with a loose fitting blouse, secretly hoping no one brushes against us and feels the roll underneath. Or maybe we'll wear looser pants so we can breathe - and a teeny tiny t-shirt - with chunky jewelry on our necks and ears - hoping that the eyes will be drawn upward and not be peering at the perimeter of our pants. We love winter, what with its turtlenecks and bulky sweaters and dusters and blazers. Ah, but when the crocus first start popping up - the panic of potential swimsuits sets in. We'll try on a hundred suits searching for the perfect combination - one that hides everything and still looks sexy. If anyone ever finds one - let me know.
Ladies, Embrace the Pastry in You!
Today, moms, I challenge you to embrace this new feature and love it for what it is - your legacy of a great accomplishment! Be proud! You worked hard to earn that muffin-top! Almost 10 months, for most of us - of headaches, nausea, back pain, heartburn, sore breasts, sore feet, excessive weight gain, lack of sleep, mood swings, insensitive family members, you name it. And then the labor, shall I remind you? Excruciating pain, more nausea, loss of voluntary control, exhaustion... and for a large percentage of us having had C-sections, what about the months of recovery for major surgery? I'm sure I need not go into the details of after-birth body happenings.
You are still working on your legacy, every day. You are feeding, nurturing, teaching, cleaning up after, molding, shaping, and no doubt metaphorically beating yourself up for what you've done wrong. You are doing a very important job. While it's important to take care of yourself, a flat tummy is not going to provide for your children. Give yourself a break if there's a little excess in your middle - or for that matter, even a little extra junk in the trunk. It is proof of your hard work. After all, there is beauty in that belly. What about belly dancers? They celebrate their curvaceous bellies and look fabulous.
As for the men reading this article - let me take this opportunity to remind you of the miracle the woman in your life has performed. Today - do something that will be more important than you can imagine. Compliment the mother of your child today. Tell her how beautiful she looks, and how you love her just the way she is. You are truly lucky to have her.
If you really want to do something about it, try these sites:
- Flattening Your Abs After Pregnancy
How to reestablish correct abdominal function after pregnancy. Health
- Belly fat in women: How to keep it off - MayoClinic.com
Belly fat — why menopause promotes it and how you can keep it off.