THAT LITTLE VOICE
As I was taking my morning walk the other day, I could hear a little voice in my head saying "walking isn't enough - you should be activating your core while you're doing it". I looked down at my little squidgy pooch that was quietly minding its own business - carefully concealed in my tracksuit pants, and immediately thought "what core?" Somewhere along the way my core seems to have been lost and shows no imminent signs or reappearing.
ONCE UPON A TIME
I started off as a skinny kid and became a tall, slim teenager with no thought about diet or exercise - in fact I can't even remember either word entering my thoughts or hearing them spoken at all in the 1970's. We all just ate healthy (there was almost no take-away other than fish and chips) and we were reasonably active and just stayed trim without giving it a second thought.
Every Summer I lived in a bikini and never thought about sucking in my tummy - it just stayed where it belonged - I was more concerned with my less than ample cleavage than I ever was about my midline. I remember wearing mid drift tops and boob tubes (ahhh those 70's) and never worrying that my stomach was on display. Remember these?:
THEN ALONG CAME CHILDREN
Then along came children - BIG bouncing babies!! And although my body returned to pretty much the same size and weight, things seemed to have shifted around quite a bit. My pert boobs had become little ski slopes, my hips were wider and I had a little "pooch" (or mummy tummy - or whatever you want to call it) which I haven't managed to shift in the years since. It happily goes for walks with me, hangs around when I would rather it sucked in, and generally refuses to budge. Spanx hides it a bit but Spanx is an evil in itself that I would rather avoid if possible!
BEING A NOT-SO-YUMMY MUMMY
I found out about "your core" around the time that yummy mummies started to make an appearance. All these young women popped out babies and were sunning their flat abs in bikinis months later. Every Kardashian and would-be-if-they-could-be was magically wasp waisted within weeks of childbirth. We never had that pressure, but it's definitely all around me now and a constant niggle in the back of my mind. What if I'd put all the extra effort in 30 years ago? Would I look like a nymph now?
I could address it by starting a full-on exercise program at the gym and hire a personal trainer for the other days. Or there's always liposuction - which is as unappealing as full blown exercise - (although I now work for a surgeon who includes liposuction in his operating repertoire, so I could probably get "mates rates"!).....Or I can choose to accept that a "pooch" is a trophy of middle aged mothers (except for a lucky or disciplined few) and get on with enjoying my life.
I am a great believer in the motto "all things in moderation", which means I will never give up the occasional treat of chips, or chocolate, or cake, and I won't be taking up an expensive regular gym membership. And if that means I carry a little bit of softness on my midline, then it will give my grandbabies a comfy place to rest and I'm okay with that. Here's to self acceptance - long live the pooch!