There’s a lot of talk these days about muffins, and I don’t mean the kind we eat for breakfast. From fad diets to abdominal exercises promising complete obliteration to dangerous and painful procedures and surgeries, wherever I turn the muffin keeps rearing its ugly, ahem, top. But lately I have begun to question what all the fuss is about. Are muffin tops and their exile from our lives worth the time and attention we give them? Or are they actually an irresistable treat we mistakenly overlook in the buffet line?
We can all agree growing older is a fact of life (but as I always say, better to age than to not), and by middle age our bodies have already done a whole lot of hard work for us. But, hopefully, we have also played just as hard along the way. We have birthed our children, dined on fresh pasta in Italy, consumed one too many drinks celebrating the joyous wedding of a friend, and indulged in a warm batch of freshly baked cookies we made with our kids on a cold snow day home from school. So, if our muffin top is a consequence of all of that good stuff, how bad can it really be? What it is, that old muffin top of ours, is proof positive evidence we have enjoyed our days and nights without counting every morsel of food and drink as it passed through our lips, and have lived our lives with at least some capriciousness.
Still, for whatever reason, so many of us—each of us beautiful women in our own right—spend a ridiculous amount of time worrying about how we look undressed. And not only undressed, but how we look in the most compromising positions, positions we contort ourselves into in front of the bathroom mirror, and positions no one else will see but us and the ones who want to be with us.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all in favor of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle complete with regular exercise. And I do. But I also know that no matter how thin I get, at my current age of 41 my muffin top continues to hold on tightly (or loosely, I should say). For this reason, I have decided to call a truce and make peace with my muffin top because even a muffin top has its good side. Here are the five things I have come to value most about my muffin top and why I no longer feel the need to knock myself out trying to lose it.
1. My muffin top is part vampire. If there was to be a fifth installment in the Twilight saga my muffin top would definitely make the director’s cut. Why? Because my muffin top easily blends in during the day among those other “hard bodies” I see at the gym, the beach, and all around town that don’t seem quite human. Buying jeans that fit (stay away from low-rise styles and lean toward pairs with a little bit of stretch to them), wearing sexy underwear that accentuates your strengths (there are some great varieties out there, including thongs, that come up a little higher in the front while elongating the leg), and sporting a concealing but still revealing bathing suit (the same rules that apply to underwear also apply to bikini bottoms with a little bit of added spandex to help control those problem areas) can make a big difference. My guess is a lot of those gals that look so svelte may also be packing their own baked goods down below. Muffin tops need only come out at night in the privacy of our own bedroom or bathroom. Should there be a guest in either, there’s nothing a little mood lighting or a tub full of bubbles can’t disguise. But at that point there are likely some other body parts already in the spotlight.
2. My muffin top is a talented magician’s assistant. Abracadabra, now you see it, now you don’t! Want your muffin top to temporarily disappear? Lie down on your back to get the show started. And, like magic, it will be gone. We all know which positions are most flattering for showcasing ourselves as the main attraction. If you’re feeling self-conscious when undressing in front of a new sexual partner, don’t hesitate to position yourself in ways that make you feel more comfortable. Low and behold, not only will that muffin top disappear, so will your inhibitions.
3. My muffin top is the best natural filler out there. Forget synthetic fillers from the dermatologist. Your muffin top is not only natural, it’s also free! Stretched out skin from pregnancy? No problem. But first, stop starving yourself. In mid-life our weight tends to shift to our midsections regardless and miraculously fills in the lasting effects of a pregnant belly. Whenever I’m underweight, not only do I look unhealthy, I am unhealthy. Since I’m only first getting started with my new lease on life post-divorce and plan on being around for a long, long time, I realize the importance of nourishing not only my soul but my body as well.
4. My muffin top is hot. Literally. I am a warm-blooded, healthy woman. Studies have shown men are more attracted to women who have a little meat on their bones because those are the women who are most fertile. Even as we leave our childbearing years old habits die hard. Besides, would you want to snuggle up to a bag of skin and bones or someone cuddly? Everyone knows muffins tops are even better when served warm.
5. My muffin top is part of who I am. Anyone who doesn’t like what’s being served on the menu is free to frequent a different bakery. The truth is, since opening my shop long ago the only one to ever complain (even during my marriage) was myself. After way too many years of engaging in bad business practices, I finally gathered enough strength to kick that dissatisfied customer right out the door once and for all. Today I’m one proud and successful business owner because, as it turns out, muffin tops aren’t only for breakfast. They are food for life.
This article appeared on MariaShriver.com August 27, 2014.