How to Get Rid of Your Muffin Top (for Cheap!)

BlogHer Original Post

So I have a secret to share: I've been working on my muffin top since December.

Background

As a formerly disordered exerciser and eater, I have to make sure any change I make to my diet or exercise routine is very slight. I have a tendancy to overdo things and get hung up on routine to the extent I feel horribly anxious and guilty if I miss a workout. However, that doesn't mean I can't learn to be kind to myself while at the same time maintaining my physical self in a reasonable manner (stress on "reasonable" -- there will be no three-hour-Gwyneth Paltrow workouts for me).

Flashback to December 2012. Ah, aging. My belly, once flat, was growing puffy and poofy. When I leaned to the side, part of it would fall over the edge of my jeans. That has not happened since I was a little kid. When I realized this ... extra ... was not water retention but actual slack womanfat, I knew it was time to make some adjustments.

I understand how I got there. There were extra French fries. There were evenings on the couch instead of running around the yard because it looked like midnight at 5 pm. I didn't actually notice the change at first. It snuck up on me as slight weight gain is apt to do. I was cold, so after showering I would grab the towel, then the bathrobe, then the clothes without a stop at the mirror ... until that fateful December evening when I realized I had officially joined Generation Muffin Top.

It wasn't fair. I'd already joined Generation Cellulite. Last year, I made peace, FINALLY, with the fact I now have cellulite on the front of my thighs. I've always had in on the back, but you can't see the back, you know? And if you can't see it, everyone knows it doesn't really exist. Realizing the cellulite was going to be there all front and center even if I lost weight (because let's face it, even skinny older ladies have cellulite) was rough at first, but I made some accommodations to my wardrobe and was ready to move on. So this whole muffin top business was like adding insult to injury on top of crow's feet. There is only so much you can do about most aspects of aging, but the muffin top thing? I was not going to take lying down.

muffin top

Credit Image: diekatrin on Flickr

Which is a lie, because I had to lie down to start doing crunches.

At the end of December, I stumbled upon a blog post of a woman about my age doing some combo of sit-ups made popular by Ab Ripper X or some such thing I would never buy. (I just searched and searched for the post to link it. My search term was "crunchy frog" because that is the name of one of the exercises, and if you google "crunchy frog," the earth rotates backwards on its axis, so I gave up. Suffice it to say, there is lot written on the topic of crunchy frogs, and only some of the words are about sit-ups.) I also started doing a ballet workout on Sundays. The ballet workout is interesting in that it is extremely painful without making me sweat. The ab workout is the only ab workout that has ever caused me to immediately perspire. Riddle me that.

I normally do about 150 minutes of exercise a week, usually in four, forty-minute sessions, but because if I am too rigid about anything I will go overboard, I just shoot for the 150 minutes whether I get it in two days or six. I added the 60-minute ballet workout on Sunday afternoons, and I've only missed one since January. I don't count it as part of the 150 minutes, and if I miss it, I don't try to make up for it. I added the 5-7 minutes of ab exercise to the end of at least two of my normal workouts a week, plus the ballet one. I spent about $25 on the ballet DVD and $0 on the crunches, because, hello? Internet.

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