Note from the editor Lesley Jane Seymour
What, Me? Belly Fat?
Here’s the truth: Age makes your body go wacky.
I grew up so skinny that people used to call me “underfed.” I was so embarrassed, I ended up swilling nutritional drinks just to put some meat on my bones.
Sometime after 50, however, I caught a glimpse of my arms in an elevator mirror. There were dimples that looked oddly like cellulite where hard muscles once had been. Because I’d always worked out and never gained a pound no matter what I ate, I assumed my eyes were just going. Or that it had something to do with the headache drug I’d been taking for a few months. That it would all disappear in a few weeks.
A few years later however I glimpsed the dimples again. I was in shock. How could this be happening? To me? The person who could eat bacon and eggs and French toast for breakfast, a hamburger at lunch, and pasta for dinner. And wait, what are those dimples on my knees? And what was that little pouch forming above my C-section scar? Why did it seem to grow and shrink depending on my weight?
Convinced the pouch was some odd result of the surgery, I even asked my dermatologist if she could suction the roll off. “Let me see it,” she said, then looked at me gravely. “I can but you’ll need to lose weight.” What? Lose weight? Me? That’s a struggle for other people. I’m the kid who always had to gain weight.
Something horrible and freakish was happening to my body — and it was transforming my thighs and my arms all at once.
For years at More the editors would all joke about how to reprise our best-clicked article on the site called “Burn Fat Faster.” Because our business was a numbers game, I was obligated to call the health editor into my office every six months and asked her to find some kind of new research. When she would tell me there was nothing new to add, I’d order her to “find it.” That’s what you had to do to keep the clicks coming and your advertisers happy in the magazine world.
I thought I’d left belly pouches behind (and made peace with mine) until several of you wrote in saying you find belly fat vexing. Well, me too, sister! Luckily I was able to ask the fabulous Lori Kase to dig into the truths and myths and to find us all a bunch of really new solutions. Hint: the easiest one I started with is really a smart but obvious duh — stand up straight! It sounds silly until you see how posture can really impact your belly’s look. From there, she offers a list of interesting insights and solutions that I hope will help and surprise you. I will be trying them all myself. Let me know what you think.
And don’t miss all of the other great writing in this issue, including Laura Munson’s essay on the unique way she dealt with her fledglings leaving the nest, our seven-step guide for reentering the workforce after a career pause (please pass this along to women you know who need it), and our wonderfully inspiring profile of Daphne Maxwell Reid, who is still kicking butt and taking names at over 70. I hope you’ll be inspired and informed.
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