Spark's been on a wee bit of a diet this week. Nothing extreme; I'm mindful that only a few years ago I was underweight and trying to gain. It's just that in the warm weather, since I've been wearing form-fitting T-shirts, I noticed that I'd grown a little bit of a poochy belly. I could suck it in pretty effectively, but when I relaxed it was really hanging right out there.
Yes, I am vain. I admit that. I believe that it's totally possible for women with a little extra flesh to look beautiful. It's a matter of proportion. It's not that I was filling out into an appealing, voluptuous hourglass. I just had this belly.
Not being very experienced with weight loss dieting, I had to do a little research to figure out what was going on. I wasn't sure if I was actually gaining fat, or maybe just aging. Here is the alternate theory that I came up with. Everything starts to sag as one gets older. What about the connective tissue that holds the internal organs in the abdominal cavity? Maybe that tissue stretches and all your bowels and pancreas and stuff just kind of fall down to the bottom of your belly? Because, for example, my mom's skinny as a broomstick, but she has a small pot belly. Could it just be gravity plus age plus bad posture?
I looked into it, and apparently no. Internal organs are anchored in place by tendons. To the best of my knowledge, those don't get flaccid with age like skin. It's explained by visceral fat, which is that joyous thing that allows one to boast of pencil arms and a bloopy gut at the same time. This is a common shape on one side of my family.
I am now on a modest diet, which basically boils down to "be willing to be hungry" and "do a lot of planking-related exercises". I think I managed to drop a pound this week, judging by my slightly unreliable scale, my profile in the mirror, and how many times I was hangry every day. I believe that is considered a healthy amount of weight loss for a reduction of around 500 calories per day. I'm going to keep this up for one more week, and hopefully drop another pound. Then the hard part will be maintaining it.
I guess it's a good thing I'm so vain, because it motivates me to be healthy. And there's no concern that I'm going to get crazy about it, because I know exactly how unattractive it is to be too thin. I'm not going there either.