I've been reading about this in Oprah Magazine and I'm sorry to say I'm experiencing it in real life: the mid-life weight shift and expansion of the midsection. I haven't actually gained any weight recently, yet lately I'm noticing that my pants are tighter and I'm developing even more of a "D" shape than usual when I look at myself in the mirror. AND at the same time my friends have told me in the last couple of months that I look like I'm losing weight.
What's happening is that my 122 pounds are changing location. I am getting thinner in the face, shoulders, arms and chest. My ring and watchband are looser, I'm wearing a smaller bra size and from the waist up, I look quite trim. But I'm getting extra bulges in the stomach, hips and legs. My pants and belts are tighter. There's no denying it: even without any actual weight gain, my body is changing and it's getting further away from the hourglass shape our culture reveres. I'm afraid I'm turning into a Gary-Larson-cartoon-type of thin-head-fat-stomach old person.
I'm thinking of an article that said that even women who don't gain any weight will notice that their midsections will spread as they move into their 40's and 50's. This sort of makes me feel better because it explains what I've been noticing lately and tells me that it's not my fault and there's no point in fighting nature. But it also makes me feel kind of bad because I'm never going to have that hourglass shape again (okay, I never really had it to begin with, but now there's NO hope).
I've heard that at a certain age women who work hard to stay trim and fit have to make a choice between our face and our ass. I think it's really a choice between our face and our stomach. But whatever your problem area is, the choice is that either we diet and exercise and diet and exericise until our problem area is as fat-free as possible, regardless of how much that deflates the rest of our bodies, including the face. Or we accept the reality of our thick waists/butts and leave our bodies and faces otherwise in proportion. I've heard Courtney Cox cited as an example of a woman who chose her ass over her face. I'd offer Alfre Woodard or Oprah Winfrey as women who have chosen their faces.
And now it's time for me to make the choice (oh hell, now it's time for me to make the choice!).