The Gluten-Free Muffin Top

While in my 30’s, I would listen to my friends in their 40’s speak about how little they ate and how much weight they had gained. “You’ll see” they said and warned that a day would come when my metabolism would screech to a halt and the dreaded “muffin top” would ooze over the waistband of my jeans.

I was pretty smug and thought that my gluten-free diet, a sort-of permanent low-carb state, would prevent me from this middle age curse. After all, I don’t scarf down the left over crusts on a kid’s grilled cheese sandwich or eat an entire bag of Oreo’s in a PMS induced frenzy. I saw no reason to believe that there would ever come a day when I would need to leave the junior department when shopping for jeans.

But, then I turned “north of 40” and BOOM…this summer it appeared, the gluten-free muffin top. Shorts and pants that fit a year ago were straining to stay zipped as the waistband practically cut into my flesh. Breathing became labored and sitting down a challenge. The change in my body was confirmed at my annual physical….seven extra pounds from a year ago.

What’s a celiac to do? I always have cookie dough in my freezer, bread in the bread box and pretzels in my cupboard…but I’m not eating more than I did five years ago. I exercise the same amount, drink a nightly glass of wine for my mental well being (remember, I have four kids), and consume copious amounts of water, fruits and vegetables. But, as I look down while typing, there it is….just a big ole’ middle age pooch hanging out over my jeans.

So, this summer I dumped all my cute denim Bermudas, mini skirts and lo-rise jeans on my teen age daughter’s bed and shopped for things one size up. I was in near ecstatic bliss when I found these cute and oh-so-forgiving empire waist t-shirts that draped loosely around the middle and bought one in every color. I’m just waiting for the long sleeved version to come out for the winter.

I have upped the exercise, cut down the food intake a little and make every attempt to stand up really straight and suck in the gut at all times. But, at the end of the day…I won’t give up butter, I won’t give up cookies and my kids will be better off if I don’t give up that daily glass of wine.