Mom Belly: Flatten the Curve



Pre-kids, our figures may have been the best in our entire lives. Pressures to rebound after a baby come from mostly our brains. Age happens, and so does the transformation of our bodies. Were our lives the best without those body changes?

Never compare is what we hear. The truth is we never stop comparing. We compare with our past body and compare with other’s figures. I hear it, “just be healthy,” and we say “really”? I want you to be healthy, happy, AND back to me. Will we ever be back to “me?” No. We will never go back to no kid days either after baby. There’s no turning back on some aspects of life. (Honestly, I tried to quit my mom job when my oldest turned fifteen. She was a challenge and unknown territory. Firstborns have that honor. We experiment on what might work.)

We moms want microwave reality. Dinner comes at the push of a button; why not our rebound? Why do we have to watch our bodies sag and reveal the scars of expansion? Mom tracks are hidden blessings reminding us of the trauma our bodies endured to bring life to this life! Embrace the gift.

Never compare yourself to others! Easier said than done. I get it. We all want to be that supermom in every category. Keep in mind each has a gift or talent that compliments the others in our circle of influence. And the worst is seeing the before and after photos. Just a secret… stand up straight, and you’ve got flatter abs.

@fitmomfoods of Wilmington, North Carolina “These pics are both me, 5 seconds apart. 

One squeezing my guts into submission, leaning back as well as pushing in my hernia from childbirth.

  (Don’t worry, docs say it’s fine to stay) I never post ab pics because….

 1. I never look like the left photo, and if I posted that, it would be deceiving.

 2. I don’t care about having a six-pack (when I was younger, it seemed like a good goal, but the Lord showed me that was pride in my life. Ouch! 

3. Our health and fitness level is not measured by our abs. Can I get an Amen?

We ALL have abs, and they help us to move and function. Let’s not make them an idol. “Let’s keep moving and work on those strength goals … physically and spiritually.”

Our belly is where we keep all our organs. There’s a fine line between self-loathing and getting in shape. Remember, the round is a shape and a beautiful one at that.

So how exactly do we age gracefully? It’s all in your attitude. I’m turning 58 in August. And in August, I turn 22. I mean, each year, I know I’m not a 20-something, but in my mind, I still am in my 20’s. My body fights back with a new pain each year. In ten years, I’m getting a wonderful new gift, a new knee because of Osteoarthritis! Oh, I may have to wait on that blessing for a bit longer than ten years. (Nevertheless, we age, and accepting the change is part of the path.)

Here’s the direct message, as we age, that belly begins to have a mind of its own. Yes, the dreaded “middle age spread,” as it’s so beautifully spoken about. We will change, and the “change of life” is on your radar, if you like it or not. Do not be afraid; we are never going to win the war. We do win tiny battles. Each battle brings us to another level of understanding. Hey, when this waist of mine was carrying a nearly ten-pounder and sporting a 48-inch circumference, I knew baby Charley would be worth it! He’s a joy at 27 now.

Baby, oh baby, we love you. And baby, oh baby, we’re never turning back.

Be shapely. 

Be lovely. 

Be strangely okay with the baby mom of you. 

For me, that’s a strange one right there. I say strangely only because most mommies fight the figure of the future. Our bodies carried a human for nine months. You’re a new you. This new you have unique purposes. This body can bring out food to continue to grow that baby this side of the womb. You’re a gift.

Get healthy if you’re on a trajectory of self-destruction. Eating too little or eating too much isn’t going to be great for motherhood. Our kids always love us no matter how we look if we could only see through those sweet child’s eyes!

Practically speaking, get stronger, have a cardio level in your age range, and always keep flexible. Find your jam on what works. Fitness should be fun and done. However, fitness is a lifetime of a lifestyle of constantly adapting. I’m not going to run the 80 meter low hurdles ever as I did back in high school. I’m okay with that. But I can Zumba, lift weights, do Power Yoga, and cycle! Oh yes, let’s throw in rollerblading too! I love to skate. Do what you can, not what you can’t.

I’ve heard it said that it’s a slow process, but stopping stops the process. Snail’s pace is still a pace. If you want something, it’s going to take work. A flat belly doesn’t define you. It might take longer to create healthy habits, but it’s a lifestyle teaching the mom, not tearing down. 

Age is a number. A waistline is a number too. So thankful our babies think we’re always #1. Your body can do many things; it’s your mind that must get in the game to win. 


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Coach Deena has been teaching fitness since 1991 and currently is also a dance instructor at Starlight Theater Company. As a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she and her husband of thirty-two years are those extreme football fans you hear about. Boomer Sooner! Deena’s a brand-new grandmother and wait till you hear how this granny is taking life by the “horns down.” She’s a stay at home mom, who has homeschooled all four of their children. She’s excited to share her granny knowledge and teenage drama secrets to help you get through life. Deena McDaniel is the creator founder of Christmas Near The Beach, a premier Christmas show in Hollywood, Florida (Est. 2007). In 1996, Deena began writing her weekly column Positively Beautiful, which is published in a local Missouri paper and more recently in a blog form on Facebook. Her background includes TV commercial production, Evening News promotion and hosting her own radio request show, “Sunday Drive.” She has a passion for fitness. It has been a life long adventure, from bodybuilding to mime ministry you’ll see this mom of four teaching fitness of almost any style. She and her family are active members at Palm Vista Community Church in Miami Lakes, Florida. “Remember you’re never able to quit the job of motherhood, rather the dynamics keep changing and your employment is for life.”- Coach Deena


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