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Cat Tummy

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Jennifer Ginsberg: No matter how many crunches, hours of cardio, and yoga booty ballet classes I attend, my "cat tummy" persists. Those of you who have given birth and not yet paid $6000 to have the skin severed off your stomach know exactly what I mean. It's that saggy, squishy, postpartum abomination that is impervious to any form of physical exercise. I get very little sympathy for this condition. When I mention it to my friends, they roll their eyes and tell me to shut up, because I conceal it nicely.

womans stomach skin

Some days I can have a sense of humor about my affliction. When I am feeling emotionally stable, I can even recognize that from my cat tummy I grew and nourished two beautiful babies. However, on my "not so good days," my cat tummy is a source of incredible angst; a glaring symbol of what I lost, of who I no longer am.

I hate to admit my vanity. I can throw on a pair of Spanx, a glorified girdle. Nicole Richie reportedly wore two at a time after giving birth to Harlow! But there is something that feels so desperate about resorting to that. For God's sake, my grandmother wore a girdle! I am not ready to completely throw in the towel.

So, I scheduled a consultation, against my husband's wishes, with one of those doctors that deals exclusively with women who have nothing better to do than obsess about their cat tummies. My husband believes that my angst is the product of a distorted body image with a little hyperbole thrown in. Sentiments from a man who has only seen me naked while lying flat on my back (in very dim lighting) for the past few years!

What would the medical professional have to say? Was the only solution to slice the skin off, or was there some less invasive method I haven't yet tried? I geared up for my appointment with him by wearing my cutest bra and most flattering Hanky Panky thong underwear.

As I waited in the office wrapped in a thin paper robe, I felt like I was preparing to meet my Creator on Judgment Day. Would he deem my cat tummy acceptable and pardon me from the hell and torture of plastic surgery, or would he sentence me straight to the operating table?

He waltzed in and asked me to stand up and disrobe. I stood as straight as possible, and sucked in my tummy as hard as I could.

He slowly scanned my entire body. "It's your thighs," he said "They are the problem. They are out of proportion to the rest of your body. They are puffy."

"My thighs?" I stammered, barely able to speak. "It was my stomach I wanted you to look at. I have never even thought about my thighs!"

He continued on as if he hadn't heard me, "We definitely could get rid of the fullness in your inner thigh. I could make a great improvement. But I recommend that you try diet and exercise for a good 6 months first and see if there is any change." With that, he breezed out of the office, leaving me standing there like a fool in my Hanky Panky undies, all puffy thighs and cat tummy.

I haven't gone back to him and it has been well over six months. I continue to intermittently obsess over my cat tummy, but now I like to mix it up with hating on my puffy thighs as well. Thankfully, I balance my self-deprecation by reminding myself that from my imperfect body I created the most incredible, perfect things in my world.

next: Bunnies as Pets ... Not so Fast!
14 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous April 11, 2009, 8:43 AM

you just wrote exactly how I feel!! My consultation is next week! My gosh I think I’ll opt to keep my pants on so he doesn’t see my thighs! haha My husband… and family members think I’m crazy.. oh yeah and vain, but I can’t stand to look at this in the mirror every day! If my consultation doesn’t work out, your right, I have 2 beautiful chidren from this pouchy, sagging belly of mine.

Rachel April 11, 2009, 1:20 PM

Oh the joys of the saggy belly…I’m still trying to work on it so I’m not giving up all hope yet!! But like you, my husband thinks I’m crazy and “You’re so beautiful”. Thanks, that’s very nice of him but I just want my tight belly back! however, if given the choice of a tight belly with no stretchmarks or a son, I would choose my son obviously :)

lauren April 11, 2009, 2:20 PM

Glad you havent gone back to that stupid doctor!!!!

Roxana April 11, 2009, 10:55 PM

what the hell is a cat tummy. that was stupid.

jamie April 12, 2009, 3:10 PM

Is that your stomach in the picture? Now I see why you need that surgery!

Anne April 12, 2009, 8:18 PM

As long as you can cram it into jeans and look good, why undergo a very painful surgery and recovery? I knew somebody who had a tummy tuck and from her description, there is no way I’d do it.

Tiffany April 13, 2009, 1:27 AM

cat tummy??

Katharine April 20, 2009, 8:57 PM

There are clearly some people on here who have never been around cats! For the uninitiated, pretty much all housecats seem to develop saggy, loose, hanging tummy skin that sort of dangles when they walk. That is what “cat tummy” means!

And I think more of us fantasize about doing something about our loose, stretchy skin than we’re willing to admit…

Slteaboc June 25, 2009, 1:33 AM

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Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

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