For the Love of My Muffin Top

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I have a muffin top.

Now before you rush to say, “just wear looser pants” or “that’ll go away as you lose more weight” let me explain to you that I don’t just have a muffin top by proxy of bum-hugging denim (although I am a fan of a good pair of skinny jeans). No my friends, my standard body type is muffin top. I have a perma-muffin top if you will. It’s just what I am. Even wearing my old size 24s jeans—that were my pant of choice 50 pounds ago–the muffin top still exists. I imagine even if I was someday a size four, I’d be a size four with a round little belly (pear-shaped sisters, unite!). I’ve come to the realization over the past few years that short of plastic surgery, there is nothing I can do to rid myself of the ol’ love handles. They will always exist. And when I sit down? Any hope of being muffin-top-free all goes out the window.

For the vast majority of my adult life, my daily dressing routine has centered around disguising my perma-muffin top. Layering tank tops. High-waisted pants. Even my workout clothes were purchased strategically to obscure the sides of my tummy. Say I spend 10 minutes a day thinking about how to look “smooth.” I’ve been a legal adult for 10 years. That’s 36,500 minutes I’ve spent worrying about my stupid muffin top (even before the term existed).

One day this week, while I was getting ready for work, standing in front of our full length mirror, thinking that I should really put a tank top on under my shirt to help suck in the love handles, suddenly it clicked.

I think I actually like my muffin top.

Say what? A crazy thought. What woman likes something as universally hated as their muffin top? I must be crazy. But suddenly, as I was standing there, knowing in my heart-of-hearts that I am in a very healthy place both emotionally and physically, it occurred to me that my muffin top doesn’t represent all the negative things that women’s magazines suggest it does. I haven’t “let myself go.” I’m not wearing inappropriate clothing. I don’t need to spot train my obliques (which, by the way, are seriously on fire from my most recent core workout). No, my muffin top is just me. It isn’t a symbol of who I am or what I believe in.

If anything, flaunting a muffin top is a sign of strength and emotional health. Is the person that hides their flaws under tent-like clothing more emotionally secure than the person that lets their less-than-model perfect body spill out of a pair of tight jeans? I’ll tell you one thing, I know I have no desire to go back to my size 24s, just because someone doesn’t want to see my flaws. Does that make me emotionally stunted? Or unaware of my presence? No. It just means that I’ve accepted my body for what it is.

Now that I’ve pulled myself out of the society view of what a muffin top is and what a muffin top represents, I’m starting to see the beauty in them. Yep, you read that right—the beauty of a muffin top. Soft, smooth, womanly, organic, curvy. Those are rarely bad things. In fact, there is something a little bit sexy about a muffin top. Just a small glimpse (even if covered by cloth) of what must be a soft, round and feminine belly. Generally, as a society, we see any touch of body fat as unhealthy, lazy and disgusting, but a woman’s body is meant to carry much more body fat than a man (10-15% more). Having softness is a sign of health, fertility, and femininity. There is something inherently attractive about a woman having a little junk in her trunk (and on her sides).

Of course, everything in moderation. I’m not saying cancel your gym membership and start eating fast food daily to “grow” your muffin top (what a thought). But what I am saying is maybe it is time that as a society, we start to think of the muffin top as a symbol of something different. Maybe even beautiful. And I think I’m starting with feeling that way about my own.

Of note, finding muffin top demonstration pictures for this was mad hard. I guess I have a habit of deleting muffin-toppy photos? Well that stops now.

Do you have a muffin top? How do you feel about it?

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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21 Responses
  1. I can’t tell you how much this warms my heart. Or how much I needed this.

    I have a similar attitude toward my arms. Yes, they’re floppy. But I take them as a reminder of where I came from. Of how far I’ve come. Of what they can do now that they couldn’t do before.

    But my (as you so accurately put it) perma-muffin top? It’s there for good too. And it bugs me. A lot. Almost as much as my inner thighs, but that’s another story. I’m reluctant to highlight my waist because I think it only accentuates my muffin top.

    So I guess I’m off to my closet to find something to accentuate my waist tomorrow. Muffin Tops Unite!

    (I feel like we need a secret handshake or a decoder ring or something.)

  2. Jocelyne

    Some days, Cassie, you just flat out amaze me…and that is what makes me look forward to your posts each day. Your perspective is so unique, honest and refreshing and I just hope for a little bit of it to rub off on me.

  3. Jenny

    love. this. post. I agree with Krissie–we need some kinda signal to show our M.T. unity 😉 I think our logo should be barbie legs sticking out the bottom of a bran muffin…ha! I think the only way my get rid of my spare tire is to stop drinking Fat Tire and that’s NOT gonna happen, so looks like I better start learning to love it!

  4. You go girl! What an inspiration you continue to be. I have the opposite of a muffin top: big chest, hips, and thighs, narrower waste. That’s an hour glass, I do believe. And accepting it and even flaunting it a little is a difficult task but I am on the path to embracing it. Thank you again for putting it out there in an honest and relatable way! Your muffin top becomes you!

  5. I really enjoyed this post, what a breath of fresh air. It’s about time society starts accepting and promoting the fact that beauty comes in many many different shapes and sizes.
    Be it a big nose, a big round booty, a large forehead or a muffin top, we are all God’s beautiful creatures!
    Thank you for the inspiration, and I’ll gladly join the muffin-top club!

  6. I love you. This is amazing! I can sympathize — my stomach is the part of my body I’m still most self-conscious about without a doubt. Maybe this will be my first step to start embracing mine, too! After all, curves are a woman’s friend. They make us soft, sensual, voluptuous creatures (hello pretty much any Renaissance-era painting!) that should be embraced (literally and figuratively!) <3 <3 <3

  7. You’re amazing Cassie! I wish I had the same love for my body that you have for your own. I’m getting closer but still struggle on an almost daily basis with feeling disgusted about my body, even though I’ve come a LONG way in the past year and a half. Thanks for the reminder that no matter what our shape is – it’s beautiful & should be embraced!

  8. Cassie, I love this! I have always been the “big” girl my entire life. I have a big booty and there is nothing I can do that will ever change it. I learned a long time ago that it is better to accept it and learn how to make it “work” for me 🙂 My hubby says it is one of his favorite parts about me! Thanks for sharing this!

  9. MegsFitness

    It’s all about the -real beauty- each and every one of us has 😀 Can’t spread the love until we stop the hate and it all starts with the person we see in the mirror every morning.

    I’ve got the same thing going on =P Loose t-shirts have been my friend for years but I never tried the tank-top underneath idea. Maybe now I don’t have to 😀

  10. Athena

    Big high five to you for embracing the muffin top! I too have a muffin top and often find ways to diguise or minimize it with clothing. Sometimes I look at it and I think it’s sexy, but most times I look at it and wish it away. You have made me rethink my attitude towards my muffin top. Thank you so much for this post. You are awesome!

  11. This post makes my heart happy. I’d never ever ever been happy with my body, but lately I’m sort of embracing it. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to improve it and make it stronger and healthier, but this is the body I live my life in, and since I love my life, I should learn to love my body too, for all it does, all it has done, and all it will do in the future.

    And I like having junk in the trunk. I love my butt, even though it kind of sways and jiggles when I walk.

    I’m positive my body will never be perfect. I know I will never have a flat belly, or toned arms, or skinny thighs, but I think everything my body is capable of doing, despite these things, makes me realize that it’s okay to have an imperfect body and still love it. It’s also okay to say I love my body, but am working on making it stronger and healthier. Loving my body doesn’t mean I’m going to be content to keep it the way it is.

    1. Cassie

      I think part of my journey is defining what a “perfect body” means to me. Sure, Cosmo’s definitely of perfect might be a flat belly, toned arms and skinny thighs, but is that what I really think is perfect? I’m not sure.

  12. Lisa

    I am 3 months preggers with my first kid and just noticed….(god this pains me to even type it)…..stretch marks! ACKKKK!

    I am in the process of trying to accept them. Thank you for your words today. It is helping me move towards an accepting place.

    1. Cassie

      Stretch marks are just a beautiful indicator that your body is moving, shifting and growing to bring another life into this world. Don’t let the commercials and magazine tell you differently—stretch marks are beautiful! And congratulations!

  13. cassie

    I have also been looking down at my muffin top and trying to embrace it. I also people watch and notice that most typical women have roundness in their mid section. So I do feel there is much more to be celebrated that to be “girdled.”

    Love your blog…thanks for all your fun and insight.

    1. Cassie

      I went to the beach yesterday and noticed the same thing. Most women have some roundness and softness in their belly. There were lots of beautiful, beautiful women in bikinis that had a little bit of fluffiness. It was nice!

  14. Eden

    Thank you so so much for this.

    I have spent the last ten years hating my muffin top. Trying to disguise it with clothes and kickbox/jump-rope/dance/crunch/jog/run/diet it off my body. I have come to appreciate the strength in other “problem areas”, see them as works in progress, and even feel comfortable wearing tank tops/shorts/etc. But my muffin top still feels like a part that doesn’t belong. Like it’s something that has to be fixed. And I’ve worked very hard to try to fix it. I thought that once I healed my relationship with food, my body would look the way I wanted it to. I thought I would finally look like Jillian Michaels. But I have had a healthy relationship with food and exercise for a long time now… and my body still is what it is.

    I’m finally starting to accept that it’s time for me to accept myself, as I am right now. It’s time to stop expecting/wanting my body to look like other bodies. I have a lot of internal resistance to this change but blogs like yours, especially this post, are truly aspirational and inspirational for me. They show the confidence and body-love that I want to have. They remind me that it is possible, and actually healthy, to truly love every inch of yourself and your life.

    Again, Thank you! <3

    1. Cassie

      It is possible. I’m not saying it comes overnight. But you can eventually get there. I’m still not 100% confident in my body, but I’m getting there, and you will, too!

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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

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