• Marilyn Gardner Woods

Flat Belly...

Updated: Jun 25, 2020


The long and winding road to flat belly…


In reality the road is long, but not winding.


In order for me to pare down the girth of my burgeoning stomach, I have to go directly to jail; do not pass go.


Actually, I’ve been in a kind of jail and that’s what’s caused the unflat belly.


Holed up for months now in a monk-like-life I’m learning to love, friends and family have delivered sweets often, most recently a generous slice of homemade key lime pie from Maddie.


I have found it exceedingly easy to order whatever strikes my fancy from restaurants and dine at any time of day or night; left over Chesse Tortellini with Walnut Pesto works well with Criminal Minds at midnight. My attention span is unusually brief and the kitchen is nearby. All contributors to my protruding potbelly.


I am grateful, at this point in my life, to have the ectomorph body shape of my father. Us ectomorphs “tend to be long limbed, thin and not particularly muscular; relatively low weight with high body fat.”


At this point, I'm closer to the figure on the left...

However, after youth, not only us ectomorphs but endomorphs and mesomorphs too, extra poundage loves to congregate in the mid-section. The gravity of middle age and beyond, also a contributor. Elastic waistbands, the comfort food of clothing.


My tipping point occurred after a recent doctor’s appointment; the nurse regaled me with all the benefits of her Celery Rescue, a grass roots movement promoting global health by drinking sixteen ounces of celery juice on an empty stomach every morning. In no way did I entertain the juice of a celery stalk before my morning coffee. Nurse Jackie’s self-discipline did prompt me, however.


On my drive home from her office, after struggling to lock my seatbelt over my expanding middle section, I made the decision to regain a flat belly. I’m a black and white kind of girl, either all in or complete abstinence. I can do most anything for a defined amount of time. Like going without a glass or two of wine each day for a month which I wrote about.

Alcohol Free January


I channeled my father throughout those challenging thirty-one days at the beginning of 2020. AA for the last twenty-five years of his life, he replaced alcohol with a generous bowl of ice cream, Rocky Road most often, each night just before bed. When his ectomorph silhouette expanded by five or six pounds at the waistline, Dad would give up the ice cream, usually for two to three weeks, and be back in shape.


Kind of amusing to remember that when the young fifty-year-olds wanted to remodel his golf club (and assess members), my then seventy-five-year-old father referred them pejoratively as “the flat bellies.”


I’m after the flat belly, Dad.




And so, it begins. No booze, no meats, no breads, no sweets. For at least ten days. I will miss the salted caramels terribly.




I can do just about anything for ten days, I think.

“Pardon me, are those fava beans?”










The Orange Woods - Seasons in the Country Artfully Lived available now.




Hilarious!!!I unfortunately resemble those remarks!!! Remember the “ freshman 10”?  Well, We call this “the Covid 19” I also want to tell you how much I’m savoring your memoir!  The word that pops into mind when I picture your home is MAGICAL.  The scents, sights, food, people ALL of it.  A magical place, some of it created by nature, but much of it by you and Jack. I am about halfway through and don’t want it to end.  I know you didn’t want it to end either. And for that I shed some tears. Hugs to both of us this Father’s Day Weekend. MKB

remember the key lime could go in the freezer to share with friends whose limes are presently too 🤢mp
Just read and made a note but wanted to ask - are those your folks? They’re so beautiful! Your dad’s got a Cary Grant/Tom Hanks look. Your mom is Janet Leigh. Or is that you??? I need to see a picture of you as a young woman.gl
I am inspired by your message and will, once again, try to retrieve my flat tummy.  joanne

You had a handsome father.   I did too.

At least, yours gave you a flat belly.

Mine gave me his big ugly feet....Janis in Austin


Love your thoughts but I am too far gone! Ha!😊❤️JS


Enjoyed that, Marilyn.  I used to be sooo ecto!  Haven’t heard those medical categories in a while.

Freeze  some key lime pie!

Love, Bob


Enjoyed your thoughts concerning the flat belly issue.  With me, that train left the station years ago.  All I can do is look on the bright side......A fluffy, protruding middle is totally free of wrinkles. It also prevents one from a clear, unobstructed view of troublesome and rebellious feet. There are no pesky brain voices ...Just take the dark road and enjoy the ride. FC in Ventura



🦶🦶🦶🦶🦶🦶!

223 views5 comments

Recent Posts

See All