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Just Checking Out the Abs

     Oh no! I’m fighting the battle of the bulge as best I can and to tell you the truth, it’s the bulge itself that’s my biggest inspiration. Now I find out I should be fighting fat that doesn’t bulge. Fat that I can’t see. The fat within.

     It’s Sunday morning. I scootch myself down in the glider on the patio, looking to relax. Shake off the worries of the week. Contentedly, I open the magazine section of the paper. Not the news section – like I said, I’m relaxing.

     I read the smart lady’s column. Nothing much there this week, so I page through to see what else I can learn. Ah! What’s this?

     “Parade’s Guide to Better Fitness.” Parade Magazine, Sunday, June 29, 2003, page sixteen. Author: Michael O’Shea, Ph. D.  This I gotta read.

     It isn’t that I’m into fitness. Matter of fact, I usually don’t read fitness stuff because they always tell me to do something I’m not doing, never have and likely never will. And then I feel like I should feel guilty, but I don’t like to feel guilty, so it’s best I don’t read the fitness stuff.

     What happened is, just as I started to turn the page, a couple of words in the subtitle caught my eye. “Intra-abdominal fat.” Did I read that right? What in heck is intra-abdominal fat? I hafta say, during my lifetime I’ve run into a lot of fat types, but this intra stuff was something new. I read the rest of the subtitle. “How concerned should I be about intra-abdominal fat?” it asked. I could hardly wait to find out.

     The very first sentence shook me right out of that glider. I quote Dr. Michael O’Shea from the above-referenced article:

     “Intra-abdominal fat is a dangerous type of hidden fat that wraps itself around your internal organs.”

     Ohmigosh! I couldn’t take my eyes off the page - except I just had to look down at my lap and stare clear through to my internal organs to see if there was any fat wandering around in there.  

     Unfortunately, my internal organs seemed to be quite well-hidden, so I couldn’t tell if there was any fat there or not. I poked and probed a bit, but my abdomen didn’t feel any squishier than usual, so that didn’t help much.

     Then I started wondering. Are there other kinds of intra-fat we should worry about? Maybe some intra-knees fat? I think I might have a little of that… How about intra-neck fat? Now, the extra-body fat - we all know where that hangs out.

     Well, I’ll tell you what. I’m going to try real hard not to worry about my intra-abdominal fat, because I understand that too much worrying severely shortens your life – or at least makes it miserable.  Miserable I don’t like. Fat I don’t like, either, but hey – if I can’t see it, no one else can. Once I get rid of the extra-fat, then I’ll think about checking into my intra-abominable fat – um, abdominal. Sorry.

     According to Dr. O’Shea’s article, a group of women lost a bunch (a bunch being about sixteen percent) of their intra-abdominal fat by exercising for a year. Seems like a long time to me… Another group spent forty-five minutes a day either on the treadmill or on a stationary bike or walking briskly. They, too, lost some of their abdomens. The fat part, I guess.

     Darn! What will they think of next? I wonder if those so-slender models have intra-abdominal fat. I wonder if you have any intra-abdominal fat…  

     If you notice me looking at you kinda’ funny next time we meet – well, I’m just checking out the abs, ma’am. Lookin’ for the fat.

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