First, I was walking in my neighborhood and my laundry guy was smoking a cigarette outside his establishment, and stopped me to chat. Mid way through talking he padded my stomach and said, “You got a belly now. All women should have some.” Then, a friend at worked poked my gut and said, “It’s not like you to have a stomach.”  Why people feel like it’s okay to touch the most sensitive part of my anatomy is beyond me, and it broke me. I went home and went online and bought some Spanks.

This whole gut wrenching story started in 5th grade. I tore my patella tendon in my right knee playing softball, then a couple weeks later I had to get stiches in my left knee for another athletic injury leaving me with two full length braces on both legs for a few months. I couldn’t play at recess, I couldn’t play sports after school, and I remember just sitting on the couch watching TV waiting for my legs to heal. After a few months, one day I looked down and there it was – a roll of fat. Ever sense then it has been impossible to get rid of, and has only grown on me over the years.

I’ve written about the changes in the body in your 40’s but, I never thought I’d be in a place where people are literally pointing out my fat, and never thought I would break down and actually buy some slimming body suit and, here I am sitting with the box in front of me and just can’t even bring myself to open it. Am I waiting for another rude comment from some random person I barely know in the street about my gut? Or a colleague at work that is 50 pounds overweight to begin with, to have the audacity to call me fat? Maybe. Three’s going to be the sad number that will force me to open the Spanx box and try it on, and I am dreading it. I think the hesitation stems from the fact that I believe I can do this on my own; I can eat less and work out more but this 40’s body thing has really been tough, and no one ever told me the gut would grow and be even harder to lose like it was in my 20’s and 30’s. I also fear that if I start wearing the Spanx, there will be no turning back and I’ll be stuck with them for life.

I know I made the decision to slow down in my rigorous workouts a couple years ago cause I just felt like my body needed a break. But when I decided to get back into working out hard like I did in my 20’s and 30’s, it was a reality check that it’s not easy. The body slows down with aging regardless so making a decision to take it easy for awhile was a double whammy.

I tend to obsess in general, but, obsessing over a gut that has been with me since I was 11-years-old doesn’t sound healthy to me. Carrying that weight by obsessing for decades can’t be good for my overall mental well being. Forget about the physical dangers in having excessive stomach fat, I should be more concerned about the deep rooted life long mental obsession with my gut.  And I don’t think wearing a pair of Spanx is going to fix that mental damage, but it’s a start.

Photo by JeepersMedia


Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough , Undressed, and I'm Not Playing.

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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2019). Spanx. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Aug 2019
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