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interesting body types


I was sitting in the pew at church yesterday waiting to make my Confession and there were a few people milling about getting ready for the 5:00 pm Mass. I noticed the organist, in particular, as he was walking to and fro. The spot I was sitting in gave me an excellent view of his profile. He's got the classic big man's stomach and regular size legs. That got me thinking about how excess weight is distributed on the human body.

It's so interesting to me that men carry their extra weight in their stomach. I mean, eventually if the weight gain continues that weight will spread out to the rest of their bodies. But the first 50 lbs. or so goes right to the stomach.

My husband is not immune to this phenomenon. His hips and thighs are quite narrow; his calves are smaller than mine (a fact I am not proud of, but true nonetheless.) But he's definitely got the stomach. Now, I must add that he has lost 15 lbs. over the last six months and I can tell his stomach has definitely shrunk.

During my pregnancies we used to compare our stomachs side by side. He would try to make me feel better by telling me my seven-months-pregnant belly was smaller than his. (Not true. His was roughly a five-month belly, but he's sweet like that and tries to make me feel good.) Now that we are hopefully done with pregnancies (crosses fingers while frantically knocking on wood) he will bare his stomach in profile and question, "Five months, six months? What do you think?" Just for the record, he's about three months and shrinking.

But back to my observations: There were also some women milling about. Now women are interesting animals, in that they have a couple different ways they distribute excess weight. You've got your Apple shape, the gals who gain weight in their trunk, roughly between their neck and their upper thighs. These women have somewhat of a barrel appearance. Then you've got your Pears. These gals seem to gain weight in their lower stomach, bottom and thighs.

I remember reading something somewhere that said the Apple shape is more likely to have diabetes. I don't know if that's true or not, but my mother is a classic Apple and she has adult-onset diabetes.

Anyway, there are also the women who are either a Pear or an Apple, but they don't seem to show the weight gain in their face. So potentially a photo of just their heads will hide the extra weight. Unfortunately, I am not one of those lucky women. When I gain weight it shows up in my face. Conversely, when I lose weight, my face tends to be the last place the weight leaves. Grr.

What I find odd is that you never seem to find a woman who gains weight the way a man does. Those Apples still have chunky legs, but by comparison to the stomach the legs appear smaller. I would postulate that if you put an Apple and an overweight man side by side, the man would still have slimmer legs.

And I find that strange.


2007-06-17 at 7:15 a.m.

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