Monday, November 05, 2012

When an X becomes an O

Here's the thing about midlife--basically, aging in general. You think you know yourself, but you keep finding out that you're wrong.

Take the way I describe myself as a brunette, when the brown has been courtesy of my hairdresser for over 15 years. Or the way I think I'm super pale, when I'm actually not the palest possible shade of foundation any more. (Years of accumulated sun damage will do that.)

And here's the latest curve ball Mother Nature has thrown me: I think that I'm an X, when I'm actually an O.

OK, let me explain. According to Mary Duffy, who wrote The HOAX Fashion Formula, women have four body types:

  • H bodies go straight up and down, with little curve at the waist
  • O bodies also carry their weight in the waistline, but their hips are actually smaller than their waists
  • A bodies are the classic pear shape--small upper body and waist with full hips, thighs, and buttocks
  • X bodies are the classic hourglass: basically the same size on top and bottom

Because I have a balcony and hips, for years, X was my category. Now? Well, I'm trying to solve The Case of the Disappearing Waistline.

Here I am at 5'7" and 172, after two hours at the gym where I worked hard at burning off the Crisco I'm hiding not too successfully under my too-tight t-shirt.

I'll have you know that in the elliptical portion of this morning's workout, I burned 520 calories.

Not that you can tell. 

I may or may not have had a pineapple/orange/banana/whey protein smoothie. So let's say I did, and that accounts for some of the midriff bulge.

Here's a front view, where I'm demonstrating that if you want to look thinner, you should angle your body, rather than pose with both shoulders and both hips square to the camera.

On the other hand, if you want to show the world your midriff bulge, facing the camera straight on is an excellent idea.

So here I am, trying to figure out what I am, now that I'm obviously no longer an X. Since my hips aren't smaller than my so-called waist, I can't be an O.  It looks like until get rid of this extra chunk through my middle, I'm no longer an X, I'm an H. And that means everything I've learned in the past 35 years about what silhouettes flatter me? Is now obsolete.

This is right up there with the realization that my hair is actually gray.


  1. You and I have a lot in common. Hair colour brunette helped by the hairdresser :-) )
    My X has turned into an O and your balcony looks very much like mine! Lingerie is an investment buy (!)

    Rooting for you and your continued dedication to getting fit.

  2. Time, seven pregnancies and a few health issues have morphed my shape from an hour glass, to an apple and currently a pear. There's not a dramatic difference between the top and bottom, but enough to call me pear shaped.

    I'm a drug store brunette.

  3. This post is very timely. This 'welcome to your body in your fifties' thing snuck up on me. I used to be pear-shaped, and now I'm . . . pear with an apple on top? It's not pretty, and I have no idea how to dress anymore. I comfort myself with the knowledge that my (unremarkable) natural hair color is still 99% the same.

  4. Dammit, I'm an H. The only curve I have is from my belly. (It's good to know it has a name, though.)

  5. I still don't understand what I am.
    That much I've got.

    You, my dear, have no tushy.

  6. Bb, you never told me Poppy and I could be sisters, we look exactly the same!

  7. Whatever the figure alphabet, it's very nice to meet you:).


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.