Something about love handles I wish someone would’ve told me six years ago

Love handles skinny-fat Anthony Mychal

I’m the prime suspect in an ongoing love handle obsession investigation. I’m eighteen years old. I have a six-pack for the first time in my life.

But the love handles…

The love handles aren’t budging.

I stare in the mirror, wondering if the utters of blubber jutting from my hips will ever go away.

I stare for six months. I'm freaking out. I'm cramming fat loss mode for moons beyond the norm.

My physique reflects the level of discontent my mind endures; my body withers into nothingness.

Live and learn, they say.

Because I sit here now, nearly ten years later, with a note my eighteen year old love handle obsessed self needed.

You’re going to have love handles for a long time if you keep believing you have love handles.

The picture you scrolled past? At the very beginning of this? That's me. Current day, October 2014. Low body fat. Love handled. 


Flip things to Miranda, a NPC Bikini Competitor. I don’t know Miranda, but I know she has an Instagram account. (You’re welcome, by the way.) She's a great example of the lean and love handled…

…because she has no love handles.

Miranda love handles hip muscles

What some perceive to be “love handles” aren't really love handles. Sometimes they're not even body fat, as in Miranda's case.

The thing you see (what some see as love handles) is a muscle, more specifically the giant hip muscle(s). ‘Yaknow — junk in the trunk.

She's the false love handle prototype.

According to Miranda, her waist is twenty-four inches. Her hips? Thirty-seven inches.

With a waist-hip spread like that, something's gotta' give — you have a narrow top that blossoms into a wide bottom. The body isn't a disjointed mass. There has to be some connection between neighboring parts.

When you're as lean as Miranda, you can see…oh crap, that's just a giant hunk of muscle. But if you have body fat covering this area, you lose the hard sculpted delineations and are left with soft slopes.

Doesn't take much either. A thin film of fat creates the curves. See another picture of Miranda below to understand what I'm talking about.

Miranda love handles hip muscles

With certain body proportions, just a little bit of fat is enough to convince yourself that it's all fat. And losing fat can make your “love handles” seem even bigger because you lose the fat around the waist, but the large hip muscles remain.

Now, I can tell you this, but will you believe it?

Maybe. Maybe not.

I probably wouldn't have believed it. I'm stubborn like that. I would have went on and made the same mistakes only to learn, uhh, nine years later.

Trying to lose fat, build muscle, and build a body you’re proud of?

Maybe you’re a little lost right now.

Maybe you don’t have much motivation.

Maybe you don’t what program or diet to use.

I don’t know…

But what I do know is this:

Everything you need is inside of you.

You’re capable of more than know.

You just have to open your eyes.

My weekly column can help.

Just a small little honest note from me sent every Sunday.

Unless I’m hungover.

And then it comes Monday.

What I’m trying to say is that it’ll come Monday.

(These weekly columns don’t get posted to the site.)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • MK October 17, 2014, 5:11 am

    Thanks for this post! It’s hard not to self obsess and always feel gross and that you can do more.

    • Anthony October 25, 2014, 3:16 pm

      Ah, yes, don’t feel gross. In the end, no one cares but you 😉 if you feel gross, don’t feel gross because of what OTHERS may think, but rather because of some standard for being you place on yourself.

  • DavidSwe October 17, 2014, 9:29 am

    Interesting! I’ve had the same concern about the same area, but it made my but lock “too big” (according to my minds judgement). After a little cut and watching Jonnie Canditos video “why I want a huge ass” my mind is now at peace.
    Your “love handles” are now something different. Are you now okay with how this part of your body looks, now when it has no “judgemental name”?

    • Anthony October 25, 2014, 3:09 pm

      I’ve absolved any mental ties with my body imagine insofar as what OTHERS think. My only “hiccup” with my body would be in terms of being unable to make something happen that I’d want to happen, simply as an artifact of some sort of self control / dominance.

  • Yannick Noah October 19, 2014, 4:02 am

    Woah man I wish I had known this. Either way I have to get leaner and when I do, I shall not worry about the love handles. Thanks ant.

    • Anthony October 25, 2014, 3:04 pm

      Welcome, thanks for reading.

  • Brian October 20, 2014, 3:38 am

    You continually post things I need to hear. I too have been battling the “love handles” (reading this post has caused me to start using quotes around that..A step in the right direction). Even though I don’t come from a skinny-fat background (I come from a… fat-fat background, I guess you could say..Used to be on the verge of obese and dropped 110 lb), I’ve leaned down to 10% or so in the past and still have not gotten rid of them. Our body’s seem to have a lot in common.

    One question though..In that picture, are you wearing your shorts where you normally would wear a pair of pants? They look a bit low, or perhaps my eyes are playing tricks on me.

    • Anthony October 25, 2014, 3:04 pm

      They’re low.

  • Samir October 21, 2014, 4:29 pm

    I believe! I got my “love handles” through single leg squats.

    Fortunately I can actually hold the entire muscle(s) especially when sitting.

    • Anthony October 25, 2014, 3:00 pm

      Yeah, balance work will hit the hip rotators.

  • Ron October 28, 2014, 3:25 pm

    The first picture is you ? WTF you’re smaller than the average joe at my gym.

    • Anthony October 29, 2014, 12:57 pm

      Is the average joe 6’4″?

    • Anthony November 5, 2014, 12:48 am

      Thanks, Chris.

  • Miranda October 31, 2014, 11:03 pm

    Hi, I’m actually the girl in the photos. My “love handles” are actually my butt. Most people would lose the “love handle” look if they just pulled their pants up a little higher, which I’ve always had to do.

    Another thing is your oblique can appear as love handles, if you have prominent obliques which I see you do. Especially if your body tends to hold fat mostly in your waist area it’s going to have that illusion. Your obliques are holding onto fat. My body type holds weight in my hips/thighs so when I gain some fat it sticks out more there. Some people gain weight evenly all over. If you’re only 18 just keep working at it. Nutrition is the key to a flat stomach!

    Also, thanks for the kind words! And for the record, those measurements are accurate 🙂

    • Anthony November 1, 2014, 2:56 pm


      Thanks for the reply. I forgot to reach out to you, but I’m glad you’re OK with me using the photos. I’m sure your words will give a lot of people some peace of mind, as will your photos.

  • Michael May 12, 2015, 8:31 am

    The amount of times I’ve lost weight and my love handles are still there and then I end up putting the weight back on due to being so disheartened is ridiculous. I didn’t even consider this could be an issue. You’re right though, people shouldn’t care about what others think. The opinion that matters is the opinion of yourself.