Love EVERY Body #5: Stomach

Love EVERY Body, Body love, Self-esteem

Our society tells us that we are supposed to have flat toned stomachs that showcase some serious Gwen Stefani type abs, but that’s not reality. At least, it’s not my reality. Gwen puts a lot of time and effort into achieving her sculpted belly. I, on the other hand, put my time and effort into eating, reading and binge watching Netflix, none of which have helped me gain washboard abs. Who knew you had to actually work for those? So instead of mimicking Gwen’s flat stomach, mine seems to prefer impersonating the Pillsbury Dough Boy. It’s soft, round and the perfect giggle inducing spot.

Pillsbury Doughboy

Over the years, the size of my stomach and waistline have fluctuated decorating my belly with an array of stretch marks. They span across the sides of my waistline and down into my hips ornamenting my body with a constant reminder of the changes it has endured. Initially, these marks, in addition to the roundness of my stomach, filled me with a sense of insecurity and a constant need to hide my belly. I wore baggy t-shirts when I went to beach, skillfully learned to wrap my arms around my stomach when I was seated and never got the belly button piercing that I so desired. Eventually, the stretch marks faded from my mind. Most days I don’t even remember that they are there. I call that progress (or selective memory).

Now a days, I’m also becoming more indifferent to my stomach. I may want it to be a little flatter or for it to look better in a swimsuit, but ultimately it has more important functions. It’s a comfy pillow for Troy and the pups to snooze on when they’re tired. It helps breakdown all the delicious food that I consume in order for my body to gain nutrients. It houses some pretty important organs. And it allows me to enjoy hula hooping, even if I can only keep the hoop up for a few seconds.

How do you feel about your stomach? Is there anything you would like to change about it?

  • For me, the stomach one is different. I hate my stomach. I have stretch marks and c-section scars that prove I’m a mommy. I’m ok with that because they are marks that will forever stay with me. The fat though, that’s a different story. I cannot continue to blame my kids for that one. Yes, my last pregnancy caused me to be a bit bigger but my excessive eating is really the culprit. I’m not pleased with it. I love to dress up and lately I don’t because nothing in my closet closes around my expanding waistline.
    I think that media has definitely influenced us in a negative way. We want to look like super models because we are told that’s what looks good. I don’t think that’s right. A healthy body on the other hand-that I completely agree with it. I don’t have a healthy body. I overeat 🙁
    I want to feel whole. I don’t want to be skinny. I don’t want what the media shows me. I want what I know is good for me and for my body. I will probably never have a six pack, but I do want the ability to see my feet when I look down.
    I love me; I don’t love my stomach.
    I think body image is individual. If you are content with your body, there is nothing wrong with that. I am content with my legs. Gosh! I love my legs! Lol I also love my lady lumps. They are the perfect size for me. My stomach however-it has to go.

    • Ugh, yes I hate when your clothes no longer fit. Then you have to deal with all the emotions of not having anything to wear, not feeling like you look good, and having to go up in size.

      And the media has definitely influenced all of us negatively. They feed us photoshopped images of supermodels and tell us that’s what we’re supposed to look like. I mean, even the models want to look like their pictures, but can’t. Instead of trying to match those digitally enhance photos, you’re right, we need to try to aim to be healthy. And healthy may be different for every body type, so we will never all look the same. 🙂 I also think healthy includes having a good body image, so I’m glad that you love your legs and lady lumps! I must admit, I also like my legs. I hope someday we can all learn to love every part of our bodies – flaws and all. 😀

  • Brittany

    My stomach is probably the #1 thing I would want to change about myself. I have never had a nice flat tones stomach. Or either its flat but its not toned at all. Over the year I have become to hate it more and more. I wish I could do something to get it nice and toned.

    • Stomachs are definitely a big problem area for a lot of people. I have never been able to get rid of the pooch in my lower abs, even when I was in awesome shape. I think getting those perfect abs takes a lot of time that most of us just don’t have, but, hopefully, we can learn to love our tummies just as they are. I’m sure your belly is much nicer than you’re giving it credit for! 😀

  • Amanda

    My stomach doesn’t bother me too much. I definitely get some rolls when I slouch and have a little pooch that’s alllllways been there… but, I guess I’ve just gotten used to it. And I don’t walk around in baby tees so I’m not really motivated to do extra work for Gwen abs. I’d rather feel stronger in my arms or legs because I use them so much more.

    • I also have a pooch that just won’t go away. Even at my slimmest, my lower abs wouldn’t cooperate, so I still had a pooch. And I totally agree- I’d rather work on other parts of my body than try to achieve some serious abs.

  • I think you should get the belly button piercing!

    Indifference is my main feeling too. It’s a hard area to love.

    Also my exercise plan is a lot more like yours than Gwen’s, I just don’t think I could be bothered with that much effort!

    • Oh, yes. That much effort would be exhausting! I’d rather be snuggling on the couch with Troy enjoying some delicious food. 🙂 I think you should get your piercing too!

      • I think the time for that has passed. Plus I recently got my ear piercing infected and that was nasty! So I might avoid it. I’m leaning towards a tattoo though xx

        • Ew. Infections are no fun! You should totally get a tattoo. I want a new one of a phoenix on my shoulder blade. 🙂 What would you get?

  • kathy@vodka and soda

    i love mine! i didn’t really before because my tummy is my problem area (always has been) but i worked my ass off to change it and it’s exactly where i want it to be.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

    • Yay! I’m so glad that you reached where you want to be with your tummy. 🙂

  • Nic

    I hate my stomach, I have stretch marks as well and a scar from getting my belly button pierced. I did forget to mention in my post about the food and nutrients thing that is indeed a good point :).

    xx

    • Your stretch marks and your scar are just your battle wounds! 😀 Wear them with pride!

  • I love this post. Yay food and Netflix! I’m glad you have a healthy attitude to all things tum. I think when stretch marks go silvery they look really pretty, and it’s just a sign that the home for our soul has had a few changes. We change home many times through our lives, and our souls’ home changes a few times too. No biggie, pardon the pun!

    • You make a great point! 🙂 It’s just a sign of change on our bodies and that’s okay. We should embrace change (including the changes of our bodies) and grow with it. Hah .. there was no pun intended there either! It just came out that way. 🙂

  • Stomach I’m okay with but I definitely put a lot of focus on my love handles. It is the first place that when I gain weight it goes right to!

    • Oh, I definitely have love handles. 🙂 But for me when I gain weight it goes right to my lower body.

  • I strategically cross my arms around my stomach too. By the way I LOVE that you mentioned its a good resting place for a furbaby. They’re like living hot water bottles when you’re feeling sick!

    • Hah! They could totally be hot water bottles. I also enjoy snuggling with them when it’s cold – instant space heater!

  • I am trying to get mine flatter. It has always been my most hated trouble area. I have come to terms with the fact that I may never have “flat abs,” and I am ok with that. I would just like for them to be flatter than they are now!

    • I completely understand that! I don’t have enough dedication to work towards amazing abs, but I’d be content with just a little flatter.

  • To the stomach thing…I hate mine! Even with losing weight finally I just have these two large rolls…btw…loved the dough boy thing…made me think of myself! Love your story though…you’re not alone but thanks for posting!

    • Yes, bellies are a difficult thing. It’s not enough to just lose weight. Then we have to work on toning. It’s a never ending battle!

  • The Pillsbury dough boy meme is so cute :). I definitely wish my mommy pooch was less flabby and flatter but I know it takes time and work so I don’t beat myself up for it. Plus, like you said, it houses important organs and is a great sitting spot for my kids :).

    • I’m sure your kids love to snuggle with your belly! 🙂 That’s a big plus right there.

  • I got good results with my Fitness class for my stomach. Working on my core was more about my posture and back issues, and a side effect was a more toned tummy. It was a lot of hard work, but I was proud. It feels good!

    • I really do need to start working on my core and back. Because I sit at a desk all day, my back is really starting to feel it. And you should be proud!! It takes hard work and dedication. 😀

  • Rhonda Dempsie

    Another fantastic post – I love your posts and your fun attitude- thank you! I agree, eating reading and Netflix is much more fun than torturing yourself toning up!

    • Thank you so much for the compliments! And a night of Netflix will always beat a night of running for me! 😀

  • I really like this post. I have similar ups and downs about my stomach but honestly? Sometimes it just makes me really happy to see the way it curves out from my waist. I always think of the first day of my intro art history class in college. One of the first pieces we studied was the Venus of Willendorf, a female sculpture that embodies the term voluptuous. While I’m not always 100% confident in my figure, I love the history and feeling of womanhood that I can associate with that sculpture!

    • That’s an amazing piece to look to for confidence and inspiration! The female body is a beautiful form that often wants to have a little more curve to it than we want, but it’s those curves that make it beautiful. Sometimes we just need to take a step back and realize that women’s curves have inspired many works of art. 🙂 Thanks for this new perspective!

  • I’ve always loved your take on what your body can do for you and why you should appreciate. Can you please write one of these posts on all of the wonderful things cellulite does for us? Because I’m really trying to fall in love with mine but I’m having a hard time appreciating the benefits of it.

    • Heh. I’ll make sure to include all the awesome things that cellulite does for us in the next couple of posts – the butt & legs. 😀 I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed reading them!