In defense of bellies
Under the wrath of my eating disorder, my eyes went straight to my stomach when I looked in the mirror. It disgusted me; its reflection glaring at me with its offensive fat. I thought I would be happier if I only had a flatter stomach. But the funny thing is, as my stomach got flatter my dissatisfaction only grew. It was never flat enough.
"Flat" can be a lot of other words, because it turns out I just was never "enough" in my own eyes. That was the deeper issue. Not my belly.
Sometimes though, I still get angry at my belly. Not in the same way that messes up my brain. It's generally something I think when I've put on an unflattering shirt or eaten too many chocolates. And I have to recognize it before it spirals into a big ball of self-hate.
Here’s the challenge ...
Culture tells us we need to have a flat stomach. You can go on special diets, do special workouts and buy special shapewear to achieve that flat belly.
We hate our bellies.
If we didn’t, these products/promotions wouldn't be successful and so prevalent.
STOP IT. Let's stop hating our bellies.
Easier said than done, right? But it’s the logical thing to do. Let's look at this challenge with logic instead of minds clouded by judgment and cultural stigma.
If your overall happiness and confidence aren’t convincing enough reasons to start loving your belly, as is, today, here are some other logical reasons.
Why your belly is rad:
1. Your belly tells you when something’s off. Have you ever walked into a conversation or situation and suddenly developed a pit in your stomach? You don’t yet know why, but you know something’s not right. Your belly is smart. It warned you.
2. Your belly houses your solar plexus chakra, which is associated with instinct, power and self-esteem. Those are all pretty great things if you ask me. A happy and healthy belly means strong instincts, power and positive self-esteem.
3. Your belly (if you're female) can grow a baby. I mean, whoa. That’s amazing. I can’t even wrap my head around this magic sometimes.
4. Your belly is besties with your inner wisdom. You know that saying “Trust your gut”? It’s true. When faced with challenging dilemmas, our bellies can tell us what’s right.
5. Your belly tells you when to eat … and when to stop. When you’re hungry or full, your stomach yells at you. Otherwise we would just be starving or overfeeding ourselves constantly, without knowing when our bodies have had sufficient fuel.
6. Hugs. Without bellies, we’d just be hugging shoulders. And shoulders are a lot less comfortable than bellies. Hugs and snuggles make our hearts happy. Thanks, bellies.
7. Your belly makes for fun yoga play. Can you imagine trying to backbend without a belly? Or headstand without engaging your core?
Our bellies are frackin’ magical. Seriously. They tell us what’s right and wrong and can grow BABIES. I think that deserves a little more gratitude and certainly a lot less hate.
Right now, or the next time you’re doing pranayama during yoga, touch your belly with love. Thank your belly for all that it can do and apologize for any negativity you’ve directed toward it.
Let’s embrace our bellies.