I Hold My Stomach in Sometimes

Am I body love failure? No.

What I am is brainwashed from years of exposure to advertisements that promise a flat stomach in 10 days. It is so ingrained in my subconscious that I often hold my stomach in without realizing it.

unusual-tips-to-lose-body-fat-and-get-a-flat-stomach-1-728

I HATE these ads!!!

Today, as I walked back to my office from my lunch break, I caught a glimpse of myself in a storefront window and noticed the top roll of my stomach protruding under my t-shirt. Suddenly I stood up straighter and did my best to tuck in my tummy. In that moment I was aware of my embarrassment about my by body being so big and so exposed. And then I was embarrassed that I was embarrassed, because duh, I’m a body-positive activist!

I think about this shit all day — what Melinda Alexander calls “Getting Free.” So, when stuff like the tummy incident happens I feel like I’ve been set way back. It feels like being punched in the face after having trained in the ring for years.

The truth is, I have not come to terms with the size and shape of my stomach. It’s the biggest it’s ever been. For the most part, I almost always had a pretty small waist and stomach, giving me an hourglass figure that made my body acceptable by mainstream standards. But not anymore. It’s big enough that I just can’t hide it, or disguise it, or manipulate it. And though I’ve made peace with many of my body parts, this one is especially hard for me.

Pia model

This is me 3.5 years and 45 pounds ago.

Anyone feel me?

I know so many fat women who own their big bellies and wear clothes that accentuate them. I am not one of those women. Part of me wants to be at peace, and the other part of me just wants to have a small tummy again so I don’t have to overcome another hurdle.

The reason I share this with you is because I promised myself I would be honest and upfront about my own body image struggles. My friend Jen at Plus Size Birth just posted something I resonate with on this topic too.

Thank you for seeing me and accepting me the way I see and accept you.

Perhaps I need a pair of high waisted Spanx.

Or an affirmation…

Or to surround myself with images of large bellied women reveling in their gorgeous glory…

p970379784-2

Photo by Substantia Jones

adipos19

Photo by Substantia Jones

Or maybe some combination of all those ideas until I start feeling better.

xo

22 thoughts on “I Hold My Stomach in Sometimes

  1. Oh ladyfriend…you’re singing my blues. I love my big legs and booty and I’ve even learned to be okay with my arm flab. My post baby stomach is a wide, mountainous, bright white, glaring question mark at the end of my “I love my body” sentence. Even when my daughter lays her head on it like it’s the best pillow ever…even when my lover slips her hand between the folds and sighs like she’s made her way home…even then, it doesn’t rate high on my own scale. I hereby promise that I’m gonna try harder to let its glory work its way into my heart. Wanna join me? Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah…I’m so glad this post resonated with you. Women’s bodies are made to perform miracles and yet we seem to find ways to condemn them. I will definitely join you and the movement in learning to love all parts of myself!! xo

      Like

  2. I totally feel you on this. I sometimes will suck in my stomach when I’m by myself. What?! True, true. Body acceptance is a journey, with lots of twists and turns, and we are all doing our best to keep moving forward.

    Like

  3. Thanks for your transparency beautiful! I feel like I’m about to have my membership to fat activist groups pulled because I too am struggling. Yet let’s be fucking real for a moment…everyone struggles in one way or another with body image, but not everyone is brave enough to be honest about it. Thank you! Love you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. oh mama, does this hit close to home!

    I feel fairly comfortable in my own skin and I like myself a whole lot, but those insecurities do lurk around. I have never come to terms with showing a VBO, though I will on occasion, but not necessarily on purpose.

    I like to think it’s a personal preference, as I find it quite lovely on so many other women who rock it so proudly and beautifully.

    What comes to mind is a quote, which I am paraphrasing as I can’t find it verbatim, but goes something like “give me strength to determine my desired aesthetic and what a patriarchal society has told me is beautiful”

    It’s tricky, I like to think of it as I have personal preferences for my own aesthetic; I like having short hair, I like having tattoos and I like to de-emphasize my tummy. But will I ever know if that is truly my aesthetic or some deeply ingrained bit of societal shame? I doubt I’ll ever know. Definitely something I struggle with.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I so relate sister! I am on a journey of embracing my self but my belly is the hardest part of that. I have always had a protruding belly. If you look at me as a toddler in a bikini I have a perfectly round bubble belly. It’s just what is. The bigger I got, the bigger the belly got. The pervasive idea that as a woman, your body is okay as long as you had a small/er waist is REAL and has been a barrier on my body image for a long time. I don’t know if I will ever embrace the visible belly line movement but I’m working on accepting myself as I am daily. Yep some amazing Substantia Jones photographs help, and trying on clothes that I like to wear helps and sometimes I get naked and jiggle around in the mirror and just have to say, that isn’t so bad and that’s enough. Beautiful share love. Solidarity Now! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I so relate sister! I am on a journey of embracing my self but my belly is the hardest part of that. I have always had a protruding belly. If you look at me as a toddler in a bikini I have a perfectly round bubble belly. It’s just what is. The bigger I got, the bigger the belly got. The pervasive idea that as a woman, your body is okay as long as you had a small/er waist is REAL and has been a barrier on my body image for a long time. I don’t know if I will ever embrace the visible belly line movement but I’m working on accepting myself as I am daily. Yep some amazing Substantia Jones photographs help, and trying on clothes that I like to wear helps and sometimes I get naked and jiggle around in the mirror and just have to say, that isn’t so bad and that’s enough. Beautiful share love. Sometimes we just have to voice it to let it go and get back on the get free path! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t have anything special to add other than I have those same moments with my belly. I just try to cut myself some slack and remember that, just like bad hair days, days that I’m not happy about my belly will pass.

    Like

  8. Such a wonderful post! The struggle is real, and anyone who lives in the body positive / size acceptance world is here because they (we) have been fighting a long battle with ourselves about our bodies. Much like people having overcome addictions, there are moments when skipping into those self harming habits just rise to the surface.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s like you’re reading my mind! 3 days ago I hit the pool with a girlfriend and here I am in my new fabulous swimsuit breaking down my body in the mirror. When I realized it, I had to check myself and talk my way back into a positive place.
    Thanks for sharing this P ♡ I think it’s important for all of us to have an open dialogue about moments like these, because we all have them. And it’s good to know we have people that can understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You really spelt out my mind,sometimes I wonder,why can’t I be a small size,why can’t I have a flat tummy,honestly,I have tried most products but it never works on me,recently,I decided to love me and I’m about going for a competition called *Miss curvy Nigeria 2015*i hope you all will support me to win this and it will also bring plus size beauties to limelight to encourage us in embracing our body.cheers.

    Like

  11. Pingback: Body Love Blogger Struggling with Body Image

  12. Oh bless you!! As I read your article the top of my own vicious “control top” spanx (wal-Mart version) is rolling down my belly as I sit at work. It is such a personal let down when we allow how our bellies look to overshadow our own accomplishments, triumphs and milestones. Thank you for voicing what is in my own head many times. It is such a refreshing sigh of relief to know, I’m truly not the only one to think this way. No matter my own amount of self love and acceptance, a bad mirror reflection can dash it all in a moment. Now I gotta go roll up my panties…ugh 😊

    Like

  13. I feel you on this too! My grandmother taught me that holding in your stomach was a part of good posture. Even now, I hear her lovingly officious tone. When I’ve done post in crop tops or even my first two piece bikini, the first place I’d look is at my stomach, and how it looked in pictures! I don’t alter my body with Photoshop, but those insecurities tell me that I have to look, so I can move on!

    Like

  14. I totally relate to what you say! Even when I really had not much of a belly, I was so concerned about its size. Now, I feel like I am more accepting, but then I look in the mirror and I am immediately reminded that this is not something that I am supposed to be proud off, let alone be OK with. A few days ago, I was trying on a crop top and I looked at my back roll and was so dissapointed from how the top looked from the back. I guess there are somethings that take some more time and lots of tlc to accept completely. I have three dresses that I have NOT worn, because I feel like I need shapewear to wear it. So its a paradox where I feel like Im comfortable with my body, but not enough to accentuate my rolls. We are all here with you. I love the pictures of those beautiful women! I feel like I am right there with them.

    Like

  15. Totally relate to this post. I find it strange that there are somethings that I am finding very difficult to accept, the curve of my lower abdomen and my back rolls, also that little pouchy part of my arms. Which i never had a problem with. I think its all these years of conditioning, that you see happen around us everyday, curvaceous – but have a flat stomach, and smoothed out curves. But we are here with you. I think positive self-affirmations, lots of self love, some shapewear would do the trick only temporarily. I am trying to look at my body only as a vessel and that it is a temporary existence…I find that helps a lot when dealing with my body image issues. 🙂

    Like

  16. Yes. I love every part of me but this one. I don’t hate it anymore but I do wish it were smaller. Sending you a big hug – we’ll get to a better place.

    Like

  17. Pingback: Why Do We Have to Be Pretty All the Fucking Time? | chronicles of a mixed fat chick

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s