I think it's the one area of the body that are a lot of us are most self-conscious about, and often most want to change.
We'd like it to be flatter, have abs, smaller, fewer scars, stretch marks etc. Right?
How do you feel about your belly?
I had a conversation at work a while back about bellies which made me really think. It also made me feel sad, because it highlighted so much hate towards bellies in general. Women are living in bodies that they hate, and, in contrast, I believe we should live in confidence, power, peace, and strength in the body that we are in.
It started with a work colleague wearing a new dress into work, and me complimenting how great she looked in it.
Her response was 'well, by husband says you can see too much of my stomach in it.'
This remark was then followed by several other colleagues along the lines of 'well, the reason my stomach isn't flat is because of my two children, my big scar etc.'
Everyone was trying to justify the shape of their stomach.
Does that mean if you haven't had children or had surgery your belly should be flat? That we should not wear clothes that show the shape of our stomach?
I am NOT judging these comments; I think they are an example of comments we see as entirely normal and yet if we stand back with awareness and see what they say about our relationship with our bodies, and our bellies, it means something different.
These women are amazing.
There is nothing wrong with their stomachs.
Society, diet culture, hello, internalised fat phobia, cultural definitions of what makes a body sexy & attractive, are all responsible for this huge well of self-hate that simmers in many.
We feel upset, ashamed, under-confident and often choose not to do certain things because of our bodies.
The number one thing to love your belly more?
Knowing this: BELLIES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ROUND.
No matter about age, children or no, surgery or no, exercise or no...
Bellies are supposed to be round.
You never need to justify your body. Not the shape, nor the size.
Your belly is wonderful just as it is.
Self-love does not grow from seeds of self-hate.
What if all our body was asking of us, was to love ourselves just as we are?
I ask that we bring awareness and compassion to these feelings that live in our bodies.
And know that we can question & change them and live a different story.
I ask that we question the shame-provoking messages, statements and patterns of thinking. That we notice them, and respond with compassion and self-compassion.
That we stand up for the roundness of our bellies and proclaim,
this is the way I look and I am proud of who I am!
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