Photo Credit: www.CGPGrey.com
We live in a world that cares passionately about appearances. It is the norm for people in America to ruin their health in pursuit of appearances, whether by under-eating, over-exercising, or a general hyper-attention to it. So when I was contemplating doing a series specifically on “how to lose belly fat”, I decided that I wanted to make it clear upfront that this series is not aimed at making anyone feel “inferior” because they have extra weight around their middle.
Because the truth is? Your weight and appearance have nothing to do with your worth as a person. Although our media and social climate can push that value on us, it is a lie. You deserve the same amount of love and respect regardless of the inches around your middle.
I want to also make clear that this series is in no way implying that to be healthy you must have a perfectly flat stomach. While the “ideal” of today is to have a perfectly flat stomach, historically it was not only considered normal for women (in particular) to have a stomach that wasn’t flat, it was considered beautiful.
If you have legitimate, health reasons to lose weight in general, or around your stomach, or legitimate reasons you need to address muscular reasons your stomach sticks out, or some of the other reasons we will be discussing why our stomachs can protrude, then this series is for you. If you are healthy and maintain a healthy weight, but have an “imperfectly” flat stomach, don’t let this series become a reason to obsess about your middle. That is not the point of it.
With that said, here is why I am addressing this issue in a series.
Belly fat can be a sign of disrupted health
There are plenty of studies that point out that belly fat can be a precursor to a higher chance of getting diabetes 2 and certain cancers. Addressing belly fat cannot only achieve a thinner middle, but if done right, can help you maintain better health.
Belly fat can lead to back issues
Many deal with back issues because of abdominal weight. And those that have dealt with back pain know how terrible and life changing back issues are to deal with. By addressing belly fat, you can also have the added bonus of protecting your back.
Mother’s middle can be stretched out during pregnancy
The truth is that our bodies are amazing as they stretch outwards during pregnancy. Being the amazing things that they are, they deserve tender care and consideration before, during, and after a pregnancy.
Stress and belly fat are related
Did you know that studies (such as this Yale University one) show that stress and abdominal fat distribution are related? Once again, belly fat can be a sign of something else. Our society in general can think of weight gain as simply a lack of self-control, but weight around the middle can actually be caused by stress.
Bloating is a common problem
And finally, perpetual bloating is a common problem for many in America. While this can led to a protruded stomach, which can be annoying, bloating can also be a sign that your body is unhappy. And we want our bodies to be happy.
But here’s the deal. These are all important considerations, but we consider them not because we despise our bodies (or stomachs) just how they are now. We consider them because our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, and deserve to be cared for. We don’t need to fit into size 2 jeans, have a perfectly flat stomach, or ____, you fill in the blank to be wonderful and worthy. But because our bodies are so incredible, this series will just address some different ways to take care of it.
I know this is a sensitive topic, so I’d especially love to hear your feedback on this series! Any thoughts as we embark on it?