So, something every single person, male and female struggles with. Accepting our stomachs. It seems to be the hardest thing, in recovery, in the midst of an eating disorder, or without ever having an eating disorder. It seems like most people struggle with their stomachs.
I know most of you who clicked on here probably were looking for a quick cut and dry easy to apply answer, but it’s not that simple.
All through my eating disorder and even now in recovery the hardest part for me is accepting my stomach. Every time I put too tight of jeans on or a crop top or a bathing suit, or maybe I just lay down and start to wrap my hands around my tummy. I’m constant focusing on the one area of my body. So many people especially in recovery get quickly irritated with what seems to be a “huge” midsection.
The most terrifying thing ironically for someone recovering from an eating disorder is gaining stomachs weight, which happens to be one of the areas that will gain the weight fastest and hold on to it for however long your body sees fit.
I have constantly been hating on and struggling to accept my stomach which seems to never fit my thoughts of what it should look like. Even during my eating disorder I wasn’t happy with my stomach, showing that the size of my stomach isn’t the real problem; my mind and thoughts are.
When I look at my stomach and think it is big or fat that may be true, but it does not mean it is bad. Our fat phobic culture had demonized fat and the only reason we even struggle to accept our stomachs when they grow in recovery, is because we are still afraid of fat.
But, when we can get to the root of the issue: fat phobia. Then we can start to work through it. We can take steps to help ourselves accept out stomach, no matter its size.
Feel free to work through the questions and write down your answers so you can refer back to them on hard days. Some of them are activities that work for me to help me accept my stomach.
- Why are you afraid of being fat?
- Are you afraid of being ridiculed, of being left out, of not looking the way culture says you should, of being bullied, etc.
- Is being fat the worse thing you can be?
- Think about. Really think about it.
- “I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me” – JK Rowling
- What do you love about yourself other than physical features?
- Ten things you LOVE about your stomach.
- This may a little bit harder, but it may also be the easiest one. Our stomachs are incredible. They house literally the majority of organs that keep us alive. They are a masterpiece which keeps us breathing and alive. Thank them each and everyday. (For girls, it is your babies future home!)
- What would your day be like, if you went through it loving your stomach?
- I have been doing this lately where I go through my day acting as if a “larger” stomach is praised by society. Ex. when society praises larger boobs or thinner legs and people choose to show them off in what they wear, or even praise those parts of themselves when they look in the mirror. I choose to wear clothing that is what I want to wear and if my stomach is showing, perfect, and when I look in the mirror and see my stomach poking out I think to myself about how good I look and how beautiful I am.
- Stop touching your stomach and squeezing it.
- Every night I used to squeeze and feel my stomach and every time I would feel worse and worse about myself. Once I started forcing myself to not do that and to gently feel my stomach I started to magical feel better about myself.
- Everyday write down things your grateful for.
- This will bring your attention away from your body and even maybe physical things and moving it to things you are grateful for.
- Look at your self in your mirror and call EXACTLY what you SEE BEAUTIFUL!
All this things have been helpful for me in creating a safer space for myself and a space where I can grow and exist in. I am always finding new ways to love myself even more and to dig into the reasons behind why I struggle to accept certain areas of my body.
So, I encourage you to try some of these things and even make your own up that will help you to accept your body the way it is.