Home > Body Confidence, Food and Weight, Uncategorized > Can You See Beyond Your Belly Roll?

Can You See Beyond Your Belly Roll?

Take a look at this photo I came across in this Glamour Magazine article.

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What thoughts enter your mind?

The first thought that popped into my head went something like Yikes! Did this poor girl know that her belly was going to be photographed like this? I’m so glad I don’t have THAT situation going on! You can see how distraught the model, Lizzi Miller, is in this captured moment. Of course, the problem was all mine—in the instant I saw that photo, my eyes were drawn to her belly and I immediately recalled, with knee-jerk speed, all the rules I had adopted over a lifetime governing what an acceptable belly looks like. This may sound completely un-cool coming from someone who works with individuals on weight loss and body image issues, but, yup, that was the dirty little thought that flooded my mind at that very moment.  As a coach, I also know that any judgment I make about anyone or anything outside of myself is really a judgment I make about me.  I imagined the horror I might feel if I was the girl in the picture and it was my belly rolling out for all to see. Some of you may sympathize with me and many more of you may be thinking, Are you kidding?! I would kill to look like Lizzi Miller in this photo! Either way, chances are good that you are harboring a less than kind thought about your own body.  If the first thing you noticed was Lizzie’s gorgeous smile it’s because you recognize your own inherent beauty, something the rest of us need to do if we want to feel fabulous about ourselves.

Because I’m a firm believer in facing my fears, I stripped down before a mirror, found myself a stool to sit on, relaxed my belly and recreated Lizzi’s posture to see what, exactly, would happen. Now, even though my belly is quite fit, it turns out that I get a belly roll in this posture, too. Know what else?  I totally survived the experience, because I know it doesn’t matter what my belly does or doesn’t do: I can be happy whether I have rolly, fleshy belly or flat svelte belly—that’s my call. If you happen to be working on getting a flat, svelte belly, getting happy now, whatever the state of your belly, will help you bring about and maintain your desired results (if you’re hoping the flat belly will make you happy, you will only be as happy as your belly is flat—how happy will you be to maintain that belly under those high-pressure circumstances?).

You can try this same experiment for yourself. In fact, I encourage you to try it if the thought of seeing your belly bared or not sucked-up into your esophagus gives you hives.  What are you making that extra flesh mean? When you feel good because your belly looks flatter, but feel crappy when your belly looks fuller, you are creating a lot of drama for yourself.  Decide to feel good about yourself no matter what, pick a feature or quality you do love and focus on that, then look at your belly again.  If you are completely held hostage by your thoughts about your body, check out my post, Does This Thought Make Me Look Fat.

After doing this little experiment on myself, I learned two things: 1) No matter what a person’s size or shape, belly rolls happen—that’s real. I can either choose to see myself as an individual with a belly roll or see myself as someone with a gorgeous smile.  What I focus on tells me a lot about what I’m thinking about myself and the good news is, if I don’t like what I’m thinking, I have the power to change that. 2) When someone radiates self-love, self-acceptance and confidence, they are going to look incredibly attractive to other self-loving, self-accepting, confident individuals, no matter what pose they strike.

With this new understanding about myself, I now look at the photo of Lizzi Miller and think that is one sexy chick rocking a killer smile.

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