Bulgy belly is Better

Flat tummies are out!

When and where did I (you) learn about the need to suck your gut in to look your best?

For me, it must have been with my mother’s milk. Anyway, I took it to heart and did not think about it.

It was quite annoying and uncomfortable as I have always had a pot. Maybe because I am a pipsqueak, all my adult guts and appetite are squashed down there, able to expand in only one direction.

I have tried girdles and elasticated pantyhose. All I get is a pain in the belly until I take the damn thing off.

But until this week while researching this topic, I have been under the impression the flattest tummy was an ideal among the many other perfections women are conditioned to believe in this day and age.

Well, I can tell you to take a huge relaxed belly sigh with me …

Almost exclusively, I have been reading that holding in your stomach is totally bad for you. It mashes all your organs down there and causes poor digestion and discomfort. All the news about bulgy bellies being better health wise passed me by. (For many years my young family claimed all my energy, with nothing left for myself. I am not complaining because I am fanatically proud of how my two girls turned out – btw they were born with flat tummies!)

So now I can dump the flat belly myth right in the trash along with spiked heels. Sense prevails.

I read the comments on these sites.I am guessing they brainwashed young girls who complained:

“Oh, I just look pregnant when I relax my tummy muscles.”

I think I look down when taking a gander at my gut. I can sympathise with what the girl above felt. However, all is not lost.

Phisiotherapy exercises


This is the homework I got from my physiotherapist when I went complaining of a sore back down the right side. She did a short assessment and explained to me about how muscles must stay in balance. I thought of the nearly 30 years I stretched up right-handed at the old chalk blackboards. No wonder!

These two exercises are basically intended to encourage better posture.




  1. Lying on your back with knees bent and arms by your side.Slowly lift pelvis back. x5

  2.  Bend both knees to right. x5

  3. To left. x5
  4. Do these 2/3 times daily


  1. Sit straight
  2. Keep shoulders down

  3. Do not use arms

  4. Slowly move shoulders across to meet one another

  5. Do x5/x4 daily


Add 1 or 2 regularly throughout the day.

This baby loves the bath Look at this little sweetie. Even thou the image is small you can easily see his relaxed tummy. If this were a video, his breathing would be most visible in his lower abdomen. We are born knowing instinctively the best way to breathe in a normal healthy way. Opera singers like Renee Fleming must re-learn correct breathing to sing her beat. Mindfulness practitioners like you are leaning to focus on your breathing in your preferred vivid area.

Somewhere along the line we lose it. If you are in panic mode your breathing gets very shallow, fast and high up in your chest in preparation for ‘fight or flight’. But we cannot stay in that state for long because it is draining and tiring.

Make sure you do as instructed in order to be balanced evenly on both sides. Practice when you are walking slowly somewhere

Why have stuck this image in here on a page devoted to bellies?

Well,  if you use these exercises to gain better posture, your tummy will be pulled naturally back and in. Your tummy will not look pregnant!

I still haven’t lost that old habit of pulling in. One baby step at a time.


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Shocking news overheard!

Shocking news overheard!

I work at the till as a volunteer at a charity shop a few days a week.

One of the keys to happiness is to give some time freely to a good cause. Remember I had bowel cancer? Well, you might guess the name of the charity.

Bits of what I overheard from a covey of old biddies:


No, I haven’t seen her for ages…

She’s getting £2 more for this than me…

I’m claiming SSE as well…

How long are you stayin’ off?…

Or an elderly pair:

My mum was a Green Apron in Glasgow during the war…

She should have met my mother, what a pair they would make…

Oh, I haven’t thought about my home in years and years…


Yes, my lugs were flappin’

The Sottish accent makes stories so much funnier. I don’t to make myself feel better or luckier than others. I will never see the people again. There are people I know who should be taped, like Doreen Scott who has been around Crail for all her 82 years. Or old Pete Smith, gone now, who was a maths teacher in the local high school. He was also an expert on all things maritime from days gone by when most locals were at the fishing for their livelihoods.

They well-known writer about times past in the East Neuk of Fife is Christopher Rush. In fact, though the names are fictitious, everyone local knows who they are. Not always kind, but always funny. Here is a short excerpt by Mary Munro from the Ballater Eagle:

Twa auld biddies across the aisle were busy takin some o’ their friend throwe haun. “Did ye see Jessie’s perm at the Bingo yestreen? Fit a sitter! She hisna Macklemore hair at the best o’ times, but then perm has just frazzled it dry as a been!” Wi a moofu o’ scone, the ither wifie nodded agreement, syne cam oot wi’ – “That cardigan ye’ve on is a richt bonny feuchy-brown colour. It fair matches yer even. Did ye weive it yersel?

Aye, I thocht it wisnae a bochte ain – I can see the wee holie aneth the oxter far ye’ve drappit a stitch!

(The Ballater Eagle, Autumn 2008)

Go and try and say it out loud. You will tickle yourself.

See my other stories about Africa and life in general.

Mindfulness shows itself when we listen and are entertained by stories of others. You are in the moment listening non-judgmentally, taking in every detail.

Do you have a story to share, overheard or otherwise? Will you share it with us?


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10 (25+) Reasons to Junk the Box. Get it?

drawing of a television10 Reasons to Junk the Box. Get it?

(or the flat screen or whatever)

In the way

The focus of the room

It reflects the room

On when no one is watching, a waste of electricity

Babies fiddle with it so it blares

Most of what is on is rubbish

You could be doing something much more interesting – go out and study an ant

It takes fewer calories to watch TV than watching paint dry

You are not having a conversation that makes you happier

Makes you eat junk food at the same time – chickpea noodles

Ruins your diet

Makes you stay up too late

Promotes violence

Shows you products you do not need or want

Lets in silly little jingles that drive you mad

Uses up study time

Bad for your eyes

Can give you a TV screen headache

Gives you bad posture while watching TV

Not getting enough exercise

Getting brainwashed

Not making progress with household chores

Feet get cold

Not benefiting from socializing

Often not a Mindfulness related task

Turns into binge-watching which is all of the above X10

TV rots the brain

Reasons to Chuck the TV

When I was a child, there was a rule in our household that we could watch TV in the living room until dinner. But after that, only a half an hour of something special (very broadly). Of course, in those days there was only one TV, not like today when every youngster has one in his/her bedroom where there can be little if any monitoring. I was absolutely astounded that near enough three-quarters of the 10-year-olds in my class had TV and video recorder (DVD player) of their own. When do the parents ever see or play with their kids

Tracydrawing of a television

Who brought Indian beliefs to the West?

In the 70’s, many young people went to India

The  Beatles


The Beatles became interested in Eastern religion and music when they had already become famous for their new style of songwriting. They went

to India to stay in an ashram and learn from influential musicians and

experts in Indian philosophy.

George Harrison worked with the renowned sitar player, Ravi Shankar. In turn,

what George learned was reflected in many of their later songs.

They returned when John Lennon had a disagreement with the ashram leader.


Jon Kabat-Zinn was a young medic at the time who was drawn to India

out of curiosity. Many college-aged men and woman wanted to find

out for themselves the supposed mysteries of enlightenment in the land of Buddha. What Kabat-Zinn learned, he brought back to Massachusetts and applied

to his patients. And so was the birth of non-secular Mindfulness as a

prescription for pain and modern life.




Jon Kabat-Zinn