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.
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.
Lying on your back with knees bent and arms by your side.Slowly lift pelvis back. x5
Bend both knees to right. x5
- To left. x5
Do these 2/3 times daily
- Sit straight
Keep shoulders down
Do not use arms
Slowly move shoulders across to meet one another
Do x5/x4 daily
Add 1 or 2 regularly throughout the day.
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.