Embrace Your Bloated Belly
If you're like me, you've probably thrown tantrums and cried your eyes out over your appearance multiple times. It seems ridiculous to me that I am one little human of billions on this earth and a tiny specimen of the whole universe and here I am, moaning over a little bit of fat. Sometimes you have to take a breather and remind yourself of how you got here - whether you believe it was an accident or not, we can all agree that it's pretty amazing that we exist right? So, why on earth do we sit around feeling insecure about our appearance when there is LITERALLY a whole universe to explore. What do you value? What do you dream of? What are you good at? How do you make people feel? These are the questions we should be focusing on rather than 'how can I get skinnier?' and 'how can I be prettier?'
Taking the time to remember that always puts things into perspective... so take some deep breaths right now and think about what truly makes you happy and why you have everything you need already within you.
In no way am I claiming that I've embraced the bloated belly entirely. I'm definitely a good day or bad day kind of girl, as most of us are. I always say that you choose to be happy and you choose your attitude - but you know what? Sometimes I just can't be bothered. Sometimes I just want to be sad about it and pick myself up tomorrow instead. Allow yourself time to process those feelings otherwise you're never going to understand why you feel that way in the first place.
Some days I embrace the bloat and I couldn't care less, but other days I obsess over it. As a society, we obsess over the slightest change in our body, yet it's entirely unavoidable. Our stomach naturally expands for us to eat, just as women expand for childbirth. Depending on what you eat, it will be digested differently and some things take a little more time, but it's a sign of your body functioning healthily, which is a GOOD thing. Also ladies, bloating is inevitable during that time of the month, and your mood might change direction every 5 seconds but your body is also SUPPOSED to bleed and those natural side effects happen too, be thankful that your body is working.
Of course, bloating can be a medical condition if you are suffering from pain, in which case you should seek advice but bloating after a meal is perfectly normal. Part of the problem is our lack of education into how our body works and advertisements bombarding us with fat phobic messages.
From day one, we are taught to fear fatness. We are sold every product under the sun to change our body and enhance our beauty. As Megan Crabbe (bodyposipanda - highly recommend a follow) taught me - the stomach is the hardest part of the body to tone and lose fat, hence the heavy emphasis on the attractiveness of a flat stomach, this is to make sure more people feel insecure and buy into products to 'fix' it. They are profiting off our insecurities. When you really think about it - who decided that having a flat stomach was beautiful? Why is it beautiful? Because all I can think of is that 'it just is beautiful' because it's been shoved down my throat and I haven't been offered an alternative narrative. Well I'm calling bullshit.
In a world where perfection is idealised, bloating extends the idea that fatness is 'bad'. But seriously, WHY? Is fatness wrong? Fatness does not equal unhealthiness, nor ugliness. If we stopped fearing fatness and idealising thinness then we wouldn't worry about how bloated our stomach is. I've promised myself in moments of insecurity that I would eat better the next day to reduce my bloating. I understand that it is flipping hard to feel comfortable in yourself sometimes but please, remember that bloating is NORMAL despite what Instagram and the media may have you believe.
The past week or so I've felt really down in the dumps. When I feel insecure about my body I tend to feel quite needy but I don't want to socialise. I'd rather just wallow in my pjs watching TV and looking for things to make me feel worse. However, I went for coffee with my girlfriend Michaela and I left feeling lighter. She reminded me that our bodies are made to FUNCTION, not look a certain way. They are designed to help us, not fight us, so don't fight your natural self. I was actually looking online to see what other people had to say about this concept, but all I could find was articles to help reduce bloating and what foods to avoid. We need more voices into normalising bloating and letting the world know that our natural bodies are GOOD.
I want you to start embracing the bloat. You don't have to make yourself feel super confident or convince yourself you're beautiful. I simply want you to turn a blind eye to it and treat your body with neutrality, gratitude and acceptance. Say to yourself today "maybe I am a little bloated, but I've fed my body with fuel and I'm proud of that. I'm going to carry on with my day and choose happiness instead". It only has the power that you give it.
Thank you body.
"Pretty is not the rent you pay to exist in the world as a woman"