Love Me for Me: I Don’t Need a Flat Stomach to Feel Awesome.
This is going to show one of my insecurities, weakness and vulnerability.
But it is confession time.
I’m not a fan of my midsection.
If my stomach had a personality, it would be verbally abused, black and blue, torn apart, and beat down. It would have absolutely no self-confidence because it was always told it wasn’t good enough. For the past eight years, we have been in an abusive relationship.
My workouts were based on getting rid of my belly fat. Instead of finding the feeling of accomplishment after a workout, I would feel good for a moment, run into the bathroom, rip my clothes off to shower, and see my stomach the same as it’s always been. It’s still there.
That endorphin high would kick in and then shut off.
As I would watch other athletes at my gym set new PR’s and bask in the success of their hard work, I took a long look at my training and goals. I was training very hard but stopping myself at a certain level because of this false goal in my mind of losing my belly fat. It was an obsession.
Until I allowed myself to let go of it, I would never be able to strive to get what I wanted.
Setting your training goals to have a certain body fat percentage is based solely on how good you look. It consumes your life 24/7. By changing my goal to strength, agility and endurance, I was able to feel something I had never allowed myself to feel before.
I like the feeling of being strong, fast and fit because it just feels good.
It’s not about how my body looks anymore. It’s about how my body performs.
A few things happened in the past week that helped me along in my journey. One is getting my first pull-up. This has been a goal of mine for about 10 years. For the first time, I was in love with my body for accomplishing that goal — tummy and all.
The second was someone in Whole Foods complimenting me on my legs by saying, “Your legs look strong like tree trunks.” Now normally I would be insulted at such a comment, but I actually appreciated it. Being strong and not being Victoria’s-Secret-model-skinny is more fulfilling to me.
I used to be insecure about my body and think that a guy would not like me if I wasn’t at X body fat percentage.
If you think about that, can you imagine having a healthy relationship with someone who would judge you like that?
My bottom line became sustainability, happiness and self-love. My whole idea of happiness was based on a certain weight or look. That alone is unsustainable. Centering your self-worth around what your body looks like is completely surface level and that’s not the type of person I want to be.
That would not be the example I would like to set for my daughter, niece or friend.
Deadlifting 210 lbs today, completing a dead hang pull up, and enjoying my food without guilt is worth way more to me than waiting for my stomach to shrink.
Actually finding people who could care less about my body percentage and love me for my laugh, strengths, weaknesses and bubbly personality is what I am really after.
I most definitely do not need a flat stomach to feel and be awesome.
Andrea Rodgers is a holistic health coach and personal trainer in Boulder, CO. Her journey to health has brought her from depression, to eating disorder, to skinny, to strong. She is now the strongest, fittest, most confident and sexiest she has ever been in her life, both inside and out. Her passion is to share her story and knowledge with the world. Andrea coaches her clients to find the perfect balance between fuel, exercise and emotional well-being. Discover more about Andrea and her coaching at her website.