The belly battle
Have you ever noticed all the flak that our poor bellies get?
“Banish belly fat now!”
“Kill that belly in three easy steps!”
“Hate your belly? We’ve got answers.”
Imagine for a moment, just sixty seconds, that your belly is a trusted friend. Close your eyes and see your belly as one of your closest confidants sitting before you, drinking green tea and catching up on the craziness of your work schedule and how worried you are about getting all of your holiday shopping done. Now, reread the headlines above, all found on websites today, and imagine yourself thinking taking that stance toward your dear friend. You want to banish her, kill her… you hate her?!
Sure, your belly can’t pick you up from the airport or babysit your toddler, but our bellies have certainly been there through some of the roughest and most trying times of our lives. Like a good friend, our bellies send us both subtle and not-so-subtle cues that something is not quite right. They alert us when there’s danger nearby and when it’s time to make a change in our career. They tell us when we’re not being true to ourselves.
Our bellies likewise signal satisfaction and satiety. They bear witness to our excitement when we take a much-needed risk. They are home to the magical tingles we feel when falling in love. For women, they are often considered the seat of our intuition, the castle of the “gut-instincts” that make us so unique and powerful. They carry our most sacred treasures – our children – and protect them with loving warmth and nourishment during a crucial time in their development.
Building a healthy sense of self begins with developing a love affair with your belly. Yes, I said love affair.
Many of us think that our belly’s level of submission will be in direct relation to our disdain for it. If you hate it enough, you’ll be able to get rid of it, right? Well, that doesn’t work with acne, grey hair, or bad boyfriends, and it won’t work with your belly.
So here’s a radical idea… Instead of treating our bellies like last week’s garbage, how about we start revering them for the incredible forces of nature that they are?
Start by taking your belly out on a date. Ask it what it’s “feeling” for lunch. Feed it what it most desires. Lavish it with complements. (“Oh, Belly… you just know me so well!”) Don’t hide it in a booth or under layers of linen. Show it off proudly. Relish it.
We can only start to love ourselves when we start to change our relationships with our bodies and minds. Ditch the battle. Love affairs are so much more fun.