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Why I’m Choosing to Celebrate My Stomach

Why I'm Choosing to Celebrate My Stomach

I was asked to talk about being body positive and ways to deal with body image issues. Let me give you full disclosure here, I have had body image issues my whole life, and right now is no different. I don’t have the answers here, but I do have some things I have done that help me accept myself more.

Why I’m Choosing to Celebrate My Stomach

I’ve decided to celebrate my stomach as a way of accepting my body. You see- when I was growing up, I was not thin overall, but my waistline was 29 inches. It was the one thing that I really liked about my body, but 3 kids later….

It was very sad for me to see that the one area of my body that I had really loved, became something that I hate to look at.

This year, I decided that I am going to celebrate my stomach so that I can enjoy the way it looks once again. It is a work in progress for me and there will be days when I am ok with how I look. Then there will be days when I don’t like the way I look.

Ways I’m Accepting My Belly

Don’t misunderstand me here, I’m not doing a million and a half sit-ups trying to get a toned stomach. I’m working out, but it doesn’t matter what I do, I’ll never have a flat belly. Forget about the six-pack abs.

Instead of trying to change the way I look, I’ve decided I want to accept my belly the way it is. If I can’t be happy with what it looks like today, there is no way I’ll ever be happy with it.

Here are the things I’m doing to accept myself.

Look in the mirror-

Everyday, I get in front of the mirror and look at my stomach. I’ve decided that in order to accept the way I look, I need to see what I look like. Instead of avoiding it, I’m going to look right at it.

I’m going to stare right at those stretch marks. I’m going to look at how it pouches out over my pants. Instead of avoiding it, I’m going to own it.

Stop hiding it-

I’m not going to hide my stomach anymore. I usually try to find clothes that will keep my stomach from poking out so much. Instead of trying to pretend like it doesn’t exist, I’m going to be ok if it is noticeable.

When it comes to my husband, I’m going to show him this area of my body. I’m going to find ways to accentuate my belly for those times when we are sexually intimate. Again, instead of trying to hide it or pretend it doesn’t exist, I’m going to make a bigger deal of it.

Change my idea of beautiful-

I am beautiful

The world wants us to think that there is only one kind of stomach that looks beautiful…and that is a flat stomach with abs. I’m not ever going to have a flat stomach or abs that can be seen. Instead of being narrow-minded in what I think is beautiful, I’m going to widen my view and make sure I include my own body in it.

While I’m at it, I’m going to make sure my idea of beauty isn’t tied solely to the way my belly looks. I’m going to remember that this is where my three boys were created. My body nourished them in a magnificent way, and that my friends- is simply beautiful.

Let my spouse relish in my body-

Since my stomach is my focus area, I’m going to let my husband relish in it. I will invite him to show me how much he likes this part of my body in his own way. Then, I will believe him when he tells me that he loves my stomach.

There was a time that I would downplay his compliments of the way I look. That put a wall between us and kept me from being as intimate with him. I have worked to accept his point of view and encourage him to feel excited about the way I am.

Feel Beautiful-

I’m a huge proponent of encouraging people to feel beautiful or feel attractive. If you don’t feel attractive the way you are today, then the chances are, you won’t feel attractive “when”-

When you lose the weight

When your hair grows out

When your stomach is flat

When your butt is toned


Sure, if you work hard and lose weight, you will feel better about the way you look, but believe me, it is only temporary. Eventually, you’ll start nitpicking something about your body.

Take me, for example. Two and a half years ago, I lost 30 pounds. I now weigh the same amount as I did when I was a teenager. Guess what? I felt better about my body for all of 5 seconds, and then I started fussing over something else I didn’t like about the way I looked.

First, I didn’t like how my butt sagged. So…I started doing squats a few times a day. Then, I realized that I had so much cellulite and stretch marks. I did a ton of natural things to rid my body of those things.

I finally had to understand something, if I couldn’t accept myself exactly as I am right here- right now, I wasn’t ever going to accept myself.

For the sake of sexual intimacy with your spouse, I hope you will accept your body as beautiful or attractive. How can you give yourself freely to your lover if you hate the way you look? 

You are beautiful as you are- but you can’t see it. You are not alone. Everyone out there has body image issues. No one has the perfect body, including models. Look…if models had the perfect body, then they wouldn’t have to be air brushed.

I encourage you to change your mindset and see yourself as the attractive person that you are. You are more than just a body, you are a whole person. There is so much about you that makes you incredible and absolutely delightful.

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16 Responses

  1. @El Fury, that is great advice. How wonderful it would be if it were possible. Maybe it is. I can’t help but compare myself to all of the beautiful women on every magazine, TV, around town, etc. and find myself seriously lacking, and assume my husband feels exactly the same way. He’s always telling me he thinks I’m beautiful and I cannot fathom how he thinks so. Maybe his standard of beauty Is different than mine.

    @Keelie, I’ve been thinking about this post for a couple days. I struggle with feeling beautiful, at all, ever. But I’m getting better. I was put down a lot as a child, and it stuck. I am finally – like this past year – starting to move past all of that.

    I’m tall and average sized, not skinny, not fat – just regular. But there are so many clothes I feel I don’t deserve to wear, or I can’t pull them off. I love sundresses. My husband loves me in sundresses. But I don’t wear them because I don’t think I’m thin enough, or short enough, or tiny enough. Maybe this summer I’ll try to move past that.

    As for my belly, ha! It’s never been flat. Like, ever. And I was a diver and a lifeguard and I STILL never had a flat belly. Ever. Never ever. I have hidden my belly my entire life. I used to get really mad and embarrassed when my husband would touch my belly, because I thought he was so grossed out. I also HATE my shoulders, because I think they are too broad and make me look like a linebacker. This is an exaggeration, but I am not petite, and I have always associated petite with feminine and beautiful. So I try to keep pretty much my whole body well hidden, so I don’t scare anybody! 🙂

    All that being said, this post has made me think. I love what you’re trying to do about your belly. I love your ideas. I’m going to pray about this, and maybe I can change, too.

    1. @B I hope you can make changes in your mind about your body. It is not easy! I struggle on a daily basis, but I don’t want to give up, because it is so important that I love myself at any size.

      I encourage you to believe your husband! When you don’t believe him, you are calling him a liar, and that isn’t fair. I understand that your past is a struggle for you. I get it, it can be hard to get over your past.

      Keep pushing forward, and working towards finding things about yourself that you do love. Don’t focus on all of the areas you hate, but focus on the areas that you love! I have certain areas of my body that I love, and now I’m trying to love the parts of my body that aren’t meeting the standards of what the world says is beautiful.

      Good luck on it!

    2. @B – “He’s always telling me he thinks I’m beautiful and I cannot fathom how he thinks so. Maybe his standard of beauty Is different than mine.”

      1. Since his behavior of touching you matches what he says, maybe he does have a different standard of beauty.

      2. Consider how your husband developed that standard of beauty – love for you because of the person you are. Consider that God’s power can give husbands a standard of beauty that changes with the years. Husbands do not have to do it alone – God is there with us.

      3. I know it sounds cliche, but Satan is the one that want’s women to compare themselves physically to others.

      4. Wives – join your husbands in celebrating your belly or your shoulders or the way you look in a sundress.

  2. It sounds strange but comparing myself to other real life women actually helped me to accept my body. All of my mom friends have a baby pooch. I went to the beach and all the moms there had baby pooches. Even the teen girls in bikinis? Their stomachs weren’t flat either! The more I went to the beach that summer the more I was able to see what real women’s bodies look like and how different they all were. But I could easily tell the difference between the women insecure in their bathing suits and those who didn’t stop to think about it. That confidence made those women look even more beautiful. And so I have finally–after three kids–learned to see myself as beautiful and attractive. I had to fake it a little at first, but the more I acted confident (or sexy for my husband), the more confident/sexy I felt, and the more I felt it, the more I became it. I think I am sexier now than ever before, and it’s not that I look better than before (3 kids, remember); its that I am proud of the skin I am in for the first time in my entire life.

    A word about how our husbands see us too. This finally clicked for me after my second daughter was born. Truth be told, she was kind of a funny looking baby. When I saw other babies, I knew she wasn’t as cute as them. But you know what? I didn’t care. She was perfect because she was mine, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything else. How ridiculous to trade my own baby for someone else’s because s/he is cuter. Well, our hubby’s are the same way. My husband loves everything about my body just because it is MINE, and I am his! Our hubbies love our bodies–imperfections and all–because they love us. Now I am proud to strut my stuff for him. 😉

    1. I love your story. I think you are right, comparing can sometimes really help. When you see that no one is perfect, it does take the pressure off. When you only see people that are perfect, it can definitely harm. Real women…not airbrushed pictures are something we should look at.

    2. @Kay, I so admire your confidence, and yes, you are beautiful.
      Most women are. I don’t know what beaches you hang out at though. Anywhere I go, a beach, a hotel, Disney World, every woman there is supermodel gorgeous. I’ve seen countless women with children in tow, no belly to speak of whatsoever. And they do what I call the “bikini strut” – they parade around in all their glory as if to rub it in my face how inadequate I am. I seldome see a woman as frumpy as me, anywhere, ever. And I’m not fat, which makes it even weirder, but it’s just like I’m very disproportioned. The only thing I ever had going for me where natural breasts of a good size, but that’s no longer an asset. Read any article, anywhere, and all you will find is how men have all changed their minds to find small breasted women far more attractive. So much for my one good feature. 🙁
      Anyhow, I feel badly because my husband gets upset when we go to any kind of water place, ever. I don’t complain, but I guess my silence tells him I’m feeling down on myself. He should just ignore me and enjoy the view. He’d be much happier that way.
      What bothers me the most is, before the Internet, and everyone striving to be so crazy perfect, I used to love swimming, playing in the ocean, kneeboarding, anything to do with water. I could dive like a champ, and I could kick anyone’s butt at water polo. 🙂 That was back before I cared about any of this, when I was too naive to even realize how subpar my body was.
      I’ve never felt beautiful a day in my life, ever. Not since I can remember. I was the worlds ugliest bride. No one told me I looked pretty, no one told me I could get my hair or makeup done. I just kind of put on my dress, did my best, and showed up. 🙁 As I said before, I was verbally reminded every day of my ugliness as a teenager, so I guess I made peace with it a long time ago. It’s only bothered me this much since I started reading blogs and articles with all the beautiful women talking about beauty and how important it is, and how much their husbands find them attractive.
      And the confidence is sexy thing? I think EVERYONE gets that backwards. You see, sexy people are very confident. So it appears that confidence is sexy when in fact it is the exact opposite, the sexiness makes people confident. Someone like me has nothing to be confident about, so acting confident or trying to act sexy when I don’t deserve to, will just seem like a pathetic attempt to be something I could never be.
      I feel badly for my husband. I don’t know why he chose to marry me over someone he is attracted to for real, but I kind of think it was a pity thing. I think he’s been trying to make himself love me for years, and that’s sad, because he deserves a woman he actually finds attractive and desireable.

  3. What a great post. I am hot and cold on body issues, but for most of my life I’ve been thin and fit. Now, things feel different. I think it has to do with getting older, being too busy, getting more sedentary, having too much stress and a little depression. Yes, apparently, I am a mess. I am trying really hard to accept the changes, but it ain’t easy!

    1. Thanks for sharing! I run into a lot of women that were fit and thin most of their lives. Then…well…age or something changes things. They suddenly lose something about themselves that they loved and now they have to figure out how to accept the changes. We all have to do that at some point or another. I hope you keep working at it!

  4. Hey Keelie,

    Great post, especially with all the body image issues young people, middle aged people and older people have. We all love bits of our bodies and dislike others. I have always loved seeing abs on others. Enjoyed them, envied them while eating cookies but at a very young age I knew I would struggle with on again, off again exercise regime.

    Of course I could have gone to the gym more. Of course I could have used discipline and determination, I still can. But it was never my area, so I accept the struggle I have with exercise and enjoy the abs of others. I so love them.

    I had a huge growth spurt when I was younger and have lived with stretch marks on my hips. So embarrassed I had these at 13. Now I accept them.

    I so get when you say you are appreciating your belly. I play with mine like play dough sometimes, I enjoy it. Okay I would prefer not to have a mushroom top, but outside of that I now have a happy balance of being size fourteen. I just wish I could have loved my body the way I do now years ago. Loved your post, its a big issue.


    1. Thanks so much for sharing Rachel! I agree, accepting your stretch marks and your body as it is so important. As a teenager, does any of us accept ourselves? I am not even sure we have the ability. I’m so thankful that you are doing that now, though!

  5. I gotta tell ya, Keelie. Women worry way too much about how their husbands view their bodies. I like a little thick around the middle, actually a little thick all over. A 12-16, maybe even 18 doesn’t bother me at all. 20-30lbs over ideal, not a problem. I’m not saying more than that does, but we all have our ideal desires.

    I really love a bit of baby pooch. It’s just so soft to kiss, nibble, caress, lay your head upon, and squeeze. Baby pooch is sexy, All it needs is a nipple, to be as much fun as a third breast. 🙂 Just speakin’ the truth.

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