It’s been with me my whole life and is a fundamental part of my survival – digesting food, protecting vital organs, expanding to potentially make space for a baby bump some day and yet it is the part of my body that has received the brunt of my self-hatred, loathing and disgust.
It is just a body part.
But it is so much more.
Why can’t I fully change the way I feel about my stomach and how can I free myself from the mean girl thoughts I berate myself with in my darkest hour?
“You’re fat, it’s so ugly, you’re useless”
These thoughts have lessened over time, sure, but in times of difficulty the negative feelings are still there and I don’t want them anymore.
I thought I’d share my thoughts about why I hold such negativity towards my stomach, dear friend, in the hope that I can find even greater freedom in my life.
My stomach doesn’t lie
My stomach is the area I tend to put weight on first and this generally happens when I’m eating too much to push down my true feelings. So whilst I can hide how I’m feeling from other people, I can’t hide the tell-tale increase in weight that tells the true picture.
That I’m hurting.
That I’m presenting a mask of what I think others will find ‘acceptable’ to avoid the risk of being rejected for who I truly am.
That I haven’t shared my true feelings and true self with others
It’s a distraction
It’s exhausting being someone who feels so deeply – I’ve been reading a lot recently about empaths and I associate with a lot of the traits that empaths have.
“Being an empath is when you are affected by other people’s energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods.”
Those of you who love deeply, care deeply, hurt deeply like me will understand just how much it takes it out of me to feel the depths of feeling that I feel and to be moved so deeply by others around me.
So sometimes it’s easier to pour feelings of hate onto my stomach instead of dissecting the tremendous amount of complicated feelings and thoughts that cause me to feel so deeply.
Does that make sense? Being mean to my stomach is easier than being real with myself about what’s truly going on underneath.
A flat stomach = being enough
Although I try to live an authentic life and accept myself as I am, I still struggle with feeling enough. It’s almost like I’ll be enough when I’m the finished article, perfect externally as well as internally, and that includes having a flat stomach.
I want to believe that I am enough just as I am, heck, that I could be enough if I was a size 14, 16, 18 or 20. But I’m not quite there on this journey.
Sharing with you my feelings about a life coach I didn’t want to study under because of her size showed me the level to which I associate thinness with success, with perfection, with enoughness.
The extent to which I privilege external appearances over internal beauty.
I know rationally that the external will fade for us all over time…we will all grow old, most probably a bit fatter and wrinkly…but it still doesn’t change my irrational association of a flat stomach with perfection and my body with bumps, lumps and curves with characteristics like greed, lack of self control and imperfection.
Until I’m able to change these patterns of thought, I know I will be chained to the destructive view that I’m not enough as I am. And that means constantly berating myself for not having a flat stomach.
So there you are, dear friend. My thoughts about what stops me from letting go of the negative thoughts I have with my stomach.
I was going to share with you the thoughts I have about how I could free myself from these chains, but in truth I need to take some time to mull it over. Because these are beliefs and patterns in my life that have been present for so long and I just don’t quite know what to do with them.
One thing is sure though, sharing my thoughts with you has been the first step to finding true freedom…so thank you for reading this and supporting me 💖