Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tummy Troubles

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across the xoJane Real Girl Belly project while looking for other reviews of Grimm. I was immediately intrigued by the concept of showing what real women's bellies actually look like.

You see, I have a pretty big hang-up about my own belly. In spite of, or perhaps because of, a total loss of 72 lbs and roughly 26% body fat, I still have a flappy, flabby looking stomach.

Loose skin a myth? I think not.
There's some baloney out there in the interwebs about how loose skin is a giant myth. It's total poop. Whether or not your skin is capable of shrinking back around your newly svelte form is a multifaceted issue (genetics, time at weight, rapidity of loss or gain, etc.) and making a blanket statement indicating otherwise is idiotic. My problem, in particular, is a combination of adipose tissue and loose skin. I doubt that even if I were able to and wanted to drop my body fat into the teens that it would help completely.

At first, I was disheartened when I reached goal and my tummy still looked I'd been through a war. My expectations of making goal weight and its appearance didn't jive with reality.  I spent most of the last two years agonizing over it every time I'd stand in front of a mirror. I tried creams. I tried exfoliation. Then I realized that the only way to get rid of it was drastic measures and I wasn't willing to do that. I knew I had find a way to come to terms with it. I didn't want to continue to let it diminish the nature of what I'd done in terms of getting healthy.  It's still a mental battle each time I find myself in front of a mirror, but I'm getting better about it.

I think a lot of my problem with how my stomach looked post-weight loss stemmed from the simple fact that society rarely ever presents a picture of what women truly, honestly look like in their skivvies. Back in 2009, Glamour ran a photo (though I didn't come across it until sometime in 2010) that really helped me start to realize that perhaps I wasn't the only regular sized woman with a flabby tummy. It was heartening to see. Then just a couple weeks ago, I found the Real Girl Belly project. It made me smile and reinforced the fact that it's okay to have a few imperfections.

Do you have any hang-ups about your body? What do you think of the Real Girl belly project?