Body Image

Body Image: The Way My Stomach Looks [Thinking Out Loud #7]

I’m going to explain something to you that I don’t like to admit often.

I don’t like the way my stomach looks.

There, I said it.

Today, I’m linking up with Amanda from Running With Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursday with a different spin. This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week, and Amanda asked those participating in the link-up to share a personal story or angle on eating disorders. I’m doing this because I think that people need to be more aware that these disorders are silent killers. Not enough people get the help and support they need to recover from eating disorders; far too many lives are changed forever by the battles we wage with our bodies every day – I’ve seen lives changed by them first-hand, to people I love. We need to understand that there should not be a stigma about getting the help we need to live.

I believe that body image is a big player in eating disorders, but it is also an entity of its own. Body image is still something I struggle with. I don’t need to be told that I’m “not fat,” or “look so good!” I know that. I do. I’m not fat. I do look good. But I have never liked my stomach. I don’t know if I ever will.

What got me thinking about my stomach specifically this week? I mentioned Monday that I participated in a nearly naked run over the weekend. Everyone involved wore their sports bras and shorts. No real shirts. The race was something I always wanted to do, but it was a big risk for me.

It was difficult for me to feel confident being around other girls with flat abs, no fear about baring their stomachs. I don’t even really like to wear bathing suits, so this was tough. Maybe you think I’m being dramatic here, but I’m just being honest. It’s something I’ve never been comfortable with. It partially stems from the weight I did lose when I was in high school as well as being surrounded by friends for my entire life who had great abs. And what I’m about to do, post a picture of the stomach I don’t love? That’s just as much a risk for me.


Thankfully, I’m at a place in my life where I know that when I feel the worst about my stomach, I won’t drastically drop my calories or beat myself up for having that extra spoonful or two of peanut butter earlier. I’m going to continue to eat extra peanut butter, cake, and other things that will keep me from getting “perfect abs.” I’d rather be happy than restrictive these days. That’s fine. I know that I won’t have perfect abs. They’re probably not in my genes, anyway. It doesn’t really help that I have a scar next to my bellybutton now, either. Still, I also know that I look fine the way I am. But honestly? I don’t think it’s a crime for me to be self-conscious about my stomach. We all have our insecurities. I am not made of steel – no one is, as far as I know. This is my insecurity.

I have a lot of other awesome assets. I love my hair; I love my eyes; I love my legs. I think I’m funny. I have amazing friends. My family is the best I could ask for. I am a good person, and I do love myself. I just don’t love my stomach.

So here’s my final thought: It’s okay if you don’t like something about your body. Just know that there are so many other parts of you and that one part will not define you unless you let it. Don’t let your insecurity define you and control your actions. Recognize that you are great, because you – and I… we’re great.

No question today. Just your thoughts. 


Friday Favorites

Lots of good stuff happening this week, let me tell ya. This Friday comes with a smile and big sigh because I was pretty busy all week but boy was it nice to get back in the groove of a schedule. I wouldn’t consider myself a type-A planner, but I do like to have a basic routine for each day. It just keeps me a little more focused and a little less stressed.

Why else was this week so good, you ask? Ah, well I finally bit the bullet and started designing that thing called a resumé. It’s a daunting task. I’ve been putting it off but I think I am ready to put my big girl pants on and job search. I also came one step closer to making veggie pancakes – ones that actually didn’t break apart!

Speaking of recipes, a lot of people asked how to make coconut butter on yesterday’s comments. I think I will dedicate a day next week to showing you all how to do that (it’s super easy though) along with some variations that I think would be tasty. 🙂

Not only was the week good in real life, but the week was also good in blog life! Not only did I read so many great things this week but I also wanted to literally pull food right off of my computer screen and eat it.

With that, let’s get to my Friday Faves!


Favorite Bite
When Amy posts a recipe, I can almost guarantee it’s something that will be reminiscent of comfort food with a twist. This week, her “Squashed” Banana Muffins made me want to curl up with a good book, a blanket and a cup of coffee. You should also head over to Long Drive Journey to see yesterday’s post because she has an awesome beauty project you need to join.

Favorite Soul Pour
Alex from The Run Within has this way of just connecting with anyone who reads her blog. Just look at the comments she gets, and you’ll see what I mean. She might say she doesn’t feel worthy of all of the opportunities heading her way, but she really is. This post proves why.

Favorite Yes
Let’s be real: we know fat talk happens. But why? I’ve touched on the subject before, but Ashley from My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries wrote a great post this week that will hopefully help you toward a better body perspective.


My friend Kedron and I are big fans of the whole Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” movement. This week she sent me a pin that I had to share with you.

I love it when I wear my yoga pants all day, too.

I’m also a fan of tattoos. They really don’t bother me at all. Personally, I could never pull off a fully arm sleeve or something 1) because I am not cool enough and 2) I can only take so much needling. I’ve been wanting a small tattoo for a while, but somehow my count recently went up to three (sorry Mom and Dad). Is getting an “Om” symbol premature? I probably wouldn’t get it on my heel, though.


Favorite Yogi
I’m probably going to be including a lot more yogi-centric posts on here simply because I really love what a lot of them have to say, especially this DoYouYoga piece questioning what a “yoga body” is.

Favorite Simplicity
MindBodyGreen puts out some wonderful content. It’s easy to forget the small things in life that can make us more fulfilled, but they rounded up 10 Awesome Life Changes That Have Nothing To Do With Losing Weight.

PS: Who watched The Mindy Project or New Girl this week? I caught up yesterday and have a few things to say. First, if you’re a fan of Mindy… ahhhh! yay. And secondly, Schmidt’s final scenes on New Girl actually had me in tears laughing. You should watch the latest episode of New Girl if you aren’t already a fan. You will be hooked.

Questions of the Day:
>>What do you think a yoga body is?
>>What’s your simple life hack to be happier?
>>Tattoos: Y or N? But really, is my Om tattoo wish a little premature? If you say yes I might still plan to get it anyway. Just saying.

The Random Post

If you couldn’t guess from the title of this post… today is going to be really random.

Last night, Kellie and I went to see Capital Cities and Fitz and the Tantrums at our school’s auditorium!


Both bands were really good. They had amazing stage sets and were super energetic, even though the audience was kind of blah. I was trying to send my energy up to the front from the back row, but even if the crowd wasn’t lively the bands were still great to watch.


I can always appreciate when they are true to album sound, which both were. At the end of Capital Cities’ set, they played “Safe and Sound” on track (after already playing it once) in an EDM mix so that they could get everyone dancing. They also danced on stage! It was really different and fun.


Fitz and the Tantrums are extremely talented. They do a lot of harmony stuff, and the two singers’ unique voices fit together well. They also had an amazing sax player! Capital Cities also had a really talented trumpet player. I was so impressed! They were rockin’.

In other news, you NEED to check out this blog post from Elite Oiselle runner Lauren Fleshman (who I wouldn’t know about if not for my lovely friend Melissa. Hi Melissa!).

We need more women like her in the world. Seriously. In the midst of the holiday weight gain frenzy and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show coming up, maybe you’re feeling less than stellar about your bod.

Well, guess what? All that pressure to be perfect is BS. Lauren proves that even the most athletic people have their “flaws,” and those flaws are beautiful. This holiday season, love yourself!

And finally, I put together a nice little legs and butt workout that I have been doing have the gym lately. It’s a quick one, but I always feel it. All you need is a kettlebell, 15-25 pounds, depending on what works for you!

Quickie Leg and Butt Circuit


Question of the Day:
Do you listen to either of the bands I saw last night?
What do you think of Lauren Fleshman’s post?