The "Flat Tummy Fix"

How's that title for attention getting?

So, here's the thing, we have this obsession with a flat tummy. Am I right? Maybe you used to have one and now you no longer do. Maybe you've never had one and you desperately want one. Whatever your situation is, you aren't alone in that feeling. Millions of women (and men, let's not forget about them) are obsessed with a flat tummy, especially if that tummy has abs.

I attended childbirth education for doulas this week and the "tummy pooch" came up. The instructor, who is now one of my very favorite people, flattened out her shirt, grabbed her pooch, and said "What, this? Women are made to have this." Someone else chimed in "I've always had one!" I'm with her on that, I've never had a flat tummy.

Women are made to have this.

That's what I want to hear more of, not "if you eat kale and chicken all day every day and do a million crunches and this training program, you too can have a flat tummy!"

Listen, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a goal to lose weight or become more fit or change your eating habits. Those goals are great. But when we allow those goals to consume every bit of our lives, to go to to unhealthy lengths, mentally and physically, or compromise the function of our bodies to attain a goal that may not be how our body is made, that is not OK. Too many women are viewing themselves as less-than because the have a "mommy pooch" and I hear it talked about a lot in the postpartum period.

Bodies change. They grow and shrink. They expand to house humans and then they grow even more to feed those humans. They provide comfort and love and support and nourishment. They change from season to season in life, from puberty to pregnancy to postpartum and into menopause. That is what they are meant to do and it is absolutely beautiful, every single one of those changes. Somehow in the midst of this obsession with a flat tummy we've forgotten about the bigger picture, that every single body is different and each body has a purpose. The health and function of that body has become less important than the way that body looks.

So, I challenge you to embrace the pooch. Tell yourself "women are made to have this" because we have so much more to offer than a flat tummy.