As much as I hate to admit it, when I wake up in the mornings, before I even get out of bed, I roll over, grab my phone, open Instagram, and flip through my feed to scan all of the pictures I missed while I was sleeping.
I’ll see pictures of what my friend’s had for dinner the night before, which movie they watched before bed, snuggle time with their furry friends, their morning coffee, and morning abs.
Pictures of “morning abs” flood my Instagram feed in the morning. If you’re not familiar with “morning abs”, read this definition on Urban Dictionary (no, I’m not lying… there is actually a definition!)
After seeing all of these images of morning abs, I usually get out of bed and go about my morning just as usual, but earlier this week after seeing an abundance of morning abs pictures, I thought I might as well check out my morning abs.
To my surprise, there was none. I hadn’t done any “body checking” in such a long time. This was the first time in a long time I stood in front of the mirror to look at my stomach and I was shocked that the abs I once had were no longer there.
Initially I was embarrassed, ashamed, and confused all at the same time. I was so confused as to why all of my friends on Instagram woke up to morning abs, but I did not. It just didn’t make sense to me. I’m healthy, I train consistently, I’m happier with my life than ever before, yet I don’t have abs, which suddenly took some of that happiness away.
Clearly, I did not share this picture on Instagram or any other form of social media. This picture was nothing to brag about. Nothing to be proud about. There were no abs to show off. Who would ever want to see this!?
I’ve been following Molly’s blog for years and she’s always been a huge role model and inspiration to me, so when I saw her 28 Day Love Your Body Challenge I was immediately intrigued and knew I had to participate.
Just as myself, Molly’s passion is to help women look and feel their best while treating their bodies with compassion and care and her 28 Day Love Your Body Challenge lives up to that goal. It’s a brilliant idea and made me think “why didn’t I think of that!?” So, I decided to participate in whatever way I could to spread the word and help others learn to love their body.
The first thing I did was share my picture with Molly so she could add it to her Facebook album titled, “Love Your Body Challenge“.
“My stomach is the part of my body that I am most uncomfortable with. I’ve always been incredible self conscious in a bikini and have always strived to have a noticeable 6 pack. A few years ago, I accomplished a level of leanness that allowed me to see me abs. They were so defined and I was proud, but I was not healthy. Today, I woke up to see my “morning abs” as so many people take pictures of theirs and share over social media, but I had nothing. And I was really trying to flex for the picture to make some appear, but nothing. Of course I was self conscious and wondered why others can have those infamous morning abs, but I can’t!? And then I reminded myself that I am the healthiest I’ve ever been now (without abs), so I’m trying to focus on that. I’m focusing on my health, strength, who I am as a person, and loving my body rather than focusing on having noticeable abs.”
The main point is that I am the healthiest I’ve ever been. I’m also the strongest I’ve ever been. I’ve also never had such a healthy relationship with food as I do now. I’m also the happiest I’ve ever been.
I guess that goes to show you that having abs do not create happiness or symbolize optimal health.
So, it’s important to focus on all that we are now rather than focusing on what we want or what we don’t have.
When I see the picture of my stomach covered up with the
fat health that I’ve gained over the past year I remind myself that it is in fact a sign of health.
It’s a sign that I’ve had a really awesome year.
It’s a sign that I can eat freely and without restriction.
It’s a sign that my body is healthy and functioning properly.
It’s a sign that I can have a family in the future.
It’s a sign that I’m strong.
It’s a sign that I can enjoy life and not obsess over food and exercise.
And when I dwell on all of those signs, not having noticeable abs really doesn’t matter to me at all.
Like I’ve said in the past, abs do not define who you are.
Whether it’s your lack of abs that bother you or another body part, I want you to focus on where you are now and learn to love your body. It’s your only body and we should all learn to love it just the way it is. So, join me on the 28 Day Love Your Body Challenge and let’s all improve our body image and love our bodies more than we ever have before!