Seconding the post by @catandnat
Not pregant. Have two kids. Bellies stick out sometimes or all the time or none of the time, depending on your body type and how you live and about a billion other factors.
The key factor is not letting your body define who you are. Do I know how to move my body and eat so that my stomach is flatter? YES.
Is that healthier for me?
I’ve spent most of my adult years trying to prove that what my body looked like was the most important thing. I learned so much, and wouldn’t take it back, it is how I learn. The hard way. I have learned both what is possible as well as what is best for me from a mental health standpoint. I’ve learned that taking a step back, learning to eat food without guilt, moving my body for joy and relaxing a bit on a lifetime of rigid standards that were used to combat anxiety, is not “letting myself go.” I am learning that going up a size or two and allowing myself to enjoy food and not be an anxiety ridden person who ends up in the hospital because of a panic attack and a lifetime of limiting beliefs, is not “giving up.”
It’s a process, but I am embracing myself beyond my physical self.
I am more than a body, a size, a weight.
Extra belly pooch and bigger thighs say nothing about me as a person, which is what I thought forever. I defined myself by how I looked and analyzed photos and made what I looked like physically mean something about my self worth. I let the opinions of a select few (and part of society) rule how I showed up in the world.
What I’m learning is, I’m better than that. I’m worth more than that.
Let’s normalize working on our mental health and how we feel on the inside, before we ever get to the outside package. I have been both at my physical best and at my mental worst at the exact same time.
Digging out of that has been the work of a lifetime.