Americans obsess over having the perfect bikini body for summer, with no fat except for the boobs and butt for women, of course.
And especially not belly fat, which most people see as the most shameful of all.
It’s a distorted system.
But is belly fat actually unhealthy? Is it “unattractive”? Let’s talk about it.
I spent June in the South of France – in Villefranche-sur-Mer – studying French language, and I spent some time taking in the art of Volti, Renoir, and many more of the great French artists.
Their paintings and sculptures celebrate the feminine form – “mommy pooch” included. The bodies are full and curvy. It does not look like the models spent hours at the gym or went on a keto diet before they were painted. No.
These women were soft, and stunning. Almost all the models – who were worshipped in their day – had large hips, thick thighs, full bottoms, and belly rolls. And they were absolutely considered “ready” to be painted, completely nude.
NONE of the sculptures or paintings depict the so-called bikini-ready body. Plus, the models look very comfortable with themselves. They have no shame in their natural, unaltered form.
These models were NOT unhealthy because they had belly fat.
A little belly fat is absolutely fine, from a medical perspective. You can have a pooch and still be healthy.
When you have a lot of extra visceral fat around the internal organs, that can cause health complications, but a little softness around the belly is healthy and beautiful.
You’re the only person who knows if YOU feel good or not. You know your body type and what’s natural for you.
Why is the belly such a sensitive area? Why are so many of us so self-conscious about it?
There’s a lot going there – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
We hold on to a lot in our bellies: Fear, trauma, shame, and every other emotion on the human spectrum.
The belly is the center of the body, and we’re always told to suck it in, making it a trap for unprocessed emotions.
When we don’t have an outlet to process what’s going on in our lives, it can show up as extra belly fat.
When you suck your stomach in, like so many of us are taught to do, you suppress your feelings, and you suppress your metabolism.
You might start to feel really unsettled and dissatisfied in your life… and at the same time, seem to be gaining weight with no change in diet or lifestyle.
If you’re self-conscious about belly fat, I hope remembering that the classic models had it too – and were celebrated for it – helps you. I know I’m not going to fix your relationship with your body with one blog post, but I hope this helps.
On the other hand, if you genuinely know you’re carrying more weight than feels good to YOU, and you want to naturally lose weight and get back to your set point, I invite you to book a Reboot Your Wellness Breakthrough Session with me.
But first, I ask that you honor, respect, and love your body as it is. This is not about having a bikini body, it’s about feeling great in your skin. Feeling like yourself, and being your healthiest. If you want to change your weight for the right reasons, I’d love to talk to you.
What do you think about the classic French models and the modern addiction to dieting and getting a “perfect” body? What’s your relationship with your body like?
Post a comment below – I’d love to hear from you.