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'Does My Stomach Look Flat?'

“Does my stomach look flat?”

That is what she asked.

Back in the dark and twisty days this would have “triggered” me into an episode of anxiety, self-harm, self-depreciation, binging, restricting, despair… wondering is my stomach flat? Do people care whether my stomach is flat? How do I make my stomach flat?

People’s comments still to impact upon me, of course…

But now, sometimes, it’s different.

Now it makes me feel sad.

I feel a sense of melancholy that someone thinks this is a necessary question to ask.

What if it doesn’t look flat?

What is going to happen?

If it doesn’t look flat are you going to cancel your plans?

If it doesn’t look flat are you going to stop drinking that glass of wine in your hand?

If it doesn’t look flat are you a bad person?

If it doesn’t look flat will your loved one kick you out of bed?

If it doesn’t look flat will you not do well in your studies?

If it doesn’t look flat will you be unhappy?

If it doesn’t look flat will people laugh at you?

If it doesn’t look flat are you going to become a recluse and never talk to your friends again?

How could anyone be friends with someone who’s stomach isn’t flat? Is this what you think?

I used to have a flat stomach.

My flat stomach was a hallmark of the most self-absorbed, and miserable time of my life.

Now my stomach isn’t so flat.

Am I happy?

Not always, no.

My point is, a flat stomach is not happiness.

Some people are born with flat stomachs. Some people are born with no stomach.

Why do we equate our worth with our body parts?

Do we look at animals and think, that is such an adorable dog, if only it was thinner?

We have a body.

We spend time sculpting them, and depriving them.

But we are not our bodies.

We are more than our flat stomachs.

We are more than before and after pictures.

Is it enough for you to be the person who cares about being the flat stomach in the picture?

Or do you want to be known as the person who is inspiring, kind, a good listener; someone with a heart the size of planet earth, who changes people’s lives.

Do we require a flat stomach to do that?

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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