Monday, January 30, 2023

Most Women Do Not Have Flat Bellys.


I have ended up working out to a few of those more hard core videos.  The ones where they have women who have a perfectly flat belly.  They jump up and down, can do the fancy planks and other movements while leaving me behind in the dust.  The other day on one of my videos the instructor commented that the goal was not going after "a six pack belly".  Since I've been working hard to get rid of the belly I seem to have acquired in the second half of 2022, it made me wonder if perhaps I was wrong thinking the end goal is a flat stomach.

I have been working hard to get a better belly over the past 6 weeks.  I have a more defined waist, I can see the bottom of my ribs gently outlined, and I am seeing more of my abdomen but it is not flat.  According to several things I've read, very few women can actually achieve a flat stomach.

One reason many women are not able to get a totally flat stomach is because they have something extra that men do not.  Women have reproductive organs in the abdomen area and these organs require a bit of extra padding in addition to having space for the stomach, the intestines, and liver.  Our bodies are designed to start adding fat when we enter puberty to prepare us for our childbearing later on.  

In addition, men and women tend to lose weight differently.  Men lose it from their visceral fat first which is the fat behind the abdomen muscles while women lose the subcutaneous fat that lies just below the skin. Furthermore, some women have issues with their hormone regulation which makes it harder to lose the visceral fat.  

It has been suggested that women should focus on having a stronger core rather than trying to fight against their body when they go after a flat stomach.  If you don't have a strong core, you won't have strong body and you may end up with injuries you would not otherwise get.  Just remember having a set of 6 pack abdomens does not mean you have a strong core and vice versa. The thing is, the idea of having a good set of abs has been with us since the Ancient Greeks.  A person who had those great abs was considered special and draw people's eyes to their physicality.  It was the "If I have these great abs, you can work hard and get them too."  Unfortunately, this isn't true for most women.

In the 1990's when videos hit the market showing people how to get "Abs of Steel", they sold millions looking for the magic bullet. Over time, it has become the gold standard for women, the ability to acquire that set of flat abdomens but in general, most women will not accomplish this goal because of their biology as mentioned at the beginning.  Their bodies are designed for child bearing so the body prepares itself, even if we never plan to have children.

I honestly think, at this point, I will settle for a toned body, strong core, and say the hell with expectations and proudly display my body (poofy belly included) in a bikini.  Don't let the person leading the class who might have a flat stomach, make you think you need one.  You don't.  You just need to be healthy with a strong core. Celebrate yourself.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.

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