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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Body Image

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Author Topic: Body Image
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Member # 95710

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I was weighed a couple of weeks ago, and I for the most part liked my weight. But for the last week, I've been charting what I ate (just for curiosity's sake); and have seen some issues (not enough water, skipping random meals, eating food that doesn't agree with me); and I'm definitely willing to work on those.

My question or concern is more about weight around the stomach area; just above your pelvic region (I forget what the area is called, but it's the "V" crease of your body, your groin crease I think). I was looking at my body exposed (as was my partner, with my consent); and at the angle I was sitting, I kind of thought my stomach looked different - not "good." Is it normal for your stomach to kind of bunch up a little - as in, not be as thin as the lower region? I tried different angles and the "weight" I thought I saw was not present. I wish I knew how to say what I mean; but I was extremely embarrassed and felt like I had gained a massive amount of weight, even though I know that's not possible in a two-week span. My partner never said anything derogatory, but I was embarrassed he saw that.

I usually have an okay perception of my body when I'm exposed, but seeing that turned me off. I know I haven't gained a lot of weight, but I just feel disgusted with myself.

I'm sorry for this post, but does anyone know if the "tummy" I experienced - how it sticks out a little - is okay? I know it's normal for bodies to have bumps, lumps, sagging and perky parts and everything; but seeing myself like that really scared me. I'd talk to my mother about it, but lots of people think I'm too thin and wouldn't take my worries seriously.

[ 07-16-2012, 12:07 AM: Message edited by: copper86 ]

"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

Posts: 692 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Member # 79774

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Hi, copper.

I can't know what your middle looked like, but I'd be willing to bet that it was indeed "normal", particularly because you say it wasn't visible in other positions. When we're sitting, we can be a bit scrunched up, and all of the body we have when we're standing and stretched out, that still exists, it's got to go somewhere - so it sticks out more than it does when we're standing.

I think that we're fed rather unhelpful messages about our middles and tummies (well, we are about a lot of body parts, but.) When people talk about "health and fitness", there's a lot of talk about having a "flat stomach", and pictures of acceptably conventionally slim people, especially women, look like they have no protruding tummy at all. I've come to believe that, at least for the vast majority of people, a "flat stomach" just doesn't exist. There's pretty much no straight lines on anyone's body, and there's no reason for our middles to be any different.

Middles and tummies is something I'm still addressing in my own body image, as I saw the curve of my own middle and felt it made me "fat". I observed something that was instructive to me, though. My mother was always very slim, firstly through being a strong, lean sportswoman, and later through being extremely sick and thin. All her life, her waist measurement was small. And at all stages I knew her, she had a curve of her lower belly. Clearly, that was nothing to do with "fat", and seeing that made me feel easier about my own curved belly, which actually looks pretty similar... And of course, on my mother, that curve was only noticeable when she was sitting. I came to see that curve as a beautiful, artistic thing, and part of my mother that made her more huggable. It's simply part of the way her, and my, bodies are built, and certainly in her case, had absolutely nothing to do with body fat, because when sitting scrunched, the curve was still there no matter how dangerously thin she became. I'm still working on how I see my own belly-curve.

You're expressing some strong feelings about how you felt when you saw your middle. Would you like to talk about that? What did you find scary or disgusting about it?

The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Hey Copper! [Smile] Just wanted to check in on you and see how you're doing with your body image at the moment?

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

Posts: 301 | From: a galaxy far, far away... | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 56822

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Hi Copper! It's great that you're talking about this stuff, it can be really hard since people often can seem to want to only hear about good stuff, but I think you are showing a lot of courage and personal strength in asking for help. I am sure that the people on the Scarleteen boards will be able to help you out! [Smile]

-lots of hugs for Copper, who helps turn people into Gold!- [Smile]

Posts: 540 | From: Australia | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Member # 91788

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Copper: I think that there is no reason to be concerned regarding your tummy protrusions. In my opinion, we could seem "fatter" or "thinner" on different days and phases of the month. Part of this is from a purely biological standpoint. For example, on a day where we are experiencing constipation, we could potentially see our entire "belly" region swell a bit. Also, different foods such as beans and peas could cause our stomach to swell, as a result of gases, and become uncomfortable.

Lastly, when we menstruate, we can get the "bloated belly" feel. Do any of these sound familiar or applicable? I know that they are not necessarily the kinds of explanations that you are looking for/referring to, but I just wanted to remind you that there are other reasons why our tummies may appear to protrude aside from the possibility that we've gained weight.

"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 95598

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Hi copper! I wanted to throw in my two bits.

I'm a little bit overweight, but I, too, have a more protruding tummy when I sit. As far as I can tell, it's simply because that area is stretched out when standing or lying, but when you're sitting, it has to bunch up. If it didn't, and was fully stretched when sitting, we'd all be walking around in "L" shapes (or rather, an upper-case Greek gamma sort of shape) because our skin wouldn't be able to stretch far enough to accommodate "straightening" (which would actually bending backward in this case) to stand fully upright.

It's certainly easier to notice when one carries more weight (or bulk of any kind) around their middle. At the moment, I'm pretty bloated from needing to drink water to replace fluids after donating blood, and my tummy looks huge as I sit on my couch, but it does that even without the excess water. I promise you, this "bunching" is definitely normal. [Smile]

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