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Stuff on my Tummy June 15, 2010

Filed under: body image,emotions — Susan @ 12:25 am
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I just had a great weekend in LA where I participated in the Mixed Roots Literary & Film Festival. I was fortunate enough to be invited to read my work which was a huge honor. One of the other writers posted a picture of the event on Facebook and when I saw it I was like…. Ahhhhhh!! I’m hiding under my manuscript!!! Do you see that?? (click on it for a closeup)

For as long as I can remember, every time I sit down I have to cover up my (ginormous, bulging, incredibly HUGE) abdominal area. (I try to be anatomically correct and not say “stomach” which is the fist-sized organ inside) When I sit down on a couch, I immediately search for a cushion or pillow to hug. If that’s not available, I’ll look for a shawl, or a jacket or coat, or a book or a laptop computer or a small animal or child. ANYTHING. I feel incredibly vulnerable having my, er, abdominal area, out there. When I am at the beach or by a pool, you can bet there’s a giant beach towel the size of Rhode Island draped across my midsection. Even when I am DRIVING MY CAR, I will often fold up a sweatshirt or jacket and lay it over my seat belt. As if. As if what, I don’t know.

So imagine my surprise/not surprise when I saw this picture and what do I see? My midsection is basically blanketed in my bright-white manuscript pages. It looks ridiculous. But that’s just how instinctive and automatic that gesture is. I’m just not going to sit there without SOMEthing on top of me, and that’s all I had – six sheets of printer paper. Jeez.

Since seeing that picture I have vowed to try an experiment. I am going to try and consciously not do this. I feel like it looks stupider to have random stuff on top of my body than to just let my body be there. You know that website, Stuff on My Cat? (it’s really silly, where people lay various items on their cats and then take pictures of them) Well, I could start a new website: Stuff on my Tummy.

I’m going to try and let it all hang out there. I’m telling you it’s not going to be easy.

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13 Responses to “Stuff on my Tummy”

  1. Bethany Says:

    LOL i do it too!!! and by the way, Stuff on My Cat is one of my favorite websites. along with icanhascheezeburger.
    and small animals are GREAT tummy covers!! LOL…. oh Susan… i am so glad we are friends!

  2. Kat Says:

    Congratulations on your reading! That is awesome! It sounds like it was a fun weekend. Good luck with your experiment. I think you look great.

  3. gemfit Says:

    It’s funny the things we do instinctively. Good luck in changing it – maybe now that you’re actually AWARE of it (and really, what the HECK are you hiding?), it’ll be easier to change.

    Congrats on the reading too – that’s frigging AWESOME!

  4. Hanlie Says:

    Ah, the things we do! I had been wearing tops that cover my hips and butt for years, but recently I decided to dare (!) wearing shorter tops and you know what, I look fine!

  5. I do this too sometimes!! And I also sometimes feel the need to pull my top away from my tummy. Oh, and then there was propping my heels up on chair legs in order to make my thighs look thinner. I notice when I do these things and I notice when others do them too. Now I realize how it must look to others…not confident!

  6. laurajane Says:

    Oh, I totally do that! I purposely stake out a spot to sit that has a pillow so I can set it on my lap. At church I often hold my purse or Bible on my lap. At work I take a laptop and open it on my lap. Glad to know I’m not the only one!

  7. Phoebe Says:

    as usual a well-written post. I also can relate… BUT, i’ll just state my first gut reaction, which is: dear susan, don’t be so hard on yourself!

  8. Quix Says:

    I do that too!!! Ugh, the habits we need to break…

    I call it phantom belly. I’ll feel like my stomach is hanging out and looking gross and I look down – it’s not. I’m just paranoid!

  9. VoiceinRecovery Says:

    I have always done that! It is so instinctual. It is only after pilates I have started to be proud of my stomach. It is an uphill battle a lot but everyday I like to challenge how we pick apart our body & flaws and give respect to them :) Love this post. Very honest and think many can relate!

  10. Sweeter Says:

    I’m going to be very sad when my youngest child is too big for me to pull on my lap when someone whips out a camera. Actually she is probably too big now ….

    Funny you should post about this b/c I just learned about gunts and FUPAs and so am now even more paranoid about the ol’ midsection area.

  11. Oh dear. Now I am deathly afraid of knowing what gunts and FUPAs are. Tell me! No, DON’T tell me. Yes, tell me. AGHHHHHH!


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