The dreaded bloat. The thing so many of us hide. The thing so many of us hate. The thing that can make us feel so alone. Feel so alienated.
We compare ourselves to the photos we see on social media. See their flat stomachs, perfect figures, non-bloated bodies and become so envious. Thoughts like ‘why don’t they get bloated’. ‘how are their stomachs so flat’, ‘my stomach doesn’t even look like that when I wake up’. These thoughts are doing more damage to our bodies than we know. It feeds our insecurities and causes us to continue viewing our bodies in a negative way. It leaves us with a bitter feeling towards ourselves and can create a stress response in our bodies which can cause it to remain inflamed and bloated.
But what so many fail to see is that bloating is a common thing. So many people experience it. Yet so many of us are ashamed of it. Refuse to leave the house. Refuse to turn onto the side. Constantly needing to justify why we are bloated or highlight that we are bloated in order to remove the judgement we feel people hold or people may place. Why do we allow ourselves to get so caught up in it? So caught up in the story? Half the time we make the situation worse in our heads than what it actually is in real life. We perceive our stomachs as being twice the size as it actually is because the story takes over in our minds and leads to a distorted perception of our bodies. Our eyes play tricks on us and can change what the image in front of us looks like. You may find yourself looking at a completely different person and not even recognising who they are. Yet when other people look at you, they don’t see this vision. They don’t see this image. They see you for who you are.
We shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed for being bloated. We shouldn’t feel like we need to justify or clarify to those around in order to remove the judgement. It shouldn’t matter. It does not change the person you are. It is no one else’s business. It is between yourself and your body.
Remove the guilt. Remove the pressure. Remove the judgement. It is not helping the bloat or your mindset. Half the time the photos we see on Instagram are not real life anyway. The people posing do not even look like that (or if they do it may be for that 2sec whilst they are posing). An angle and lighting makes all the difference.
So next time you are bloated and find yourself scrolling through Instagram comparing yourself to other bodies, catch yourself. Pull yourself up. Take a minute to re-evaluate what you are doing and remove yourself from the situation. Do not continue with this behaviour. Start shifting your thoughts and focus on the things you are grateful for. The things that make you happy. Focus on the positives in your life.
Acknowledge your bloat but do not allow it to take over your life. Change your mindset. Instead of viewing your bloat as a negative thing, view it as a positive thing. It is your body signalling to you that something may be out of balance. That either something is not digesting properly, your body is under stress or that it may just be your hormones or that time of month. Feel blessed that your body has the power to express these signals and help you to start connecting within and finding why your body may be out of balance.
Start looking at the bloat in a different way. See it as a sign to slow down or change something in your diet. Instead of hating the bloat start embracing it. Our bodies are powerful things and so many of us get so frustrated when they try to help us by presenting signs to us. View it as a positive. Don’t get caught up on comparing bodies on Instagram.
Remember, so many of us suffer from the dreaded bloat.
Don’t be ashamed. It’s life.
Love from the Italian who loves to speak,