Yesterday I posted this picture on Instagram with the following caption:
Instead of #morningabs why not #morningface!?
Girls, your abs do not define who you are. Your legs, thighs, hips, waist, you name it, does not define YOU. Your morning face doesn’t even define you.
Let’s shift our thinking. What if we thought of our bodies as simply the wrapping to the treasures we hold inside. Each and everyone of us are a treasure and your wrapping has nothing to do with the value of your treasure. YOU are valuable right here, right now.
This message spoke to many women, so I decided to devote today’s blog post to the topic of “morning abs” and why it needs to stop.
If you’re not familiar with what “morning abs” are, let me fill you in. In the morning, women will lift up their shirt in front of the mirror and do an “ab check” to see how visible their abs are after a night of fasting (AKA sleeping). If you have an Instagram account, you can search the hashtag #morningabs and see over 28,000 pictures of people, both men and women, showing off their visible abs.
I suppose today’s post is more of a rant than anything, but I will provide you will some tools at the end if you struggle with this outrageous trend of posting pictures of your abdominals.
The list of reasons as to why I cannot stand and do not support pictures of morning abs could go on forever, but the number one reason I cannot tolerate pictures of morning abs and believe it needs to stop is because
our abs do not define us.
In fact, no part of our body defines us. Your legs, thighs, hips, waist, eyes, ears, mouth, nose do not define who you are as a person.
By posting pictures of morning abs for the world to see on any social media platform is one of the reasons so many people struggle with having a positive body image today. It causes us to place our self worth on our physical appearance and that is just wrong.
If you look at any of the pictures tagged with #morningabs, you’ll notice that each of them receives hundreds to thousands of likes. Obviously, this sends a message to anyone who notices that and leads them to believe that morning abs are liked, valued, and even praised.
But why? When our bodies are merely a package, a vessel, or the wrapping to what we actually are on the inside, a treasure.
So, if you struggle with body image, ab checks, or comparing yourself to others when you see their pictures of their morning abs, I would like you to try these tools for changing your mindset and improving your body image.
- If you are checking your abs each morning, it needs to stop. This is a habit and it needs to stop because, whether you notice it or not, by taking part in this practice every single morning, you’re allowing yourself to dictate how you feel about yourself based on whether or not your abs are visible.
Don’t believe me? Imagine you woke up on morning and couldn’t see your abs as well as the day before (maybe this situation has already happened to you), how did this dictate your day? Did it influence any of the choices you made that day? I bet it did.
Challenge: Stop doing ab checks and take note of how you feel throughout the day. Are you able to be more in tune with your body that day? Are you able to honour it without guilt that day? You’ll be surprised to at how this one simple change can make such a huge difference in the relationship you have with your body.
- If you are following accounts on Instagram that post photos of #morningabs, you need to unfollow them. Most likely, you don’t even know these people in person, so they won’t be offended if you unfollow them; however, if that’s what is preventing you from unfollowing them then realize that you need to do this for yourself. If you want to develop a better relationship with yourself and cultivate a positive body image, you have to unfollow the accounts that place more value on their appearance than who they are within and what they can offer to the world.
Challenge: Go through the list of the accounts you follow on Instagram or scroll through your Instagram feed. As you scroll through, be mindful of how each account makes you feel. You will noticed which accounts make you feel uncomfortable and self conscious about your body. Get rid of those. Unfollow them and don’t look back. You need to do this for you, remember.
- It’s time to change your mindset. Instead of placing value on your physical appearance, I want you to realize that your body is simply just wrapping to the beautiful treasure that you are on the inside. I know, after many years of placing so much value on how you look, this mindset shift may be quite difficult, but it works once you commit to the change.
Challenge: Grab a pen and paper and write out what makes you YOU. Please do not include any physical attributes to this list. Your abs do not make you YOU. Your ability to sing makes you YOU. Your ability to be a caring daughter, mother, friend, etc. makes you YOU. What makes you unique? What personality traits of yours make you YOU? What are your talents? What aren’t you good at? What makes you happy? What makes you sad? All of these things make you YOU and we need to start being proud of these things vs. how our abs look in the morning (or any other time of day for that matter).
When it all comes down to it, morning ab checks are just silly. I mean, sit back and just think about it for a second and ask yourself “why?” When I ask myself why I tend to giggle and just shake my head because, really, there is no good answer to that.
Ab checks have become a habit, a self destructive habit, that needs to stop.
Who’s with me?