Non-Essential Stomach Habits

Maggie: How often do you feel self-conscious about your appearance?

Kate: I would love to answer that question, but I’m lying on the floor in excruciating pain. Here’s what happened: I clicked on Cake Wrecks, and then I laughed hysterically, all alone in my apartment, until I injured myself. Ok, I’m exaggerating. I laughed more than you’re supposed to laugh when you’re alone, though.This was one of my favorites.

I’ve decided it counts as research for this blog, because it’s about cake.

New idea. Every day I’m going to mention my favorite thing about myself for that day. I invite you to do the same. I may repeat myself. I mean, there are a lot of days that I like my shapely thumbs. Take THAT, Megan Fox. If anyone has a catchy title  idea for this theme, let me know. So far all I’ve come up with is “featured feature,” and “thing-about-myself du jour.” I’m in dire need here. Obviously.

But back to your question: The answer is “all the time.” Here’s my question back: When don’t you feel self-conscious about your appearance? I’ll post on that soon.

Sometimes I feel like I never stop thinking about my appearance. I’m constantly picturing myself through everyone else’s eyes. And this is difficult, both because I do not own anyone else’s eyes and because I have no real idea of what I look like.

Do any of you have a really confident idea of how you look? I think maybe people who are in a lot of movies might. But maybe not even them.

This has always alluded me. Mostly because I look completely different to myself ALL THE TIME. Every reflective surface tells a different story. Some are stories with happy endings, many are tragic tales of endless suffering and the looming possibility of world destruction.

The best proof I have of the fact that I’m constantly thinking about my appearance is that I’m ALWAYS sucking my stomach in. Even when it’s clear that there are no flat stomach experts in the vicinity with tape measures and disapproving frowns.

I have a feeling sucking my stomach in at every moment of my life might count as a “non-essential task,” according to the guy who writes Zen Habits. He looks like he’s never even noticed his own stomach. He may not in fact have one. Yet another reason why he doesn’t read this blog.

I wonder what the long-term effects are. Intestinal damage? A crushed liver? It can’t be good.

But because I’ve decided to record my “daily dose of self-love potion” (it’s getting worse! Someone think of something catchy please! This is humiliating!!), I have to, well, start that. Ok….So today….I really like….Hmm….My hands. There. See? This isn’t so hard! I like my hands because….Because they are cute. The skin is soft, and the fingers are on the short side, but in a nicely shaped way. They are subtle and the nails are always short because I play piano and like to play in the mud. Not piano in the mud. You get it. Anyway, the thumbs are perfect.

Everyone: What do you like about yourself today? It doesn’t have to be a physical characteristic. Are you always self-conscious about your appearance? Does anyone NOT suck their stomach in? If so, can you teach me your ways?


Kate on April 9th 2010 in beauty, body, weight

15 Responses to “Non-Essential Stomach Habits”

  1. Leigh@modelinghealth responded on 09 Apr 2010 at 11:26 am #

    It’s funny, when I used to model I was uberconscious about my apperance. I would eat this, do that just because it changed my apperance. Since medical school now I have really grown to appreciate all the wonderful things that bodies do which most of us are not even aware of (like kidneys!)

  2. elise responded on 09 Apr 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    ok, i just spent WAYYYY too long on cake wrecks…that site is ridiculous. i love it.

    what i love about myself every day is my eyes. i get compliments on them all the time, which is nice in and of itself, but makes me ESPECIALLY happy because it means people are looking at my eyes, not my body. i mean, i like my body, but i think it is a good sign that others are noticing more than my boobs and ass.

  3. Anna responded on 09 Apr 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Eat the Damn Cake presents: The Un-Roast of “Insert Name Here”

    Get it? It’s the opposite of Comedy Central’s Roast where they have people insult other people. It’s an “Un”Roast because you are complimenting yourself.

    I use to be extremely self conscious about sucking in my stomach all the time too. Not ideal for a flute player when I needed to take a deep breath and hold a note for forever and a day. I have broken that habit by… standing up straight. If you pull your shoulders back and walk/sit/stand with your back straight your stomach will naturally flatten.

    I love my wrists. Any time I start feeling down on myself I can look at my wrists and admire how tiny and full of character they are. I have a scar from wrist surgery on one and they are definitely the smallest part of my body. I need a Stephen Colbert “Wrist Strong” bracelet.

  4. Kate responded on 09 Apr 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    @Anna– Nice title! You are officially a million times better at coming up with catchy titles than me! If I use it and get famous with it, will I owe you half of the spoils? :)

    I was just talking to a good friend of mine who is an incredible classical singer, and she said forget sucking your stomach in when you’re singing. Just forget it. I love the times when making gorgeous music forces us to just be beautiful the way we are.

  5. Emily responded on 09 Apr 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Wow! what is wrong with the world! I had no idea there were articles about things like whether jessica simpson is wearing makeup in a picture, or how unshapely megan fox’s thumbs are. Who are the people that are feeding into this media machine? why do we care about this?

    also, I like my ears. they are tiny and cute and always the perfect soft pink color. amongst my features they often go unnoticed but they are pretty much lacking in any serious imperfections. horray for cute ears. (also why dont people notice ears more. I do! when I am dating someone, I always check out their ears. cute ears are a very nice quality on a guy. is that just me? do i have some kind of weird ear fettish?)

  6. Kate responded on 09 Apr 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    @Emily– I know! I remember when I saw that headline about Megan Fox’s thumbs on yahoo or somewhere and thought, “The death of civilization.”

    I totally notice ears. There was a guy I liked who I considered not dating because of his ears. I went for it anyway, though, because I’m such a good person :)

  7. Anna responded on 09 Apr 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    Kate – The title is all yours. Just give me a shout out when you get famous. ;-)

    Music is definitely an inspiration to accept your imperfections. It is a battle every day I practice. Hahaha.

    Emily – I think, in fact, Megan Fox referenced her own imperfect thumbs. I think some snarky reporter asked if there was anything about Megan that wasn’t flawless. Thus her thumbs have become just as famous as her. (Disclaimer: I don’t buy into that crap. I absorb it via osmosis.)

    I also don’t think you are totally weird for checking out ears. I check them too, but mostly to make sure they are clean. I don’t enjoy seeing ear boogers. Gross.

  8. clare responded on 09 Apr 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    today my nephew told me he missed me when i was sick during Easter. i liked that about myself most today.

  9. Sarah responded on 10 Apr 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Yup, always sucking the stomach in. I think that’s def one of my paranoid areas. What do I like about myself? Most days I like my petiteness. And when I’m practicing yoga I’m appreciative of what my body can do :)

  10. Cindy responded on 10 Apr 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    oh i’ve seen cake wrecks….it IS hysterical!!!!!

    all of a sudden, I love my leg muscles. they have definition…they NEVER have. they’ve always been there but in a subtle, back ground kinda way.

    now they are there saying…hey world…I RUN
    that makes me smile!

  11. Carol responded on 10 Apr 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    I love the idea of writing your favorite thing that you like about yourself each day. What would happen if every woman began and ended her day with thinking or writing or shouting what was terrific about her at that moment? Could change the world! I’d say, that my favorite thing that I like about me at this moment is my appreciation of beauty. I can look at a flowering pear tree and break into a smile savoring its splendor.

  12. janetha responded on 14 Apr 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    I knew I kept your 6 new posts on my Google reader unread for a reason! I suck in. All. The. Time. I’m never not thinking about it. Except when I’m sleeping. I even do it in the shower. I’m a freak. Thank you for telling it like it is. I could just kiss you. Or at least give you a big hug.

  13. janetha responded on 14 Apr 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    P.s. feature feature rocks my face off

  14. janetha responded on 14 Apr 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    P.s.s. I love my eyes, teeth, hair and back muscles :)

  15. Kate responded on 14 Apr 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    @Janetha— sweet! I want to love my back muscles! Next time I’m in SLC, I’ll track you down and let you hug me. Maybe even a kiss on the cheek :)