I recently took a beach vacation to a location that is visited equally by Americans and Europeans. While lying on my lounge chair watching beach traffic, I was able to determine who was American and who was European based not on their language, but on how they walked by. The European women, despite the fact they may not have had washboard abs, wore tiny bathing suits and strolled by leisurely. Sometimes even noshing on cheese or gelato as they passed. The American women, many of them with tummies as tight as drums, looked as though they may turn blue from holding their breath and sucking in so hard as they stiffly shuffled along. For the record, the nationality of the men was irrelevant. They universally let it all hang out. I lay in the chair thinking about the history of my abs. There had been years where my abs were flatter then others. Had this effected how I walked? What about how I interacted with people? What I wore? Why should it? Good abs didn’t make me any smarter, a better person, or more capable. I remembered a pair of jeans I had to lie down on the bed in order to zip (worse yet, they were red). I decided to put my foot down. I was going to become more European. Ever heard the song “I Am Not My Hair” by India Arie? The lyrics say: “I am not my hair, I am not my skin - I am the soul that lives within.” “Right on!” I thought. My big aha moment- I am not my abs. I triumphantly reached for my beach bag to return to the room. Chin up in the glory of my new revelation, I went to stand up… and automatically, I sucked in.
AUTHOR: Bex Urban
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