I took a photo of myself on the 1st of February because I was doing Febfast (not drinking for 28 days) and I thought to myself “Here is my chance, I’ll lose the wine gut and I will have a six-pack!”  I thought I would have an amazing before and after shot to share.  Excuse me while I laugh hysterically to myself….   Ok, I’m back.

You see, over the years I have bought into the “strong is the new skinny” hype.  Gwyneth Paltrow is 41 and has had children and I’m only 40 and haven’t, so surely I can look like her?  I’m a health coach for Pete’s sake!  And my personal trainer keeps telling me how strong my core is.  Plus, surely if I had a spray tan my abs would magically appear.  They are there!

I am proud of my physical strength but I am especially proud of my emotional strength so I figured it’s only a matter of time before I have visual proof.  If I just eat perfectly and give up all my favourite things, I’ll get a six pack.

Don’t worry though guys, I have absolutely come to my senses.  I will probably never have a six pack and that’s ok.  A few things have helped me get to this realisation.

1. I have pretty good upper abs but I have had a lot of surgery in my lower pelvic reason for endometriosis and now have a uterine fibroid which also causes some swelling in that area

2. I love potato chips and wine.  I don’t have them every day but I will never give them up!

3. I am a sensitive to gluten which can also cause bloating

4. I love to exercise but I probably don’t exercise enough to get the six-pack and that’s ok because I have lot of other things to get on in with in my life

And finally I watched this amazing speech by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o where she talks about beauty.  She says “you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you… What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion, for yourself and those around you”.  And for some reason it resonated with me.

I’ve realised that I deserve my own compassion and to be just happy with the way I am.  I am healthy, I am happy and I am strong.  I don’t need six pack abs to prove that.