Along with diet and exercise, one of the biggest changes I adopted while losing all my excess weight was sucking in my tummy – morning, noon and night. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it requires a lot of mental and physical work to tense all the muscles in your abdomen and prevent “overhang” (and at my highest weight of 450+ pounds, there was a lot of overhang). But no matter what one weighs, there are a lot of benefits to be had by sucking it… In!
Think about it… Are you sucking in your stomach right now? Or are you letting “it all hang out” and using it to keep your lap warm? Yeah, that’s right – I went there.
Hopefully you’re already actively “sucking in” your tummy when power walking, treadmill-ing or doing other forms of exercise. But what about when you’re watching television? Standing at the kitchen counter making lunch? Talking on the phone? Sitting at the computer? Reading this blog? The time to suck in your gut and think about overall core strength isn’t just when you’re working out. It’s really an all day commitment that can have an amazing effect on your overall goals of good health (along with your goals of looking good).
I remember one of my favorite exercise instructors used to tell me, “The only time your stomach muscles should be relaxed is when you’re in the bathtub or when you’re going to sleep.”
I really took this advice to heart and found it made a big difference – not only in helping me motivate my weight loss efforts, but also in regard to my overall appearance (not to mention my posture). When sucking in my stomach, my posture improved as did my core strength. Suddenly, I was walking taller and even commanding more attention. Talk about a self-esteem builder. When sucking your tummy in and standing upright (without any ‘slumping’), you really do look (and ultimately feel) better. It’s the kind of thing that Supermodels do. And as I’m always reminding you, we’re all Supermodels. So start acting the part.
Sure… Sucking in your stomach is a lot of work – but it means you’re working your core muscle group throughout the day. This not only strengthens your muscles (on top of whatever workouts you’re already doing), it makes clothes fit more easily and even look better when worn. Not to mention, the more you suck in that tummy and sit up straight, the less your back has to work to hold you up (potentially resulting in less back pain).
Hopefully you’ve already started thinking and eating like a thin person. Now’s the time to start acting like one. So suck it in from dawn to dusk. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes.
Well this is just what I needed to hear or rather “rehear”. I work out with weights and rollerblade and yes use my stomach muscles BUT I have been having a lot of stress on my back and JUST yesterday I was having a massage and the woman doing it said I have a curve in my back because I do not stand up straight. I need to pull in my stomach and pull back my shoulders.
I will tell you for me its an insecurity issue, I don’t feel confident enough to stand tall and I also feel I’m sticking out well my well boobs, something I was overly self consious about waaay back in high school.
I asked two of my coworkers to make to remind be throughout the day to throw my shoulders back and along with that I will be sucking in my tummy.
Great reminder for overall health.
I can totally relate to everything you mentioned in your post, Cheryl. Yes, even the part about boobs (since I used to have them myself when weighing 450 pounds). You’re right — for a lot of us, standing up straight connotates being proud of even cocky. Fact is, it’s okay to be proud as a peacock. So we shouldn’t let ‘strutting our stuff’ keep us from standing tall and looking better, protecting our back, etc. I need to be reminded not to haunch over myself. So again, we’re in this together! (Keep me posted on your progress!)
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