I wish I may, I wish I might, have a flat stomach, by the end of the night.

I’ve been insecure about these squishy abs of mine my entire adult life.

Sit ups, crunches, planks, leg lifts, starvation … I’ve tried and “failed” at them all in my futile quest for J.Lo abs.

Failed. Yes, that’s what I said. I saw every belly roll as a failure. Every jiggle was a failure. The curvature of my abdomen was a failure. And God-forbid I ever sat down while wearing low-rise jeans …

The way I saw it, women who had their lives together didn’t let their bellies do what mine does. You know “those” women. The ones who start their days at the gym, with a health-food smoothie, and end their days drifting off to New York Times’ bestsellers while tucked into freshly-washed sheets, financially secure in their immaculate homes.

If I could just get my life together, maybe my body would fall into place too. Problem is, I didn’t, and still don’t, have time to get my life together. Literally. I don’t. It’s not an excuse. I don’t have time. I have two full time kids, a full time job, a full time business, and a loving (work-from- home-dad) husband who deserves a break, even more than I do.

“Wake up early,” you say? Great idea, except that I’m already functioning on three hours of sleep. “Work out after work,” you say? Fabulous! Except that’s when I start my second job as a businesswoman/mom. “Weekends,” you question? Ohhhh, what a thought … except that weekends are when I cook, do laundry, clean bathrooms, buy groceries and take my kids to family birthday parties. Here’s how bad it is: I sometimes shower at work during lunch because if I didn’t, it might not happen at all.

Sure, I’ll squeeze in a crunch or two when I can, but let’s get real — this jiggle isn’t going anywhere, any time soon. And you know what, I’m finally cool with that. It took me waaaay too long to realize this, but I’m EXACTLY what a healthy woman is supposed to look like. So are you. You know those Instagram girls with ripped abs? Yeah, they have belly rolls when they sit, too.

Think I’m just making that up to help you feel better? Nope. Here’s the proof:

Flat Abs Flat Stomach
Ashlie Molstad

Look at Ashlie Molstad (@foodiegirlfitness). GAWD do I love this fierce, fit woman for being real. Her skin bends when she sits … and she lets us see it! These are the icons our world needs to see right now.

Society is seriously effed up. They’ve had us believing that skin shouldn’t … bend. Being flexible, moving and stretching … that’s like, one of skin’s most basic jobs. Why human beings have decided this is “undesirable” is beyond me. It’s legitimately stupid (and by “stupid,” I mean society, not you).

Check out fitness guru, Tiffany Brien (@tiffanybrien), and her lovely food baby.

Tiffany-Brien flat stomach
Tiffany Brien

… and curiously gorgeous personal trainer — Anna Victoria (@annavictoria) — in her natural state of humanness.

Anna Victoria

I don’t know about you, but seeing “those” women in their natural state helps — a lot. These ladies, and their raw realness, will do more for your physical, emotional and personal health than Cosmo ever could.

So, I’m going to continue trying to work out and eating healthy, and I’m also going to let my stomach bend, and jiggle and move without self-loathing. I’m going to let my belly do its thing and learn how to work with what I’ve got. I’m going to dress my today body with clothes that do it justice.

Not many brands design clothes for thick-middled ladies, but I decided to create a line that does JUST that. Fig & Lily makes insanely soft tees that are designed to create an hourglass shape on women who don’t naturally have one — like myself. These tees are not shapewear (I’m not a fan of suffocating my innards). Instead, I spent 9 months developing a lightweight fabric that’s breathable without being sheer, and drapes like a dream. Just getting a figure flattering shape that’s forgiving without being boxy or maternity-wear-ish took over 30 pattern designs. If you’re into being cute, comfy and covered — check it out. I literally LIVE in these tees. Layer-free and carefree, baby!

Look, I’m not saying I’m excited about rolls or belt-buckle overhang. I’m just saying, it’s not a deformity. It’s just perfectly … human. Images like the ones I’ve shared above have helped shake loose some of the posed, edited, contorted images that have been messing with my head for far too long and that’s why I’m sharing a better alternative with you.

Real talk? We’re not the exception — we’re the rule. My belly bends, and rolls, and jiggles exactly the way it was intended to. My body works just fine, thank you very much.

So … are you going to try to be ok with being human from this day on? I certainly am.

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  • michaelsanchez

    Ms. Molstad is visibly “sucking in” in both photos, though the one standing is more noticeable. I guess what’s to be learned is that even those who want to be taken as genuine don’t want all their flaws showing