Visible Abs

Visible abs are not an indicator of optimal health. They are nothing more than an indicator of low body fat. Low body fat isn’t always optimally healthy, especially for women. I’m tired of images of visible abs being used as a marketing tool for Fad Diets.

I have visible abs. Want to know my secret? It’s not my diet or workout routine, and I can’t sell it to you.

24 thoughts on “Visible Abs

  1. Thank you!! I have been saying this for a while. I am one who, unfortunately, carries some weight around my middle, no matter how much I exercise, or how well I eat. I have been very discouraged at times because the idea of beauty is a chisled six pack, and no matter what I’ve tried it never seems to be within grasp. It is encouraging to hear someone who is naturally slender/muscular say that it’s ok to not be able to get those rock hard abs. Thanks again!

  2. Well…sometimes, a woman with six-pack is sexy, but more often than not, it’s too much. Both men and women chase extremes that actually don’t represent their “best physique” in terms of increasing attraction.

  3. Yes, yes, yes to this post & video, thanks for putting this out there! Some people just “got the abs”, others don’t. It’s so frustrating to eat clean & work your abs & not see results, there are some folks not meant to have the crazy definition that others have!

  4. People seem obsessed with

    (1) six packs; and
    (2) running marathons

    You can’t just get in a good workout at the gym anymore, you have to have the six pack. And you can’t go for a nice 2 mile run, you have to be training for a marathon.

    They are ridiculous yardsticks. A good yardstick is to do a tiny bit better than you did last month.

  5. Thank you so much for this post. As a student in college, I’ve been struggling with self-image issues, most revolving around the size of my jeans or how flat my stomach is. I’ve always stored fat in my midsection, which is really frustrating for me, but it’s reassuring to hear your kind words in that video. Society’s obsession with rock solid abs is frustrating. No matter how much I work out, no matter how healthy I eat (I don’t even drink!), I just need to accept that I may never have visible abs, and that’s perfectly okay.

  6. I also love this post. When I was a size 4/6 with about 17-18% body fat, I had fantastic arms, back, and other areas. My abs? Not so much…I’ll always have a layer of fat on my belly. If you look at the other women on both sides of my genetic pool, that’s just the case. And it really IS refreshing for someone with excellent abs to say that it’s ok NOT to have them…rather than how I’m not working hard enough to get them. So…thanks!

  7. Long time lurker coming out of the woodwork… I loved this post. I’ve always carried all my fat in my midsection and for years I struggled in pursuit of a six pack. My life became so much better when I let go of aesthetics and started training for pure strength. I know that every body is different so there is no use in comparing myself to others.

  8. Thank you so much for this video!
    A pilates trainer that I had an opportunity to trained with once told me that the 6 packs are just an ‘accessories’ muscles. They don’t do much. I come from families who store our fats around the chest and midsection so my stomach is the most ‘trouble spot’ even when I have lean arms and legs. This video is just what I needed to see today. Thank you!

  9. this is interesting – like everyone above I store everything in the middle. I thought I wanted a 6 pack until i got to my ‘ideal weight’ and even though I was light years away from a 6 pack I was thrilled! Everyhthing else fell into place so well that it didnt’ occur to me to care about the 6 pack. Maybe the problem with all us people who are chronically unsatisfied with our appearance is not KNOWING what it feels like/looks like to be at our best, so we hold on to these childish and arbitrary yardsticks.

  10. You’re a friggn rockstar, girl! So glad to see someone tell it like it is! The goal super low bf% at the risk of health and mental well being has got to end. Will be sharing..

  11. Hi , I enjoy your website and approach to food and I’m really really hoping I can email you or you can email me? Please? I have a lot of questions (well, I’ll make it brief for you) and am very lost and at rock bottom. I’m 31 and binging a lot late at night (despite eating regularly all day), constipated for some time now also, ironically underweight. I’ve been reading some araticles on “180 Degrees Health” and a blog called “Your Eatopia” which put a different spin on things. Not sure.
    I’ve a lot of regret for wasting literally my last 6 years in life by obsessing over this and chasing silly things on internet. But since I am low weight (due to god knows what,,,,but mysterious/a ton digestive issues, stress, anxiety, depression, orthorexia, etc). Was never a massive undereater though,…also I only walk now the last few years (I feel like I’m mentally burnt out and adrenal burnout maybe?). My guts and digestion are shot due to my binging (no I don’t purge or restrict the next day…and am constipated….so I feel very disgusting). Brain fog, lethargy, etc…I feel a ton of guilt and regret for not taking charge and just “eat the damn food” a long time ago because I have “known” deep down that that is what is it maybe…but since my age was older (and even older now), my hormones messed (ammenorheic for years now) , and my digestion SO off, I felt and worried about just eating whatever, whenever…
    The 180 Degree Health and particularly the Your Eatopia blog pressent some interesting things (articles like “why binging isn’t binging if …” etc etc)…but still.

    I’m a mess. But I need to turn this around and stop wasting my life and NOT pursuing my real passions simply because I’m caught in this cycle. My digestion and constipation MAKE me depressed '?

    I am sorry. I have said far far too much…but if you can email me PLEASE do.
    I’m SO motivated to exercise (former competitive petite and lean runner) and long to run and do other things in life..but…

    The hardest thing is each day/morning after the “binge” when not able to “fix it” or clean out my body. I feel like my internal body literally needs a cleanse…but not one of those silly ones…I mean an actual “clear out these toxins, and gunk” and “reset” my body so I can start over. My kidneys, liver, colon, everything all ….blocked. Oye.

    I hope you can email me. Thanks muchly.

  12. P.s….I’m REALLy curious about your two exercise programs and would love love to ask you about those….maybe something to help me feel better about myself and gain “right”…

  13. You are wonderful, and this message is just what I needed to hear. I focus on my health through exercise and food but while I have amazingly toned arms, legs, back and butt…abs are a whole other issue. I’ve been considering ‘depriving’ myself, but this is a kick in the right direction for me – health and relationships are the most important things in life.

  14. Brava! I am with you Amber – no “ab” exercises, just good clean eating and all my abs are there. And it’s not all that hard for me. Well said!
    Live healthy and happy, if abs come out great, if not, also great. '?

  15. It’s a very cool approach to fitness that you’re taking. It just seems so … wholesome. I dig it '?

  16. Thank you for the post. And thanks for saying the thing ladies with my body type (I) probably didn’t want to hear, but probably needed to hear. I watched this about an hour ago and it sort of messed me up. Being short-waisted and having genetics on both sides of my family that predispose me to gain weight in my middle are stacked against my desire for a flat stomach and visible abs. I have a straight body type when I am fit with apple tendencies when I am not. Even when I was in college and 15% body fat (healthy but super skinny growing up) I still had a tiny pooch under my belly button that wouldn’t go away. In every workout and weight battle I’ve had my middle has been the last great hurdle. Now, after two babies and being nearly 35 I struggle with my middle even more. I think I have some loose skin that will only disappear with a tummy tuck. I have done Crossfit, eating Paleo, and lifted heavy weights for a year and I still have a tummy. I have a great butt and muscular thighs and I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, but I still have way more of a tummy than I think I “should” have.

    I really have to evaluate if visible abs are even…possible for me. Or if I should just see how flat my stomach can be and learn to dress to be comfortable (probably no bikinis). In one way this post has been freeing and in others disheartening. In one way I’m sort of easing up on myself, in another I’m sort of grieving. In some way I don’t want to accept it. In some ways I need to.

  17. You HAD to say “genetics” din’t ya! I knew it!!! Grrr…. '? Been reading everything on here…. very thought-provoking and eye-opening.

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  19. Hi Amber – thanks for this post. I am an eating disorders clinician, and a fat person, and I work with a lot of patients who are in constant distress because their bodies don’t look the way they are being told (by the media, and by corporations who want their money) they should look in order to be able to say that they are “healthy” or “fit”.

    I try to help people think about what their bodies can DO, and how their bodies FEEL from the inside, rather than focusing on meeting whatever current visual goalpoasts are out there today. Because those visual goalpoasts get changed an awful lot!

    It’s enormously helpful when people like you – people with highly valued genetic privileges – speak out. I’ll be sharing this vidoe with a lot of people. Thank you so much!

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