April 8, 2014

how to get a flat stomachPart of my job is teaching Health to 15 year-old girls. I actually really enjoy the gig. It’s like I get the chance to talk to these young girls about what my teenage self needed to hear.

In one of my recent lessons, I spoke to the girls about Goal Setting. I had the girls come up with one goal that they wanted to accomplish, and we worked at making it S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound). Not surprisingly, the majority of their goals had something to do with weight loss or body transformation. In an age of photo-shop and glossified selfies, it’s no wonder young teens are under pressure to have the ‘ideal’ body.

As I was walking around the room, one of the girl’s words caught my eye. On her page, she had written My goal is to get a flat stomach. Sound familiar? Gosh, ‘how to get a flat stomach’ seems to be on every female’s radar. Just pick up the latest issue of SHAPE or Women’s Health magazine for tips ‘n tricks galore. 

Ya know when your intuition tells you to hone in on something, to dig deeper? Ah, I love that! Well, my gut was telling me to seek this girl out further. So, I asked her to elaborate on what a flat stomach would mean for her, how accomplishing this goal would benefit her. Her answer broke my heart a little.

She replied, A flat stomach would just make everything easier. It would make me feel better about myself.

Her answer broke my heart because I used to believe this truth. 

Her answer broke my heart because this truth is sweeping through the female population. 

How many women truly believe that if they whittled down their waists, things would become easier? Their love lives would improve. Their confidence would soar. Their insecurities would vanish.

How many teenage girls buy into the hype of fad diets and over-exercising to get thin fast? Then they’d be popular, pretty and irresistible to the male species.


Thanks to genetics, I’ve always had a flat stomach.

But, my flat stomach was an inner demon for over a decade. 

My flat stomach became my security blanket. It was what defined me: I was the tall, skinny girl. When my tummy was flat, I felt ‘okay’ with myself. Yet, I never was really ‘okay’. My anxiety was on hyper-alert. Anytime I felt full or bloated, I’d wage a mental war. And that sure didn’t make everything easier. In fact, life became exhausting. It was a full-time job micro-managing every morsel I put into my mouth in an effort to keep my washboard abs.

Rather than making me feel better about myself, my preoccupation with a flat stomach caused so much inner turmoil and obsession that I actually lost sight of myself. I became completely disconnected with who Sarah Kate really was.

A flat stomach won’t solve your problems.

A flat stomach won’t bring you lasting confidence.

A flat stomach won’t make your beautiful.

But, if you really want to know HOW TO GET A FLAT STOMACH, here is what I’ve learned over the years. (And, no, I do not advocate for any of these!)

  • Call the Food Police: Watch what you eat. Shun the sugar. Never cheat. Deprive yourself of foods you love and vital nutrients your body needs. Basically, give up one of life’s truest pleasures.
  • Join the Exercise Obsessed: Join a gym. Work out an hour a day, six days a week. Run ’til your legs are jelly. Plan your entire day around your exercise schedule.
  • Become Miranda Kerr: Okay, so this one’s a joke (wait, they’re all jokes!) But, seriously, you can’t change your genetics, however, you can make yourself crazy trying.

Let’s go back to what that teenage girl was really seeking.

I want to feel good about myself. 

Isn’t that a universal longing? To feel comfortable in our own skin. To be at peace with our body. To feel good about who we are. To create union between body and soul.

It took me far too long to tap into my inner peace. To cultivate harmony within myself. And to feel good about who I am, just as I am.

It’s time to unleash ‘how to get a flat stomach’ and refocus your energy on HOW TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF!

  • Stop Comparing: Because, beautiful, It’s Unfair to Compare.
  • Change Your Thinking: Stand up to the negative chatter. Dispel the false beliefs. Refuse to entertain those nasty thoughts that creep in and try to sabotage your self-worth.
  • Practice Self-Care: One of the highest forms of self-love is being gentle with yourself. Self-care is an action that reinforces how much you value yourself.

My journey has been one of struggle. But, this struggle has produced a sweetest that I’d have never known otherwise.

I am here to share my story. I am here to help others, like you, value and love themselves and, in turn, discover their passion and purpose.

If this freedom sounds too good to be true, know that I’ve been there, too. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be free from body obsession and food restriction.

If you’re itching to break free and shine your bright light to the world, I’d love to hear from you. Jump on over to the LET’S CONNECT page and get in touch!







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6 thoughts on “HOW TO GET A FLAT STOMACH


    This is brilliant Sarah Kate!
    I can just imagine how that poor wee girl felt when she said a flat stomach would just make everything easier. Lucky she has someone like you to guide her. Your 3 ideas on how to get a flat stomach made me laugh.
    Thanks for reminding us all that sure a flat stomach would be nice, but its not the be all and end all.

  2.'Emmy Lou

    Hi SK! Such a great article, I wish I had someone like you to tell me that at 15! Thank you.
    I detested my body at that age, but I also shunned all exercise as a type of rebellion, and made excuses for my “clicky knee”- which didn’t help matters. I think proper exercise 2-3 times a week (not just walking for hours!) would’ve helped my self esteem, lifted my “feel good” hormones and made me find more positive results to focus on, like fitness levels, strength, stamina. It also helped to study art, and see how artists preferred to sculpture and paint curvy figures, Boticelli’s Venus and the Primavera all had “tummy bloat”, it was seen as more feminine, fertile and therefore more beautiful up until the 1930s really. We’re all the same gene pool. :)) xx

    1. Sarah Kate Anderson Post author

      Thank you for sharing this, beautiful! Yes, a healthy balance with both food and exercise is the key, I believe. And, you’re right, moderate exercise does make us feel GOOD! Isn’t historical art so refreshing compared to today’s ideal of beauty. Many real women do have curves and soft tummies. It’s natural and nothing to be despised from within. Much love your way. xx


    O.M.G How I wish I had YOU as my teacher all those years back! I am so grateful that the young girl has you as a role model/mentor to help her through this – for we both know where thoughts like this can lead to for impressionable young woman if they are not given the help or support…it can be just the trigger for a long and insidious battle.

    Keep shining your light SK – you are so so needed!! xox


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