Fitness Instagrammer gets real about the truth behind building abs

Catriona Harvey-Jenner
Photo credit: Instagram

From Cosmopolitan

With body insecurities rife among women, and Instagram feeds serving as a constant reminder of Kendall Jenner et al's washboard stomachs, it's not surprising that so many people dream of having abs.

The stomach is typically an area of sensitivity, so it often becomes the target of fitness plans. The problem is, progress can be slow, abs don't tend to quickly materialise, and it can leave people feeling disheartened, or like a failure.

If any of that sounds familiar, fitness Instagrammer Hannah Barry (@squattingsushi) has news for you: not everyone's body will develop abs in the same way, so stop beating yourself up about it.

In a recent post, Hannah decided to tackle the tricky issue for the benefit of her 65,000 followers. "First thing's first - everyone has abs," she wrote.

Reassuring her followers that they are no less of a person if they don't have protruding stomach muscles, Hannah pointed out that there are numerous reasons lots of women might not able to build or maintain a flush six-pack.

"How visible your abs are comes down to your body fat percentage, where you genetically store fat, and the thickness of your abdominal wall (also high waisted leggings, good lighting and a tan)," she added.

Hannah herself has visible abs, but she's aware that's down to a combination of having a body that is genetically designed that way, and the fact that fitness and nutrition is a major part of her working life. That's not the same for everyone - and Hannah is also aware that there are other parts of her body she can't control in the same way because that's not the way she was made.

"Something to remember is EveryBODY is different," Hannah wrote in her post. "I’m a platinum card member of the itty bitty titty committee and naturally I carry less fat above my waist. I also have taught myself a lot about nutrition and train very consistently. But if you ate how I ate every day, your results would not be the same as mine," she pointed out.

Signing off, the fitness influencer reminded her followers: "Visible Abs are NOT the be all and end all... and for some [people they] are also genetically unhealthy."

If you're not genetically pre-disposed to have a six-pack, why put the pressure on yourself to do so? Next time you look in the mirror, try pointing out the things you really like about your body - just like these women - and see if you can perhaps reframe any negativity about your body image that way, instead.

Follow Cat on Instagram.

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