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30 August 2012 @ 05:39 am
Suck It Up  
So my stomach actually looks moderately okay now... _if_ i concentrate on sucking it in. There's some pudge, but not zomg huge amounts of pudge. As soon as i stop thinking about sucking it in though... it's back to zomg huge amounts of pudge.

Which brings to mind the cartoons i used to watch as a kid, where a guy would suck in his gut when a cute girl walked by, then start turning blue, then let it back out again with a gasp of air once she was gone, which always made it seem like sucking in your stomach was "cheating."

If one becomes "fit enough" does your stomach end up looking okay without having to actively suck it in? Or have really fit people reached the point where they're just unconsciously sucking it in all the time?

I guess the question resolves to, is it "cheating" to suck in your gut? Or is it only "cheating" if you stop sucking it in when no one is looking?
academicerrificmerchimerch on August 30th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
Cheating what or who? I think that standards of attractiveness are very personal and individual. Probably sucking in one's stomach just makes one look as if one's stomach is sucked in. And not sucking it in looks like a person who is not sucking in eir stomach.

I look like me, whether I suck my tummy in, push it out, etc. I prefer the way I look with good posture, and generally find people with good posture more attractive than slouchers, but I think that is regardless of sucking/blowing out of tummy.

Then again, I think a tummy can be a very attractive feature on a person, so I'm probably not the target audience for your questions.
受け継がれる意志: ZoroLu report timedoctorskuld on August 30th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
Or have really fit people reached the point where they're just unconsciously sucking it in all the time?

Uhh...I don't know anybody who actually unconsciously sucks their stomach in all the time. Part of it is posture (keeping your back straight, and your shoulders aligned) and part of it is just the fact that some people don't have a lot of pudge there.

I'm not sure who you're trying to "cheat" when you suck your gut in, because sooner or later you have to un-suck it, but if you want to look good without having to suck it in, you just gonna have to do some crunches (so that when you lose weight there'll be muscle there).

Though in the grand scheme of things, how much does it actually matter? If you're not doing this, then you're probably fine. :p
Dushenka: pic#101822730dmyersta on August 30th, 2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
ooh! oooh! pick me! pick me!

I remember someone telling me that when she had children, she just sucked in her tummy all the time and eventually it went away. I didn't know if a) I should believe her or b) if it would work for anyone else until I took my first flamenco class.

my teacher kept telling me to stand up straighter, but I thought I was standing straight. so she walked over, and reached up and pulled my hair until I was 2 inches taller (which not so coincidentally meant sucking in my gut) and said, "NOW you are straight! When you wake up in the morning, the first thing, I want you to engage your abs! (suck in your gut) and I want you to *keep* them engaged until you fall asleep at night!" She was stronger than I was so I figured I better listen. and I got a flat tummy!!!! and then I stopped dancing. and then I ate only ice cream pizza and potato chips for a while and then my tummy wasn't so flat. So I'm back to thinking about it and it's working! even though I'm not dancing! but it's just taking a leetle longer than when I was dancing as well.

Good Luck! and Go you!!!!
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on August 31st, 2012 04:39 am (UTC)
This is good to know. Military body types always look fit even when they're clearly overweight, and I wonder if this is why. (I loved that little movie from doctorskuld.) Maybe I should try it. I can't seem to manage to get real exercise into my diet, but my back would sure appreciate it if my abs were stronger.

DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on September 8th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
Oooohh! Ooohhh! I like your answer! Thanks you! :)

So, uh, how does one go about remembering to engage their abs all the time?
Dushenka: pic#101822730dmyersta on September 8th, 2012 03:48 am (UTC)
well, for me it was a dance teacher saying that the 1 hour we practice good posture in class does very little to undo the bad posture we practice the 23 hours of the day that we aren't in class.

Now that I'm not taking classes, I'm in the habit of looking at other people and noticing if their abs are sucked in and if their shoulders are dropped. So - for me there is a little voice in my head that frequently says, "navel to spine" "drop your shoulders!" "navel to spine" "breathe!" "smile" "pretend you are relaxed and having fun" and then when I follow those directions I notice i have less tension and small little aches and pains in my back tend to go away.

you are in the LA area, no? where exactly? email me if you want a recomendation for a good dance/yoga or other training class. :-D
DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on September 14th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately i spend most of my day at work looking at a computer screen, not other people, and then most of the rest of the day at home by myself, so using the posture of other people as a reminder might not help too much :)
Dushenka: pic#101822730dmyersta on September 15th, 2012 01:10 am (UTC)
ah...a computer screen huh - betcha you could write a program that popped up every 15...5..3..minutes that had a screen pop up to say, "are you sitting up straight?" "suck in your gut!" "drop your shoulders!" "smile." and also you could get a yoga ball for your work chair cause if you don't suck in your gut on a yoga ball...you fall off and land on the floor. :-D

If you wanted, I bet you could write a program that would pop up at random intervals rather than setting it for 3, 5, 15, or 20 minutes. The advantage of random is you are less likely to click "ignore"
DonAithnen: happydonaithnen on September 23rd, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
Okay, one thing i don't get, what does "drop your shoulders mean"? I can move them forward or back, but i can't really figure out how to get them to go and lower than they are now.
Dushenka: pic#101822730dmyersta on September 24th, 2012 09:27 pm (UTC)
try putting your shoulders in your ears and squeezing really really tightly - then stop squeezing as you exhale. The position they drop to is where I want someone to put their shoulders when I say "drop your shoulders" it's amazing how often the rise up inperceptably.