If you check out fitness magazines or thinspiration posts on Instagram, it seems tight, flat tummies are #goals. But, bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and not everyone is meant to rock six-pack abs. Whether it’s genetics, personal preference, or too much cookie butter, some of us were just born to have soft, squishy bellies, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I’m one of those girls who will never have a firm tummy. I eat right and I work out on the daily but, even though I’m living my best life, my stomach is still pillowy like a Build-A-Bear. It used to bother me, and I did every 10-minute abs video and crash diet I could find, trying to get toned and taut. But, over the years I’ve come to realize this is just how I look, and I don’t have to be at war with my body type.
Even though us big-bellied girls love our bodies, there are some struggles you just can’t understand until you’ve walked a mile in our Spanx. Here are the realities you know all too well when you’ve got a lifelong membership to the muffin top club.
1. Your relationship with jeans is…complicated.
Jeans are bae, but you can never figure out which cut will fit correctly. Do you go with the ultra low-rise and let it all hang out, or do you opt for the higher waistband and end up looking permanently bloated? It’s a mystery how pants can be so tight on your tummy but also have, like, five inches of extra fabric on your butt. It’s also the reason you’re strongly considering a conversion to the Church of Leggings.
2. When you sit down, you’ve got rolls on fleek.
No one has a flat stomach when they’re sitting down, but you’re basically a shape-shifter. When you’re standing up, your belly is just a belly. When you sit down, you can grab legit handfuls of stomach rolls. It’s equal parts distressing and incredible, and you fully embrace your amoeba-like physique.
3. Everyone assumes you want to lose weight.
You’re just living your life, checking out funny cat GIFs, and daydreaming about shirtless Idris Elba, when, out of nowhere, that weird girl from 9th grade chemistry starts messaging you about buying ItWorks wraps and “busting your belly fat.” It seems like someone is always trying to tell you about their new diet or encourage you to “start” working out. You’re perfectly healthy and already have an exercise routine, thanks, but people just can’t handle the fact that you’ve got a chubby tummy—and you’re cool with it.
4. You think shape-wear is the motherfucking devil.
Spanx, girdles, corsets—they’re all supposed to help you “control your tummy” or some bullshit, but you know the only people in the world who actually feel comfortable in spandex body shapers? People who don’t have tummies to control. For the rest of us, shape-wear is the equivalent of opening a king-size comforter, realizing you hate it, and then trying fruitlessly to stuff it back into the tiny package it came in. It’s just not going to happen.
5. Spontaneous photos give you night terrors.
You love your belly. It’s a part of you. But, a girl still needs a little time to suck it in and pop her hip out to the side before you take a picture, amirite? Friends don’t tag friends in horrifying Instagram photos, so if you want to document life’s unexpected moments, some of us need a five-minute warning first.
6. You find your stomach secretly fascinating.
Sometimes you just stand in front of the mirror, push your stomach out as far as it can go, and rub it like you’re OctoMom in her third trimester. You squish it. You play it like a drum. You suck it in hard and pop it back out. You might not have abs of steel, but you can transform yourself into insta-Santa and that’s kind of a rare and amazing magic trick.
7. You’ve learned how to cope on bad body image days.
90% of the time, you’ve got major body love, but even the biggest body positive advocates have their bad days. Sometimes, when you’re trying on clothes or looking for fashion inspiration on Pinterest, you find yourself wishing you looked like someone else. Literally everyone feels that way sometimes, and you know that a big part of being comfortable in your own skin is learning to ride the highs and the lows.
8. You embrace the hell out of your so-called flaws.
You don’t look like a Victoria’s Secret model. So the hell what? You still wear what you want, eat what you like, rock bikinis, and live life to the fullest. Ain’t nobody got time to wish for a different body, and, honestly, you’re perfect just the way you are.
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