I started holding my stomach in during my early 20’s. I started gaining a significant amount of weight during that time. My hormones were out of whack, which contributed to my weight gain. I gained about 40lbs in 6 months, and all of the weight went right into my “belly.” I became really conscious of my body. It became common for others to inquire if I was expecting a baby. As much as I tried to conceal my belly, I could not disguise it. Even as a child, I had a “pot belly” with bird legs and slender arms. During my teens, I remained slim, but underneath I had a rotund belly. Once I began gaining weight, it became noticeable in my stomach. I started holding my stomach in as far as I could with very shallow breathing. I did this to draw less attention and to have more room around my waist, as I refused to buy larger pants. I was really creating damage to my body by disrupting air flow which also affected my digestive system. I wasn’t allowing my body to relax. It caused intestinal distress which can cause constipation, hernias, stomach aches, and back pain. Holding your stomach in also creates poor posture. It was brought to my attention once how it was obvious that I looked uncomfortable due to holding my stomach in. I mean I used to take numerous photos making sure my stomach was sucked in, but in actuality, you can see it in your shoulders as the oxygen used to hold your stomach in expands to your shoulders. Nowadays, I refuse to hold my stomach in, but I dress appropriately to conceal. I am a fan of wearing wraps, vests, cardigans, and blazers.