I am a horrible huncher. You could practically call me Igor (that's "EYE-gor") somedays the way I hunch over when I'm sitting, standing, walking, you name it. Hunch hunch hunch. Ok, so it's not a good thing to do, but it is a fun word to say. But I digress. I know Holly shares this vice with me (ask her about her mom's efforts to correct it when she was a teenager, if you're so inclined). But a couple of years ago (during one of my skinnier phases), I discovered that if I stood up really straight, not only did my back and shoulders feel better, but my tummy pooch practically disappeared! I don't know why I didn't learn this earlier--it could have saved me so many crunches! Oh, I kid. Crunches still necessary (boo), but standing up straight makes them even more effective (yay!).
Please enjoy a helpful diagram:
A helpful tip I learned a long time ago was to hold your arms straight out to the sides from your shoulders, making your body into a "T" as if you were going to start flying around like an airplane (can you tell I spend a lot of time with small children?) (don't answer that). Then when everything has settled where it needs to be, lower your arms back down, and you should be set, posture-wise. If your intention really was to start pretending to fly, well then, I can't help you.
Another idea I stole and would be particularly helpful if you spend a lot of time at a desk is to set a timer to go of every hour or so (you choose the time interval; goodness, I can't do everything for you!) and when it goes off, have a "posture check." Are you sitting up straight? Are your shoulders where they need to be? What about your gut? Don't have a gut? Then go away. Again, I kid! Don't go away. But no braggin' either. Unless you're me. I fully intend to brag when I no longer have a gut. And I have a feeling that paying more attention to how straight my dear ol' spine is will help along that dream.