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Loaded with fat and a belly that won’t go away. Looking for advice and input. (Anonymous)

August 21, 2013

Hi! I’m looking for some advice on my 4 month post-partum body. I had my first child at age 32 via c/section that took us 5 years to conceive. God had a major plan for us and I ended up pregnant again when baby #1 was only 7 months old. Prior to pregnancy #1, I was 5’9″ and fluctuated between 145-150lbs and was 178 lbs on the day of delivery. Within 2 weeks after my first son’s birth, I was back to 150 lbs without breast feeding or doing anything . The second pregnancy I had to go through the holidays and the massive amount of sugar intake killed me. I ended up weighing about 188lbs on the day my second son was delivered. With my first son, the hospital staff kept commenting that they couldn’t tell I had just had a baby. After having the second son, I knew I was in trouble because no one made similar comments and when I got home from the hospital I weighed 172 lbs and my son was 8lbs 8oz!

Fortunately within two weeks I was back down to 162 lbs..unfortunately, that is where it has stayed! I’m 5 weeks into an intense cardio conditioning program (Turbo Fire) and added weight training last week (Chalean Extreme). Nothing is pushing my belly down OR budging the scale. The scale keeps fluctuating between 162-165 lbs..no inches lost (again, since I was 2 weeks post partum). My current goal is to work on eating clean and healthy. Hopefully I can get some of my muscle mass back and lose the fat deposits that appear to be throughout my abdomen and back. Two years of inactivity has really taken a toll on my body. I’ve checked repeatedly and it doesn’t seem that I have diastisis. Everything seems to connect down the midline above, at and below my belly button. I do seem to have a soft bulge above the belly button, but it isn’t painful or anything.

Each day I spend probably an hour examining my stomach and wondering how to get it to look not pregnant anymore. I’m lost with what to do. I do wear a binder almost every day, but try to take it easy with that because I have heard it can cause the muscles to become dependent on it. I’ve never in my life had to struggle with my weight and have always been able to eat whatever I want. Obviously things could be a lot worse and I know I’m blessed in the fact I didn’t get any stretch marks. However, at the end of the day, I am not comfortable in this body and am tired of having ill fitted clothes. I’m wondering if there’s any hope to fix this? The fact I am not seeing any improvements makes me concerned this is going to be something permanent.

~Age: 33
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies/2 births
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 20 months and 4 months; 4 months post partum

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17 Responses to “Loaded with fat and a belly that won’t go away. Looking for advice and input. (Anonymous)”

  1. Jen Says:
    August 21st, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Ok first of all I want to say congrats on baby and the fact that you are working out!! Good for you! It will take time to see results, others will notice it before you do! I am a stay at home mom of three(2 of which are twins that are 7 months old) and I personal train on the side. The biggest thing I tell people is to watch the sugar intake. Absolutely no soda or fruit juice, I use unsweetened almond milk instead of regular milk because one cup contains 12 grams of sugar, EW! I only take in 15 grams of sugar per day. I have a post coming out on here called “Fit after a son and twins”. If you are dedicated and want to see changes, then I know you can do it!You look good and it won’t take long if you eat really clean and stick to a workout program that works for you.

  2. YogaMathMelon Says:
    August 21st, 2013 at 9:57 am

    First off, I think you look fine. I also had back-to-back pregnancies and most people underestimate how super-hard that is on a body. My sons are now just 5 and 3.5 years old and with work, my body is beginning to resemble its pre-preggo body. It takes time. Honestly, I’d slow down the workouts, and concentrate on eating better, as you can affect change more quickly through diet than through exercise. Keep an honest food journal as you are probably taking in more calories than you realize. Your babies will only be babies once, but you have your whole life to work on your figure.

  3. Jane Says:
    August 21st, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Best wishes on your baby – and God still has a plan for you, in the body you’re in now. Treat yourself well and be loving to others; try not to worry too much about your shape, which will find its own equilibrium eventually. This is such a great time. Worrying about looking a certain way will take away from that. Be yourself – be beautiful just as you are now – and be happy!

  4. YLMBreadless (@YLMBreadless) Says:
    August 21st, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Your body has just been through a lot. most people dont bounce back the way you did the first time so you were very fortunate.

    i understand how you feel however.I struggle after each baby. I often felt a lot like you .

    Here is what I found- get better results when I love my body and treat it like a friend. I eat well. I choose healthy things and have treats here and there ( i am a sucker for chocolate) I cut gluten because I KNOW it makes me feel yucky. I try to stay positive in my language. Some of these things have helped me loose weight, other things just help me to feel better.

    Because now that I have girls I don’t want them to look in the mirror and feel pressure to be anything but the shape they are I know they learn that from me. I know my boys learn what to look for from a woman from me as well.I want them all to always respect the body God has blessed them with.

  5. Ashley Says:
    August 21st, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Give it more time. I’m also 5’9″ and my natural/normal weight is about 145 as well. I gained 60lbs with my 1st (at 26), 50lbs with my 2nd (at 28), and 55lbs with my 3rd (at 31). I’m also 4 month pp and only down to 168. I’m not worried though, it took me 6mo to lose it all with my 1st, 9 months with my 2nd, so I’m thinking at least 6-12 months to lose it this time! Just keep working out and eating healthy and you’ll get there eventually, it took 9 months to gain it all right? BTW, I would have LOVED to only get up to 188! But on the days I delivered I was 205, 195, and 200!

  6. jojo Says:
    August 21st, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    yes, accepting yourself is the clue! it took me 3 years to accept my new, big, big body and… the fat started to vanish! I eat better, I do some tabatas (highly recommended!) but I did it before and it didn’t work. It started to work when I started to love my WHOLE body the way it is. Good luck!

  7. Veronica Says:
    August 21st, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Go mama! Keep up the good workout. And don’t stare at the scale. Even if the scale would tell you what, there’s always something more going on in your body when you work out. And even if the fat wouldn’t go away, it’s better to be fit and in good shape than overweight and in bad condition.

    And give yourself some time! Four months is not a very long time when talking about losing weight. If there after one year still haven’t been any major change for the better, then you should consider some other kind of workout routine or eating habits.

    Remember to enjoy the time together with your baby, they grow so fast!

  8. Dee Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Ditto the time, time, time. I’m the same age as you and have come to see that real fitness and health are built slowly, like over 2 years. And they don’t necessarily look bone-thin. We’ve equated thin with healthy too readily.

    First, you’re building muscle that will fuel later fat burning, so you can’t expect weight loss right away. You may even expect weight gain. If you really, really, really need to measure something you can check your measurements on your arms and thighs and may find that even with the same weight you’ve gotten a bit smaller through the lifting. Give weights 12 weeks or so to build some muscle. Then let that muscle fuel fat burning afterwards. And get lots of rest and recovery. If you’re building muscle don’t let too much heavy cardio wear you right out.

    Second, stop examining your belly so closely! If you catch yourself stop and consider what you have already acheived, for example, a good routine, improved strength and energy, higher jumps, or more squats, etc.

    Lastly, you have two little kids and they need a lot of things. Take this time to help yourself be healthy, but see all the ways you can be with them and build activity into your day. This burns calories you won’t even notice and doesn’t make you hungrier as exercise often does. So, give yourself a break from time to time. You are hardworking mother of two.

  9. Erin Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Hi! Wow, I can’t believe my story is finally up there! I’ve been checking every day to see if it had been published and I missed a few days, here it is! In the month since I submitted my story, I’m FINALLY moving towards my pre-pregnant body! I made nutrition a priority – quit eating crackers all day and have cut my sugar intake significantly. Still not perfect, but each week I am dong better! I added weight lifting and now take a meal replacement shake that is loaded with protein and nutrients. I know that may not be ideal, but the truth of the matter is that I just don’t have time to make myself healthy meals at lunch time.
    Thank you so much for all the beautiful and wonderful comments that were left! I was so scared to submit this and seriously in the past month I’ve had a revelation and feel so much better. For the majority of the past two years, I carried two babies! That’s hard and a ton of work. Did not give myself enough credit for that.

    Those of you that mentioned the nutrition and weight lifting were definitely spot on. I have updated pictures if anyone is interested, add me on facebook and just tell me you are from SOAM. I’m not publically broadcasting quite yet, but moving towards that! Hoping to take another updated picture this week! Then once I’ve completed my entire workout program I will come back and provide an update to my story. Until then, my journey continues with balancing my two little ones and returning myself to physical and mental health.

    I can say having my now 5 month old sleeping more has helped a ton too. I get up at 5 am to do my workouts and then I have the entire day to focus on my two bubs! And every one who told me I should be focusing on them was correct too! They are just babies and need me so much!

  10. JSki Says:
    August 23rd, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Hi Erin. I’m glad that you’re seeing the results that you wanted so badly. There is a “dark age” in post-partum that gets longer and longer with each successive pregnancy. I’ve had three kids, all within 2 years of one another (give or take) and so was without normalcy in clothing or feeling fit, or anything for over five years. I’m 33.

    My mantra became, “It took nine months to stretch out. It takes that long to put it all back.”

    Of course, with each pregnancy, that mantra seemed to stretch. “It takes…eleven months to put it back?” I kept getting back down to weight, but between kids, house, work, etc., I wasn’t firming up.

    My youngest is now two years old and I am finally finding that I have a semblance of autonomy again. I work out twice a week and walk several evenings with my family. I am not as pristine as I once was and the skin on my stomach will never be smooth again, despite the fact that I am finally seeing muscle definition again.

    You know what I do when it bothers me? I just stand reeeeeally far away from the mirror and flex.

    The fact of the matter is that no one can make us feel bad about our bodies but ourselves. Find your happy place and don’t let anyone take that from you.

    Love to you and your family.
    Jaci

  11. Amanda Says:
    August 25th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    first off I think you look great!! youre only 4 mos pp taking on turbofire and chalean!! that is not an easy task. you will see results from these, sometimes we hit a plateau around 5 weeks or so, kind of the bodys way of being like ummmmm no. you should get past it :) Is your coach helping you through?? I went from 210 to 110 with these programs I know it is a struggle but you gotta keep pushing play and make sure you’re eating enough!!!! who are you on fb????

  12. Amanda Says:
    August 25th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    nevermind lol friend request sent :)

  13. Bee Says:
    September 4th, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    A: I have about the exact same height weight thing going…but now that I have a toddler and an almost 1 y/o things are falling into place body-wise.
    B: All the extra running you’ll be doing & all the kid picking up and putting down will begin to aid you in getting stronger and leaner. Heck, I think if I wore a pedometer right now it would blow-up from the amount of steps I take & if I pick up both kids at once, that’s 50+ pounds.
    C: I think you are doing great already!

  14. nad Says:
    September 18th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I think general rule of thumb – it takes the same amount of time to lose the preggo weight as it took to gain it…so a year to 18 months (for two back to back pregnancies). took me 9 months to lose the 35 pounds…if you aren’t nursing then combination of cardio and no sweets and reduced carbs (keep a food journal maybe on your phone). but remember….priorities change…the goal doesnt have to be get back the pre preggo body, the goal can be get into a healthy lifestyle and move towards a body that you are comfortable with. your partner loves YOU and YOUR BODY as is. Focus on a healthy lifestyle and happy lifestyle and you will embrace yourself, your body, and the battle scars of LIFE (thats what i call my stretch marks and mushy skin)… :)

  15. Jill Says:
    November 9th, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I think you look awesome by the way . I lost most of the weight very quickly but found it was at least a year till the shape of my body changed. Just with time healthy eating. I did find the last changes happened after I finished breast feeding as well . It seemed like my body needed to concentrate on that . Above all love yourself . You are doing an incredible job and don’t compare your journey with anyone’s . We are all unique

  16. KB Says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I’m a mom of 3, now 12,14 & 18….all boys over 9 pounds. The last was 10#2oz and 23″ long and delivered by c-section. I have the road map from here to Connecticut on my belly in stretch marks including some that split open and bled while pregnant.

    I wanted my body back ASAP, but, I’m also a nurse and knew this would not realistically happen, at least not safely. A few things I’ve learned along the way…
    1. We will always have the post c-section crease no matter how much we lose or how many crunches we do.
    2. Our kids won’t care that we don’t have a flat stomach anymore, but they do care if we obsess over our imperfections and learn to worry about their own by watching us.
    3. C-section scars and stretch mark scars sometimes need help to heal….vitamin e and running a racquetball over them with moderate pressure helps to keep the scars from affecting our muscles. By the way, they are a badge of honor…I’d get them again if it meant getting my boys again.
    4. It does take at least as long to get the weight off as it did to put it on. In fact most Drs say 8 years for your body to be completely back to pre-baby status.
    5. Yoga is a great way to feel longer, leaner and more powerful with a side of relaxation and calm thrown in.
    6. Too much exercise too quickly can cause problems….just ask my physical therapist who is trying to fix the shoulder I injured when I started working out with weights only a couple months after my first son was born (remember the one that’s 18)
    7. My value is not in my body…it is only a shell that does not define me.

  17. Sarah Says:
    January 24th, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Your abdominals have seperated and if you want your belly to look like it did before you will need to go under the knife. I have exactly the same issue and it is basically ruining my life and I can’t afford surgery so yeah… I can’t really give any further advice… To lose weight, well that’s a lot more simple. All you need to do is start counting calories and control your portions. Also, walk whenever you can instead of taking the car or public transport. Running up and down the stairs 20 times a day will also help. It’s very easy to eat more than you need especially if you live in a family and you are cooking the meals. I have recently lost over 20lbs by restricting calories and not over-eating.

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