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Struggling with my mommy body (Jenn)

January 15, 2009

Hi I’m Jenn I had my first, and only, child five years ago. I was very lucky that I had no stretch marks despite being very big while pregnant, apart from a few faint ones that are hardly noticble on my breasts and bum. I carried my son very high and had a c-section. I never put on much weight while pregnant and lost about 5kg after he was born, but in the five years since then the weight has just piled on, I don’t know if that’s due to lack of sleep, stress or not eating or exercising properly — or maybe a combination of all these factors. I never had a small waist — in fact I was always quite chunky in the middle, but I found that after my son was born my stomach just collapsed and I now have a section of tummy that bulges out above the belly button and my body has become positively apple shaped. I am really struggling to lose the weight (about 15kg gained since he was born)and no matter how many sit ups and crunches I do, I still end up with a muffin top, jelly belly. The swimming costume I have on in the pictures actually holds my tummy in a little and the only tops I look good in are maternity tops — has anyone experienced this? I don’t want to go through life wishing I was thinner or my tummy was flatter and being miserable and self-conscious, and I don’t want cosmetic surgery. It astounds me that celebs look so great after their babies, even after twins. How do they do it? What also annoys me is that clothing stores seem to cater for teenage girls only and the bigger clothes and underwear are dowdy. It’s Christmas so I’m not going to spoil my vacation by going on a diet but I think after Christmas I am going to eat all my meals off a small plate, cut out all sugars, simple starches and fats, and try pilates. Weights just seem to make me chunkier. Anyone who has struggled and regained thier body ultimately, if you have any advice, please let me know. Wishing you all a merry festive season and happy new year.




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7 Responses to “Struggling with my mommy body (Jenn)”

  1. Kearstyn Says:
    January 15th, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I’m an apple shape too and I can tell you that the reason that weights/crunches don’t work is because although they’re increasing your muscle mass they aren’t decreasing your fat unless you do them with cardio, which means that essentially you end up with a lot of muscle plus a layer of fat over that. It’s particularly difficult to lose belly fat, but with a combination of a healthy diet and cardio/pilates you should be able to get it off. I was able to lose 20lbs a couple years ago by keeping my meals small and healthy, and by making sure to eat regularly throughout the day in order to keep my metabolism up. If you skip meals, especially breakfast, your body will assume that you are starving and start storing all the calories you consume, so even if you’re eating less you won’t lose as much.

  2. Abby Says:
    January 15th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Oh my goodness! You have my exact body! Not sure how to get rid of the apple belly or why the fat seems to want to go right above the belly button. We do have nice legs at least:)

  3. taiyo Says:
    January 16th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    You look great!

  4. terri c Says:
    January 17th, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Good luck with your plan! I think celebrities look good partly because they can afford a lot more help than the rest of us, in terms of housecleaners, nannies, exercise trainers, and cooks. And, in a sense, they HAVE to look good because of the pressure to be thin, so the “celebrity world” has lots of women who are genetically predisposed to stay thin along with others who really work at staying thin as if it were a job, because it sort of IS their job.

  5. jill p Says:
    January 27th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Those cleb’s have another advantage that the rest of us do not have. Many of them have planned c-sections, and a plastic surgon right there to make sure they do not get a weird looking c-section belly. Then they do not have to worry about having a belly that looks like every other Mommy’s belly where the fat bulges above the c-section scar or where the muscles are streched out due to pregnancy.

    I honestly wish you the best of luck with your weight loss journey. I think you look great the way you are.

    P.S. Some day I will have the courage to post pictures of my mumu body as well as my story.

  6. sara Says:
    January 28th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    I think you are beautiful.

    I just wanted to tell you about an exercise that has helped me (hasn’t gotten rid of the ton of stretch marks or loads of extra skin though…haha). I may not have this exactly right, but the inner most layer of muscles in your abdomen are the transverse abdominus muscles (TVA). They are sometimes called the “internal girdle” as they hold everything in. A common mistake post partum women make is to do crunches, which strenghtens and often bulks up the “six pack” muscles which lay on top of the TVA muscles. If the TVA muscles aren’t strong, then the bulked up six pack muscles just lay on top of an already protruding abdomen, making it protrude even more. Does that makes sense?

    One of the most effective ways to train and strenghten your TVA muscles is just to pull your belly button in towards your spine – what you do when you are “sucking in your stomach.” You can do this for 30 seconds or so and then relax…then repeat. Do it A LOT and do it every day…eventually your TVA muscles will strenthen and hold everything in better, giving you a flatter stomach…

    If you want more info, just google TVA muscles…this is also a great article…explains it well…although the site is selling something:
    http://www.befitmom.com/abdominal_reconditioning.html

    Best of luck!

  7. Jenn Says:
    September 6th, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Thank you so much for all the advice and for the compliments, you guys made me feel so good that I’ve got a big smile on my face as I write this.
    Due to the recession I have not been able to join the gym (costs too much), but I did join a weight loss group called weigh less. They advocate a low GI method of eating and so far I’ve lost 5kg and one dress size, although I admit sometimes I just feel like a chocolate! I am pulling my belly button towards my stomach as we speak and I’ve embarked on a programme to go for a brisk walk around the neighbourhood and on the beach whenever I can. It’s a long and slow process, but today you all really inspired me. For the first time in my life I don’t totally hate my body and as I listen to my boy singing at the top of his voice, I know that I’d rather have a jelly belly than no little boy.
    A big thank you to each of you, this site is wonderful and without it we’d all still be striving for a fake ideal, feeling isolated.
    Jenn

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