Is that a football in your belly? No, it’s just extra skin. (Erin)

My age: 34
# of pregnancies and births: 2, both by c-section
Children ages: almost 4 and almost 2

I’m not a tall woman. I stand at only 5′ 1/2″. I feel like I’ve always struggled with my weight. I have always worn C-D bra sizes, so I’ve always been pretty “gifted” in that area. As for everything else, I have always felt a little “fluffy”. Looking back at my “younger” pictures, I only now realize that I used to have a nice body… Hindsight – it’s a double edged sword, isn’t it…

I gained just about 29-35’ish lbs with both of my sons’ pregnancies. I BELIEVE my starting pre-pregnancy weight was around 135-140… I remember weighing in at 146 when I got pregnant the second time. I held at a pretty consistent 157-158lbs after the second son was born (up until a couple of weeks ago).
I have what I call a “fanny pack” – the nice loose skin that so many mothers talk about. Like I said, I call it a fanny pack, even though it kind of has the shape of a football… Neither create positive mental pictures.

I had started exercising, minimally and not consistently, and easily burnt out because the semi-dedication did not lead to the desired results… Who knew, right?

Over the past few weeks. I’ve invested in a stationary bike, which I try to ride at least for a little while each day, I’ve started walking about 2 miles per day, I use our in-home gym each night for minimal weightlifting, and then I close the day with various stretches. I’m trying to find a happy medium, something that will get me results and that will not lead to mental or physical burn out. As of right now, I’m weighing in at 152.8lbs and feel like I’ve started to tone up. I feel like it’s a good step, but I’m not sure if I’m going about things right or doing what I should be doing to see the maximum results for my efforts.

Oh, did I mention that I suffer from depression, anxiety, and multiple sclerosis? I was thinking that if I was exercising, I could probably get rid of my depression due to the extra endorphins, but that isn’t happening (found that out the hard way after just missing one “happy pill”). My doc tells me that the depression, though it might get a little better with the exercising, is probably here to stay due to the MS. Lovely… The multiple sclerosis also impacts overall energy – so if I over do something, I have difficulty walking and functioning for a good time afterwards. I am trying to incorporate new technologies (e.g. cooling vests) to hopefully prolong my energy during exercise, but it’s still in the experimental stages for me. Also with the MS, I have to take daily/nightly injections – rotating the “lucky” location each day. So each leg, arm, and hip, along with the stomach gets a turn to be tortured. The shots can range from not too bad to really quite painful and the affects can last for either hours or sometimes days. Also, because of the daily shots, there is a greater possibility of tissue loss – wonderful, huh? So, not only has pregnancy and childbirth played twister with my body, but now the shots are, too? Ugh… Just something else to look forward to…

I say all of the at to say that I really am trying now to lose weight an start to feel better about myself. I believe my mindset is finally where it needs to be to push myself to be able to see results, but I fear the mysterious uphill journey that I’m on is not as consistent as I’d like it to be. Again, I don’t want to do too much or become so overly obsessive, so that I can’t function or have a harder time functioning and staying true to a goal. I also don’t want to burn out, either mentally or physically, and just get so disheartened by the whole process. I want to see results, and I would LOVE to see the person I KNOW is possible to be reflected back to me in a mirror.

People used to find me attractive, and now, I even wonder if my husband, when asked/prodded, says he finds me attractive, pretty, and sexy only because he’s bound to think that by the matrimony vows we took, as well as because he’s a good guy. Would I do me? Nah, I don’t think so – not unless the room was very dark and I was laying 100% of the time on my back to call less attention to the fanny pack.

This past week, I made a consultation appointment with a plastic surgeon in town. He tooted his horn, telling me he could take 5-6″ off of my waist and by the time the tummy tuck and lipo procedures were done and healed from, I would be within 1-2lbs of my ideal weight… He told me I could have a flat stomach. That is something I’ve NEVER had – it’s just never been in my genes… To me, that would be the icing or the gravy – my main concern is my fanny pack… I want that GONE! I was really quite pleased that he complimented my hips and thighs – saying they would need no work, but then he threw out a “you have boy hips” comment. What the heck is that all about? I don’t want to look like some magazine super model girl, I just want to look like me – with less of a tummy!!!! So, after the consultation, I learned to that the cost of everything he wants to do to me is $8000!!!!! OUCH!!!!!

So, now I’m somewhat back to square one, looking for anything (suggestions, positive reinforcement, guidance) to help me feel better about myself and get to a happy place weight wise…


9 thoughts on “Is that a football in your belly? No, it’s just extra skin. (Erin)

  • Monday, January 17, 2011 at 10:49 am

    congrats on your kids and your awesome husband, first of all!
    its great that you are in the mindset to get yourself healthier.. once you make up your mind to do it, thats half the battle.

    I’ve heard lots of personal trainers say that being in great physical shape is 90% diet, 10% exercise. you can bust your butt in the gym, but if you go home and eat really unhealthy foods, you will be undoing all of your hard work.

    I have an autoimmune condition too and one thing that has been very very helpful to me in losing weight with minimal effort is limiting gluten and wheat. It aggrevates autoimmune conditions a LOT.. (do some googling– you will find a lot of great info out there!!) Most people (unless they are celiac) can still have rice and oats because they don’t contain gliadin, the aggrevating element of gluten. so that may help you.

    If you decide to cut our or limit gluten and wheat, you should make sure you are getting enough protien in the form of fatty fish (salmon, herring, anchovies etc) and chicken. Lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, etc. Basically a low GI diet has helped me a lot, both to lose weight, feel better, and an added bonus of making my labs better too! I also take fish oil supplements and vitamin D3- a deficiency in vit d is linked with autoimmnune problems..

    is there any way you could see a nutritionist who knows a lot about MS? Its a lot cheaper than plastic surgery and could give you some great ideas.. if its not something you can do, the library/internet probably have a lot of great resources to help.

    Strength training is a great idea too.. it will help rev up your metabolism and might help with your energy levels too. Montel Williams has MS and I remember seeing an interview where he talks about his workouts- the man does a lot of weight training and said it has helped him manage his symptoms.. maybe something else to google?

    I think the most important thing is to get moving every day. If you are feeling up to it, even a nice long walk with the stroller can help..

    Another thing I have found that has helped me is to get an idea of what methods youd like to try, ie healthier eating and some form of physical activity every day for a month.. and then (this is the hard part) dont look at the scale or scrutinize yourself in the mirror until the month is over. when you look every day, you prob wont notice a change and might get frusterated.,. but after a month, you will probably be shocked at what a difference all your hard work has made, and be excited to continue!

    I hope you are feeling better and I hope this helps somewhat….

  • Monday, January 17, 2011 at 11:43 am

    your not big at all, i thought i was going to find a pic of a very overweight woman, nope..u have skinny legs and look pretty good! chill out, you really dont look bad at all!

  • Monday, January 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    you look great! the only thing i know to do is keep working out like you are, easier said than done i know! i am 26 weeks preggo with #3 and really wanta start walking more but just dont i guess at least you are trying i am just sittin around getting bigger lol!! Good Luck i think you look awesome!

  • Monday, January 17, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Could I just trade my butt with yours? I just had ONE and it looks like I sat in a vat of cottage cheese! You’re gorgeous!

  • Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Oh mama you don’t look bad at all! I wish I looked like you. And I don’t think you have “boy hips” lol :)

  • Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Thank you everyone!!!!
    It’s been a few weeks since I submitted my story. I’m now slightly below that 150lb mark (woo-hoo!) and am starting to feel like I look a little better since, when I look down, I can actually see my feet – and boy do my toenails need a good painting! ha!

    The belly is SLOWLY getting more trimmed, the waist is probably where I see the biggest difference – boy hips my butt! ;o) Take THAT Dr. Slice-n-Dice!

    I’m taking vitamin supplements that are supposed to be good for autoimmune diseases (e.g. the D3 as listed in K’s response) and eating as right as I can – eating as much raw fruits/veggies, lean’ish meats, etc… Also looking at labels before I buy and staying as realistically away from sugary foods as possible. So far, I’ve got pretty good will power and I’m proud of that.

    For every positive, there is some negative and I’m trying to work on that, as well. The hubby and I are having a hard time right now. I’m trying to keep that in a separate bucket and just stay on track with MY personal goals since I know the better I feel about myself, the happier I will be and I want my kiddos to know a happy mamma. They know I love them, love them, love them – and I think they would want me to love myself, too! :o)

    So, THANK YOU, again, for all of your wonderful comments & bringing a smile to my face. You have helped by letting me know that I’m on the right track! :o)

  • Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 8:42 am

    first off, HILARIOUS TITLE!, second everything you think is wrong with you can be fixed for free!! (except the MS i havent figured how to fix that yet) It only takes time, self discipline and motivation. You said its never been in your genes to have a flat stomach, regardless it is still attainable! I have a friend with multiple sclerosis, and he found that he can work out without realizing it. I know its different with everyone but playing with a very active pet, children, even the wii can somewhat help loose weight, and u feel less discomfort cuz you dont realize your working out, your just having fun!! you look pretty awesome!! you dont look like u have excess skin at all you look like your stomach once used to be a 4- pack..
    and ive been told i have boy hips but then i tell them well these boy hips have help given birth to twins what has yours done for you lately?
    u look pretty awesom seriously

  • Friday, April 29, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Thank you for posting on this site! I have a 3 year old and a 6 month old, and I know how you feel, I have multiple sclerosis myself and it is so hard to exercise without overdoing it. What I have found works for me is walking in the sunshine, before it gets really hot. It makes a big difference when you get enough vitamin D. I would also suggest that you be tested for D deficiency, it is very common in MSers. It can cause depression as well. Of course, the MS will do it all by itself. There is nothing wrong with taking an antidepressant if you need it, it is nothing you have done wrong. It is simply a mess-up of the chemicals in your brain.
    I am trying to follow the swank diet, which is a lowfat, low dairy diet. I cut out dairy completely, and I have a lot more energy now. You can go to, not only does it have info about the diet but there is a great message board that talks about everything MS. It is not limited to the diet.
    I have wondered if my husband finds me attractive anymore. But I have to remember that this is my problem, not his. So I wear a bra if we are going to have sex, because now my breasts are very unmatched(I have been breastfeeding). I try and tell myself I look good the way I am. I have a haircut that I like. I exercise all I can and eat well. Good luck to you if you have plastic surgery. Be careful to have lots of help if you go that route, because it may cause problems with your ms.
    Best of luck to you!

  • Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I feel bad about my football stomach too and often tell my 3.5 and 5 yr. old kids that I gave them my belly button. Today, my 3.5 yr. old daughter told me (out of the blue) that she loves all of my body and her own body and asked me if I love my own body. I looked in the mirror at my puckered belly and I had to say “yes” after that statement! It’s amazing what we can learn from our children.

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