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to ask is anyone else dead skinny but with a fat belly?

(60 Posts)
MoodyDidIt Sun 27-Jan-13 16:55:34

i swear sometimes i look 6 months pregnant sad

today is one of those days <sigh>

am just over 8 stone and 5 foot 2 so clearly not overweight. BMI is only about 21/22 i think. and got skinny arms and skinny legs but a right pot belly. i eat a good diet - eat less than about 1600 calories every day but then have one day at the weekend when i let it go a bit. AND, and i do sit ups and push ups regularly but i feel like not fecking bothering for all the good it does sad

its not like i have a baby, youngest dc is 3 ffs blush

am ttc dc3 atm and i dread to think if am successfull what the state of it will be like after.

is anyone else like me? and is there anything i can do?? other than be 10 years younger and never have had dc help me

DianaOfThemyscira Wed 30-Jan-13 17:09:15

Yay! smile

I'm really pleased for you!

Now do the breathing whilst doing full sit ups - bend knees (don't anchor them under any furniture, that's cheating!) and peel all your spine off the floor nice and slowly, blowing out all the way up, and keep blowing out as you SLOWLY return shoulders to the floor, vertebrae by vertebrae (NOTE: Do NOT pant/breathe in at the top!)
Don't come up TOO far, once you are sitting upright, you aren't using your abs anymore.
Visualise getting the ribs to touch the hips and the belly button to touch the spine, and every last molecule of breath out of your body.
It should KILL after just a few reps smile

MoodyDidIt Wed 30-Jan-13 16:15:44

yeah just tried and its definitely easier sitting down grin

thank you! it really FEELS like its working, where sit ups never did IYSWIM

DianaOfThemyscira Wed 30-Jan-13 10:29:14

Hmm, not sure about the weird sensation in your nose, but yeah, you may have held your breath a bit long there to make the spots appear. smile Sit down before you start smile

How can you say you don't have time to do breathing exercises?? smile

They really do work, esp when coupled with abdominal exercises - think of trying to force out every single molecule of air out of your lungs as you breathe out on the effort of a sit up, sucking your belly into your spine and visualise getting the bottom rib to touch your hip bones.

You see big muscle men with a 6 pack but still have a big poky-out pregnant looking belly, that's because they have worked the rectus abominis (6 pack) but not the transverse abdominis

MoodyDidIt Tue 29-Jan-13 16:42:05


diana i just did that exercise you suggested.....it made me go all light headed, spots appeared before my eyes and i had this like, weird sensation in my nose confused is this NORMAL??

MoodyDidIt Tue 29-Jan-13 08:05:23

does avoiding wheat mean avoiding bread? <thick emoticon>

if so i honestly think i'd rather have the preggy belly grin

diana thats interesting re the transverse abs exercise, i used to do pilates after the birth of dc1 and they were the kind of exercises they would get us doing. and it definitely flattened my tummy - shame i now have neither the time or the energy to go again now i have dc2!

Frustratedartist Mon 28-Jan-13 21:54:14

Thanks Alisvolatpropiis - it took me years too!
Just thought it was after too many babies and not enough exercise.
I have no issue avoiding wheat because it's completely worth it not to have the pain or bloating

DianaOfThemyscira Mon 28-Jan-13 20:23:49

Try yoga. And transverse abdominal exercises, which you can do anywhere. Breathe in, relax. Now, suck your belly in to your spine and blow out one LONG breath - count to 8. Even when you think your lungs are empty, blow some more til you have to gasp your next breath in. Be really strict, make sure you don't breathe in tiny bits halfway through. You can feel it working. If you do these breathing exercises Whilst Doing sit ups or plank, it makes them MUCH more effective - you WILL feel the difference!
The transverse abdominals hold the 6pack in place, pulling everything in like a girdle.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 28-Jan-13 18:50:21

frustrated my friend is exactly lack that...not coeliac but through her own observations has worked it out. She's sick when she eats wheat as well as bloating out. Took her years to work out what it was.

Frustratedartist Mon 28-Jan-13 16:54:19

Regarding testing for wheat intolerance
Coeliac is very a specific and serious diagnosis- so that's why you should test for it as a cause of gluten intolerance. If you go gluten free then the coeliac test can go negative even though you actually have coeliac
But it seems that some people still can't tolerate gluten, but don't have coeliac. There isn't a blood test to confirm the diagnosis, it's more what you observe yourself. It seems to be a growth area of interest in Medicine
Gluten and wheat are linked, but not the same. It's maybe worth reading up on. It's probably too long to explain here

hokeycakey Mon 28-Jan-13 14:39:28

Hey op I have had a similar problem in the past agree with others who have suggested that sit ups will not help, if you are doing them wrong you will actually make the stomach pooch out more try Pilates type breathing exhaling and pulling the stomach in or core exercises like the plank

If you want to check for stomach muscle separation lie on your back with the knees bent and lift the head and shoulders feel the stomach muscles with the fingers of one hand more than 2 fingers width between the muscles is considered a separation

Also agree that bloating could cause this you could try cutting down on bread and starchy food

MoodyDidIt Mon 28-Jan-13 14:00:14

^^ YY to can't wear floaty tops etc - have had same comments angry

and i have rock hard stomach muscles too, due to all the pointless sit ups and push ups, but STILL a blob of fat on top aaaargh

interesting about the wheat free thing - as tbh although tummy was much flatter pre dcs it has always tended towards the rounded....perhaps will ask to be tested

MardyArsedMidlander Mon 28-Jan-13 13:37:47

'Very thin but often get asked when I'm due'

^^ YY to this. I can't wear any floaty or smock type tops as I get people coming up going 'Any exciting news???'.
And I did loads of sit ups at one time and have great stomach muscles (my gynaecologist once complimented me on them blush) but there's always a litle podge of lard on top of them.

Frustratedartist Mon 28-Jan-13 13:29:48

Just to add I actually eat more food, but am thinner, when I'm wheatfree. I use wheatfree bread & pasta now. It's not a question of reducing my food intake & flattening my stomach

Frustratedartist Mon 28-Jan-13 13:25:34

I was going to say about food intolerance too. One of my DCs is wheat intolerant. He had a very distended abdomen as a young child
I've had irritable bowel & bloated abdomen ever since I can remember. The symptoms got so bad I decided to try wheatfree- not expecting anything much to happen
Hey Presto! Nearly flat stomach. It distends again a few days after I inadvertently eat wheat. Wheat is hidden in more foods than you can imagine.
You shouldn't exclude foods without getting advice. If you think wheat is the problem you should get tested for Coeliac by your Doctor before you properly go wheat/gluten free.

JeffFaFa Mon 28-Jan-13 12:43:37

In not dead skinny im a size 10, 5 foot 6 and 8 and a half stone. I put my tummy down to IBS and a love of carbs, if i clean eat for a few weeks and exercise like crazy it goes down a bit tho.

firefly11 Mon 28-Jan-13 12:38:12

I have been underweight and petite all my life and when I had DD1, who was a big baby for my size, my tummy was totally misshapen and stretched beyond repair. I went on resistance training about 6 mths post natal and got my figure back, with muscles to boot, which was what I needed anyway because it made me look less underweight and fitter. Then 4 yrs later had DD2 and 2 yrs later, DS1, who was an unexpected pregnancy. I was run ragged by then, hardly had any time for exercise looking after these babies as I was also studying part time. My belly looked about 3 mths pregnant for all those years. I had some really off the cuff inconsiderate comments from other women about how large my tummy looked.But it spurred me onto getting back to exercise again. I have been doing resistance training again for the past year and my tummy is flat again - though its still massively wrinkly but I am not having surgery to fix that. My body is in better shape than it was before I had kids. Yes I do watch what I eat to a certain extent, I have to eat clean. But I don't mind a slice of cake a day, or chocolate! I don't calorie count though, but I do intermittent fasting along with resistance training and have had good results from it.

CoteDAzur Mon 28-Jan-13 11:26:41

Actually, I was told by those physios I mentioned that the muscles to work on in a hanging tummy situation are not going to be helped much by sit ups. There are different type of exercises, but basically they are about completely exhaling out, pulling your tummy in as far as possible, and staying like that in that state of apnea for as long as possible. Do this in different positions: Lying on your back with your knees bent, down on all fours, etc.

RightsaidFreud Mon 28-Jan-13 11:19:58

Do you know what your body fat % is? You could do 1000 sits ups and never see a six pack because of the fat that sits on top of the six pack. You need to burn the fat off.

CoteDAzur Mon 28-Jan-13 11:19:35

If you are already slim elsewhere, dieting is unlikely to help with your tummy situation.

I still had a huge tummy 6 months after the birth of DC2 and looked about 6 months pregnant. Physio at the hospital I gave birth in said my tummy muscles were shot and that I would probably have to have an operation.

I thought I would give exercise a chance first and started a serious training program where they started me running and also focused on core muscles. Within three months, my tummy was normal. I still don't have a flat tummy but nobody thinks I am pregnant anymore. And I still run smile

Just to give you an idea about how bad it was: When I first started running, not only was I terribly out of shape (couldn't run for 2 mins) but also had to stop because my tummy was hurting so much - like, how your breasts would hurt if you run without a bra! That was only for a short while, though, as tummy muscles strengthened in no time to stop the fat from wobbling around.

atthewelles Mon 28-Jan-13 11:11:27

I have the same problem. Very thin but often get asked when I'm due sad.

I did have enormous fibroids and had to have a hysterectomy last year but I still have a tummy out of proportion to the rest of me.

mammmamia Mon 28-Jan-13 10:49:09

I have this problem - am 5'5" used to be a size 8 but now 10-12 due to my stomach. I have twins and my stomach really stretched, I was absolutely massive, went to full term and they were big babies and born by section.

They are almost 3 now though and I still look a bit pregnant... I found I put weight on once they started walking everywhere and I wasn't pushing the buggy. And I don't do any formal exercise which is part of the problem.

The rest of me is slim but I'm sad that I can't wear my old clothes due to my stomach. In fact I've given up wearing trousers completely as find them too uncomfortable and tight.

sherazade what sort of post natal exercises did you do?

topknob Mon 28-Jan-13 10:40:46

5ft 6 weigh 8st 10 have a belly confused probably due to too much wine as youngest child is almost 8 grin

MoodyDidIt Mon 28-Jan-13 10:36:18

wow i am so surprised how many of you suffer from this too

it makes me feel bad cos i am always dieting, and my friends are like, oh moody you don't NEED to, you are sooooo skinny. and i know i am, i just want to get rid of this bloody horrible belly. i dont know if i have any food intolerances, not that i know of, have never really thought about it.

but tbh i would rather be bigger, say, size 14 but have a flat tummy sad my friend is like this, big all over but with a flat tummy (she has had 3 kids) and she looks fab in everything she wears envy

and i am, erm, regular, so its not that. and my periods are OK, i doubt i have any fibroids as i have had 2 kids in last 6 years, surely they would have been spotted during scans etc?

and foreveronadiet ...thats interesting, could i ask you a massive favour, would you mind suggesting some better food options for me? as you seem to know your stuff.

Nicknamegrief Mon 28-Jan-13 07:18:28

I found hula hooping really helped my stomach muscles. I got a special exercise one (£15 from amazon), taught myself to hula (very chuffed I managed to learn) and then hulaed for half an hour each day (in front of the TV).

I also cut down on my carbs especially wheat based ones.

I've just had my fourth child and every midwife I saw always commented on how good my stomach muscle were (fourth child is 4 weeks old so not good at the moment).

foreverondiet Mon 28-Jan-13 07:11:55

I think you are eating proportionally quite a lot of carbs, try and move away from low fat higher carb model. I think if you eat more protein and fat (don't cut calories though) you should lose stomach fat.

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