Exercise! - Belly

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01-29-2008, 08:30 AM
For lack of a better title, I have a question/concern about the thing we all love to hate - belly flab. Let me start off with my story - I am 5 feet nothing, and at my highest last April weight 187 pounds. To this day, I have lost 47 pounds (and still chugging along). I am very proud of losing those 47 pounds, but I am also getting a teeny bit frustrated with the thing I hate most about my body - my belly. I think the 30 pounds I gained in 2006 all went to my belly. My basic plan has been - I am following the weight watchers plan for free at home and I work out 4-6 times a week, always doing cardio and adding in free weights 3 times a week to get some muscle strength. (Extra point - I workout at home with a treadmill, elliptical, a small weight bench for me, and lots of videos - no gym membership for me). I can definitely tell a different in my body from the diet and exercise - smaller legs, less fat on the back, and such, BUT - I cannot seem to do anything with my belly. Now I am sure it is smaller than it was 47 pounds ago, but it still doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I have read here and other places that you can do crunches until you are blue in the face, but if you have fat on top of your abs the crunches won't really be doing much - they will be strengthening your abs underneath the fat, but you won't actually see those toned abs until you work off the fat that is on top of them. There comes in the cardio - burning off the fat around the belly section. Now, I don't do crunches, never have, and never will - I don't really care about having a six pack or "toned" abs - its just not a concern of mine - my major concern is being in better shape overall.

So, I guess my question is, should I just continue with my cardio workouts to get rid of some of this belly? In my head I've basically told myself that if I just keep up the exercise I will eventually see the results on my midsection - I already see some because I know I have less fat than I did at 187, but I still don't see the results I would like to see. I know a lot of people on here have said that when you get to a lower weight, sometimes there is one tough place that the fat just sticks to and the last 10-15 pounds you lose you will see it go from that place, so I'm hoping that is my belly for me.

I'm sorry for rambling here, I guess all I'm asking is for some advice and inspiration from anyone who might have some for me, or just a "wait and you'll see results" from someone. Thanks!

01-29-2008, 09:27 AM
I know for me, I lost weight from my extremities in. I'm extremely happy with how my arms look. My ankles are spectacular. I'm becoming pleased with my legs, and my shoulders, chest, and upper back are pretty nice. But I still have that dang baby gut and pooches on my hips.

I keep telling myself that all this cardio has GOT to help at some point! I'm losing fat, regardless of where it's coming from, and it's eventually going to have to come out of the belly area! It'll have to!!!


01-29-2008, 01:38 PM
My belly was the last thing to start shrinking. I still haven't reached my goal. Got to 140 then got pregnant, and got back to 145 and have been holding there. But just between 145 and 140 before, there was a huge difference in the lower belly. So I'm determined to finally get back to, and then surpass, that 140 mark. And I'm back to doing a lot of situps that I'd done before.

That said, as we get older, have kids, lots of things, our bellies change. We will never have the 18 yo belly we once had. All the weightloss and exercise in the world can't change it. And that is why God created the tummy tuck. ;)

01-29-2008, 08:52 PM
I am a relatively small, fit person and the belly is always the last place for me to see any results. After 3 kids and decades of losing and gaining weight, I think the skin is just stretched out! So ask yourself...is it really fat on the tummy you see or is just excess skin. Fat, we can do something about. Skin, well,we are stuck with unless you have a tummy tuck...then they just chop( poor,but accurate, choice of words) it all off!

01-29-2008, 08:54 PM
Just keep plugging away and your stomach will get smaller. You may not end up with a completely flat stomach (really, very few women have this), but it will definitely get smaller along with the rest of you.

I also highly recommend getting a tape measure and keeping track of your measurements. That way you'll know for sure that your stomach is getting smaller. I'm very close to goal, yet, I swear, when I look at my stomach I sometimes think I haven't even lost one inch there. But it's all in my head and, luckily, I have the measurements to prove it.

01-29-2008, 09:12 PM
Where does one really measure the belly at? 35" plus is considered problematic according to dr's, mine is fatter around the belly button which one book said to measure it at, another book said the most narrow part. I guess I have a muffin belly since I regained weight.

I know when I lost weight "last time" I just pushed and pushed cardio plus weights and it came off in the end except a bit and I think that was from having a baby. There's people on this site, see the support group six pack abs that are really working on abs, one lady is amazing, I read her blog, she's almost 40 and has a six pack, she's had kids too.

But we in the real world have to be realistic. How much time do you have to diet/workout? Those stars and people with the best abs have personal trainers- or those with six pack abs, especially after kids spend hours and hours working out and obsessing.

I like the article in the latest Fitness magazine, about Happy Weight, not aiming for being perfect, but a happy weight where you feel good, look good and fit into clothes you want to wear.

01-29-2008, 09:19 PM
My people . . .

My stats are similar to yours NoVa. I've lost almost 55 lbs. I'm pushing my goal back another 5 lbs. because I still hate my stomach. I think the thing that scares me is that, even though there is fat to lose, I think a good deal of it is loose flesh. Does excercise help that? Does the skin ever go back? I know that I'm at the age that I'm losing my skins' elasticity. I never thought I'd ever consider plastic surgery especially since I had a family member who had a tummy tuck and has complications ever since. I'm just feeling a little hopeless.

01-30-2008, 12:07 PM
Wow...that is such a good question. I wish i had an answer to it. I've lost 62 pounds so far and am still very unhappy with my belly. I fear it may never go down enough to really feel sexy or comfortable in a 2 peice or lingerie. I really don't care for a 6 pack of abs either but i would like it to not "protrude" out so much. When i take pics of me in my 2 peice so i can see how i am losing, from a front view, i can see that outline of my belly protruding out. I mean seriously...from a frontal view you should NOT be able to see the outline of it poking out!!! And even crunches make my lower back hurt so i am trying to strengthen my lower back before i really start doing abs excersizes.

02-18-2008, 09:34 PM
I hear our problem areas are actually last to go. Kinda sucky :(

02-18-2008, 09:54 PM
I'm 5'2" and very muscular. I have to be under 123 pounds to have a flat belly. That's where my fat always goes if I gain even just half a pound.

Just keep at and be patient- for me it is the first place I gain and the last place that I lose! :p


02-19-2008, 03:50 AM
I have the exact problem as you do... my belly feels so out of proportion to the rest of my body and my side profile gives the illusion that I'm pregnant. I noticed from my previous significant weight loss (160 lb --> 140 lb), my stomach was the last to shrink and only began doing so when I picked up another cardiovascular sport (swimming).. maybe because it was more intense than my usual (running)?

Maybe the key is really to mix it up or to increase the intensity level? If swimming is not available, perhaps try high intensity interval training (HIIT)?

Good luck with the belly-busting!