I'm having an interesting issue, and I'd like opinions.
I'm very much a pear shape, but in the last 6 months i've put on weight in the belly. I actually have not gained any weight, the scale remains the same, but it's like one day I noticed my jeans were tight around the waist and I had a belly there that wasn't there before. Maybe fat shifted?
Late winter and on into spring (which is February to June here) I was super stressed out and not eating well or exercising. I had previous skiied the entire winter and did ok with my diet. But it's like as soon as I stopped skiing, and started stressing over life issues and therefore eating not as healthy, here's this belly. And I've never gained weight in my belly really, and the few times I remember gaining (it was overall, and a little in the belly) going back to my strict low carb diet took care of it. It was gone that quick. But it's being stubborn this time! I've been on a low carb, sugar free, low gluten diet for two weeks with no results -- well, that's not true. I've lost 6lbs but the belly is still there! It has always been the first to go. I'm 29, so we can rule out menopause and aging. I feel like I don't tolerate alot of foods anymore -- I bloat with gas easily and I've started taking a probiotic and digestive enzymes to help but I also read that can sometimes make things worse before it gets better. I'm just totally over having a belly (I'll take my big hips and a flat stomach, thankyouverymuch!!!) and HATE how it feels.
Like I said, I'm back to eating very well and I'm slowly incorporating a wide variety of fun exercise back into my daily routine so that it'll stick without injuring me (I already have chronic ankle pain from a bad spain) -- yoga, treadmill, strength training, trampoline, water exercise, and others 2-3 times a week. Ski season will be here in 2.5 months and I'm working to get maximum strength for that too. But this belly fat is kinda discouraging. :(
08-05-2011, 05:09 PM
I don't have any advice for you, but I can relate on this issue, and I hope someone else can give us both some good advice.
08-05-2011, 05:26 PM
So, to ask the obvious question, any chance you're pregnant?
08-05-2011, 05:34 PM
I took a test just last month because of other symptoms (which was related to travel, I realized) and I'm not. However, if I were, it means I've had an early second trimester belly for 6 months! LOL.
08-05-2011, 05:38 PM
It could be stress. I think different types of stress (physical, emotional, mental) can cause you to gain weight in different areas.... were/are you stressing /more/ or in a different way than before?
08-05-2011, 05:47 PM
Are you eating a lot of sugar or trans fat? That kind of stuff usually goes straight to your belly. I wasn't really overweight but I always had a soft layer of belly fat covering my abdominals. I broke up with my best friend, sugar (lol), started a running program and no more belly. It took me about one full month to see a real difference. Hope this helps.
08-05-2011, 06:22 PM
Talk to your physician and get a pelvic ultrasound. Any woman who has swelling in the belly should do that.
08-05-2011, 07:21 PM
If it's soft, and actual fat (other than gassy times) then I can totally help! :) Of course, my recommendation is always to talk to doctor too.. but... from what you describe, it sounds like the ongoing stress (intermittent or just long term) has finally come to wreak havoc on you. Usually doesn't happen on a one time short stress, but the other two scenarios, it sure does. I will point out some other possibilities and if you are able to answer yes to most/all, then you are about to go down the path it just took me and my "team" about 9 months to figure out and I can save you some time. (and then you just ask your dr if sounds right for you, personally):
1) have you had ongoing or long term intermittent stressors?
2) Is the belly area that grew, mostly soft fatty, yet can feel like pregnant when gassy?
3) have your bowels changed since the onset of the belly fat? (either consistency or your "routine" times of movement... I know, gross topic, but totally pertains)
4) Have you felt yourself unusually crave a more sugary carb? Either a new thing or more often/with more strength then before?
5) TOM a bit more off track then before the belly fat? This can be timing of it, length, or severity of cramps all being a bit more unpredictable then before?
If so... stress has now given your body long term effects. I could give you more scenarios, but those were the starters for me... the rest took longer to come. Find a way to bust stress when it hits and turn your thoughts positive real fast, or it gets worse. It can cause IBS, intolerance to certain foods (or sensitivity), etc. If this is the case, here are my suggestions other than figuring out your stress buster:
~take an acidopholus probiotic per day (this is one safe for colon and will help you with the gas as well as building immunity to bacteria)
~Incorporate a Magnesium supplement per day (it helps with bones,joints *which get effected with stress* plus colon function and proper absorbtion of fat)
~start watching how some of your foods you eat/drink effect you... dairy is a big one to watch and usually the first to effect.
If this didn't sound like you, then ignore all that, LOL! But remember, even if it does... doctor input is priceless, but it gives you something to go with. From experience if it DOES sound like you.. they may still want either ultra sound, or in my case, a CT Scan to insure nothing is going on in a major medical way also. On a side note: mine got real bad before I finally sought help and then it took a long time to solve. Don't wait that long. There days/times that I would actually be bloated (solid belly) to where I LOOKED pregnant - not possible for me...my colon became a huge issue...and everything else followed. It was controllable, but the things I have lost, are gone... so controlling is everything :) Now it is actually going down wonderfully and starting to be the shape it should be again... but been a way longer process than it should have been. Also... if it starts to effect your motivational energy (I am ADHD, but some days I just didn't WANT to go for a walk and would force it)... then also add in a B5 or B Complex supplement... these are just to get you over the hill to recovery in your body.
08-05-2011, 08:38 PM
I've been so stressed out my doc put me back on anti-anxiety meds daily which I haven't needed in a long time. It's calming down, but I am not stabilized. I've found exercise does alot to help too. It's no longer a paralyzing panic, but a low grade hum in the back of my brain when I tune into it. If that makes sense. This past year has been a WHIRLWIND for me. Every life change you can imagine, I went through. Terrible job, career change, going back to school, got divorced (finally, after "living together separately" for too long) got together with someone else, moved out of town, had more money issues, etc. Talk about skating on thin ice. It's just now settling down and I'm just now getting to a point where I can get a grip and not spend every free moment catastrophizing because EVERYTHING is in the air and I don't which shoe is going to fall first.
As for question 2, that's kinda how it feels. All flabby and soft unless I bloat up from eating gluten and raw veggies or garlic or whatever makes me gassy, then it feels kinda hard and gets even bigger. I don't look pregnant, but I get a total muffin top.
Question #3, it's hard to say. I have never been a regular person and my stomach is easily upset by things out of my control like hormones and weather. I've been taking calcium citrate and it makes me go towards constipation more.
And question #4, I am a sugar addict... until I am fully detoxed off all simple carbs, I crave sugar. However, these past 6 months, I have tried a few times to detox and fell off the wagon quickly -- I have not had that difficult of a time staying on track in years. I attributed it to the long winter and anxiety.
As for TOM, I'm on birth control pills and have been for awhile so my periods are like clockwork and don't vary much.
I guess my gut health must be off balance, because these probiotics (I'm taking a 4 billion complex twice a day) are really, really making me bloated and gassy.
What is it you think could be a possibility?
08-05-2011, 08:44 PM
Fitmom, I ate alot more sugar than usual this past winter and spring, and decided after vacation (two weeks ago) I was just sick of how it made me feel and I went off it. And I've been off it. I don't eat trans fats too much. I usually use the soy free Earth Balance buttery spread on anything and it has no hydrogenated oils or dairy.
Ichthy07, definitely lots more stress and stress has caused me to gain belly fat before, but it came off easily then.
08-05-2011, 11:11 PM
The stress jumped out at me when reading your post. Stress makes your hormones go nuts and well, hormones are your metabolism. When hormones shift, so can patterns of fat storage/weight gain. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is notoriously linked with belly fat. Maybe something to talk with your dr about?