40-Somethings - Question about stomach muscles...

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07-07-2012, 09:25 PM
Hello all! I just started my weight loss journey (I am 5'9 and 237 lbs) and I would like to lose 90 lbs, and I have a question about my tummy.

My stomach muscles seem to protrude out really far. Not like the separated muscle issue where you have a pooch poke out when you sit up. But, like the side abdominals and top abdominals are hard but stick out rather than lay flat.

I have 3 children, ages 5 and 2 (my second pregnancy was twins) so for 5 years I have been holding, lifting and carrying lots of little people! I am wondering i was leaning back and pushing my stomach muscles out everytime I held them to give myself more support.

Does this sound like something that could have happened? Or is it just tons of hard fat?? Honestly, it would be easier to deal with fat bc I have no idea on how to correct stomach muscles that I have conditioned to go the wrong way!

07-07-2012, 10:49 PM
I'd assume it's fat, and not worry about it until you're close to goal and see if its really an issue.

07-12-2012, 02:30 PM
This is just my thought, since I have no expertise in this matter. But I've always been taught that when you do ab exercises, you suck them in. You know, tighten them towards your body not push them out. After I had a back injury, the physical therapy for that dealt a lot with strengthening my abs and I was always taught to suck in and harden my abs when I picked something up, not push them out. Hope this helps.

07-20-2012, 08:21 PM
I have no advice or specific knowledge about stomach muscles, but I just wanted to comment on our similarities. I have 3 children, a 12 year old son and 7 year old twins. I am 5ft 8in, I started my weight loss journey at 237.8 and my original goal was 137.8. I am currently aiming for 157.8 and will reevaluate when I get there.

07-21-2012, 05:17 PM
Envelope - how funny! I know what you mean about re-evaluating. I was 130 lbs and a size 4/6 back in 2002 when I met my now-husband. I don't know if it's even possible to get to that ballpark now. My babies were all big - 9 lb 10 oz for the oldest, and each twin was 7.5!. The twin pregnancy especially jacked up my bod.

07-21-2012, 10:41 PM
I don't think you can condition muscles to go the wrong way! Try and get down to a lower body fat percentage and then reevaluate your situation.

07-23-2012, 09:00 AM
Zumbchica - Hee! I guess I was thinking that what happened was what Pixiechix suggested. That I strengthened my stomach muscles to pooch out like I had been doing sit ups and holding my breath rather than exhaling on the contraction. Working on the body fat...

07-25-2012, 06:02 PM
try pilates too. its leans out your musles and elongates your body. try it at any weight and when you increase your cardio and lose the fat...ta da! abs!

07-26-2012, 12:54 AM
I've had the same pooch since I had my second child. I've lost 65 lbs and while the whole body has shrunk overall, the pooch remains. I do Pilates at least 3 times a week, for nearly 2 years now and I STILL have the pooch. I suck it all in when I do any ab work and the pooch remains.

I think that for me, it's the fat. Because I can really suck in my belly now, down hard and tight. And I can poke around my midsection and feel the rock-hard abs in there. But there's still so much belly fat, especially that lump in the front. I have heard people say that the fat in this area of the body is there due to insulin resisitance and that the best thing for it is a low-carb diet and a regular cardio workout. And that's what I'm doing now and it seems to help some because some outfits that didn't look quite right a couple months due to the pooch are hanging better now.