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  1. #1
    Registered User mistressree's Avatar
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    Can Mothers really lose the belly without surgery?

    I have 2 children and started working and eating clean about 2 years ago. I also decided that I would one day like to compete in at least 1 fitness competition just to say I did it. I'm losing fat and toning up quite nicely everywhere it seems, except the midsection. My waist is a size 22. However, right in the middle is where I have what I call a "donut". I don't know if it's fat or loose skin. I'm seriously thinking about a tummy tuck but honestly I really don't want to have surgery. I'd rather be able to say, "I've had 2 kids and lost all of my weight with diet and exercise".
    So what I'm asking is for mothers only. Mothers who know what I'm talking about and may be able to shed some light on this subject. Is it truly possible to lose the mommy bulge or is surgery the next best option?
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  2. #2
    Dieting.... FigureX's Avatar
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    As a mother of 2 myself, I have found with proper nutrition and cardio, it is possible to rid yourself of the "donut".
    After my second I thought I was doomed with extra skin on my stomach, but actually drinking alot of water has helped me regain the elastisity in my skin, and help me get my abs back
    Although I have heard some mothers who have gained excessive amounts of weight during pregnancy can have a really hard time tightening up the mid-section and loose skin, and tummy tucks seem to be the only fix.
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  3. #3
    Registered User sonti's Avatar
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    Sorry, I'm only 10 weeks PP so I can't offer much but look to hear from ladies about loose skin issues! My belly button popped out sooo much and now it just hangs there! Ick!
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  4. #4
    Registered User sweepone's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FigureX View Post
    Although I have heard some mothers who have gained excessive amounts of weight during pregnancy can have a really hard time tightening up the mid-section and loose skin, and tummy tucks seem to be the only fix.


    Get into long distance running. I'm being somewhat serious here...something to consider. Not for everyone though.

    I did a lot of research before I lost my weight to make sure I would not have loose skin and found out that overweight people who happened to get into long distance runnning tend to lose the hanging skin in somewhat rapid fashion.

    Runners sites have threads about this phenomen. People who could not loose it through other means such as prolonged dieting and working out in a gym lost it through running. That's how I found out about this. From what I read the ones that have lost their excess skin are doing serious running-8-10 miles per day.
    The only thing is long distance runners tend to develop that skinny, lean runners build which many on this site are trying to get away from. Probably not a solution for most people but I would consider it over having a scar/surgery and I knew I would not have knee problems as I'm 48 years old..

    BTW: So far I don't have any lose skin but my weight was distributed evenly through out my body to begin with so that probably helped.

    .
    Last edited by sweepone; 08-10-2010 at 01:06 PM.
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  5. #5
    Turning Sh*t into Sugar K8Stop's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sweepone View Post
    Get into long distance running. I'm being somewhat serious here...something to consider. Not for everyone though.

    I did a lot of research before I lost my weight to make sure I would not have loose skin and found out that overweight people who happened to get into long distance runnning tend to lose the hanging skin in somewhat rapid fashion.

    Runners sites have threads about this phenomen. People who could not loose it through other means such as prolonged dieting and working out in a gym lost it through running. That's how I found out about this. From what I read the ones that have lost their excess skin are doing serious running-8-10 miles per day.
    The only thing is long distance runners tend to develop that skinny, lean runners build which many on this site are trying to get away from. Probably not a solution for most people but I would consider it over having a scar/surgery and I knew I would not have knee problems as I'm 48 years old..

    BTW: So far I don't have any lose skin but my weight was distributed evenly through out my body to begin with so that probably helped.

    .
    This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Skin is skin - you can't burn it away like you can with fat.

    And just how is someone that runs 8-10 miles a day not going to have knee problems?
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  6. #6
    Registered User AUTiger13's Avatar
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    If it is fat then YES!! you can get rid of it. I have three children and I promise that is possible. If it is just excess skin....well then just get as lean as you can and then you can make a decision from there. Good luck!
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by sweepone View Post
    Get into long distance running. I'm being somewhat serious here...something to consider. Not for everyone though.

    I did a lot of research before I lost my weight to make sure I would not have loose skin and found out that overweight people who happened to get into long distance runnning tend to lose the hanging skin in somewhat rapid fashion.

    Runners sites have threads about this phenomen. People who could not loose it through other means such as prolonged dieting and working out in a gym lost it through running. That's how I found out about this. From what I read the ones that have lost their excess skin are doing serious running-8-10 miles per day.
    The only thing is long distance runners tend to develop that skinny, lean runners build which many on this site are trying to get away from. Probably not a solution for most people but I would consider it over having a scar/surgery and I knew I would not have knee problems as I'm 48 years old..

    BTW: So far I don't have any lose skin but my weight was distributed evenly through out my body to begin with so that probably helped.

    .
    That's a bunch of crap.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Hannah73Louise's Avatar
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    For me - I think probably no. I've only maintained my weightloss for a year though and I'm still seeing gradual improvements over time. Plus I have had six kids. I don't think it's ever going to do completely.....
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  9. #9
    Registered User sonti's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sweepone View Post
    Get into long distance running. I'm being somewhat serious here...something to consider. Not for everyone though.

    I did a lot of research before I lost my weight to make sure I would not have loose skin and found out that overweight people who happened to get into long distance runnning tend to lose the hanging skin in somewhat rapid fashion.

    Runners sites have threads about this phenomen. People who could not loose it through other means such as prolonged dieting and working out in a gym lost it through running. That's how I found out about this. From what I read the ones that have lost their excess skin are doing serious running-8-10 miles per day.
    The only thing is long distance runners tend to develop that skinny, lean runners build which many on this site are trying to get away from. Probably not a solution for most people but I would consider it over having a scar/surgery and I knew I would not have knee problems as I'm 48 years old..

    BTW: So far I don't have any lose skin but my weight was distributed evenly through out my body to begin with so that probably helped.

    .
    A formerly overweight person with an overall large amount of body fat lost is not the same issue as what the OP is talking about (hence her saying, "mothers only"). Some women can be underweight, gain only 10-15lbs, and then have loose skin or extra fat in one small pocket (basically what deflated after the baby), just from the pregnancy.

    Heck, I lost 20lbs and was back to a normal BMI in 10 minutes. Apples to oranges in a way.
    Last edited by sonti; 08-10-2010 at 04:09 PM.
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  10. #10
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    Judging by the women I've worked with, yes you can do it without surgery.

    One difficulty is ab strength. Because your abs get stretched out by pregnancy, and in some cases even split, your belly can be hanging out a bit even when you've not a lot of bodyfat. So women often have to work quite hard on their core strength. This of course has health benefits, too, meaning less sore backs etc.

    None of the women I've worked with so far has chosen to have surgery. They either got the results they wanted from their diet and exercise, or if they still had a bit of a bigger belly than they wanted, since they were planning to have more children, well they didn't want surgery after each of 3-4 children, so they said, "This is pretty good, for the rest I'll wait and see."
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  11. #11
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    Yes you can. You must get down to a lower body fat percentage though. Earlier this year I was close to 20% bodyfat and that was when my belly finally disappeared. Now I am closer to 22% bodyfat (I think) and it has come back some. I have had three children in the past 5 years.
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  12. #12
    Deadlift Whisperer ilovethe80s's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the contents of the belly

    If the belly contains just fat (soft/ squishy), then yes, I think typically you can lose it just like any other fat. Might be the last place to lose, but I think there is hope for sure.

    If the belly is due to diastasis (separation from pregnancy), usually it will close on its own in 6 months to a year. If not, you can do tons of stomach vacuums, mind the way you get up/ lie down, pick things up etc and with some work it might close up. If you have a large diastasis and damaged the connective tissue - this is A LOT of work and maintenance with all the vaccuums and things. If I lift something the wrong way my diastasis opens and I have to do tons of vacuums over a period of time to get it to close again. I did have an extreme case though, usually once it is closed, it is closed.

    If it is skin hanging there, they say to give it a year to tighten on its own. If the skin has any volume to it, it is fat. But if it has been a year and you still have skin hanging there, usually that means it is there to stay.

    Depending on what you have going on (if it is some stubborn skin), you can pull the skin taught and tape it into your swimsuit if you are competing, I have heard of others doing that.

    I am in the exact same boat you are - I want to feel like my body is all my work, and kept going back and forth if I should fix my tummy or not. I had a wicked hernia from pregnancy and they had to remove my belly button and cut me from side to side in its place and on top of it the skin looks like Freddy Kruegar's face so my tummy is a horror show. I also had enough loose skin to warrant a pani (where they chop off a bunch of skin) with the hernia operation as there was too much skin to even do the operation. I only gained 30 pounds with each pregnancy, and am a very thin/ narrow person. I think that particular build and big babies is a combination for a more dramatic post-partum belly (along with genetics). So on one hand, I know that this looks horrific, but on the other hand I think it is much more impressive to see a woman with stretch marks from kids, slashes or scars on the tummies being in great shape, than to see a young 20-something with no kids who looks phenomenal. But that being said, when the time comes and my kids aren't as needy- I'm going for a tuck lol.

    There is no shame in a tummy tuck if you feel like you need one. I don't know a single person who has regretted a getting one.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Pinkpower5's Avatar
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    I was struggling with this and thought it was also an over-40 issue. I've just finished a 3 month transformation and a few things happened. I closed my diastasis. I learned to eat less bloating foods. I lowered my body fat below 20%. My belly is not huge like it was before! I am thrilled beyond belief! Now I've gone on maintenance calories, I see some issues but I know what to do to get this under control. So yes, it actually is possible! And no one could be happier than I!
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  14. #14
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    All really great advise here! Thanks everyone I have had 3 pregnancies. It is possible! Consistancy is very important! My stomach was pretty bad but after dieting and consuming plenty of water, and good fats like almonds(which flush our the bad fats) flax seed oil, and CLA I got results. Problem is I got in a car accident and didn't keep up with it so I getting a bit of a tummy back but being here motivates me to get back on track! Best of luck to you! You can do it!
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  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by mistressree View Post
    I have 2 children and started working and eating clean about 2 years ago. I also decided that I would one day like to compete in at least 1 fitness competition just to say I did it. I'm losing fat and toning up quite nicely everywhere it seems, except the midsection. My waist is a size 22. However, right in the middle is where I have what I call a "donut". I don't know if it's fat or loose skin. I'm seriously thinking about a tummy tuck but honestly I really don't want to have surgery. I'd rather be able to say, "I've had 2 kids and lost all of my weight with diet and exercise".
    So what I'm asking is for mothers only. Mothers who know what I'm talking about and may be able to shed some light on this subject. Is it truly possible to lose the mommy bulge or is surgery the next best option?
    Yes you can. I have 3 children 5, 2.5, and 5 weeks! After having my son 2.5 yrs ago I decided to eat properly and workout. I went from 195 pounds to 125 and 15% BF. When I started I thought I would never get rid of my tummy but I did and was able to see my ab muscles which was exciting. Now here I am 5 weeks out from our second daughter and need to do it again. Thankfully I ate properly and worked out while pregnant so I only gained 24 pounds but I have a little tummy. Just keep at it!
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  16. #16
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    Yes you can lose it without surgery. The more muscle you add, the more body fat you lose...it will continue to tighten up.

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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    Yes you can lose it without surgery. The more muscle you add, the more body fat you lose...it will continue to tighten up.

    Keep working hard!!
    ^^^This. I have seen very few women who have complained about their "post-baby pouch" where the only issue appeared to be excessively loose, sagging skin. My own "pouch" has improved the most over the last 5 years or so and my daughter is almost 16. The reason for the improvement was focusing on gaining/maintaining muscle over losing weight/size. And let me tell ya, the only thing that running did for me (I used to run 8-10 miles AT LEAST every other day, myself) was make it more obvious that loss of lean mass was a big part of the issue.
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  18. #18
    Registered User 10fairywings's Avatar
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    Hi there, I do know how you feel. I got a lot of stretchmarks with my first child and after I had the little whopper I could not believe my floppy belly. I didn't realised that happened and I was distraught. I tried EVERYTHING! And it didn't go, it got better but I still had what they call an apron. Surgery was not an option for me, so I persevered, going to different professionals to ask what I could do. One trainer told me I should be happy to have a lovely baby and stop moaning, helpfull I thought lol! Finally I met a female bodybuilder who got me started on an full-body programme, with some very special only for mums' flabby tums exercises to correct it. And they worked! I was left with a little line where it had been but hey it was gone. I have to say though you do have to keep it up, because after a bout of illness where I couldn't do them, it came back, not as bad as how it started but it did come back. I am now in the process of getting rid of it again.

    If you'd like the exercises I'll pm them to you.......have to say also, there are no guarantees I feel this is just as much an individual thing as anything really, but it's got to be worth a go, better than sugery eh?

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  19. #19
    Registered User jabisk's Avatar
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    I was told by a plastic surgeon the only way I would ever have a flat tummy is with a full tummy tuck. Even though I hated the way my body looked, I never would have spent that kind of money or put my body through that sort of pain and recovery. I am soooooo glad I did decided against it.

    I can happily say that with diet and working out I actually like the way my stomach looks now years later. (And now I am thinking I should go back to the dr. and show him he was wrong ) I have gotten rid of the "pooch" although I will never get rid of the separation between my muscles (due to big babies) but you really don't notice it now.

    It really comes down to DIET and lifting. In the beginning, I was just working out and not getting the results I wanted. After reading it over and over again in posts, it finally sunk in and I started really paying attention to my diet and finally started to notice changes.

    You can do it! Be patient and stick with it.
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  20. #20
    Registered User mistressree's Avatar
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    Thank you to everyone that has given me such great advice. I did read EVERYONE'S posts...even the guys I will definitely keep working out since it is a part of my lifestyle but I was just wondering if I should give up on thinking that I'd ever be in a 2 piece again, let alone try to compete one day... It can become so discouraging and I swear I get on the scale every day and stare at myself in the mirror trying to see if my stomach is any flatter. Sad, I know, but thanks to this thread, in my opinion, there were more positive answers rather than negative so I'm feeling pretty good again. Sometimes, you just need some words of encouragement. Again, thanks. And now to submit friend requests. These are the people that I'll be bugging from time to time for advice and tips and more encouraging words
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  21. #21
    Registered User BeckyKennedy's Avatar
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    I would love to know how to do the mums flabby tums excercise's please!! I have a 6 year old now, and I have a very nasty looking baby pouch. I also just had another baby 3 weeks ago, and I am so eager to get rid of this pouch!! I have heard though, that the only way to get rid of this sagging belly is to have a tummy tuck :-(
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  22. #22
    Registered User Amandamayrocks's Avatar
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    WWhat is a vacuum?
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    Time to eat yet? CajunSpecial's Avatar
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    I guess I'm the only one but I had a tummy tuck about 3.5 years ago. I was very lean at the time but my excess belly skin was very ugly. There was so much skin, it completely covered my belly button. There was clearly no way I was going to lose it or work it off. It was not fat, just skin. I couldn't even dream of wearing fitted shirts, no matter what I did, I had all this skin to work around. For people like me, it is worth it. There is a recovery time but 2 weeks after surgery, I was at the mall doing a little shopping. I'm sure most know that a tummy tuck is not weight loss surgery and is not to be taken lightly. Let me know if you have any questions about it.
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  24. #24
    Registered User MelnCrash's Avatar
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    No help at all but reps to all the Mums (or Moms in America) for being awesome. I think being a Mum must be the most amazing (and hardest) thing ever.

    Anyway I had a friend who was tiny and had twin boys, she was left with stretch marks all the way around her midsection and a large hanging 'apron' of only skin. After many years of trying everything she decided to have a tummy tuck about 10 years after having the kids and doesn't regret it at all.
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  25. #25
    Deadlift Whisperer ilovethe80s's Avatar
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    woah this thread is old!
    Originally Posted by Amandamayrocks View Post
    WWhat is a vacuum?
    basically just pulling the navel all the way into the spine, holding it there, pulsing, doing it in standing and seated positions.. i just googled for a vid quickly so not sure this is the best vid out there but if you take a look around youtube you can probably find a few:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8TN3...eature=related
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  26. #26
    Registered User JeniM's Avatar
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    I am a mommy, and I had that stubborn belly fat and loose skin as well. Over the past year I lost the belly fat
    and my skin is just now starting tighten back up. So I do think, at least for me, it is possible to loose the mommy belly without
    going under the knife.
    Now I am hoping my mommy butt tightens up as well as my mommy belly did LOL ;-)
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  27. #27
    Registered User bgirlsway's Avatar
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    It depends on every person with how your body reacts to certain foods, exercises etc. I have a 9 year old and I have been battling the annoying tummy fat (not for 9 years, mind you). I just started working out seriously since December of 2011 and to date, I am seeing good progress on the pooch. It just takes time.

    For mothers it is harder to lose it, but it is definitely doable.
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  28. #28
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    All great info! I'm starting to get some of my tummy definition back (no way near close to visible abs though) but the lose skin is horrible. I'm afraid after my body fat gets low the skin will still be gross and there will be no bikinis ever again in my future. I suppose it's a small price to pay for a healthy baby but still frustrating when I'm working so hard with nutrition and fitness. My husband claims he'll pay for surgery if I get my body fat down to low 20's/ high teens but we'll see...not sure I can put myself through all that when there are other bathing suit options.....
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  29. #29
    Registered User SweetnBossy's Avatar
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    Bumping this old thread. I have a diastasis and basically I was told the same thing other posters have stated - only a tummy tuck would solve the problem. But I've been reading a lot about the Tupler technique...has anyone tried that or used the splint ? From what I've read if you have a diastasis you should avoid certain exercises while trying to close the diastasis (6 weeks I believe). So did any of you that closed you diastasis stop weight training temporarily?
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  30. #30
    imhere4tehgainz imhere4tehlulz's Avatar
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    Breast feeding also helps a lot. My wife has given birth 3 times and breast fed for over a year with each of our kids. She lost all her belly fat in about a year after our last was born. Doesnt even look like she has ever been pregnant. All she did was brest feed, eat healthy and light casual excersice around the house.
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