I’ve been told I have a small waist. The truth is sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I have a soft flabby belly that I struggle between accepting and shedding, and I am going to show it to you.
I’m fortunate that my proportions are traditionally feminine, but since hitting 30 years old, losing belly weight is extremely difficult. I know this is especially tough for most mothers to lose after childbirth, though I personally not gone through the pregnancy weight struggles. The only way I can get my belly extremely flat (from past experience) is from cutting calories to the extreme, like after my tonsillectomy surgery and when I lost 100lbs. years ago. I’m not going down that route again.
Right now, I am happy focusing on my core, even though I’ve yet to hit my weight goal. I’ve turned a corner, and I’d rather be larger and muscular/healthy than svelte and bony and starving. My original plan was to tone and strengthen after I hit my weight goal, but I made the choice to do it at the halfway mark. I can feel my abdominal muscles beneath my cute fleshy belly, and that make me happier than when I could feel my ribs. I never thought that would happen. Friends and Co-Workers still think I’m losing weight, and seem surprised when I tell them I’ve gained weight until I explain I’ve been working on strength and toning exercises. I also find that my cardio seems easier with a strong core. I know I will soon see even more results in my midsection as I stick with Pilates, Yoga, and other core strengthening exercises. Will I have a belly as flat as when I wasn’t eating much? Maybe not. Will I be strong and healthy and still curvy? I hope so!
I am rather tall (5’9″) with a long torso that can carry weight well, which can be dangerous for health reasons. Extra weight around the midsection is linked to a handful of illnesses (heart disease, diabetes) and it’s somewhat scary as you get older. It’s also frustrating because as you increase in age your metabolism decreases, and it may become more difficult to lower your waist circumference or maintain it within a healthy range without paying closer attention to calorie intake or increasing exercise. Even though I do have that flabby flab on my belly, I am happy that I now fall within a healthy waist circumference after losing 40 pounds.
Here is how I give the illusion of having a smaller waist. Throughout the day, I try to make sure to “engage” my core and focus on a proper posture when standing, sitting, and walking. There is a difference that can be seen in these photos of myself, taken on the same day. It could be defined as “sucking it in” which is partly true, but what I’m doing is tightening my core muscles (abdominal and pelvic area, back, and glutes.) You can even see a slight difference in the curvature of my back/spine. Also, by simply tilting your pelvis back (to help straighten your spine) you not only take pressure off your lower spine’s curvature but you bring your stomach inward.
I feel like I could be in one of those “juice your belly fat away” commercials, but alas it’s really just the result of making the effort to keep my core active. Once you train yourself to pay attention to these little details, your body will make it part of your daily ergonomic routine. I’ve been complimented on my posture many times (chest out, shoulders back!) and I don’t even think about it anymore. It seems engaging my core is soon to follow!
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