Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Richfield, Ohio
its all in my belly! help!
I'm a newbie here but loving the information here. I am 35 years old, female, pretty healthy, no chronic health problems aside from winter sinus annoyances, but have never been "skinny" per se. I have 4 kids ranging from 6 years old to 9 months. From puberty until my first pregnancy, I have been 5'5" tall and weighed between 158 and 172 lbs. I more or less ate what I wanted, stayed fairly active, but never watched myself that closely. I neither gained nor lost any significant weight, and, despite being clinically overweight, I never "looked like a fat girl" to the average observer, I was able to dress in such a way that my weight wasn't obvious. My body type is probably more "apple" than "pear", I have good legs, large breasts, my butt is rounded, and most guys say it's nice, but my waist and hips weren't all that defined, my waist-to-hip ratio was around 0.85. Most of my weight is in my stomach and abdomen area. I always had a "gut" or "beer belly" - nothing huge, but big enough to notice if I was wearing something other than a baggy t-shirt or a sweater. Overall though if I dressed right, I looked "not-fat" or "average" if not actually "thin."
By the time I got pregnant with #4, I was at 201 lbs. Nine months after the birth of #4, I am now down to 168. I'm watching portions somewhat but breastfeeding helps, and trying to stay active between daily walks, various workouts (pilates, treadmill, etc) as the kids allow me to do so. When I was at my heaviest, I'd only grown one pants size but my stomach, boobs, and overall abdominal area carried the brunt of the weight. I had a noticeable top-heavy appearance, still had good, slimmish legs, but between my abdominal fat and D-cup breasts, I looked like my top was too heavy to be supported by my bottom half!
While I'm arguably healthier now than I was pre-kids (lower BP, lower HDL, etc), I don't "look" as good. On the positive side, I now have hips, thanks to the kids, and I think my butt actually looks a bit better and more defined. However, due to the rigors of age and 4 kids, even though I weigh about what I did, my stomach is larger, it hangs more and is flabbier. I almost look like I'm 4 months pregnant with a top on! My waist-to-hip ratio as of the time I type this has actually improved to 0.82, and I was always under the impression that this didn't really change.
Aside from surgery is there anything I can do about this? I would like to try to lose more, but, as I said, I've always weighed over 160 or so since puberty, and I don't know if I could maintain much lower without turning into a crazy health-nut type, and I don't think I've got that in me!
I know that stomach area weight is much worse for my health than a big butt and thighs would be (plus, let's face it, a big butt and hips is more attractive than looking preggo when I'm not!)