Mission: get my belly back!

Discussion in 'Dieting, Weight Loss & Fitness' started by _Meep_, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    Seven years ago, I was small, slim and smooth-skinned all over with fantastic breasts, knife-edge cheekbones and wondrous hair, blah blah blah. I was also totally unhappy with my appearance and fighting a constant war against my own vanity and the feeling that I never looked 'good enough'.

    Today, having grown and birthed two big, overdue babies (8 lb 15 oz, born 40+6 and 8 lb 8.5 oz, born 40+8), I can now see how ridiculous I was to feel that way about my former self.

    At 5 ft 4, I was previously a very respectable 8 st 12 lb. At my heaviest (when not pregnant), I was 10 st 8 lb - not unhealthy, but too heavy for my own liking and comfort.

    As of this morning, through cutting down on portion sizes for a few weeks, eliminating snacks and following a few principles, I weigh in at 9 st 13.75 lb. So I'm losing, which is great.

    However, my main issue is with my abdomen. Obviously, not being a very large person, having two large babies has left me both stretchmarked and with some loose skin in that area. It's not awful; I don't despise the way it looks by any means - and for that I am incredibly grateful - but I would rather it was better, if that makes sense. I'll post a couple of pictures of it down below.

    I know I'm never going to be a flawless, flat-bellied goddess again, and really that's fine - I'm ever so happy to have my children. However, with a bit of research, I've learned there are things I can do to improve it.

    Unfortunately, strenuous exercise is out of the question right now for me as I have a very severe vitamin D deficiency which has been ongoing for some time but only became properly symptomatic at the beginning of December last year. This has led to a condition called osteomalacia - basically rickets (soft bones) but in an adult. It presents with muscle weakness, bone pain and parasthesia, meaning I am just too flimsy right now to risk any sort of damage to my muscles. I have been told it is a product of extended breastfeeding without taking any supplements (PLEASE take your supplements!) - my elder daughter breastfed until she was 4, with a period spanning a year where I was also feeding her infant sister at the same time. Said infant is now almost 3 and still feeds once first thing.

    I have been taking industrial strength vitamin D tablets for nearly 3 months now and have to take them for the next year to reverse the damage to my bones. I am finally seeing a little improvement in my weakness, so hopefully exercise will become an option in the not too distant future.

    Anyway, here I am. I'm generally following the principle of the Harcombe diet which has helped me lose and maintain in the past. This means I don't tend to eat carbohydrates and fats in the same meal and my carbohydrate intake is generally limited. I do, however, eat unlimited proteins, fats and vegetables/salads, so it's not unbearable; more of a lifestyle change.

    I'm drinking lots of water.

    I'm walking as much as I can with my condition (and the Covid-19 lockdown!).

    I've bought a dermaroller. I've seen women online who have had incredible results using these on their sagging skin, so thought what do I have to lose? It's essentially a little wheel with hundreds of tiny needles that you roll over your 'problem area' and the tiny injuries you make are meant to stimulate collagen production and tighten you up, lol. I used it for the first time last night on my tummy with a serum and it definitely isn't as terrifying as it sounds. Using a 1.5 mm roller, I can do this every six weeks or so, so I'll be posting any updates I have as and when.

    It doesn't matter whether or not anyone follows this as it's mainly just a record for me to keep sight of my weight loss and compare any changes in the condition of my skin - but if you want to come along for the ride or share your own journey then feel free!

    Here are my before pictures. The skin may look a little red/scratched as I rolled last night. Obviously no improvement yet, but we will see! Also I recently managed to re-open my piercing, which I am well aware looks ridiculous right now lost in a sea of wrinkles :haha: but I did love it and hope to be able to love it again ...

     
  2. Bevziibubble

    Bevziibubble Well-Known Member
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    Following!
    That's scary about the vitamin D and all the problems the deficiency can cause!

    Good luck with your journey, you can do it :)
     
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  3. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    Thanks Bev.

    So for anyone who may happen to see this, here is my food diary for today as an idea of the sort of things I am eating (this method really does work for weight loss as long as you stick to the basic principles):

    Breakfast: Three pieces (about one breast worth, but could have guiltlessly eaten more had there been more left!) of barbecued chicken from last night. Am not a big breakfast fan, but skipping it altogether just means I am more likely to stuff my face with shit mid-morning. Other breakfasts I tend to have are bacon and poached eggs, scrambled eggs, omelettes etc. All of the above count as 'fat' meals.

    Lunch: I had a massive cheese salad with loads of olive oil, grated carrot, peppers, etc. I also make them with hard boiled eggs, cold meat, etc. This is actually my favourite part of the Harcombe diet as I love and adore big mixed salads. I realise, however, that not everyone does! Again, this would count as a 'fat' meal. Other things I would tend towards would be - again - omelettes, meat or fish with salad and vegetables, maybe a jacket potato with low-fat cottage cheese - you can get away with mixing fats and carbs when the fat is negligible.

    Just now I ate a plain Ryvita and a banana. That's a carb snack.

    Dinner will probably be chili (Quorn mince, I hate beef) and brown rice. Dinner is when I like to eat most of my carbs, and I try to eat no more than around 50g a day. Other things I would eat for carb meals would be wholemeal pasta with a tomato-based sauce, peppers stuffed with brown rice, etc.

    The theory is that if something comes from the ground (plant foods, or foods made from things that came from the ground, like bread, pasta, etc.) then it's a carb. If something had a face or came from something that had a face (meat, eggs, butter etc.) then it's a fat. With a few exceptions - salads and vegetables (except potatoes) are unlimited.

    Focusing on eating as much 'fat' food as possible and only a little carb is key.

    Reading it back it DOES actually sound boring and restrictive, despite what I said earlier, but once you know how to work it and have reached the weight you want to maintain, you can make some really lovely meals. I'm still in the rather tedious stage of being very strict with myself at the moment to lose weight.

    Thankfully, I love whole and healthy foods and am only really unhappy with my weight due to my liking for large portions (of mostly decent, homecooked food) and general snacking when I don't need to. I can also cope without sugar - the cravings are there, but not unbearable, and I have found in the past that the longer you manage to resist it, the milder the cravings become. Like with any addiction, I guess.

    So - here's to being healthier!
     
  4. Bevziibubble

    Bevziibubble Well-Known Member
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    That sounds like a great eating plan. I've heard a lot of people have success with this way of eating :)
     
  5. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    It definitely works. For many (including me), sugar consumption seems to be the quickest way to carrying extra weight.
     
  6. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    9 st 12.25 lb this morning. Toddler saw me naked in the bathroom and said 'Your tummy looks SMALLER!' :haha: - one would hope so as I've lost almost 10 lb. Still a fair way to go though. I'm going to kick myself down to around 9 st 2 if I can and then see how I feel about it all.

    I've been dry body brushing daily to try and improve my general cellulite lol, and rubbing my wobbly areas with snail gel and Bio Oil. Everything feels smoother and looks generally nicer I think, but I'm still desperate for the weeks to pass until I can microneedle my belly again as I'm so excited to see whether or not it will work.

    I also need to buy some new belly bars if I am going to continue wearing them as my old 10 mm bars are far too long these days. The piercing has been stretched twice with my gigantic pregnancies, so that area is much thinner than it was before, meaning the bar tends to hang and looks ridiculous. The smallest size I can find is 6 mm which I think should do the trick.
     
  7. Bevziibubble

    Bevziibubble Well-Known Member
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    Toddlers are brutally honest, so that's a great compliment! :D

    Hopefully the dry brushing helps and fingers crossed for finding some new belly bars.
     
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  8. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    I've bought some. :D FX they don't look hideous!
     
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  9. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    I've decided to also incorporate the Dia Method into my daily routine. It's a way of fixing diastasis recti (separated abdominal muscles) - not sure whether or not I still have this but was told at my 10 day check after the birth of my second that there was some degree of separation.

    If I do the diastasis test I can feel a small gap but I am unsure if it is wide enough to be significant. Still, it can't hurt :shrug: - it's an exercise I CAN do without exhausting or injuring myself and should strengthen my core whether I still have separation or not.

    Here are my side views (yes, I do live in my Christmas pudding pants - they are so comfy!) ... bit of an overhang! I also have ginormous stretch marks on my hips which I got with my first daughter. They don't bother me in the slightest but I might try needling them for shits and giggles if I see any improvement in my stomach.

    Just finished my lunch of cheese omelette and a big salad - it was lovely. :)

     
  10. Bevziibubble

    Bevziibubble Well-Known Member
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    I think you look great!

    Lunch sounds yummy :)
     
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  11. Babybump87

    Babybump87 Mummy to my three musketeers

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    Wow can I just say you look fab !

    Wishing you the best of luck with your journey !

    I need to lose about 1/2 a stone and tighten up my stomach after DS! You’ve given me some inspiration ! Loving the meals !

    Good luck hunny will be following ! Xx
     
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  12. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    Thanks! Not sure that's true, but much appreciated all the same. :haha: It definitely could be much worse but I am a little nervous that once I lose the general roll around my middle, the sag is going to be even saggier ...?!

    We will see!

    I had a very down day about it yesterday for some reason, probably because when I woke up my weight had stayed static, but I really can't expect to see tiny losses every single time I look ... that's totally unrealistic, probably not even real weight, and I need to stop analysing myself all the time!

    Belly bars arrived and are gorgeous. Shame the same can't be said for me! They do fit much better though.
     
    #12 _Meep_, Apr 20, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
  13. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    Teeny tiny new bar! Wish the bit above it wasn't so wiggly ...

     
  14. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    Also I need new bras! The ones I am wearing are far too small, which is NOT doing wonders for my general self-image. They look ok under clothes but horrible out of them. Having breastfed for 6 years non-stop now, my boobs are ruined, but nothing a decent bra won't fix. I measured myself at home and came up with 32 DD, ordered a beautiful bra which looked lovely from the front but was STILL too small in the cup and caused double boob from the side lol. I then discovered that a better way to measure yourself is to bend over so all your norkiness falls forward (which was a truly hideous sight, I have to say), and it turns out I'm more of a 32 F!!! So I'm going to have to send that one back and resign myself to a proper boulder holder in order to tame my huge knockers. :rofl:
     
  15. Bevziibubble

    Bevziibubble Well-Known Member
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    I hope you find a nice one :)
     
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  16. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    I'm 9 st 11.75 this morning. It's funny, because 9 st 11.75 exactly was my heaviest ever weight of my previous life before I had children. I remember it was absolutely mortifying to me at the time. I was sooo terrified of ever hitting 10 stone, thought I was vast and absolutely despised my body. :rofl: That was the first time I started the low carb, high fat diet and whittled myself back down to my 'happy' weight of 8 st 12 (only I still wasn't happy at all!). It's a strange and profound feeling, being that weight again.

    I can obviously see the difference in my body today. I am much lumpier and bumpier, but as the weight comes off, I actually feel impressed by how it looks. I even LIKE how it looks, probably for the first time in my life. It's absolutely mad how my view of myself has changed, even though my body doesn't look anything like as good as it did before I had kids.

    They really have given me something to be proud of, and I've never felt like that before. Being vain really isn't always about fancying the pants off yourself. It can be negative. It can mean truly hating yourself. I don't feel that vanity now. Wtf is going on?

    The biggest difference I can see between me at 10 st 8 and 9 st 11.75 is in my thighs. I've always had slim legs but my thighs had gotten really meaty. I really like how they look now, and I think they look good, even though I still have a long way to go.

     
    #16 _Meep_, Apr 21, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  17. Bevziibubble

    Bevziibubble Well-Known Member
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    You look great! You're doing really well :)
     
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  18. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    Thanks. I honestly haven't felt this happy in a long time, Bev, it's bizarre. Slightly ruined though by my three pairs of gorgeous new custom-measured curtains arriving - not because of them themselves, but because of the hideous job of gathering them and making even pleats which I am SHIT AT!!!! :growlmad:
     
  19. Bevziibubble

    Bevziibubble Well-Known Member
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    Aww that's great :)

    I hope you manage to sort the curtains!
     
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  20. _Meep_

    _Meep_ Mum of two fantastic girls

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    Predictably boring curtain pictures coming up ...

    They're for the three bedrooms. OH thinks the baby's ones are 'too short', but as the radiator is right beneath the window sill, the rule is to therefore have the curtains finish 1.5 cm above the sill. So he is wrong. :haha:

    Hard to get good photos of them with daylight coming through (paid extra for thermal liners but was too stingy to pay for more expensive blackout!) but I am pretty happy with them. Not too sure how I feel about my new orange ottoman though ... it seemed like a good idea at the time ...!

     
    #20 _Meep_, Apr 21, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020

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