I don’t know about you but I have always admired the bodies with a flat stomach. Doesn’t have to be super muscly, just some nice soft definition looks lovely and shape where it’s supposed to be is great.
So when I was overweight, my stomach always seemed to be huge. I think I am one of those apple shaped people when I am overweight and put the weight on around my middle. I actually read an article once (wish I had kept the reference) but it was a review on a European spa where this journalist was to experience it for a few days and write the story. She was having a consultation with a dietician there and he said “you need to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat as it causes people to get fat in the middle, you know, like a monk.” This one sentence jumped off the page and totally hit me right between the eyes. How profound! “Wow perhaps that is my problem,” I thought. Hold that thought!
So anyway though, years ago the big stomach thing was always followed with well you need to do sit ups to tone the muscles there and like magic, bingo pazingo, flat stomach with rippling muscles. Supposedly.
So I used to have bouts of attempting to do 50 sit-ups or more a day. (Read once every 5 years or so.) I would do it one day, and then the muscle soreness would kick in for the next few days, which put me off. Then I might have done it a second time a few days later after the said soreness had gone but then just as quickly as the idea came to start this jolly process, it was just as quickly forgotten. Too hard, too unpleasant, wasn’t working, don’t want to do it any more, the end. Then a flush of the ‘well you must be hopeless, useless and just plain lazy if you can’t even do that’ feelings washed over me. Result – still had a big stomach and now felt bad as well. Perfect.
So after leaving that idea in the dust for a while, I would read other articles that said, “no, sit ups are not the best exercise for a flat stomach, these other one are.” Really? Are you sure you’re not pulling my leg?
But truthfully, just a different exercise wasn’t getting to the crux of the whole thing. Even if you have the best-toned muscles from any of these exercises, if you can’t see them under all that fat, then are they really there? And does it really matter if you can’t see them anyway?
But a layer of fat isn’t the only thing stopping you or me from a flat stomach. I figured out a few more things – what about when you are constipated and there is a build up of all that stuff in there? That would account for a few inches of bulk as well and no amount of muscle on top or around that is going to change that fact.
Then what about bloating? Another few inches on top of that again when you eat the wrong food and it all starts swelling. And for me this worked out to be all man made carbs.
See, nothing to do with exercises. Not initially anyway.
No wonder nothing worked because it was completely the wrong direction.
So first of all I would tackle elimination to make sure you are regular and there is no built up bulk in there. Lots of water, herbal tea, Vitamin C, veges, light vege soups and an apple in the mornings usually works for me. If you are struggling with this issue, don’t just keep piling more food on top, that will only make it worse and not laxatives either as a chemical forcing a reaction is not a sustainable healthy practice. Be gentle on your body; give it a lighter break from all that work it has to do.
Then tackle bloating. Do you know the foods that do this to you? They give you gas or just blow up your gut? Just try a week of being aware of what happens when you eat something. For me it is all man made carbs like bread, pasta, cake, biscuits, and even healthy grains of any kind do it to me as well. Even natural starchy food like potatoes and bananas do it as well. So there will be no flat stomach if you keep eating foods that do this to you. Then tackle the fat layer. Again I am a firm believer that eating the right foods for you, not restricting quantity, but just selecting the foods that make you eat like a normal person is 95% of what you need to work on to lose fat. It’s the reason I write; so stay tuned on how best to handle this for you.
Exercise. Now I am not against all exercise per se. I just don’t believe torturing yourself is the way to happiness or weight loss. If it is uncomfortable or hurts, then I won’t do it anyway, so it will be of no benefit. To increase the metabolism a little I love walking and for a little bit of toning (now that the fat has gone and I can actually see a muscle if I make one!!!), I do like 10 sit-ups and push ups a day and maybe a bit of stretching. That’s it. That’s all I want to do and it gives me the body I love. So that’s enough. So if you think you could do a few exercises, just start small, even one sit-up every day is better than none and magical things happen to your brain, when you just do something as opposed to pushing against and resisting all the things you hate.
So be easy about it but guess what, tackle the other things first before exercise … your flat stomach awaits!!!
Now where is that hot pink bikini??!!!