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Postpartum Weight Loss- How to “shrink” the mid section

Posted Feb 10 2010 10:33am

To Fit by Sara: “I have had 2 babesthe oldest 3the youngest 19 months…I have had a total of 5 c-section/abdominal surgeries…the last 2 in February. I now have the clearance from my docs to do whatever I want…ANY activity levelany diet/healthy eating planwhatever I need to do to get my weight down and feel comfy in my own body again. Here is my problem: my abs. I carry EVERYTHING in the middle. One big fat spare tire. I had an abdominal separationwhich was repaired as a bonus to my last surgery (guess they felt guilty about all they had put me through ;) ) I’d like to get my midsection to shrinkand start LOOKING like a midsection again. I know that I can’t get rid of the stretchmarksand may never get rid of ALL of the loose skinBUT I need some guidance…I want to do the RIGHT abdominal workout…I have heard that after having an abdominal separationyou are supposed to work certain parts of your abdomen before others? I don’t quite understand itand I definitely don’t know HOW to do it! Do you have any advice? Is there an ab workout that you recommend for someone like me?”

From Fit by Sara: “First of all you are not alone in the quest to get rid of the non-baby bellyin fact there are thousands of moms with the exact same concern! The first thing you need to think about is taking “baby steps”. For examplethe first step is to get moving! Doing abdominal crunches will NOT get rid of your body fat. Exercising/ getting your heart rate up along with healthy eating will. Now that you got the thumbs up from your doctor to workoutdo your first baby step. Start off with walking 10 min. a day for the first week. The second week work up to 20then 30 then eventually 40 min. 3-5 X per week. Keep a food journal for a week and notice times when you’re eating out of stress or boredom vs. when you’re really hungry. Once you notice your patternget out of the housecall a girlfriend…anything positive that won’t pack on the pounds. Also make small changes–increase your water intakeeat more often yet smaller portionssubstitute white flour foods with whole grainand eat high fathigh sugar foods in moderation. Once you are consistent with your exercise and eating healthy you will lose body fat which will equal a smaller mid section.
         To strengthen your abdominals lay with your back on the floor and your legs up on a chair. Make sure your knees are on the edge of your chair (this will isolate your abdominalsand put less resistance on your surgery sites). Place your hands behind your head or crossed on your chest. Before you begin your ab crunchfocus on pressing your low back into the floor. Slowly lift your chest to the point of feeling your abdominals tightening (meaning barely off the floor). Repeat 10-15 reps rest and repeat. Remember abdominal exercises will strengthen your abs but won’t get rid of your body fat! Keep up the cardio and healthy eating and you’ll likely be happy to notice results everywhere. Just be easy on yourself since lasting changes take time!” -Sara Holliday MFTCPT

***Have a question for me?  Email me at or leave a comment here.

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