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MRSMASCH SparkPoints: (428)
Fitness Minutes: (740)
Posts: 24
3/19/13 8:29 A

Thank you all. Yes, I would say I do have a soft stomach. That is a good description! I know wearing hip huggers doesn't help me, but the jeans that come up higher are really uncomfortable to me no matter what size. And I look the same way in a bikini which is why it bothers me so much. I feel like I look constantly bloated. I think so much of this may be because of the IBS I suffer from. I am hoping probiotics will help me. I do get rolls and lines that you can't see in the photo. I will try to get this thing to tell me what to do to gain some so I can maybe turn a little into muscle. I truly don't want to lose weight. Last year I dropped to 96 pounds and felt terrible and sick and looked awful. Even my friends said I looked drawn in and that was not a good look for me. I don't want to be someone who's ribs and back bones are showing. Everyone tries to shove food down my throat but I honestly do eat. My hubby tells me sometimes that I eat too much LOL I don't want to do cardio and will focus on strength training. I am excited to go buy a stability ball today and found some really great strengthening exercises in Self magazine that use equipment that I already have.

SARAHANN01 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (930)
Posts: 124
3/18/13 11:14 P

I looked at your pictures. You don't have a muffin top... at all. Your stomach does look soft (which is not necessarily a bad thing), and if you want a more toned stomach you are going to have to strength train and focus on exercises to strengthen your core. However, you definitely need to up your calorie intake as others have also stated. You really can't afford to lose, and strength training is hard work.

MRSPIGPEN8 SparkPoints: (1,993)
Fitness Minutes: (3,969)
Posts: 27
3/18/13 7:46 P

Lol, I was curious so I looked at your photo. I wish my muffin top as you call it was that tiny. ButI was tiny like you until 2 yrs ago, so I do understand what you are saying. I myself think doing some crunches every day even for ten minutes you will see a difference pretty fast. Best of luck to you :)

3/18/13 6:00 P

I looked at the pictures and the first thing I noticed is that your jeans are hip huggers and well below your waist which pushes up the flesh of your hips. The "bulge" as you call it is a function of you being a woman, it is a design element to protect and keep your reproductive organs warm.

LOTUS737 Posts: 3,650
3/18/13 5:36 P

Sweetie I looked at your pics- what you have is not a muffin top, that is how your body naturally folds. Women's stomachs are *supposed* to curve outward slightly- and what you have is indeed very slight. You do not have any unsightly bulge. You have a beautiful figure.

If you want to tone up that is perfectly fine but yes, you need to eat more. More protein, sure, but more everything in all likelihood. You may want to change your tracker to gain some weight- it'll increase your caloric range and should help sustain you while you build muscle.

Please see a doctor before doing this to ensure you are getting enough food. I understand that we all have things we don't like about our bodies. A little strength training may be all you need to feel better about yourself- but being healthy is and should be the first priority.

Feel free to message me if you want to talk more.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
3/18/13 4:32 P

Your Flickr links are marked as private, so we can't see them.

If you've had a child, the fact is you may NOT be able to have that "flat stomach" you're wanting. Having babies changes our bodies, sometimes permanently. Being able to grab it doesn't mean it's not skin... plenty of people have lose skin. Women, in particular, tend to hold fat there as a part of our genetic makeup.

At your BMI, you don't have a "large pudge" - it may feel that way to you, but you simply don't have enough of a body weight to have something large there. I really, really strongly urge you to seek out counseling, because you're having a very intense, negative reaction to something that is likely nowhere near as bad as you think. Learning to accept the body you have is part of the process; I know that I will NEVER have a six pack abs like you see in the 18 year old models in the magazines. For starters, I'm not 18, and I never will be again. ;) Women that you see with those abs have a VERY low body fat percentage, something most of us simply can't get, not in any healthy way. Muscle definition has nothing to do with muscle, for most of us... it's largely about that body composition. If you have a part of your body that hangs, it's probably IS skin.

We are always our own worst critics.

As for not being able to gain weight, that's something you need to talk to your doctor about. You may have a medical condition here that's affecting your body in ways you aren't aware of.

MRSMASCH SparkPoints: (428)
Fitness Minutes: (740)
Posts: 24
3/18/13 4:06 P

I really wish I could gain weight. Based on what I am being told, I need to gain weight to turn into muscle and I can't gain. Do I need a lot of protein or something?

MRSMASCH SparkPoints: (428)
Fitness Minutes: (740)
Posts: 24
3/18/13 3:36 P

A big part of me feeling like i have a muffin top is I should wear a size 3 or lower and I wear a 5 or 7. When I sit down, i get a large pudge, no matter what size pants (even in a bathing suit). Also, when I bend over, my stomach hangs (it is my lower abs). I had my son 8 years ago and 3 years ago I had a fibroid that was large enough to make me look 6 months pregnant. I know it is not loose skin because I can grab it. My hubby and everyone else say I look fine, but I don't feel that I do and I can't help it. I don't want to have to hide my belly behind high waisted pants. It gets very uncomfortable. I just want some muscle definition. I don't want to lose weight. I was very happy when I was 106 and no matter how much I eat, I don't gain. I just get bloated. I may not look like I eat, but I do! I love food! The photos below are this morning before I had breakfast. By the time the day has ended, I am at twice the bulge.

Hopefully the photos will show so you know what I am talking about.

Edited by: MRSMASCH at: 3/18/2013 (15:37)
FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
3/18/13 2:49 P

You are too thin for your height. Going to the gym would be beneficial. At least go long enough to have a personal trainer help you create an exercise program. Honestly, it sounds like you don't have a muffin top.

GECKO722 SparkPoints: (33,372)
Fitness Minutes: (67,954)
Posts: 192
3/18/13 2:06 P

I would suggest trying to build muscle but you definitely don't want to lose weight.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,313)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
3/18/13 2:02 P

There's a lot about your post that concerns me, but let me start with the thread title, and go from there. :)

Muffin tops have nothing to do with your weight. It's about wearing pants that fit. Anyone who has a muffin top is not wearing the right waistband. If your pants are too tight, no matter what your size is, it will squeeze the parts of your body (skin, fat, etc) up over the waistband in an unattractive way. Muffin top reduction is about fashion.

The fact of the matter is, we all have parts of our body that don't suit us. There is no such thing as a perfect body, and the people we see in those magazines have low body fat percentages and a whole lot of Adobe Photoshop. Airbrushed. FAKE.

There is no such thing as a set "time" when you should eat. Eating late at night or after 7 does not automatically turn food to fat. That's a total myth! Your stomach doesn't care what time of day it is. What turns food to fat is when you eat more than you need.

You say you do not have an eating disorder, but the fact that you are freaking out over this, and you're actually at an unhealthily low weight, tells me that you do have some body dysmorphia issues, and I strongly, *strongly* suggest you see out the care of a counselor versed in these issues. Everyone has a "pudge" when they sit... that's how the human body is constructed.

Your doctor is ignoring some pretty big red flags, so I'd advise you to print out this thread, and all its replies, and go see another doctor to discuss your concerns.

Now, you can't "spot reduce" fat anyway... so you can do crunches until the cows come home, but it won't "burn fat" from your middle. Your body likely doesn't have enough fat there to burn.

One thing you need to focus on is body fat percentage. Sparkpeople's site isn't really designed to help people who just want to improve body composition. It's about losing weight, which you really can't afford to do at your BMI.

AFTER you speak with a qualified doctor about your concerns, consider taking up strength training and building muscle. This will improve your composition, and since in order to build muscle, you need to eat at a calorie SURPLUS, this will have the added benefit of helping you to gain weight. Yes, you will add a little fat too, that's an unavoidable side effect, but you can focus on improving your composition.

But again, let me reiterate: You need to consult a different doctor about your concerns, because any doctor that dismisses you and tells you to go to the gym is not worth the paper their degree is printed on.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,578
3/18/13 1:57 P

If you set your goal weight and current weight to the same number, you'll get a maintenance calorie range.

Coach Jen

3/18/13 1:57 P

In reality 100 pounds at 63 inches is lower than the recommended weight according to the research I have found. Your BMI also is too low for a woman and that can lead to ammenorrea problems. All a scale assesses is the force of gravity on your body not its composition so it is a flawed measurement in many respects.

Strength training will in all likelihood increase your scale reading while changing your measurements which is not a bad thing since your measurements are what you want to be pleasing. Your calorie intake is too low in my opinion since it is in the range designed for fat loss. Increase your calorie intake to the high range, have your allergies checked and start a strength training programme.

MRSMASCH SparkPoints: (428)
Fitness Minutes: (740)
Posts: 24
3/18/13 1:45 P

I don't think I have a maintenance tracker. How do I go about doing that? I entered my weight as 100 and that I want to keep it at 100 but it keeps asking me about my weight loss and it cut my calories to 1270-1550 so I am a little confused.

IRISHFANUH87 Posts: 1,038
3/18/13 12:25 P

I agree that you should probably not be trying to lose weight and strength training would be your best bet. If you don't believe your doctor knew what they were talking about, I would look into finding a different doctor for a second opinion. They are really going to have the best insight into what's best for your body.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,271
3/18/13 12:11 P

Since you have IBS and maybe lactose tolerance issues-- maybe a referral to be tested for food allergies, and also a referral to a registered dietician?

I agree with the pp suggestion about trying a larger size in pants. It's always a good idea to buy your pants to fit the biggest part of your body, and then take in the part-- waist or hips-- that's too big. Different brands of pants/jeans also fit differently, so you could try that as well. Some jeans manufacturers have even started offering different styles-- what they call "curvy cut" as opposed to "slim cut" etc. to fit different body shapes better.

Also perhaps not low-rise pants where the waistband hits at a spot that highlights the muffin when you sit. You don't need to buy "mom jeans"-- just something where the waistband hits at a more flattering spot.

I'm curious about how you've got your Trackers set up-- is it for weight loss or maintenance?

3/18/13 11:41 A


You may want to talk to your doctor about body dysmorphic disorder. Sometimes we SEE our bodies one way, but the reality of our bodies is different. (When you said that your doctor thinks you're crazy, that sort of tipped me off that this may be an issue for you.)

Edited by: LILLIPUTIANNA at: 3/18/2013 (11:41)
LOTUS737 Posts: 3,650
3/18/13 11:23 A

I would try to maintain your weight and build muscle (which means eating a little more to balance out what you burn working out). If you think you have allergies, why not get tested? Otherwise try cutting out certain foods for a week at a time to see if you feel (and look) better. You may do well to meet with a personal trainer a few times if you can afford it- they may be able to help you.

Also, do remember that your skin DOES have to fold somewhere! Not having seen you, it's hard for us to know if you would benefit from toning up and/or if you just have skin folding there :)

JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
3/18/13 10:33 A

First step is try going up a pants size and see if that helps. next, if you have a low BMI, I would not try to lose more weight. Eat at a surplus and look into a good lifting program like New Rules of LIfting (for Women) or Jamie Eason's LiveFit or a good 5x5 (Stronglifts or Madcow) to gain some muscle mass. Your body fat will go up a bit, but you'll gain muscle in the process which can help with the "skinny fat" look. You can then eat at a deficit to lose the fat you gained, and hopefully that will lean out your middle a bit.

MRSMASCH SparkPoints: (428)
Fitness Minutes: (740)
Posts: 24
3/18/13 9:44 A

emoticon I am so stressed out with my muffin top. Here is my issue. I am 5'3" 100 lbs with a BMI of 17.7 (too low). I also suffer from IBS which causes bloating no matter what I eat. I wonder if I am intolerant to lactose. I have been taking a probiotic which helps a little.

When I stand, I look super skinny, but when I sit, I get a big pudge. I know I am "tiny" and it is easy for people to get mad at me. But please know that I am not in any way saying I am fat, nor am I suffering from an eating disorder. I am just embarrassed of my stomach.

I am terrified to count calories and do cardio but am told that I must do cardio and strength or this will never go away. This site tells me I need between 1270-1600 calories per day and to burn 120 calories each day but I feel like I am starving myself which will eventually make me fatter.

I can't stop eating in the middle of the night or after 7:00. I know this is a big part of the problem. My doctor looks at me like I am crazy and said to join a gym...not very helpful.

Please help me to find out what exercises to do. I am desperate. I have been working on this for a month and see no changes.

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