I’ll admit it. I want a flat stomach.
I don’t need rippling ab muscles. I’m not trying to wash clothes on my stomach. I just want a smooth, flat space from under the girls to below the bellybutton. I want the “pooch” to disappear.
I know that a few months ago, my post 21 Day Fix photo popped up showing me with a more defined midsection. I worked hard for that definition. Really hard. Which is why I’m so frustrated with how things are going now. Two months of not working out at all and I’m back to my pre 21 Day Fix measurements. I’ve heard the adage that there’s someone out there who wishes your weakest/heaviest/worst was their fittest/thinnest/best. I get it. I totally get that, but. . .
I want a flat stomach.
Two years ago, I shared with you all my experience with diastasis recti, the separation of the abdominal muscles due to weakened core, pregnancy or hormonal changes. I had heard of this condition before; basically, the sheet of abdominal muscles separates. It’s not life threatening (at least, nothing I read said that it was), but you are supposed to use caution when doing crunches and sit-ups in the off chance that your cause further separatation of the mucles.
From what I remember from anatomy and phys., of the multiple sets of abdominal muscles you have, your rectus abdominis is the sheet of muscles that is where you get your six pack. The muscles are connected by a tendon that runs down the middle. The tendon has no elasticity in it, which means if you put on a lot of weight (as in the case with a pregnancy), the muscles separate, the tendon gets stretched. After you lose the weight, the muscles, which have elasticity, retract, but the tendon is still in the same stretched out shape it was in when you put the weight on, thereby causing the gap between the muscles.
“To check yourself for diastasis, lie on your back with your knees bent. With your fingers pointing down toward your feet, hold two fingers flat on your bellybutton. Press your fingers down as you slowly lift your head (keep your shoulders on the ground). Do you feel a gully between the two muscles? Measure how many fingers wide it is (mine is about 2.5 fingers wide). If you can fit two or more fingers inside, you should not do crunches or sit ups. If this is you, I would recommend halting all traditional abdominal exercises and doing the workout on this page until your separation heals.” — from Dear Diastasis Recti, I’m so over you by Inspired RD on June 19, 2012
The earliest chance I got, I’m on the floor with my knees bent, fingers in my belly button. I’m kind of thinking whatever’s about to happen is going to make me less than pleased, but I soldier on. I start to slowly lift my head and let me tell you, my abs parted like the Red Sea and my fingers were Noah. Sweet fancy Moses! I’m pretty sure I could have pulled Jimmy Hoffa, Ameila Earheart, and the Holy Grail out of the gap between the muscles.
*le sigh* Ultimately, the gap is what contributes to the nefarious “mommy pooch”, and apparently it can be overcome by strengthening the core. So, what’s a girl to do? No crunches, apparently. The website provided a list of alternative exercises to do to strengthen the muscles, but I honestly don’t believe a gap like mine or the ones described can just be “healed” (their word, not mine).
In 2013, I visited a plastic surgeon as part of my second ankle repair surgery. After we discussed how he would work in conjunction with my orthopedist to revise the scar on my leg (so much for that), I asked him about my C-Section scar. That in turn lead to a convo about abdomnioplasty and diastasis recti. The doctor had me lie back with my knees drawn up and my feet flat on the table, just like the Inspired RD describes. He then measured the separation, again, just like described above. Diagnosis? I’ve got it. And he assured me he could fix it. I think his exact words were, “Oh, I can totally take care of that!”
Part of me was hoping he was going to say that my situation was all in my head, just me being vain and it wasn’t anything a few thousand crunches couldn’t fix. Part of me was validated though, and I totally want everyone to stick their fingers in my gut so I can sit up and be like, “See, what I’m talking about?!”
But, surgery isn’t going to happen for a variety of reasons, tops on the list being, I need to get over myself. Close second is I’m in no rush for more surgery, followed by I really need to get over myself.
So, in the interim, I try to eat right and am counting down the days until I can exercise again. The healthy eating is coming along pretty nicely. Pinterest — of course — has tons of useful recipes and suggestions, which brings me to today’s recipe. Detox Water to Shrink Your Belly.
The pin bragged a slimmer stomach in 10 days. I thought, “I’ve got 10 Days. What’s the worst that can happen? I drink more water?” So, I tried it out. Honestly, though, I don’t know if it is working. I’m going to say not working, but only because I have a habit of cozying up with a spoon and some almond butter every evening. Oh have the mighty have fallen. Still, I’ve increased my water intake significantly, so, you know, there’s that.
Happy Friday, y’all!
from DIY Beauty Tutorials
- 3-5 slices of cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
- 3-4 mint leaves
- 1/2 tbsp honey
While the original post included step by step instructions, I’ve made a few modifications to make this recipe more my own.
Every evening before bed, I grab a Tervis tumbler and my supplies. I usually have snapped a few sprigs of mint from my herb garden earlier in the day, so I drop those into the bottom of the cup. I use a mandoline and pass a cucumber over the blades’ thinnest setting about four times. Drop those into the cup. Next, I take out my microplaner and get busy with the ginger. Ginger is the key ingredient for boosting your metabolism, so I’m pretty heavy handed with it. I half a lemon and squeeze the juice on in. Then I top it off with blorp of honey from the honey bear and fill the cup with water. Into the fridge it goes until the morning.
When I get up at 5:30, I clip clop downstairs, grab the water and straw. I also grab a 900ml cup and fill that with water. Then, back up the stairs to set up a mini hydration station on my nightstand. While I do my first set of 20 minute squats for the day, I drink water. While I watch the news, I drink water. While I do my second set of 20 minute squats for the day, I drink water. The 900ml cup provides refills, though the flavor gets more and more diluted with each pour. By 7am, I’ve had about 46 oz of water, which is close to 6 cups. I’ve also been to the bathroom about as many times.