Tubby's Tummy

Monday, January 14, 2013

A longtime ago (about 2.5 years) in a magical place called Rochester, New York, a fair maiden married her British prince behind a golf course.  She lifted weights 3x per week, taught indoor cycling 2x per week,  gave up alcohol for the most part, and kept a close eye on her diet.  The result was a fantastic slender toned shape and one confident bride.

Before that, many many moons ago, that same girl had her heart broken (by a different guy).  This caused a mild depression that left the girl without an appetite.  She slimmed down to a size 6 without even trying and had to spend $200 to buy clothes that fit.

At both times in her life, the compliments about her new figure were genuine and made her very happy.

Fast forward to today and what do you have?  An old married lady in the upper range of her natural weight fluctuation (normally 130-135 pounds but ideally would like to be 125).  But she is unhappy because she knows she can transform her body (well, hopes as her metabolism may be changing).

What body part frustrates her most?

Her belly.  Buddha.  Tummy.

My friend Becca also would change her stomach if she could while another friend, Christine, would like her arms to be more toned.  Sam also wishes her stomach was toned and her core strong.  While Sophie dreams of toned thighs and bum that haven't bulked up. I know every person has one part of their body they would like to change.  And I am sure if I had a naturally slim waist (like my mom.  Why didn't I get that gene?) there would be something else I could fixate on.

Over the last year, I have been experiencing IBS symptoms- first with dairy and then gluten.  In the past, my stomach would normally be flat in the morning when I woke up before I ate anything.  But with these intestinal problems, that hasn't happened in a while as I have experimented with different foods.  I feel like I have determined the food triggers and am doing my best to eliminate them.  So why hasn't my stomach returned to normal?

I think I put extra pressure on myself to look a certain way because I am a fitness instructor and personal trainer.  Many trainers on Twitter say you shouldn't trust a trainer that doesn't have a 6 pack.  (Do you expect your fitness instructors to have a perfect body?  Or do you find this intimidating?)

Lately stress-eating has been my vice.  Every time I sit at my desk, I reach for my lunch bag.  To put a fight up against my stomach's expansion, I want to tell you my waist size and % body fat periodically.  The book Willpower provides several examples of how accountability and public sharing of info help people to stick to goals.  I have found this to be very true with my Virtual Training Group too.  I thought I would step up the public sharing as my motivator. It also demonstrates that fitness instructors are human and have body image struggles too.   Then again, maybe this is the wrong approach.  Maybe I am fixating on nothing.


Another reason I am concerned (aside from vanity) is my hip to waist ratio.  A high ratio is an indicator of potential health problems such as diabetes and heart problems as you get older.  

Other strategies to battle the bulge (aside from sharing my details below): getting more sleep, one more lifting session/week, carrying healthier snacks (nuts, fruit) instead of Kit Kats & Go Crackers, avoiding fizzy drinks, and increasing my cardio.  Do you have any other suggestions on how to keep my waistline in check?

With that said, here are my stats (to be updated, so keep checking back):

Date         Weight (lbs)          % Body Fat         Waist (inches)         Hip-to-Waist Ratio
14.1.13        132.6                   27.2                      30.5                            0.77
20.1.13        131.4                   25.6                      31.0
28.1.13        130.6                   25.6                      30.0                    (end of Week 1 of VTG)    
4.2.13          131.6                   26.3                      30.0                    (birthday weekend)
11.2.13        129.4                   26.5                      30.25
26.2.13        128.4                   25.8                      30.5
17.3.13        131.4                   26.1                      30.5
8.4.13          131.1                  27.6                       31.0


  1. Hi Mollie, great post! I am a PT too, but part time. I find it hard to fit everything in (teaching & training myself)...however, I'm pretty happy with my body but as you said, we all have areas we would like to improve! I have posted my own goals over on my blog www.keepitsimpElle.blogspot.com for the whole accountability reason! I also don't believe that your PT needs to have a six pack to be a great PT. I think image definitely is a factor, however, knowledge, teaching skills, personality and technique also play major factors; in my opinion anyway! ...good luck with your goals! Look forward to seeing your progress :)
    Elle :) x www.keepitsimpElle.blospot.com

    1. Hi Elle! Thanks for your comment. I am also a part-time trainer, which leaves little time for me to train. I will have a look at your goals so we can cheer each other on. :)

  2. When I have had a PT in the past, I preferred her to be a real person, with a real body - rather than a hardcore fitness guru with a 6 pack. I like knowing that she understood what challenges I was facing - and together we could work on it as a team.

    I also suffered from IBS (and a host of other problems) and thought I was doing better, but still had a bloated tummy. I am currently 14 days in to a Whole30 reset and I feel AMAZING. My stomach isnt bloated at all and all my symptoms are disappearing. It might be something to look in to? (although I do understand it's quite extreme for some people).

    My tummy is definitely the one place I would change if I could too. I know that my weight piles on there as I have problems with Chronic Stress (raised cortisol levels) and stomach fat is a direct result of that. Could you be (conciously or unconciously) stressed? This could be a factor as well?

    Good luck Mollie, I love how you are keeping yourself accountable by posting on your blog!!

    xx Leah

    1. Does your new eating plan work for vegetarians, Leah? I admit stress is probably a HUGE contributing factor. I have been trying to cut back on commitments but so many wonderful opportunities have been coming my way, it is hard to say no.

      I look forward to your full review of Whole30 reset. How much time do you spend on food prep?

      Thanks for your support!

  3. Hi Mollie,

    I loved this post! People in the health and fitness field often seem so incredibly perfect even though they also struggle - they're just too scared to admit it because they worry that it makes them look weak and vulnerable!

    I also struggle with issues and sometimes wish I were more toned, yadda yadda and yes it is all down to vanity. The question is how we deal with it. I think your plan's great. Definitely focus on "real" food instead of the processed crap but also make sure to treat yourself. I have a thing for chocolate and cheese (I'm Swiss after all) and I don't ever deprive myself and have it. Concious eating is key. :)


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