Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Myth About C-Sections & Getting Rid of the "Mummy Tummy"

Before I had kids, I use to speculate that a lot of celebrities opted to have c-sections because they received an instant tummy tuck. A LOT of people who have never experienced a c-section believe this to be true as well. I mean come on...how else can Heidi Klum walk out on the runway in her freaking UNDERWEAR 5 weeks after giving birth? It's just not right.

Now, I am no celebrity and I certainly don't have a celebrity O.B., but after having two c-sections of my own, I can guarantee one thing...

C-Sections do NOT give you an instant flat tummy.

Sorry friends. It's just not true. In fact, I believe that c-section moms have to work twice as hard to get our post baby bellies back in shape. It's been 20 months since my c-section with Blake and on certain days, I still look 5 months pregnant.

No joke.

And the frustrating part is that I have been running my butt off this summer (literally). I have lost weight and toned up (at least to some extent) everywhere else but my belly. I know for a fact my diet does not help the matter. I just love food and it's hard to diet when I don't really feel like I need to lose weight. I just want to tone up and NOT have a pregnant-looking belly.

Is that too much to ask?

Well...since sitting on the couch at night eating SnackWell cookies isn't doing the trick, I really need to try something new. I would love to take a pilates or yoga class for this and I may look into that too (cousin Diane...PLEASE come home so I can take your class!!). But for now, I would really like to do something at home. I have been contemplating Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred as a full body workout.

Lots of moms commented in the reviews that it helped them tone their post-baby tummy. Plus, it wouldn't hurt to work on a few other areas :-) Has anyone ever tried this program? Did you do all 30 days and did you think it made a difference?

I also started looking online for tummy exercises designed specifically for post-baby c-section bellies and I found a great little workout on Self Magazine's website. Does anyone else have any great workouts for tummies? Anything you tried that made a difference?

I realize this is a pretty vain post. I mean, who the hell cares if I have a chubby tummy? I should just be grateful that I have two healthy babies as a result of those c-sections and I am. I would sacrifice my belly twenty times over for those two peanuts. But I do think self-esteem is important to a woman's overall health and if my post-baby belly is causing me self-esteem issues...then I think it's important that I look at ways to improve that situation. Plus, can a little more exercise really hurt?

I actually just read in Women's Health this month that regular exercise is crucial for a healthy heart in women (along with frequent sex, flossing and a daily glass of wine) so in addition to getting rid of my muffin top, I will be decreasing my chances of heart disease. Bonus!!

I'll keep you all posted on my progress, especially if some of you other ladies out there are working on your mummy tummy too :-)


  1. Jillan's Shred program is definitely a good workout and proved positive results when I tried it for the full 30-days. It pushed me every.single.day with the three different levels (I would alternate them so not to get bored with repitition daily). Could tell the most in my thighs, tummy, and rear...which I suppose are the most important parts for us momma's :) I say go for it!!

  2. Love that you posted about my friend Jillian. I did great the first week and then we had company so I have not done it as much as I should. I just went through my closet and so many things that did not fit in the fall fit now! And quite a few things from the winter are now too big! I think it works. She is intense but I love that it is only 20 minutes. I also like that you do 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and then 1 minute of abs in a cycle. Coming from someone who does not enjoy working out at all, I really do don't mind doing the work out. :)

  3. My two girls were not c-section babies (hoping this one is not as well) but what's helped me tone my stomach area was Denise Austin's 15 minute ab workout. It's absolutely a routine I've memorized from my mom's 80's video, but it works. Once this baby is born and I can get back into so serious working out (not until probably after the nursing is over), I cannot wait to start getting this body back to somewhere close that it used to be. :) All your running is really motivating!

  4. I know it's hard, but one of the major things to do when you want to get rid of the tummy flab is cut out sugar. I am taking nutrition classes right now and when you break it all down sugar is the devil, it goes straight to our bellies :(
    Running is such a great all over work out that I bet if you cut down to less than 15 grams of sugar a day, you'll see major results in a couple weeks!
    No matter what you do, good luck!

  5. Hi! I hope this doesn't sound too strange, but i have a copy of the 30 day shred. I didn't care for it. I will gladly send it to you.

    My original blog is www.runnergirl13.blogspot.com. I have run 4 marathons...multiple half marys and a couple of triathlons. No, I am not really in that good of shape. I just have some massive endurance!

    It was a good workout, it just wasn't 'me'...I started a new blog www.marathomom.blogspot.com

    (I really am not a freaky stalker...I am just trying to get rid of things I know I won't use again!)

  6. Wow...thanks ladies!!

    Anonymous - I am so happy to know that the shred worked for you!! I would definitely say that my thighs, tummy and rear are in the worst shape. Haha! I think I may be sold on this now :-)

    Kristy - I was thinking of you when I posted this! You really got me excited to try it out, but I wanted to know if anyone completed the program and really found it effective. I hope this makes you more motivated now too!! And that is GREAT about your clothes fitting better! Isn't that the best feeling?

    Heather - I think I remember you mentioning that workout before! Hey...whatever works!! You always look great in your pictures so maybe I should get on that routine too :-)

    Tri-Star - Girlfriend...you are SO RIGHT!!! I guess i just need to hear that over and over again. Sugar is the devil. Sugar is the devil. And lately, I crave it ALL.THE.TIME. I have been so bad and I know that is one of my biggest problems. So only 15 grams a day huh? I think I need to do this. Did your nutrition class say anything about good substitutes? I know a lot of people say that Splenda and other artificial sweeteners are super bad too, but I don't think I could drink coffee without a little sugar.

  7. This is just the post I needed!! THANK YOU :)

    I had a c-section 10 weeks ago and I have been working out for 6. I was really starting to lose my motivation when the "mummy tummy" still looks like a "5 month pregnant tummy"

    I have started the JM 30 Day Shred before, and well...I don't think I have ever got past Day 3. That woman is brutal. LOL

    Sarah @ Keeping Up With The Roscow's

  8. Hey Jen,
    I wanted to just comment along with Tris-Star. For lent I gave up carbs and sugar (sugar was the big one I wanted to do) and I ended up losing a little over 20lbs by just doing that and exercising regularly. I am going to have to do that again because this summer killed me. But I figured that I would testify that cutting out sugar does work. Look at the South Beach...it's a two week thing and then you gradually add carbs and some healthy sugars like fruit into your diet. And the nice part is that they now make a TON of sugar free candy to satisfy your cravings! Love you and P.S. you look gorgeous just the way you are!!

  9. I never followed through with the entire 30 days. No way I could do it daily but I need to start it again! It's tough, but I'm sure if followed through you will see results. I want to run twice a week and do some strength training twice too. Ugh! When I first got this last year I made B do it with me. He totallythought it would be a wimpy chick video.... Yeah he was limping around the next day! Lol! Do it! Blog it! :)

  10. Hey Jen! I wish I lived closer too so we could do Pilates together! I will say that I agree with the South Beach diet. Along with exercising I have found that for me it comes down to diet. If I leave that out I feel the difference. The South Beach diet books really helped me understand more about carbs and sugars. Now I can't say I follow it all the time but hey the more we practice the better we get right?

  11. Sorry so late getting back to you. I've heard truvia is a good substitute, but honestly I would just try to get used to eating things that aren't sweetened. Eventually the cravings will stop and you'll realize that you don't need it.
    When you do crave something sweet, eat fruit. Mango and strawberries taste so good and fill you up quickly.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.