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  1. Yeah, unfortunately I have a belly roll similar to the one this woman had presurgery. When it's out of the way my stomach is fine but as it is, it makes a sizable bulge and often a weird visible roll on the front of my skirts/pants. I do a lot of strategic dressing and standing to cover it up. I pretty much always wear tops that kind of tuck in at the waist and if I can't, I wear a twinset cardigan on over top to disguise my midsection. The pictures below are me from the side with the roll out of the way (lol), in its normal spot, and then me from the front. Sorry for the terrible filter on the one on the left. I took it and then when I tried to put it together it was super dark so I had to use a filter that would make it at least somewhat visible. I spent the majority of last year focusing on improving overall strength so I didn't really get far with losing the final pounds. I've been cutting since January 1 though and my goal is to be finished at the end of May. So hopefully I can get a few cute summer skirts and tops to tuck into them by then
  2. That's exactly what I got out of this thread. Next time detail your problem in the first post, not the second page.
  3. Women do not need female specific training programs. Might we want to focus on different things than men for aesthetic reasons (e.g., glutes vs traps for some--not all!)? Yes. But completely different programs? No. If a program calls for a lift that is difficult for me, I use lower weight and keep at it. If it calls for something I can't do (e.g., pullups) I find an alternative that works until I can (e.g., lat pulldowns, band assisted pullups, etc.) I don't say "I'm a girl, I can't do that" and that's it. Yes, my weight progressions are slower but that doesn't mean I need different programming. Worrying about wide grip pullup progressions and post workout lipid/carb burns leads to analysis paralysis. Pick a program and do it. If it's difficult, good. We grow stronger, mentally and physically, in tough times much more than in easy times.
  4. This is majoring in the minors. Fine if you want to do it but completely unnecessary.
  5. As far as lifting weights goes, if the progression (adding weight) is too fast for you, use smaller increments. Instead of adding 5 pounds, add 2.5, for example. Women can do the exact same exercise programs as men--we have the same muscles. When training varies, it is generally due to either sex tending to want a different look (e.g., more men than women want to build traps.) If you want a couple of programs that were written with women in mind, though, the books Strong Curves and New Rules of Lifting for Women might appeal to you.
  6. I usually workout alone. I have equipment at home so I do it there. When I go to the gym, I just don't talk to people and they rarely talk to me. When they do talk to me, it's just to ask a simple question (how many sets do you have left on this machine?) I don't do classes (just not into anything that is done class-style.)
  7. I've had a Paragard for nearly 6 years now. I love it. When this one expires in 4 years I'll have it replaced with another.
  8. Hello All, I have been away for...quite a few challenges. Last year I did 2 (3?) as a Scout and then tried a few other guilds and then petered out a bit. Ended up being a fair weather runner last winter (meaning that I didn't run once it was cold) and then this year have barely run, though I've kept up with my strength training efforts. Anyway, I'd like to get back to running a bit more because I'm missing it and because I feel like it's the best cardio fit (other than walking) with my overall fitness goals/preferences. I need to rebuild a base and it seems like a challenge is a good way to work through it. Here goes. Main Quest: Achieve a well-rounded state of fitness, which to me means proficiency/effort in the areas of cardio and strength training, as well as weight control. Goal 1: Rebuild running base. I'm a bit late to start so I'm defining these weeks as Thursday through Wednesday, with runs on Thursday/Saturday/Tuesday. My plans for each week are: Week 1: Run 1.25 miles, walk to finish out 30 minutes.Week 2: Run 1.5 miles, walk to finish out 30 minutes.Week 3: Run 1.75 miles, walk to finish out 35 minutes.Week 4: Run 2.0 miles, walk to finish out 35 minutes.Week 5: Run 2.25 miles, walk to finish out 40 minutes.Week 5: Run 2.5 miles, walk to finish out 40 minutes.Goal 2: Moderate expectations for strength training while while cutting calories. Bench and OHP - continue with 5/3/1 program, hitting at least minimums on all sets but not attempting PRs on AMRAPs. Cut out additional sets if necessary if strength declines slightly in order to conserve energy for lower body work.Squat, deadlift, front squat - continue with 5/3/1 and 5s progression. Lower body lifts don't seem to be problematic for me during a cut and this is the area I want to get stronger so if any special effort is to be made wrt getting stronger right now, it's going to be with my lower body lifts.Goal 3: Lose fat. I've been up and down with the same 5 pounds all year. I'd like to get past it and lose the final problematic chunk of fat around my middle once and for all. The plan: Eat at MFP calorie goal plus whatever extra calories I get for exercise.Have one free meal per week.Use one larger refeed every 10-14 days, if necessary.
  9. Yes. My husband did not start eating better or exercising when I did. Eighteen months later, he started working at it. Mind you, he didn't really complain about how he looked or felt in the meantime, but I think that seeing me stick it out and improve was at least a bit in the way of motivation.
  10. This really isn't a woman issue because it happens with all sexes. People don't like something about themselves but they don't dislike it enough to change. For a long time I didn't like being fat and out of shape but it didn't bother me enough to do anything about it. At a certain point I was bothered and that's when I was suddenly motivated to lose weight and get fit. My suggestion is to keep asking if she wants to go to the gym/run with you in an offhand way ("Hey, I'm headed to the gym. Wanna come? Okay...") and keep making your healthy meals whether or not she eats them. You can't really do more than that because the choice of whether or not to make changes is truly up to her. In the long run, you have to decide whether or not the behaviors and health and self esteem issues are something you want to see/hear about on an ongoing basis. It's okay for her not to actively try to be healthy but it is also okay for you to say it's not something you want in your life.
  11. I would tell her that it's not up for discussion and the next time she brings it up, the conversation is over. Then I'd do that--say "goodbye!" and hang up when she brings it up, reply "unsubscribe" to emails, etc.
  12. Put them in a plastic bag and then inside a gym bag. Leave the gym bag zipped up all day. Then in the evening wash your clothes. Adding white vinegar to the water helps. You might also try rolling the sweaty gym clothes up in your wet shower towel before putting it in the plastic bag.
  13. I do close grip bench press and bench dips, which are compound exercises but good for triceps. For biceps, I do curls but this is the first exercise I drop if I'm short on time. I'm on an upper/lower split, 4 days a week. On OHP day, the CGBP is my main assistance exercise. At the end of my workout, I finish with tri-sets of barbell curls, band pull aparts, and bench dips. On bench press day, I finish with tri-sets of Zercher squats, hammer curls, and glute bridges. (I know that it seems weird to do ZS and GB on bench press day but I have my workouts set up to include some of the glute-centric stuff I learned through Strong Curves.) Like I said, if I'm short on time, I drop the curls from either tri-set.
  14. My suggestions are: - Build muscle. I'm not sure what your current gym routine is but get on an established strength program for beginners, such as Stronglifts 5x5, Fierce 5, or All Pro's. If you prefer bodyweight training, You Are Your Own Gym is one option and there are tons more. Pick one and follow it to the T while eating properly (I'd suggest bulking.) - Stop comparing yourself to others and looking for a medical issue. You appear to have low muscle mass, not bloating. If it doesn't feel like somebody is sitting on your bladder or punching you from the inside, it doesn't feel like you're pregnant. - Stand up straight and stop slouching. Good posture is a matter of being "slightly flexed" like the picture on the left. Even the most fit people out there can have a pot bellied look by slouching around like the picture on the right.
  15. Agreed. You lost fat while belly dancing because you were burning more calories than you ate. You likely lost inches all over, whether or not you measured other parts of your body and realized it. As far as targeting specific muscles for growth (in either size or strength), yes that is absolutely possible. If you're noticing growth in a short period of time, you're likely seeing the "pump" effect, which is increased blood flow to the muscles that you're working plus some water retention, which helps muscle repair. Muscle growth is more of a long term effort, especially for women, and is very possible but not what many people would call easy.
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