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Stick thin everywhere with tons of stomach fat

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  • kelliiherekelliihere Member Posts: 28 Member Member Posts: 28 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Based on your stats and picture, I also don't believe you're 105lbs. I have friends that are that height and weight 115lbs with flatter stomachs and little muscle.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    I know it’s hard to believe, but I am 5’3 and 105 pounds. Now you know why I’m posting, asking for advice. It’s not normal. Have your friends been laying in bed most of the day for the past year? Maybe that’s the difference.
  • kelliiherekelliihere Member Posts: 28 Member Member Posts: 28 Member
    kelliihere wrote: »
    What kind of workouts do you do and how is your posture?

    Resistance work/ weight lifting will improve your overall body composition.
    Good posture and working on your abs will improve the way your (for want of a better term ) fat drapes on your body.

    Look up vacuum exercises, an all round abs workout, and, if you have poor posture, routines to improve your posture. If you are just doing cardio, add some kind of resistance work.

    If you have spent the last year less active because of COVID, it may just be that your muscles have become flaccid.

    I have the same problem (skinny arms and legs with fat on my core) and found a more sedentary life this year was not benificial to my body composition. Once I started doing YouTube exercises at home instead of going to the gym things got back to normal.

    Cheers, h.

    Good thoughts. Prior to Covid, I wasn’t super active. I’ve never been a gym girl. But I did do a lot of walking. This past year I stopped walking and basically spent all day or most of the day in the bed. I wake up, eat breakfast, go back to bed, wake up, eat lunch, go out for a drive, come back and eat dinner, and watch a movie. The only movement I get is up and down the stairs and from my room to the bathroom and from the living room to kitchen, etc. That makes sense about losing muscle since I’ve basically laid in the bed this year, but why would it go only to the stomach area? Wouldn’t I have lost muscle in my arms and legs too? Maybe that’s just the area where it puts it since the same thing happened to you. Although it sounds as if you exercised prior to Covid. I only did walking.

    When you say resistance work, do you mean like mountain climbers, crunches, etc?

    I don’t have good posture, I don’t think I ever have. So when I slouch I’m sure it makes the appearance of it worse. I need to work on that.

    I would suggest this inactivity is the problem.

    Any chance of starting walking again, maybe doing some yoga or pilates?

    I've gained a few pounds over this most recent lockdown, all seems to have gone to my stomach.

    I've still been running, but no access to swimming or yoga - so none of the effective core stuff and I can see the difference.
    The walking will have been doing similar for you, by holding yourself straight while you walk as well other benefits. Whether it's deliberate exercise or not the movement still helps. I

    I know mine will go down again once things get a bit more back to normal, its worth trying to see if yours does.

    Yes, I’m going to start walking again (I actually started today). And maybe yoga too. Hopefully this helps. Thank you for the advice!
  • kelliiherekelliihere Member Posts: 28 Member Member Posts: 28 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    kelliihere wrote: »
    What kind of workouts do you do and how is your posture?

    Resistance work/ weight lifting will improve your overall body composition.
    Good posture and working on your abs will improve the way your (for want of a better term ) fat drapes on your body.

    Look up vacuum exercises, an all round abs workout, and, if you have poor posture, routines to improve your posture. If you are just doing cardio, add some kind of resistance work.

    If you have spent the last year less active because of COVID, it may just be that your muscles have become flaccid.

    I have the same problem (skinny arms and legs with fat on my core) and found a more sedentary life this year was not benificial to my body composition. Once I started doing YouTube exercises at home instead of going to the gym things got back to normal.

    Cheers, h.

    Good thoughts. Prior to Covid, I wasn’t super active. I’ve never been a gym girl. But I did do a lot of walking. This past year I stopped walking and basically spent all day or most of the day in the bed. I wake up, eat breakfast, go back to bed, wake up, eat lunch, go out for a drive, come back and eat dinner, and watch a movie. The only movement I get is up and down the stairs and from my room to the bathroom and from the living room to kitchen, etc. That makes sense about losing muscle since I’ve basically laid in the bed this year, but why would it go only to the stomach area? Wouldn’t I have lost muscle in my arms and legs too? Maybe that’s just the area where it puts it since the same thing happened to you. Although it sounds as if you exercised prior to Covid. I only did walking.

    When you say resistance work, do you mean like mountain climbers, crunches, etc?

    I don’t have good posture, I don’t think I ever have. So when I slouch I’m sure it makes the appearance of it worse. I need to work on that.

    If you lose muscle mass, but maintain the same weight (or close), your body will have more fat. The fat is not as compact (pound for pound), so you'll look bigger. It isn't that the muscle lost "turns into fat" and stays where it was; it's that you lose muscle weight and gain (add) equivalent fat weight, and that fat lands wherever your body likes to keep its fat. For many of us, the midsection is one of the preferred first storage spots.

    If you got lots less active, and kept eating the same way, staying at a similar weight, this could happen. Did this bigger, "bloated" appearance happen gradually? If so, that starts to seem like a likely scenario. If it was sudden, talk to your doctor.

    That makes sense. You explained that really well so thank you. If I go back to doing walking again, will that build muscle back up?

    It happened gradually. I will definitely start being more active.
  • kelliiherekelliihere Member Posts: 28 Member Member Posts: 28 Member
    KHMcG wrote: »
    Did you check Thyroid?

    I think my doctor has because she’s ran a lot of tests. I’m not having weight gain though. Doesn’t that cause weight gain?
  • kelliiherekelliihere Member Posts: 28 Member Member Posts: 28 Member
    wiigelec wrote: »
    Welcome to advancing age, where it takes work to achieve what may have occurred previously with little or no effort.

    You’ll probably need to be more active to achieve your goals. Cardio and weightlifting should be your friends.

    Advancing age over the course of one year?
  • kelliiherekelliihere Member Posts: 28 Member Member Posts: 28 Member
    You sound like you could benefit from recomp. There is a whole long thread dedicated to it. It's basically eating at maintanence and weight lifting. The object is not to lose weight but to gain muscle and tighten up your body. Many have done it with great results. However, it takes time and patience. There are people that have posted pics. Good luck.

    Could you post a link to the recomp thread? I tried to look for it. I must be missing it.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,252 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,252 Member
    kelliihere wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    kelliihere wrote: »
    What kind of workouts do you do and how is your posture?

    Resistance work/ weight lifting will improve your overall body composition.
    Good posture and working on your abs will improve the way your (for want of a better term ) fat drapes on your body.

    Look up vacuum exercises, an all round abs workout, and, if you have poor posture, routines to improve your posture. If you are just doing cardio, add some kind of resistance work.

    If you have spent the last year less active because of COVID, it may just be that your muscles have become flaccid.

    I have the same problem (skinny arms and legs with fat on my core) and found a more sedentary life this year was not benificial to my body composition. Once I started doing YouTube exercises at home instead of going to the gym things got back to normal.

    Cheers, h.

    Good thoughts. Prior to Covid, I wasn’t super active. I’ve never been a gym girl. But I did do a lot of walking. This past year I stopped walking and basically spent all day or most of the day in the bed. I wake up, eat breakfast, go back to bed, wake up, eat lunch, go out for a drive, come back and eat dinner, and watch a movie. The only movement I get is up and down the stairs and from my room to the bathroom and from the living room to kitchen, etc. That makes sense about losing muscle since I’ve basically laid in the bed this year, but why would it go only to the stomach area? Wouldn’t I have lost muscle in my arms and legs too? Maybe that’s just the area where it puts it since the same thing happened to you. Although it sounds as if you exercised prior to Covid. I only did walking.

    When you say resistance work, do you mean like mountain climbers, crunches, etc?

    I don’t have good posture, I don’t think I ever have. So when I slouch I’m sure it makes the appearance of it worse. I need to work on that.

    If you lose muscle mass, but maintain the same weight (or close), your body will have more fat. The fat is not as compact (pound for pound), so you'll look bigger. It isn't that the muscle lost "turns into fat" and stays where it was; it's that you lose muscle weight and gain (add) equivalent fat weight, and that fat lands wherever your body likes to keep its fat. For many of us, the midsection is one of the preferred first storage spots.

    If you got lots less active, and kept eating the same way, staying at a similar weight, this could happen. Did this bigger, "bloated" appearance happen gradually? If so, that starts to seem like a likely scenario. If it was sudden, talk to your doctor.

    That makes sense. You explained that really well so thank you. If I go back to doing walking again, will that build muscle back up?

    It happened gradually. I will definitely start being more active.

    This is going to be a multi-reply (to several of your last batch of replies), even though I just quoted one. I'll start by replying to the one I quoted:

    Any exercise is better than no exercise at all. Exercise that challenges strength in a lot of parts of your body would be ideal, and walking doesn't do that, though it's a good cardiovascular activity. Consider some kind of strength activity. It can be weight lifting, or bodyweight exercises: Anything that challenges strength.

    There is a good list of well-regarded programs in this thread:

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1

    Despite the title, it does include bodyweight programs that require little or no equipment, and can be done at home. It doesn't have to be weight lifting. However, weight lifting is good, if you have access to equipment. You won't "bulk up" (at least not quickly, so you can stop if you reach a point you like, and maintain there); when people say "lift heavy", it just means lifting things that feel challenging to you, not some abstract giant bodybuilder-type weights right off.

    Strength training (of some type) is part of the "recomposition" thing people are recommending. The thread about it is here:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10177803/recomposition-maintaining-weight-while-losing-fat
  • laceyf53laceyf53 Member Posts: 66 Member Member Posts: 66 Member
    Did you have full blood work as well as checking for PCOS? High cortisol levels can cause belly fat, look up cushings and see if you have any of the other symptoms. I agree that it's likely from lack of physical activity, but laying in bed all day suggests fatigue and chronic fatigue is one of the main symptoms of adrenal/pituitary gland issues. It's also not the first tests a doctor would necessarily run.
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 6,259 Member Member Posts: 6,259 Member
    Have you asked your doctor specifically about Cushing’s syndrome? Sudden changes in body composition with weight gain around the stomach is a symptom. I had Cushing’s and it went undiagnosed for years with people telling me I was just fat, until it was discovered that mine was caused by a tumor on my ovary.

    I don’t think some of the advice you are getting suggesting you just have a body type that holds weight in the torso sounds logical. You didn’t have that body type as recently as last year. You definitely need to exercise and be more active. Hopefully all that has happened is that you are badly out of shape, in which case getting back into shape will fix the problem, but do ask specifically about Cushing’s since it’s something doctors tend not to look for.
  • PAPYRUS3PAPYRUS3 Member Posts: 9,639 Member Member Posts: 9,639 Member
    Did your liver enzyme tests come in normal range? Nfld might be interesting for you to look into? Some symptoms include:
    AFLD usually causes no signs and symptoms. When it does, they may include:
    Fatigue
    Pain or discomfort in the upper right abdomen
    Possible signs and symptoms of NASH and advanced scarring (cirrhosis) include:
    Abdominal swelling (ascites)
    Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin's surface
    Enlarged spleen
    Red palms
    Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

    This must be so worrisome for you - considering this seems to have appeared in a reality short amount of time. If it's 'just' a lack of attention to activity, pilates/barr exercises might be interesting for you to try. All exercises focus on working core muscles.
  • RedordeadheadRedordeadhead Member Posts: 959 Member Member Posts: 959 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    kelliihere wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    kelliihere wrote: »
    What kind of workouts do you do and how is your posture?

    Resistance work/ weight lifting will improve your overall body composition.
    Good posture and working on your abs will improve the way your (for want of a better term ) fat drapes on your body.

    Look up vacuum exercises, an all round abs workout, and, if you have poor posture, routines to improve your posture. If you are just doing cardio, add some kind of resistance work.

    If you have spent the last year less active because of COVID, it may just be that your muscles have become flaccid.

    I have the same problem (skinny arms and legs with fat on my core) and found a more sedentary life this year was not benificial to my body composition. Once I started doing YouTube exercises at home instead of going to the gym things got back to normal.

    Cheers, h.

    Good thoughts. Prior to Covid, I wasn’t super active. I’ve never been a gym girl. But I did do a lot of walking. This past year I stopped walking and basically spent all day or most of the day in the bed. I wake up, eat breakfast, go back to bed, wake up, eat lunch, go out for a drive, come back and eat dinner, and watch a movie. The only movement I get is up and down the stairs and from my room to the bathroom and from the living room to kitchen, etc. That makes sense about losing muscle since I’ve basically laid in the bed this year, but why would it go only to the stomach area? Wouldn’t I have lost muscle in my arms and legs too? Maybe that’s just the area where it puts it since the same thing happened to you. Although it sounds as if you exercised prior to Covid. I only did walking.

    When you say resistance work, do you mean like mountain climbers, crunches, etc?

    I don’t have good posture, I don’t think I ever have. So when I slouch I’m sure it makes the appearance of it worse. I need to work on that.

    To me spending all or most of the day in bed is a bigger issue than some stomach poof.
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    kelliihere wrote: »
    What kind of workouts do you do and how is your posture?

    Resistance work/ weight lifting will improve your overall body composition.
    Good posture and working on your abs will improve the way your (for want of a better term ) fat drapes on your body.

    Look up vacuum exercises, an all round abs workout, and, if you have poor posture, routines to improve your posture. If you are just doing cardio, add some kind of resistance work.

    If you have spent the last year less active because of COVID, it may just be that your muscles have become flaccid.

    I have the same problem (skinny arms and legs with fat on my core) and found a more sedentary life this year was not benificial to my body composition. Once I started doing YouTube exercises at home instead of going to the gym things got back to normal.

    Cheers, h.

    Good thoughts. Prior to Covid, I wasn’t super active. I’ve never been a gym girl. But I did do a lot of walking. This past year I stopped walking and basically spent all day or most of the day in the bed. I wake up, eat breakfast, go back to bed, wake up, eat lunch, go out for a drive, come back and eat dinner, and watch a movie. The only movement I get is up and down the stairs and from my room to the bathroom and from the living room to kitchen, etc. That makes sense about losing muscle since I’ve basically laid in the bed this year, but why would it go only to the stomach area? Wouldn’t I have lost muscle in my arms and legs too? Maybe that’s just the area where it puts it since the same thing happened to you. Although it sounds as if you exercised prior to Covid. I only did walking.

    When you say resistance work, do you mean like mountain climbers, crunches, etc?

    I don’t have good posture, I don’t think I ever have. So when I slouch I’m sure it makes the appearance of it worse. I need to work on that.

    To me spending all or most of the day in bed is a bigger issue than some stomach poof.


    Why? Because it’s unhealthy?

    Yes for a physically healthy individual to spend all day in bed for a year most likely indicates mental health issues, that, as I said, are more important than a bit of muffin top,

    Exactly. Is there something else going on with you? Only leaving the bed to eat and pee for a whole year is really not healthy. The modern sedentary lifestyle many people have is not great but that's way beyond sedentary.
  • JessAndreiaJessAndreia Member Posts: 530 Member Member Posts: 530 Member
    Regular exercise definitely helps body composition. Include some weight training too if you can.
    I'm also someone who genetically gains most of their fat in that area, so I can believe you're only 105 pounds at 5'3. Quite a few years ago, I was 110 at 5'7 (not on purpose, just due to really bad panic attacks and anxiety), and also extremely sedentary. I've been between 125 and 128 lbs for a few years now, and my stomach/belly doesn't look any bigger than it did at 110. So again, exercise and building muscle does help body composition. It's also helped my mental health a lot. Just accept that it will take some time to see changes.
  • kelliiherekelliihere Member Posts: 28 Member Member Posts: 28 Member
    No I do not stay in the bed all day because of depression. I am NOT depressed. I am exhausted! Exhausted beyond words.

    My doctor just ran some blood work and here are the results. My appointment with her isn’t until the end of next week. If you guys have any suggestions for how to get some energy or if any of these things are causing the belly fat, please let me know.

    CBC and CMP including liver numbers are fine

    B12 - 347
    Ferritin - 15.8
    Serum iron - 79
    % saturation - 24%
    TIBC - 327
    Vitamin D - 31.0
    TSH - 9.1
    Free T3 - 3.3

    My doctor reran the thyroid tests. Those results are:
    TSH - 9.7
    Free T3 - 3.0
    Free T4 - 0.8
    Still waiting on Reverse T3

    All of these labs are recent.

    I’m so exhausted that I don’t even want to sit up. I prefer laying down. If I do sit up, I put a pillow there to prop myself up because I feel like I’m going to fall asleep.

    Any suggestions would be wonderful!
  • L1zardQueenL1zardQueen Member Posts: 8,716 Member Member Posts: 8,716 Member
    I had a friend who slept day and night. He worked when called out for funeral escort. He as a wannabe California Highway Patrol officer. Long story short, he was diagnosed as severely depressed.

    You should get checked for that.
  • kelliiherekelliihere Member Posts: 28 Member Member Posts: 28 Member
    I had a friend who slept day and night. He worked when called out for funeral escort. He as a wannabe California Highway Patrol officer. Long story short, he was diagnosed as severely depressed.

    You should get checked for that.

    Did you read what I just posted? I’m NOT depressed.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,252 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,252 Member
    kelliihere wrote: »
    No I do not stay in the bed all day because of depression. I am NOT depressed. I am exhausted! Exhausted beyond words.

    My doctor just ran some blood work and here are the results. My appointment with her isn’t until the end of next week. If you guys have any suggestions for how to get some energy or if any of these things are causing the belly fat, please let me know.

    CBC and CMP including liver numbers are fine

    B12 - 347
    Ferritin - 15.8
    Serum iron - 79
    % saturation - 24%
    TIBC - 327
    Vitamin D - 31.0
    TSH - 9.1
    Free T3 - 3.3

    My doctor reran the thyroid tests. Those results are:
    TSH - 9.7
    Free T3 - 3.0
    Free T4 - 0.8
    Still waiting on Reverse T3

    All of these labs are recent.

    I’m so exhausted that I don’t even want to sit up. I prefer laying down. If I do sit up, I put a pillow there to prop myself up because I feel like I’m going to fall asleep.

    Any suggestions would be wonderful!

    Without knowing the units or your lab's reference ranges, it's hard to comment.

    My lab, normal TSH is 0.35-4.94 uIU/mL. If yours is similar and the units the same, 9.6-9.7 TSH would be hypothyroid. (I don't have a T3/T4 report handy; they only check those for me now if TSH is whacky and not responding, because past checks have shown that I seem to have no problems with T3/T4 conversion.)

    I've had a much higher TSH than that (I think it started out at 31, but that's from memory.) Individual responses/symptoms vary quite a lot, but I remember feeling quite fatigued, perhaps not as extreme as your case, but like I said, it's individual, and that was a long time ago so I may be misremembering.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,252 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,252 Member
    P.S. You might find some useful information in this thread, particularly the OP, which lists typical reference ranges for the thyroid-related values.

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10767046/hypothyroidism-and-weight-management
  • Speakeasy76Speakeasy76 Member Posts: 647 Member Member Posts: 647 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    kelliihere wrote: »
    No I do not stay in the bed all day because of depression. I am NOT depressed. I am exhausted! Exhausted beyond words.

    My doctor just ran some blood work and here are the results. My appointment with her isn’t until the end of next week. If you guys have any suggestions for how to get some energy or if any of these things are causing the belly fat, please let me know.

    CBC and CMP including liver numbers are fine

    B12 - 347
    Ferritin - 15.8
    Serum iron - 79
    % saturation - 24%
    TIBC - 327
    Vitamin D - 31.0
    TSH - 9.1
    Free T3 - 3.3

    My doctor reran the thyroid tests. Those results are:
    TSH - 9.7
    Free T3 - 3.0
    Free T4 - 0.8
    Still waiting on Reverse T3

    All of these labs are recent.

    I’m so exhausted that I don’t even want to sit up. I prefer laying down. If I do sit up, I put a pillow there to prop myself up because I feel like I’m going to fall asleep.

    Any suggestions would be wonderful!

    Without knowing the units or your lab's reference ranges, it's hard to comment.

    My lab, normal TSH is 0.35-4.94 uIU/mL. If yours is similar and the units the same, 9.6-9.7 TSH would be hypothyroid. (I don't have a T3/T4 report handy; they only check those for me now if TSH is whacky and not responding, because past checks have shown that I seem to have no problems with T3/T4 conversion.)

    I've had a much higher TSH than that (I think it started out at 31, but that's from memory.) Individual responses/symptoms vary quite a lot, but I remember feeling quite fatigued, perhaps not as extreme as your case, but like I said, it's individual, and that was a long time ago so I may be misremembering.

    I'm hypothyroid too, and I agree that if it's the same unit of measurement, your TSH definitely suggests hypothyroidism. My report says anything above 5.00 mcUnits/mL is out of the normal range. That could explain the fatigue for sure.
    edited April 1
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