Thursday, May 14, 2015

Part 1: Shrink the Belly Project

"What!!! You have a four month old baby?!"
 
I get that a lot. But before you dismiss me as annoying, genetically lucky, a psychotic workout freak, or all of the above, hear me out. 

The truth is, there are a lot of things I did, and still doing, to get back into some semblance of my pre-pregnancy shape. It's not like I am blessed, crazy, or anything. To be honest, I need a lot of muscle toning work pa.

Case in point: This is me a week after I gave birth. On the surface, I may look good for a mom who just gave birth, but the reality here is, my thighs are cellulite-y, and I have on my husband's shirt and my maternity shorts. So of course they fit!


More importantly, I was wearing this inside: the Wink Ultimate Post Partum Ultra Bikini from Urban Essentials. This is what I wear when I am out and about.


It has 3 layers of hook and eye closures at the side to adjust for different waistlines and when I wore this, it was a struggle to wear at its widest layer.

It was depressing to put on at first because I could hardly close it. But surprisingly, they're quite comfortable, that they are so much better than wearing Spanx. 4 months later, I fit into the first layer of hook and eye closures, which means, yes, I've lost a few inches already.

Apart from artful concealment, and a seamless shapewear that holds everything in, here are all the things I did, and I hope it helps you, as it has helped me.

But before that, to see is to believe, so here's my baby belly 10 days after I popped. No bola, no photoshop, no sucking in tummy, no artful angling, no belly wrap to cover tummy. In short, no false claims. I'll be honest, if somebody is like "Oh look, this is all you need, it's so easy!", she's lying.


Ok game, are you ready for this? Here we go:

1. Train your core. It would be great to have a strong core to start with, but core training via belly breathing and abdominal bracing right after pregnancy is still safe to do. I stumbled upon this technique online when I first gave birth to Berry and I've done the same after popping out Xavi and Tepper. It's amazing how you can see results aka a flatter tummy in just a few days. Read it, HERE.

2. Magic Potions. Trust the French to come up with magic potions we need to tighten and firm up skin. I slather on Mustela Post-Partum Restructuring Gel (higly recommended by Sharleen Cu-Unjieng of Mustela Philippines) all over my tummy, around my waist, and all through the back. The same goes for my butt and thighs. If you want an organic option, try Marilou BIO Body Firming Gel from cutieverse.com.


Palmer's Cocoa Butter Skin Tightening Lotion works great too. I used that for Xavi and it helped tighten my floppy belly skin.

3. Binding. When Jessica Alba says wear two corsets and wear it 24/7 for two months, then you go and wear two belly wraps 24/7 for two months. Yes it gets sticky and sweaty, and the rubbery parts dig into the skin, but I think that sauna-like effect shrinks the fat cells or something. I also wear a hip wrap.


For binding at home, I use a Medela Belly Wrap which I bought in Amazon when I was pregnant with Berry. This worked fine on its own after I gave birth to Berry. The Cinch Wrap and Shrinx Hips Ultra I bought through Stemcord, but it's available in Rustan's. These two were all I used after I gave birth to Xavi. Now I use all three together with Tepper. If I give birth another time, I'd be wrapped like a mummy by then.

4. Cryo Baby. When it seemed that everything I did wasn't working fast enough given the time frame I set for myself (ehrm, two months post pregnancy), I went for a more drastic measure.

This is the cryo sculpt machine at Aesthetic Science Clinic in Makati.


It's from Korea, and uses a cool probe to apply serum onto skin. As part of my post-pregnancy beauty regimen, I'm doing the Cryo Sculpt with Vitaminc C serum to treat my freckles that multiplied and darkened when I was pregnant with Tepper, (it has anti-aging effects too). But this is also the same machine used for slimming and tightening skin on post-pregnancy bellies. While the probe is cold, when used on my tummy, it has a warming sensation inside, like my fats were getting cooked. Or melted. Heehee.

Results are expected to be seen in 6 weekly sessions, but in my case, there was a noticeable improvement by the 4th week. Skin was relatively tighter, although still loose given the stretch it has endured from 3 pregnancies. But at least it wasn't hanging or saggy.

If you think this is a lot to do just to get back into shape, there's more. As with all things that seem effortless, there's a lot of furious paddling underneath the surface. We'll get to that in the next installment of this post.

To be continued...

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