How I Got Rid Of My Stomach Pooch
This one's personal
I grew up in the early 2000’s watching Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera dance and sing in tiny crop tops and low-rise jeans on TV. I admired their whiplash blonde hair and glittery outfits, but what stuck out to me the most was their bare, glowing stomachs, reminiscent of chiseled washboards. I remember looking down at my own tummy, at the ripe age of 9, and wondered why mine was much… softer and rounder than theirs. It wasn’t something I obsessed over; it was just an observation. I chalked it up to them being older than me. I was sure that by the time I was their age, not only would my stomach be flat, but my bust would fill out too! Fast forward a decade later, I realized, what I affectionately called the “pooch” was still there.
As an insecure college student, I was embarrassed of my stomach pooch. Like Allison Williams, Girls actress and former pooch-owner said, “I kept it covered. Boyfriends weren't allowed to touch it. No amount of crunches seemed to strengthen it.” With different fad diets and stress levels, my weight fluctuated quite a bit, but the pooch remained. I strategically wore clothes that would cover it up and refused to take pictures with my stomach showing. Even when my waist measured 24 inches, just below my navel, it looked like I was constantly bloated or there was some sort of balloon that would never pop.
What bothered me most about my stomach pooch was how it made me feel. With the exception of coffee and water, everything I consumed made me even more bloated. I felt a tension in my lower abdomen, like some sort of pressure was building. It got to the point where I couldn't even understand my fullness and hunger cues. Was I full or just bloated from those two bites of pasta I just ate? Am I hungry? I haven’t eaten all day but oddly I feel stuffed. These are the thoughts that would ruminate in my head all day.
Once, I had a conversation with a friend that somehow turned into discussing our lower abdominal regions. “Yeah, it’s cause you’re a woman!” my friend said when I told her about my stomach. She explained that the stomach pooch was just a layer of fat protecting my uterus. “Every girl has it,” she said nonchalantly. I thought of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera from my Genie in a Bottle days. That’s strange…if every woman needed the pooch to protect their uterus, did Britney and Christina just not have uteruses? I did notice many girls my age had the pooch, but I also noticed some didn’t. I never learned that the stomach pooch was just a part of a body, like a forehead or a shoulder. At the same time, I’d come across posts like these:
I learned to accept that this was just my body.
Pooch Goes Poof
After I graduated college and moved to NYC, I was on a mission to solve my chronic health conditions. These included fungal skin acne, debilitating menstrual pain, IBS, and heart palpitations, to name a few. To make a long story short, after going from doctor to doctor and hearing things like, “You should just run more,” “Accutane could probably fix everything,” and — the one that really fueled my mission like never before — “Yeah, you’re only 23, but you might have breast cancer” (more on that one in an upcoming newsletter), I decided to overhaul my diet and lifestyle. I went from mornings of oat lattes and slices of vegan pumpkin bread to intermittent fasting and green smoothies.
One day, I realized my pooch was gone. I had been at a similar weight before, but my stomach looked completely different: it was flat. So, what had done it? Focusing on my digestion and elimination. I found that after years of dealing with digestive issues like constipation and bloating — which had gotten better as I got older — my colon had still been backed up. As gross as it is to think about, the stomach pooch is just waste matter (poop 💩). While anyone can have built up waste matter in their colons (and most people do), if you have a uterus, the pooch will be more protruded than if you don’t have a uterus. I’ve seen this in myself as well as my clients.
So how did I increase my elimination? A plant-based diet, green smoothies and juices, and even gravity colon hydrotherapy. After a few months, I no longer had that pressure buildup and it looked like my stomach had smoothed over. More importantly, I also found that my debilitating menstrual issues — which had me routinely leaving work early and crouched over in pain — also disappeared. I didn’t realize that my belly pooch was related to my chronic menstrual pain, but as you can see in the diagram below, the intestines border the ovaries and uterus. The pressure from fecal impaction in my colon was contributing to my painful periods and PMS.
Below is what my stomach looks like now. My weight and size are similar to my previous picture, but now my stomach is flat.
When you google how to get rid of the stomach pooch, you get advice to lose weight, stop drinking, and even get plastic surgery. The answer for most people, though, can be much simpler: focus on your colon health. After all, the innocent little pooch below your belly button might be contributing to other health problems. I’ve helped many women shed their stomach pooch through strategic diet and lifestyle changes.
So, no, the belly pooch is not supposed to be there “protecting the uterus.” I never thought having a flat stomach or living without PMS would be possible for me, let alone that the answer would simply be more trips to the bathroom.