About The Author, Lisa
My name is Lisa Irby and I am originally from Missouri, but now live in Texas.
I've always been a naturally thin person, but as I reached my late twenties I discovered the meaning of "skinny fat."
That's a term often used to describe thin people who have areas that may be somewhat out of shape.
That was me!
Don't get me wrong, I don't mind having a little "junk in the trunk", as they say. :)
I was always considered a stick figure as a child so I welcomed the few curves I gained in my 20's. I just didn't want the pooch that came along with it.
It just didn't make sense to me, though. How can a skinny person have an out-of-shape lower tummy while remaining thin everywhere else? I was baffled.
Let's face it, those hip hugger jeans don't look as cute with an overhang over the top. In my opinion, it looks even worse when the rest of you is still very thin. UGH!
I've never liked being skinny, but I will say this, it does help hide those "problem areas." Most people don't even realize I have to watch my middle area.
Even if I told them they'd roll their eyes anyway so I don't usually mention it to anyone. The last time I did, I think I heard something to the tune of "Lisa, you are crazy!" or something similar. I think people assumed I was saying I was overweight.
Not at all. I just wanted to tone up. (sigh) People just don't get it.
My Stomach Toning Journey Begins...
Boy was I clueless about how the body works.
I bought an 8 minute ab tape and religiously began performing the routine every morning for three months straight. By the end of the three months, I noticed that not only was the 8 minute ab workout ineffective, but my stomach seemed to be getting firmer, but not smaller.
Puzzled and frustrated, I gave up on the ab workout and searched for something else that would be more effective. A few months later I bought a Pilates DVD that focuses on the abdominals.
I didn't know much about this form of exercise but I remember hearing on TV that Pilates is the thing to do these days if you want a flatter stomach. I figured I'd give it a try.
After a month or two of Pilates I noticed that my flexibility had definitely improved, but it seemed to be doing very little for my tummy.
A few weeks later I found myself in Barnes and Noble and stumbled upon a book called The Abs Diet by David Zinczenko. It really taught me a lot about foods and how they affect the body.
It shows you what kinds of foods you can eat all the time and what kinds you should rarely eat.
The biggest lesson I learned was that it is not possible to spot tone. If I wanted a flat stomach, I would have to change my diet and do some cardio exercises to raise my metabolism enough to burn fat all over.
So in March of 2005 I joined 24 Hour Fitness and began working out 3-4 days per week. I also began watching what I ate and added more protein and fiber to my diet.
The tricky part for me is that I actually want to keep some of the weight I've gained over the past few years. However, since I've learned you can't spot tone your stomach - that means in order to ever see a completely flat tummy again, I'd have to go back to the size I was when my stomach was flat.
Not an option! I don't want to be 105 pounds again. I personally like my body better in the 120's (except the un-toned tummy, of course).
So the bottom line is I can't stay at 120 pounds and have a completely flat stomach due to how I'm naturally shaped and where my body stores extra weight.
I'm okay with that. I've just learned how to minimize the damage by eating healthier (eliminate those stomach bloating foods), drinking lots of water and regular exercise at 24 Hour Fitness.
We have to choose our battles since we sure as heck can't choose our bodies. ;)
Don't Be Fooled!
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to flattening the stomach and toning the abs. That's why I created this site.
Currently tons of people are out there right now doing hundreds of ab crunches per day while maintaining the same diet they've always had wondering why they aren't seeing any results.
People don't realize if they don't watch their fat intake and perform crunches regularly, they're adding muscle to their existing fat - causing their stomach to look even worse.
Then there are those that purchase every ab machine that is put out on the market. They use the apparatus for a week and then watch it sit and collect dust after they get burned out on it.
I read somewhere that the best exercise equipment for your abs is a treadmill. I thought that was an excellent statement. In other words, get your cardio exercises in and boost your metabolism so your body can burn the fat. Then and only then will you start seeing results. It took a while for me to grasp that but I get it now. :)
Remember, stop spot toning your stomach, and get your heart moving in order to burn that overall body fat! THEN do strengthening exercises as described in Mike Geary's book to help define your middle section and give it a more toned look.
Update September 2013: It's been several years since I bought this book and I still enjoy getting the emails from Mike. He always presents health and fitness information in ways that get your attention.
I don't typically stay subscribed to newsletters for so long, but he keeps me intrigued.
Well that's all from me! Good luck on your journey.