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Can you get rid of saggy, belly skin?

No, the tumbnail picture of the woman in the blue bikini isn’t me, its Kate Gosselin (after tummy tuck).

Well, I’m not ashamed to admit that after having 4 kids, my belly doesn’t look like a fitness model’s. It all started when I had son #2. I got back into shape very quickly after son #1 in 2000. My friends teased me that I bounced back so quickly that my husband couldn’t keep his hands off me, LOL. So that’s how I became pregnant again within 4 months of having our first baby. Yes, I was even breastfeeding, but it still happened. It was meant to be because my 2 sons are best of friends. They’ve always been Buzz & Woody, or Batman & Robin. So while pregnant a second time while taking care of  a still pretty new baby and working full-time, I stopped working out. I also began to eat a little more. Oh yes, good, nutrient rich food, just more than we needed! So son #2 arrived 13 months later a whopping 9 lbs 10 oz (son #1 was 8 lb 6 oz). Since I have a small frame, while pregnant I carry all in the front, and up very high. I hate to admit this, but I also gained 50 lbs with this pregnancy due to lack of exercise & no lack of food.


We all want our abs to look like this!


I wanted to lose the weight fast, so unfortunately I stopped nursing son #2 sooner then I should have. I also had an active 1 year old to chase around and felt very overwhelmed by it all. I tried everything to lose the extra weight and the tummy that still looked 5 months pregnant. I finally found Pilates and got the right balance of nutrition, but I noticed something horrible to me. You have to understand, before having babies, I had a very flat tummy and a nice little 4-6 pack going on. I wore half shirts back in the 90s and the low jeans. I never wore a 1-piece bathing suit. What for?? So to look down and see that my tummy actually was worse looking than when I lost the weight was horrifying. You see, I had saggy belly skin. Right above the navel, where I felt like my skin was really stretched to the max. Now I admit I was lucky not to have the stretch marks to go with it, but I have to admit, I think I’d take those over this saggy, crepe paper looking skin!!  So creams have been applied, more dieting, more clean eating, avoiding alcohol didn’t help it. Teaching Pilates starting in late 2003 didn’t help it. The fitness classes I taught didn’t help. The jogging, walking didn’t help. And while I could feel my abs were rock solid, the outside picture told a different story.

Not my belly, but this is a problem that plagues some women after losing weight after baby. Stretched out skin! And this woman is fit!


So I went on to have two more lovely babies which really didn’t improve my belly situation. But while pregnant I wore bikinis, since the skin was nice an taut over my growing belly. The postpartum belly started to look even worse than it did in 2001. I also suffer from a mild diastasis of the abdominal wall, which is a separation of the muscle that runs vertical down your middle. So that might have something to do with the skin not adhering right to the muscle & fat below. yes, we all have fat in our abdomen, but when your skin is taut, its less noticeable.

So after teaching Pilates & other fitness classes since 2003, doing 3 rounds of P90x, 2 rounds of Insanity, 3 rounds of Asylum, 1 round of Brazil Butt Lift (not in this order), I’m in awesome shape. Well, except for that sagging skin. I eat clean. I drink so much water, I have to wake in the middle of the night to pee.  I drink my Shakeology daily. I avoid alcohol. I eat clean. I’ve done primal. I’ve done low carb. I’ve done no carb. I’ve fasted. I’ve followed all the meal plans that come with Beachbody programs. But still the saggy skin is there.

I’ve had other coaches and personal trainers say that women can get rid of saggy skin with eating clean & exercising more. Well, I hate to tell them, but I’m a living, breathing example of this not being true. I would love, love, love to be proven wrong though.

Now, please don’t get me wrong, I do love my body. I’m in my early 40s. I have great legs, a great booty & great arms. My cholesterol is very low and my blood pressure is perfect. My belly looks okay in clothes and just this year I have been wearing more bikinis in front of people. But there’s still that little bit of nagging insecurity or maybe its vanity, that wishes this saggy belly skin would go away. And for some women they have minor issues with this.

But I want women to know that if you have this same issue and someone says “work harder” or “eat cleaner” don’t take it too personally. I think the there are a lot of people who hold out hope that yes, it can be fixed by diet & exercise. But if you’ve been working really hard at eating clean and digging deep with your exercise, and you see results in your arms, legs, everywhere, but your tummy still has that patch of saggy, loose skin, it might not get better. And most fitness professionals aren’t experts in how skin elasticity works. And lots of pros don’t want you to get discouraged and quit exercising all together.  I don’t want to see you quit either. I want you to keep eating healthy & exercising, not to get rid of the loose skin, but to be healthy for you and your family.

So I remain hopeful that maybe one day the world will not judge women so harshly in the magazines for having stretchy skin or the last remnant of cellulite. I hope that the world will start to recognize that the beauty of motherhood is the sacrifice of one’s body & personal space to create a new human being. The stretch marks & the saggy skin are just the honor badges of motherhood.

And if I do find that miracle cure, I will let you know. But here’s a little advice to prevent you from getting saggy skin. It may or may not help.

  • Don’t over-indulge with eating while pregnant. Eating for two doesn’t mean eating 2 adult sized portions.
  • Moisturize & hydrate inside & out.  Moisturize your skin & drink lots of water.
  • Eat the right foods. Stay away from sugars, salts, processed foods and stick with natural, whole foods (Shakeology is a whole food!)
  • Eat the right fats can help you with skin elasticity & getting lean
  • Don’t try to lose weight too quickly. Give your skin and body time to heal. Fast weight loss can stress the skin.

Love & light!






30 Responses to “Can you get rid of saggy, belly skin?”

  1. Angela Mays says:

    Jessica, thank u for such a candid post. You and I and a whole host of other women suffer from this. I can say that mine is not that bad and I’m still working towards that 6 pack but the pic above lets me know that I can be super fit and still have that lil skin issue. We need to embrace that and I totally agree w/you!!

  2. Quetsy says:

    I have the exact same problem. My body is beautiful, rock hard, then… I have this saggy skin belly. I live in Miami! I want to wear bikinis so bad, yet can’t because I’m so self conscious.
    I wear one-pieces, that typically fit me a little too big, because I’m so thin and petite.
    It’s really disturbing! I’d love to get the thermage skin tightening treatment!

    • Jessica says:

      Let me know if you do decide to get that done and how it works out for you.

    • Amy says:

      I tried laser lipo to tighten my saggy skin. They assured me it would tighten the skin. It did not . If anything it sags more. Didn’t think it could get any worse. Loved this story. I really needed the motivation to keep on going! Good Luck Ladies!

      • Jessica says:

        That stinks Amy! But I’m guessing the lip got rid of any excess fat, and that could have caused the skin to sag more.

  3. Danny Boy says:

    All this article writing just to push shakeology. LOL what a joke

    • Jessica says:

      Really, I’m sorry you feel that way. I pretty much said that it didn’t work for me to improve the little bit of stretched skin. I do think its a great product with great benefits, just not a cure for stretched skin.

  4. June says:

    I had a child at 39 and got back into my pre-mat body within 6 weeks and no loose skin. HOWEVER…I am now 54, gained oodles of weight in the belly area (not good) and am embarking on a weightloss program (my own)and will find out in a few months if I got off scott free (doubt it) I wish you and me all the best. If I do get the “skin” I shall tuck it in my panties LOL.

  5. Brittany says:

    Going through the same thing- What are we to do- I feel exhausted chasing two kids and two dogs around as it is- what else is expected of us- Try try try again- Everything you’ve done I’ve tried ( minus teaching fitness classes -ha!) But I am on a strict workout routine and push eating healthy in my home- so frustrating! Excepting our bodies as they are is something I can do- Living in a very superficial and judgemental world we can never change- Chins up ladies!

    • Jessica says:

      Brittany, I feel your pain. Sometimes its just a matter of stretched skin. Keep trying to be a fit & healthy mommy to your little ones and know that stretched out skin doesn’t make you less of a person. <3

  6. Jess says:

    I have had the same problem and I really fear that no matter what I do (currently Turbo Fire and the shakeo)that my lower belly will be like the one where she is super fit, but has the stretched out wrinkly skin from stretch marks. Sigh…. But, I wouldn’t ever trade them for my beautiful children!! Great Post!

  7. ashley says:

    i had my first born bby girl 6months ago i had a c section….
    i was a 89 lb girl 5 ft tall,
    i was a undefeated state wrestler
    i have always been muscular and had my six pack going on something like the pik but like way shorter and petit but buff ha not like a man thou
    wen i gt preg i was 18 and allready had a yr merried so we said wt the heck lets have a bby

    after c section i weighed 108 lbs
    i still got my abs and im still muscular
    i run 10 miles a day
    i strtd wrking out my abs the secound i turned 3 months out of the csection

    everyone said i was crazy tht my cut was going to open but i didnt care i just wanted to lose the weight i lost like 10 lbs now i weigh 98 lbs i feel better i look good in clothes but wen i took it off………..:( i have a horrible belly u can see my abs bt theres lik loose skin over it nt lik the pik thou mine has stretched dark marks and this loose skin thts stuck too my abs but yet it wobbles lik ahhh im only 19 i cnt believe i ruined my body!!!! my husband says im sexy but i know im not like i said i run 10 miles a day i do 1500 sit ups a day it wont go away!!!!!!! can u find out if tummy tuck belt works!!!

    oh and sorry i wrote alot just tht i got no one to tlk to and i think i got depression…..i love my bby girl shes so smart and is all ready trying to walk shes 6 months!!!! but its still not fair

    i NEED too loose it!

    • Jessica says:

      Ashley, congratulations on having a healthy baby girl!!! That is so awesome! Sometimes when a woman is petite, there isn’t a lot of room for that growing baby to go except all out in the front. So the skin gets stretched out and it can be hard for it to go back. You have youth on your side though!!! You said you’re only 19 so you might still be able to get your skin looking better on your tummy!!!

      Drink lots of water. Eat healthy. Put moisturizer on your skin. Avoid tanning your belly. But maybe apply spray tan, because tan skin shows less imperfections. And give yourself a little more time. It takes some women 2 years to get it back. And the c-section scar doesn’t help either.

      You didn’t ruin your body! You gave your body to a beautiful little girl who needed to grow inside of you!!! So you actually did a huge act of love! Listen to your hubby. I’m sure you’re still sexy!! <3

  8. Pamela says:

    I had a baby he is now three but i can asure you new moms that it will get better over the years just give it some time lotion regularly and antioxidents help too!!! I hate my sagging skin as much as the next person with this problem but i have learned to live with it the only real way to get rid of it is a tummy tuck and it can very from surgen to surgen and person to person and much like a nose job can go very wrong not to mention the huge ugly scar that comes with it!!

  9. Kaye says:

    Thanks for this article jessica! I felt my comfort zone in this webpage. I have been bothered by these saggy skin after my 7.5lbs baby (i was 100lbs pre-pregnancy) 3 years ago when I was 25. Whenever I would see my son, it helps me forget about my annoying saggy belly but whenever I am alone by the mirror at home, I feel horrible. I’m a beach lover and used of wearing bikinis or jog in central park with sports bra but cant do it anymore. I guess this is my age of body figure consciousness. While I was reading your article, my boyfriend sneaked in to what I was doing and hugged me and said “i love you baby no matter what”. I wish they could develop some treatment for these skin. My plastic surgeon friend is offering free abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedure and diastasis recti repair (torn abdominal muscle) on me after i finish making babies (probably in 3years) but my boyfriend (who is also a surgeon) wouldnt advice me to do it.
    I love my son so much and I am not that vain either. I just feel like I deserve to give my body a treatment but I dont know which one.

  10. Cynthia Walker says:

    It’s been 10 years since I’ve had my last child and I have to admit, it’s been more than a challenge. The pregnancy with her was so extremely stressful that I completely ignored myself ang did not moisturizer my belly, like had so diligently with my other two kids, with the daily regime of olive oil. I do so regret it now. Although I am extremely fit, I can not lost the extra belly fat. I have an abdominal hernia and I am seriously concidering getting a tummy tuck when I go under the knife. I’m a bit afraid, but now more than ever, I think it’s worth it. Thanks Jessica for your acticle.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Cynthia! When I spoke to my doctor about my belly he laughed a little. He said I was very lean every where and I should be happy with my belly for having 4 kids. Well, this made me feel a little better. But I’d still love the skin to smooth out. I started eating vegan in April and while I got even leaner and lost 12 lbs, I still have the wrinkly, saggy skin (which looks worse now LOL) But I’m growing to accept it more and more :) Let me know if you do opt for the tummy tuck and how it goes!!! Good luck!

  11. Sam Fox says:

    I’m 49 and it seemed like overnight the skin under my eyes got all loose and saggy. I’ve never used any face or eye care products before. I started using the Made From Earth Vitamin Firming Serum twice a day about a month ago under my eyes and I can see a visible difference. The skin under my eyes is much smoother, tighter, and firmer and the dark circles have lightened a bit as well. Love this stuff!

  12. sonya says:

    I am only 26 but foolishly gained up to 249lbs after having my first child who is now 5yrs old. When he turned 3 I went for liposuction and ended up losing a lot of inches but had some loose skin. I tried working out even got a personal trainer but that didnt help much.Got pregnant again with my 2nd and last child gained all but 10lbs of the initial wt. I lost back decided this time I would lose the wt. without liposuction which I am down to 143lbs 5’6 and I could probably lose more but I decided to consult with a plastic surgeon and he said I have a very small amount of fat in my abdomen so even if I did continue to eat healthy and lose wt. that lose skin will not go away. I hate to hear this since I am still young and honestly dont wanna believe him but considering your fitness & loose skin I think I should go ahead and get a tummy tuck as he advised. Please if you have any advice let me know I hate looking at a my frowning belly button….lol

    • Jessica says:

      Sonya, thanks for your honesty in your comment! First, don’t feel bad that you have saggy skin. It happens especially if you gain a lot of weight and then lose it quickly (like having a baby). There will be a lot of “snake-oil” sales people who will tell you this cream will work or this exercise will work, but bottom line is when kin is stretched to the max it very rarely can snap back into place. Let me know if you decide to go the tummy tuck route. I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that I will have some saggy skin, but it was for a good cause of bringing in 4 beautiful people into this world :) There are things you can still try like eating a clean diet & drinking lots of water. AS well as using a good moisturizer. But these will help but chances are the skin will still be sort of saggy.

  13. Candyce says:

    I recommend you try La Mer de concentrate….amazing!!! Expensive but worth it!!

  14. tiffany says:

    I got a derma roller (Amazon for about $25) and after each use either vitamin e oil or coconut oil. The past 3 months I’ve seen ahuge changw, stretch marks are fading and the skin is getting tighter. Also started eating healthirr and exercise.

    • Jessica says:

      Good to know! I know healthy clean eating & exercise haven;t worked for me so maybe I will try a derma roller!

  15. Kimberly says:

    You are strummin’ my pain with your fingers, singin’ my life with your words. I had major surgery at 6 and have a massive scar under my bellybutton that cut my saggy skin in two so its even worse looking. I’ve conceded to strive toward wearing a monokini and tossing out my bikini altogether. I’m 22 and 33 weeks pregnant with baby #2. Thank you for this article! Keep up your hard work. :]

  16. doublefrick says:

    Ohhhhhh my goodness. This article really makes me want to cry. :’(
    I’m a belly dancer…and my stomach is saggy. wahhhhh! I hate it. I don’t know what to do.
    I am very fit…studying to be a personal trainer, even! People say I look great, but admit that my stomach is… :/ Ya know…
    I feel like its holding me back with dancing professionally.
    I don’t want to do a tummy tuck, I just want my stomach back. The scars are so awful, I can’t say it’d look much better anyways…
    What should I do? What can I do??
    Only tummy tuck?

  17. doublefrick says:

    Oh I forgot to say, Katie Holmes has the same problem. Angelina Jolie complained of it too. Cindy Crawford, also. It makes me feel better that all these gorgeous women have the same problem….

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