You Are Not Fat, You Are Swollen
by Makiko Oka-Castro
When I was a young dancer, I had a flat belly. And I was concerned that my belly would grow with age. As a Pilates exercise instructor, I examined many client abdomens, while seriously looking for solutions to keep their (and my) bellies flat.
As many of you know, Pilates’ main focus is to teach and help you to “engage” your abdomen muscles: the external obliques, the internal obliques, the transversus abdominis, and the rectus abdominis. The main job of these four muscle groups is to balance the body on both feet, walk upright, and maintain posture balance.
It took a while, but I started to consider the role of major organs in the abdominal cavity. I became so curious about how the abdominal organs contributed to expanding our belly that I had to study about the effect of food on those organs’ function. Eventually, I found the interrelation between food (anything we put into our mouth) and these organs’ health status and skeletal muscle functions. As I pursued it further, I understood that you are not fat, you are swollen. The origin of belly expansion was not simply fat accumulation from improper foods. There were other factors contributing to our growing bellies.
When eating improper foods, our gut flora is damaged which in turn damages our gut lining. The belly starts to expand as our immune system begins fighting with overgrown bad bacteria. The prolonged over-activation of our immune system in our belly leads to its exhaustion. This chain reaction in our gut shows up as unwanted belly swelling and improper body shape.
For this reason, you cannot get rid of extra fat with Pilates exercise only, which forcefully engages the belly’s muscles. It is essential also correct your diet and start taking some proper supplements, such as probiotics.
Makiko Oka-Castro is the founder of Natural Healing Artists, Inc., located at 32 Union Square E., Ste. 912, in New York City. For more information, email [email protected] or visit NaturalHealingArtists.com and their online supplement store at GutForLife.US.