This Instagram model's bloated stomach pictures will tell you it is not easy staying in shape

This Instagram model's bloated stomach pictures will tell you it is not easy staying in shape

Fitness blogger Middleton through her Instagram wants to show that bloating is so normal - even for the fittest of people!

Bloating is as common as a cold, proves fitness blogger Michelle Middleton. But when you post them on social media, the hate can be real!

Michelle is a 30-year-old nanny from Vancouver in the northern US state of Washington. She's not a certified trainer but has gained more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, thanks to her fitness and body-building posts. Michelle told Cosmopolitan she was encouraged to share the bloating photo because it's a problem she deals with "despite trying to attain a good physique".



Good morning and happy Monday!! ☃️ I mentioned it in my IG stories this weekend but I am officially on a diet break for the rest of the year 😆. I’ve been dieting since April and I just need a little mental break from thinking about food. It especially doesn’t help that it’s the holidays and there is delicious food around me constantly 🙈. @greek_spartan has been helping me with my nutrition so I will start back up with my diet strategy in January💪🏼. Ive been getting a lot of messages about my diet so I thought I would answer them below 👇🏼 • Am I bulking or cutting right now? I am bulking but how my diet is set up I will be gaining muscle and slowly leaning at out the same time. It’s kind of like reverse dieting. • Why am I dieting if I’m bulking? I really wanted to dedicate a full year of prepping for my next show and that means increasing my metabolism, gaining muscle and not a huge amount of body of fat. I could just do that intuitively but I think having some sort of plan to follow will give me the best results. • Do I count calories or macros? No I currently don’t track my calories or macros but go by portion sizes. I eat a lot of the same foods so it’s convenient for me. • Do I still get bloated? Every once in a while I will but I know what foods are going to do bloat me so I just avoid them. • Do I take any supplements like protein? I get all my protein from whole food sources so it’s not needed. Plus protein powders bloat me. I do however use @wrkethicsupps Intra & Preworkout. Supplements aren’t needed to make progress but if you like taking preworkout or bcaas those are the best tasting ones I’ve ever had 😋. Feel free to use my code “MADLY” if want to give them a try for free shipping. Hopefully these answered your diet questions! Let me know if you have any other below. 😘

A post shared by MICHELLE (@madlymish) on

"If it’s just me or friends hanging out at home then it doesn’t bother me," she said of her bloating. "But if I have to be in a bikini or out in public then it’s horrifying." The bloating normally goes down over a few hours, if it's before bed then it will be gone by the morning.

She regularly posts selfies of her bloated on Instagram. We love your courage, Michelle!




BLOAT // I get bloated all the time 🙄. I pretty much know what foods are going to bloat me so it’s just a matter of if I care or not 😂. I followed #fodmap in the past to figure out what works or doesn’t work for me and it helped immensely. That’s why I recommend girls who tend to get bloated to try a low Fodmap diet. So don’t freak out if your bloated. It’s only temporary and will go away. Some tips I have for if your feeling bloated is a) drink lots of water &/or hot tea b) clean up your diet & avoid foods that you don’t digest well c) get your sweat on 💦. I always feel better after going to gym 😸. Hopefully these tips help! A few of you have also asked about water weight/retention and when I feel like I’m holding onto extra water I make sure to drink more water (when your dehydrated your body will hold onto more water), eat cucumbers 🥒 throughout the day (natural diuretic) or go sit in the dry sauna (after drinking a gallon of water that day). Oh another girl that gets super bloated is @jellydevote. Check her out... she gets it even worse then me 🙀 Shorts @paragonfitwear -MICHELLE for 11% off

A post shared by MICHELLE (@madlymish) on

Bloating is when the stomach increases in size and is usually caused by excess gas being produced in the large bowel. Bloating is extremely common; WebMD notes that one in 10 Americans experience the condition on a regular basis. And while bloating isn't often the sign of something serious, it can be worrisome when accompanied by other symptoms, such as severe stomach pain, blood in your stool, or fever.

While it's totally normal to feel bloated (and even look bloated), you should always check with your doctor if you're worried, or if you're in pain.

But, there is no reason for you to feel embarrassed by your stomach; it happens to many of us. It isn't a cause for shame.

"Most people will suffer from bloating at some point in their life," explained specialist dietician Kirsten Crothers to Cosmopolitan. "However, those who suffer from this regularly do so because of a digestive problem such as IBS, coeliac disease or food intolerances."



Ok... suck in the gut .. try to stick the booty out anddd 📸 😂. Back to normal weight today after my Thanksgiving eats (that morning I was 138 and I went to bed at 146 😋). I didn’t diet or stress about food but just went back to my usual way of eating and then I some how went back to normal 🤷‍♀️ (139 lbs today). Unless your on prep or have a photo shoot or something I think you shouldn’t stress about food. Eat, enjoy the holidays and have fun! Just get back to your usual way of eating and use the extra energy for some killer workouts 💪🏼😉. Here’s the chest and tricep workout I did today👇🏼 CHEST// •Flat bench 5x5 •Flat bench 3x15 •Incline db press 4x6-8 (dropset) •Hammer strength incline press 4x8-12 SS w/ Incline db flies 4x15 (dropset) •Seated cable flies 4x10-15 SS w/ pec deck machine 4x8-12 (dropset) • cable machine finisher .. 4x failure each setting .. high, middle and low. TRICEPS// • rope pull downs SS standing DB tricep extensions (dropset) • rope tricep extensions SS body weight tricep dips (dropset) • tricep pushdowns (dropset) • dips SS Seated tricep machine push downs (dropset) • laying db tricep extensions SS Seated single arm db tricep extensions • FST-7 on the tricep machine to finish it off.... then selfie time😂. Hopefully I explained the workout well. Sometimes it’s hard to remember the names of certain exercises or how to describe something. Db is short for dumb bell and SS means superset. Happy Saturday!!! Crop - @paragonfitwear

A post shared by MICHELLE (@madlymish) on

Certain foods are known to trigger bloating and IBS more than others. Crothers says these are often foods high in FODMAPs - a group of carbohydrates that are broken down in the large bowel by our gut bacteria.

"This process is known as fermentation, which leads to excess gas being produced," Crothers says.

It may be surprising to know that it's not just fatty or sugary foods which are high in FODMAPs. Foods like mango, honey, onions, garlic and apples are some of the main culprits.

Bloating is just excess gas. (Source: Getty Images)

Now that Michelle knows what makes her bloat, she's careful. "Since I know exactly what kinds of foods will bloat me I simply won’t eat them if I don’t want to look 6 months pregnant," she says.




Playing taste tester right now 😋. Currently working on coming out with a healthy recipe ebook with my coach @codywatkinsfitness. Now that I'm done with prep and have lost all that weight/body fat, this is exactly what I need to stay on track 🙏🏼. Being a foodie, I can only stick to "bro foods" for so long. Don't get wrong... I love my simple meals but sometimes I want to eat something reallly good 😆. So these recipes will be healthy, protein based, lower calorie dishes.. essentially "diet foods" that won't make you feel like your dieting 😂. And of course the macros will be listed so you'll be able to keep track of everything. I sent out a special request for something pumpkin spice so I got your back girls 👌🏼. I'm open to hear your ideas so leave a comment below of your favorite foods you'd like to have a healthier version of 👇🏼. Meals in the pics are chicken pasta, sweet potato casserole and protein chocolate cake 👌🏼😍#codywatkinsfitness

A post shared by MICHELLE (@madlymish) on

 She also realizes that she isn't the only one with the ability to have a food baby. We hear you, M.



"It can be really frustrating to have these issues. Some people don’t even know that they have bloating issues and don’t understand why they also look so huge despite eating so well and exercising. I thought I just had a really weird ability to have super huge food babies and didn’t realize it was a matter of certain foods not digesting well. Once I figured out what problem was and could control it, it has been a lifesaver."


She is happy that her fans reached out to her with good wishes. She also believes that it is important to talk about these things on social media to break the life-is-always-perfect stereotype.

"People always get so surprised [I bloat] even though I mention it every now and then. It’s one thing to say I’m bloated and another to show it... especially when you get as bloated as I do. I think it makes the person more relatable if they show that they get bloated rather than show that they have a perfectly flat stomach or 6 pack 24/7. I think a lot of people don’t show that side because it can be embarrassing and unattractive," she says.

Look at her go :



Isn't that truly inspiring?




If you have any views or stories that you would like to share with us, drop us an email at