cute-1437739-640x480When I started taking Tamoxifen it seemed that, within a matter of weeks, all the fat on my body migrated to my stomach. I didn’t gain weight (at first), but my waist disappeared. Googling “Tamoxifen and Abdominal Fat” returns 107,000 results. I haven’t checked all the hits, but most of them are forum posts of women complaining that their tummies have expanded on Tamoxifen. Over in the UK, at breastcancer.org, the ladies call it “Tamoxifen Tummy” and it seems this, at least, is not a figment of our imaginations. Tamoxifen users have more visceral fat and fattier livers1 and fatty liver disease is more common in Tamoxifen users than the general population2.

Visceral fat, as you know, is associated with

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorecatl cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease.

Well thankyou Tamoxifen for that little bonus! Just another reason to keep the fat off.

Once upon a time I had a very small waist, 59cm, and it was small in proportion to my backside, always maintaining a 30cm difference between waist and hips. That made it hard to get jeans that fitted both my bottom and my waist, they always gaped at the back, but now that difference has reduced significantly. My bottom is 90cm, well within a size 8 according to Target’s size charts, but my waist is 69cm, still a size 10. Well, if Scarlet O’Hara can resign herself to never being 18 and a half inches again, I can make do with a Tamoxi-Tummy.

autant en emporte le vent

Now for the weigh-in. Finally I have had the long awaited affirmation. My cleaning lady told me my bottom is disappearing and that I should be careful because ladies need bottoms. Hmmm…not exactly affirmation now that I think about it!

According to Women’s Health Magazine3, as a newly Tamoxifen induced apple shaped girl, I should be experiencing frustration at not losing fat off my stomach around this time. Well, yes, I am.

Once again, the cheat meal, in the form of my daughter’s birthday party, undid my progress but today I am 500g down on last week.

Weight: 57.1kg.

Tummy image by Andrew Martin


5 thoughts on “Tamoxi-Tummy

  1. Janet Plummer November 23, 2016 / 6:00 am

    I’ve noticed a bit more fat around my waist/tummy too. It could be partly tamoxifen but I expect it’s also menopause related. I think a lot of women become more apple-shaped in their 50s. I’ve always had a slim waist too relative to my hips so it is really annoying. Makes me feel old.

    I am really impressed with how you are doing. You were quite slim to start with though so I’m sure you don’t need to lose much weight. I’m wondering if you are finding that the weights are paying off. Perhaps you have lost more fat than you think and converted it to muscle which is heavier. Do you think your body is becoming more toned?


  2. chibipink November 23, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Thanks Janet for your positive comments. It really helps to keep me on track knowing that there are people watching the experiment. 🙂

    Yes, you’re right. Menopause makes us apple shaped. When pre and post menopausal women were matched for age, one study showed that, although both groups put on weight at the same rate, the post menopausal women put more weight on the tummy, but when postmenopausal women on tamoxifen were matched for age and BMI with women not on tamoxifen, they were heavier and had significantly more visceral fat. http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v25/n2/full/0801488a.html
    These women were all in their late 50s so they probably were all post menopausal.

    Anyway, on a cheerier note, yes I think the weights are paying off. I don’t think my cleaning lady would have noticed my diminishing bottom if I had just lost 1.5kg of fat, muscle and bone. I think I must have lost more fat than that and built muscle. I wish I’d taken some other measurements when I started!
    My muffin top has gone (but if I had smaller jeans then I’m sure it would be back) and last night we were sitting around the dinner table comparing biceps. I won! But my husbands triceps won the tricep competition because he doesn’t carry fat on the back of his arms like old ladies do.

    And in addition to that, I feel stronger and taller, because I stand up straighter. I feel less creaky and I feel more confident, both in general and also more confident that my body is OK. That there’s no more nasty surprises lurking somewhere. But I might just touch wood when I say that.


    • Janet Plummer November 24, 2016 / 6:07 am

      That’s a bit depressing about the tamoxifen and visceral fat. It’s like we have to work even harder than the average woman our age to not gain weight. I’ve probably gained about a kilo since I started taking tamoxifen (3 and half years ago), not much I suppose but I was already a couple of kilos overweight. Could do to lose about 3-4kg now. I exercise quite a lot – some running and weight classes – but it doesn’t seem to make much difference. Guess I am going to have to rein in my eating.


  3. chibipink November 26, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    Yeah, it does seem like we’ve been cheated somehow. Better than the alternative though. And it does take a pretty strict diet to get the creeping weight gain under control.


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