Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Truth about a "mum tum"

This pregnancy is taking its toll. Physically I'm feeling much better, baby is in the perfect anterior position, minimal abdominal seperation, Chiro really helped with pelvic pain. I'm experiencing lots of pre labour/Braxton hicks which I did through each pregnancy. It's sad to stop CrossFit but I'm walking, doing functional training and of course keeping up a daily yoga practice. About 2.30am last night I got up to stretch, my torso is so tight and really needs some loving.
So I was hoping that our baby would be here by today and due to the fact he/she is not, I booked in quite a bit of work this week to keep me occupied. 
I'm excited as most of my work is baby related, helping prepare others for their pregnancy, birth or fourth trimester.

I've felt a little let down since coming back from Bali with my class attendance, so I'm looking forward to a break and a big marketing push when I come back.
The biggest thing annoying me is that I see so many advertisements for mum and bub fitness groups that shame women's bodies...for example: 


I'm sorry?? Who the HECK are you to say ANYTHING about my mum tum? Which, by the way is usually more a genetic predisposition to stretch marks and a factor of rapid weight gain and loss rather than something that should be mocked. A "mum tum" is also something that usually can't be fixed quickly IF at all...I will explain further down. And I'm not talking about Diastasis Recti/abdominal seperation.
These classes are also usually run by MEN or women who have NO kids!
The amount of women that come into CrossFit Mummas expecting to do sit ups and hold plank for an hour and smash a high intensity session with their poor kyphotic spine allowing fatigued shoulders to hang forward is overwhelming.
I am not about a quick fix, I am a highly experienced and qualified trainer (dare I say scientist!) who has used my own body to trial a fit and healthy pregnancy and recovered from each very well with small, sustainable and achievable results. I don't neglect my children to train, though the 30-60mins a day that can be required is often a real breather and empowering time for a new mum if she has a great support network and can have her child minded.
I am not a master chef, and while Eric makes some mean dishes we DONT eat the same thing every day or do huge  meal prep and sometimes we struggle to buy groceries and often have to borrow money to afford the organic food we choose to feed our family. I'm sure if we worked regular hours we might have to be more organised but our family is proof that you can eat a healthy vegan whole food diet on a budget and without spending hours in a kitchen at a time (or using 75 million plastic containers to store food in...plastic is baaaaad news people!)
Finally, I will never shame anyone for what they look like by using cheap emotive marketing. If you are unhappy with your body, you need to find out why. Because our bodies are a reflection of how we feel about and treat them. They carry our scars, our strength, our uniqueness, and our health. If we start to love them it will show. All bodies have the potential to be beautiful if we love them.
So in my time off I will be re-vamping my training and nutrition programs purely so I don't have to keep seeing males, clueless, overweight or unhealthy "trainers" bash women in their ads. And those that choose to train with me can know exactly what to expect...a balanced and sustainable approach to a loved, nourished, and well cared for body.
I wasn't going to continue personal training but I will for women having babies or recovering from them. 

So...back to the business of creating a cheese grater center after babies. Yes I believe it's possible. Not to gloat but I had more definition in my abdominals after having Riv and starting CrossFit than I did before. I've seen many women achieve a leaner physique after babies and I've seen it done both healthy and otherwise. Luckily I don't really get stretch marks on my tummy, the "ghastly" lines that plagued my teenage thighs took a hike when I started weight training which is LUCK but I also feel like I did my time ;)
But most women WILL get them from little white lines to huge purple scars, and it does not have much to do with anything. I do believe that the faster you gain and lose weight, the more pronounced they are. I do believe that dry brushing, coconut and jajoba oils, silica and exercise can keep them at bay. Even then, having babies close together or more than one can be a tipping point for some! Ok, so now we know that it's usually not our FAULT if we get a "mum tum" we read/hear that it is something TO BE RID OF. If I am over 30 and had kids at least a year ago I'm starting to feel shit about the way I look and determined to get a 6 pack...BUT it may not be possible at all. The elastin, collagen and other materials that form our skin don't always have the potential to recover, ESPECIALLY if you haven't looked after yourself during pregnancy or immediately after. So you may have the potential to lose weight and create a toned core but you may not be able to lose the excess skin on your belly and you may not be able to reduce the appearance of your stretch marks.
I hope this doesn't sound depressing, it just needs to be said! And you need to love your body REGARDLESS...who knows; that could even be the missing link between a hot bod and healthy mindset...LOVE.
Ok now I'm sounding a little sappy (damn hormones!). 
My solution is empowering women to be healthy and active when they are growing a child so that they can be healthy and active in the post partum period and for the rest of their life. It's not rocket's not even exercise science (see what I did there?!)'s just making a commitment to loving your body and changing the focus to what it can DO rather that what it looks like. If you carried and birthed a baby then you are a vessel of life and while it may have taken me to write this blog before I can start to accept the scar I do have...the scar that has always told me I failed Rivers birth (an emergency cesarean...major abdominal surgery...the most traumatic experience my body has had)...I want anyone reading this to know that they are gorgeous. Because I am not a "bitch" because I've had active pregnancies and good recoveries. And someone else shouldn't be ashamed that they had a different experience.
Whether you've had kids, whether you've lost weight, whether you've battled mental disorders or whether you've been the picture of health forever...we are all gorgeous and flawed and unique. Please don't let an advertisement make you feel like you need to change. And if you want to start loving yourself more, train hard and eat to nourish your body...then find a trainer that will help you, preferably one with experience.
With so much love xxx

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Exercise in the last few weeks

Last week I became quite overwhelmed with pain in my pelvis. I am not one to complain and I generally have a high tolerance for pain. This though, has caused me to cry out several times and stop doing the things I normally would. It would have been great to keep training the way I was but I honestly can't. 
So I reduced my training to 50-75 squats to parallel, clams in a supported side bridge & KB rows. I've also been doing yoga each day, teaching or participating or both. However, I am finding that when I stand for too long or sit for too long that the pain when moving is crippling.
After a rough week I made an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist who specializes in pregnancy. Unfortunately the stars didn't align and I had to cancel the $110 appointment. But the pain didn't subside. I slipped twice this week, once getting into the shower and once in trikonasana (triangle pose), both small movements that would normally be fine but with all of that beautiful relaxin coursing through my body, my pelvis didn't cope well.
So I booked in to see my trusted chiropractor who specialized in pre and postnatal health. After being adjusted my belly feels far better, the pain in my pelvis is gone (for now) and the pelvic girdle feels more stable. My Diastasis Recti seems to be quite bad (when it was fine just weeks ago) and the rectus (ab) attachments to my pelvis were inflamed and painful. Hip flexors are extremely tight because my outside hips (TFL) are not stabalising well and my glutes are probably not activating much if at all. So while I had a few moments of feeling rather blue, I've decided upon a game plan...and the exercises I will be doing including:
- diaphragm breathing
- modified clams
- wall sit (modified)
- parallel squats with band
- tva modified activation
I will also be focusing on the relaxation phase of pelvic floor contracting, preparing the birth canal and hopefully taking some pressure off my adductors. Optimal foetal positioning may me more challenging due to the abdominal separation so I am looking forward to a discussion with my midwives tomorrow and doing some baby mapping to see if Bubs is posterior or in a good position.
Today I'm starting taking vitamin c as I'm a little sick, more iron in preparation of the birth, EPO (evening primrose oil) to prepare the mucus membranes and this is in addition to raspberry leaf tea and B12.
Please send all of your good vibes to my belly that the bub comes very soon so this Mumma can have some rest and recovery. I have loved this pregnancy  but I am looking forward to skinny jeans, sleeping on my belly, enjoying a glass of wine and commencing my post partum fitness routine.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

The hormonal roller coaster

It's 9pm, we've been up for 14hours and I think I've cried 75,000,52 times. Firstly, there was no coffee, then Raine wouldn't stop feeding and there was no heat pack for my sore freezing nipples, and we had to go to work with two extremely cranky kids. Weightlifting class totally crushed it but only 7 people turned up for the WOD which is a tenth of our membership (?) so I went to get groceries. Whilst I was in the health food store Raine decided to poo and I couldn't do anything until we got home. Then River came home with the most ginormous graze on his face that I've ever seen. It devastated me (seriously we were apart less than an hour!). And then Eric's gorgeous best mate layed the foundations for our deck! Following the roller coaster so far?!
My sister came over with soup whilst Raine was asleep and Riv was getting bored watching me sort the new babies' clothes, at least someone shared my enthusiasm for how well I've kept clothes from 4years ago (ashamedly, I love hand washing) and how teeny tiny the little people clothes are.
Then my mum popped in with some Easter drawing for the kids to do. 
Raine did another poo on the floor. My mum squeals like she's never seen a baby poo before haha...
The nappies got sorted, the list of things to pay/purchase is sorted, the kids Easter gifts are ready to be hidden for tomorrow's Easter hunt, 50 of my allocated squats have been done, the house is clean (despite another poo from Raine...can you tell EC is a frustrating process?!!), my emergency hospital bag is almost completely packed, kids watched Spider-Man movie while E and I managed Raine, dinner and sneaking each other chocolate, both darlings are now asleep and there's plenty more to do before tomorrow's "day off".
My pelvis feels like it's going to explode/fall out/break at any given moment and I've been quite grumpy that I haven't been able to train in a few weeks...I feel HUGE and it's hard not to tell myself how much of an ugly whale I am. 
My ex husband has moved in with his girlfriend and that in itself has caused a tidal wave of emotions in our house. It definitely hasn't happened the way I thought it would all peachy keen, a little tribe of parents that are friends. This is disappointing and hard to deal with at the moment so I am trying very very hard not to dwell on the negative but as a person that likes to talk things through I have found it most difficult. 
Tomorrow after a workout (hopefully) we will be seeing Nick for lunch and then E's family for dinner. 
Monday I am looking forward to a new chance to get stuck into our business before having this baby. I couldn't sleep last night with anxiety about everything we want to achieve this year...another great side effect of late pregnancy. So at least we have the rest of the year mapped out; comps, promotions, events and targets to hit. My side project is being planned to death and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in next week. 
It's also an emotional anniversary today, we have two birthdays this month where our special people aren't here. This is half motivating and half crippling.
Anyway, the lunar eclipse will be seen in a few hours and the clocks go back an hour as daylight savings ends. This is certainly not my favorite time of the year, especially after a weak summer (thanks Melbourne).
Apologies for the emotional and erratic blog post...with many thanks for reading.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Bali with babies

So we departed from Melbourne, as the weather began to change. We left in the afternoon and boarded the plane for Denpasar at 6.55pm. There were a few hitches in that it didnt look like we would be seated together at first, and then I assumed Riv would watch a movie then fall asleep and Raine would pass out in the ergo on Eric. We did sit together and while Eric walked Raine to sleep, I read to River and ALL BY HIMSELF he shifted, put the blanket on and fell asleep. It was amazing, after almost four years the kid can sleep! Raine was unfortunately woken by a screaming toddler and spent most of the flight cycling through each and every emotion possible...but thankfully was very quiet so did not disturb anyone else. Loz & Jake met us at the airport* and we stayed for a night in Denpasar. It was a rough 24hrs with the flight and the time difference and the over-tired toddlers...I found myself incredibly frustrated and snappy and unhappy. We ate a bunch of fried noodles and plain toast for breakfast then headed to Ubud to settle in. We didnt really leave our hotel too much as we had a private pool, free shuttle into town, little kitchenette and company in my sister and husband. We ate at 

  • Alchemy
  • Veggie Tables
  • The Earth Cafe
  • Swasti Eco Resort-Beloved Eath Cafe
  • Soma
  • another raw place on the same street as Soma
That was the only expensive part of our trip! We didnt shop or anything so we could spend maximum time relaxing. I managed two beautiful classes at Yoga Barn and a visit to the Monkey Forrest. Next time I would like to go to Nusa Lombongan, Seminyak for at least a day trip and to do a little more exploring.
Eric rode to Canggu to complete 15.5, the last of the Open workouts, with S2S CrossFit but I felt like the heat would have killed me if I attempted to travel that far and do the workout. top tips for travelling with toddlers:

Do not travel outnumbered, make sure there are two hands for each child!
Catch planes at a convenient time for the child, if you dont think you can entertain your kids for 6hours then travel at night, if you dont think your kids will sleep then travel during the day.
Expect a day or two of ridiculous behaviour as kids adjust to a new time, a new culture and a new climate.
Pack food where ever you go! We had vegan healthy meals to eat in the airport each time and found that the kids slept well without a huge overdose on sugar...thats also why we stayed in Ubud as we knew we had access to vegan and organic food.
We had pencils and filled a huge notepad with drawing each day, we read chapters of The Faraway Tree, and despite having TOO much fun most days with Uncle Jake, River learnt to swim underwater and we just had to go with it.

Anyway... pregnancy is progressing, no one got sick whilst we were away, we are adjusting slowly to home life and excited for the month ahead.

Happy Easter x