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

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