Guest Post by Beth of Fit2B
That belly that still looks pregnant when it’s not…That wee bit of a leak when you laugh hard or sneeze…That perpetual slouch in your back…That feeling of looseness and yet tightness all at once “down there”…?
All of it is connected to a very under-diagnosed health issue called “Diastasis Recti Abdominus.”
Huh? It’s a split in your abs that’s wider than normal, and it causes great dysfunction all throughout your body, not just within your core. It also gives you that “mummy tummy” but not always.
Your tummy might be flat, and you just suffer silently with incontinence. Or maybe you have a bit of belly, but it’s not too bad, but your back always hurts. Well, when the right sides of your abdominal wall head east and west from each other, and you can get your fist or even a couple of knuckles into your organs then, Houston, we have a health problem!
And glory hallelujah the solution ain’t more crunches, ladies!!!
You see, diastasis (I pronounce it die-ass-tuh-sees, but it depends on where you’re from) isn’t caused by pregnancy; men and children get it, too. It’s caused by pressure in your belly pushing on your connective tissue over time and gradually damaging the thick band of fascia that holds you together. About 98% of pregnant women finish delivery with a diastasis (see this study), but we’re looking at the 2% that don’t, and sometimes they just have good connective tissue genes (and we try to not hate them for that), but sometimes they also have great alignment and they haven’t done crazy, stupid workouts during and after pregnancy.
So I’ve been studying all this for the past 2 1/2 years, and I don’t talk to fitness trainers about it because they led me astray for 14 years. I talk to physical therapists and alignment experts and restorative exercise specialists, because they are the ones who are truly putting cores back together, right?
And the good news is that pressure can be regulated by how you sit and stand and eat and use the loo and push a baby out and hold a baby. And if you can take the pressure off your belly by doing TummySafe workouts and retraining your alignment, then you’ve uncovered the gospel truth for your core that our Divine and loving Creator didn’t make you to fall apart. You were designed to come back together! There is a plan and purpose and diastasis can be banished!
I’ve given Erin special permission to share one of my members-only routines because alignment is tricky. So for one week only, I want you to watch this. I want you to see for yourself how moving and living in these postures and practicing these moves will CHANGE your whole appearance and outlook from the inside out.
And crunches and situps and pelvic tilts, all of which INCREASE pressure in the core and all of which lead to pelvic floor disorder (PFD), can become a thing of your past because you’re going to learn how to really find your true core and flex it and take the pressure off your broken belly. That’s when healing takes place.
And I believe that when women realize that the Grand Design isn’t faulty and that we truly are meant to be strong for wrestling with our kids (and our husbands) and walking and climbing and moving and praising and dancing and gardening… we find our mommy mojo again!
Fit2B Studio’s mission is to spread the message of hope for diastasis healing to the whole world. We have a growing directory of experts, and I am constantly researching and networking to create more resources and workouts. I also want to provide you with some things you can read and PRINT OUT AND SHARE if you want more technical information about diastasis, how to prevent it, how to work with it, how to treat it yourself, and how to understand it via this link to our printables at Fit2B Studio.
Erin’s Week 8 Update:
Weight: Down 1 lb.! (149 now)
Total Weight Loss: 8 lbs.! This is great….1 lb./week, which is perfect for me since I am exclusively nursing!
Inches: I’ve now lost 3 1/4 inches total from my waistline!
Diastasis: 1.5-2…I have slacked off on my tummy exercises, and I feel like my diastasis is getting worse! But check out my before and after pics above!!
Biggest Challenge: My book is making me fat! Not really, but I can see where the life of a writer can make it a challenge to fit in fitness (probably harder than the life of a mom!). I am so glad I don’t do this full-time! I have been hitting the book pavement hard the past two weeks, and that has coincided with my slacking on the fitness front. My goal has been to work out three times/week, but this past week I only worked out twice. It’s better than nothing, but it’s not where I want to be.