#MomFitHero Abdominals After Seven Kids
Cathy, our #MomFitHero this month,joined us in May after years of trying to heal her diastasis using ineffective methods. She was hesitant and frustrated and after seven precious babies born in less than nine years. Her body and posture had a lot to come back from! Let's hear a little more of her story.
What point were you at in your postpartum recovery when you started this program?
In February of this year, I had gone through a period of being motivated to get in shape, lose weight and feel better about myself. I did a 30-day exercise challenge and lost a few pounds. I felt stronger in some ways but never felt like I could workout without a belly binder to hold my diastasis together. Despite trying to have correct form my diastasis was always the same - about a four finger width in the middle. I didn’t think I could stand another day of trying to pull my belly button to my spine! I was four years postpartum and still had a very pregnant looking body.
Right after this, I got pregnant again unexpectedly and then miscarried at 11 weeks along. I was very sick during the pregnancy, couldn’t exercise, gained 10 pounds during that time and was feeling very emotionally beat up. I was desperate for something to change about my health and I wanted to heal! That is when Facebook popped up one of Sarah’s links to a free video series.
What made you want to see more?
Mentally, I was at a point where I was very discouraged and unmotivated. This particular video series addressed the connections between breathing, posture, diastasis and the pelvic floor. In all my searching, no one had ever mentioned that the way I breathe mattered for healing! And I was convinced that my swayback posture was just something I was born with and stuck with forever - everything Sarah said in the video was true about me. I was doing everything wrong (awesome, right?!), but that actually made me feel better to know that maybe if I followed her advice something could improve in my core. And, honestly, Sarah’s voice made me feel better. I was comforted by the detail she went into about breathing and by how she didn’t make me feel rushed to jump into traditional exercises right away. Before I was always trying to move too fast and get results yesterday.
You said that you came to the program very discouraged and unmotivated, what changed that for you?
Sarah made me feel confident about taking one small step at a time. I started the Diastasis Fix right away. I spent every day practicing breathing for a couple of weeks, as well as trying not to clench my glutes and lean back with my shoulders in standing. Seems like nothing, but I was honestly blown away by the change in my body! Breathing practice also puts you in a more meditative place which I needed with the frantic pace of my daily life as a teacher and mom.
It seems like taking this one step led to a lot of positive changes, not just physically, am I right?
Yes, after I started the Diastasis Fix, Sarah did an accountability challenge in the private Facebook group. I was finally in a place mentally to set some goals for myself. I started eating healthier and decreased sweets. This was really hard for me until I started seeing results. The idea of regaining some of the old me was a huge motivator. This motivation looked like consistency for me - I had always been so hot and cold because nothing ever changed. Now that my diastasis was starting to improve, and I was feeling like maybe I could get stronger, I was extremely motivated!
After you went through the Diastasis Fix, what did you start next?
Over the course of the program, I realized that my swayback was caused by an anterior pelvic tilt, and this was keeping me from making more progress on my core. So I jumped into the Happy Hips program and realized my glutes weren’t doing much work for me! The front of my hips and my quads were carrying the load of my daily life. This was causing lots of aches and pains. I can say with all sincerity, I love my glute muscles. Once I found them I felt like I could jump into the MomFit program and start getting stronger. I had enough awareness about protecting my core from the DR Fix to start challenging myself. I was glad Sarah encouraged me to start MomFit. She does an awesome job of slowly progressing the exercises so the right muscles are working - again, teaching me not to rush so I could get that solid foundation!
Where are you at now? You have made so much progress, do you feel like you are at the point where you can do anything?
I have changed a lot, lost 20 pounds and gained a lot of strength. My diastasis started at 4 fingers and is now down to 1.5. I still want to be able to do a pull-up by New Year’s! But 13 years of either being pregnant or breastfeeding, with the hormone relaxin in my system loosening up my joints, means I am not all the way put back together in just over four months. I am trying to have the mindset that practice makes progress. As my core gets stronger I can exercise more, but I am trying to really reconnect myself. Just this week I had to slow myself down a little in the middle of MomFit 4 so that I could address my left rib flare and some other alignment and strength issues that are keeping my core from firing correctly. Sarah’s knowledge of what our bodies need and the next steps to take are invaluable. I think that I can finally feel good about where I am even while I am still working on myself. This is an important concept she tries to get across. Stop the judging and start loving ourselves. As I am starting to be able to run around more I love that I can play sports with my kids, do a flash mob for Homecoming at the high school where I teach, do an 11-mile hike in the Colorado mountains without hurting anything, and I could go on and on. Sarah’s work is such a gift to me that I am thankful to be able to share it with others!