A year after the surgery, I became pregnant with Kylie and was told that I had to have a c-section because of my prior surgery. I was still pretty satisfied with my stomach after giving birth to Kylie, but it was definitely harder to bounce back. The birth of Will was the straw that broke the camel's back. I started Crossfit after Will was born and attacked my stomach with a vengeance. Everything from glute ham sit-ups to leg throws. Then everything came to a screeching halt when a surgeon told me I had an umbilical hernia and severe diastasis. I had surgery to repair the hernia, but didn't know how to deal with the diastasis. Diastasis is when your rectus abdominus is split severely and in my case, only a tummy tuck could repair it which was not an option for me. Any number of sit-ups would cause my stomach to bulge and make me look 3 months pregnant. In my mind, it didn't seem fair. I trained so hard and was eating really well. Why wasn't my stomach cooperating with the rest of my body? I soon learned after scouring the internet that many women suffer from diastasis and there was no easy fix. I was angry and depressed.
I finally decided to face the facts and try my best to keep my stomach from getting worse and I stopped obsessing over something out of my control. I will never have six pack abs and I am FINALLY okay with that. I am embarrased to say that it took me a long time to come to peace with this small fact, but I have learned so much along the way and I truly believe that things happen for a reason. One important thing I learned in my "belly journey" was how to control my abs by making that mind body connection. Julie Tupper's book Lose Your Mummy Tummy was such a great help. You will always hear me tell my client's "pull your belly button to your spine" as a cue when we are working out. Many people do not know how to do this without sucking their stomachs in and holding their breath. It is such an important technique to learn so you strengthen your stomach muscles as well as protect yourself from injury.
Obviously, eating habits are a huge factor in the loss of belly fat as well as stress control and lots of sleep! I know we are all on our own "belly journeys," but one thing remains true: it takes patience!!!!! For most women, stomach fat is stubborn. It is the first place we store fat and the last to let it go. We have so many lifestyle factors that can also be holding us back. I am not going to lie and say that I enjoy my diastasis bulge after a hard training session, but I take steps to keep it at bay and know how to take control of it instead of it taking control of me. We come in all shapes and sizes and we need to embrace what makes us unique and beautiful:)
I want to leave you with two great inspirational stories from www.robbwolf.com and www.everydaypaleo.com. Click here to read Tiffany's story and here to read Lisa's story.
Have a great week!!!!!!!!