Today I want to talk just a little bit about Being Prepared when embarking on any kind of Health Journey – might it be something new you are trying, something you need to do to heal or recover, or just your normal every day routine – educating yourself and knowing what you are doing is Key!
I will use myself as an example.
Those who have been following my journey already know that I (still) have an umbilical hernia. Due to my multiple pregnancies and not getting proper education afterwards on how to treat my body with exercises to ensure the muscles to regain strength, I am stuck now with a hole in my belly. Literally. I have a hole in my muscle tissue right by my belly button, where the tissue has been weakened. Basically, the only thing holding my guts inside (tmi perhaps, sorry), is my skin.
There, you see that bulge that looks like an “out-ee” – yeah, that’s my intestines poking through…
That’s kind of scary and annoying, as it can be painful.
Of course I went to the doctor, after the 6 months time period I was given of “oh, it will do it’s thing by itself” to discuss my options. Since it had reduced it’s size (yay!), due to the fantastic Brianne of FemFusion Fitness and the private sessions I took with her to gain knowledge and learn exercises to help with this, they also decided it was not worth a surgery (huh?) and I should try to continue what I was doing.
I am all for holistic and natural medical care. And since the docs felt that I was “fine enough” to live like this, well, alright then!
But what are my options?
I know that I can’t do everything that I used to be able to do – or the hernia will get worse and I could do some serious damage to it.
But I would NOT have known that, had I not taken the time to explore the resources around me.
The biggest problem I found (that led to everything else), was that I had not been properly shown how to close my diastasis recti after pregnancies (something that is core education within the German birthing community, btw – wish the US would focus on this as well!).
This basically means that the abdominal muscles that were pushed apart during pregnancy, need to also be able to come back together afterwards. Many women don’t know it, but their gap is much larger than the two finger-widths they are supposed to be. If that is the case and you are trying to do ab-workouts, you might be doing more damage than good!
At the point that I approached Bri for help, my gap was (brace yourself) 2 INCHES apart! I could stick four finger-widths into that hole – sideways! Yikes.
Now this is not the hernia, this is the gap between my muscle band of my abdominal muscles!
Women, here it the ONE thing I would suggest you do TODAY! Because this does not just affect those of us that have umbilical hernias, etc., but it can be any of you that have given birth and you might not even know it!
Go to this link, read the blog post and watch the videos, and see where you are in regards to your diastasis recti! This is so important.
Being educated about your health before you start exercising or any new health routine can save you from seriously damaging your body.
PiYo came out for me at just the right time! It’s low impact, and so I am allowed to do it despite my restrictions. And even so, there is at least one move that I avoid and modify, because it would otherwise do damage. If I had not educated myself about my limitations and concerns first, I would be possibly facing more issues now. Because even though before most workout videos we all see the scrolling text about “Go talk to your doctor about this first…”, who of you really goes and does that?
Neither did another good friend of mine, who for years used weights as part of her exercising, but never used a belt around her waist and back to help with support and now is facing serious health issues with her spine. All it would have taken to prevent that would have been education and being prepared.
I don’t know everything about everything, of course. And with the internet today there are TONS of conflicting messages.
My suggestion to you: Find those people within your own group of friends and acquaintances that you trust and know that they would have the resources at hand to steer you in the right direction!
I do it all the time.
As a Beachbody Coach, I am not a certified Health and Fitness and Nutrition Expert. But what I am is a motivator, an accountability partner, and most of all, the person to get those resources out to you to keep you as healthy and safe as possible in the journey to feeling Great!
Remember, there is NO magic pill out there, no magic workout, no magic food. We are all different, react to different foods, need different workouts, motivators, and efforts.
The key is to get out there and find what works for you!