I remember a time a few years ago when I could barely bend over to pick up toys off the floor because of the discomfort in my abdomen, especially at night. The pressure in my pelvic floor in the evenings caused me to leave dishes in the sink, I felt like I was failing as a mom and wife, because shouldn't I be able to keep up with all of this stuff? I was so fatigued by the end of the day, I dreaded going up the stairs to check on the kids, I was desperate for a solid night's sleep, sleep that provided healing, a clear head, and energy.
There are many possible causes for the place I found myself at. 4 kids in 5 years, 30 day shred shortly after my 6 week check-up and clearance, lack of knowledge about diastasis recti, splinting after birth, perfectionist tendencies that caused me to push when I should have been resting, a husband with a crazy busy travel schedule so I was solo many nights. So many reasons...The journey was hard and I was mad that this was happening to me. I felt like my body had betrayed me and I felt like I was the only woman experiencing these challenges. All around me I saw women running marathons, teaching Zumba, joining crossfit. It was disheartening to say the least.
Fast Forward 5 years and I am on the road to be in the best health I have ever been in. Last year I went gluten free, which started me on the journey of eating more clean. I enrolled and completed IIN during which I was actively experimenting with healthy foods. I took last year to rest and rehab my pelvic floor and DR. (Note: None of the healing could happen effectively until my hormones and energy were back, and so I highly recommend getting a full blood work up with an integrative MD/NP)
Today I completed day 27 of 21day fix. I am modifying the exercises to make them safe for my pelvic floor and DR, but I feel so much better and am thankful to be on my way to the best health ever. My goal is to be in the best health/shape of my life when I turn 40. I am well on my way to meeting this goal..
But here's the thing, I couldn't rush this or push this. The physical aspects aside, I had so much soul work that took place and there is no shortcut for soul work. I was placing my value in my body, in keeping the house perfect, raising perfect kids, keeping up with the ideals in my head. Through this refining I learned that I have value and am enough because the Creator created me, just the way I am. I learned that my value doesn't come from how clean my house is, how great my body looks, or how well I manage my family. I now live in the freedom to be me and I live from a place of grounding.
I no longer struggle with body image issues (for the most part), I'm not obsessed with getting in shape, I want to feel amazing and take care of my health.
I would not have signed up for this journey. I have always loved exercising, so this felt like a cruel joke. But I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Here is what I want to tell you:
The young mama that just found out you have DR. If you don't know what it is or haven't checked, stop reading and go here now.
The mama that wonders if she will ever have energy again.
The mama who just go diagnosed with a prolapse or some form of pelvic floor weakness.
The mama who used to keep everything together and now you can't.
You are right where you need to be.
You will heal.
You truly will come out the other side stronger, it may take longer than you want, or a lot longer in my case. But the other side is amazing and there is freedom and energy.
Start your journey today:
1. Begin a ritual of gently loving your body. This may look like a bath, a new yummy lotion, a nap, a massage, or a gentle walk. There are so many options, but the key is to find something that resonates in your soul. You will feel it in your gut and you will be able to say "I love you body and I am going to take care of you."
2. Move. You may need to begin with gentle walking. Maybe you are ready to add some gentle rehab exercises in. You might be ready to take your fitness to a deeper level. Any of these are fine, but don't rush anything. Before you exercise, check in with yourself. How is your energy today? Does anything hurt? Is anything tight? What movement will feed your soul and take care of your body best today? (of course check with a Dr. before beginning anything strenuous).
3. Be the tortoise, not the hare. I am a quick fix person, I get bored very easily with programs, hence the reason I have tried nearly every core rehab program out there.... But sometimes this stuff just takes time. If you are preggo or with a new babe, a walk outside is probably your best bet. If you have DR. add in some gentle rehab exercises. Your body knows what is best and is amazing at healing, so just listen. Take the time to tune in and be gentle. My body needed time and wasn't able to heal while I was still carrying little ones, chasing after them, and managing a busy house. The healing came later.
To wrap up, my goal is to encourage you that you will heal. It may take longer than you want, but you can use this "weakness" as an opportunity for becoming beautifully in tune with your body. You can learn to love her well and take care of her with a passion.
Please feel free to email or post in the comments if you have any questions. I am not a health professional, but I have experience and would love to help you on this journey.
Hey, I'm Julie. I love books, coffee shops, traveling, and exploring. Homeschooling Mama to 4, wife of 15 years. Enjoying the journey and learning to add a bit more of summer into my everyday life.