I’ve finally found an exercise routine that won’t destroy my social life, while fixing those tiresome split stomach muscles that I’ve had since my first daughter was born 6 years ago.
Feb 08, 2017
Let me start by saying fitness isn’t my thing. Wine is my thing.
I’m a mother, and wine is my reward at the end of the day when I feel like putting my kids to bed is my day’s biggest achievement.
Don’t get me wrong, I like a health kick as much as the next person.
I even made it three weeks into Michelle Bridges 12 week challenge. I rewarded myself with wine for getting that far. Good on me.
Generally, despite my hectic working mum lifestyle, I’m pretty happy with my body, so motivation to become a yoga mum or to join a jogging club just isn’t on my radar.
What DOES bother me though, is the oddly shaped stomach I’ve endured since bringing my two daughters in to this world. It’s kind of like a mini Uluru. Comes out a bit, flat along the top, then retreats back to where I believe my stomach SHOULD be.
A cringeworthy split between my stomach muscles is to blame apparently. Three fingers. Back when I was younger, that meant something totally different. Now when I say it, other mums nod with an understanding smile… “oh, you have that too?”. Apparently plenty of mums have this without even realising it. It’s the reason you can’t seem to get your flat stomach back no matter how many green shakes or sit ups you do. It’s easy enough to check for though (the video below goes through it all).
So what’s the cure? Apparently nothing I’ve been doing. Waiting it out for three, nearly four years doesn’t work. Let me tell you. Turns out you can work on healing it all, even up to 8 years after being pregnant.
Luckily for me, when I’m just too lazy to seek out a solution for things, info often pops into my inbox which solves my issue at the time. What to see at Fringe? Where to brunch? How to keep the kids quiet? My job is pretty handy for this stuff, but Core Physio offered up something I hadn’t seen before. A solution to my awkward stomach. They have physios, who hold one-on-one pilates classes, as well as group classes, which suit people like me down to the ground. No showy gym situation. Nice and private, so my total lack of co-ordination is kept between me and the bare minimum of people.
As someone who hasn’t really embraced the current health and fitness trend, and prefers just to ‘like’ Instagram posts of pretty breakfast bowls covered in flowers, as my contribution to the lifestyle tribe, I’ve always lumped Pilates in with Yoga.
After having my fair share of Yoga attempts in the early days, and hating it, I figured Pilates would be a pretty similar experience. I certainly didn’t realise how different it was. Not only was it more of a workout, it could help mend my split stomach muscles and get rid of my mummy tummy, while helping to give me better posture, tone up, and strengthen my otherwise neglected body.
Pilates and split stomach muscles (diastasic recti) can work together well. The importance of working with someone who knows what they’re doing (meaning a qualified professional) is crucial though, as the wrong exercises can easily make the issue worse.
Those sit ups you were doing? They weren’t giving you a six pack – they were making your ponch worse. Good to know.
Luckily for me, the two physios I’ve worked with at Core Physio, were both accustomed to complete beginners like myself, and made something which could be quite complicated, quite an easy process. The amazing woman I had to begin with, Susan Yang, was so relaxed, I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable learning about the pilates reformer machines, and the exercises I needed to do on them. She worked with me on movements specifically tailored for my situation, and wasn’t pushing any sort of agenda, which is always refreshing. Sadly for me, she is running away to join the circus. Literally. Cirque Du Soleil are stealing her to be the show’s physio in Macau. Amazing.
Next up I was teamed with another amazing male physio, who, as it turns out, was equally fabulous, and made me feel right at home as well. It would seem that the Core Physio team are all pretty friendly and talented, which makes me confident that if I were to change physios again, it wouldn’t make a difference to the progress that I’m making.
He has tailored a program for me, focusing on rehabilitating my split stomach muscles, while also helping me to build strength, tone, and flexibility. Once my one-on-one sessions are over, I’ll be joining a pilates class, which will be lead by the physio, but will allow me to punch through multiple exercises in a short session, to allow me to get in to a routine, while continuing my progress in a more affordable way.
Luckily as there are 13 different Core Physios around Adelaide, there’s one within walking distance to my office in the city. I can get my my pilates sessions in before work or during my lunch hour, without needing to impact on my day. Totally convenient.
Best thing? There’s no crazy eating routine that comes with this health kick. This one is body focused, and I’m already seeing an improvement in my mummy tummy. And wine? That’s still there for me at the end of my day.