FitMama, I know you are like me, in that you want to feel strong, confident, gorgeous, sexy, happy, free. I wake up every morning with that intention for the day and go to bed at night with this in mind.
Our Core Connection Challenge is a regular part of what we talk about in our FitMama Facebook Group where we FitMamas hang out. We do this challenge often in the group as a reminder that this is needed by us daily. Attention. Quiet. Breathing. Connecting to ourselves. Quieting the noise inside us and around us all the time.
The goal of this challenge is to have you connect deeper into your inner core, the muscles that hold up your organs and allow you to do the exercises, workouts and activities in life that you do.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP), Diastasis Recti (DR) and SI joint injuries are very real and will very much negatively affect your life if they aren’t tended to.
These are dysfunctions of the pelvic floor and deep inner core and require attention.
Go see a pelvic health physiotherapist who specializes in the function of the deep core and pelvic floor specifically.
I hurt myself badly pushing too hard to fit into a mom/fitness ideal that didn’t suit me. It didn’t suit me because I just had a baby. In other words, I pushed a human out of my vagina. My vagina is connected to my pelvic floor which is one of my deep inner core muscles.
Organs can fall out through the pelvic floor to create a POP and it isn’t something you want. Your linea alba thins on your rectus abdominis to make space for your baby and this causes a DR. This needs time to heal and almost all women postpartum have some degree of DR after they have a baby.
I hurt my back using an SI joint belt that worked against me due to relaxin, the hormones in my blood stream postpartum. I pinched a nerve and rotated my pelvis and this coupled with the weakness in my core postpartum, I really hurt myself. This gave me almost 3 years of consistent chronic sciatic pain and immobility. Additionally, I had to give up a job I loved as a part time personal trainer while I had my young girls 1 and 3 at home.
Let me tell you from first hand experience. This was horrible.
I was miserable.
I felt like crying every day and every night.
The pain didn’t stop. Neither did my responsibilities. I had a 18month old that I breastfed and lifted in and out of her crib. I had an active 3 year old that I wanted to experience her mom active with her.
I was raging inside and didn’t know how to fix myself so I got sad.
Anyway, long story short…
Connecting to my core, breathing deeply, healing my fear and pain one breath at a time by facing them head on – is what ultimately allowed me to heal.
What are you not facing?
What will connecting deeper to your core through breathing do for you?
Watch this video to breathe with me.
Please join the conversation, I want to hear from you.
Is your mind coming up with reasons why it isn’t what you need?
“I will start in September when things ‘settle down.’”
“I want to have fun, not be deprived.”
“I already know what to do, I just have to do it.”
“I feel scared to share how out of balance things have gotten”
“What if I can’t change?”
“I have been ‘trying’ it’s not my fault.”
“I can’t exercise, so nothing will work anyway.”
“What if it doesn’t work? Why even bother?”
These are all LIES!! Your mind loves to tell you stories that feel believable.
I want to share with you why I KNOW it’s exactly what you need if you are still struggling with:
- Weight loss
- Negative self-talk
- Poor follow through
- Willpower struggles
- Feeling defeated
- Feeling lost and hopeless
- Cycling “on” and “off” the wagon
- Lack of motivation
- Thinking nothing will ever change so there is no point in trying (aka learned helplessness)
You deserve better! You deserve to talk yourself up every day and have your own back.
Are you ready for a treat?
We start when you’re ready.
Get on the phone with me, tell me what’s up and get registered.
Just DO IT!
With love and oodles of respect,
Are you finding yourself stuck and bored with food? Maybe you have become a prisoner of the plan.
Often we can feel guilty or have regret and shame over eating things that weren’t on the plan, and truthfully, the negative feelings will leave us feeling way worse than the food ever would have.
Watch the video for more on that and also do these:
- TUNE IN: Choose your food wisely – by listening to your body.
- TUNE OUT: The old rules. Sometimes foods you thought were “good” were actually causing your problems.
- TUNE IN: Prepare for your self sabotage or old habit patterns by becoming aware of them (write them down).
- TUNE OUT: Forget the excuses or the “should, could, have to” talk and get deeper into WHY you want to eat healthier (or start a new lifestyle habit).
Find us talking more about this and other related topics in our Facebook Community.
See you there,
How are you showing love, compassion and kindness to yourself today? Coming from and staying in this state of BEING #love ❤️is easier said than done (as all things are), but when it comes to ourselves especially, it can feel like moving mountains ⛰
We find it easier to give and receive love from others but when compassion and kindness for ourselves comes up, we have a way easier time beating ourselves up and using words like, “could have, should have, need to, have to and can’t.” These words can sound benign but they undermine us at a deep level. And this is actually most often our default mode.
I hear from FitMamas daily, “I am my worst enemy.” Just because this is common, this does not mean it’s okay!
My daily mission is to be the opposite of that for myself first (pure unconditional love) and by being it, I’m giving you permission to be that too.
Your own biggest supporter, fan and advocate.
To just BE love.
I still have days and weeks where my deep-seated regret, anger and frustration towards me for the back injury that I gave to myself almost 3 years ago brings me to my knees in tears.
Even though I’ve been rehabbing, surrendering and healing, I still feel myself feeling sorry for myself and reacting in a way that doesn’t serve me or those around me.
I’ve been helping countless moms show love to themselves through embracing where they’re at, honouring their needs and rehabbing their core postpartum and though my back still hurts me physically, mentally and emotionally each day, helping others gives me strength.
I can honestly say it’s been the best life lesson I could have created and I am learning to embody my body in a whole new way.
The only words that seem to bring solace on the hard days is “I forgive you Jen.”
Because deep down I know I deserve it.
I know that in admitting this and forgiving myself a little more each day, I can keep supporting others and it will in turn support me in healing my pain.
Thank you for being on this journey with me! I am here to support you to forgive yourself daily for your imperfections. Knowing they are perfect.
Forgiveness has truly been my window to living pain free inside and out. I know it works and it’s the start of something much deeper.
What words to yourself move you into a state of grace, reverence and self love?
Please join us in our Facebook Group where we are sharing mindful self love daily <3
Join us for a 5 Day Core Connection Challenge!
Want to learn to exercise safely (without peeing your pants), feel stronger in your core and feel connected and in control of your body?
Doing this challenge daily for 5 days will give you a deeper understanding of the what and how that go into strengthening your roots.
Want to know what that means? It’s all about feeling good from within. Breathing love into your body and embracing, nurturing and enjoying the body you’re in right now.
Connecting your mind to the deep inner core unit of your body will allow for a transformation you may not have been expecting.
Rehabilitating. Healing. Strengthening.
Wherever on the journey you are at.
Join us in the FitMama Facebook Community to connect and learn more.
See you online!
I am so grateful to introduce to you the Pearl Pull Ups as the new exercise to engage your deep inner core.
Listen to me talk you through it now:
At FitMama we are all about tuning inwards and restoring your core postpartum.
These Pearl Pull-Ups can be done 3-4 times daily for 15-20 reps. Posture is key. Sitting or lying down is a good way to start and then progressing to standing and moving.
Remembering the cousin to the Pearl Pull-Ups is Core Breathing which I recommend daily also. While pregnant and immediately postpartum.
By practicing the Pearl Pull-Ups, you will reinforce the mind-body connection to your core and will be building, with each step and move, a stronger foundation for your whole body.
Tighten your midsection, improve your posture, stop leaking pee and best of all, feel good! Have good sex!
If you haven’t gone yet, please go see a pelvic floor physiotherapist who can check you internally for health of your deep core.
Please join us in the FitMama Facebook Community to join the conversations.
Being a FitMama all starts with Love,
Love your Core.
See you online FitMama,
Bridging the Gap is all about bringing the two sides of your abs back together safely, effectively and efficiently after having babies.
At FitMama we are always talking about the first steps back to fitness postpartum and it begins with step 1: “Heal Your Seal.”
Diastasis Recti (DR) is where the thinning of the Linea Alba causes what looks like a separation in the superficial abs to make space for the growing baby inside your abdomen. This is completely normal and is estimated to occur in most pregnant women.
The first line of defence to heal your DR postpartum is to begin with core breathing as of the day you give birth (or before).
If you learn of this sooner than getting pregnant or while pregnant, today is the day to start Core Breathing.
Core breathing will help to prevent a dysfunctional core if you do have a DR and it will start to close it little by little. They key is to prevent it from getting worse at the same time, so along with the Side Lying Safe Move, avoid crunches and all forward flexion, twisting or planking that creates more of the Intra-Abdominal Pressure that caused it to begin with.
Watch how Jen Oliver walks you through the whole process here and contact us in our private FitMama Facebook Group for more support, pelvic health info, fitness education, motivation and more!
I hear this often…”I am not a FitMama, but maybe one day…” or “Well, I am not a FitMama, but I want to be,” or some version of that.
If you remember one thing from this article, remember this:
“You are what you believe yourself to be. “
How does that sound? It’s up to you to choose what you want to believe. You are what you say you are.
FitMama is a mindset. It isn’t about passing some fitness test, looking a certain way or being someone you are not. It is about deciding that from this moment forward: You are a priority. You are perfect just as you are. You deserve unconditional self-love always.
And you are going to be the only one that can make those things a reality.
If there are things about your health and fitness you do want to change or work towards…then it is only going to happen one way: One day at a time.
After years of working with amazing FitMamas, I have been able to come up with The 5 Habits of FitMamas. Want to BE the FitMama you see as outside of yourself? Do these starting now!
5. Daily Gratitude Practice. Taking time daily to notice and be grateful for what you already have, for who is in your life and for all the blessings that show up for you each day makes space for more and more of those amazing things to appear in your life. What you focus on expands, and when you focus on all the incredible things you have in your life, more will surely be there for you to say “Thank You” for tomorrow.
4. Prioritize! Taking time to decide what really matters to you and what you really want in your life allows you to much more easily say “No, thank you” to things that don’t serve you. We all lead full lives that demand a lot from us, so allow yourself to sift through all the needs of others and yourself and come up with just a handful of things that are really meaningful to you and then spend your time on those.
3. Plan ahead. There is no time saver and true success tool quite like planning for what you want to unfold. Do you want to eat healthier? Plan to get the groceries you need to make that happen. Want to get more exercise in? Plan it into your daily routine and make time for it. Things just don’t happen because you once thought it might be a good idea. Planning can really make the difference between following through on your goals or giving up before they get off the ground.
2. Ask for help. I know, we have been taught or conditioned to think we have to do it all ourselves or we are weak or incapable. Not true! If you are trying to do it all yourself, you are going to burn out and become resentful. Trust that people in your life want the best for you and if you can clearly communicate what it is that you need, how they can help and why it is important, then you will start to free up some time and energy to focus on what it is you really want in your life.
1. Positive Self Talk. FitMamas talk to themselves the way they would talk to their best friend or someone they admire, not someone they loathe or resent. They give themselves a pat on the back, they tell themselves how amazing they are for the little things they do and they approach themselves with compassion, love and understanding that there is no perfect. Perfection is about just being you.
We all know life can get crazy and we have no control over other people or many happenings around us. What we DO have control over though, are our responses to those things and our choice to take responsibility for our actions.
What is it that you really want? What are you willing to do to get there? Try the 5 small steps above and repeat them over and over until they become habits. When you can do these simple FitHabits, you will be oozing that FitMama vibe.
What’s your first step? Comment below and let us know! Join us for support, accountability and more simple tips in our FitMama Facebook Group. See you there!
Exit the Excuse Train! Once and for all.
It is so easy to go through your days and weeks telling yourself or having chats with others and commiserating on the fact that you don’t have enough – enough time, will power, energy, money, influence, opportunity, sleep, support, skills or whatever. Today and going forward, start to notice everytime you create these “not enough” excuses and just realize that they are false. If you really want something, there will be a way to get it.
Decide to “exit the excuse train!” Keep reminding yourself that it doesn’t take you anywhere that you actually want to go.
Decide how you want your days to be, and then make that happen by giving up excuses and letting go of what stands in your way. I love waking up early and getting my workout in. I love being up before others and having that “me” time that sets a fabulous tone for my day. Is this always easy? No, never actually. But is it worth it? Every time.
For me, being “pro-active” instead of “re-active” allows me to feel like there is more harmony in my day. I don’t spend hours a day working out but I do make sure I move in some way every day, because I love the way it makes me feel. Especially the way it sets a tone for the rest of the day: I feel strong, energized and I feel like I can get more out of life by being fit. Stairs, hills, carrying kids, pushing strollers, carting groceries, waking in the night, travel, etc all require us to be fit.
Just like you wouldn’t want to get on a train going the wrong direction, making up excuses each day as to why your life isn’t the way you want it to be is really doing just that.
Decide to mindfully let go of excuses and decide that you will just do what you want. Choose how you want your life to look, feel, and be. You are the only one that can make it happen.
My top 3 tips:
3. DEVELOP. Develop a new image in your mind. Let go of what you thought the process would or needs to look like. Living a life you love in a body you love doesn’t have to feel like sacrifice, having no life, no time for your kids or spending hours in the gym every day.
2. DEMAND. Ask for what you want and surround yourself with supportive, like minded people. Trust that your self care and personal mind body fitness and health needs are worth asking for.
3. DO IT. Often we can have the best intentions but we never follow through as we get spiralled back into our excuses. Don’t make that an option. Start by being grateful for your body as it is today and for all that it has done for you up until now, still breathing, beating and holding up so well after all you’ve been through together. Then honour it one day at a time by moving it, feeling it, listening to its needs and speaking to it with love. Know that it is the way. Through Love. Just do it.
This workout is part of the 8 day Fitness Challenge we had in here – for the rest of the workouts if you don’t have them, CLICK HERE.
And remember, all fitness starts with the deep inner core.
Activate yours today by incorporating this core breathing exercise into each and every move – it may not be easy, but it is simple once you get the hang of it, and it is so worth it.
You got this FitMama!
There is no cheating, just choosing!
I say this line so often because I still hear people referring to eating as cheating. Say WHA????? No, FitMama please, what’s up with that?
When it comes to food, I urge you to get this concept of cheating out of your head. There is just eating. You choose what you eat, there is no benefit to labelling it something it is not.
I am sad that in the fitness and HEALTH industry, we are ingrained to think that eating foods that we consider unhealthy or “not on our diet” are labelled something so negative as “cheating.”
When we think we are cheating, we immediately feel negative emotions such as worry, regret and guilt. This study, which looked into the emotions of guilt versus celebration when eating food shows, “NO evidence for adaptive or motivational properties of guilt.” which means that there is no benefit to feeling guilty when eating a food – and they described:
“Those who associated chocolate cake with guilt did not report more positive attitudes toward healthy eating or stronger intentions to eat healthy in the future than did those who associated chocolate cake with celebration.”
How does that sound for letting you off the hook?
In this study, associating chocolate cake with guilt was related to an increase in weight – even in those people who were trying to lose weight.
“However, participants who associated chocolate cake with celebration were, on average, more successful in losing weight than were participants who associated chocolate cake with guilt.”
Therefore, when you decide to eat something, own it!! Decide it is what you really want, consider it what it is, just food – and allow it to bring you pleasure and positive energy – if it doesn’t, then DON’T choose to eat it. CHOOSE another food.
By changing your mindset in this way, you can feel more positive overall about the foods that you eat. And if your goal is in fact to lose some weight, you will be more successful at that when you have more positive associations with your food.
So, how can you do this?
Try these three things:
- Start listening to your body and eat foods that make you feel good – like more energy, less bloating, better digestion, better mental clarity, balanced mood, etc.
- Don’t eat foods just because they are convenient, your usual routine or everyone else is eating them – like the bowl of candy at work, the drive-thru or the leftover crusts that your kids leave on their plate – make a choice for each of the foods you eat to be what you really want.
- Avoid using the weekends as a time to “go all out” and don’t consider any of your foods or meals “cheat” meals. Just eat a nice harmony of health promoting foods with some foods you consider to be more rich or less health promoting and eat them in moderation. We all know what foods agree with our bodies and what foods do not. There is no need to go buck wild every Saturday night and think you’re off the hook because you have labelled it a “cheat meal.” Your body doesn’t know the difference between Tuesday and Saturday, all it knows is “OMG this makes me feel horrible!” This cheating mentality promotes disordered eating, dissatisfaction, regret, guilt and weight gain.
Choose foods that reflect how you want to feel. ‘See’ yourself already in the body you desire and treat that body with the upmost respect, love and admiration. Naturally you will choose foods that make that body feel good. If you don’t see it and act as if, it will never be your reality.
Cheers to changing your mindset and relieving yourself of all guilt and cheating when it comes to food! I know you can do it and I know you will find it super liberating!
Let me know how it goes! It may take practice, but with each time you notice it and change your words (in your head or out loud) it will create new neural pathways and solidify your new way of thinking.