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Dare to Dream Big

Today I am talking about maximizing your expectations. Dreaming big. Expecting that if anyone can do it, it can be you. This begins with the idea of an open mind. Imagine what could be if anything were possible, because it truly is possible for you, obviously within reason of physics and the laws of the world. Generally though, anything is possible for you.

This idea of maximizing your expectations really begins with opening your mind. I always talk about this concept of having a growth mindset. There is research out there by Carol Dweck, who talks about a fixed mindset vs a growth mindset. The differences are stark in the way that these two mindsets perform in the world. The ones that are fixed are very fixed and they (people) don’t see things changing a lot from where they are at, and they don’t really move forward much in terms of their goals and dreams. Whereas those with a growth mindset are open to growth and possibility. They are open to imagination, knowing that things are not always what they seem to be and they realize things are not static, but forever and constantly changing.

The research is brilliant and this idea of a growth mindset in all areas of our lives serves as a good one. Are you open to having a growth mindset in relation to these things? When it comes to doing homework with your kids, are you saying “Oh, I always sucked at math.” or are you saying “This is grade two math, I’ve got this.” Maximizing your expectations of yourself, knowing that if you read it through, you will figure it out. Expecting the maximum from yourself.

This comes from three things.

1.) Integrity – Very vital. Doing what you say you will do. A lot time we have these great ideas and then we don’t follow through. The follow through is really key, because that allows you reinforce the idea that you can do it.

2.) Idealize – but be realistic. Idealize what my dream scenario for this situation could be. When you have the integrity piece, so that you are being realistic, and you really look deeply into a situation to see what’s truly possible with a sense of curiosity and wonderment. For me, an example was when I was having kids. When I was pregnant, I found people loved to be negative about it, and tell me that for them, it sucked, it was uncomfortable, they recommended I make sure I have drugs available etc., etc. I was really grateful for their input, but I felt the need to connect to my curiosity, wonderment and idealizing, how could it be for me? Could I really write a different story than the one everyone was telling me? Could it really be a more positive experience? Could my mindset affect the pain and discomfort in a more adaptive way? What would that be like realistically?

3.) Implementation – Integrity is whether or not you are going to do it and being real about it. Do you have the skills or could I learn them? Being idealistic by asking what could happen, and then implementing those ideas. Repeating over and over the things that are going to get you there. For me, when I was pregnant and I wanted a pain free, calm birth, I was just really open to the possibility of this. Visualizing it in my mind as if it already happened. It wasn’t just hoping though. I did the work though, everyday. I did affirmations, and tapping which is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) where you tap on the energy meridians in your body to help you realign some of your thought patterns that need clearing/changing. I talked positively about things to others and remained unphased if they wanted to lament about their experience. I didn’t let it penetrate my belief that their experience in no way affected mine. I learned all I could and hired a doula who could help me in the moments I wasn’t going to be thinking clearly for myself. I trusted my intuition and visualized what I wanted the experience to be like. Implementation is about repeating the work, even when all odds are against you and doing it over and over to create the outcome that you desire.

Have you wanted to changed things or outcomes in your life and found these to be important aspects? What do you find helps you face tough situations with a growth mindset?

See you online FitMama!!

Hugs,

Love Jen

Enjoying Your Journey

Enjoying the journey is a unique experience for everyone. I work with lots of women who want lasting change to happen overnight (it can but it might look different than you thought) and so to help you understand how I help my clients, I create models around this stuff because it’s so important to visualize what this really looks like.

What does it really look like to enjoy the journey as a FitMama? I’m going to go through that with you because it’s really about wrapping your head around understanding what it really means.

These days it’s as easy as typing into Google to find an exercise program you can do. At FitMama though, we start with Innercise before Exercise. That’s the inner work, the inner stuff that forms the foundation of your strong physical body. The mind-body connection, the internal stuff that needs to go on before you can get into that groove and just get on with it. When we have a baby we think we are just going to get on with it. Six weeks are going to pass and our doctor’s going to say go for it and we will go along as if nothing changed.

That’s not exactly how it happens and I am here to tell you the truth of that.

I am here to tell you that because it is about enjoying the journey and each of the little phases that you go through in your journey of life do, in fact, matter.

Each of those phases you go through postpartum when you have just had your baby are important for healing and rehabilitation and those little phases need you to be present, excited, happy and joyful understanding that this is just a phase. The inner work needs to get done before the outer work can happen. The same goes with working your deep inner core as we always talk about. Then the external can get stronger and function properly around that core foundation.

And then the outer work will be a better reflection of who you are (and how strong you are) when you do the inner work first. The external stuff of exercising and eating healthy are very important. I talk about those things in terms of vitality, long term health, mental health, longevity and more. They are all very important BUT the key thing is how you approach them. It’s how you approach the day to day stuff that you are going through as a wife, mother, business owner, employee, sister, daughter, friend and all these roles that we play as women. If we don’t do that inner work and make sure that it’s working with us rather than against us, we can notice that the outside becomes a reflection of the inside. When you lay that groundwork, that foundation of you as a person, then all those other things just fall into place. It happens naturally.

Know that exercise is important and will be a part of your life if that’s what you choose, but the innercise, that’s the good stuff. Regardless of your circumstances, inner work keeps you grounded. It’s about the internal environment of ourselves that we can control. We can’t always control others or what is going on around us. What we can control is our reactions to them. We can’t always control the stressors, but we can completely control how they affect us.

The key thing here is about enjoying your journey as a Fitmama, and that starts with the inner work. Exercise is everywhere. It’s about the inner work, doing that so you can lay the foundations of yourself down strong and grounded with that inner peace.

This is what I want for you, to enjoy your life now. Not at some future point when the kids grow up or when you lose 20 pounds, but now.

One of the things I wanted to direct you to is the science behind this. I love to talk about literature and research, not just my own opinions. You know I have them! For me, its about the opinions that I share with you that are grounded in research, that really go back to understanding how we work as humans.

One guy I really love to follow online is Simon Sinek. He’s known well for a TED talk he did all about your WHY. He claims that we know what we do, we know how we do it, for the most part, but we don’t always know WHY we do it. He encourages you to really explore this idea behind your WHY. I really like that. This serves as a solid anchor point or strong foundation that will keep you going when times feel tough.

When it comes to really enjoying this experience as a mom there are three vital points that I want to share with you.

1.) Expectations – It’s about maximizing your expectations yourself. It’s not about following in someone else’s footsteps or doing what someone else always told you you were good at. It’s about your expectations of yourself and maximizing those. Truly believing in yourself and knowing that you an have anything you want. It’s about having these expectations that you maximize and knowing that if anyone can do it, you can do it. That’s a personal choice. If you are pregnant, you can do this by practising affirmations everyday like “I am strong, I know I can handle what is coming my way” and saying it over and over, even if you don’t totally believe yet. You can say it to yourself until you believe it.

2.) Managing Your Obligations – As moms we have all these obligations to others and ourselves everyday that we need to attend to. Whether it’s to our kids or our boss, or house keeping or maintenance or financial expectations or whatever it is. We feel the need to DO all the time. This is about managing those obligations so that you feel in control. These things can become a slippery slope unless you are doing the inner work where you are managing these obligations so you are clear on what you want. So you can be clear on why you do all the things you do and not take care of yourself. There is so much research in the area of the WHY where you can get grounded. When you get clear on this you can get grounded, not be a people pleaser and set up those boundaries, and limitations so that you can still nurture yourself.

3.) Intentions – We all have intentions as it why we are doing things. We probably had intentions when we embarked on motherhood as to why we are having a family. We set intentions prior to doing things. We always have an opportunity to stop, pause and set an intention about how we want things to go, so we aren’t living in this place of reactivity because that can end up being a very stressful situation. If we are proactive and thinking about our intentions, we can maintain those things. If the idea we thought was good continues to be good, we can maintain it. If it turns out it wasn’t so much, we can evolve it. Intentions may shift over time, but when we can maintain motivation and inspiration we will feel like doing the things we said we will do. This helps with that integrity where you can maintain those obligations over time.

So we have our expectations, our obligations and our intentions. Those are three areas we really want to focus on.

What that allows us to do is harmonize these things in a way that makes them work for our life, at this time, in this specific phase of our lives. Not forever. Things that work today may not even work tomorrow but we want to be present and proactive rather than reactive where everyone else’s low expectations of us, or our own for that matter, drives where we are going.

This is when we forget about our intentions and things get crazy.

That ends up being that place of break down. We don’t want that to happen to you. We want you to build on a stronger foundation and FLOURISH. This allows you to truly live, enjoying live and shining your light.

When we get stressed out and overwhelmed that light starts to dim and we get into our reactive place.

More on this topic on our next blog!

See you online FitMama!

Love Jen

Power Up Your Rehab!

Continuing on from our last blog on Rehab I want to break down how those three important R’s help you attain true deep core rehab.

What is rehab

 

Retrain + reframe = persistence on our own journey. This is your journey, no one else’s. You are working to retrain your own core, reframe things for yourself and this will allow you to persist over the long term.

Retrain + regain = pursue different things. When you were so caught up in bootcamp before pregnancy, maybe you never even thought about pilates or yoga. Before baby you loved running, did you ever consider walking?

Reframe + regain = patience. You can have patience with your journey. When you have reframed your mindset, you can be patient with the pace of your recovery. You know that you are doing the right thing and if you stick to it you will fully recover. You know you are in it for the long game. We are clear that we want to still be able to play when we are 80 with our grandkids.

At the bottom of all of that is REHABILITATION, the centre of it all; YOU. Your health, your well being, your longevity. These aren’t things you want to neglect and ignore for 25 years until your kids leave home and you finally realize, “WHAT WAS I THINKING?”

I was a trainer for years and I trained people even 65 and older who are still suffering from back pain and incontinence like we do postpartum, years and years later after 2 or 3 bladder suspension surgeries that didn’t work. If you can take the time now to really internalize no pain, all gain, it’s going to pay dividends for you for years to come.

There’s so much you can do, and it’s fun. It’s about taking care of YOU, in a safe manner.

The top 3 recommendations I make to all Fitmamas;

1.Go see a pelvic floor physiotherapist. This is a specialized physio for the pelvic floor muscle group who is fully educated in pre and postpartum pelvic health. They will do an internal exam and will recommend some internal work for you to get those muscles working properly again. This is a hidden gem for you. When you discover it, and see this person who can help you and tell you what’s really going on down there, they will give you so much power back. They will explain everything. Trust me, they will be like your new best friend. Looking one up in your area is as simple as hitting up google. If you do have a hard time, please contact us at FitMama and we will help connect you with one. We can’t check your pelvic floor for you, but we will happily connect you with local resources.

2. Look into Belly Binding. If you are less than 8-10 weeks postpartum. Understand what it is, and how to do it correctly. It CAN BE DONE INCORRECTLY and this causes pain, discomfort and serious issues. Find out how to do it so it heals, but does not injure. We have recommendations at FitMama and on our YouTube Channel on how to do this properly with a simple tensor bandage. There are definitely more high tech versions (like this one we LOVE) and they are great, it just depends on what you want to spend. Belly binding can be great for you, it’s simply vital that you understand how to do it correctly. It can be super helpful during the first 8-10 weeks postpartum, after that it declines in effectiveness. ***If you are beyond 8-10 weeks pp, then begin by starting daily Core Breathing immediately.

3. Core Rehab! This involves many different things. The first thing we talk about is Core Breathing, this is breathing in the natural way that your deep inner core most effectively functions that changes when you’re pregnant.

All the retraining, reframing and regaining, it’s all leading you to find a rehab program or protocol that works for you.

You can combine lots of different programs and routines that you can find online. We have our own here at FitMama and you can find out more about that by joining the group or contacting us personally to find out what is best for you depending on the stage that you are at now.

Have you rehabbed? Share below or online in our FitMama Facebook Group. 

Hugs,

Love Jen

No Pain, All Gain

I talk to tons of FitMamas everyday and the one thing I find to be the most popular among the new mom crowd is the desire to “get back their body” really, really fast.

This concept needs some serious rethinking in my opinion.

Your body is fully intact, and unbelievably miraculous for going through and doing the things that it’s done, yes? What you want to think about instead is “How can I restore this system that is my body to a more optimal place?”

Today I am going to explain a bit more about what rehab is and why we need to do it.

Why do we need to rehab? First of all because you just had a baby. Imagine the size of your babies head. That came out of your vagina, through your pelvic floor, which is a muscle group of the deep inner core. Damage was done. Even if you had a c-section, you are not exempt from pelvic floor dysfunction and issues that can lie within the deep inner core

Issues like incontinence. Back pain. Prolapse. Painful sex.

It is one of the most common issues that postpartum women have with the deep inner core though and it can be helped. Incontinence is any time you pee that you don’t want to, whether it be laughing, sneezing, jumping, running, it doesn’t matter. There are also different types of incontinence which we won’t go into, but the key thing is that you don’t want it.

Back pain is another major symptom of pregnancy and postpartum. It is most times a symptom of a weak or dysfunctional deep inner core.

Prolapse is a situation where one of your organs actually falls through your pelvic floor. It’s very uncomfortable, sometimes painful and can feel like a little bit or a lot of a heaviness down there. It’s really common, especially in women who return to vigorous exercise too soon after having a baby, and don’t have the right muscle tone, or connection from the brain to the core to appropriately help in that situation.

My biggest recommendation when you are postpartum and you feel the need to sneeze or cough, sit down. That chair will help you in actually supporting your pelvic floor.

Statistics say that these are the top three most common side effects of the postpartum period.  They need to be focused upon though so that they don’t stay for the duration of your life. Even if you don’t have these symptoms right now, they can creep up on your later in life too.

The rehabbing process is super vital.

When it comes to rehab, there are three things for you to consider so that you can create the most effective rehab routine for you.

  1. Retrain – How am I going to retrain the muscles of the deep inner core to work properly? The fact is that our brain connection to our deep inner core changes it’s functional patterns when we are pregnant. During this time there is tons of pressure inside, the baby needs more and more space as it grows. The way that your pelvic floor usually anticipates movement doesn’t work in the same fashion when pregnant. Postpartum those systems continue to work like it has a baby inside because it’s been doing that for the past 10 months. This is why we need to retrain this system and it’s connections so that it returns to working properly.

    A test you can do is put your hand on your lower belly and cough while you’re sitting down. Is your lower belly going in or going out when you cough? A properly functioning core moves in when you cough. This will allow you to know if you muscles have been retrained.

  2. Reframe – While retraining, we have to reframe our mindset. What does it mean to workout? What does it mean to do ab workouts? We have to have a clear understanding of these terms that are in really common use, but we really don’t fully understand what they mean for the most part. People often ask me after they have a baby, “When am I going to get back to my ab workouts?” What do you mean exactly by that? What are your goals? If it’s to have a flatter belly, fit into your clothes, have better sex then “ab workouts” might not be the best route to those goals. So reframe your mindset, your idea of what it means to workout in general, and what it means to workout at this time. This journey that you are taking as a new mom is amazing and beautiful and when you can start to reframe what your expectations are in a way that empowers you, you will be feeling great. I currently have an injury in my back and it causes me a lot of pain and it’s changed how I do things. I really had to go through an intense reframing process of what it means to workout, what does it mean for me to move my body or exercise? This is an evolving question. What does it mean for you? With my back injury I could still go to the gym, do my breathing, rehab and walk everyday, but I wasn’t doing all the things that I used to love doing like bootcamps and marathons because that’s wasn’t where I was at. When you get into this reframing, it really allows you to change the perspective with which you approach things.
  3. Regain – Regain that strength. When you have a baby inside you, even if you workout the whole time, there are things that change. Your body goes through a process. You had a labour and delivery that got that baby out, so now it’s time to regain strength in the areas that are most important to you at this time. It’s all about phases, and we don’t suggest the same things for all the postpartum phases. You are not going to be doing the same things at 6 weeks postpartum as you would be at 1 year postpartum or 5 years, or 25 years. It’s about realizing that there are times and places and when you can regain strength by reframing and retraining, it starts to get to this place of true rehabilitation.

When we think about our core, the part that had all of this stuff happen to it during pregnancy, as the foundation of our house, maybe going back to bootcamp or stroller fit right after having a baby might not be the right time. They are not really ideal to do immediately postpartum. This is a really key time for rehabilitation. Retraining, reframing and regaining are the three vital aspects of the rehab process.

Remember, no pain ALL GAIN. None of things that you are doing for rehab should cause you pain, or bleeding, or any side effects whatsoever other than feeling good, more empowered, fantastic.

Let us know how we can help you on your FitMama journey!

See you online!

Hugs,

Love Jen

Power Up The Possibilities

Creating successful routines
To continue on from our last blog post about routine, it’s amazing how when we follow the 3 Ps, things just start to happen naturally.

When we prioritize and prepare we get into that focused place where we know we have a goal and we know what it will take to achieve it. Yeah, we are going to get thrown off track, and miss workouts, and do random things, but it’s about the majority of the time. Being focussed into what you want. It’s not hardcore, like you are being tested or graded, but it IS on you.   When you can get clear about what you want and prepare for it, you have the focus that you need to have the attention to go for what you want. Your family will benefit from you feeling amazing.

When you prioritize and position yourself as that priority it allows you to follow through. You position it that this is your priority, you have prepared so that you are positioned for success, and then are able to just follow through. You just go through the motions.

The third piece is when you prepare and position yourself, you get into that state of flow. We don’t always have to rely on that willpower which is a limited resource, it’s about prioritizing, preparing and positioning yourself so that you get into the flow. I call it the FitMama Flow. It’s that place where things seem to feel easy. We always think it has to be hard in order for it to be worth it. We let other people’s thoughts about this infiltrate our thoughts but the truth is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Feeling fit and energized and excited can be easy if you practice and follow these steps to create that routine then you can get into that Fitmama Flow.

So the 3 things that I am going to suggest to you today will get you into that flow. These will help you create those habits that take you from needing will power to implement to it just being part of your daily routine to move, or do whatever it is that you have set your intention to do. It can be sitting and creating that mindfulness practice.

You will notice that the days you don’t do it, you will feel differently than those other days.

Here we go:

  1. Schedule it in – Yes, I mean like you would a doctor’s appointment. Instead of seeing a specialist, you are making an appointment with the specialist within you to take care of you. You’re appointment with yourself and hands down, the most important appointment you will make. Schedule it in and make sure you do it everyday. Carve the time out.
  2. Surround yourself with like minded people – Yes, it is true. The stats are out there show that the five people that we spend the most time with most strongly influence how we think, what we do and what we say. Take stock. Who are those people for you? How are they influencing you? Are the lifting you up and helping you become what you want to become? Or are they dragging you down? Making you engage in behaviours you don’t really like? Remember no one can make you do anything, but they are influencing you. You will notice that when you hang out with certain people, you feel crappy. When you hang out with others, you feel better. Hang out with those that make you feel better. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who share similar goals and values as yourself, that help you, keep you encouraged and keep you motivated on your path. Life is journey, not a destination. Anyone that tells you that it’s a destination is fooling themselves. They are telling themselves that when they get “there” they will be fulfilled, happy, a better person. It’s not the case. Every single day of your life is a reflection of your entire life. Surrounding yourself with people who get you and support you is really important.
  3. Supporting Someone Else – It seems kind of unorthodox, I know. You think, “if we aren’t doing something consistently ourselves yet how can we help someone else?” But ask yourself this: What do you want to do more consistently? Who do you love hanging out with who has similar goals? Who of those people can you help support on their journey? It’s about supporting someone else in their goals that will boost you up and ensure you stick to your own goals. You won’t feel good about checking in with that person if you haven’t stuck to your own commitment to your priorities that week. It helps keep you motivated and accountable.

So get out there, do some stuff, have some fun and create some routines. And remember that it’s those day to day habits that are really going to be what your life looks like at the end of the day.

Have a great day Fitmama!

See you online.

Hugs,

Love Jen

Rock Your Routine

It’s so common that we create these intricate, fabulous and detailed routines for our families, or specifically our babies, but we don’t create that same kind of routine mentality for ourselves.

It’s so vital though.

All the statistics talk about how important it is to have the regularity and routine. The exercise psychology data shows that the best time to workout is the time you are most likely to do it. It’s not about fitting yourself into a box. The data also shows that creating routines around your exercise and making it consistent is vital. At FitMama we talk about moving your body everyday. It’s not just about going to the gym five days a week, or boot camping it up or cross fit three times a week or whatever. It’s just about creating routine for yourself. What happens when we do this is it becomes like brushing your teeth.

We don’t wake up in the morning and decide not to brush our teeth because we did it yesterday. We just do it because it’s part of our routine.

It’s vital to take care of yourself, and creating a routine makes it a no brainer. These kinds of habit routines are what take the thinking aspect out of it, to make it just automatic. It makes sure that you actually follow through with the goal you are working to achieve.

How do you create a routine?

I am going to help you with that. When you have kids it becomes so much more important that you create a routine around the demands of your life that ensures that you do what it takes to care for yourself. How are you going to find those windows of opportunity?

  1. PRIORITIZE – It’s about getting clear on what it is that you want. What is the most important thing for you? Yes, our babies and children are important. We can easily get into the habit of reactively living our lives and dealing with whatever comes at us as it comes at us. We really need to focus to proactively go after what we want. Being a mom automatically comes with tons of responsibilities, and if we don’t claim our space and our time it’s going to get eaten up by all those loving people in our lives that we need to nurture. All our time can easily get eaten up though, leaving our needs neglected. Years and years can go by. I am sure you have realized that time seems to fly. So, after your kids, what’s next? What do you want to prioritize for your health and well being on all levels? It really helps to write them down.
  2. PREPARE – If we want to get up in the morning and meditate, or go to the gym or drink a coffee in peace and quiet, we need to prepare. If you baby gets up at 8, then in order to get up at 7, you need to get your clothes into the bathroom the evening before, set the coffee pot to auto and set your alarm. This puts it into automatic mode and takes the thinking component right out of it. Then you are much less likely to talk yourself out of it. When you prioritize, you set the foundation. Preparation makes it happen.
  3. POSITION YOURSELF – Sounds a bit technical, but stick with me. When you position yourself for success, it’s more likely that you will succeed. We can easily position ourselves for no success. We do this by not preparing and not getting to bed early enough and letting the thousand other things get in the way. This leads to years of not taking care of yourself. When you position yourself for success, it’s about setting yourself up to be successful. It’s about pencilling it in to your agenda. You set yourself up for success by positioning yourself as a priority.

    It takes some time to practice this. It’s not normal for us, not the way we are conditioned in our society. We are taught to take care of everyone else before ourselves. This is about taking back that space. It’s those daily routines that truly reflect our lives.

How do you find creating routines has worked for you? Is this a concept you are implementing or still figuring out how to do. Share in the comments below or online at the FitMama Facebook group!

Hugs,

Love Jen

Nurturing the FitMama

As FitMamas and as women we love to nurture others.  We take care of our families and our friends, fix things, and make others feel good.  Who doesn’t love to do this? It’s part of the corner stone of what makes us awesome, caring people.

Here’s the thing though.  We don’t have unlimited energy and resources to draw upon.  Anything that is physically, emotionally or mentally demanding draws upon our will power reserve.  This is why we often fail to show up for our selfcare practices.  We spend so much of our will power bank on others that we simply don’t have enough left for ourselves at days end.

When you are immediately postpartum this is especially important.

Our body has too much healing to do in the 8-10 week period immediately following birth, and it has been through the incredibly demanding experience of pregnancy and childbirth.  This drains our resources.

Time to build them back up so you can get healed!

Nurturing yourself is how you refill this pool.

Here at FitMama we educate you on how to do that.

Rest, rehab, and routine are the keys to nurturing yourself right now.  Let others take care of you.  Get in bed and stay in bed for five full days after you come home from the hospital.  Rest allows your body to do what it was designed to do, which is heal itself.

The FitMama golden rule here is “Stay flat for 5” which means: DON’T DO STAIRS FOR FIVE FULL DAYS AFTER BIRTH.

That’s right, I said FIVE FULL DAYS. Go downstairs for the day and then up at night if you must. Otherwise just stay on one level and don’t go too far!

Staying hydrated, getting the rest you need and developing a deep core breathing practice will help you to build your reserves back up so that you can wholeheartedly take on your new FitMama lifestyle.

Share this with someone who is pregnant right now, so they can have the best start to their postpartum journey too!

Comment below with questions or join us in the FitMama Group online!

Hugs,

Love Jen

Postpartum Rest: Not in Jest

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I am sure you were told by your doctor or midwife after you had a baby that you “should rest.”

How did that go for you? REALLY, how did it go? Did you take that advice seriously? I know initially I didn’t. Truthfully, I didn’t know how.

I didn’t really realize at the time how important it was. I just wanted to get on with things.

But let me tell you…it IS very important! We are so used to doing things as women, wives and moms, and taking care of everything that we can easily forget – we are human beings, not human doings, we don’t need to always be do do doing!

I am here to remind you why exactly it’s so important.

Why is it so important to rest after we have a baby? And I don’t mean just take a couple of days off. I mean like really really rest. Like enter a resting phase that lasts 2-4 months. Yes! it’s possible. It’s wise and yes, you can do it.

Trust me, I understand, we are so excited after we have a baby! Yeah, maybe we are tired and up all night, but we also are often so fired up. We think about all the things we want to do with our bodies that we haven’t been able to do for a while because we had a baby inside. We want to get back in action. I totally get it.

That being said, there is a time and a place for being active and there is a time and a place for rest. The key time for rest is in that first 8 – 10 weeks after you have your baby. That is a very vital time when your body is naturally healing. There is a lot of stuff going on hormonally, physiologically, neurologically, emotionally, spiritually, physically and more. Everything is changing, moving, adapting. It’s really important for us to take the time for our bodies to heal and rehabilitate naturally. That’s where rest comes in. It’s absolutely vital.

Sometimes we don’t want to, but it’s a key to The FitMama Way.

This time is needed for rehabilitation and restoration of the deep inner core, as well as for the healing of the very common diastasis recti (thinning of linea alba and separation of your abs) which needs this time of rest (lessened intra-abdominal pressure postpartum) so it can naturally come back together and heal up. Getting back into those “ab workouts” will do exactly the opposite of what you want when healing your core from pregnancy and birth.

There are many things we can to accelerate the healing process, but most of the time we do things that decelerate the healing process. We take steps back in our healing because we want to do so much, entertain, nurture others. We think we need and want to do it all, and we feel energized.

We need take this energy use it to heal up. Every time you stand up: downward pressure is placed on the pelvic floor. Each time you climb the stairs, it splits the pelvic floor, causing those muscles to have to contract and work in a way they may not be yet ready for, due to the natural changes that went on with pregnancy and traumas of childbirth.

 

I am always encouraging FitMamas to “Stay flat for five.” Stay on one level for five days. Take the escalator down at the hospital. Only climbing stairs once a day at maximum. Go downstairs for the day if you must, or stay in bed all day.

 

I really want you to think of it as a three step process. A lot of us don’t know how to rest. We have to learn these tools. It doesn’t always come naturally.

You may think, oh it’s not a big deal, I’m not going to the gym. This is not what I am talking about though. You are going up and down stairs, getting people drinks, cooking people food, taking care of your baby and other kids, doing laundry or standing and doing dishes…these things are not considered rest!

 

No!!! Those are activities of daily living that yes, we must do. But in the first 5-10 days postpartum, it is a time for those you love to step up and allow your pelvic floor to heal – so that you can once again get back to doing all the things you love in life. Those who love you will understand!

 

  1. The first step to rest is ACCEPTANCE – accept the situation at hand. Does it mean that you are going to be resting forever? Unfortunately no 🙂 Does it mean that you’ll never get back to the things you want to do? No! It just means that this is time that you are accepting a new normal for you. Your body is never the same after you have a baby. Once you are postpartum you are always postpartum. And there are a lot of things you can do in terms of retraining and rehabbing that will make you stronger than ever before. It’s about understanding that at this point, the first 8 – 10 weeks ACCEPTANCE of your situation as your current phase is part of the game plan.
  2. The second step is ASKING. Once we have accepted that this is your new normal for now, the second step is asking for help. I know right?! It’s difficult for us. We want to be able to do everything ourselves. We want to go out and put on our super hero capes and make sure everything is perfect, and take care of everyone else along the way. There is no perfection. If you are striving for perfection, especially with a newborn, it’s going to come back at you in a very negative way. Thinking about “what can I not do myself that I can ask for help with?” People want to help you. They really do. Ask them.
  3. Step 3 is ALLOW. Allowing that time, that first 8-10 weeks or that first 6-12 months and realizing that these are key periods of time where our body is naturally rehabbing and restoring but it’s never going to be able to do so fully unless you allow it to. Allowing that time for you to adjust and your family to adjust, and your body to adjust is vital and it requires rest.

Don’t worry FitMama, there will be plenty of time to be running all over the place again!

Who do you know that is pregnant and could benefit from this information? Please share now!

Did you take the time to rest after you had a baby? Was it or is it hard for you to rest?

Comment below and join the conversation in the FitMama Facebook Support Group!

See you online,

Hugs,

Love Jen

 

Assertiveness is Self Care

Day5mindfulness

Assertiveness is self care. Sometimes we have to kindly demand (to ourselves and others) that we will take care of our needs. During the holidays and really any time of year, this includes moving your body and getting your heart pumping.

This workout is a quickie that will leave you feeling fabulous! Do it today!

and this workout will just be about 15 minutes of your day and will give you at least more than an hour back in improved energy, probably more.

Asking those we love for what we truly want is not always easy. But assertiveness is key for positive mental health.

Make some time for you today and try this quickie workout to get your body moving and feeling fabulous!

Here are some ways in which you can ensure that you make a priority for your own needs by practicing assertiveness…

Three DON’Ts:

  1. Don’t feel guilty for asking to have 30 minutes to yourself. Let go of all guilt and put your needs higher up the ranks of the “very important things to take care of today” list.
  2. Don’t assume that your partner is less capable that you at taking care of your children. They just do it differently, and micromanaging often turns into a disaster.
  3. Don’t feel like taking time for yourself is any less important than cleaning, laundry, taking care of your babes or anything else. Realize that a little YOU time in the day for self care activities like meditation, stretching, quiet time, a nap, exercising or a bath are an integral component of being a truly happy, present parent.

Three DO’s:

  1. Do plan things in advance – so that your partner and kids know what is coming, springing things on people is not always the best, and will be more welcomed if planned sooner.
  2. Do make it a regular thing, so everyone can know, oh it’s that time of day for Mom again – Mom time! All parties involved like routine and when they know what to expect.
  3. Do stick to it like it is an appointment with a specialist you have been waiting months for….you have been waiting months for some guilt free you time right?! Just do it!!

I guarantee you if it feels uncomfortable to do any of the above, that just means you need more of it.

Let us know how it goes for you! Please report to us in the FitMama Facebook Group how your mindful self care routine is going!

Hugs,

Love Jen

 

Abs Are Made On The Cushion

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of FitnessDoulaAbs are made on the cushion is my play on words from the popular adage in fitness “Abs are made in the kitchen,” which I do believe to be true in the most literally physical sense. But when it comes to longevity, overall mind body health and happiness, I believe mine to be more accurate. Here I will explain why and how.

Anyone who has worked out before knows that no matter how hard you work out, if you go and eat junk food or even just overeat for your needs, your abs (and overall physique) will not reflect all the hard work that you have done.

Now, it’s not all about appearances though. It’s more about about how you feel and how you function. If you are working out hard and eating foods that keep you lean and ripped in the midsection but leave you feeling drained, deprived and dull…your abs, and more importantly you, will suffer in the long term.

What does this mean? You need to take care of the whole you, especially your mental/emotional wellbeing, for you to really shine your light from within and walk with the confidence you want to project outwardly.

What you eat plays an enormous role in how much body fat you are carrying, yes, but how you feel about yourself, how much self love, self care, sleep and personal time you have all play an even more important role in your mind body health.

The reason I bring idea up that “Abs are made on the cushion” is because so often we get caught up in the “diet and exercise” aspects of our physical appearance without considering the massive impact that our mindset, outlook, daily loving self care routines and attitudes play in every aspect of our lives, even our abs.

When you make a concerted effort to cultivate a daily mindfulness practice (meditation, relaxation, journalling) you will start to reflect through your behaviours your deeper desires and needs – which will show you that you have enough already, and you don’t look to something external (like more exercise or counting calories and banning foods) to fulfill you. Life will naturally flow and you will feel like your efforts feel effortless and your results are exactly on point.

You will naturally feel satisfied with less food, you will naturally choose foods aligned with your deep love for yourself and you will look to food as fuel and vitality instead of comfort and escape.

I look forward to hearing from you about how this goes for you!

Hugs,

Love Jen

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