Join me on an 18-week journey to lose my “mummy tummy” and gain back strength to my core, and hopefully eliminate the back pain that comes with being a mom! All with the Tupler Technique to fix my Diastasis Recti.
Baby Pooch, better known as a Diastasis Recti
Loving your body after you have a baby, or two or three, is hard, let's face it. None of us ladies like having saggy bellies and a little pooch. This is something I'd finally made peace with after my second baby and just thought I was doomed to have a pooch the rest of my life, and that was okay because look what I had to show for it! Know what I learned? I don't have to live with this the rest of my life! There is something I can do about it and take care of my chronic back pain at the same time.
Ever heard of a diastasis recti? Some kind of weird disease you pick up in the jungle? Nope! It's a separation of the outermost abdominal muscles, that can be caused by pregnancy, improper core exercises (sit ups are the worst) and lack of exercise. The job of those muscles, the rectus abdominis, is to support your back and organs. It is also a weakening of the connective tissue in between those walls of muscles – the linea alba. Ever noticed, for those who've been preggo, that some develop a brown line down the middle of the abdomen? That's the linea alba being stretch and pulled. If left untreated, it can lead to chronic back pain and even a hernia! Not surprisingly, it is practically ignored by the medical community and many are not treated for it to prevent major problems from occurring. That's what I'm so excited to share this program with you! Information is power!
Three Babies Later…
Many of you already know I have three precious, messy little boys, ages 5, 3, and 1. They are each 22 months apart, so I have really struggled with back pain. Two years before having our first son, I injured my back hiking in the Alps – I had a bulging disc with horrible pain. With chiropractors and exercises with a lot of stretching, I got much better, but the pain never really went away. Little did I know I was doing incorrect core workouts and creating weakness in my core!
My Belly Looks like the Grand Canyon!
So, then came three babies, lots of carrying, picking up, bending over…and terrible back pain. I have basically either been pregnant or had a new baby for the past four years! Years of yoga, stretching, ballet, massage and chiropractic care have all been very helpful, but have not gotten rid of the problem yet. Not to mention, the more I'd exercise the more pain I would have! Then after my third baby, I started noticing that my belly looked VERY strange when I'd lie on my back – there was this gap, like a canyon in the middle of my belly. I thought it was just something that would go away, but then a friend of mine talked about diastasis recti and the Tupler Technique so I set out to research and learn all about it. I knew it must be what I had because, after going on the Paleo/GAPS diets and losing all of the baby weight from all my babies PLUS some, I still had a belly. I weighed less than I did before I had my first, yet I still looked three months pregnant. So, I knew something wasn't right.
I Chose the
Tupler MUTU Technique
UPDATE – I can no longer recommend the Tupler Technique. It was not for my personality AT ALL! It was very tedious and only focuses on the belly, not strengthening all the supporting muscles. After three weeks of doing it, I was starting to notice a difference in my “mummy tummy,” BUT I was going crazy from the tedious exercises. So, I switched to the MUTU technique! I did it for 16 weeks on and off and did notice a very nice change in the strength of my core and a flatter belly, but then I got preggo again! So, I haven't been able to fully finish. But I will go right back to it about six weeks after this baby is born. I LOVED the program – the videos are so helpful, friendly and the exercises are not tedious or hard to do. I bought the 12 Week Learn more here!
I came across Julie Tupler's, The Tupler Technique, and decided to go with it as there are many testimonials of women who've healed their bellies with this program. The training includes three exercises that you do three times a day for 18 weeks, (yes, 18 weeks!), and a splint that you wear the entire time. Plus, you learn how to properly get up and down, and how to use your transverse muscles properly to support your torso.
Now, the program isn't for the weak – it takes commitment and motivation! To be perfectly honest, I have been putting it off for weeks because I've been so intimidated by that number – 18. I've been doing an 8-week training boot camp for another part of my business and I thought that sounded long when I started it, but then it went by so fast I can hardly believe it's over! It snapped me into gear and now and I realized I can do this! I mean, I did give birth to three kids AND have managed to keep them alive, so I can do anything, right? Us mamas are strong people. I was given very good advice to look at it one day at a time, and not as 18 weeks. Plus, I'm going to write about it, which gives me tons of motivation to keep going.
Wanna know some really good news? You can heal your belly at ANY time! Even if you had babies 30 years ago, your tummy can still be healed with this program!
What Comes in the Kit?
You get a handbook/journal which helps you remember the exercises to do and keep track of your progress, a splint (you chose your size), and a very informative DVD. It is so packed with information, in fact, that I've had to watch it a couple of times to learn the exercises and commit them to memory.
I'll Share My Progress With You
Yup, I'll give you updates at weeks 3, 6 and 18. I hope you're gonna watch my belly shrink, and you'll hear about my struggles to stick with it along the way. As many of us already know, the things in life that are worth having and doing take sacrifice and hard work, right? So, LET'S DO THIS!
I hope my journey and story will inspire other mamas and anyone who suffers from chronic back pain to check to see if they also have a diastasis recti, or a separation. You are now empowered with information to know what to do about it, but you must be the one to take the first step! Have any of you done a program like this? Please share your stories in the comments below.
Starting Point Measurements
In the handbook, you keep track of these measurements along the way to track your progress. Here are my starting measurements:
Diastasis Width: 2-3 fingers wide at the widest part, 7-8 fingers long
Connective Tissue Condition: Medium (about 1-2 inches deep)
Body Circumference Measurements: Under Chest – 29.5 inches, Waist 28.5 inches, and Belly Button 32 inches
Check Yourself for a Diastasis Recti
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Curl your head forward, just barely lifting your shoulders off the floor. Look at your belly, near the belly button. Then, see if you find a gap around your belly button. If you can stick two or more fingers going across your belly button, you have a separation. You also want to determine the length and depth of it – mine is about 7-8 fingers long, 2 fingers wide at the widest point, and about 1 inch deep. Some I've seen have a 3-5 finger width, which is much more severe, but can still be healed!
Watch this video and read the article to check your own condition.