This summer, as I waited for new tires to be put on my car, I waited in a near by bookstore and looked for a book that was on my personal development list. None of the books that I was looking for were on the shelves but one caught my eye. It was a book that had been recommended repeatedly but the title was a turn off so I kept passing it over each month.
With some time to kill, I went ahead and picked it up and began reading. Within the first couple of chapters, I had tears in my eyes and I could feel things that were broken inside me beginning to heal just through reading it!
Needless to say, I bought the book and this summer I have read it again and again and again! I began to be excited about my future for the first time in years, I began to feel God's love and favor on my life in a way that I hadn't before. I began seeing my worth on a whole new level paired with a passion to help others reach this revelation as well.
Then yesterday, I was at church and we had a guest speaker who started preaching some of these same truths, reminding me of all that God has done in my life this summer. The message became even more powerful when he said, " Just as God spoke things in to being, since we are created in HIS image, we also have the power to speak things into being. It says in Matthew 18, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.' "
There is such power is our words and in our thoughts. Part of designing our lives, is speaking our intentions and desires out loud and breaking the negative words of others in our lives.
If you have had people speak negative words over you, if you have been told you can't succeed, you are a failure, you are no good, you can take control by speaking the truth to yourself and to others. If YOU were the one that spoke those words over yourself you can break those too! You , my friend, were created for a purpose with as much ability to succeed as anyone! You CAN do the things that intimidate you! You CAN create a life you are proud to live and you can make an incredible impact on this world!
You were made to stand out and shine and bless this world with your unique skill set! You deserve more than a mediocre life! it's time to use the power of your words to create an atmosphere you WANT to live in!
My journey began with a workout program and a challenge group that encouraged me to start putting time into personal development. Surrounding myself with people that are dedicated to personal growth has radically changed my life!
We have a new group starting on October 3rd and we would LOVE to have you join us!
Message me for more details or comment below with your email and I will message you!
What is Diastasis Recti?
Over the last year as I have been running challenge groups, I have met so many women that have Diastasis Recti and are completely unaware! In most cases, it’s not a serious problem, but if you start working out the muscles before they are healed it can get ugly fast! Let’s dive in!
Diastasis recti generally happens during pregnancy when the two large parallel bands of abdominal muscles separate due to the expanding uterus. Some women’s ab muscles go back to normal after the baby is born, and some do not, or after one pregnancy went back to normal but after another did not! This separation can look different for each of us. See the Diagram below!
The good news is that the diastasis caused by pregnancy can be corrected with exercises and stretches designed to optimize deep core muscular function. So ladies, don’t worry—your body wants to function right, and it will. We just need to wake up the right core muscles and teach them what to do!
Now how this happens and why it is worse for some women, no one is 100% sure. But we can hypothesize. It’s been said to be hereditary, but it may also be caused by working out your abs too soon after a baby is born, or even doing the wrong exercises WHILE pregnant.
We will be showing you in a later post how to self check so you will more clearly understand how this affects you. If you notice in the diagram there are several different ways that the Diastasis can be open, below the navel, above the navel, or completely open as well. For some, you may notice that when you do an ab exercise it looks odd and lumpy or even something protruding out of your skin. This would be your intestines pushing through the open space between the muscles.
If you are anything like me, you are ready to vomit now, right? Don’t worry! We are here to help! If this goes untreated, it is possible to suffer a major intestinal hernia, especially if you start training hard to get your body back into pre pregnancy condition. It’s important to remember that you just created a HUMAN so take it slowly and give your body the time it needs to recover.
Here are a handful of factors that make a woman more susceptible to diastasis recti:
Having more than one child/pregnancy
Having pregnancies close together
Being over the age of 35
Having big babies
Having multiple births
I know…some of you are looking at this list realizing you’ve been double—or even quadruple—whammied! (I’m raising my hand to a couple). Diastasis recti is very common—about 67% of all postpartum women have it.
Now, let’s talk about our options moving forward. We can go the immediate and potentially easy (but expensive) route with surgery. BUT, surgery is not always recommended if you are still in your childbearing years…I mean think about it, one more baby, and you’ll pop them right back apart! As well, there is no guarantee that surgery will be 100% effective.
So for me, at-home exercises and remedies are the way to go. Anytime I can avoid going under the knife, I will. And worst case? If the exercises don’t work, surgery as an option is always going to be there.
A lot of this boils down to doing the RIGHT exercises. Often people jump into exercises that worked before child bearing (swing ups, sit ups, V ups, knees to bar, etc), but in reality, these moves are working against you by ONLY working your Rectus Abdominus. The REAL muscles that needed working are known as the Transversus Abdominis and Lumbar Multifidus. These are the the most neglected of the ab muscles, but also happen to be arguably the most important. They lie beneath the Rectus Abdominus, supporting posture, controlling breathing during heavy lifts, and supporting the back. These are the muscles elite athletes work to add explosive power to training and are also the muscles we mamas need to work to relieve back pain, create a tighter midsection, AND improve our diastasis recti. Tomorrow we will be hearing from Ashley! Her story and how this worked for her, then we will dive in and start self checks and teach you how to do the correct exercises!
It is a privilege to be here sharing with you all! Thank you for taking the time to join us! This is a topic that I've become passionate about because I was affected by it and through sharing my journey have met so many other women who were unaware as well. Please feel free to pass on this information and to send people our way if we can serve them! My story has been a rollercoaster! Always a couple sizes larger than my sisters, I assumed that I was built differently. I didn’t focus much on nutrition but I was average height and weight. The story changed when I got pregnant. I felt free to eat what I wanted and by the end of the pregnancy I had gained 55 pounds. I put a lot of stress on my body which showed in stretch marks and before I had lost the weight, I was pregnant again with my second daughter. My wake up call was that I weighed more when my second daughter was 4 months old than I did at my 6 week check up. I got started on my health and wellness journey at that very moment. I started off with baby steps with a goal of 5 pounds that led to 15 pounds that eventually led to a 60 pound weight loss. Learning how my body was supposed to feel when it was fueled properly changed my life! I actually found that I was in fact shaped JUST like my sisters and the difference between us had always been nutrition.
My husband and I decided to have more children so my body, that had already been through tons of crazy changes, got to experience pregnancies fueled on healthy food and exercise and I had a completely different experience. Because I had cared for my body and had muscle tone, my body went back to its original form much sooner, I felt better during my pregnancies, and I put my body through less stress!
It wasn’t until my 17 week check up with my fourth baby #4 though that I heard the term Diastasis Recti. I had a different midwife than my first three babies. She informed me of the separation and told me of one pregnancy safe exercise to do in an attempt at preventing it from getting worse.
I did my exercises daily and I hoped that it wouldn't worsen, but at my 6 week postpartum check up, my midwife informed me that it was 4 finger widths wide and very deep. I wasn't told how to heal it or how to keep it from getting worse. I couldn't even find very much information on the subject. I continued doing my workouts and the one exercise they had told me about months prior.
One day, I was looking at a photo I took of my stomach and noticed that it looked as though I had a sink hole forming down the center of my stomach. I began to do more research and discovered that having this separation can lead to back pain, rounded belly, and hernias among other things. I also learned that certain exercises I was doing can make it worse. I continued to workout daily and I replaced exercises that were exacerbating the problem with ones specifically to heal my diastasis recti and I began to notice change in just a matter of weeks. My stomach looked flatter, that "sink hole" wasn’t as deep, my lower back was no longer aggravated by exercise.
Not only did I notice change in my stomach by closing this separation but these exercises are focused on strengthening the transverse abdominal muscles which also connect to your pelvic floor. (If you've ever had to cross your legs when you sneeze, you know what I'm talking about.)
Our bodies go through so much during pregnancy and these hidden ailments are often overlooked until they start causing medical problems. For 67% of women who have diastasis recti(and/or pelvic floor issues)after pregnancy it is just a matter of time.
If you are wondering if you have Diastasis Recti, we will be teaching you how to self check tomorrow and on day 4 of the group we will be showing you the exercises you can do to start the healing process! Nutrition is very important too, not just because your baby needs it but because if you aren’t getting the nutrition that you need, it’s harder for your body to heal. We get a lot of bad advice in our culture about “ eating for two” and jokes about cravings, but the reason we crave things is because our body is signalling that it needs more nutrients. It wants you to eat more in an attempt to gather the nutrients it needs to run efficiently! If we make conscious healthy choices, we crave less! Most people are surprised to learn that in the second trimester you only need an extra 350 calories a day and only 500 calories extra a day in the third trimester.If you have questions about nutrition, we have a website where we share the nutritional info that we use in our challenge groups and we would love to put the tools in your hands for free! Though Diastasis Recti isn’t something that you can completely prevent, you can put less stress on your body through eating well and managing your weight which will create less pressure on the ab muscles!
Below you can see the comparison before I started working on my Diastasis Recti and afterward, next is a picture of myself at 6 weeks postpartum ( you can visually see the below navel Diastasis Recti) I also posted a picture of each of my pregnancies at 34 weeks, I want you to have a vision for what is possible when you practice self care throughout your pregnancy!
Self Check info
If you’re not sure if you are among the lucky few that steered clear of this pregnancy consequence, here’s an easy way to find out:
Lie on your back with your knees bent, soles of your feet close to your booty.
Place one hand behind your neck and the other hand on your abdomen with your fingertips flat at your belly button, fingers facing downward.
Gently push your fingertips into your abdomen while rolling your upper body off of the floor, chin towards the ceiling.
Feel for a separation between those two ab muscles.
Experts say that a 2-2.5 finger or more spread signals diastasis recti.
Refer back to the graphic from Day one and keep in mind that your DIastasis Rectic might be in the upper or lower abdomen, not just the center. You may even be open all over, so take time to feel it out. Below tell us about your self check!
How many finger widths were you? Could you tell where your opening was ( if you had one)?
Ok, ladies! I know this can be a little discouraging for some of you but the good news is that now you KNOW and you can take action! If you follow through and do these exercises you WILL see progress! Remember that you need to avoid ab exercises that make it worse like planks and crunches. If you are currently doing a program, stop all the ab exercises they have you doing and do these in their place until you are down to a 1-1.5 finger width.
Here is our favorite video on the topic. It goes over the self check again in the beginning. Try them today and share how you feel and any questions you have. If you have been doing a harder work out you will find these simple BUT you will also feel them later! These are working out muscles you ARENT working out with traditional ab exercises so don't be surprised if they make you feel sore! That's a good thing!
Some closing thoughts! Watch below!
One of the things I love about reading my favorite books or watching my favorite movies for the umpteenth time is that, even after all this time, I hear things that I've missed all the other times because my focus was elsewhere.
Tonight ,I was watching Garden State and this line that had never affected me before, brought me to tears. It's only been in the last couple years that I finally stopped trying to fit the square peg that is me into the round hole that is what has been expected of me. My whole life, in one area or another,I've been trying to round out my beautiful edges to fit in to something of which I don't even want to take part! It made me feel dull and unimpressive.
It's so freeing to simply be what you are and be release from trying to alter yourself to please others. Grow? By all means! Conform? Never. We have this one life and it goes by SO fast! Don't waste it by trying to be what you are not!
I'm weird. I can be intense. I love deep conversations. I ask too many questions. I prefer the cold hard truth and I search for it in unlikely places. I get anxious before any large social event. I hate sports. I love books and tea and thunderstorms and cats. I don't do superficial well...at all!
Not everyone likes me. Not everyone approves of me or how I live my life but I've come to terms with that. Bless and release. When you are fully you, you watch the wrong people filter out but the right people can find you because you are willing to be seen.
I used to think it was scary to be seen but I've realized that it's scarier to go through your whole life and never find your tribe. I'm not the only weirdo in the bunch and neither are you! So, let's allow ourselves to be whatever it is that we are and release others to do the same! ❤️
When I was 10, my gorgeous, grown, newly married cousin, who I adored, invited me to come out to California to visit her. I was beyond excited! Except that people kept telling that I was going to bail and not go. I argued with them all. I packed my bag, I went to the airport with my parents (back when they got to wait at the gate with me!)...and then something was wrong with the plane. We waited about an hour and then they called us to board. I was struck with fear about getting on the plane and everything that had been said to me hit me like a load of bricks and I backed out.
My cousin watched me as long as she could, waving me to change my mind and come with her and I couldn't. I went home.
It was a terrible feeling. Other people telling me I didn't have the nerve only to find out they were right! I promised myself next time I would push through and I learned to do just that! Ive traveled a lot, I've taken risks. Once my best friend and I went on a random road trip with no plan and just let life happen for a few days ( SO FUN!), I went to Las Vegas by myself. I took dance classes, art classes, took a concealed weapons class just for the hell of it. When opportunities come my way, I try to say yes to life whenever I can! If I feel fear, I run to meet it.
But in the beginning, the fear is always there. The only way to get rid of it is to move forward, to push yourself outside your comfort zone, and then in retrospect you laugh at how silly the fear seemed in the first place, until a new fear pops up! The secret isn't waiting until you aren't afraid, its doing it anyway so that you see there is actually nothing of which to be afraid!
It's easier to NOT make a change than it is to make a change. We put things off just not wanting to make decisions or because we don't feel completely ready to commit and yet time passes anyway! How many months, or even years, have gone by for you and still life remains the same. Same fears, same longings for a different life. Where would you be today if you started right away? Most of us already know what we WANT, its a matter of being willing to commit, possibly fail, and have to work our butts off to make it happen! You are just one decision away from a totally different life. A life you design.
I'm starting a new challenge group soon and I want you to consider joining us. Practice starting something and finishing. Practice discipline and self control. Watch your fears fall away and the things you desire come to fruition. It doesn't just affect one area of your life! You get that fire under you and you get motivated to make changes across the board. Seeing that you have the power to make changes fuels the desire to make more, and that's what makes life exciting! All the glorious untapped potential!
If you are feeling blah about your life, if you know you need to start working on your health, if you aren't happy in your own skin, let's make a change! I promise I will lead you through it!
To join a challenge group sign up here:
To apply to become part of my team and take advantage of my mentorship program, apply here!
Our thoughts drive our actions. If we truly want to impact the world and change our circumstances it must first start with the belief that we can! Choose your thoughts wisely!
I was fortunate to stumble upon things I was passionate about young, things I had skill for and parents that supported me emotionally and, when they could, financially. I dual enrolled while I was in high school and had a photography degree at 17. I started a business, I became a buyer, I traveled. From the outside, my life seemed pretty great and it was, but fear has always had a hold on me. If I wasn't a "natural" at something I pulled back. I didn't often do things I knew I wouldn't be great at, and let me tell you, the times I did ended up being the most amazing life experiences that I have had to date!
I took a drawing class as an elective and I felt so sick walking into that class, I thought I would puke, but I survived! I was surrounded by crazy talented people that loved what they did and were ecstatic that I wanted to learn! I didn't create any physical masterpieces but I added to the masterpiece that is my self. I was transformed in that class and my idea of what I could accomplish became much wider.
However, no matter how many single experiences that I had like that one, fear still reigned. What people thought and failing publicly has hindered me a lot in my life. In the last couple years, I have decided to bust that wide open! To live for me, to have the experiences that I want to have, to build a life that I am proud of and that means failing!
It means that I try lots of things that I am not good at, it means valuing the life experience more than my reputation, it means living an open and vulnerable life and in the process encouraging other people to do the same.
Friends, I will be under construction until I breathe my last breath! We all should be. But with construction come delays. I spent 4 years in a funk that I couldn't seem to wrap my head around, but when the clarity came, I ran with it.
Be active in your life. Be looking for answers. Be willing to try new things. Be willing to try old things. Instead of quitting, let delays fuel your determination. Break up with fear!
When you start listing reasons why you want to do something, NEVER let other people's opinions be a factor. I'm only in my 30's but I can tell you this, I deeply regret every moment I said no to my life because of popular opinion or other fear based reasons.
We can sit around feeling envious of other people's lives or we can dive into creating our own! When it comes to feeling envy, we often credit it to finances or circumstances but in reality what we ALL want is to find our purpose and to feel passionate about how we are spending our time. Take your eyes off the byproducts. Before you get there, you have to find your purpose, which means self discovery! Get to know YOU and what makes you tick. What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning to WORK?! Get excited about your potential and the construction becomes exciting and the delays become a fascinating challenge!
The successful people you admire aren't more gifted than you, they simply live their lives outside of their comfort zones! It all comes down to this: Do you want to shine or do you want to be comfortable?
If you are ready for change, let's chat! I would love to share more of my story with you! My decision to coach was where this change started for me and if you are feeling that draw, wondering if you might be able to do this, and feeling too fearful to ask your questions, this is your sign! ( literally and figuratively! 😉) Stop waiting and start discovering! #shine
There was a moment when I stood at the cross roads, too afraid to move. I knew I wanted more than a mediocre life but I also knew that if I pursued it, there would be judgement. There would be people that disagreed with my choices, that I would have to stand tall and keep going. It took me 8 months to gather enough courage, but when I decided to go for it I was all in! All in doesn't mean that you hit the ground running, it simply means you've made a commitment to see it through, that you aren't going to quit, that you are going to direct your thoughts instead of your thoughts directing you.
I have faced every fear that I have had, but what I can say about them is that meeting them face to face was much less intimidating than it was in my own mind. When they were behind me I was stronger, and it was laughable that even for a moment I would let the opinion of others stop me from living my dreams! It doesn't matter if others understand. As you pursue your passions you will find your tribe along the way. Don't be afraid of what you will lose if you go all in, be afraid of what you will lose if you don't! Be revolutionary and show up for your life unashamed! ❤️
If you are ready to jump in and lead a revolutionary life, come join a group of women that are passionate about living their lives on their own terms! We are focusing on our health, seeing our worth, chasing our dreams and supporting each other! Find out more below:
"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.