Mamas, some of you may remember my friend Amber of the faux-fur jacket. She is one of my dearest friends, and being such…can get away with, uh, a certain level of honesty that a good friend is allowed.
She once called me "skinny fat."
Never heard of it? 'Skinny fat' is when you generally look skinny….but don't have an ounce of muscle tone. Just soft, soft flab. It's no healthier than being overweight, it's just less noticeable. And while it was a bit harsh…OK: she had a point. I do have a slight tendency to…to be a little lazy in the workout department. I avoid sit-ups like the plague, and unless it's a ballet class (or the occasional yoga) I'm not really motivated to go. (NOTE: My last ballet class was in 2007.)
I bring this up because I'm concerned that I've been guilty of perpetuating a myth that really bugs me. The I Am Poochy Mom, The Victim myth.
Yes, I have a small pooch (and cellulite). At least in the afternoon hours (and definitely by the end of the day). But Mamas: I haven't done much to get rid of them. And while I do eat lots of whole grains, veggies and am generally healthy…it's not like I've given up sugar or brownies or ice cream or cookies or cupcakes or – god forbid – doughnuts. So last time Amber heard me whine about my pooch and cellulite…she just rolled her eyes and dryly remarked, "Well, if you'd actually work out once in a while…."
Um. She has a point.
Granted, there are body changes that are just hear to stay: hip bones and rib cages have shifted, and gravity and generally getting older are just starting to have their way with me. But I want to be sure that I'm not falling into the trap of "I'm a Mom, this is the best I can expect" way of thinking. Because really…that's just one step down the road to mom-jeans. Right? And I'd hate to be accused of perpetuating a defeatist attitude.
So I searched out some inspiration. Inspiration in the form of moms – real, everyday moms. Not celebrity moms with trainers and personal chefs. Not fitness guru moms whose motivation for working out faaaar exceeds that of the "normal" population. (And by "normal" I mean me. snort) I wanted to find moms who work. Moms who juggle the demands of multiple kids. Moms who have the same kind of time/motivation problems that I do.
And happily…there are a few moms I've met (either in-person or virtually through this blog) who have actually managed to lose the pooch. Like…completely. We're talking flat (or at least a flat-ish) stomach. Even overcoming Diastasis recti. And surprise!! It took work. Lots of it. There's no magic bullet – just a lot of hard workin' out. So….if you are interested in how they lost their mum tums, keep reading. If not…I'll be over here with the brownies*.
(*Kidding, kidding. I'm going to try these. Really. I am.)
Mel Loves Her Sweet Redbook Moves
The mom: Mel has two ah-dorable kiddos under five, and a HUMONGOUS husband with a good-sized melon. It should also be noted that Mel is teeny tiny. The problem? You guessed it: diastasis recti. Here's what Mel has to say:
After becoming a mom the second time around, two words entered my vocabulary that I had never heard before: diastasis recti. Though my OBGYN quickly discounted this condition of separated abdominal muscles as a "normal" part of motherhood, I quickly realized that the condition was not "normal" for me or something I wanted to just live with. I felt that there had to be something I could do to change it!
I had been frustrated as I lost the baby weight from pregnancy #2 because despite losing the pounds, I couldn't see any change in my pooch and my new body shape meant that I could no longer fit into much of my pre-pregnancy wardrobe. My self esteem had taken a blow, and I didn't feel like I could get back to "me".
Thankfully, my patient and wonderful husband was well aware of my frustration with my never-changing poochy tummy and just happened to stumble across a small blurb about diastis recti in an issue of one of my Redbook Magazines. My initial response to his suggestion of looking at a set of exercises to improve my belly was a little moody due to my self-consciousness, but I did eventually look up the article, and was sooo glad I did.
After following the steps in the article, the separation in my stomach muscles has closed, I've lost inches off my waist, and I can fit back into my favorite clothes again! It has been a boost to my self esteem and totally worth the few minutes each day it takes to do the exercises.
In my opinion, this information should be readily available to all mamas with diastis recti and I'm thankfull to the wonderful gals at Ain't No Mom Jeans for bringing it to the attention of their readers!
Kerrisa Has a 6-Pack? Whoa…
The workout: Lindsay Brin's 60 Day Slimdown
The mom: I can't remember where I discovered that reader Kerrisa had a gorgeous flat tummy, but I was instantly jealous. And wanted to know more. Here's her success story:
When S asked me to write a review for ANMJ I jumped at the chance. Not because I'm a writer by any means but because:a) I absolutely love this blog and read it everydayb) I found a workout program that really does get rid of our little (maybe not so little) friend, the pooch and I wanted to share it with all of you amazing Mamas…OK, so I have never been one for working out but after having my second baby boy and my 30th birthday in the same week, I was feeling old(er) and poochy. I came across Lindsay Brin's 60 Day Slimdown on babysteals.com and with an impulse buy I found gold! Ladies, please believe me when I say it works! It does. In 10 days I could see and feel a difference …and after the 60 days I had a six pack peeking through! Granted, I still have a small pooch when I'm not flexing, but I've come to terms with it, it's mommy-dom, and it is much much MUCH smaller than what I started with. Plus, a six pack, are you kidding me?! I didn't believe it was possible (I'd insert a pic of my six-pack here if I wasn't so self conscious, I mean modest).I'm at my pre baby weight now and feel awesome, all thanks to Lindsay. She is a mama herself with three little ones so she understands our time limitations and creates her workouts accordingly. She keeps them short and doable and she encourages you as a mommy along the way. She also understands our relationship with the pooch and knows how to tame the beast! She calls it the Core Firing Sequence method. It trains your core to fire from the inside out, working like a corset and shaping those abs. That plus the interval training, cardio and core, and you're on the road to lookin like one hot mama!I have done four of her DVDs…..they all rock, but my vote is for going all in, giving her 60 days, and getting the SlimDown. It's a combo of all the DVDs mentioned above plus a super easy (and realistic) nutrition plan and a detailed fitness calendar and progress tracker. Sounds like a lot of effort right? Yes. But honestly IT WORKS and it's made specifically for you Mamas! Even if you are breastfeeding (shoot, I grew me a 17 lb four month old while following her program and lost weight) it works. She says it's like getting a tummy tuck without the surgery! Yup, that's right ladies! Her website is www.momsintofitness.com for those of you who want to check it out.Anyone else out there tried her workouts and joined the fan club? Can any of you Mamas back me up on this one?-Kerrisa
The mom: The super-stylin' mama of the gorgeous baby Harlow…Amber loves her Barre3 classes! (NOTE: Amber convinced me to try the Barre3 online classes…they are amazing but also crazy hard).
Barre classes are the absolute best if you can only pick one thing (which is where I'm at these days). I did classes before, during and after pregnancy. Any workout you can do throughout the whole pregnancy and still lose inches has my vote!!
My favorite is Barre3. It's really the most balanced between pilates, yoga and ballet…AND these classes have onsite childcare. Super targeted to moms. Amazing classes people and workouts. Sadie Lincoln is the founder and currently trains Madonna. She's unbelievable! She's healthy, balanced, a mom and an entrepreneur. She also has online classes people can do from home or on the road with updated videos each month: 10min, 30 min or full hour workouts to keep up with it. I'm obsessed!!!!!!!!!
Thanks, Mamas!! Love the ideas and inspiring words!!