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Are you looking after your Pelvic Floor?

pelvic-floor

I'm amazed at the moment about the amount of ladies that don't know enough about activating their pelvic floor! This is especially concerning for mums after having a baby. I don't think it is stressed enough that we need to continually work on this area and strengthen it or we are going to be wetting our pants constantly or even worse end up with a prolapse!
The technique I explain in my pilates classes is:
close the front passage, close the back passage and pull up through the middle
OR
Imaging drawing a ribbon up through the front passage on your out breathe and slowly release it. Never let it completely drop, you need to control the movement in both directions.
Another important thing to remember if you have a weak pelvic floor Do Not Do High Impact Exercies/Classes!!! It will do more damage!
As a PT I was trained in activating the pelvic floor and thought I had it all under control, was I sorely mistaken! A few years ago I was doing an outdoor PT session and made all my clients do some star jumps, omg I had leakage! I never realised it was this bad! So thankfully I was lucky enough to know a Physio that did an ultrasound on my pelvic floor (not an internal one either). I was shown on the ultrasound that I was pushing down my pelvic floor instead of pulling up. My abdominals were taking over as they were strong and my core was very weak! I could see the difference in pushing down and pulling up. God I had it so wrong! So with these newly learnt techniques I got to work and did my exercises as often as possible. Within 6 months I had dramatically strengthened my pelvic floor, no more sneezing and wetting my pants hehe!!
Another interesting bit of info is that when we are ovulating and menstruating our pelvic floor seems to be weaker. This is due to our muscles relaxing to release an egg and to clean out and the end of the month. Has anyone noticed that it's weaker at these times of the month? I know I certainly did.
So ladies get into the habit of looking after and strengthening your pelvic floor or you will end up with some nasty problems. You can do the exercises anywhere: whilst your driving, eating a meal, before you go to sleep. I'd also recommend that you hold each pelvic floor contraction for 10 secs and do this 10 times with some little pulses in between. Breathe in, breathe out and pull up the pelvic floor. Remember to fully let it relax also.
Pilates has been awesome to help me remember to breathe into it and activate my PF properly. Do it as often as you can, you don't want to have to wear incontinence pads or have to have a sling put in. Try and prevent it before it's too late

Why practice Pilates?

“You will feel better in 10 sessions,

look better in 20 sessions,

and have a completely new body in 30 sessions.”

Joseph H. Pilates

 

 

My Journey So Far

Ok so where to begin….

I feel it appropriate at the moment to finally share with you all my continued (for the rest of my life) journey with my own Fitness, Health & Wellness.

I distinctly remember a photo I had taken when I was about 25.  We lived in Darwin at the time and my sister came to visit.  We took her out to Kakadu for a bit of sightseeing.  My sister and I had a photo taken of the 2 of us which she looked lovely but when I got the photos back from being developed (yes this is showing my age and was some time ago!) I got quite a shock.  I was gobsmacked at how much weight I had put on!  The photo wasn’t the most flattering for me but god was it a wakeup call!!

I have always been a naturally fit person who played lots of sport, never weighed myself and ate pretty much what I wanted.  We were having such a ball in Darwin drinking, eating and exploring the place.  I never once thought I was putting on any weight.  This photo was quite the shock, I had never thought I looked like this!  I weighed myself at this time and my god I weighed 90kg!!!

So, not knowing what to do about this I saw ads on TV about Jenny Craig and the amazing weightloss stories of some people, I thought I would give it a go.  It worked great!  I lost 5kg in the first couple of months!  Although, my biggest hurdle was living in Darwin, being 25 and wanting to party all the time, socialising every weekend and not being able to drink.  Sounds pretty sad now when I write this.  So I quit JC and thought I could give it a go on my own.

We left Darwin and moved back to a little fishing town called Leeman, loved this little place!  I was down to 85kg and seeing we had gotten engaged before we left Darwin I had a year to get my bum into gear and lose this weight.  Easy Peasy!!  Not!!  I struggled to shake any of it so I tried Nu Shape which my friend was doing at the time and it worked great for her so I thought I would try it.  It made it easier to do seeing my friend and I hung out all the time and worked together which made it easy to stick to the meal plans.  It was so convenient as every bit of food was delivered to my door all I had to do was eat it and do some exercise.  I walked every day, twice a day, played sport twice a week and I had decided to do my Gym Instructor’s training.  I was working every day and I ran a couple of fitness classes a week and trained some lovely clients after work.  I don’t know how I fit it all in?  Needless to say the weight fell off.  On my wedding day I weighed myself and I was 63kg!!  Woohoo!!  Although, my Dad told me I was way too thin and that I needed to put some weight on. Of course I was pissed off but in hindsight he was right.  For my height and build 63kg is a bit too skinny.  I had no muscle on me as I was so obsessed about getting that magical number down, how silly is that?!!

After the wedding I managed to put a couple of kilos on and loved the way I looked.  I just needed a bit more muscle tone and I would have been happy (maybe?).

We moved to Mandurah, built a new house and I worked full time.  I decided to become a Sports Trainer for a WAFL footy club (Peel Thunder) which was such a great experience for me as a Massage Therapist and Gym Instructor.  I learnt a lot about footy and fitness and worked with some awesome people who taught me heaps.  Thankfully I kept fit doing this as I did strapping and rub downs 3 times a week and did the same on game day plus run water for 3 teams!  Man it was tiring but I loved it!

I then fell pregnant with my little girl.  I gained 15kg with her and boy was it hard to lose.  My hormones were nuts and I had no idea what to do about it.  This is when I started Herbalife.  It gave me loads of energy and I lost about 10kgs initially.  After about 3-4 months I started putting weight on and felt like crap!  No energy, fatigued, moody (OMG was I moody!) and I had an energetic little toddler.  A close friend told me about a Naturopath that was treating her so I went and saw him.  He told me I had severe Adrenal Fatigue and Candida, awesome!  I had to give Herbalife a miss as I was doing more damage so I went back to square one.  I had to eliminate quite a lot of food from my diet to rid myself of the Candida and fix the Adrenal Fatigue and take some pretty rank tasting herbs too.  Things seem to be getting sorted when I fell pregnant with my little boy.  Thankfully I only gained 7kg but I never really lost all the post baby weight with my daughter.  I had a 21 month old and a newborn, where was I going to find time to exercise?  I tried, between feeds, sleep times and all the other daily stuff and outings.  What a mission!  And I had every excuse in the book to not exercise!  My hat goes off to people with more children!  So I stopped stressing about it all and just enjoyed being a Mum for a while.  Although I was disgusted with how I looked I just chose to ignore it for a while.

Once my little girl started Kindy I decided it was time to pull my finger out and lose some weight and of course have some me time.  Gradually I started walking, bike riding (with my kids in a carriage) and psyching myself up to go to a fitness class.  I’d lost all confidence in myself and I hated the way I looked and felt.  I attended a few classes and thoroughly enjoyed it.  This started to make me think I might like to give being a Personal Trainer a go.

My husband got a job in Tom Price, man I was not keen to leave Mandurah.  I had some lovely friends there which made it extremely hard to leave.  I knew my husband wanted to give it a go and I’d always wanted to move to a small country town after living in a couple.  This little place has so many lovely and inspiring people in it that I got inspired to do my Personal Trainer’s course again.  I had let it lapse when I had the kids (stupidly).  My husband thought it wasn’t the greatest idea and that I wouldn’t use it.  Well he’s eating his words now!  Tom Price has been great to set up my little business and I love what I do.  Helping other women achieve their goals and losing weight has inspired me even more to be better myself.  I love it!

I’ve now stopped beating myself up about my weight.  That magical little number that depressed me all the time even though I was losing cm’s I was still obsessed about my actual weight.  I’m not looking for that quick fix anymore and now realise it’s a lifelong commitment.  I eat so much better now and I’m on the road to finally sorting out these bloody hormones.  I even signed up with an awesome Health & Wellness Coach (Marita – from Shakti Health & Wellness Flow) who gave me the tools to help me achieve my goals on all levels.  My ideas and values have changed significantly and I am confident in myself again.  Such an inspiring woman to chat to each fortnight and make sure I’m on the right track.  I would highly recommend her to anyone wanting to give it a go!

Funnily enough I haven’t owned a set of scales for over 3 years and I can’t believe how much I used to obsess about that horrible number.  I am now fitter, stronger and confident in my own skin and I’m striving to be better every day.

I just wanted to share my story with you all.  It’s a long road that has no end, there will be plenty of obstacles along the way and each day is a new day.  Don’t abuse yourself for a slipup, that’s life.  It has taken me 13 years to finally start to get myself sorted and enjoy the body I was given.  We are never happy with what we have, how we look, but with a lot of hard work and actually enjoying life it begins to happen.  You jusdt need to have a good balance and work on one thing at a time.  Get rid of the negativeness in your life including people that don’t encourage or support you.  They will drag you down and not aid in your journey at all.

I have tried a few different products and yes they have worked initially and I am in no way dicrediting these products.  You do need to ask yourself – are they sustainable for life?  Is it going to cost me a fortune?  And can I do it more naturally?  You just have to work out what works for you, everyone is different.  Keep persavering!!

Obviously I am a huge fan of clean eating and I try to eliminate as many chemicals, nasties, preservatives and additives as I can.  I eat plenty of fruit and loads of raw veg and yes I love to exercise so I do quite a bit.  I still have a bit more work to do to get to where I want to be and I will eventually achieve it.  I hope you can too!!

It feels great to tell you all this story as I haven’t always been this size or a Personal Trainer and I have struggled for a long time with weight & hormonal issues.  But I guess if something isn’t working I would source something that does and keep trying.

I hope that this helps to motivate you and help achieve your goals and that you enjoyed the story of my journey so far.  Stay srong, positive and be kind to yourself.   YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL!!