Nutrition and Healing

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I am over 47 , what's wrong with my belly? Is there hope?

This client contacted me after she had been doing the program for about 4 weeks. She had no licensed Tupler Technique providers anywhere near her, but would into Baltimore for work.  She asked if we could meet up, so I could officially check her diastasis and help her on her journey. 
She has 2 children (ages 12 and 14) and is in her mid 40's.

Here is her self told story.

I don’t know where to begin and will try hard not to ramble.
I have been on an approximate 8-year quest to determine what is “wrong” with me, my belly to be specific. I’m 47, 5’4”, 124 lbs. (would love to be 120, ideally), with my husband almost 30 yrs. and my daughters are 14 and almost 13. I work out (circuit training, Pilates, Body Pump) & walk religiously, able to build great looking arms, legs….mid-section always looked distended, like a beach ball. I could not figure out why as I’ve always had a thin athletic build, no reason that I still shouldn’t, right? Modified my diet, did more crunches, etc. to no avail. My belly button looked (actually still does) like it has an eyelid that’s half closed. Also, if I bent or moved the wrong way, it felt like a little fist would pop out from under my right rib and I had to push it back in…freaked me out whenever it happened. I used to joke that one of my organs was popping out (the irony sets in later). Had an umbilical hernia repaired
in May 2010, hoping that that would improve the appearance of the belly button and the beach ball…no luck.

Neither my primary, GYN, personal trainer, nor general surgeon ever suggested a diastasis recti. My guess is because they don’t know about it. I saw a plastic surgeon twice, considering a tummy tuck. He didn’t mention diastasis either. My obsession with my abdomen had literally consumed my every waking moment, I felt I was at the end of my rope, thinking there was nothing else for me to research or google, etc. Ultimately, I couldn’t bring myself to spend that kind of money, go thru the recovery process (no patience to be down that long), or have the unsightly scar from hip to hip.

Fast forward to Oct. 2011. I started seeing a naturopath, taking some supplements, modified the diet some more, got the hormones balanced, feeling pretty good. At my 4th colonic with her, I was lamenting about my belly (again). She’s also a midwife and friend of my good friend who is a labor & delivery RN. She’s feeling around my belly and mentioned that my muscles felt separated & mushy. Good, I wasn’t the only one who thought so, so maybe I wasn’t crazy after all.

I got home after that appt. and was relaying the experience to my friend, the L&D nurse. Within minutes, she had googled diastasis recti. I heard trumpets from the heavens! For the next 2 days, I was searching everything I could find on this, read that umbilical hernia’s are a result of a diastasis, the abs actually are separated, and (holy cow), it probably was an organ popping out from under my rib when I bent/moved the wrong way! I discovered the Tupler Technique, ordered the program, and am about to start Week 4 tomorrow, 3/7.
I cannot tell you the sheer joy that I felt after reading up on this condition; a few of the before photos that I saw looked exactly like me! I actually cried tears of joy, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off of me. Then, I cried sad & mad tears because I had spent 8 yrs. of my life thinking I was not able to get in shape, crazy, or just plain vain; I just couldn’t buy into the notion that this puffy belly was something I had to deal with because I was a woman, a mom,
over 45, blah, blah, blah.
This condition/remedy is/will be life-changing for me, it’s so awesome.

When we met up, we checked her diastasis, sure enough, she still had a muscle separation. We looked at how she was doing the exercises. I helped her with tweaking her technique and showed her different ways to get more muscle activation and muscle approximation with the exercises. We worked on isolating and activating the lower abdominals,
with splinting and with her technique on the headlifts.

She has continued to progress, losing 1 more inch in her lower waist. And all this progress is in just six weeks. I am confident she will keep progressing as she continues with the tupler technique 4 step program:

1) the basic exercises: elevator, contractions, headlifts
2) wearing the splint ALL the time
3) holding the transverse "in" on all the work that you do
4) getting in/out of bed correctly
She has graced us with some awesome before/after pics along her journey

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