Diastasis Recti would be a good band name wouldn’t it? Try saying it 3 times in a row really fast. Diastasis Recti, Diastasis Recti, Diastasis Recti. Phew! I discovered I had this condition at my well woman exam a couple of months ago, along with an umbilical hernia.
My birth doula, who I still keep in contact with regularly, told me about the Tupler Technique for closing a Diastasis Recti. Julie Tupler has made it her life’s work to educate people about Diastasis and how to close one. Apparently it is very common. If you are having trouble getting rid of your “mummy tummy” or you are someone who has done crunches and ab exercises for years but can’t get rid of your pooch, you might have a diastasis. Basically the outer abdominal muscles separate and don’t come back together causing your stomach and organs to be held together by the connective tissue instead of the muscles. It’s important to check your tummy for a diastasis, so you don’t inadvertently do things to make it worse.
I weigh less than before I got pregnant. I lost the baby weight very quickly since I exclusively breastfeed and eat healthy foods. I also tend to snack more and eat the leftover food from my daughter’s meals. It helps when you don’t have time to sit down for a meal! Anyway, my point is that even though I’m thinner and can make my tummy look flat through my clothes, it is definitely a mummy tummy. My skin was stretched so far and I have no muscle tone, so it looks like a deflated, wrinkled balloon. If I’m not deliberately holding my tummy in, there’s a pooch. Luckily my husband doesn’t mind and says he loves it because that is where I carried our baby. Awe, isn’t he sweet! Yes, I know I’m a lucky gal. My tummy used to be my best feature before I was pregnant. Not one roll and it only pooched if I just ate a big meal.
I have come to accept it, being that I know it’s important for me to model a positive self image for Clara. However, when I discovered that I have a diastasis and learned that it can affect my health in so many ways, I decided to be proactive. The good part is that I’ll probably get my pretty tummy back! I’ve received my splint, video, and guidebook in the mail and I plan to start the program this weekend. I’m looking forward to the healing process and I’ll be keeping you updated.
The thought of cooking has always been a source of stress for me. Notice I said the “thought”. Forget about actually getting to the cooking part. Growing up with two extremely busy working parents, the “joy” of cooking wasn’t exactly modeled for me. Of course I’m very grateful for the other wonderful things that were modeled for me, but let me stay on track here.
First of all, just coming up with what to cook, let alone figuring out how to, is the first challenge. My indecisive nature certainly doesn’t help with this and my running excuse that I don’t have time doesn’t help either. But… having a child and being very committed to feeding her healthy foods from the very beginning is forcing me to learn and to actually be decisive and change my priorities. One reason why I haven’t cooked much before is that I can’t bring myself to make things from a box. I would rather go out to eat than make a meal from things that can sit on a shelf for years. I’ve always been relatively healthy and educated myself through the years about eating healthy. So, it just doesn’t sit right with me to make highly processed foods for me and my husband. So… we’ve always just resorted to eating out. Thing is, I’ve been in denial that most restaurant food is probably highly processed too. I guess it just makes me feel a little better that I didn’t actually cook it. It’s amazing how writing makes you realize how silly your justifications are.
Back to having a child… Not only is going out to eat complicated, but I have no idea how the food is prepared, where it came from, what it’s preserved in, or exactly what is in it. I also can’t even imagine how much sodium it has. I’d almost strangely rather make my own processed foods for her. But! I just can’t bring myself to do that, unless I’m desperate and she’s hungry. Luckily, since I’m still breastfeeding, I have that to fall back on.
I’ve been cooking a lot of food in the last couple of months since she’s been eating a lot of solids. I must say I’m starting to get the hang of it and even coming up with my own creative ideas. I certainly takes a ton of time and effort. I’m trying not to stress and just do. Easier said and done. If I were working a full time job, there is no way I could do this. But, I’m thankful that I can work part time and learn to cook healthy foods for my family.
Here’s a picture of what I like to call “spinach cookies”, a recipe I found here. They don’t exactly look appetizing, but she ate them up! Score!