If You Don’t Know What’s Wrong, You Can’t Fix It

June 7, 2013

Lately, I’ve been really focusing on my abs. My diet’s been tight and I’ve been training regularly and getting good results everywhere but my stomach.  This is a huge bummer for me because while I’ve always had the booty, I’ve never had the tummy. Enter baby…. I tried not to be too frustrated this past year with my belly because after all, it was in the not so distant past, stretched over an entire baby. But as I look at it my midriff in the mirror, it still looks flabby and well, just not good. I kept thinking, “I just need to lose more fat there and keep doing those planks, yada, yada.”  Then I’d think, my baby is 21 months old for crying out loud, this should be coming along more by now. So back to the gym I went…. I had full sit ups on my last workout as a more metabolic ab strengthener (having to get creative at my under equipped gym) and my upper abs really started to hurt.  They were really sore, not like having just worked out sore, painfully sore.  It was strange. Just after I delivered Lola, I knew there was a big separation between my upper abs (I could put my fingers way too deep in there between the first 2 of my 6 pack – remember we all have a 6 pack, just can’t always see it!)  I assumed it would go back to normal in time and with training.  What I didn’t know, until a few weeks ago, was that it definitely did not! That separation was an actual separation – those muscles were nowhere near close together yet!  I watched as I did a full sit up and there was this huge bulge popping out of my upper abs, under my ribs.  Yikes.  I have a diastasis recti (a separation of the abdominal muscles where the connective tissue is very stretched out, common after pregnancy) and if I do any more of these full sit ups I may also have a hernia. How in the hell did I not realize this before? I am a doctor after all. It was like I had blinders on. I wasn’t making progress in this area, and instead of looking outside the box I went to what I always did – clean up my diet more, try to workout more, tweak my routine, keep pushing. I figured it was just fat and slack abs from pregnancy.  It never occurred to me that something else could be wrong. Something else was wrong, and I couldn’t fix it until I knew what it was. Same is true for you and your metabolism and your body. If what you’ve been doing isn’t working, maybe you don’t really know what’s wrong. If you feel like you’ve been working hard and not seeing results, take an objective look at the routines and habits that you hold on to that may not be working for you. And by all means get your hormones evaluated! For me, my habit is to just buckle down and push harder. This (as it so often does) made my problem worse. I put more ab stress in my workout thinking I needed to work them harder – which was the exact opposites of what I needed.  In the past I’ve jumped on detoxes or fasts and even tried a stint as a vegetarian to lose weight.  When these things didn’t work, it was hard to let them go, I always want to hold on tighter and try harder. Wrong. If it doesn’t work for you, look at your attachment to your habits and practices. Why do you do them? Why are they hard for you to let go of? It could be a dietary strategy like eating vegan or it could be you’re hell bent on not giving up martinis every evening.  Really look at the reward you’re getting out of it – and it may not be what you think. Doing more of what doesn’t work, well it doesn’t work. If it makes you BETTER, do more of it. If it is hindering your progress, let it go. It’s simple, but not always easy. Intrigued by why we do stuff that just plain doesn’t work for us? Tune in tomorrow and get clear on what drives habits that get smack dab in our way of what we want – and how to change them, finally! As for me and my diastasis recti, I reached out to a fellow fitness professional Christa Doran, who I know also had this issue. She steered me towards the Tuppler Technique. I’ve ordered my splint and I’m ready for some rehab. If you’ve read my blog much, you know I’m historically terrible at rehabing injuries – but time to fix what’s REALLY wrong and give up my bad habit of just pushing through. Sigh…..I feel like I’m growing up 🙂  Lola certainly is! Can hardly believe she’s old enough to feed and care for her “bebe” doll. (But it’s pretty darn sweet.) lola feeding bebe

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