This is a question which has been searched for answers in google by so many mums.
Now, if you have followed the FFA for a while, you will know that we are not a fitness company that focuses solely on aesthetics.
So just what do I mean by ‘losing the mummy tummy’? Do I mean a soft, untoned tummy, or a tummy which has visible stretch marks or scars? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Because why should you be told you need to lose this type of tummy? There is absolutely nothing “wrong” with a tummy like this. Who is to say there is?!
What is a Mummy Tummy?
By “mummy tummy” what I am talking about is a weak core or pelvic floor, possible abdominal separation, back-ache and bloating/a lower belly pouch which just does not go away!
These are all very common for new and older mums. I don’t think we have to be told that we must love all these things. And I don’t think its selfish to look at doing something about getting rid of them.
Back in the day
However, at one time, you probably just took for granted that your tummy just “worked”. Your core probably functioned not too badly as a unit, you didn’t dread the “tears” running down your legs (instead of your eyes) if you sneezed or laughed a bit too hard.
You could walk for a while without developing back ache. You felt confident in dresses without feeling the need to “suck it all in”.
At this time, if you wanted to boost your confidence and lose a little abdominal fat, simply paying more attention to your eating habits and a little extra time spent in the gym would do the trick.
You grew a human
But then your body took on the most challenging journey of its lifetime. You grew a human in your ever-expanding abdomen, your posture slowly changed to compensate the shift in gravity over the 9 months – leaving you with muscle imbalances and possible aches and pains.
Your breathing patterns and alignment changed, encouraging a huge constant build-up of pressure in your abdominal cavity which tested the strength of your pelvic floor and abdominal wall.
Your abdominal muscles may have separated (not as scary as something out of the film “Alien” don’t worry!) and your pelvic floor may have given up on you – literally!
Your vagina was stretched to at least 3x its normal size to let that little human out – or perhaps you gained a “c-section scar” and had to endure the post-op recovery.
Now, taking into account all of the above, your journey to get back to where you felt you once were doesn’t seem so plain sailing. A few extra gym sessions and a “crash-diet” just won’t do the trick anymore.
What can I do?
Here at the FFA, we have helped so many women regain core/pelvic floor and whole body strength and fitness after having their babies. We have achieved this through our specialist, long-developed method: The Mummy Tummy Method.
You see, effectively re-strengthening your core post-pregnancy and losing the ‘mummy tummy’, requires you to take a holistic approach.
There is no crash diet/magic solution that will give you the results you hope for. In fact, by taking a holistic approach, it actually ends up being about what you will GAIN, not what you will LOSE. Let’s take a look at how we do it within our method…
*Re-align your body
Suddenly become aware of those overly hunched shoulders, flattened bottom, protruding abdomen? Re-aligning your body through postural awareness and correctional exercises is the first step to take when aiming to lose the mummy tummy.
So, are commonly recommended deep-core focused exercises all you need to do? No. You need to address whole body alignment as well.
This is why our method involves exercises to switch on and strengthen the deep core/pelvic floor muscles AS WELL as glute activation exercises (those booty muscles) AND upper body exercises to “unhunch” those shoulders and re-align the whole length of the spine – really focusing on that whole-body approach to recovery.
*Restore the pelvic floor – AKA “fix your fanny!)
Want everything to look, feel and work properly again down there? Well, we will let you into a little secret…Kegels alone won’t work.
Yes, those simple squeeze and lift exercises do have their well-earned place in pelvic floor recovery. However, learning to re-connect with your deep core muscles and activate your pelvic floor simultaneously, WHILST performing whole-body movements is going to be more beneficial in the long run. Every exercise we perform during the method becomes a pelvic floor exercise – we teach women to correctly activate and exhale as they move.
*Breathe effectively …
Breathing doesn’t just happen! Our inner core muscles work together to assist the pattern of breathing with each breath in and out.
Due to postural changes and pregnancy, often these inner core muscles are unable to function as they should and stop working together as a unit – which results in poor breathing patterns long after pregnancy.
Our method focuses on how we can encourage the inner core muscles to work with the breath as a unit again. Breathing is one of the absolute first things we master in the Mummy Tummy Method.
*Work up a sweat
Whether or not you have any excess belly fat you would like to lose, it’s a good idea to work up a sweat daily. It can be as simple as just 20 mins per day, doing something that you ENJOY and that you will keep up!
Just make sure that if you are a new mum, or you have any pelvic floor dysfunction, you keep it LOW IMPACT. Go for a daily walk, swim, dance, cycle or perform low-impact cardio home workouts. You will need to combine this with some specific strength training & good nutrition.
Develop life-long healthy nutritional habits…
If you perform exercises to strengthen your core but you don’t also address poor eating habits, exercise alone will only achieve limited results.
If you are eating far too much or making the wrong food choices most of the time, your muscles will still be covered with a lot of excess fat. Now a little abdominal fat is essential for women (don’t let anyone tell you 6-pack abs are always ‘healthier’ than having a few small belly rolls. But too much belly fat can be a health concern for women, so I am not going to sit here and say you absolutely have to “embrace your rolls”.
More importantly, healthy nutrition is important for: fuelling the body with essential nutrients for the repair/re-strengthening of your muscles/connective tissue, skin, hair and nails, c-section and episiotomy healing, losing pregnancy weight gain, replenishing energy and to boost mental well-being.
Making the right food choices will help your body recover and boost your health and fitness. We provide realistic, long-term and ENJOYABLE nutritional tips within our method.
You may not think relaxation will have much of an effect on helping you to lose the mummy tummy. However, bear in mind that high-stress hormone levels impact on the storage of fat around the abdomen.
High levels of stress can also lead to over-eating and craving poor food choices. So, it’s important not to overlook this. Perhaps more importantly, daily relaxation practices will really improve your state of mind. We use short, daily relaxation techniques in the Mummy Tummy Method.
*Improve sleep quality
Not getting enough sleep can seriously impact on your metabolism, reduce the body’s ability to burn fat and increase levels of the stress-hormone, cortisol.
Excess levels of this hormone often lead to weight gain around your abdomen. Yes, we know that improving quantity will be impossible with a newborn (argghh ever heard of the term “mombie” before”?) BUT…we CAN help you improve the quality! Our method aims to help you to improve the quality of your sleep.
We teach you methods of relaxation/stress-release to help you to switch of your mind before bedtime, which in turn, will encourage you to fall asleep more quickly and improve the quality of your sleep once you do nod off!
Make it forever…
Hopefully, you now understand why a holistic approach is essential when looking to lose the mummy tummy safely and effectively. These changes aren’t meant to be made temporarily – until you achieve the goal you set out to – they are about developing lifelong, healthy habits. The steps you take to make this happen, however, are really about what you GAIN and not what you are looking to LOSE.
Maintaining good posture, regular strength training, reducing aches and pains, boosting feel-good hormones, eating enjoyably well – these are all things that if you want to reap the endless benefits of, you need to be focusing on making them happen FOREVER.
No fad diet/magic pill can give you this…*takes that “detox-tea” and “fat-burners” out of online shopping cart.
Yes, this way appears to be the longer route (in fact, there is no end point!) Yes, it does require more thought and effort. But it honestly is absolutely worth it. When you step back after beginning to take the steps above and realise how good you FEEL (and not just LOOK), then losing the mummy tummy will only then be a nice BY-PRODUCT of all the amazing things you will have gained.
I would love for you to take away the motivation from reading this, to change your life..not just your tummy.
Love Robyn x