Are you a mom and have you ever peed yourself? You might have something called Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. It’s a common problem female’s have after giving birth. If you have ever:
Felt like you were going to pee your pants during exercise, fitness classes, personal training sessions, coughing, sneezing or anything that made you bare down.
Experienced pain with sex or inserting a tampon.
Found yourself going to the bathroom more, even when your not drinking a lot of water.
Found it difficult to empty your bladder or bowels.
Had lower back or pelvic pain.
Then you may be suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction.
I’ve been there…
I remember the first time I peed my pants while deadlifting. I was horrified and felt ashamed!
I was in a gym with a bunch of guys, training for my first powerlifting meet. I had just lifted 250 pounds (10 pounds shy of my goal of hitting a double bodyweight deadlift), that’s a lot of weight for anyone, let alone someone that weighs 130! I knew halfway through the lift that I had peed my self, but, I gritted it out, cause you gotta finish that shit!
So there I was, with wet pants and I remember thinking “this is not normal”, something is wrong with me. I was so EMBARRASSED! Thankfully I had a change of pants, so I ran to the bathroom and came back to finish my work out. None of the guys asked why I changed my pants…I think they all might have suspected, but most guys get a little timid when you start talking about the female reproductive system. My son was born 10 years prior so I never thought that I was dealing with pelvic floor issues but after this incident, I went to see my OBG who suggested that probably was it.
After meeting with the OBG, I talked with a number of my female clients who were having the same issues. Most found it too embarrassing to discuss with friends and partners, nevermind their personal trainers, and some even resigned themselves to just putting up with the issues.
Peeing your self is NOT NORMAL and it’s NOT OK! You CAN do something about it!
I believe that somewhere along the line there is an assumption that, as we age, we should expect some kind of urinary incontinence. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.
Pelvic Floor 101
It’s important to understand first that the pelvic floor is not only affected by pregnancy and birth; aging, nutrition, hormones and exercise can also affect it. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and connective tissue that sit inside the pelvis. The function of the pelvic floor is pretty simple – it keeps your insides, inside!
This is a great side illustration from the “Pre and Post-Natal Training Certification” text book from Girls Gone Strong.
The five pelvic floor essentially does five things:
The pelvic floor muscles (PFM) constrict (in a good way) the urethra, vagina, and anal canal. This constriction is vital for good bladder and bowel control.
PFM’s offer support for all internal organs, so they literally help to keep internal organs inside the body. They keep your insides…insides!
The PFM’s are a part of the deep stabilizing systems for the trunk. That means a weak pelvic floor can contribute to lower back and hip issues.
They respond to breathing and changes in abdominal pressure. This is why it’s common for women with pelvic floor issues to pee themselves when they sneeze.
The pelvic floor muscles respond to pain and emotion via the sympathetic nervous system.
What I did about it and it can help you!
While I knew doing Kegal exercise were important pre and post natal, 10 years later I had stopped doing them. Which lead to peeing my pants while working at the gym. Immediately I began doing them during my warm-ups, hey I had to start somewhere. But this wasn’t enough for me at that time because I also started experiencing low back and hip pain. Through extensive research and talking to other coaches and personal trainers, I included three other exercises to my daily routine(let’s face it, it takes a lot more than 3 hours a week to see results).
Remember muscles get strong and maintain strength through use so it’s important to exercise the pelvic floor muscles just like any other muscle. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
Here are three exercises I added to my daily routine (and use with dozens of my personal training clients):
Breathing: I added a 2-3 minute breathing drill. The breathing drill helps connect the core and pelvic floor. This drill will not only help regain tone throughout the entire floor but it also is great for gaining and releasing tension in the abdominal and pelvic floor.
This is a great video that walks you through “Connection Breathing.”
Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch with an Overhead reach: This stretch will improve stability, as the position itself is a bit unstable. It’s a nice opening side stretch for the diaphragm and the ribcage which can become tight with the daily positions and movements involved in life. Do 8 reps on each side.
Squats will help maintain good mobility and movement through the ankles and pelvis. This can be done assisted or body weight but it’s important to incorporate the connective breathing above while performing the squat.
Once I added these to my daily routines not only did the incontinence get better but my lower back felt better. I competed in my first powerlifting, broke a deadlift PR and did NOT pee my pants. Check out a video of me hitting a very hard 250 in the gym. This was a few years ago…watching this makes me want to write a blog post about how to improve your deadlift. Stay tuned!
Don’t be embarrassed! Statistics say that 1 out of every 5 Americans (of every age) suffer from some type of pelvic floor dysfunction at some time in their life. Over 25 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence alone or involuntary loss of urine. I can help you! If this article hit home, let’s connect! All you have to do is click the link below, sign up for a 30-day trial and I will be in touch to schedule a strategy session and get you started. It’s that easy!
Side note: There are many serious issues relating to pelvic floor dysfunction. It is important that you see your doctor, OBG or find a Pelvic health physiotherapist if you are experiencing any issues or you believe you are dealing with some pelvic floor dysfunction. My job is to help women achieve their goals by providing an evidence-based training and nutrition program along with body-positive and self-care information.
Resolutions are not my thing. Resolutions are acts for solving problems. I am not a problem and neither are you! I am more into honing in on a habit that’s not healthy (and fixing it), relationships that I want to improve or let go of (because they are unhealthy) and just being a better person.
I like me! However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be a better version of me. I believe there is always something to learn, improve or get better at. Some things I want to be better at are small, like remembering to take my Vitamin D every morning.
Some aspects are bigger, like eating 4 meals a day.
In my opinion, the most important thing is working towards being a better version of your self. My husband is great at identifying things he wants to change and attacking them. I think that’s the questioner in him. He will work on a few things every month, like educating himself on fitness/nutrition, improving his lifestyle habits, etc.. Me on the other hand, I struggle with being better (it has a lot to do with my rebel nature) in the sense I see so many things I want to improve that I often get overwhelmed.
That’s where I have to remind myself…
After all, to be a better version of your self, you need to understand and know where you want to be better. Then once you know, you can do.
A few things I want to be better at:
Communication – I suck at it! You probably do too. Boring…I know BUT if I can become better at communicating (which is a broad term) I believe that other aspects of my life will be easier. I am currently reading “The Four Tendencies” by Gretchen Rubin it has been very eye opening to both my own tendencies AND others around me. It’s helping me understand human tendencies and how to communicate/work with them. Currently working on communicating with my rebel teenager.
Being me and working with my expectations – In the beginning of the book above, there is a test you take to determine what tendency you are. I happen to be in the 1% – a rebel. This probably does not surprise those close to me. I resist outer expectations AND Inner expectations. In the book, Gretchen devotes the longest chapter on how to deal with rebels…shit.
What’s a rebel? I resist outside (others and society) expect and I resist what I expect of myself. That means sometimes I don’t know what I want and it’s difficult for me to decide. For instance – if I have to choose between two things, and I don’t want to do thing A and know I should do thing B, but don’t want to do thing B…I have a hard time making myself do the thing I don’t want to do, but know I should.
When I say being better at being me, I mean embracing who I am, being better at expressing who I am and doing more for me. Essentially working with my own rebel nature.
Using a timer – Time management is an issue for me! When I am coaching or training I use a timer – all sessions on the hour or half hour for 60 minutes. I focus on one thing. I put all my attention to one thing. I rock it and move on.
I think my son and husband need this timer!
I also tell my lifters to use one, to time at home stretching/mobility work (let’s face it I can’t fix 8 hours of sitting in one hour, you need to do some shit on your own). Time their meal prep (no one has time to prep for 3 hours). Time their meditation, much easier to do in 10-20 minute blocks. Right now I am watching the clock (5 minutes left) to ensure that I give my full attention to writing this blog and hopefully helping you be a better version of you.
Being in my lifters shoes – I honestly believe that you can not be a good coach/trainer/teacher if you don’t understand what it’s like to be in your lifter/students shoes. Personally, I like to set performance goals because I find appearance (how you look is WAY LESS important than how you feel) is a hard goal to chase. I don’t know about you but I can put on 5 pounds of bloat in a few days sometimes.
A few performance goals I have for 2018: running a full 5K or 10K (there is a reason I only do obstacle races…I like to break up the running), compete in a 5-minute long-cycle Kettlebell competition and of course do some more mud runs!
Looking forward to this year’s Mud Runs!
I also want to focus more on aspects of pre/post natal training (like pelvic floor training and health, I am learning so much through the certification I am getting through the Coaching and Training Women Academy!).
Those are just a few but my list goes on and on.
As we move into 2018, I want to help you become a better version of you. Whether that’s getting stronger, running a fast(er) mile, losing 20 pounds of fat, or just feeling better about your self inside and out. Let me help you make 2018 the year you get BETTER!
We have a great program at the gym that’s going to start in a few weeks.
In my last blog “What I eat in a day”, I mentioned that I only count calories a few times during the year. Over the last few weeks I have been asked why don’t I count calories year long.
Why I don’t count calories all year long.
1. It’s a pain in the ass. Seriously.
2. I don’t want to be confined to a piece of paper or app to tell me what to eat all of the time. Maybe I want that extra serving, or another beer…or whatever!
3. I am at the point where I can maintain my weight eating what I want. I know what works for me to keep my weight steady. This is the most important point for me.
A little back story about me.
My son, Logan, was born on February 9th 2004, I was 25 and weighed 180 pounds. That was really hard for me, because all through high school and my early twenties I weighed roughly 110lbs. ALL of the weight I gained, from 110 to 180, happened during my pregnancy. That was a lot of weight in a short amount of time on a 5’3″ frame.
Eventually, I got my weight down to 130 pounds and have stayed within 5 pounds of that weight for the last 10 years. It wasn’t easy to lose the weight! I had a lot of unhealthy habits that I had to break AND build new habits to create a healthier lifestyle. But, now I have the habits in place to maintain my weight.
Of course my weight fluctuates, but never really more then 5 pounds. My set point is 130 (your set point is the weight that you typically hover around for the majority of the year. You CAN change that set point, it just takes time.) Sometimes I have a little bit more muscle and less fat (lower body fat percentage, usually during the Spring and Summer), other times, it’s the opposite, more fat and less muscle usually during the colder months. But, same size clothing through the whole year, just sometimes a little looser then other times.
I am 100% ok with that.
Could I lose more body fat? Sure.
Could I gain more muscle? Sure.
But why?I will still have cellulite, wrinkles, scars and fat. Those ARE a part of me BUT they do not define me. Do I love them? No. But damn it, I am not going to beat myself up over my “flaws” – those aren’t flaws, those are me! Beating myself takes up space in my head and doesn’t make me happier with myself.
This is not necessarily about self-love but more about NOT hating on yourself.
Flexing in 2011 😉
I’ll never be 110 pounds again. I am not the same person. I didn’t have a child, a business, a house to take care of, a husband…and I was in my early 20’s! It was just me – no responsibilities. Plus, I didn’t have MY muscles…I love MY muscles!
I worked hard for my muscles.
I worked hard for my stretch marks.
My scars tell a story.
I worked hard for the body I have – and I am proud of it!
Still flexing in 2017!
I am happy with how I feel, how my clothes fit and how I can perform in the game of life. The number on the scale is just a number. It doesn’t define you. You define who you are, not a number, a wrinkle or cellulite. Stop worrying about what you look like and start focusing on how you feel. When Ben was going through chemo, I didn’t care how I looked. But, when I ate crappy food or didn’t exercise, I could tell a difference in how I FELT.
Focus on making your self feel better, stop worrying about the scale or how you look. We have seen it time and time again, happiness is not tied to how you look. Stop chasing that. Start chasing feeling better!
Are you tired of BEING TIRED?
Are you sick of BEING SICK?
Let us help you turn your life around! Sign up for our 30 day trial for $99. No commitments after AND a money back guarantee. Just click on the link below and start your new life!
We’re a lifestyle gym, because of that, we deal with people’s lifestyles. We often get asked, “Can I have my drinks and my biceps?” The short answer is no, if your not willing to work for it. If your not willing to change your lifestyle to accommodate the booze, then you need to cut it out. In order to be Well-thy, you need to adjust your lifestyle and if your sucking down a six pack every night, that’s the first thing that needs to go.
But! If your like me, you like to have some drinks one night a week and let loose. Or sometimes…it’s a whole week like a few weeks ago during our wedding week. Here’s how I boozed it up and maintained my biceps…cuz you know I love to flex.
The big day!
I recently spent 8 days in the Outer Banks, NC. It was an amazing trip! Lots of great food, booze, late nights, pool/beach and framily. Everyday was a party…and I am still catching up on sleep but it was so worth it. There are a few things that I negotiated with myself before hand.
– I didn’t want to feel bloated(hello bikini…everyday…thats pretty motivating), stuffed or sluggish.
– I wanted to enjoy my drinks AND good food without guilt…or regret.
– I would give up some zzz to spend time with my family and friends.
– I would drink lots of water, sometimes in the form of coffee and/or alcohol. Yes…I did mix them together some mornings!
I think it’s important to make a plan. Boring I know! Hear me out though…
Structure Creates Freedom.
I made a deal with myself before we got there on what my negotiable’s would be, which in turn gave me some freedom to not get hung up on questions that would normally pop into my head like “should I eat that” or “should I have that beer or stick to the clear stuff?” In the past when I did that it just made me crazy compulsive and that sucked.
So what was my plan?
– Drink at least 24oz. of water every morning before coffee or booze.
– Make sure I got at least another 2 liters of water through out the day/night.
Water is actually one of the ways to REDUCE bloating and water retention caused by heavy alcohol consumption. Isn’t that weird? How does it work? To be honest, I am not 100% sure. Ben has explained it to me a few times, but like most of you, I care about the outcome not necessarily the reason behind it. I know when I’m bloated and I drink water, in a few hours, my bloat goes away. Think of it like this – your body is retaining water because it thinks it needs to, by giving it more water you are sending the message that there is plenty of water, so get rid of what your holding onto.
– Skip breakfast – most days I did this! Except the day after our wedding…I danced a LOT…I was starving the next morning. While skipping breakfast doesn’t work for everyone it works for me on most days. I usually eat some protein, fat and veggies by 11ish. Of course I have coffee!
– Eat lots of veggies and protein first as the first meal.
– Small plates – I always pick a small plate or bowl. If I am still hungry I can get more…but usually I am not it helps me from over eating.
– Veggies! I know I mentioned this before BUT I can’t emphasize enough how important and amazing veggies are.
– Don’t eat too many cookies!
We had a cookie bar for the wedding instead of a cake…I only had a couple;)
– I didn’t exercise once – the one day everyone did a workout I was hungover…got a little carried away the first night 😉
– I did spend everyday (for hours) in the pool.
– The house was huge (18 bedrooms with 4 flights of stairs) and our room was on the third floor…I would run or walk them probably over a dozen times per day if not more.
– I danced 4 nights until my feet hurt. Yes…we did…bring our own DJ!
– OH! I almost forgot our push-up contest. Thats where the biceps come in! One of my favorite body weight movements.
– Limit beer intake. Beer = bloating.
– Stick to the clear stuff – vodka = no bloat/less calories.
– Have water between drinks or on hand with booze.
– Eat clean food – veggies/fruit/protien/some fat.
– HAVE FUN!
3 games at once! It was a killer beer pong tournament.
Supplements – on vacation? Yes!
– While I didn’t take all of the usual supplements I did take the ones that would be helpful for recovering.
– Magnesium – I take 2 every night before I go to sleep.
– NuSera – for stressful moments – psst…what stress?
– Digestive enzymes.
I forgot to mention that we arrived on Sunday and our wedding was on Thursday…my dress?! Had to fit! The old me would have not come up with a plan, stressed about it and been miserable. Instead I created some freedom for myself…free from stressing out about food, exercise, what to drink or not to drink. Instead I spent the week laughing, crying, and making memories with my friends and family.
You can have your booze and biceps, but first you need to get biceps. That might mean you need to cut the booze out for a while. And let’s be honest, there is no diet out there that allows you to have unlimited amounts of alcohol during the week and still look good. That’s why our members love us so much, we teach them how to have the booze and the biceps. We’re a lifestyle gym – not a prison!
Do you want to learn more about KDR? Sign up for a free strategy session and we will answer any questions you have! Just click the picture below to get started.
My buttfession this week is a little bit different than the last 2, I want to talk about the safety of having a strong butt. Yes! If your ass is weak you are in some real danger. Danger?! That may be a little dramatic but we take glute strength pretty serious around here.
That’s why we tell all of our members to squeeze their glutes as much as possible!
So what do I mean by that? Think about it, the glutes are the largest muscle in the human body according to the library of congress. Not in some of you…in some of you those glutes that are supposed to be big and strong and round…are flat, small and weak.
What do the glutes do?
They are responsible for:
Hip extension (moving the leg behind your hip)
Hip abduction (moving your leg to the side)
Hip external rotation and internal rotation (pointing your foot internally and externally)
Raising the body up from a forwardly displaced position (think deadlift)
Lifting the body out of the stooped position (think squat)
Femoral, patellar and tibial alignment (knee pain? check the butt!)
Stabilizing the lower back and sacroiliac joint via its attachment into the thoracolumbar fascia (Back pain? check the butt!)
Keeps the pelvis level for walking and running
Strong glutes basically help you cook better and look good doing it 😉
Weak glutes can cause hip pain, knee pain, lower back pain, shoulder pain…even neck pain! Research has shown that the glutes are the first muscle to become inhibited with lower extremity (ankle and knee) and lower back injuries. If you’ve ever sprained an ankle, had knee pain or lower back pain, it’s a good bet you have weak glutes.
That’s some pretty serious stuff! So if your glutes are weak or turned off then you will have some serious issues at some point.
About 4 years ago I injured my low back, I had a herniation at L4 and L5. It wasn’t from one specific incident. I competed in my first powerlifting meet months before, was continuing to train for my next meet, traveling a lot for work, and I just moved the wrong way one day and there it was. Ouch! It hurt to touch my toes, it hurt while I was sleeping, I couldn’t sit for long periods of time with out fidgeting…it really sucked!
It turned out that I was using my lower back muscles to do what my glutes were supposed to do.
And what a bitch it was recovering. No lifting, working out, running, or any of my day to day activites…for about 6 months. It was very frustrating! The truth is weak glutes are dangerous. The loss of glute strength can be debilitating.
6 months after my injury I started an intense 16 week glute program to strengthen my glutes and fix my back. My butt is stronger AND I can do everything I could do before, but better!
With that being said I still have to do those glute builders and sculpters, you cannot just do a strength program of any kind and then stop. You don’t just become strong enough, you have to keep it up!
In the next installment of buttfessions we are going to talk about how you can tell if your glutes are strong enough. But for now – do this exercise every day, shoot for 100 reps at a time. Follow the below progression
Week 1 = 10 reps 10 times per day
Week 2 = 20 reps 5 times per day
Week 3 = 25 reps 4 times per day
Week 4 = 50 reps twice a day
Week 5 = 100 reps every day
Do you think you might have a weak butt that is contributing to join paint? We have a perfect program for you, click the image below for more info.
On this weeks buttfessions lets talk about jeans for the petite athletic female. What do I mean by petite and athletic? Well, if your butt is bigger then your waist, you know what I am talking about.
It’s a bitch finding jeans that “fit”. Most clothing companies don’t make jeans to fit women with glutes or quad…or muscles for that matter. It’s a good problem to have BUT it’s still a problem. I don’t want to wear workout/yoga pants every day! Plus I really hate trying clothes on (Ben loves to shop…true story…you should see his shoe collection) so when I find a pair of jeans I stick with them.
Common issues I have are:
–The waist gap – when they fit my quads and butt just right…but I have a big waist gap in the back.
– The loose knees – when they fit perfect on the waist, butt and quads but my knees are baggy. What?!
– The skinny jean – I find a size that fits perfectly on butt, waist, and quads…TOO long. I have to roll them up like 3 times!
– The Saggy crotch – I barely squeeze them over my quads, get them buttoned…ok…suddenly they went from a high waist to a low waist because I can’t get them all the way up over my butt. The result is a saggy crotch that may split if I do the squat test. ALWAYS DO THE SQUAT TEST!
So what do I wear?
Hear what other fitness professionals are wearing!
Last week I gave you my favorite (builder) glute exercises. Link from 1st post. Check them out here.
Here are my top 5 sculptures:
SL Hip Ups
Side Lying ABD’s
These are movements you can do every day and add to your current workout program. I prefer a high rep range, 15-30 on each to maximize the burn AND pump. Love thy pump! I hope my buttfessions helps you embrace what you have and work with it rather than working against it.