Let us introduce you to Vanessa. This MUTU Mama has been kind enough to share her running with diastasis recti journey and we know it’s going to inspire and motivate so many.
Hi there, I’m Vanessa! I’m a Runner turned Run Coach, a wife and mom of three. Running was a passion I picked up as an adult after having our first kid. But about 1 year and a half ago, I made the intentional decision to get my run coach certification and it turned my passion into my purpose. I love helping others achieve their run goals and I motivate and inspire them with the coaching they can use both on and off the pavement. My husband and I unintentionally spaced out our kids as we have a 14 year old, a 7 year old and a 2 year old. Let’s just say there’s never a dull moment in our house…ever! I want to share my experience of running with diastasis recti.
Finding a postnatal workout for abdominal separation
After our third child, I found MUTU System, by chance, online. I was looking into diastasis recti as my gap had significantly worsened and I knew I needed the program. I was about 8 months postpartum when I met with a MUTU pro. She informed me that my gap was essentially 6, 7, 5 meaning she could fit 6 fingers in between my abs above my belly button, 7 fingers in between my abs at my belly button and 5 fingers in between my abs below my belly button. I was shocked. There was basically a huge hole in my stomach.
Antigravity was not my friend. If I was in a plank position for example, my stomach would sag and there was nothing I could do to hold it in. When I would lay down the opposite would happen. My stomach would cave in and I could feel my intestines. There was no “sucking it in”. My gap was way too big for that. My ab muscles were weak too. After our second child, I realized I had a gap, although it was smaller. But since then I stopped doing any and all ab workouts and I only ran. So it had been close to 5 years that I hadn’t even engaged my core. It was like the “unknown” or the place we don’t touch or talk about.
Before MUTU I felt discouraged, frustrated and even a bit sad with this new body and how it made me feel. But I was definitely determined because I just thought to myself, “this can’t be it”. I don’t carry around 3 babies and throw in the towel. “I must do something about this!”
Running with diastasis recti
After finding the program online and setting up sessions with a MUTU pro, I felt confident that the program was going to help me. There were no MUTU pros in my area so we mostly FaceTime and a handful of times I would drive the 2 hours to meet in person (which worked out well as I had family in that area). But the biggest hurdle was initially realizing that I had to stop running during the program. That was a bit devastating to me because running is my outlet. But my MUTU pro was awesome at explaining the reasoning and I was able to understand that the impact of my running was working against what I needed to do. I took the suggestions and took pics of my belly throughout the process (especially that first photo!) and I still look back at it from time to time to see how far I’ve come. At some point though, it felt like I wasn’t seeing results vs how much I was committed to the program. But my MUTU pro suggested that I take a pic and compare it to that very first pic. And boy was there a noticeable difference! It was crazy that I didn’t notice it myself but comparing the two pics was an eye-opener to me and gave me the motivation to keep going.
Emotionally I feel good and proud of my journey
MUTU Food was my favorite part of the program! I thought I lived a pretty healthy eating life but MUTU food really helped me to see that there were so many things I could eliminate or replace to help in my progress.
When I first started the program, my gap was a 7 finger width (at my belly button) with very weak muscle layers (plus a 6 finger width above my belly button and a 5 finger width below my belly button). Now my gap is 4 finger width (at my belly button) plus my muscle layers are much stronger. At first, I wasn’t able to do anti-gravity exercises or twist at the waist because my “insides” were literally sticking out….I mean I could actually feel my intestines when I would twist and it was scary. Now I can do those exercises and my intestines are nice and tucked away as they should be.
Emotionally I feel good and proud of my journey. My body will never go back to the way it was but that’s ok because neither will my life and I love them both!
On a personal level, intimacy was physically difficult and actually painful before I started the program. After a few weeks, my husband and I noticed that things had changed and it was no longer a painful barrier to overcome. I credit this to being introduced to my own pelvic floor.
MUTU has given me back CONTROL and CONNECTION to my body.
MUTU has given me back CONTROL and CONNECTION to my body. Before the program, I felt that my core was like an unknown space that I just didn’t touch, feel or talk about. I was disconnected from my own body and made myself think that was ok. Well, it wasn’t….I wasn’t. I’m so proud of my journey and how far I’ve come. My body is forever changed because of our three blessings and it’s ok that my body is proof of such a journey. Seeing my body go through such a transformation has been life-changing to me. It allowed me to trust in the program, believe in what I’m capable of and to challenge myself both emotionally and physically. It definitely gave me the confidence to pursue my run coach certification. Although this is unchartered territory for me, it is a career move that I am boldly pursuing. The example of living out my passion and my purpose is something that my kids can witness. And thanks to MUTU I can enjoy this small moment in our lives, while our kids are young, when I can play, interact and be active with them. I’m able to continue to run in races, live out a career in the fitness industry and be physically engaged in my family’s life. What an impact this program has made for me – thank you, Wendy, thank you MUTU!
If you want to find out more about running with diastasis recti read our TOP TIPS FOR POSTPARTUM RUNNING