The world of bounce back culture after having a baby puts an overwhelming amount of pressure on new moms to prioritize their physical appearance and “get their pre-baby body back” as quickly as possible. The effects of this pressure can be disastrous and toxic for new moms on so many levels.
In this episode of the My Sleeping Baby podcast, I’m having an honest and candid conversation with Surabhi Veitch, Registered Physiotherapist and Postpartum Fitness Coach all about why the bounce back culture is so problematic and unhealthy. Have a listen!
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Hey there, you’re listening to the My Sleeping Baby podcast, which is all about baby and child sleep. I’m so excited to teach you how you can get your little ones sleeping so that you can sleep too and enjoy parenthood to its fullest. I’m Eva Klein, your resident’s sleep expert, mom of three, founder of the Sleep Bible online coaching program, and lover of all things sleep and motherhood. If you’re looking for tangible solutions for your little one sleep woes or you simply want to learn more, this podcast is for you. For more information, check out mysleepingbaby.com and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @mysleepingbaby.
All right, Siri, thank you so much for being here today on the My Sleeping Baby Podcast. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to have this conversation with you today. Amazing. So why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself and, uh, what you do? Awesome. So I’m Sobi Veech, and I’m a registered physiotherapist based out of Toronto, Ontario. But I work fully virtually. I’m also a pregnancy and postpartum fitness coach. So I combine my coaching experience and my physio experiences support my clients, both one-on-one virtually, as well as through my online fitness membership and postpartum program, which is actually launching next month in a few, in a few weeks. So I got into this business because I’ve been a physio, I’ve been a physio for a long time working in orthopedics, sports medicine, and I always noticed that it was the moms that had the most issues.
They’d come back with chronic neck pain, back pain, leaking, and they wouldn’t have done their exercises. They couldn’t commit to their exercises. And before I had kids, I didn’t understand. I was like, I don’t understand why they’re not doing their homework. Like, what’s, don’t they wanna get better <laugh>? And then I had my first child and I was like, Okay, now Oh, now I get it. Yeah. Because it’s not that they don’t want to, it’s that their energy is so drained, they’re so mentally and physically exhausted that the idea of adding one more thing to their plate is just too much. Totally. And so I realized I need to change the way I am educating the teaching and, um, working with my mom clients because their lives are totally different, especially in that postpartum stage, the first few years when you have young kids and they’re so needy.
I mean, kids will probably always be needy, but you know, when they’re really little and they need you all the time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I need to change the way I am educating and showing people how to actually make it work in your life right now, so you don’t have to wait till your kids are 18 and moved out of the house before you start taking care of yourself and your fitness and your body, and you know, your pelvic floor and your core and all of that other stuff that comes with postpartum and pregnancies. So right. When I was over the pandemic, I had my second child. My children are four and almost two, and I was pregnant at the beginning of the pandemic, and I was like shocked at the lack of support for new moms. And I’m like, I’m glad this is my second child.
Imagine it was my first, it would be even harder going through the pandemic without support groups appointments. So I had switched my physiotherapy practice to virtual at that point, and I realized how successful virtual therapy is because people can make it work in their busy lifestyles. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> people can learn the strategies to do in their own home environment where they’re comfortable. Instead of doing things at the gym, you know, at the physio gym with all the equipment, and then they go home, they can’t do recreate it. Right. So I started working with clients, then I took some time off to have my second child, and then when I got back to working, I switched to my practice to fully virtual and I haven’t looked back since. That’s amazing. Right. And when you were talking all about how you saw early on that moms just don’t have the wherewithal and the resources and the time to be able to rehabilitate themselves the way, let’s say an athlete can <laugh>.
Exactly. Because, you know, the athlete presumably has one main focus and it’s to get better. And so their full time job is to rehabilitate whatever injury they may have that, you know, they may have experienced. The postpartum mom, on the other hand, is rehabilitating an injury of a similar magnitude usually. So you want the app is magnitude, it could be bigger. Yeah, no, you’re like an, a ACL tear is literally one ligament tour. Right. Like, it’s literally just one ligament. And we spent all this time and resources and surgical procedures and postop procedures for that one injury. And yes, it’s major, but how many people get ACL tears versus how many people have babies? Like, Right. Like when you compare the, the percent percent of the population that are having babies, like about 50% of the population are female, potentially could have children. About 85% of women have children, so at some point in their lives.
So imagine the sheer proportion of moms out there, people having babies postpartum who need that support and you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I always, people always say, What about postpartum? You know, or what about new dads? And the thing is, the dads are still sleep ex, you know, sleep deprived, maybe exhausted and whatnot, but they’re not physically healing in the same way. And we all know that moms tend to bear the brunt of the mental load mm-hmm. <affirmative> of parenting and a lot of the actual load in the household too, which that’s a separate conversation in itself, but that’s why moms really need the support. And that’s where I really made that connection after I became a mom myself, is that, wow, I’m a physio, I’m educated, I know fitness, yet, why am I struggling so much? Right. Because it’s not so simple. It’s not just, you know, people often come to me, they’re like, Which exercise is gonna fix this?
And I’m like, Listen, honey, I could give you 1 8, 10 exercises, but it’s not the exercise that’s going to help you heal. It’s so much more. It’s the whole package. It’s understanding how to fit those exercises into your life. It’s about when to do it. It’s about what is gonna count the most mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So you’re not wasting your precious energy doing everything and hoping for the best when maybe you only have five minutes for 10 minutes and you’re gonna do the things that matter the most. Totally. And that’s really where I think postpartum health, um, recovery needs to go, is to prioritize the, the person in front of you, what their demands are, what their lives are like, how busy they are. Like for you, you have three children, some people have 2, 3, 4 kids. Very different than having one child. Yeah. Still, still overwhelming, still busy, but your, your, your time demands are so much more when you have other children in the household.
Yes. Um, so, you know, these are conversations I have with my clients on day one. Yes. So that I get to know who they are as a human being rather than giving them blanket. Yep. You’re a postpartum, you’re gonna do these ex xyz exercises. Correct. So everyone is the same, just because you’ve had a baby and somebody else has had a baby, your situation might be different. Yes. Absolutely. I remember for me, going from one to two was definitely by far the biggest shock to my system. That was for sure the most exhausting for me. Because even though zero to one is a, a completely different type of shock, because you’re now a mom, you now have, you know, someone else to take care of that’s relying on you exclusively for everything. Going from one to two was a different type of shock, because when I just had my one baby, and she would be, you know, sleeping in until let’s say eight or eight 30, like I could sleep with her.
Right, Right. When I then had my seconds, my first was two years in formats when, when my baby was born. And so she was up at seven o’clock in the morning, no matter what. Right. There was, she didn’t care about the fact that I might have been up three times the night before feeding my newborn. She was up and needed to be dropped off at, you know, nursery school for, you know, 8 30, 9 o’clock in the morning, something like that. Um, but most importantly needed to be kept alive from 7:00 AM onwards. And so I remembered that was when I was like, Oh, so the days when I was able to feed the baby at six o’clock in the morning and then sleep in until eight 30 or nine, that’s, that’s, that’s not happening anymore. It’s not happening this time around. And then say goodbye to those nap times too.
Right. Like, you can’t, you can’t like, you know, sleep in the baby’s sleep. It’s like that doesn’t always happen. Doesn’t always happen. Especially when you have multiple children. Like my, my kids, both of them were home until my son, my youngest was a year old, and they started childcare mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So they were both home. And I was like, There’s no napping when my baby naps because I’m holding him for the nap, or he’s napping on the go because I’m doing something with my toddler. Right. Totally. So it, we have to understand who the mom is in front of you so that we can give, I can give advice that actually is gonna work. Yes. Because if I tell you Yep. Every morning you’re gonna wake up and you’re gonna do xyz, you’re gonna do 30 minutes. Yeah. These, when you have a newborn and a two year old who are, by the way, both babies, they’re both babies, and they’re sucking the energy out of you because that’s what they do.
They both need to be kept alive. They cannot, they are not remotely independent when it comes to anything. Safety, <laugh> basic safety, safety related food, getting dressed, you know, diapers like it, all that, you know, it’s two babies. And even though, like I, I had my two year old in a full day nursery program from the very beginning, you know, that was a lifeline for me. I remember getting her to school along with know my newborn and getting her to school on time. Yes. Alive, dressed, clean, newborn, baby fed, dressed clean, knee dressed, that’s feet like me, me fully clothed, um, was, I felt like I had just ran a marathon. And every morning when I managed to drop that two year old off at daycare, um, nursery school, again, with all that criteria, is she dressed? Is she fed? Did did I, did I pack her lunch?
Did I feed the newborn? Is the newborn changed? Did I remember to, you know, bring, bring your diaper bag just in case with me, You know, the car seats and everything. Um, on very little sleep was the biggest accomplishment that I do not think that young moms get enough credit for. No. Um, and people who aren’t, My mom didn’t have help at home. My husband was out of the house. My husband had to be at work for, you know, 8:00 AM every day. Yeah. And, and I didn’t have any help, other help at home. It was just me. And, um, I have this really vivid memory of when my newborn was 10 days old. Um, at the time when I was pre, when I was pregnant and postpartum, I’ve always struggled with my iron levels. Um, but especially when I was pregnant, I had to take, you know, an additional iron supplement.
Yeah. Same. And so I took, I always took this liquid supplement, um, I can’t remember what it’s called, but it’s brown and it tastes like crap. But it’s really good because your body digests it really well anyways. Yeah. Because I was postpartum then exhausted. Um, I must have not put the, the, um, knob on it properly. And so I’m in the kitchen, in the fridge and the morning, like moving things around and I think I took it out and I thought that the lid was on it properly and it wasn’t. And then I dropped this whole big bottle of oh my gosh, roast iron brown, disgustingly smelly iron, that smell too. And that stains Yes. That stuff all over my floor with literally two screaming babies, you know, the big baby, little baby screaming. And I was just like, Oh, help me. And then it like, like, Oh my God, this is literally postpartum.
There was no, I didn’t have Instagram then, but I would have snapped a picture being like, This is life. Can anyone, this is how my morning’s going so far, folks. Exactly. How’s your morning going? And so if you had then told me, and don’t forget to do, you’re 45 minutes of Yeah. You know, pelvic work. Exactly. I literally would have looked at you as if you were an alien. Yeah. So, yes, this is the reality of what postpartum moms are looking at, that athletes who might be rehabilitating an injury of a similar magnitude, usually less just don’t need to be juggling. That’s, And you know what athletes, like, I’m just thinking about athletes without children especially, they get their seven to nine hours of sleep. Correct. If they want to, they can go to bed, they can stay out late and party, but they can go to bed when they want to.
They have control over their lives. Yes. We don’t have as much control over our lives. Yeah. And so that’s an, that’s a reality that we need to accept. But it’s also conversation of, you know, one of the things that I wanted to talk about is the whole bounce spot culture around postpartum and the pressure that moms put on themselves to look a certain way at six weeks postpartum to Yeah. To get back to all of their previous activities because this mom is doing it and that mom’s doing it. And I’m like, You don’t understand what this other mom is going through because what you see is this, But they might be suffering from leakage. Yeah. Or they might be suffering from prolapse, or they might have so much scar tissue and pain that they can’t have sex. Like there’s so many other issues that are going on that we can’t see at the surface level.
And we also need to realize that people have different levels of support. Like we hired a house cleaner a couple months ago and it’s been life changing because Right. You can do that. Yeah. But if you are doing all the cooking, the cleaning, the childcare, you know, you have much less energy left for yourself at the end of the day. Right. So a big conversation that I have is, you know, with bounce back culture in particular is, you know, there’s so much to unpack. Bounce back culture is, for those of you who don’t know, is essentially the, the assumption that when you are six weeks postpartum, you’re healed. So you are allowed to get back to exercise, which is, you know, you don’t get much direction from your OB or midwife because Yeah. Or your doctor, because that’s not their area of expertise. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
And that itself is a important distinction, is you cannot go to your OB and be like, Can I return to exercise? Because they might medically clear you because your stitches look good. Yeah. But they cannot tell you that you are able to run, jump, go to high intensity fitness. Yeah. Because they haven’t assessed you, They don’t know how to, they can’t assess your pelvic floor strength in the same way. Right. That a pelvic floor physiotherapist can. Um, and even besides all that is you are just six weeks postpartum. Like I always joke, I have pimples that take longer to heal than six weeks. Yeah. Like that is just scratching the surface of Right. You know, maybe your scar tissue is healed, your uterus is shrinking back down, but your strength, your mobility, your pelvic floor function that is gonna take months, two years to recover.
Correct. And um, I, I had made a post recently that it takes about 18 to 24 months to recover postpartum. Really? And it was shared 11,000 times. Wow. Like 11,000 because Right. People were finally like, Oh my God, like this is so true for me. It took me 18 months. Oh it took me two years. Oh, Ashley took me three years. Yeah. Because everyone is hiding, everybody who’s taking longer to heal is hiding behind the fact that they’re not good enough. Yeah. And then the people you see posting are the fitness pros whose life, whose job it is to be fit. Right. And you’re seeing all the people post who are, who happen to be naturally skinny or naturally thin because there are lots of people who genetically are just thin. Yeah. Like after, after my first child, the day after I weighed myself and I was the same weight pre ba as I was pre-baby mm-hmm.
<affirmative>, I did not do anything. It was just my body. Yeah. After my second different story. But yeah. You know, people would ask me, What’s your secret? I’m like, honestly nothing. And I know it’s gonna irritate you, but it’s just my body and how it is. Right. But it’s an important conversation to have because people act like it takes har, you know? Oh, if you put in the work, if you’re, if you’re dedicated, you can get back to your body too. And I like to have a different conversation. We’re not looking to get back our body, we’re looking to move forward in our current body. We’re looking to accept our current body. Right. You don’t have to be all lovey-dovey. And I love my stretch marks and roles. Like you don’t have to love those things, but you have to accept that, that those are there Right.
In your current body and then move on. Right. Um, and that can take a while. There is a grieving process sometimes, you know, that you, you know, feel when you’re like, I miss my athletic body. I miss how easy it was for me to get up and go for a run. And that might be really hard for you now. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it’s important to grieve that. But it’s also important to understand that just like grief, it passes over time or gets easier to handle, manage. Yeah. Uh, maybe doesn’t fully ever go away, but it gets easier to accept and and manage the same thing’s gonna happen with your postpartum body. Right. Um, and I can only imagine, you know, when you’re saying that it takes 18 to 24 months to, you know, fully heal and fully recover, um, a lot of people might have had another baby at that point in point in that times.
Yeah. In that, you know, they might have gotten pregnant with another baby, you know, let’s say in that, in that 12 to 18 month, um, postpartum stage. And so does that, that of course just means that the next recovery that you have to go through is, um, is could even take, could even take longer. Longer potentially. Exactly. Like we’re having babies older now. People are having them closer together. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, I know I have so many clients who are like 15 months apart, 13 months apart, 18 months apart. Right. And, you know, it takes all the research, research and the research around this is a little bit hazy too, because it takes about a year for your abdominal fascia to heal. It takes about 18 months. So they don’t recommend getting pregnant again until you’re 18 months postpartum because your risks of, see again, they don’t measure the risks in the mother.
They measure the risks in the future child. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s like, again, the focus, you know, moms are ignored again. Cause they don’t, they don’t care about you. They just care about your, what your uterus can provide. Which is, I was about to say, literally when you were talking about what you just mentioned, you know, the research shows x, y, Z, literally the very first thing that came to mind was, well, what, what are they actually researching? Do they really, are they actually focusing on, on the mother experience wellbeing of the mom and outcomes of the mom, you know, injury wise, mental health wise, physical health wise, When you have kids closer together, further apart, et cetera. Does, is there, cuz of course research involves money, it’s grant money. Right. It is somewhere who’s funding it. And there needs to, needs to be that it needs to be a priority in order for that research to actually happen.
Exactly. And like we can accept, I can say that maternal wellness and wellbeing is not an important topic in our country, like Canada and the us It’s not an important topic because if it was, it would be better funded. Pelvic health physiotherapy, mental health postpartum would be guaranteed for every single new mom. But that doesn’t happen. We know that the outcomes in the hospitals for people who are having hospital babies, more and more C-sections. C-sections are on the rice. C c-sections can be life saving for sure. Breach babies, you know, there mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they can be life saving of course. But you’re seeing 30, 30, 40% C-section. Right. Instead of like 18%, which is more typical in, especially in western developed countries. We like to brag about ourselves as developed, but it’s actually, you’re re we’re regressing because doctors get paid more for doing c-sections and surgeries.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative> patients spend less time in the hospitals when you’re having a surgical birth with a planned induction date or planned C-section date. Right. The is when you’re just sitting there laboring for 24 hours. Yes. You’re wasting wasting their time, quote, unquote wasting. So, you know, there’s so much that is basically not there to support maternal health and wellbeing. And so we as ourselves, mothers need to advocate for ourselves and also recognize that maybe these people out there don’t have our best interests in mind because if they did, we wouldn’t just have one six week postpartum checkup for ourselves. Yeah. Meanwhile, having a million baby checkups, like in that first six weeks and months postpartum. Right, right, right, right, right. We, we are the one, we are the vessel that created that human we need to be taking care of as well ourselves as well.
Yeah. And so I encourage you, my clients, go to your doctor, get postpartum blood work in, even if you’re not called for it, you go ask for it because what are your iron levels? Like? You and I both have low iron, We know that when your iron crashes, your energy levels dip even more. Right. And so moms are blaming themselves for not being disciplined or not being data motivated for to do their exercises. I’m like, Dude, your iron is is way too low. Yeah. Like, get get your, get your iron stores up, take those supplements, eat, you know, pair your vitamin C with your iron foods. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, all of those things contribute to your postpartum healing as well. Yeah. So, you know, bounce back at six weeks. It’s, it’s just not realistic. And Yeah. I want you to, if you’re listening to this, I want you to completely forget every single mom that seems to bounce back because you don’t know the full story.
I, when I quote unquote bounce back from the begin from the outer, you know, if somebody looked at me, they would say, Oh, Serbia, you bounced back. The reality was, I felt the worst I did in my body in my entire life. Yeah. Entire life. I felt horrible. I felt out of so weak. My abs felt like mush. I was leaking, I had heaviness in my pelvic floor every single day. I couldn’t go on long walks without peeing. And I was a previous like, varsity level cross country ski team, ski athlete mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I’m, I have good endurance. Like walking was not hard for me. Right. But postpartum it was. And not just for the first six weeks, for the first probably eight to 12 months postpartum. Yeah. And then after that I didn’t do, I went to see a pelvic health physiotherapist. And unfortunately the person that I saw, she was great.
She was lovely, but gave me just the most basic boring exercises. And that’s another reason moms give up with pelvic floor stuff cuz it’s so boring. Yeah. Like, I was literally giving keels and I’m like, you don’t need to even do keels. Right. It’s not gonna save the world. It’s not gonna prevent you from leaking. Like it’s a myth. And again, kes are studied in the literature, research shows keels are effective, but I’m like, but are they studying anything else? Are they only studying kes? Of course. That’s, And you can, you can ma make anything sound effective if you modify the variables enough. Right. And so what is more effective is a whole body strengthening because you’re lifting that baby and that toddler up not with your pelvic floor, your abs, you’re lifting them up with your arms, your legs. So if your arms, your legs are weak, your core is weak.
Yeah. And so people make the mistake of doing endless weeks and months of, you know, core strengthening, pelvic floor strengthening and ignoring the rest of their body. And then they wonder why body feels so tired and weak. Right. And so some of the things that I focus on, you know, between children, I learned a lot. That’s when I started going into pregnancy and postpartum. I learned a lot about pregnancy and postpartum because prior to that I was all sports medicine, I was all, you know, joint injuries, um, outside of the pelvic floor mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And now I was like, I need to learn more about this because people need to know this. And when you learn about, you know, you gave a great example with the athlete, you know, and people joke that like having a baby’s like running a marathon. I’m like, it’s more than a marathon.
Yeah. Marathon takes people what, six hours at most? Or, you know. Yes. The average person, my, my first labor was 21 hours. Yeah. And it wasn’t like it was easy. It was hard for 21 hours. It makes sense. I had an unmedicated birth, whether you have an epidural or not, it is, it is hard. Mm-hmm. Whether you have a c-section, it is hard. And that’s major abdominal surgery, it’s even harder in some ways. In many ways. So we need to consider and respect ourselves as healing bodies. Absolutely. Um, and yeah, going back to the 18 to 24 months, you know, they, they recommend 18 months because you have a higher risk of like, um, developmental disorders in your, in your child. If you have them closer together, you have higher risk of like, anemia, all of these other things mm-hmm. <affirmative> in your child. So I’m like, if the child you’re making is gonna be potentially, you know, weaker post, if they’re, if they’re close together, what is the impact then on the mother if you’re having them close together?
Right. Most moms who have their babies close together, they’re not fully recovered yet because they’re not, they, they may not even have time to even do their rehab exercises. Yeah. They’re having another baby and or you know, of course two or three. And then, you know, I remember I recently saw mom who had four children leaks where changes her underwear six times a day. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> never did rehab. And she’s young, but she’s had four kids without rehab. Yeah. So she is going to be putting in the work now. And she is and it feels hard because it is hard. Yeah. And so sometimes we expect that it should feel easy because that’s what we see, you know, all the moms, the celebrity moms Yes. Going on their, oh, it’s just easy. I just drink my green smoothie and I get my workout in before the kids are awake.
I’m up at 3:00 AM to do all this. I’m like, no, I never absolutely never recommend new moms ever give up sleep to do their workouts. No. That is not a thing. Um, some of the strategies that our use are, you know, when your baby’s having their first wake time, when they’re happy fed, you know, when they’re typically the most happy in the mornings, that’s when, when you’re laying that on the floor, you lay down beside them and do a couple exercises. Right. And so it’s actually realistic. If you have a toddler, get them to lay down with you. Make it a game, make it an activity so you can all have your morning workout together. Yeah. You know, when you start involving your older children especially, they will hold you accountable. My daughter used to be like, Mommy, it’s time to exercise. Because I would have my weights right there in the living room, not in the basement tucked away, not in a box somewhere.
Leave your equipment out. So actually see it so you’ll actually use it. Right. And Right. Right, right. Exactly. Those are simple ways to actually make it easier for you to exercise and to take some of that pressure off of, Oh well I gotta get to the gym. I gotta get to the gym, forget the gym, Stay home. So how do you feel like when you see these, you know, like these pictures, you know, a before and after these, before and after pictures, you know, before, this is what I looked like six weeks postpartum, two weeks postpartum. And then look at me, I’m x number of months postpartum and now I’m, you know, ripped or you know, now I’m, you know, five dress sizes small or some, something like that. How, what’s your initial reaction to those side by side pictures that we often see? Um, honestly, I think, I think everyone does whatever feels right for them.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but it makes me sad for women, period. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, here’s why we have, we have been objectified our entire lives. Right. Right. We are what we look like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you’re, if you look youthful, if you look, you know, tall, thin, and they’re all Eurocentric beauty standards. Yeah. You know, further, that’s also not realistic for like 60% of the world or, or more. Yeah. So, you know, it’s, um, it makes me sad because then now we see women objectifying themselves and falling prey into that same self objectifying, I’m only worthy if I look like a prized doll and I’m not worthy when I was two weeks or six weeks postpartum. And I’m like, listen, you’re disrespecting your two week postpartum body or six week postpartum body, or three months postpartum body because that pot, he’s working hard for you. It is working so hard for you to heal, to keep you alive, to keep your babies alive, to produce breast milk if you’re breastfeeding.
There’s so many things that body is doing. And if you’re reducing your body to exactly what you look like in a bathing suit, you are completely disrespecting yourself. Now there’s the other standpoint where people are like, But I worked hard for that body. And I’m like, You should celebrate that. Go for it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but also that before and after, like, you’re so much better now just because your body’s thinner and ripped. Yeah. I have, I have issue with that and I see a lot of personal trainers who is that big person. Recently I did a Jillian Michaels, Jillian Michaels who posted like, Hey ladies, you can be in your forties and still have ab and I, I posted this joke real like, well you can be, you can have two kids mamas and still have a six pack. And I had like a six pack of like size a beer.
Right. Yeah. <laugh>, because I was like, this is so ridiculous. Yeah. Like, is your life really about having a six pack? Because like I get so much when I had a six pack, my life wasn’t better. No. I still found issues with my body. I still think I needed this and that and that. Yeah, of course you will always like, that’s a, that’s what I want. I, you know, like to get dive into deeper is like if you have body image issues, having a different body is not gonna get rid of those issues. Right. People think it will, but then they get to that body and then they want something more. They want something more. And a lot of the body image issues stems from insecurity control. We want control over our lives. So we’re like, what can I control? I can control my, my body.
Right. Yeah. And it’s especially postpartum. I experienced this personally myself. I experienced so little control of our, my life. So I was seeking control elsewhere. And for me, that resulted in obsessively cleaning my home all the time. Any toy that my daughter touched, I would wash it every single day. It was obsessive. Yeah. Now looking back on it, I can recognize that I kept like Excel spreadsheets of what she ate, how much Yeah. When she slept, when she pooped. Like for so long it was unhealthy. And I wish that I recognize that then, but I didn’t. And it took me a while to recognize that. Yeah. That may have been like either borderline line society, you know, a little bit of OC d or actual oc d I’m, I mean, I’m not a psychotherapist, but it was all anxi stemming from anxiety. Right? Yeah. Anxiety around the lack of control over my own life.
And it reflected in, and we see that in postpartum, you know, bounce back culture who are like, like I’m back to CrossFit at six weeks. And I’m like, But what is the need to do that right now? Yeah. And, and what’s the consequence? What’s the, what are the un unintended consequences of being back at CrossFit or, you know, hit five days a week, um, when you just pushed, pushed at a baby six weeks ago. Yeah. And mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And the, and the other thing is like, we know that the, how you get stronger is when you rest and recover. Yeah. And so if you’re doing a high intensity workout and then you’re sleeping three hour chunks in and you know, maybe have three or four disruptions through the night, how are you actually gonna recover? It’s gonna take you way longer to recover. So I don’t like to give my moms, my new moms high intensity right away.
Like they’ve gotta build up to that. It’s gotta make sense for their life, depending on, you know, we talk about sleep a lot because there are moms who have their baby sleeping through the night at six weeks postpartum. Right. And they’re like, Yeah, feel great. And then there’s other moms like me, um, I, my baby didn’t really sleep through the night till she was about a year. Yeah. And so it’s totally different. Totally different. Anyone’s listening. You need to call me by the way, if your nine month old is still not sleeping through the night, because I, I can help with that. Okay. Exactly. I was gonna say, this is, and this is the thing, we did not know each other. The end you would’ve called, we didn’t know each other and, and we didn’t even know that there was help for it other than like ignoring your child’s needs, you know, like there wasn’t the same, It’s similar to fitness Ashley.
Yeah. Sometimes you just accept your body because you don’t know you can do anything about it. Yeah. Or you go extreme and you’re like, I’m just not listening to it all. I’m gonna go go big or go home, go big or go home. Right. Yeah. And so this brings me to the all or nothing mindset around life and around exercise. Yeah. You know, and we don’t do this in many things, but we do this in exercise. We either are all in, we’re working out three days a week or then we, we skip a week cuz someone’s sick and then we, we slide to two months doing nothing. Right. And then we feel guilty, we feel bad about ourselves and then we’re like, all right, I gotta get back to it. Summer’s coming, let’s go, let’s go. And then you, someone gets sick, you go on vacation, you get tired, whatever happens life.
And then two months, two months off. And then people have these big spikes up and down and up and down. And I would rather you have something that is doable and consistent, that doable for you and you’re able to be consistent. Even if it’s once every two weeks. Yeah. Rather than three times a week. And then only, you’re only doing that for like one month at a time throughout the year. Right? Yeah. And then the other three months, eight months, you’re not doing anything at all. I would rather do one workout every week, one workout every two weeks and use that as new consistency for you. Yes. Um, you know, I recently, last year I was like, okay, I’m gonna switch my goals to like one strength workout a week and then add whatever else. Running, climbing, you know, in the winter skiing mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I have not missed one week.
Even when somebody’s sick, I can find some time in the week to do a gentle workout, no problem. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> traveling, I can, I can modify my workout. No problem. That’s why when my, with my base fitness membership subscription, that’s exactly what I do. I give 30 minute workouts with are doable. You can do 10 minutes at a a time. You can do the whole thing with minimal equipment because that’s, that’s what moms need. Right. Um, and then the other component of it is reevaluating your goals to fit your life. Now. So if you’re having a sleep regression or progression, or if your babies are teething or you get c rev out, your goals right now, your goals have to change. But understand that that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. That you’re not disciplined, that you’re not a hard worker. Doesn’t mean you’re less of a mom, less an attractive mom because you’re not working out for three weeks.
It just means that this is life right now and you’re meeting your needs for that week and then you can move on once when that week. And this is not always going to be your life. Like you will not be in this exact stage forever. Forever. No. And that is okay. You know, that just means that at this specific stage, this is what you need, this is what your body needs, this is what your family needs. But in even six months from now, you’re gonna be in a different stage and your kids will be in different stages and you know, your life will be at a different stage and you’ll be feeling differently. And your needs and wants will also be different as a result. Well exactly. And and you’re not necessarily, And the other part is like, people always assume that it will get easier when your kids get older and life will get bus less busy.
And it’s actually the opposite. Life gets busier as your kids get older and they get involved in activities. Yeah. In some ways they less, they need you less physically, they don’t need to be held as much mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But your day is still going to be busy. It’s not less busy like talking, it’s kinda busy. That’s what I, toddlers are busy. Very, very different. Busy. It’s very different. But it’s, it’s can be just as exhausting. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, your time demands are taken up by driving your kids from here to here. So I don’t want you to wait for the perfect timing in order to start taking care of yourself. Yeah. I want you to recognize that even if you can commit only five minutes a day or a week, if that’s the case mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that is still better than nothing. Yeah. You know, I, I love giving the toothbrushing analogy.
So if I give you two options, you can brush your teeth once a week or you can brush your teeth for 15 seconds every day. Right. Which would you pick? Yeah. Right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> or, or even worse, you can brush your teeth once a month or you can brush your teeth every single day for 15 seconds, Which would you pick? Yeah. Right. Yeah. And so everyone would be like, that’s gross once a month. Like yeah, I would, I would take something better than nothing. And I’m like, that’s the same with exercise. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you are waiting for that perfect time to get to that dance class, that yoga class and this class and that class or get to the gym and then they change the hours on you and you’re like, Oh, it doesn’t work in my schedule. Yeah. You’re wait waiting for it to be perfect or to have other people figure it out for you.
But you can decide that I’m gonna do 10 squats every single day. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I’m gonna do three sets. You gonna start with one set and you’re gonna build it up. I’m gonna do bicep curls cause I like bi, I like having nice biceps. Great. Yeah. Do that. Do what you enjoy what you like, but also recognize that at the beginning you may need to do boring stuff like, you know, bridges or bird dogs or like some of the easier, more gentler exercises to allow your body to reconnect with your abs and your pelvic floor in a safe way. Right. Jumping right ahead to regular fitness classes. Some moms get away with it. Absolutely. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> especially really, really athletic moms can often get away with that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but the average person cannot. Yeah. And so when we, when we don’t even recognize that there are services like mine for postpartum moms, we’re just going back to like F 45.
Like I went to talk to the local F 45 and I kid you not, it’s like all bros who, who work there <laugh>. And I was like, did you know that like 80% of PE people, especially women, will leak at some point in their lives and 70% of them will modify their exercises in order to not leak. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And they were like, what do you mean leak? They did not understand what they couldn’t understand. They didn’t know what you meant. No, they didn’t know what I meant. And then I said, you know when you leak urine? And their faces were like, Yeah. And I’m like, do you mean like, like pee your pants? They had no idea. And like this happens to men too, but most men don’t talk about it or know about it. Yeah. And especially if your trainers don’t know about it, imagine how you’re gonna feel when you’re doing jumping jacks and you’re leaking and maybe leaking a little bit and then your male trainer is like Yeah.
Or you, you’re not gonna feel comfortable even telling them or asking for modifications or Yeah. Or figuring out that, hey, you keep doing this, this is actually gonna make your situation worse in the long run. Yeah. Like there are simple ways to fix that in the moment. But your trainers aren’t trained in this. They’re not trained in pelvic floor health or postpartum rehab or, or leaking. So they can’t even coach your advisor. They’re not trained in injury prevention either they’re trainers, they’re not physiotherapists or, you know Yeah. Injury specialists. So recognizing that we put our trust in people who we assume should be able to help us, but sometimes you need to find someone who is more specialized in this during this stage of your life. Right. Right. Right. Um, same with like if you have an ACL tear shoulder replacement, would you rather go to the person who specializes in ACL repairs or would you rather go to the person who’s like Yeah, I help people get strong and active.
Yeah. But like, I don’t know the first thing about knees. Right. No. So it’s, it’s important to recognize that you are worth it. Yes. Like you are 100% worth it. And it’s not, I never coach fat loss weight loss because that’s not my area of expertise. I’m a, I’m a professional, I’m a physiotherapist. I’m not like a you who trainer that’s gonna be like Yeah. Go, you know, lose weight. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I’m not saying that fat loss is wrong or weight loss is wrong. It is a valid goal. We are raising a society that values thinness and if you’ve been conditioned, which we all have, we’ve been conditioned to believe that thinness is better and healthier. Which is, which it’s not always true. Yeah. Um, of course, of course. Maybe you wanna lose the weight, you know, there’s nothing wrong with that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But understand that there’s a why behind it and the why is you wanna ne you know, maybe fit in, appear more.
Yeah. Absolutely attractive. Um, absolutely. Also, and also like one of the things that I always say is like, I felt good when I wore these clothes. Not because of the size they were, but because I had freedom in my life. I, I had fun going to patios with my friends. That was a fun memory for me. Of course when I’m getting rid of my old clothes, it’s also a bit of nostalgia around, I kind of miss that life, that part of your life. Right. Right, right, right. And so it’s recognizing like sometimes clothes that don’t fit can be triggering. Like I remember I was three months postpartum after my first, and even though I looked like I bounced back by the end of the day, my diastasis rec eye, which is where you have like an abdominal separation. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, my diocese rect eye was fatigued so my abs would just stretch and stretch and stretch.
Right. And so, you know, it just looked like I was like slightly three months pregnant. Yeah. And so like I was at a friend’s wedding and I wasn’t drinking cuz I was breastfeeding and I was too tired and whatnot, didn’t need an excuse. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> wasn’t drinking and like a friend, my male friend was like, You’re not pregnant again, are you? And I was devastated hearing that comment. Yeah. I was so, and I was only three months postpartum and I’m like, it’s okay if you look pregnant at three months postpartum, it’s okay if you always have a belly cause or you’re tired three months postpartum and you’re too and you feel like you drink a glass of wine, you’re gonna literally pass, pass out. Oh yeah. And I was exhausted at that point cuz my, I had a high niche job. Um, and you know, it, people who don’t have children don’t recognize that.
And none of my group of friends at that point had kids except for that. Right, Right. And so it was really hard and I took it personally then, but if somebody made that comment to me today, I wouldn’t because I’m at a better space, you know, with myself. Yeah. I’m have four years of experience being a mom now, not just three months, three months. You know, you learn over time to kind of perspective too and like what actually matters. Um, but expecting yourself at six weeks or three months to have it all figured out, it’s just not gonna happen. Yeah. And it sets you up for feeling like a complete failure. You know, I’ll tell you like when, when I see those before and after pictures without any other information other than the pictures. Right. Because, you know, let’s, let’s obviously, you know, specify like what you were saying, you know?
Yes. If someone has weight to lose for, you know, actual health, medical reasons and then they lose the weight and then there are real tangible benefits like they no longer need to take insulin for their diabetes. Exactly. Like their, you know, blood pressure’s no longer so high now, you know, they’re sleep apnea improves. Right. There’s so many other things. Sleep ap apnea improves. They can now, you know, they can now run um, 45, you know, 45 minutes nonstop that they were never able to do before. I would absolutely celebrate that. But you know, I’ll tell you, you, the, the reason why I was asking this is because something just popped up in my Facebook newsfeed recently where, you know, someone, I, someone I know he is, he’s decided he want, he’s this, you know, self proclaimed health coach and he posted a before and after photo of a female, I think, you know, somewhere in, in our age range.
And in the before photo she was not, you know, insanely overweight by any means, but her body was a little bit bigger in the left. And then on the right, the, the picture, you know, was her much smaller and you know, look at the, it was something like, look at these results. Like this is, you know, fantastic, amazing. I love what I do, no other information other than this is what she looked like before. This is what she looked like after. And so he’s obviously, you know, gonna get those likes and a few of those like, congratulations, you look amazing. That’s so incredible. And so, you know, me, the poop disturber, I said <laugh> cuz I can’t, I can’t hold back on in these sorts. Ofdecision good for you. Yeah. And so I chimed in and you know this person, What’s that? You know this person, you know the guy or the the woman.
I I, I know both of the people. Ah, somewhat not well, not well, but like it pops up on my newsfeed cuz you know, we’re we’re Facebook friends. Yeah. And so I said, you know, to play devil’s advocate here, how do we know that she’s healthier on the right, on the right picture. Oh my God, I’m applauding for you than on the left. Yeah. So I said, so because her body is smaller in the, in the right picture, we now need to assume that she’s healthier or happier or more fulfilled Exactly. Or anything. And I said, you know, I can list you a hundred different medical conditions that can cause someone to lose weight that are not a reflection of someone being healthier. Yeah, absolutely. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s a reflection of someone struggling with their health. I mean, where do I begin in terms of what could possibly, I mean listen, if we, if we honestly wanted to sit there, we could literally come up with a list so many, you know, and eating disorder anxiety, You know, c cancer, cancer, cancer.
When you go on chemotherapy, apparently it causes, you know, your appetite to go down the toilet so that even before chemo it can, it’s sometimes it suddenly, suddenly, suddenly uses a lot of weight with that explanation. Right. That’s a red flag. So I, I have a friend from IBS and when she gets, and her IBS is really hard to control sometimes. And then she just as a result is gets very, very thin sometimes, you know, when it’s, when she’s having hard flares out and there’s outta control. Um, are are we supposed to look at someone who is losing weight because of those conditions and say, well at least you’re looking great. You know? Yeah. That’s fantastic. My point is that as I said, if there was, you know, an actual medical, um, reason for needing to lose the weight and then there were actual metrics that you can say, Hey this, these were the benefits of whatever program I was on.
That’s wonderful. But then you know what, why do you gotta post the pictures? Thank you. That’s what I was gonna say. The pictures, if it got, if you someone lost weight Yeah. And no longer needs to go on insulin, then why can’t you just post, Hey guys, guess what Exactly My type two diabetes is so under control now that I don’t need to use insulin anymore. Yeah. Why can’t we celebrate that? Because when I did post, when I did say, first of all, I was immediately getting like after like after like which made me feel relieved because good, I’m going, Okay. You know what? I don’t think 20 years ago that if, if there was Facebook 20 years ago, I don’t think that that comment would have gotten nearly as much love as even five years ago. I don’t think it would’ve even five years ago.
I agree. I think that that, I think there’s been a huge change, a slow shift towards reality. Mm-hmm <affirmative> that weight loss does not always equal health. Right. And that weight loss by itself is not a reflection of anything other than a body getting smaller. That’s it. And so the person in the pictures chimed in and said, Oh you know, Hi Eva. Yeah. You know what? You’re right. You make a very good point. It happens to be that like I was not healthy in the left picture that I feel so much better in the right picture and here’s why. Um, and before I was able to respond back to her to say Great. So then why did you have to post the picture? Yeah. Why couldn’t it just be before I was dealing with all these issues, I had bloating, I had this, I had that.
I wasn’t sleeping well, I was dealing with all these issues and now I feel so much better because of X, Y, Z. Why not just post that? But then he took the post down of course cause he was probably it. Oh this makes me look good cause he saw um, cuz I ended up my comment by saying, this post is not going to age well. And that was where I was just like, in other words, you go back to this post in five years from now, it’s not gonna look good on your health coaching business sir. Right. Because you’re saying health coaching if you, That’s the other thing is if people wanna be upfront and just say, I’m a weight loss coach, call it that. Yeah. But don’t call it help because the other thing is a couple things that I wanted to add on cuz I love that you did this.
I think it’s incredible. We need more people like you who are willing to just be honest and call this stuff in because it needs to be said. But you can be, be it the BMI for example, is totally based on white men, young white men. Yeah. Way I, I don’t know where it was studied, but it is, is who came up with it. Where, where the heck does that come from? Listen, there’s so much white supremacy and racism within the medical system. So crazy. If your doctor is telling you to lose weight for your knee health, that also could be a false belief because people assume they have to lose weight to br better to lose, to have less pain in their knees. You could weigh the same Right. That you are right now and still be able to run and still of course manage your knee pain better.
That’s what I website You could, you could lose a significant amount of weight and still struggle with your knees to run <laugh>. Exactly. And I’m like, if, if it was, if weight loss was a solution to everything, there would be no thin people with injuries or health issues. Right. Because of course, you know that’s the one be all and end all. Yeah. But it is a, like if your doctor’s telling you a blanket statement, just lose weight and this will go away. That is a lazy answer. Yeah, that is a lazy answer because also right there it’s lazy medicine and it’s really difficult to lose weight. And so if they’re not coaching you and guiding on how to do it safely, like you said people post before and after pictures and they might have worked out for three months, but is that sustainable? Yeah. Is this sustainable to work out five days a week and drink these shakes and eat so little for three months is doable?
Is this sustainable for the rest of your life? Yeah. Because what happens in these yoyo diets and yoyo programs, these challenges, people go really hard and then they drop off. Yeah. So with my work, with my postpartum return exercise program, my goal is to develop a sustainable fitness plan for them. And I’m not doing it for them, they are doing it for themselves. I’m teaching them the principles so that they’re able to be like, ah, for me my goals actually just once a week. And then there’s some moms that are like two, two times a week, some are three times a week, whatever it is they have control over their goals and I want it to be sustainable. Fitness is not for two weeks, strength is not for a three month program. Right. I want you to be strong for the rest of your life now and forever.
Yeah. I want you to be active now and for the rest of your life if that’s your goals. If your goals are to be sedentary, that’s a d different story. Yeah. But if your goals are to be active, I don’t want you to just rush into it, Screw up your pelvic floor, your knees, your back, and then end up when you’re 50, you know, unable to move. Yeah. And I used to treat in clinic because I used to treat, again, people of all ages before, um, I used to treat so many women in their fifties and sixties who literally had not taken care of their bodies since they had kids. They had chronic back pain for 20 years. Right. They had pelvic, they had leaks for 30 year, they’ve had leaks for 30 years and just thought it was a part of motherhood because back then that was what they told moms, Oh, you’re a mom now what?
What are you gonna do? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But there’s so much you can do for these issues. Yeah. And you don’t have to lose weight for any of this <affirmative>. You don’t have to change what your body looks like. And you know, I always tell people, I’m not gonna lie, I would love to have nice defined muscles mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but it’s gonna take a long time to get there and I’m gonna prioritize my actual health and wellbeing. Right. It is not worth it to me to not eat those cookies at dinner sometimes. Yeah. When I want to just as you know, St star, not star, but like sacrifice my, well, my emotional health because it’s emotional eating is sometimes so valid postpartum is sometimes you, I wanna eat this cuz it makes me feel good right now. Yeah. It’s about a crappy day. I’m crying. My, my kid just told me they hate me.
Like, you know, there’s so many things that can happen to just make yourself feel bad. And I really think that emotional eating gets a bad reputation, but sometimes that’s valid. It’s a way to make yourself feel better in the moment. There’s a time in place strategy. Yeah. It’s, that’s your only strategy that’s concerning, but there’s a time when you just need, you just need your ice cream or you need, need whatever. And please don’t feel guilty for that because that’s being a human being. I guarantee you, if you ask every human, if they have a, I hate the word guilty pleasure. Because that in that assumes that you need to feel guilty about that pleasure. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I call it just call it pleasures. Yeah. Um, what, what is pleasurable food for you? And they will name all of these things that is pleasurable for them that maybe doesn’t have the highest quality of nutrients, but that’s also okay.
Right. Yeah. Uh, no, I, I hear that and I think that this message is gonna resonate with so many people who are probably gonna find this so refreshing from that, you know, Jillian Michaels, you can have a six pack if you want it. Enough bounce back culture. Um, I would love to ask Jillian Michaels how many hours a day she works out to get that six pack of hers. Well, it’s her lifestyle, right? It’s her, it’s job lifestyle. That’s, it’s her company. It’s her entire job. Yeah. And so she probably spends the day work in a gym. Right. So Sure. If you want to literally work out for a living, then maybe you can get a six pack in your forties. But, and that’s maybe right And that’s amazing. Like, listen, I’m, I’m a physio and a fitness coach, so I, I like to show, that’s why on my Instagram, I’m like, I’m gonna be as authentic as possible because I show people when I work out and it’s not every day.
And it’s not like I’m beefing up at the gym all the time because guess what? I have a life I love hanging out with my family. I love going out to do this and do that on the weekends. We’re at festivals, we go go camping. We’re we’re doing stuff that is outside of fitness for me, Right. Because my clients have a life outside of the gym. Their life is not to be a trainer. Their lives are to be a human and, and this is, and do other things, other life and do other things. Right. And I really wanna be authentic about that because a lot of trainers don’t show when they eat their heat meals or whatever, Right? Yeah. They, they hide, They show all their healthy bowls and their healthy salads and then they don’t show the truth of what they’re actually doing in eating.
Or that maybe they skipped dinner three times a week or they don’t, you know, they’re not fully truthful. And I, I really encourage you, if you’re following anything, anybody like that, and maybe you’re inspired by them, great. But just take it with a grain of salt because what we’re showing you on Instagram is like a clip of our, our day. Exactly. You know, people aren’t showing themselves crying or no doing all the other things that they do in that day and myself included, because I have a life outside of Instagram. Absolutely. And so, you know, as we should, as we all should, so you know, amazing Siri, where can everybody find you if they want more of you in their life? Um, at the passionate physio on Instagram and Triple W dot the passionate physio dot c8 that’s for Canada, Um, on my website. And I actually have my postpartum return to exercise programs starting on Tuesday, September 13th.
It is an eight week program with live sessions. Uh, we do education, fitness, gradual. I do a lot of like really realistic stuff. Um, and it’s this nice small, intimate group so you kind of get to get, get to know the other moms and we’re all there for the same reason. It’s a very inclusive space and I, I love running this program. It’ll be my fifth round. So if you are interested in that, I will share the link with you so you can share that with your podcast and send me a damn on Instagram if you have any questions, just to say hi, Gimme a follow. I have tons and tons of tips on Instagram on how to stop leaking and how to engage your core and all of that other stuff as well. Uh, and I hope you know that where you are in your postpartum recovery is just, just fine. It is not a race you are not behind. You will get there and get the right support on your team and you will get there with more ease. Amazing. Beautiful. All right. Thank you Siri for being here. Thank you everyone for listening, and I hope you all have a wonderful day.
Thank you everyone for listening, and I hope you all have a wonderful day. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share this episode with a friend who can benefit from it. I also love hearing from my listener, so feel free to DM me on Instagram at my sleeping baby or send me an email at email@example.com. Until next time, have a wonderful restful nights.