Pelvic Floor Problems and Diastasis Recti issues discussed by top US macro coach, Amber Brueseke of Biceps After Babies.

SHOW NOTES

Now today, I wanted to have Annie on because she has an experience that some of you may be able to relate to. Annie has actually experienced it herself. She's actually experienced pelvic floor prolapse. She's actually experienced diastasis recti and so she's coming from the perspective of being able to share her story and her experience and I'm hoping that as we can bring these conversations to light as we can talk more about this, Annie and I talk in the interview about how there's such a stigma and a shame associated around pelvic floor issues that isn't really talked about. And I think the more that we can share stories, like Annie was so willing to share in this in this episode, the more we can help more women to be able to get the help that they need, so that they don't have to deal with issues that that have solutions. So I'm really grateful for Annie coming on and being vulnerable and sharing her story. And I can't wait for you to listen to the interview with Annie Papas.

Highlights of this Episode on Pelvic Floor Problems and Diastasis Recti Issues:

  • Annie talks about her fitness journey while pregnant. (15:26)
  • How a pelvic floor physical therapist can help you. (22:43)
  • Living with diastasis recti. (28:36)

I hope you enjoyed that interview with Annie, and that you were able to have some takeaways. If nothing else, just to be able to hear and experience from another woman's perspective of what it has been like going through, having children, trying to balance fitness with that. And I think Annie was such a good example and reminder of that, and I hope that you were able to take something away from the conversation with her. 

Episode 37 – “The Awkward Truth About Your Pelvic Floor with Dr. Brueseke” on Biceps After Babies Radio

Annie’s Instagram Account

Episode 77 – Pelvic Floor Problems and Diastasis Recti After Baby with Annie Papas

 

Introduction 

You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 77

Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is 

about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and 

empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, 

online fitness coach, wife, and mom of four. My guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal 

development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be 

strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.

 

Hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, and I am so excited that you are here today. I am just so grateful. I'm just sitting here in gratitude right now because the podcast has continued to grow. You guys continue to share with your friends, you continue to come back weekly and listen, and you continue to leave reviews and ratings on iTunes. And I am just incredibly grateful that you are here. I love what I do. I love that I get to come on this podcast and I get to share guest experts and I get to just come on here and riff and chat, and talk about fitness and mindset and health, and everything that's going on in your life as you work for the goals that you have. And I'm so grateful that I get to do that. And the reason that I get to do that is because of you, it's because you show up and you let me know that you love what I'm doing and you let me know when you have, you know takeaways from that the episodes and there is nothing better as a content creator to be able to hear from other people, that the things that you're doing are making a difference. And so for those of you who have shared the podcast, for those of you who have taken a screenshot and posted it to your stories for those of you who have left a review on iTunes. Thank you. Thank you. 

 

Thank you for being here. And I hope that you continue to come back. And I hope you continue to listen. And most importantly, I hope that what you hear and learn on this podcast causes you to take action. Because I think it's one thing to sit and listen, you know, while you're driving or cooking or cleaning or out, however, you're sitting here listening to this podcast, it's one thing to listen and to like, be there nodding your head and like agreeing and like like, Oh, yeah, that's really great. And it's a completely other thing to take what you've learned here, take the nuggets, take the ideas, take the tips and actually start applying them to your own journey. And it is in that application, it is in the action it is in doing things differently, that you're able to create different results. If you just want to continue to create the same results you've already created in your life. Nothing needs to change. But if you're looking at your life and in any aspect of your life, you want to make a difference, you want to have a a different outcome, you have to have a different result than you've been able to create in the past. You have to be willing to change things, you have to be willing to implement new things, you have to be willing to take those nuggets that you're learning here and actually take action on them. And that is when everything changes. And that is when you're able to hit goals, achieve things that you haven't been able to achieve in the past. So that's just a little token of my appreciation. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being here. 

 

Amber  3:27  

Now today, we're going to share with you an interview I did with Annie Papas. And I found Annie many years ago, right when I, pretty close to, when I came on to Instagram, which was in February of 2016 is when I started my Instagram account, actually, I think it was the end of January. It was in January. It was in January that I started my Instagram account and I started I had my first client in February. When I got onto Instagram, it really was just kind of like sharing my story sharing what I was doing and sharing what was working and people started then asking me to coach them that I was able to get results for myself and they're like, Hey, will you coach me? I was like, Sure, let's do it. Let's let's do some coaching. And so I started out just coaching people for free and that ended up turning into Biceps After Babies, the whole brand, but in 2016, when I got onto Instagram, Annie was one of the people that I started following, and I have followed her over the years, I've been able to see her have her two beautiful children and kind of dive into this world of motherhood and along with fitness and being able to combine the two and so I wanted to have Annie on because she has an experience that some of you may be able to relate to. Some of you may not be able to relate to, but it's good to learn about with diastasis recti, which is a separation of the abdominals and pelvic floor prolapse. Now, I mentioned in the episode that if you are curious about pelvic floor prolapse, or just your pelvic floor and learning more about it, definitely go and check out episode number 37. My husband is a physician, a surgeon pelvic floor surgeon and so I brought him onto the podcast on episode number 37. And we talk about the pelvic floor and about pelvic floor health, and about how you can make sure that you maintain the integrity of your pelvic floor and what you can do if you are experiencing things like incontinence or pelvic floor prolapse. We also did a bonus episode right after that was Episode 37. And then there's a bonus episode. And we took questions from listeners about pelvic floor and about pelvic floor prolapse. And so that's also a bonus episode that I highly recommend listening to. 

 

But Annie, you know, it comes from a different perspective, right? Like my husband. He is a surgeon and he works with women who experienced pelvic floor prolapse, but Annie has actually experienced it herself. She's actually experienced pelvic floor prolapse. She's actually experienced diastasis recti and so she's coming from the perspective of being able to share her story and her experience and I'm hoping that as we can bring these conversations to light as we can talk more about this, Annie and I talk in the interview about how there's such a stigma and a shame associated around pelvic floor issues that isn't really talked about. And I think the more that we can bring things to light, the more we can normalize it, not normalize it in a way that like it's normal to pee your pants, but normalize it in a way that people aren't ashamed to talk about it. And they're not ashamed to like say, Hey, I'm having this problem like, there and understand that there are ways to solve it. There are ways to repair the damage that has been done, there are ways to get better. And I think the more that we can share stories, like Annie was so willing to share in this in this episode, the more we can help more women to be able to get the help that they need, so that they don't have to deal with issues that that have solutions. Like they're if you're listening and you have pelvic floor issues, or you have diastasis recti. Like there are solutions. It's not just something that you have to live with. So I'm really grateful for Annie coming on and being vulnerable and sharing her story. And I can't wait for you to listen to the interview with Annie Papas.

 

I would like to welcome Annie Papas to the podcast. Hey, Annie, how you doing? 

 

Annie  7:03  

Hi, I'm good. How are you?

 

Amber  7:05  

I'm doing good. I am really excited to have you. Yes, I'm so excited to this is gonna I was just telling Annie before we hit record that she was on my list. When I first started my podcast, I just kind of brain dump a whole bunch of people on this list. And she's been on that list for now over a year. And so I'm excited. We're finally doing it on the podcast. We're going to have a good conversation today. We are very helpful to a lot of women. So I'm excited about the topic today. So before we dive into kind of our topic for today, just give us a little bit of background like who you are. You know how you got onto Instagram and how you kind of serve women?

 

Annie  7:40  

Yeah, of course. So my name is Annie. I'm 35 I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I am a new ish mom of two kids. I have a three and a half year old boy and a one and a half year old girl. That is my full time job currently they are quite a handful but The most exciting time of my life, like there's no place that I'd rather be than home with them but it's definitely handfull. Actually funny story about my Instagram account, I refuse to get an Instagram account for the longest time so I jumped on the bandwagon like really late. It was, I think 2014 or 2015 that I finally signed on just because everyone kept asking me like my friends and family just tips on exercise and what to eat and eating healthy and I in no way I'm a professional, I don't have any certifications, but I am always open to education. I love to you know, educate myself on the topic because I find it so interesting and I'm passionate about it. So I started the account to just to give exercise tips and healthy eating tips and you know, meal prep stuff and that turned into me getting pregnant and for some reason people love pregnant woman on Instagram.That's when I gained like, all my followers, people love to follow pregnant women. And so it just kind of evolved from there. And I love to be a comforting voice. I love to be completely honest and raw, sometimes saying things that nobody will, just because I think it's important to put it out there because we all feel it as moms these like hard times, and no one ever talks about it. And it's not always pretty. So that's when I come in, and I can give it to how it is.

 

Amber  9:29  

Yeah, yeah. And it's funny that you say that about pregnant women and Instagram, because I'm pretty sure that's when I found your account was when you were pregnant for the first time. So, so yeah, like yes, I don't know, there is some fascination with pregnant women on Instagram. And you are such a like, I will definitely. I mean, it's one thing for you to say that you are authentic and real and sharing all those things. And it's, it's definitely another for like somebody like looking at it externally saying, yeah, that that is absolutely you are just like 100% I'm going to tell you how it is. It's not always awesome. They're bad days, there are days there are days that it like, aren't very fun and I'm going to tell you about it that that is definitely your Instagram account.

 

Annie  10:08  

Yes, hundred percent. Oh, thank you. 

 

Amber  10:10  

I love that.Now tell me Have you always so you know, send like people were like oh you need to be on Instagram you need to share these things with friends and family. So has that always been a part of your life like what were you like in like your teen years? Was was fitness already always a part of your life or did that come later on?

 

Annie  10:28  

It sort of was so I remember specifically joining the YMCA at age 16 I begged my mom please Mom, I want to go to the YMCA and go to the gym. So she got me a membership. And I remember walking in there at 16 grabbing my first pair of like five pound dumbbells and starting to do bicep curls. So it's always been in me I've always had a passion for it. I was a runner in high school. I played basketball. So I was always active. I was a cheerleading captain. So just always active weightlifting. I didn't really start to do I kind of have like the cliche story How I was a cardio bunny. I feel like a lot of girls say that I was a cardio bunny until I until I realized how great lifting weights was. You don't look like a man.

 

Amber  11:08  

Shocker. Spoiler Alert.

 

Annie  11:10  

Yeah. Right. Spoiler alert, everyone was so scared that they're going to look manly, and it's not true, like, so I didn't really start strength training until after college. And I fell completely in love with it. And the funniest part is I met my husband at a gym. 

 

Amber  11:26  

No way. Okay, I did. I didn't know that. Wait, you guys were like both working out?

 

Annie  11:32  

Yeah. Okay. So four months, I was seeing this guy at the gym, and I was like, Oh, this guy's really cute. But you know, I don't know, what's the story like, maybe as a girlfriend, so I just kind of like kept my distance but always looked at him and like, he looked at me and he like would wink at me but he would never talk to me like this went on for like three months. Oh my gosh, until finally I was like, if I don't say anything to this guy, like I'm never gonna see him again. And that's going to be that, so I approached him. 

 

Amber  12:02  

Oh my gosh. Yeah, I love you. 

 

Annie  12:04  

I introduced myself in the parking lot. And I said, Hi, I see around here all the time. I don't know your name. I'm Annie and he was like, Oh, hi, I'm john and that opened it up for him to ask for my number and the rest is history. But yeah, if if we hadn't met at a bar I don't think we would have ever spoken.

 

Amber  12:22  

Yeah, that's so funny. I love the story, that's awesome. Always been really into health and fitness too.

 

Annie  12:28  

He has, not so much anymore, as he climbs the corporate ladder he's had less time to dedicate to fitness but that's completely understandable. Hopefully one day we'll be able to get back into it together. 

 

Amber  12:40  

Yeah,yeah. And so what how you said that you went into weightlifting when you kind of hit into your college years. What What made you make that transition from more cardio to like more strength training?

 

Annie  12:49  

You know, that's, that's interesting question. I don't really remember. It just, I think kind of happened organically because nowadays we see everything on Instagram that we want to try but that And I there was no Instagram so I don't really know remember how I made the transition like mom brain? I can't remember anything past like yesterday but slowly started to transition not really full on heavyweights until maybe like six years ago. And that was probably from Instagram. I don't know. But yeah, just kind of happened organically and it was I would still do cardio but just, you know, do a good mix of both and I just loved the way it made me feel like the way it made me look, I looked more like leaner. People think you look manly, but it's complete opposite and makes you look more womanly actually.

 

Amber  13:39  

Yeah. And so what would you say if there's someone who's listening who's like, yeah, I totally know that like cardio bunny. I always you know, when I go to the gym, it's like the treadmill always. And they're scared about making that that transition over to maybe even starting with dumbbells or barbells. What would you say to them of like what the biggest benefits have been having strength training in your life.

 

Annie  14:00  

So if people don't know building muscle burns more calories, and people yeah, people don't know that if you want to lose weight, pick up those weights because the more muscle you build, the more calories you're going to burn. So that's the biggest benefit to me. And then you start to get a shape if you want to tone people always want to tone their you know, I don't know inner thighs or their arms and of course, you can't spot train any one area but if you're toning overall with weights, if you're weightlifting, you're the muscle that's forming is going to naturally shape your body in the way that you want.

 

Amber  14:38  

Well, yeah, and I think it's really important to make like a like a distinction that you cannot spot reduce, but you can spot built, right like if you if you want to have a more hourglass figure, you can build up your shoulders and you can build up your like glutes to be able to create more of that look. And so hundred percent is like a really good distinction because yeah, people always like oh, I want lose fat in my belly, I want to lose fat in my thighs or whatever and you cannot do that like fat loss occurs over your entire body like you cannot say that you want to pull from the fat sources in your stomach. But with muscles, you can target a certain part of your body because you can do you know, you can lift the weights that are going to stimulate that muscle group. Right So that's it. That's an important distinction to make for for people who listening. So did you lift weights all through your pregnancy?

 

Annie  15:26  

I did. I did. Yeah. So right before I got pregnant, I was probably the most fit I've ever been in my life in 2015 and I was in the gym every single morning 6am right before work, just going at it like non stop everyone would always approach me like are you training for something? Why are you working so hard? I just I was just the hardest worker in the room and it was just because I you know, I had I had goals and I wanted to get it done before work and I was on a time crunch and just you know, head down like not looking at anybody, like, don't talk to me, I'm on a mission here. And then when I got pregnant, I didn't want to lose that like fit girl persona that I had at this gym people that I didn't really even know. Oh, and it was weird, but I did it for the longest time as long as I could. I wore loose shirts and kind of hid the fact that I was pregnant until it was really obvious that I was pregnant. And then everyone was really nice about it so supportive and that's when I started to embrace it, but I did not change any of my workout habits, which some things I kind of regret now that I'm more educated on. You know, what happens to your body postpartum and during pregnancy. But I did work out more carefully. So the second time around and the first time because I had no idea I was like, Yeah, well, I'm working out I can keep going the same way. But that's not true. Because your your body of pelvic floor Yeah, yeah.Your body is different your everything's growing and stretching. 

 

Amber  17:03  

And so let's talk about those regrets. Like, what are some of the regrets that you have?

 

Annie  17:08  

Going back to so. So before I got pregnant, and during my entire first pregnancy, I had no idea about the pelvic floor. I knew about AB separation and diastasis recti. I was aware of those terms, but didn't really know how to avoid them. Or if it was going to I just assumed that it wouldn't happen to me because I was fit. I had no idea what the pelvic floor was, until I gave birth to my son. And after that, and it was sadly through Instagram, not sadly and greatly like sadly that my doctors didn't talk to me about it but also great because the resources on Instagram are so wonderful now, that that's where I found out information about the pelvic floor. What happens to your pelvic floor, you know, the pressure on it from this big belly that you're growing the separation of the abs. That happened naturally. And they come back together, but sometimes not completely together. So all this information I didn't know until post pregnancy number one. And so I started to do whatever exercises these Instagram influencers were telling me some of them certified, some of them, I don't have a clue. But I was doing the exercises not knowing if I was doing them right.Or if I was doing them properly or if I, if I even had an issue. So that as as I got further into my postpartum journey and pregnant with my second child is when I started to really educate myself and start to know, you know, this is your pelvic floor, these are the parts This is what happens. And you don't I mean, there could be consequences but you don't have to live with them. And if you suffer any postpartum you know, issues It's not necessarily something you did wrong. Like I always blame myself. Like if I had worked out differently the first time could I have avoided this bladder prolapse? You know

 

Amber  19:09  

That's such a good distinction to make. And I'm really glad that you brought that up it because it can be really, I think it's so there. We actually did a whole podcast episode for the people listening to episode number 37. I did a whole podcast episode on your pelvic floor. My husband specializes in like, like, he's a surgeon for the pelvic floor. And so we discussed that together on that podcast episode. But there is so much shame that is associated with disorders of the pelvic floor. And I feel like it's something that even as women we don't necessarily talk about, and incontinence, pelvic prolapse. Those are very common things that many many women suffer from. And yet, it is it is not well talked about. And I feel like there is a lot of shame in thinking that you caused it and thinking that something's wrong with you and thinking that nobody else experiences that And so I so appreciate that you're willing to come on and talk about this. Because I think the more that we can share about it, the more that we can be like, Hey, you know what like, this happens to a lot of women and the more we can talk about it and bring it to light, then the better we can do at preventing it and not treating it and having people go get the help that they need. Because it's not something that you just have to like live with for the rest of your life.

 

Annie  20:20  

 Right. That's one thing I was gonna say it's common, but it's not normal. Like it's common to pee your pants, but it's not normal to pee your pants. So please don't just live with it. 

 

Amber  20:29  

Don't just, there's a fix. Yeah, like, yeah, just know, 

 

Annie  20:33  

Don't just put on the padded underwear and like, just deal with that. No, you can fix it, you can get help. 

 

Amber  20:39  

Totally. So what was that experience like for you? What were some symptoms that you saw? What were you know, what, like, what made you actually go in to be able to be treated and what did that look like for you?

 

Annie  20:51  

So I was told by my ob gyn that I did have, like, an entire pelvic organ prolapse. 

 

Amber  20:57  

Yeah. 

 

Annie  20:57  

It's she from what she made me I understand it was pretty severe, although I didn't have any symptoms like some women feel bulging, some woman, you know, urinate when they're running or jumping. Some some women experience like a lot of pelvic pressure or pain. I didn't experience any of that sometimes maybe sometimes I felt a little bit of heaviness, but nothing further than that. But with my second pregnancy, I noticed that I had a pretty decent sized diastasis recti. That's when your apps separate, and they don't come back together naturally after birth. And I had an umbilical hernia too. So I was like, Okay, how did I, how did I Cause you know, what did I do? So I had to get out of my own head, like, Whatever happened, happened and let's just move forward and try to you know, fix the issue. We don't have to live with it. We can seek help. So, the one of my greatest greatest advice For someone that's planning to get pregnant or even not, but mostly for women planning to get pregnant, go see a pelvic floor physical therapist, I am begging you. It is the greatest thing I've ever done. I am so grateful I did it. Because they don't it's not just seeing a regular physical therapist, they do an internal exam so they can tell you, you know, the, the integrity of your pelvic floor, they can teach you how to contract properly, how to contract those muscles and regain strength in that area. They just it's such a specific, like, just such a specific thing that they focus on that, you know, just seeing a regular physical therapist. It's so general. 

 

Amber  22:42  

Oh, yeah,

 

Annie  22:43  

That it goes. It's like you just have to find one and see. And for me it sucked because it wasn't covered by insurance. So I had to pay so much money per session, but it almost was like okay, I spend this money somewhere else I need to spend it for myself like for my health?

 

Amber  23:02  

Yeah. And what I like, what Annie was saying to with the public, for physical therapist that is so beneficial is that they can help you isolate those muscles. Because like Annie was saying you're saying earlier like, we don't necessarily know how to contract those muscles or we don't, we're not really like aware of that muscular structure down there. And a physical therapist can actually like help give you cues and tell you whether you're doing it right or not. And give you that feedback that a lot of women don't have to even know if they're doing kegels  right. Hundred percent and so I love that you like bring that up. It is it is a very niche like physically can't just go to a gentle physical therapist. It's like someone who specializes in the pelvic floor and helping women to train their pelvic floor.

 

Annie  23:43  

Exactly, exactly. And I, my knowledge of the pelvic floor was just doing kegels like before I got pregnant. And even after my first child was born, I was doing these pelvic floor exercises, quote, unquote, that were that were that I was seeing on Instagram. But until I saw the pelvic floor physical therapist. I had no idea that I wasn't even doing them right. I wasn't even doing a keigo. Right. Like, as ridiculous as that sounds, you would, you would think that sure you know that you're doing it properly, but I wasn't. And ever since then I'm like, Oh my gosh, like what a difference. I've seen now that I'm actually doing it right.

 

Amber  24:16  

Yeah. Oh, that's awesome. And so talk a little bit about the treatment process or about, you know, how you like fixed your diastasis recti? how they how you fix that pelvic floor prolapse and what that looked like for you.

 

Annie  24:29  

Yeah, of course, as far as how my prolapse is now I don't know specifically because I haven't gotten checked, but I can say that. I was afraid to run even run I hadn't. I haven't run since I got pregnant with my son. And that was four years ago. Because I was afraid to eat because I didn't want to pee myself. It's like that was going to happen or just feel pressure down there. 

 

Amber  24:54  

Yeah. 

 

Annie  24:55  

So after I've been doing these exercises, and it's just such simple things that you can do it Home. Of course, if you go in, they do like hand manipulation, they do massage, they do a lot of things that you can do yourself at home, but it's not necessary. So you can just go one or two times if it's too expensive for you, and just learn those little techniques that you can do at home. And you have to do them. So doing the kegels right, contracting the TBA muscles, all that was so important. Now I feel like I can run and not be afraid. And I've actually brought down my DR from I think it was like a three and a half finger to now it's two finger. And so it's a work in progress. They do splinting for you like you get a towel and you wrap it around your abdomen and you lay down and you pull as hard as you can just to kind of, you know, bring those muscles back together. Manually like with a towel, it sounds crazy, but it really works and then just contracting as you're doing that. However many times however many sets so all those home exercises, they really do make a difference and I feel like people go into see physical therapists and they don't really keep it up at home. And that's It makes the world of difference. 

 

Amber  26:02  

Yeah. Awesome. And so what would you say to somebody who is just getting ready to get pregnant? You know, you made the suggestion of like going and seeing a physical, pelvic floor physical therapist. What are some other suggestions you have about that, that period of time while you're pregnant and working out and trying to balance these things and you know, take care of your body and in your baby, what are some suggestions you have for women?

 

Annie  26:29  

Okay, firstly, I want to say like, if if you are just if you are pregnant now, or if you just had a baby, it's not too late for you go see a pelvic floor physical therapist, go see, even if you don't think that you have any issues, just go see one just to know, just to let you know, like, educate yourself on your own body. It's so important like, just to know what's going on in there. So even if you're, if you're already pregnant or postpartum, it's not too late. But if you are just thinking of getting pregnant, if you haven't been active, I highly recommend you start getting active. Start by just walking outside, you know, five days a week, 30 minutes, it doesn't take much to just be active for your body because it's so good for your baby's health and your health just to you know, get the body moving and exercises. It used to be frowned upon when women were pregnant that they couldn't exercise. And Funny enough, my doctor was like, Oh my gosh, you lift more than five pounds. No, no, don't do that. And I was like, but what I do I lift, I looked like 80 pounds. And it's okay. And it's newer education shows that it's, it's normal, it's fine if you're, if you're exercising a certain way to continue exercising that way, you know, with precautions, but um, it's changed so much from back when our moms were, you know, having babies but just nourish your body with what you would want to feed your child once your child's here. You know, and How you would want your future child to see you taking care of yourself so they can do that for themselves. Just take care of yourself. 

 

Amber  28:10  

Yeah, definitely echo that fact. The more you take care of yourself, the more you can take care of other people.

 

Annie  28:17  

Oh, 100%. For sure.

 

Amber  28:19  

Yeah. So good. So with, you know, with having the diastasis recti, how has that impacted your workouts, you know, since your pregnancy, how has How has that been going back to the gym, being able to take care of that at the same time that you're also continuing to work out.

 

Annie  28:36  

So I didn't see a pelvic floor physical therapist for almost a year and a half after I gave birth to my second child. So for that year and a half, I was almost a walking on eggshells. I was terrified to do any core work because I didn't want to make it worse. I was doing these online, pelvic floor exercises that I was seeing but was not seeing was not really feeling that anything was getting better and I just was so fearful that I was going to cause more damage so I avoided a lot of ab exercises actually like didn't do them at all and I did not mention that I have severe severe back pain Mm hmm. Now even though I'll like lower back pain and that sort of after I had my son so it's been almost like three years of really bad back pain which I could be tied to the first pregnancy could be tied to you know, giving birth whatever it is stuff shifted, I don't know. It could be tied to the DR, the pelvic the weak pelvic floor so as I work on that I'm trying to you know, figure everything out so I haven't been able to lift as heavy as I've wanted just because the back pain and the DR. So everything's just had to shift and mentally make it okay like in my head that this is fine. It's just a season, let's be cautious. Instead of just jumping in and wanting to be the way that we were. Let's move cautiously so that we can do it the right way. And not just you know, because my ego is saying but you can lift more than that. Yeah it's trends to take a step back and saying, Okay, let's not you know, let our ego get the best of us let's just do it the right way so that we don't make it worse. 

 

Amber  30:25  

Mm hmm.Yeah. And are you feeling like you are healing and like things are getting better and you're getting more confident and being able to like transition back to where you used to be?

 

Annie  30:34  

Definitely I've actually kind of, it's helped me see a different side of my weightlifting like I don't need to lift that heavy in order to see the results I want or, or just seeing that Okay, that's not really super important to me. I don't need to be dead lifting 150 pounds right now. I'm okay with, you know, doing 50 pounds, where I'm at in this season of my life. And so it's really made me take a step back and see It's just I'm just like in a different place in my life, you know what I mean?

 

Amber  31:05  

Yeah, and that's okay. And and like I think that yes a great message for anybody who's listening is that it's okay to go through seasons of life, it's okay to go really hard on your goals at one point and it's okay to like back off a little bit. It's okay to prioritize being a mom and it's okay to sometimes prioritize like moving up in a career like it's okay to have those different seasons of life. And, and I think sometimes and I mean, I think I some we have some similar personalities in that like, we're go getters and we like always want to be achieving and like pushing hard. And I think it's really important to remember like those seasons of rest and relaxation like need to happen we you cannot just go hard and always be pushing, pushing, pushing every day for your whole life and not burn out. You'll burn out Yeah, you won't be effective. And so I do think it's such a good reminder to everybody listening that there are seasons There are stages of your life and to embrace and enjoy the because there's Good things about every season, right? There's good things and there's bad things about every season. And so if you're in a slightly different season, there may be things that you don't like, but there probably are really good things about that season as well. And always trying to come back and find what is the good part of this? Yes, and that I'm currently and so what would you say is like the best part of the season that you're currently in?

 

Annie  32:20  

Oh, my kids, their ages are just amazing. I don't know if you remember your children at 18 months but it's such a fun fun fun age to watch them because they're exploding you words oh my gosh, the expressions on her face and she's such such a smiley girl and just the things she says and her mannerisms just kill me watching her and I just want to eat her up and live in this moment like for the rest of my life. So yeah, no matter how everything else goes. Yes, I don't have a second to myself sometimes. And that makes me insanely crazy. Yes, I am sick and tired of washing dishes what feels like the entire day until I go to sleep. At the kitchen sink, that's okay, because this age is just so much fun. hard at times for sure, disciplining a three and a half year old, because he's also at a stage where he's trying to be so independent and has all these opinions. But it's just been a blast seeing them at this age.

 

Amber  33:20  

And your daughter is so cute with her new glasses.

 

Annie  33:23  

Oh, thank you. Yeah, that was that was devastating to find out, but she's I can't even imagine her without them now.

 

Amber  33:30  

Yeah. Are you willing to share that story a little bit? Just about that experience?

 

Annie  33:34  

Yes, of course, of course. So my daughter was born with a pupillary abnormality, which it looked like a part of her Iris was like pulling away from her pupil. It's, it looks super cool when you look at it, and the doctor saw it when he took a picture of her eyes and said, Okay, this is different. I don't think it's anything to worry about. But I'm going to send you to an ophthalmologist to stop or get checked. And we went when she was four months old and they looked at it. And they were like, it's totally fine. As long as it doesn't grow, but it shouldn't like she should never have issues with her vision. But let's see her in a year just to make sure. So just a few months ago, when she turned a year, we went back and they took a picture again of her eyes. First, he looked at it and he was like, it's, it looks fine, it still looks the same, but then they took a picture and they came back and they were like, okay, she has astigmatism in her left eye. And if we don't put glasses on her, then that eye is going to become a lazy eye and we're gonna have to patch her good eye. So that that the brain sends a signal to the bad eye, I need to start working again. So he's like, we don't want that to happen. So she needs to wear glasses and I was sitting in the office like just staring off into space as he was talking. And he was like, I'm so sorry to bring this bad news. And it was right before Christmas. He's like right before the holidays, and he just made me feel so awful. But I started to tear up in the office. And he's like, I know, I know. But, you know, she's, she's gonna be just fine. And I was like, Is there any way that this can be corrected that she won't need glasses and he's like, I, he's like, I don't think I'm ever wrong, but I don't think so. But I'm hope I hope I'm wrong in this case, but I don't I don't see it and I was like, Okay. And so we walked into like a glasses store. And the woman was talking and I just couldn't hold it together. I like started to cry. And she's like, you don't have to do this today. I was like, No, I'm going home like I can't I can't pick her glasses out today. I need to like to digest this and like tell my husband and so he we talked about it and he's like, okay look like if this is the worst thing that's ever going to happen. This is amazing. Like we don't, this is not life threatening. You know what I mean? Like we don't need to feel sad about this. So and then we picked out her glasses and she just has been so amazing with them, keeping them on her eyes and I feel like she loves them because they're like in a acessory I don't know what it is with girls just like It's like she knows. So she's been wearing them and she just is the cutest thing.

 

Amber  36:08  

So fun. Thank you for sharing that story. I know that that's, yeah, it's always hard to like news with about our kids. And you just you just never know what's going to happen. 

 

Annie  36:17  

You don't want anything to happen. 

 

Amber  36:19  

No, you don't, you just want to protect them and keep them safe and like have nothing bad ever happened to them? 

 

Annie  36:23  

Exactly. 

 

Amber  36:24  

As a mother like that's, that's our instinct. And, you know, but 

 

Annie  36:29  

we can't control 

 

Amber  36:30  

we can't control like things are going to happen and, and I know as a mom like that can that can feel really hard. But I'm sure other mothers are listening and can can relate to experiences with their kids as well. All right, well, thank you so much. I have such enjoyed our conversation. And I hope this provides a lot to 

 

Annie  36:46  

Thank you for having me.

 

Amber  36:47  

 Yeah, and if people are wanting to connect with you, they want to follow you on Instagram where where can they find you?

 

Annie  36:52  

Yes, find me at @anypfit. 

 

Amber  36:55  

Awesome. Thanks so much Annie. 

 

Annie  36:58  

Thank you so much Amber.

 

Amber  36:59  

I hope you enjoyed that interview with Annie. And that you were able to have some takeaways and if nothing else, just to be able to hear and experience from another woman's perspective of what it has been like, you know, going through having children trying to balance fitness with that. We talked a lot about the seasons of life that we're in and, and maybe you're in a season right now of hustle and of goal setting and achieving. And that's awesome. But maybe you're on a season where it's like, it's a little bit more about rest. It's a little bit more about listening to your body, it's a little bit more about taking a little easy, and that's awesome, too. I think it's so important to remember that. Not every season can be a season of hustle not every season can be you like fighting and pushing and reaching for the things that you want. There's nothing wrong with having the ebbs and flows that occur with life. And I think Annie was such a good example and reminder of that, and I hope that you were able to take something away from the conversation with her. That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber, now go out and be strong, because remember, my friend you can do anything. 

 

Outro

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