March Licensee of the Month:Lyndsey Halik
Lyndsey gave up being a school teacher to teach the Tupler Technique®. In her experience, she has discovered something very meaningful that I would like to share with you.
My name is Lyndsey Halik and I have been a Tupler Technique® licensee for the past year and a half. I am a NASM personal trainer, and I have been a runner since I was 12 years old. My greatest achievement was setting the school record for the steeple chase at the University of Illinois in college. Even with my athletic experiences, I did struggle with my fitness after having children. I have three little boys and I was fortunate enough to learn about the Tupler Technique® after the birth of my second child. Like many new moms I had heard that giving birth would “wreck” my abs. I had little hope that the flat stomach I once enjoyed would ever return. Instead of accepting my new lumpy tummy I wanted to learn what had happened to it.
Through my process of discovering diastasis recti I went through what I like to call The Five Stages of Diastasis Healing. When I was in high school I learned about the Five Stages of Grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. As a Tupler Technique® licensee I have also noticed that all my clients go through the same Five Stages of Diastasis Healing. These stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, determination, and achievement.
Stage 1 Denial
When people find out about diastasis recti their initial reaction is to believe that they don’t have one. Many people think that their protruding belly is caused by abdominal fat or that they have a weak core because they haven’t done enough sit ups and crunches. When you tell them that they should “check their belly before they wreck their belly” they simply smile and nod and then ignore you. After all, if it is such a wide spread problem surely they would have heard of it before.
I was a victim to this same though process. I couldn’t believe that I had been doing ab work incorrectly for years. I couldn’t believe that all the work I did in college probably wasn’t really functional ab work. I didn’t want to think that I didn’t already know the best way to work out my abs.
Stage 2 Anger
At the point when someone realizes that they have a diastasis they often become angry. They are angry that no one told them about this condition sooner. They are angry that all the crunches, sit ups, v-sits, and Pilates 100s they’ve been doing have only made this condition worse. They are angry that they spent all these years thinking that nothing could be done, aside from surgery, to flatten their belly.
My anger was directed at the doctors who didn’t even bother to tell me such a condition existed. I was upset that all the personal trainers and workout DVDs had encouraged me to do exercises that were harmful to my abs post-baby. Mostly I was angry that this condition called diastasis recti was not something that was ever brought up in childbirth class or post-partum care.
Stage 3 Bargaining
Once the anger subsides people normally start to bargain with themselves. I’ll eat healthier and it will get better they may think. I’ll suck it in and look better. I’ll try wearing a compression garment. I’ll have surgery. I’ll do all these things and it will go away. In reality none of these things will work or have a permanent effect. If you don’t truly strengthen your core a diastasis will persist or return even after surgery.
It didn’t take me very long to get out of the bargaining stage. I looked around at what my options were. There were all sorts of compression garments in the pregnancy magazines that claimed to give you a flatter belly. None of them explained how or why I would get a flatter belly. Only the Tupler Technique® gave me a scientific reason for why my abs were soft. Only the Tupler Technique® provided me with research that proved that it did work. For me the choice was simple.
Stage 4 Determination
Individuals who are in stage 4 have decided that they will make a change for the better. They realize that the Tupler Technique® is the only research based exercise program that can heal diastasis recti. They sign up for a class and are committed to the program. They are determined to follow all four steps of the Tupler Technique® because they know that it will work!
Once my determination set in I followed the program exactly as it was laid out. I wore my splint ALL THE TIME! I did every exercise! I got up and down correctly and I learned how to properly engage my transverse muscle. Each week was exhilarating because I lost inches! Not only that, but the whole shape of my abs started to change! These results just fed my determination even more.
Stage 5 Achievement
The achievement stage can be reached after 6 or more weeks of following the Tupler Technique®. These individuals have healed their diastasis and lost inches around their waist. Back pain is no longer an issue for them. Their bellies are flat and they are feeling great! They have a feeling of euphoria at doing something that others said couldn’t be done without surgery! A feeling of pride for sticking with it and getting the great results!
After six weeks I was in the achievement stage! It was great to be able to wear clothes again and not fear someone thinking that I was pregnant. I felt strong! I could pick up my children without back pain. I was ready to start incorporating other exercises into my life. Once I had my abs back I was motivated to get the rest of my body back too!
What makes me so effective as a Tupler Technique® licensee is that other moms can relate to me. They know that I have been in their shoes. They know that I understand what it is like to feel as though your body isn’t your own. I have heard what people say about your body after a baby and that it can’t be as good as it was let alone better. My clients see that I have been in their place and that I have succeeded. It inspires them and gives them hope that they can do it too.
What stage of diastasis healing are you in?