Hey folks, over the next few days I’ll be sharing with you the question and answer section for ABS QUESTIONS FROM MOMS POST PREGNANCY, from everything about c-sections and getting flat abs after you’ve had your baby.
In order to ensure I give you the best information available on this subject, I decided to go to my friend Holly Rigsby from ClubFYM.com. Specializing in helping women lose fat, Holly has literally helped thousands of women over the years. She knows her stuff and so she’ll be helping us with the answers.
Craig Ballantyne: So, Holly, welcome to the call.
Holly Rigsby: Hey, Craig. Thanks so much for inviting me today.
Craig Ballantyne: We’re really happy to have you, because we know you are going to give us awesome answers, because you have so many THOUSANDS of women that take your advice and you’ve probably got feedback from so many moms, more than even I have.
So, we’re going to start off by getting into one of the questions that comes up so much.
The question that has come up so much on my blog is really all about the C-SECTION SCAR and the problems that it brings to the table when women are trying to get FLAT ABS AFTER HAVING A BABY.
Holly, why don’t you tell us what women can do to get rid of the fat that’s around the c-section scar and also how they need to maybe train their abs a little bit different, or if they don’t necessarily need to do that at all, but just give us some insight into that from your personal experience and also from helping so many women?
Holly Rigsby: Absolutely. This is a very stubborn area for many moms who undergo this procedure, but the good news is that IT CAN BE DIMINISHED. You really just have to take a step back and account for the healing process that takes place.
Self care is essential any time that you have any type of surgery.
So, the way that you’re taking care of yourself and the directions that your doctors give you to allow this healing process to take place the right way is so VITAL to you being able to heal in a way that the scar is less noticeable.
Because this is located in the lower abs section, which is the area of fat storage that seems to be the last to go, knowing that it’s last means that as you begin your fat loss plan, whether it’s right after having a baby or several years later and you’re looking at this area thinking, “What can I do?” it is important to understand that consistency is so essential with your eating and your exercise plan.
When it comes to your exercise plan you have to make sure that you’re following a FULL BODY PLAN that allows you to incorporate your core in the exercises as well, because that healing that needs to take place and, of course, your doctors give you, especially right after having that surgery gives you guidelines on when you can begin.
It is essential that you follow through with that and begin with very basic strengthening exercises that allow you to work those deep abdominal muscles. Not the muscles that we feel when we do a crunch, but these are deep abdominal muscles known as transverse abdominis, TA muscles very deep in there. Those are just basic exercises like your plank and your side plank. But, starting off with a program that allows you to progress into that is the best way to begin strengthening those muscles back up.
Really, it is the EATING PART that comes into play when we’re looking at that STUBBORN FAT. Initially for a lot of new moms they’re breast feeding, so their body is burning more calories and they’re able to drop pounds pretty quickly. Then when they choose to stop breast feeding that’s when they hit that point where they’re stuck. That’s when we need to make changes to how we’re eating, because our body no longer requires the amount of calories that we were taking in to support the production of breast milk.
Knowing that, when you begin your fat loss plan that there’s always going to be a point where you have to stop and reassess and say…
“What was working? Now it’s stopped working. What can I do to change this up?”
We’re always in search of the magic calorie count or the perfect fat loss workout plan that we can just follow without even thinking about, when in reality it’s always changing based on our body’s needs.
Post c-section, post baby this is one of those examples as well. Initially we may see some results, but we may have those lingering fat deposits that we really want to get rid of. So, it becomes an area that we stay so focused on and once you get the basics of the fat loss part down you understand that it’s a matter of cleaning up what you eat. You see a few more pounds and inches dropped. You’re able to get back into your skinny jeans, but there’s still that little roll or that little muffin top by the scar. That’s when it’s a matter of saying…
“What else can I do to refine what I’m eating to help diminish that because the amount of crunches or ab exercises that I do is not going to make a difference?”
We all know this. You CAN’T SPOT REDUCE that fat. It all comes back to what you’re eating.
The Fit Yummy Mummies that I work with, what they’ve found to be most successful is going through what a lot of people term as an ELIMINATION DIET.
A lot of us have food intolerances that we don’t even realize. The top two food groups that we tend to be intolerant to are wheat and dairy. By experimenting with eliminating these from the foods and meals that you’re eating for a good three weeks, about 21 days and reintroducing them back into your diet will help you see if that is what has been the obstacle to seeing further fat loss in that stubborn area by the c-section scar, in that lower abs section.
A lot of times the wheat and dairy products that we eat are present in so many foods, especially processed foods. Not only can it hinder your ability to burn more fat, but it’s also going to:
- cause bloating
- water retention and distension, causing your belly to bulge out
- a lot of intestinal distress
So, the only way to determine if that’s what is causing this is to get rid of it.
For a lot of women out there when they first hear about this they’re like, “I don’t want to do that. I love my milk. I love my bread.” Then it’s a matter of saying…
“What are you willing to live with? Are you willing to live with that stubborn fat that is still lingering there or are you willing to take it to the next level just to see if maybe that is what has been causing you to not see further results?”
Those are the two big food groups that really make a big difference, whether it’s just trying to get rid of the last little bit of STUBBORN FAT around your belly or if you’re just getting started, because that really does KICK START your fat loss plan as well.
On my Fit Yummy Mummy blog I have a mom who actually had six children and three c-sections and she is standing there with her arms up in the air in a bikini, and you cannot even tell, because she’s mastered this part of the eating process that allowed her to get rid of any signs of having a child or having a c-section and getting rid of that lingering fat.
Craig Ballantyne: That’s very cool. That seems like a pretty good blueprint there to working around that problem.
So, we pretty much covered everything. Are there any ADVANCED EXERCISES that once a women has built up that area with the deep muscles that you mentioned, she’s done the elimination diet, she’s really burned that fat and obviously done her interval training as well, is there anything that maybe is the next level?
Instead of just getting started working on that problem maybe putting on the FINISHING TOUCHES. What are some of the other things that wonderful woman, mother of six, has done to get her amazing results, anything that you can think of or have we covered everything?
Holly Rigsby: I would say it just goes hand in hand with following that full body resistance training program, because your core is incorporated into so many of those full body moves and because once you get past that beginner level of strengthening those deep inner abdominal muscles continuing to challenge yourself, whether you’re going from body weight movements to new movements that are allowing you to use your body weight in a different way and a more challenging way.
Let’s say for EXAMPLE you’re going from a pushup plank position to now you’re feet are on the stability ball to do a jackknife, much more challenging than doing just a static body weight move, or doing movements that allow you to use weights such as dumbbells or medicine balls for wood chops. Another full body move, but you’re incorporating your core there and you can find a way to make it more challenging by increasing the weight that you’re using.
I believe it is built into your resistance training plan. It’s not those individual ab exercises that you have to focus on, it’s the plan that you’re following is designed to be challenging so that as your body adapts the program adapts with you to keep you challenged.
Craig Ballantyne: Okay, cool.
Let’s head to part 2 of this interview where Holly talks to us about the dreaded postpartum loose skin issue.
For more information on getting flat abs postpartum, check out www.clubfym.com.