What do you do when everyone tells you it can’t be done?
The greatest joy in my life was giving birth to my 4 beautiful girls I always knew I would have children and that I would have C-sections. In my gut, I just thought that I would never deliver any other way. I have had 3 C-sections and a double hernia. My last pregnancy with my twins I carried them for 37 weeks and still did daycare in my home for 14 kids. My twins weighed 6lbs 4 ounces and 6 lbs. 9ounces. The time to recover was a little more challenging, trying to breast feed twins and still do daycare. But I managed with the help of family and friends. I had never had twins before so everyone said the weight would probably be there because I had twins. The pregnancy with the twins had my stomach very different than before. Even through the breast feeding, my Stomach still protruded outward. And if I lay on my back my stomach would sink in like it was hollow.
It is important to know your body and I knew something was wrong. I waited awhile and then made an appointment to see the doctor. I was told that my muscles were split apart all the way to the left and right. Plus I had a double hernia. The doctor told me I needed surgery and the procedure would require me being cut straight down the middle. I wasn’t too happy about that but the sooner the better to try and get into shape. My surgery was planned when the twins were six months. Surgery went well and they fixed the hernias and sewed my muscles back together. My previous C-sections never really bothered me as much as the scar from the hernia surgery did. After surgery I had staples (non-dissolvable) going straight down my stomach. It looked so bad; all I could do when I got out of the hospital was cry. But I had to get myself together because I was still breast feeding my twins. The effects of having 3 C-sections and then another surgery left my mid-section looking worse than before. Besides having skin that I could lift up because of my bikini cut, I now had a sad face with a funny looking belly button. I never really thought I would be able to do anything with my mid-section. Because of the surgery I knew my recovery time would now be longer since being cut in half. Timed past and I would do workouts here and there , walk the malls with the children, never really thought about what I could do, I was thinking what I couldn’t do.
Then one day something happen within myself, I thought I am only in my 40’s and I have 4 beautiful girls, I need to be an example for them. One of my daughters talked to me, and said, she never wanted to become a mom, because of what she saw me go through and the scars on my tummy. Friends and families would say; well you had twins and to just accept how I look. Every time I heard something negative, it started to give me inspiration to change and push to accomplish a change in my life. I put a picture of my younger self on refrigerator to give me encouragement. And every time someone saw it they would say, oh those were the days. You won’t be that size a gain or friends that didn’t even have a C-section said they couldn’t get that body back. I begged to differ.
My first step was I found a goal that I wanted to complete, and I put my mind to it and started the process. This was for me! I didn’t tell anyone I just started. First changing how I ate. Was it more important for me to have a donut or should I be having oatmeal in the morning. I now worked outside of the house in an office setting. Every time the office had food, was it necessary for me to eat it because it was free or should I eat my grilled chicken salad. Every day we have a choice in what we do. I started to choose to make better choices. So as a single mom I would be here for my kids and I wanted my sexy back. I didn’t want someone to mistake me for their grandma. LoL
I found a plan good for me and my body. I couldn’t believe that after all these years it is so important to eat frequent smaller meals instead of eating one big meal. I started reading, listening and learning. I wanted this and wanted to prove I could do this. The scars I had, I needed to turn around to a positive. Instead of every time I viewed them thinking negative. I wanted this and I was determined to get it.
I sit at a desk for ten hours a day. I started holding my tummy in for a period of time; I would do pushups in the bathroom or conference room when no one was looking. I would put tension ropes on my ankles while sitting at the desk and practiced exercise with my legs. I started lifting weights and eating right. The key for me was this was not a diet, it was a life change. If you view it as a diet then it will be temporarily and the weight will come back. I did not get impatient; I just took my time and became consistent in what I did. I ate lean and began to feel lean. I knew bread and sugar affected me in a negative way so that was cut out.
As I started to shed pounds my tummy was slowly making changes. There were times that I would cry while doing pushups, seeing the skin from my tummy hanging down to the floor. I knew I could not afford a ten thousand dollar tummy tuck nor did I want to go under the knife again after having 3 C-sections and 2 hernias. I knew this was something I had to work at and I wanted it. I decided to compete in a figure competition to make myself push for something. I needed a goal and I was doing this for me not to win anything. In all of my years I had never wore a bikini, but in Oct 2010 I wore one and competed in my first competition. I am a pretty quiet person, but I felt on top of the world, my daughters were impressed with all the work I did and what I had accomplished. No one would believe it until they saw my transformation then it became contagious, everyone wanted to know how I did. It’s not a quick fix it took determination and just plain wanting it. I had pictures to remind me of where I had come from and where I wanted to go.
My daughters wanted to eat what I ate and were conscious of what they were eating. They were asking questions, wanting to work out with me etc. It is important as a mom (role model) not to strip your child of their spirit. Lead by example and they shall follow. And that is what mine are doing. We are a family that strives to do better. There were times when we didn’t, and I was unhappy and that comes off to your kids. You do make sacrifices to get to where you want to get. But you don’t have to join a gym you can do a lot at home. I still do pushups and sit-ups at night while watching TV. Every commercial I will do some sit-ups or pushups. My kids and I go to the track the kids ran with me or played on the field. We all have the time. I am a single mom with 4 girls ranging in age 14-6. If you can’t leave them then get them to do it with you. But 80% of it is eating the other 20% was working out. If you do not eat right you will not see the results as quickly. It is important to not talk down at yourself change your thought process to what you can do and will do. The mind is the most important thing to get it right. Understand that it takes time but with determination all things are possible. Try it you may like it! I was constantly reminded by songs when listening to radio or inspirations.
I am on top of the world and I am still rising. I can wear a size 6, down from a 14. My tummy is flat and looking good. There is still some skin there but I have stretched it and lengthen it from exercises. I have made changes in what I eat. The scar will remain and that is fine with me, it is a reminder of my beautiful children and my hard work. It’s amazing if you start eating clean and then have something else it goes straight to your tummy. We have to make sacrifices to get to where we want, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dib and dab from time to time, but know you have to go back to doing the work to keep it. I love to go out for drinks every now and then, but I also realize I have to do the hard work afterwards to keep what I accomplished. The sugar from the alcohol will go straight to my stomach and I will feel and see it a day afterwards. It’s important to know your body. I am now helping others in their quest for a better and healthier life. I am not an expert or licensed I am just a regular woman who has done it and will continue to do it.
I am a living example that it can be done. Through hard work and patient all things are possible. I want everyone to feel it and walk with their heads up high, to know that anyone can do it and it all starts with small changes. I am pretty humbled by my results and never realized what an accomplishment it was. I knew I had no other choice but to do it. No surgery can give you this feeling of accomplishment. Now I am training for my third competition and training two others. It only gets better each time and loving life and helping others accomplish things they thought not possible. My future goal is to reach out to mothers of C-sections who cannot have the surgery to let them know that it is all possible.