Don't Go It Alone

Apr 19, 2019

I will admit that for much of my life, I really thought the goal was to be as independent as possible.  Asking for help, getting help, or even needing help felt like things that violated the code of Grown Up.  And seven years ago, when I first started MommaStrong, you would have found series of self-help and business books near my bedside table all about how to “go it alone” and to “never give up.” 

I’m happy to report that that experiment failed miserably.  Trying to go it alone was the dumbest idea I ever had and left me at the hands of someone who ought not have been steering the ship all by her lonesome - MYSELF.  I made epic mistakes in life and in motherhood and in business that would have never ever happened had I done one important thing:  Run it by another grown up first. 

Who could have blamed me, though?  I don’t know about you, but this “independent success” value system wasn’t...

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Exercise as a Right, not a Luxury

Mar 29, 2019

I’m 38 years old and 28 weeks pregnant.  After my last two pregnancies, I swore I would never get pregnant again, much less endure the postpartum experience, much less raise more little people.  That was partly because of how motherhood had felt to my body and to my nervous system.  In one word, it felt:  Harrowing.  Overwhelming.  Painful.  Stunting.  Paralyzing.  Overstimulating. 

Ok, that was more than one word. 

That was my reality though.  I spent both pregnancies in states of panic, convinced that everything around me was harming my baby and that my anxiety about everything harming my baby was going to cause more to harm to my baby.  I dipped out of life as much as I could, obsessed over tiny little things, and just agreed to get through the nine (ten) months alive.  Every time I went to the doctor - which, hello, when you’re pregnant is like allllll the time - I have a full blown panic attack...

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Swerve

Feb 22, 2019

Tight equals strong, right?

Right?

Wrong.

That is just not true when it comes to the most important muscle groups in the female body:  Your pelvic floor.  In fact, a too toned and too tight pelvic floor is actually a very, very weak and vulnerable pelvic floor.  I would say that most, if not all, of the women who come to me for incontinence, prolapse, diastasis recti, back pain, and so many other issues are there because they have hypertonicity in their pelvic floor.  This basically means that they’ve been kegeling the bejeezus out of their hoohas in an effort to tighten things up down there and instead of making things better, they’ve made things worse.

Along with that, traditional ways of strengthening our bodies and holding our bodies all lead to hypertonicity as well.  So, let’s say you enjoyed decades of Pilates classes and boot camps and you kept on squeezing when they said squeeze and then you felt the burn, well … I hate to...

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Celebrate Growth

Jan 28, 2019

Ever since I was a kid, there was one main thing I thought to be true about life:  Work hard so that you can get “there.”  In fact, if I were to be honest, I would say that drudgery, determination, and deprivation were core values to what I thought was the meaning of life.  I believed - and was told through coaches and teachers and every grown up around me - that if I put my nose to the ground for as long as I could, that it would pay off.

There was no one around me saying, slow down, sweet girl.  Take a deep breath and take a load off.  And I don’t remember that being modeled in front of me in any real way, and if it were it was immediately deemed as lazy or entitled.  By middle school, I was doing competitive kayaking at 4:30am, followed by a full day of school in which "straight As" was the only goal, followed by at least 3 hours of ballet class, followed by a quick dinner, followed by homework, followed by falling asleep in my...

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Your Right to Rest

Dec 26, 2018

I’ve learned a lot in the 6.5 years I’ve been at it here with MommaStrong.  I’ve learned that mothers are the most tough of all humans.  I’ve learned that our society neglects the female body.  I’ve learned that everyone has crappy posture.  I’ve learned that a lot of women pee on themselves and it took until 2018 to really start talking about that.  I’ve learned that your butt muscles matter more than your core.  I’ve learned that showing up every day for exercise is actually possible and entirely brilliant.  I’ve learned that you can’t do anything alone.  I’ve learned that groups of women are literally the most healing quality of modern civilization.

And I’ve also learned that mothers are tired as fuck. 

Tired.  T-I-R-E-D. 

I get tons of emails from incredible women all around the world and, I kid you not, the main underlying theme in them all is:  ...

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Dear Body

Nov 26, 2018

Dear Body,

We are 38 years old.  We’ve been through a lot together.  Like, a lot.  A LOT.  I’m writing to you today because I know without a doubt that though all of that “a lotness,” you have been primarily focused on my survival.  Even when I beat you up, didn’t feed you enough, overfed you, treated you like a trashcan, exhausted you, asked you to perform on two hours of sleep, ignored your pleas for rest or attention, grew and birthed babies inside you, and bartered your value for the pressure to be attractive … even in light of all this, you woke up and said, “How am I going to serve this human today?”

I’d like to think that on bad days, when I felt like shit or when you felt sluggish or when you caused me to feel pain, that it was all your fault, that maybe you were out to destroy me.  But, the truth all along has been that you were simply weeding through the muck and the mud to find...

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It's Not A Big Deal

Nov 01, 2018

When I was in high school, I weighed maybe 90 pounds sopping wet, wore gigantic bifocal glasses, had shiny braces bigger than my face, and was called “chicken legs” every day at P.E.  This was how I had been my whole life, even as a young girl my knees were always scabbed over, my hair was never brushed, and when my mom would put me in something nice to wear, within a mere instant, it was covered in mud or bird poop or _________.   I probably heard her say daily that she was going to have to “Scotch Guard” my wedding dress someday, while my dad nicknamed me the Muck Monster.

The benefit of this was that I was never treated like a pretty object as a kid.  No one ever walked up to me and said, “Oh my gosh, you look so nice today.”  I was a do-er and an impressive athlete, and my sense of identity truly did form from my function and not from appearance.  I don’t even remember feeling badly about how I looked, except...

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Curiosity HEALED the Cat

Oct 03, 2018

There was a point in my life about 16 years ago when I was spending $900 a month - without permission - on my dad’s credit card, buying vitamins and the latest cure-alls from Whole Foods.  I spent every dollar of my own on yet another naturopath visit, acupuncture session, or detox guru.  I had massages with crystals and I did coffee enemas during 14 day liquid detoxes (before it was cool).  I saw energy workers and nutritionists. I ate an insanely isolating raw diet, bringing my own food to social events and using words like “safe” and “contaminated” whenever questioned.  I even refused to swim in swimming pools because of the chlorine.

To my credit, I was super sick and no traditional doctor I went to could help me find what was happening.  I couldn’t leave my house without charting where available bathrooms were along my route, as I rarely made it minutes without needing one desperately.  I had lost my...

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Stretch it, stretch it good

Sep 05, 2018

No one knows about stretching more than a former professional ballet dancer.  Oh, the things I used to do to stretch myself to unnatural degrees.  For instance, I used to stick my pre-teen feet underneath the edge of the piano and then try to straighten my legs.  Oh my lawd.  I did that.  I also used to watch TV upside down, with my legs on a wall in a V position, hanging open with hopes they would one day go touch the ground. 


Those are just two of the weird things I used to do to my body before it knew better than to bark back.  Ha.  But, the reason I bring them up is because for as much as we think we know about stretching, we actually know very little.  We basically all think:  Stretching equals flexibility.  The truth?  Stretching won’t do anything for flexibility unless you have strength first.  So, strength actually equals flexibility.

Let’s take my pre-teen foot stretching theory.  What I was...

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FREEEEEEEEEEDOM

Aug 27, 2018

I am not MommaStrong.

I work for MommaStrong.

The statement above might look like a simple shift in perspective, but the truth is that it took a long long long time to get here.  In fact, I read recently that it takes on average of ten years to get to the one year that changes your life.  This couldn’t be more true for me.  And I have experienced that the start of that life-changing year usually begins with a painful sledgehammer to all the unmanageable bits of your seemingly secure life.

I learned so many profound things over the last year thanks to that sledgehammer, but I’m here today to quickly suggest that the most profound thing was (and will always be) this:  The quality of my life is directly connected to my willingness to connect, be transparent, receive, and give of myself to a safe and steady crew of other people.

For lots of reasons personal to me, this was not a simple task.  Letting down my guard, having discernment about...

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