When Your Body Doesn’t Do What You Want It To- Mommy Tummy and Other Plumbing Frustrations- Part One

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Chronic Pain and Living Pain-Free, Healthy Weight Loss & Lifestyle, Overcoming Ourselves, Who Is Gabi Klaf?

So, you may know that my plumbing is all messed up. Well, actually, how would you, I’ve never talked about it. So, here’s the deal. Even before kids, but definitively worse since the birth of my last child, my entire digestive/excretion/stomach systems have been mis-wired, plugged up, and not flowing well. Yes, having children born in 2002, 2003, and 2004 may not have been the wisest choice for my sweet body. The only reason we didn’t have intended Baby #4 in 2005 was because of that one physician who thought the mess until my belly button from the umbilical hernia surgery may get intertwined and complicated with another immediate birth. The dear nurse in the hospital had no idea why we burst into laughter when she asked the date of my last period. Between births and breastfeeding, we had to count back years. In month 2 of pregnancy, I looked like month 9 cuz my stomach went, “Oh, I remember this!” and popped out so far that my sister-in-laws would laugh and say I’d need a tent by month 6. Yes, very funny, I know. But, it really was so pitiful all you could do was laugh.

Years after kids, I’d look seven months pregnant by the end of the day, and even worse when I had to go to the bathroom. I was constantly bloated and heavy every single night. So uncomfortable. The heaviness was tough, feeling that unattractive was tough, going to the bathroom was tough. I no longer could go to the bathroom in the regular way people go to the bathroom. I’ll spare you the details. Things overlapped, got tangled, and all messed up. I went to dieticians, gynecologists, and many experts that random people referred me to. I got prodded and poked in a million ways and got nothing. I remember years ago, actually, before I even had the kids, I sat down with this really big wig dietician and told him proudly that I don’t eat white bread or pasta, don’t drink coffee or cola, don’t, don’t, don’t and he writes this all down on his little pad (he was probably just doodling and trying to look engaged). He puts down his drawings, pulls his glasses to the very rim of his nose, and asks, “And you enjoy this form of living?” He dubbed me ‘Irregular Bowel Syndrome’ and charged me $200 for the visit. Thanks Doc.

The following is my journey through this entanglement towards clarity and solutions. Finally, solutions.

The Raw Food Solution

Only when I was on all an all raw-food diet did things get dramatically better. Because my stool was so soft, it all just came out and flowed and I sang and danced as the sunlight fluttered through the breezy fields of flow. Raw food has been great, and for that year it was the solution. But then life got in the way, dinners at friends’ houses, Friday night meals at Kobi’s family, life, and travel, and there went raw food. Again, blocked up, plugged up, and so uncomfortable. I knew, for me, raw foods was the most logical and best way to heal my body , but living 100% raw also wasn’t working. Not because my body and soul don’t thrive on it, but because I don’t know enough about how to prepare amazing foods to keep my palette entertained in the face of all the other temptations around me. Also, when we move a lot, I can’t find or afford the fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts my body needs.

When I’m stable in one place, a month here, two weeks there, now for two months in the Philippines, I’m able to live mostly raw. That, learning to stop snacking at nights, and a ton of exercise is how I lost my 30 pounds. In India and again back home in Israel, I look forward to deeply investigating my creative culinary options and maintain at least 85% of my diet raw. I don’t believe I should wait for some medical emergency to allow my body to function optimally, neither do I feel that tragedy is the only justification for stopping to fill my body with chemicals and crap. Yes, Kobi’s two mini-heart attacks are what finally brought us to raw food, but since the Nazi-girl told me about it in college, I knew this was going to be my path. (It’s in this video!)

Meeting the Angels Solution

And then, I met a series of angels who guided me to get my body weight down and get my muscles toned. I lost 30 pounds, continue on my ego-shedding spiritual journey,  and share the joys of meshing both of those worlds often on this site. I looked better than I had my entire life, and felt sexy. Let me tell you what a joy that was! To feel sexy! And I spoke of raped through the massage table and all the emotional weight that came off by working through that. Lots of work and lots of guides along the way who taught me that I can change/improve/completely transform anything I set my mind on. I didn’t know the Eye of the Tiger was within me, but, sure enough, it just needed that dear Angel to show it to me.

Lower Back Pain Begging for a Solution

I’ve had it off and on forever and just assumed it was part of the story of life. You know the joys of life with kids, back posture, and  sleeping in odd positions with someone’s elbow up your nose sort of thing. Money also was a trigger for me. And every time I have unresolved, SOS money tragedies (almost exclusively in my mind, yet none the less tragic) my lower back flairs up. So, when we hit Mistakes You Can’t Take Back and thought the end  of our financial stability was hitting the fan, my lower back went crazy.

I couldn’t stand, sit, walk, or sneeze. Oh, sneezing was awful.

The Psoas Solution

And then angel Lauren Ohayon found this blog and became a dear soul mate. She does body work, and knows the body, and helps clients get back in optimal alignment and other fancy terms like that. She told me things like,

“the psoas is the deepest muscle in the body. attaches from the spine to the legs! the only muscle that does that. it has the lumbar plexus in it so the nervous system is deeply woven into this muscle. the psoas is the flight or fight muscle. it gets ramped up when we are in a heightened state, trauma, anger, etc. it is THE emotions muscle. because it attaches from spine to legs, the tightness that happens in it creates problems in the pelvis, hips, legs and back. based on your state right now, and the posture i have seen you prefer, my guess is that you have  chronically short psoas and now it is in a full on temper tantrum.”

So, I started to do the exercises she referred me too and felt an improvement. But, not gone and not fixed and Lauren who had seen me walk and knew how off my alignment was was there to guide me as I wanted to get my abs back to gorgeous.

She sent me this:

The only magic pill for you is good alignment. I can teach you that in one session. I also need to know if you have a diastisis recti. If you do- there is only one way to work the abs or you’ll increase the problem.

The Diastisis Recti Solution

I’ve spent almost all of today watching videos, reading comments and looking into ab exercises that may help me. Turns out I’ve been doing the exact thing that will exasperate and worsen my stomach problems. I’m not sure if I have it or not cuz perhaps the wire mesh interferes with me checking properly.

I have found these Kegel exercises, which I never did, even back during the natural childbirth classes, or after. It makes a lot of sense to do them now, and I love the elevator analogy Kegel variation. Very helpful.

[HUGE NOTE REVISED AFTER MY TALK WITH LAUREN: CONTRARY TO COMMONLY FOUND ONLINE KNOWLEDGE, THE KEGELS I MENTIONED ABOVE ARE THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT I NEED. “IT’S CONTRACTED A CONTRACTED MUSCLE, IT’S TENSION ON TENSION” LAUREN SAYS. So, example number one of how I simply could not trust my own intellect and online search to guide me to what I needed most. I needed one professional whom I trust. Oh boy, the voyage ahead! I’m so grateful!]

This comment by Christina Maynard on InspiredRD’s diastisis Recti article made me think I wrote it. This soul sister truly captured my heart:

Hi there!! Thanks so much for having a blog about this!! I recently, on Friday of last week, was tired of hearing about how my diet is the cause of not having abs! Well, I did some research, which was very difficult to find, but I found the reason to my current state of abs…diastasis recti. Yes…I have a large gap between my muscles! I knew it was something to do with having kids, but was uncertain because no DR ever told me this was going to happen!
While working out this past year, I looked for support in a workout community and even followed personal trainers. All they post are how much abs are made in the kitchen, I was even told this a few times from a few people. The thing I did not get is….I’ve lost so much weight and I’ve been eating great and exercising almost everyday. My journey is successful, EXCEPT my abs! To which I seeked out help from other moms and personal trainers. I never spoke about this to my Ob/gyn, but I did bring up that I was trying to get my stomach back, but she never said a thing. And if I were to completely listen to everyone about how abs are made in the kitchen, I could have very easily become anorexic! I honestly, was going NUTS trying to figure out why my abs are looking like mush when the rest of my body looks like muscle! FRUSTRATING.

Today, I’m looking at my exercise so much differently! I’m going back to enjoying my workouts! I’m going back to loving the person I am inside and out. I’m going to see my results instead of seeing my faults. I am no longer going to kill myself to workout! No one should make me feel inadequate. If someone is not there to support me…I will NOT listen to them. It is completely important that we have a support system.

Thanks for you post!! And please LOVE YOURSELF and BE KIND to the mom that you are and this goes to all moms going through this right now!!

Question: Its been 5.5 years since my last child. I’ve had 2 back to back and both C-sections. Both boys were over 9lbs. Can I still work on getting my abs in shape with the exercises you have listed above even though its been 5.5 years since my last??

So many of those comments made me feel that, if I did have it or not, that I was not alone. That with Lauren’s help and the great articles she referred me to, I will find the solutions I need for my body. This picture copied from Real Simple Magazine may be my bible for the next several months. I’m not sure, but will know for certain after my Skype session with Lauren.

 

[NOTE:  Again like the note above, I do not know if these exercises are any good. Turns out that the premise behind all the common knowledge I am, and you are, finding online is that the body is meant to degenerate and malfunction and be in pain from ‘natural’ wear and tear. LAUREN SAYS THAT THIS IS NOT SO. So, again, here’s what I found independently, but the exercises and the work she has given me is weeks, maybe months of work before I can even look at this. Again, online one-size-fits-all does not work for me, for you, for our individual histories and needs. Learning so much, and so honored to share this journey with you and see what we can learn together Thank you Lauren. ]

The Real Solution

The real solution is that there really isn’t one. The real solution is that we are a work of art in progress, and all of our intentions and dreams and goals will dance and whirl before us, and some of them will come true and we will reach that point, and some of them we simply won’t. And all of them will keep changing as we change, and all of them, will require me to keep them a priority in order for the results to remain. All I could do it this way, by figuring it out piece my piece and gleaning the information I need online. I know taht will work well. But, I’ve been blessed with a little fairy-dusted angel gift called Lauren Ohayon. Lauren, obviously a God-sent, has a lot to teach me about how to hold and position my body, how to heal it through exercises and meditation, and how to eat in a way that will support my spiritual and physical development. We’ll have our Skype session in the coming days and I’ll let you know how it goes here amigas!

A Video Reflecting All That Is

11 minutes of how I would tell this to you if you and I were sitting face-to-face talking. And so….

 

Your Solution

I wish you swiftness and strong wings as you fly towards, around, or next to your issues. May you have the determination and belief in yourself to know that you will find a solution to any damn health issue that crosses your path. From this solution to this solution, every step of the way, is you. Sometimes, fully there, motivated, pressing forward. Sometimes, insane and dealing with your life, and trying really hard to keep your head above water. Yeah, I know. I’m here too.

Cheers to you! [I’m raising my ginger-lemon water jar up at you dear]

Gabi

———————————————————————————————

It’s part of a healing series: When Your Body Doesn’t Do What You Want It To.  I’m sharing the entire journey to document it for myself (because I WILL be victorious in this battle) and to inspire others to learn, grow, face it, overcome this physical pain, that emotional deep-rooted issue, this addiction, and that insanely normal every-day family life situation.

Part One: Mommy Tummy and Other Plumbing Frustrations 

Part Two: Greatfulness, Overwhelm, and Determination

Gabi is a certified trauma therapist, family communications expert, energy healer, and life coach with a Masters in Psychology. She shares her personal life stories and insights to inspire others to share their honest, neurotic selves and do all that is necessary to Clean Your Soul. She believes that all of us are on our journey from pain to the light, and by staying inspired and aware, we can all reach our fullest, cleanest, most beautiful free selves. Gabi takes a very limited number of one-on-one clients for transformational parenting, family, life, and trauma therapy. You may reach Gabi directly at gabiklaf@gmail.com, subject line: coaching inquiry

Photo credits:

I deeply appreciate talented artists making their art available to others. Thus, I’ll always feel honored to credit them, though these sites say I don’t have to. So happy to acknowledge and support their kind contributions in any way. Aren’t the pictures fantastic?

 Woman in pain , Woman with grapefruit, Back pain, belly shot,

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Comments (9)

  • Cheri Linster (@aerobabe619)

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    I had a hysterectomy in 2002,after 20 years of playing the Dr.game.They messed that up,leaving one ovary in so i would not go into early menopause.that ovary became diseased and had to have that one removed.I have had to have scar tissue burned because my bladder sealed to my colon.I just had a cancerous polyp removed from my colon. And on my sheet it says patient has IBS.wt f?? i have not had a regular belly in 23 years, 20 minutes after i eat i cramp up and im in pain. i know your frustration.and if you want to chat im on twitter ,your in my thoughts.

    Reply

    • Gabi

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      hi cheri. i’m so honored that you wrote. tell me however did you find me dear? i would love to see you online, though, ironically, i am on very little. and twitter very, very, very little. facebook is better. do you gravitate towards that too? loved to read about your two grown daugthers, your poetry, and that you’ll be a mimi soon. you are just adorable in your profile pics. adorable. i am sorry for all the complications you have faced in your medical issues. god. IBS- love it. classic, we dont’ know what to do syndrome. so today, are you better? what can we do to help aleviate the cramping and stomach pain. you slmply cannot live with way. intolerable. i won’t accept it dear. 🙂 have you tried raw?

      Reply

  • Lauren

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    I love you. Wise wise lady. Thanks for all the nice words. Now STOP googling things. It’s a bunch of shit and hard to disseminate good info from wrong!
    A technical point: I think I wrote I could NOT help you in only one session. Maybe I wrote I can- but I meant “damn I’m human and you are human and its gonna take several sessions PLUS loads of work and awareness on your end!”
    Looks like you are doing just that.
    Xxxxx

    Reply

  • Brianne

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    Hello! Thank you for referring to my “elevator kegel” post in your original article.
    I see that you revised your article to state that kegels might not be the best exercise for you, and that very well might be the case. However, I want to send a quick note to your readers (and you) to let you know that kegels can be quite useful for women when they are done properly — i.e. when you RELAX the pelvic floor muscles fully after each contraction.
    So while kegels may not be the perfect prescription for everyone, I encourage you to give them a try once you get you are able to relax your psoas and improve your alignment. The pelvic floor is a large part of the “core,” and needs to be worked in concert with the abdominals, back, and hip muscles.
    Good luck with your journey!

    Reply

  • lauren

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    Brianne, I would beg to differ a bit. Yes, the relax is an important piece but only if someone’s pelvic floor is not stuck SHORT. Most people stand with their pelvis out in front of them or tuck their pelvis under them, leaving them with shortened pelvic floor muscles. A short PF cannot generate any force and is therefore inefficient. Shortening it more in a kegel and then “releasing” it will only bring the PF muscles back to their starting SHORT place. In order to really work with issues of the body, we need to tai into account biomechanics. If the body is not in optimal alignment- many muscles that need to be generating force to help stabilize and support us care not doing that. So before we being to “work” on our muscles, we need to get them to their correct length. The PF can only “work” if it is yielded to begin with. For most people, their PF is stuck short. The sarcomeres are short and do not yield from that place. So a Kegel, while possibly good for some people- is not at all a one stop shop for the majority of people for whom poor alignment brought them to their predicament to begin with. Rather than working the body in pieces, I find it much more sustainable and integrated to work on the Alignment of the whole body so that they can stop doing whatever they were doing to create a short PF.
    Blessings!
    -Lauren

    Reply

    • Brianne

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      Lauren — agreed. That’s why I stated “I encourage you to give them a try ONCE YOU ARE ABLE to relax your psoas and improve your alignment.” It sounds like Gabi has a lot to work on before she considers including kegels.
      I fully agree that women need to work on alignment and posture first and foremost. I’m 100% positive that you and I come from different viewpoints re: kegels, but I can see that we are both passionate about the betterment of women’s health. I’m sure we can both agree that posture and alignment are key, glute strength is key, and functional training is key. I just don’t want women to automatically think that kegels are “bad” and can never be part of a well-rounded core strengthening program.
      Cheers and enjoy your weekend!

      Reply

  • lauren

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    Brianne,

    We probably do not come from such different places re bodies and health. I think that people in general tend to get all vamped up about exercise being the thing that will solve them. They tend to take these exercises way too far, with no context and without realizing that it might not be the appropriate thing for them. Exercise cannot replace whole body movement, natural movement and a fully aligned and functional body. Layering and adding something like kegels to a non functional body can only add more stress.

    I totally love your web site and I totally agree that what Gabi needs is GLUTE strength!
    Blessings,
    Lauren

    Reply

    • Brianne

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      Yep… It’s all about the BOOTY!!! 🙂 Have a great day Lauren (and Gabi too!)

      Reply

  • Alyson

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    Hi! I’m just leaving a comment so you know I was here. I’ve actually not got any problems of this nature other than piling on the pounds now I’ve hit menopause because of my inability to not guzzle wine. But I like wine, so it stays. Take care of yourself Gabi xx

    Reply

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