Tag Archives: Restorative Exercise Institute

I’ve Got Guts- Inside of Me!


It’s been well more than a few days, but I’m back with how I worked to heal my diastasis recti (DR).

First, it’s hard to say these are “exercises” for me, as they really aren’t. They’re just part of healthy, natural movement that most Westernized people have completely omitted from their lives. Integrating them back into our daily living is no more “exercise” than adding meat back into someone’s diet is a “medicine” : it’s just adding in a vital component to health and longevity.
You could take a quick detour to my favorite, short Katy Bowman article, that summarizes nicely why “exercise” is overrated to me: My Manifesto.
That said, I understand that the word “exercise” symbolizes “more movement” for a lot of people, and so I continue to use it for now. (By the way, “exercise” is way less movement than you think, compared to “non-exercisers.”)

Second, and on to what you were waiting for, the Restorative Exercises that were integral to healing my DR were small changes built up over time.
The first change I made was keeping my pelvis untucked (when in doubt, stick your butt out), making sure my ASIS (anterior superior iliac spine) and pubic bones were in a vertical line with one another. This prevents the bulk of your weight bearing down on your sacrum when sitting and walking.

The next change (and very soon after the first change) was relaxing my ribs down, rather than puffing out. Relaxing your ribs down holds your organs in, whereas puffing them out allows your internal organs to fall forward, stressing the two sides of your rectus abdominis muscle.

The first two changes were the most important to make, in terms of diastasis recti, because it’s the “walls of defense” to keeping our guts where they belong.
After this, I shifted my weight off of the tiny bones of my foot, the toes, and into the bigger bones of the heel.

And… I WALK!
I found early on with my hypothyroidism, that hard and fast movements deplete me for days. The simple act of walking keeps lymph flowing, keeps muscles active, and engages much more than the average person would think!

Better still, in the last month before my gap closed from one finger-width to completely, I did a different Snack (or Aligned & Well DVD on weekend days) every single day for the month of June. The natural movement variation in these videos helped my “mummy tummy” go away completely.

If you’d like some excellent pointers in picture form, and more of the why, Diastasis Rectified has written an excellent blog post with exactly why and how I do this.



At the Baggins’ household lately, things are settling down from summer antics, play, and leisure, as we prepare to start Year 8 of Ambleside Online.

I’m finding that utilizing some concepts in Dressing Your Truth is helping me understand my family and how to work with each one of them.

Daryl has had a few weeks of layoff through his company, but they were deliberately staggered one week at a time each month. Most of the employees treated this as a vacation/free time and we really weren’t different. We spent time doing some fun things and took the opportunity to fix some bigger things around the house. He is definitely a Type 3, which I am very grateful for. He works hard and is very loyal and loving, even when his vision is strictly on the to-do list.

Melody is growing up and discovering changes are not as scary as she thought they would be and are rather pleasant when she accepts them. She often makes me think of Katy in Stepping Heavenward and that is an encouraging, lovely thought for me, especially on the days where I feel like I’m “in the trenches.” She is a Type 1. So, with her being Type 1 and me being Type 4, can feel very overwhelming sometimes… we have completely polar opposite energies and ways of thinking. I tell her regularly that she’s the best first child I could have imagined – she helps me grow!

Leela really wants to join in with us as we have more formal learning moments, so I decided to institute Morning Time this year. We’ll see how she does with it. She is a constant comfort to others and loves helping. I am certain she is a Type 2, so I am mindful to let her know how much I see her and value her, and how strong her presence is for all of us.

Stryder is playing games to tease us, walking well, communicating with about 10-15 words/sounds, and *loves* snuggling with us. I have no idea what Type he is yet. I just know we love him and he’s also a blessing to the family.

As for me, I’m almost through the 3rd semester of year one (in a two-year program) in Restorative Exercise, to become a certified personal trainer. It’s intense, but I am loving it!
I had a severe UTI (not found with testing at urgent care) that led to a massive kidney infection, but I’ve been amazed to see natural supplements and botanicals work wonders, at yet another point in my life. Between probiotics and d-mannose, the UTI has gone and I am no longer hurting from kidney pain. I am taking a bottle of enzymes too, to deal with candida, and I’m impressed. I hope the one bottle is all I ever need to take! I’m about to add pau d’arco tea for candida as well.
I’m choosing to let my 4th semester of Mother’s Feast rest for now, after being convicted by some CM-inspired articles I’d read. For my Type 4 self, letting that 4th planned semester rest is going to be a feat of will! I am going to write more about letting the 4th semester go later, but for now, thus suffices.

Coming up soon on the blog, I have a really AMAZING blog-related development. I can barely wait to make the announcement!!

When Your Guts Fall Out (Literally)


Once upon a time… about a year and eight months ago, while I was pregnant with Stryder… I felt my abdominal muscles tear away from each other. The pain was intense for about a day, then subsided. This happened a few more times during my pregnancy.
I knew what this meant: diastasis recti (DR). I’d been reading through Katy Says for several years (though not implementing almost anything), had been waiting for her Restorative Exercise Institute to accept new students, and was well aware of what had happened.

About two months after I had Stryder, my internal organs started falling out between this gap, a couple times a week. I would become nauseous, dizzy, and had a little harder time concentrating. I knew this was serious. I had read a few cases of this happening to people, though not many, but had never known anyone “in real life” to have diastasis recti so obviously that their guts fell out.
I never measured the gap because the thought of feeling it made me sick and I knew with my organs falling out it was pretty darn bad.

I knew I had to do something before I got pregnant again, as another baby would tax those torn muscles even further, making postpartum even worse.
I began asking alignment junkies what my best bet would be to do in terms of healing. I was guided to Mutu, which could then be followed by Restorative Exercise Specialist (RES) training when it opened. Low and behold, RES training opened in the next month or so, while I had been contemplating spending a couple hundred dollars (we didn’t really have) on a system I’d use only to heal my DR.

It’s been 7 months since I started Year 1 of RES Training. Last month it dawned on me that it had been quite awhile since my guts fell out… thinking back, about a month after I started RESt!
I decided to check my abdominal muscles and could just barely get two fingers between the gap. A few weeks later, my wonderful midwife friend checked me and she could not get any fingers in.

Natural movement works, my friends!

Do you want to know what I did to heal my diastasis recti, from guts falling out to no gap, in about 6 month?
Stay with me (or subscribe to my RSS feed, above), because I’ll be sharing just that in the next few days.

A Few of My Favorite Things


I am excited to participate in the July Blogging Challenge, hosted by Jennifer and Lynn, to get the blogging “mojo” flowing. Thank you so much for hosting this, ladies!

I have missed a little bit of the challenge – 10 days in fact! I see a few that I want to catch up on, so I will definitely make sure to blog through them later. 🙂 But, for today, I’m excited to tell you about some of my favorite things.

1) Time in God’s Word. There was a longer period of my life recently, where getting into God’s Word was intermittent and forced. I was broken, hurting, and running from El Roi… Who was waiting for me every step I ran. I wanted to have a genuine heart to be in communion with Him, but each time I would sit and open the Word, my life felt like a lie. While I was pregnant with Stryder, I allowed my more opened emotional state to carry me to the feet of Christ, and have been running TO Him again, since. It is my favorite thing, and I missed it despite choosing to run from it. Right now I am reading through Charles Stanley’s Seeking His Face, plus reading through various Scripture with Melody.
2) Family snuggles. For a long time, this was just Melody and I. Now, it’s a lot more family to snuggle. ❤
3) Books. Bibliophilia is strong within me. ;P
4) Knitting.
5) Bullet Journal.
6) The sound of a well-played violin or saxophone.
7) Planning parties (but *never* having them for myself, SERIOUSLY panicky to have that much attention on me). I may be considered a Pinterest mom when it comes to this… *ahem*
8) Botanical medicine.
9) Nerdy shows: Firefly, LOTR, Doctor Who, etcetera.
10) Last, but not least, Restorative Exercise. My internal organs are no longer falling out between my diastasis recti (it’s healed!), since I started implementing natural movement into my days – I am so excited about becoming a Restorative Exercise specialist! I can’t wait to write more about this favorite thing in the next few weeks!

I limited myself, to spare you, to my top 10 favorite things. I could go on a couple sets more!

What are some of your favorite things? I would love for you to share here!

Life-Giving Living in an Automated World


Sunrise Over Camas Prairie, Idaho by Charles Knowles

I think the most interesting thing about learning healthy biomechanics, while I am in my first year of Restorative Exercise Specialist training, is re-realizing how extremely separated from life-giving things we have really become in “modernized” nations. We sit in chairs all day. We are busy, busy, busy, but are barely moving, and this hurts our bodies, minds and yeah, spirits. 
I find this in most areas I study, actually, whether it’s whole body movement, birth, treatment vs. healing for ailments, food choices, schooling, politics, and more.

Even as I type this, I am separating myself from more life-giving activity (sleep), despite that writing/typing out my thoughts does help me to express inner workings, and I enjoy it (life-giving when I do it in the day time).

I began writing the above on the first of April, and this sentence is my attempt to revive my thoughts, on the last day of April. Since, I have cut down my time on social media, making a slow move from Facebook to Mewe… and finding I did not use MeWe as frequently as I thought I would. I still use it, but it’s not so all-consuming as Facebook was.
I made a deliberate choice to start “chewing the cud” from 
my time in this life, to unplug from device more and more, and make intentional relationships a priority rather than a spectatorship… which I found myself doing with Facebook.

I moved to MeWe, I started a Bullet Journal, and I began making direct contact with my friends and family – outside of Facebook. I started to hone my focus on RES work. The result, personally, was overwhelmingly refreshing. I felt free. For the first time in 4 years, I felt like I was taking part in my own life, have been regaining a sense of community, and am showing the people I love that I am invested in them… not just watching on and waiting for a status update. (I’m not denouncing this entirely – it has its place. It had just become a crutch for me and an escape from pain, after the failed trial, and I needed to step away from it entirely in my life.)

It makes me wonder – what more can I be doing to offer and seek out life-giving living, in this automated world?
Is there anything you do to seek out life-giving living, that you’d love to share with others? 

Gaining Focus


On my morning walk, I reflected on how different life is compared to December of last year.

I am loathe to make New Year’s Resolutions. Yet, the snowball effect began in December and it ended up that most of the changes started taking place at the beginning of January. The rebel in me wanted to wait until “New Year’s Resolutions” time lapsed, but I am glad I ignored my rebelliousness, because I had a few more weeks of healing than I otherwise would have.

I recognized that my genetic issues were drastically effecting my ability to heal my endocrine system. Every time I would start a new supplement, it would work really well for a few weeks, and then I would crash. I started adding supplements for my genetic issues (I tested through 23andme), following protocol from a more well-known site that gave me a comprehensive step-by
-step guide to healing, so I would, theoretically, heal in proper order. Still, I crashed, and it was getting harder every time.

A friend encouraged me to completely stop all my supplements – all 23 of them – and to let my body detox before I contemplated any more about what supplements to eliminate, add, or change the intake of… that I might be pleasantly surprised. I started a new, less synthetic regimen, just a few weeks before New Years, and started seeing vast improvement right around the New Year. I have not yet had to add anything different in, including any of my naturally desiccated thyroid. I am taking 4 supplements, 3 of which are foods for me, 1 of which is more synthetic and unfortunately necessary (unless I can find a natural way to bypass my gut and absorb B vitamins).

This has been a HUGE key to healing, addressing my genetic defects in proper order.

For a few weeks before January, I also slowly started “going Paleo,” after reading testimony after testimony of folks with many of my same genetic defects, attest to the difference it made for them in mental clarity, weight issues, and overall health. I decided to do a big, deep dive in January, and did a Whole30. I lost 15 pounds – which is incredible, since my endocrine issues have piled on over 100 pounds in a decade, despite working out hard the first half of that decade, and eating like a bird most of that decade – and I was eating so much food!

My weight loss is much slower now that I am just Paleo, and allow myself chocolate, but it’s still going down. Grains and unfermented dairy wreak havoc on my body!

At the end of last year, Katy Bowman opened up her Restorative Exercise Specialist training again, after a very long close to new openings. It was open for a few weeks, and then would close for 2 years. Daryl and I discussed it, and I took the opportunity to start on a path I’d been dreaming of for over a year.  It has pushed me to do what I had wanted to do for several years, which is become actually serious about healthy, whole body alignment. Studying for RES has reminded me of how very little I know – and I love that!
From the energy I have gained from my diet and supplemental changes, I have been enabled to move more. Before, taking a 30-minute walk would mean adrenal exhaustion for DAYS. From one. stinking. walk. The jogging I loved so well – forget about it. That used to knock me out for weeks-long stretches.

Now that I have more mental focus and energy, I am becoming more organized. When I happened upon the mention of a specific type of organizational journal in a homeschooling group, I realized that it would work perfectly for me in many ways. I put together a part of this journal for April last night, and I am so pumped. Even without the journal for March, I have gotten a lot done today, just mentally thinking of this type of journal for my day and keeping the focus for “to-do’s.” I am going to give you a peek into this new-to-me journal, tomorrow.

More mental focus and energy is also translating into more calm, evened thinking. Which has been a balm for working through PTSD issues – now I can work through PTSD issues. Not many things are triggering the trauma. When a few things have, I have been able to process through it and move forward. I have not yet hit a panic mode, even with triggering people and situations they create.
This, wonderfully, translates into my spiritual life as well. It’s not a murky crawl to find His peace. It’s as it was before my body started failing big time, before the trauma of the failed trial.

My type 4 is truly reveling in this new-found focus… in contained chaos.

Cultivating Mother


First, what is Mother Culture? Karen Andreola offers up a wonderful post on this concept, Moments with Mother Culture: What Is Mother Culture?, one I am abundantly encouraged by.

There is also an excellent article from the Parent’s Review Magazine, by an unknown author, entitled Mother Culture, which may be where this term originated from, but I am unsure.

In mid-December of 2013, I had some odd connections made in my mind. I was beginning to miss reading. A few years back, there was hardly a moment that you could find me not reading, so to find myself now reading a rarity… it felt like a part of me was actually missing. 

On Facebook, I shared a ridiculous picture, that for whatever reason, made me burst out laughing when I saw it the first time.

For your viewing pleasure…

My Mom responded with something that really stuck with me, especially because in the past I have stated that I think new year’s resolutions are absolutely ridiculous if you have no real motivation to accomplish them. Realistically, if you wanted to change something about yourself, you’d probably know about it (and should have started doing it) well before December 31st.

She said:

“The sermon this week was about not making Resolutions, but instead be Resolute! There’s a BIG difference. One of those might last a whole week… whereas the other is a real game changer!”

So, the motivation to be resolute and DO something, washed over me.

Then, I began an AmblesideOnline group reading of Home Education last January (a 2-year group to read through the entire series).

As I had been reading Home Education (a graciously-provided free read, here), by Charlotte Mason, I had been struck by many things, but something that seemed vitally important to me, was when she writes about mother’s being self-educated, in various ways over and again.

I have also been convicted and encouraged through quotes in other volumes in the Original Home Schooling Series.

It had been so very long since I picked up a book and read. There are things (Facebook, mostly) that get me caught up and I forget to keep my own mind fresh, active, and growing.

Charlotte Mason makes it clear that if we want our children to continue to love learning, we must emulate it for them, to exude our own desire to read, to explore, to think. This is well-addressed in the beginning section of Home Education, when discussing taking the children out of doors.

The quote that most challenged me was from her book, Towards a Philosophy of Education: “People are naturally divided into those who read and think and those who do not read and think…”

With all of this conviction, along with the motivation to be resolute, I set to task to make myself a learning schedule, mapped out similarly to Melody’s 12-week semesters. With a new year, I have a new schedule now, and I thought that I would share it here, so that if you were interested, you can get an idea for how you, too, can easily and deliberately carve out time in your life to grow in knowledge!

First, I mapped out a plan of how long each book is and/or should take to read/study. It looked like this:

Mere Christianity, 177 pages/33 chapters (2nd and 3rd quarter)
Why Revival Tarries, 20 chapters (1st & 2nd quarter)
The Pursuit of God, 75 pages/10 ch (4th quarter)

Nevertheless:Varieties and Shortcomings, 183 pages/24 sections (1st quarter)
Electing Not to Vote, 115pg/9 ch (2nd quarter)
Lanterns & Laces, 215p/24ch (3rd quarter)

Charlotte Mason Hour
HONS (all year)
Scats and Tracks, 24 pages each week for 12 weeks (2nd quarter)
Discover Nature in Winter, 196 pages/9 ch. (1st quarter)
Knowing & Teaching Mathematics, 128 pages – about 12 pages per week for 12 weeks (3rd quarter)
Kodaly, 247 pages, 9 chapters (4th quarter)
Learnables Spanish, 5x week

The Hobbit, 330pg/19 ch (1st quarter)
Much Ado About Nothing, divided into 12 weeks (2nd quarter)
Bambi, 25 ch (4th quarter)
Stepping Heavenward, 344p/27ch (3rd quarter)
Daughter of Time, 206p/17ch (1st quarter)

Home Cultivation
Weedless Gardening, 185 pages/8 sections (1st quarter)
How to Grow More Vegetables, 190p/9ch (3rd quarter)
Heartfelt Discipline, 232p/16ch (2nd quarter)
How To Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor, 263 pages/21ch (4th quarter)

Know Your Fats, 236p/8ch – 2ch per quarter (all year)
Clinical Anatomy Made Ridiculously Simple (all year)
Alignment Matters, 435 pg/15 sections (3rd and 4th quarter)
Move Your DNA, 264pg/10ch (1st quarter)
Foot Pain Relief, 192pg/10ch (2nd quarter)

Just Do-It
violin, 1 hour after lunch
knitting, Wednesdays 1 hour before bed
Katy Bowman Snacks, 5x week (all year)
Aligned & Well DVDs, 1 each weekend day (1st and 2nd quarter)

Second, I tweaked the 12-week scheduling page from Ambleside Online’s curriculum for a given year (basically, I hollowed it out, leaving only the loose form – which I also altered, the week-number and the term-number at the top and added in an extra term of 12 weeks), and put my plan into see-able action. If you’d like to take a look at it for your reference, you can take a look here.

Third, I marked out all my planned-out weeks into a yearly calender, free from Donna Young, here, giving myself 4 totally free weeks.

I printed both of those off, hole punched them, and put it at the front of a 3-ring binder, right before my printed 52 Weeks study. I’ve got an RES Notebook and a handful of other notebooks for narration (Commonplace, nature, etc).

Fourth, I made schedule bookmarks. They help me stay on track and I also don’t have to keep referring to the page schedule in my Learning Binder – I just open the book I want to read, and off I go. When I am done, I mark off on the bookmark if applicable.

Fifth and final, I hand-wrote my Mother Culture time in the end of Melody’s weekly-daily-hourly learning schedule from Student Handouts, for after the kiddos go to bed. Then I begin reading for an hour or more each night. This usually begins around 9:00-10:00pm.

So, that’s it. Pretty simple, but it needs to be done to ensure success.