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Episode 17 | Losing The 'Mom Pouch' - Postpartum Fitness and Recovery

Reclaiming Your Core: Leslie Santos' Guide to Postpartum Fitness

If you're feeling frustrated and defeated because no matter how much you exercise and eat well, you're still struggling to lose the extra baby weight and regain your pre-pregnancy strength, then you are not alone! Despite your efforts, you may find that your body is not responding like it used to, with hormones, sleep deprivation, and the demands of motherhood working against your progress.

In this episode, you will be able to:

Discover the essential steps for postpartum fitness and recovery to feel strong and empowered after childbirth.

Learn the importance of engaging your core muscles for postpartum recovery and how it can help you regain strength and stability.

Understand the unique challenges faced by new moms and how to overcome them to prioritize your well-being.

Explore the benefits of pelvic floor physiotherapy for postpartum women and how it can support your recovery and overall health.

Dive into the mental and emotional impact of childbirth and discover strategies to navigate this transformative experience with resilience and self-care.

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Empowering Your Body: Leslie Santos' Secrets to Postpartum Wellness

In a world full of surprises, Leslie Santos's postpartum fitness journey took an unexpected turn. Just when she thought she had prepared for everything, life threw her a curveball that no one saw coming. Brace yourself as Leslie opens up about the shocking twist in her story, a twist that challenged her physically and mentally in ways she never imagined. But will she be able to overcome this obstacle and continue her path to recovery? Stay tuned to find out how Leslie's determination and resilience transformed her postpartum journey into an awe-inspiring tale of triumph.

My special guest is Leslie Santos.

Leslie Santos is a certified personal trainer based in Canada, specializing in postpartum fitness and recovery. With her extensive knowledge and training in fitness, Leslie is well-equipped to guide women through the physical challenges that come after childbirth. She has a deep understanding of the importance of core work and pelvic floor strengthening during the postpartum period, having worked closely with a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Leslie's expertise lies in helping women rebuild their strength, improve their posture, and restore their overall fitness levels following pregnancy. She is dedicated to providing evidence-based exercises and strategies that promote safe and effective postpartum recovery. Through personalized training programs, Leslie supports women in achieving their health and fitness goals, while also prioritizing their overall well-being. Her commitment to empowering women in their postpartum fitness journeys makes her a valuable resource for those seeking to regain their pre-pregnancy strength and vitality.

I just feel so much more mentally strong and empowered because of that emergency C-section. It made me really believe in myself and love my body for what it could do. - Leslie Santos

In this episode, you will be able to:

Discover the essential steps for postpartum fitness and recovery to feel strong and empowered after childbirth.Learn the importance of engaging your core muscles for postpartum recovery and how it can help you regain strength and stability.Understand the unique challenges faced by new moms and how to overcome them to prioritize your well-being.Explore the benefits of pelvic floor physiotherapy for postpartum women and how it can support your recovery and overall health.Dive into the mental and emotional impact of childbirth and discover strategies to navigate this transformative experience with resilience and self-care.

Postpartum Fitness and Recovery: Postpartum fitness and recovery is a critical aspect of maternal health that encompasses physical and emotional wellbeing. This phase often includes challenges of re-gaining core strength, coping with physical changes and dealing with emotions. By embracing a holistic and patient recovery approach, women can take control of their health journey post childbirth, ensuring long-term wellness.

Podcast Transcript

Episode 17: Losing The 'Mom Pouch' - Postpartum Fitness and Recovery

00:00:00Welcome to The Holistic Health Show, where the worlds of science and spirituality converge to illuminate a path towards total well being. Join us as we embark on a journey to bridge the gap between Western medicine and complementary therapies, offering you a roadmap to embrace a proactive holistic approach to your health. It's time to empower yourself with choices that nurture your body, mind, and soul. Welcome to a world of infinite possibilities for your optimal health. Welcome back to the Holistic Health show.

00:00:35I'm very happy that you are joining us again today. Today we have Leslie Santos on the show. Leslie's a personal trainer. She is in Canada, so she's joining me. I think it's her evening.

00:00:48Welcome to the show, Leslie. Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited. Yeah. So, Leslie, you're going to talk to us today.

00:00:57You're a personal trainer, but more recently, you've had a gorgeous daughter, and now you're kind of leaning towards postpartum fitness and helping moms kind of get their body and their health back. Absolutely, yes. I would love for you to jump right in and tell us all about what you do. Absolutely. So, like you said, personal trainer.

00:01:18So that's how I started out. I was always into fitness, especially, like, you can relate. Living away from family, it kept me sane and helped me with mental health and just overall made me happy. So with a few years of doing that and training women as well, I became pregnant. The whole pregnancy journey I did not really love because I couldn't train like I did before.

00:01:46I was so exhausted all the time. But one thing that I knew, a pelvic floor physiotherapist. I worked with her at a clinical athletic center, and she told me, if you cannot get your exercise in, keep doing core work. And so I kind of focused on that. Core work.

00:02:08Core work. I'm interested, actually, that you mentioned this and this. Like I said to you prior to jumping on the show today, this is an entirely new area for me. So I guess when I think pregnancy, and I don't have any experience with that. So, again, that is even all new to me.

00:02:26So when you say core work, I always thought you couldn't really do a lot of core work when you're pregnant because you've got a baby in there. Exactly. Yeah. Expand on that a little. Absolutely.

00:02:37We don't really do AB work. Okay. So doing abdominal exercises can be a little bit different than actually just bracing your core. So, of course, when you become pregnant, your ABS separate. I actually didn't even know that.

00:02:54I literally didn't even know it. Right. You just don't pay attention to it. And so your ABS will separate. Separate, and they get very weak.

00:03:03So, of course, you can't do flexion in the body because it's bad for the fetus, just organs and stuff. It's just really bad on your pelvic floor and stuff. For me anyway, it was I couldn't do anything. And so doing core work, like even leaning back and just bracing your core, kind of just doing that little cough that's just core bracing side planks, just holding, kind of engaging that core and kind of anything you do. So just getting that activation, I guess, is it?

00:03:36Yes. Even when you're standing, just kind of like leaning back a little bit. So that's what my physiotherapist taught me. I was constantly aware of engaging my core the whole time. I ended up having an emergency C section, like three weeks before she was due.

00:03:56Was not prepared for that at all. Nobody in my family had a C section. And so in the hospital, they tell me I was going to have a C section. I'm like, okay, so I understand the process, but what does that mean afterwards? Like postpartum for me, they told me, well, it's a longer recovery, of course.

00:04:16See a pelvic floor physiotherapist. So my mind was completely flooded. I was not prepared for this at all, so I still had to wait. Usually everybody is dependent on their body. They say anywhere between three to eight weeks to even get ready for exercise.

00:04:36But even just core work, again, I didn't start mine until six weeks. I had to relearn how to use everything down there, even just like to pee. And I would like, literally, I would kind of have to meditate and really just breathe. And that's how I began diaphragm breathing and just kind of breathing from the belly, expanding the belly instead of your chest. And that's slowly kind of activating the core.

00:05:10In and out, in and out. Now, when I was doing that, I never understood any of really what I was doing, but I was just listening to instructions. I went to the pelvic floor physiotherapist. Luckily, my ABS did not separate too much because of the core engagement I did, especially in that third trimester. That seemed to have helped me.

00:05:34And I still was physically active when I was pregnant. But she told me, really turn it up a notch if you can work out, great, but just focus on things. Like everybody always hear, kegels, kegels, kegel. It's not necessarily kegels when somebody describes, oh, okay, hold your pee. It's so much more than that.

00:06:00There are like four or five steps to get to that point, right? So it's like you can miss strengthening a few areas of your pelvic floor if you're just going to squeeze, right? So I learned all of that. I took my time. I was not actually ready to work out until I was definitely at the ten week mark.

00:06:22I found it very difficult for the first two weeks. I even had my husband had to hold my hand as I shut down on the toilet. It really took a toll. I know you said, say it takes ten weeks for you to work out, and everyone's different. I'm just kind of trying to put a timeline here.

00:06:40So your husband's helping you go to the bathroom and helping you kind of get around for two weeks, but week three, are you walking any length of a distance or are you still doing nothing? And then what does ten week workout look like? Does that mean, okay, now I'm ready to do weights again, or Now I'm ready to walk? Those are great questions. 2 hours after my major abdominal surgery, anybody within Canada, of my knowledge anyway, they are kind of forced to get up and walk.

00:07:11So I probably walked about 40 meters in an hour. It was very slow. I had to do that three to five times a day. It was very uncomfortable. If I had my time back, I definitely would have researched C section stuff.

00:07:33It just never occurred to me. But I also learned so much about myself, honestly. Yes, I'm a different person because I'm now a mother, but I'm such a different person because of that emergency C section. It just really helped empower me, made me really believe in myself, made me love my body for what it could do. And so I just feel so much more mentally.

00:07:58And a lot of women struggle with that because, yeah, you don't get the birth experience that you expected. I didn't get to hold my daughter in my arms when I first had her and stuff, but it doesn't take away from the life that I've created and stuff. Absolutely. So for the first two weeks, I was pretty much helpless, but kind of worked in my favor because I didn't have to change any diapers. Wow.

00:08:24That's the thing, man. And I was breastfeeding at the time, so I was learning that as well. So, like, my husband and my mother would just give her to me. I would bond with her as much as possible and then just rest, rest. So it was straight from in the two weeks, the walking, walking, walking, but rest.

00:08:41So walking for about 20 minutes, resting for an hour, walking 20 minutes, resting for an hour, and it wiped me out. Like, it was a good thing that my mom was here to help. So at that three week mark oh, and mind you, I was not allowed to drive for five to six weeks because the seatbelt sits right across the incision. Yeah, of course. Yeah, definitely.

00:09:05The breastfeeding, I feel, definitely helped because something else I learned is that your uterus is slowly contracting back down to its size every time that you breastfeed. So you'll actually, when the baby latches on, you get these weird cramps. And as it was happening, I was like, oh, why is down there happening when I breastfeed? And the nurse, she's like, yeah, it releases hormones. She's like, yeah, it helps your body heal.

00:09:32So it's like the organs and stuff are slowly kind of just shifting down. And of course, I had a midwife, and she did massaging, and it was not the good massage. No, I bet. Yeah. But that really helped.

00:09:45And of course, they say that also helps with the weight loss of the baby. But yeah, at that three to five week mark, still a lot of walking, and I was stretching, just kind of doing, like, mobility stuff, anything and everything. And then it was probably that six to eight week mark, I would put baby sensory videos from YouTube on because my daughter seemed very stimulated by that, and my mother was just leaving to go back home, so I didn't have as much support. And I would dance. I was just dancing nice, just moving my body.

00:10:24And at this time, I was still kind of like, seeing what other people were doing, but I didn't even know what questions to ask until I went to see my pelvic floor physiotherapist. I think that was at the eight week mark. And she gave me the go ahead. Yeah. You are ready to weight train.

00:10:42No, I wasn't. And a lot of people feel pressured. I feel pressured. I'm like, oh, I'm supposed to be this person. I worked out for years, like, lived an active lifestyle.

00:10:54Everyone hears about bouncing back, right? Yeah. And they'll say to me, oh, you bounced back. No, it's been a year and a half. I finally got ABS again, but I worked very hard.

00:11:04And actually, I had my daughter in April of 2022. It's the end of November. 2022 was when my incision stopped hurting. Wow. Okay.

00:11:17So I could not have a normal workout. So when you ask, say, at that ten week mark, when I started working out, what were my workouts like? My workouts were exactly like my warm ups are right now. Not really a whole lot. I was not really sweating that much at all.

00:11:34And mind you, the pressure was on me even more, because when I had my daughter, I only had four months until I was supposed to get married. Four months to put into my wedding dress. So the pressure was on. So just a lot of walking. A lot of walking.

00:11:48But with all of the research I kept at that core rehab, the pelvic floor, the breathing, I did it so many times a day. The pelvic floor physiotherapist told me I did not need to do it that much because A, I did the core work during pregnancy, so I did not have much diastasis recti, which is the AB separation, and B, I took care of myself so well. And the fact that I didn't have the vaginal delivery definitely helped my pelvic floor, but I did all of it so I could learn exactly what to do, because when I found it so hard, I was really down on myself some days. And I'm like, you know what? There are definitely other people like me.

00:12:34There are other monks like me. Going through the exact same stuff and there needs to be more resources. When I was looking up core rehab, I actually did not find that much my research. And I'm like, I am going to kind of find a link for this. I'm going to focus my personal training with women.

00:12:57I'm now going to focus it more on the postpartum aspect because I didn't really get too much of it while I was pregnant. And that's like, my passion really grew. I just soaked it all up like a sponge after my delivery. So I created social media groups. I wrote programs, I've read and read and read so many articles, created this Facebook page, which has been phenomenal.

00:13:25I've had so much support. I've seen that recently. You've got an incredible following. You're supporting a lot of been I follow that page as well. And it's just the comments that you see coming in from people and you're helping a lot of women.

00:13:40I think it's so rewarding. It is so rewarding. I offer my ear as well to people who just need to vent. And there's a lot of value in. That because absolutely, as a woman, how good is it to have somebody to vent you?

00:13:56Yes. And then it's a mother empowerment, right? And I know some people like all women empowerment. It's kind of cheesy. No, we really need to build each other up.

00:14:05There are so many obstacles and especially so much stress on us, our appearance and how we should be. And it's really easy to talk to somebody who doesn't know you, who doesn't know anything about your life in this journey. And I really just focus on the mom pooch that diastasis recti the AB separation, just literally helping women lose weight, do that core rehab and pelvic floor work. And with time, that mom pooch shrinks. Now, sorry, if I could just there's a bit of a lag, so I don't mean to interrupt, but with the mom pooch that you mentioned, does that happen as a result of AB separation or is that something additional?

00:14:50Yeah. Yes. And of course, when you're pregnant, you put on additional weight. And where's the first place that women put weight on it's? The belly, right?

00:14:59Yeah. But it is because the top part of your abdomen can still be fairly tight like it was before, but because when the baby starts to lower, the lower ads. So then you'll see like a stomach and then that's the little pooch. And I've had one, I could hold it in my hand and I'm like, what am I going to do with this? This is so foreign to me.

00:15:23Am I ever going to get my body back? And I just kept at it. Like, I ate healthy, made sure that I rested. Literally all of my following is all like, mud pouch. Mud pouch.

00:15:33Mud pouch. And so that seems to be quite a niche that clearly people don't have enough resources for and through this channel. I'm learning about so much more with postpartum. For instance, like postpartum depression, urinary incontinence. Somebody asked me a question about an umbilical hernia the other day, and I feel great.

00:15:58I feel humbled that people look to me as a medical provider. Of course, I always have to refer them to a healthcare practitioner. But just by these questions, by people ask me these questions, I'm just learning so much. And it's experience, then, that you can pass on to other people through the experience of the clients or women who are reaching out to you, right? Definitely.

00:16:22And that is why I created just a helpful guide to that core rehab. I created an ebook. I released that a few weeks ago. I've had a few people reach out to me and just honestly, just thank me. They're doing it for two or three weeks.

00:16:37Can't even see a difference yet. But it's just like an easy guide. They're reading it. They know what to do, and they just feel invested in it. And mentally, it has made them feel.

00:16:47I was trying to say yeah, just knowing that they've got this clear outline of, okay, this is X-Y-Z of what I should be doing. Must be just a relief know, a mental and emotional, you know, to know that there's something for anyone listening. If Leslie doesn't mind, we might share the link. If you have a shareable link in the transcript below this video, is that something? Absolutely, yeah.

00:17:12Great. So I wouldn't mind taking you through a diaphragm breathing session. Yeah, right. You could do it while you're sitting up. Yeah, I'll sit up a little straighter.

00:17:24I know. Me too. And what I always tell people is I usually just close my eyes. It's kind of like meditation to me. And so I always put one hand on my chest, one hand on my belly.

00:17:38You're going to inhale through your nose, and you're going to fill your belly. Don't force the air in. Just let it come naturally.

00:17:49And you'll feel your belly move. Not your chest. If your chest is moving, just reset, exhale through your mouth.

00:18:01So inhale, fill the belly, exhale through the mouth.

00:18:10And really putting those two hands there really physically makes a difference with my clients. When they don't put their hands there, their chest tends to rise, so you can really focus just on the belly.

00:18:33I usually tell my clients to do two to three sets of maybe eight to ten reps. And although this is very simple, it's kind of like a mind muscle connection. It's the very first thing I tell, actually, all of my clients to do. I find it very common for my female clients. They tend to always assume or think that they have a weak core.

00:19:01And so I actually do diaphragm breathing when I weightlift. I'll do it during squats, deadlifts and anything and everything.

00:19:11It is very relaxing as I'm just sitting here it is. So that's the very first thing I do that when I meditate as well. So my husband and I, we both meditate. He seems to have a lot of difficulty meditating. His mind is just constantly racing.

00:19:25And I told him, do the diaphragm breathing. So now you feel a little comfortable doing the diaphragm breathing? Yeah. Okay. So now it's going to be kind of like a two part little series.

00:19:40So we're going to do the diaphragm breathing, and you can kind of watch me as I explain. Then we are going to activate our pelvic floor and our core. So it's like a little mind bending puzzle, is it? Yeah. And I think I've definitely heard of this description before, and I think I stuck with it because other descriptions I'm like.

00:20:03I think I'm just doing a kegel, right? Right. So once again, we can do this laying down or sitting up. So we'll do it sitting up. We'll do that diaphragm breath.

00:20:13And once again, you can close your eyes. And with a few of the things that I'm going to say, it is fine if you giggle, because I mostly get a giggle whenever I start with some of this vocabulary, but okay. So we're going to hand on the chest, hand on the belly. We're going to practice those diaphragm breaths. Okay?

00:20:31So just do a few and then I'll keep on continuing the instructions. Inhale, exhale, out of the mouth.

00:20:47So while you are doing that a few times, I'm going to slowly explain what I want you to do next. So you while you're sitting there on your next exhale, I want you to shift your hips a little kind of upward or forward. I've actually never explained this while somebody's sitting up, so this will be interesting. So completely relax and fill your belly on the inhale. And then on the exhale, tilt your pelvis, your hips forward.

00:21:30Okay, we're going to keep adding to that exhale so the inhale will remain the same. And then on the exhale, you are going to picture a jelly bean at the entrance of your vagina. And what you're going to do is you are slowly, very slowly, just going to pull the jelly bean up just a little bit.

00:21:57When you're all out of breath for the exhale, just release it's. Fine. You keep starting over. You'll get further and further. When you're pulling that jelly bean up on the exhale and keep your hips and your pelvis tilted, it may not be a smooth transition all the way up.

00:22:14It might be kind of like an elevator. Stops temporarily, goes again, stops temporarily, goes again. That's normal. Everybody's kind of transition is not always completely smooth. When we pull that jelly bean on the exhale as far off as we can and we think, okay, I can't pull this jelly bean up any further, we are going to crush it.

00:22:36Just picture just crushing it with your core, your ABS kind of just like an intense kegel. Okay, so now we're going to crush. So start all of the steps over again. Inhale through the belly, exhale, shift the pelvis and hips. Take the jelly bean, pull, pull, brush the jelly bean.

00:23:04And now you're going to push your belly button into your spine.

00:23:11So it takes a few tries to get this. It's a lot of work here. It is a lot of mind muscle work. I just had a client last week. I went over this with her in person, and she said that she felt things that she's never even felt before.

00:23:29And like I've mentioned, I don't have any children, but I can definitely see how this if you've got AB separation and you're doing all this and you're working your pelvic floor, I mean, I can feel this. Yeah, absolutely. And of course, in your regular weightlifting session, hit session, cardio session, whatever, you can still like, even when I'm watching TV, I lean back a little bit, especially if my daughter's in my arms and I'm engaging that core. I'm constantly engaging the core. Right now I actually have a lumbar support pillow, but once again, I can lean back.

00:24:05I've been engaging my core this whole podcast so far. Yeah. Wow. I don't do AB work. Right.

00:24:12So a lot of people assume, oh, you must do a lot of AB work. No, I don't. I just engage my core as much as I can. Wow. Yeah, I'm going to give that a shout.

00:24:23When you did that, were you kind of feeling things that you never really even thought of before? Yeah, so I do like to work out, so I'm no stranger to lifting weights or running and things like that, but I've never applied this during a workout. Absolutely any of it. And yeah, of course, when you're with a trainer, engage your core, tighten your ABS, so you do that, but all that together. Actually.

00:24:48So before I started any of this, even when I was helping to manage a clinical athletic center, and they would always say, okay, British core, they wouldn't tell me any different. No, actually, it's just like it's just a little bit you're not flexing, so it's completely different. Right. And so when I was doing stuff but you're actually over exerting it. Right.

00:25:16So, yeah, plenty to learn and this new career of mine, and it's so rewarding and so exciting that I get to definitely so many different women.

00:25:28So what else do you do after we do all that kind of engaging and picking up the jelly bean, what's next? I guess so first, how long are you meant to be doing that? Or how many times a day? And then what else? Right.

00:25:43The general guideline, if I'm not consulting with somebody and they haven't done my pre or postnatal, kind of like health questionnaire is I tell people, of course, the first thing is like, listen to your body. If it doesn't feel good, don't do it. I always recommend going to a pelvic floor physiotherapist because they know more than me, and then they can say, oh, give them some beginner course stuff, or some intermediate or advanced. I mean, most times if it's advanced, they're not really going to see. They're probably going to the pelvic floor physiotherapist and they are telling them, you actually don't need to see us again.

00:26:20Just kind of keep working out or whatever. But then the next thing is what I did, and I'm sure other people did it too. But at the time, like I said, I didn't really know what to search because I didn't really know what I was doing. So I actually just started laying on the mat and doing as many exercises I could while laying on the mat. So right up, it took me seven months for my incision not to hurt, so I actually could not do that much.

00:26:48There are women that I'm helping right now who have had C sections that are further ahead in their recovery than I was. So it's very interesting considering, oh, I was into fitness before, but leg lifts is one thing. Laying on the floor, pushing your back into the mat and slowly lifting one leg up at a time. So I did a lot of that. Heel taps is an easier one.

00:27:13So your feet are already in the air, you're laying on the mat and you're kind of tapping your heels off the floor. Bird dogs side planks is another one. So these are all beginner stuff. And like I said, nobody told me this, but I actually just did it on my own. And then when I consulted with the physiotherapist, I told her, oh, by the way, while I'm doing all of these exercises, I'm doing that pelvic floor and core activation.

00:27:40And she's like, that's genius. Yes, that's only going to increase your recovery and stuff, right? So although it did take me that long, I am glad that I didn't give up because there were times where I'm like, oh, this is it for me. This is the end of my fitness journey. And I kept it up and kept it up because also it's my knee time and it's my breakaway.

00:28:03As much as I love my kid, I need some mental space. And so I kept up with it and I found my passion. And now there's so much to learn with the postpartum world. And although I'm a certified trainer, I'm actually currently getting certified in pre and postnatal fitness, so I'm well versed in the recovery aspect of it. But I'd like to know all of the ins and outs of that fitness.

00:28:30So I'm presently taking certification in that as well. So that will only help me. Congratulations. Yeah, I guess as you're learning with the pre, you've got the post down and you were saying that you were doing some exercises on your own as well when you were pregnant. So doing these pre, does that reduce the risk of the AB separation or is that kind of going to happen anyway, or will it happen?

00:28:57I think it's clearly on an individual basis because the biggest thing with the diastasis reptile is, okay, so your ABS, they're supposed to flip and you are supposed to be patient and wait and not work out. Even if you hurry up and wait, right. Even if you feel like working out. And that's the thing. Like, you're just sitting there.

00:29:17You're like, I need to get back to my body. I'm not doing anything. What do I do with myself? Because I was there and I'm like, what do I do with myself? Be moving.

00:29:24I need to be doing this and this, but actually just like that, flexion. Like, let's just say nothing hurt me. And I started doing crunches and sit up, and I'm constantly flexing my body. That lower part of your abdomen, your transverse abdominals, that's where all the weak stuff is. And now it's still separated, and you're tightening it, tightening it, but it's still separated.

00:29:47So then it's got to do this and it's got further. So it'll be like tight, but not together. The muscles, the tissue and stuff needs to heal together, and only time will do that. So, for instance, a dear friend of mine, very big into CrossFit has, I think, won a few titles in her time. She competed three months postpartum.

00:30:10Wow. And that was when I learned about diastasis recti. And she didn't even know the name of it. She's like, oh, yeah, that's my abslet. I'm like, what do you mean that's your abslet?

00:30:20That is significant. So technically, a significant AB separation. We measure it by finger width, so anything past two finger widths is severe after your healing time. Right. So I probably had this or this or this when I first had my kid, but after that eight weeks, it should be down to less than two.

00:30:46Wow. Hers were probably that far. Competing while competing. Wow. Yeah, and she said she's like, yeah, it's a little uncomfortable, but you just got to give it your all.

00:31:01She was so passionate about it. Wow. And did it pose any real health risk to her? No, it didn't. She was able to compete and stuff.

00:31:10She placed, she enjoyed herself, but then afterwards she's like, okay, you can go back now. Go back together. No, it didn't, and it wouldn't. And I think she may have done a little bit of that. She had three kids.

00:31:23I think she may have done a little bit of that on her second kid and a whole lot of that on her third kid. So she actually ended up getting surgery to put it back together. Wow. I was going to ask, does it impact then future pregnancies, or is it. Just no, because if it's already wide.

00:31:45You're good to go. You can really fit someone in there. Okay, gosh, I'm learning so much. Oh, I'm still learning every day. Every day.

00:31:55Because I guess you just think and I mean, I'm going to sound really naive to everyone out there who's had a child, but you just kind of think, you know, it's hard because you hear your friends say it's tough to get their body back, but you also don't think about the muscles that don't naturally just go back together. You only hear about what's on the outside because that's what people focus on. Well, look at my belly now. I look like this. I have stretch marks.

00:32:21I have the mom pouch. You don't think about all the other stuff that come along with it, like peeing in your pants. Yes, absolutely. I was fortunate enough to not have to encounter any urinary incontinence. Should I have a second kid?

00:32:38Maybe that will happen. But if I do my core work on my pelvic floor activation, I should be pretty good. But I think the real struggle with women, when they say, oh, well, this is me now, first of all, if that's you now, that is okay. My main focus is to make people feel good in their own skin. Whether that be super fit or whether they just want to have more energy, whether they just want to get rid of a little nun coach.

00:33:08But the thing is, my exercises, my guide, that the ebook that I created. If you just followed the exercises, maybe you'll notice a small difference, but you have to WA just live an active lifestyle, whether that be walking, running, cycling, swimming, whatever. And then it's the eating healthy part. I had to work out and eat in a way that I never had to before, because my belly was really holding on to that extra fat. Now, did it take a long time to get rid of it?

00:33:46No, because I'm disciplined and I'm very motivated by working out, but not everybody is. And so it's a complete lifestyle change. It is a behavior change, and women get really hurt on themselves. Oh, I'm not seeing progress. It's been three months.

00:34:02I'm not seeing anything.

00:34:06It took me a good, maybe 1011 months to finally feel, and I'll never have the body that I had before, and I don't want it. I feel way mentally stronger. I know what my body's capable of, and I housed a human being. Right. So definitely the empowerment is definitely.

00:34:29And the confidence as women, it's a very big struggle because they're like, oh, this is me now, and I can't do anything and I don't have time and I'm always tired, blah, blah, blah. It's hard. It is very hard. Do I have the time every day to work out? No, I don't.

00:34:46So sometimes I will get up at 06:00 a.m. When I hadn't, I probably went to bed at midnight and I'm so tired. But that's the only time that I am going to get to work out. Luckily, I don't have to go to work nine to five. My full time job is taking care of my daughter, and my part time job turning into a full time job is this postpartum fitness that of course definitely motivates me more.

00:35:12I could be gone for the weekend and I get a message from somebody asking for help on a particular exercise that they saw on my Facebook page, and what do I do? Pull over, babe. Yeah, I'm going to record a quick video because it's just that easy to help somebody, and that probably helped them have a good evening. So I definitely really take those things seriously, although I wouldn't want all of my following to expect Leslie to reply in an hour or whatever. I try to limit it, but I can usually tell by the tone or I get real messages of desperation from women.

00:35:52And so I just want to help as many people as I can because although I wasn't affected by postpartum depression, I could definitely see that being a rabbit hole that would be very hard to dig yourself out of. So I just like to try to be as positive and just empower women as best as I can and just keep on learning and just making people feel stronger and better about themselves and more confident. Well, it sounds like you're doing that. It sounds like you're doing a great job at it. Yeah.

00:36:21I wanted to ask, what do you say to women who just really don't have the time or are suffering from postpartum depression and just are finding it hard to get the motivation to get on the mass or into the gym? How do you kind of navigate that? So the very first thing, of course, that I do is because I'm not a professional with the postpartum depression, is to talk to somebody.

00:36:48I've had a lot of people reach out to me with postburn depression. It's very common. Yeah, it is, very. And there's people that I know know well that had it that I didn't even realize did. Right.

00:37:02It was kind of one of those unspoken things, but people are starting to speak out about it more. But when there are some people that don't feel comfortable going to a therapist, I tell them that I'm there for them. I can listen and try to help in any way that I can, but just know that I can't promise you that I'm going to make it just go away, because that's not always the case. It sticks with people and they just have to learn to live with it. But of course, there's hope at the end of the tunnel.

00:37:32But for people who don't have time and maybe physically, you could tell them, I'm going to give you a million dollars if you do this program. And they just can't little things like, I'm going to focus on eating less sugar this week. Okay? Yeah. At the end of the week.

00:37:52And I ask people, just kind of track, there is no judgment at all. Track, first of all, for one week, track how much artificial sugar you're consuming and just little things like that. How much water are you drinking? So many people, like, I was supposed to have drank a few ounces of this while talking to you. And I still have and it's so common.

00:38:16They say it's roughly around half your body weight in ounces is what you're supposed to consume. Other people say 2.7 liters, three liters a gallon, whatever. But for me, it's just like just try to drink as much water to make yourself feel hydrated. So that's another habit. So for my coaching clients, I'll set little daily habits for them.

00:38:37So it's like, watch your sugar for one week and let's just work on that and maybe drink some water the next week is, okay, how was your sleep? And I tell them, hey, this is going to be like a six to eight week process to even get you into the habit of working out. Right. So then I'll start them with walking. Okay.

00:38:58Because most people like walking. They enjoy it, especially when the weather is nice. So that's kind of an easy one. And also it's that the mutual support, you need somebody to do it with because a lot of people are not motivated to do it on their own. So if they don't have somebody to help support them, they're not going to do it.

00:39:16Whether it be a dog. That's your reason, okay? You got to go out now and you got to walk your dog. Now I want you to do track whatever it is you're doing, whether it be tying or distance, every single time you go out. Even if it's 1 minute longer?

00:39:31Yeah, 10 meters more. I want you to beat that record every single time. I guess it's that golden rule, you only have to be 1% better every day. Exactly. And it took a little bit more.

00:39:44It took me years to be disciplined the way I am. And I don't want to be the type of person either that tracks all of what they do. So once somebody gets into the habit of, yeah, you know what, okay, this is now what I'm consuming on a daily basis, and I'm feeling a lot better. And I definitely think I'm not eating as much artificial sugar. I don't know, they're not tracking in REMS, but I don't like to do that.

00:40:07It's great for people who are fitness like enthusiasts, and they have a particular goal that they're working towards. But I really do believe in intuitive eating, just kind of like natural mindset. I'm really big on that. That's how I live. So if I tracked every single thing that I eat and stuff, yeah, I would probably be more jacked and ripped and stuff, but that time, who I am, well, it's very time consuming, and I just want to be authentic in who I am.

00:40:32More enjoyable, too, I think, when you don't have to weigh everything, but you're right.

00:40:41When you have your busiest days, it's so easy to just go and put anything in your mouth. Whatever I can get, I'm going to eat. But if you become more conscious about that, I guess it starts in the grocery store by not having all the junk in the house. But if you just think, okay, this is what I'm eating today. Whether or not you're weighing it, doing out portions, it's just a matter of I actually do eat a handful of jelly beans when I'm sitting at the desk every 20 minutes.

00:41:07Yeah, exactly. When I get people to write that out, they're like, Do I? And they're like, this is very bad. And I'm like it's not bad. This is normal.

00:41:19This is normal for you. This is normal. It's not bad. Don't compare yourself to anybody else. Now, what is normal for you?

00:41:27What is it that you want? Do you want more energy? Do you want to lose some weight? Do you want to become stronger? Whatever it is that their goal is, then I just kind of streamline it to that and just little baby steps at a time.

00:41:41And that seems to be the most successful for me. Yeah, I would imagine I would find it a lot harder if I mean, I'm similar to you, I'm conscious about what I'm eating, and I'm not too strict about it, but I do pay attention. And I think that if it came down to just having to do a big switch one day, like an automatic, now you're this strict. Now you're doing this many minutes of working out. You're doing exactly these exercises, I think being kind of rigid and a quick snap.

00:42:12I think that would be tough to just even handle mentally. Yes. And over the years, and it's going to happen again, so I'm planning we're taking a family trip to the Azora's Islands, portugal. I'm not going to have my equipment there. Yes.

00:42:27I'm very excited for it. Not excited for the flight with my toddlers, but when I get there, I'm just going to bring my TRX and my little mini cable bands and hope that it goes well. But at the end of the day, if I don't really work out that much, that's it. I'm enjoying myself. That's what vacations are for.

00:42:49I want to be walking lots. And people get really hard on themselves for that. Right. And I tell people all the time, it's not how many times you fall, it's how many times you get back up. For me, too, over.

00:43:03I've been exercising for twelve to 14 years. I have fallen maybe 20, maybe more, but I've gotten up more. Right. That's what people I feel like when somebody thinks about a personal trainer. Personal trainer is going to be so hard on them.

00:43:22The personal trainer is going to tell them, this is what you need to do, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I really just like to leave it in the client's hands. What is it that you want? And we'll work around it. That's their journey in control.

00:43:33Yeah, it's their journey. They are in control the whole time. And all I can do is guide them with the goals that they have given me. And so it seems to be working out quite well with my postpartum business, because every single individual is so different. So sometimes somebody will fill out a form, I'll give them my options, explain different programs to them in a consult, and I'm like, what is blah, blah, blah, blah?

00:44:00Because there are so many different health conditions. So I'm continuously learning and just helping people feel better. And it's just so rewarding you're doing this. It's really great. Be able to take your own experience and just share it with so many people who are kind of they've been begging for it.

00:44:19They really have. And like I said, I'm sure you remember growing up, your mom and her sisters and everyone just always after I have kids, my body changed. Never was the same. Oh, and I got it too. They're like, oh, you're not going to have that fit body after baby.


00:44:40It's so hard for women, right? Because like I said, it's the image thing, right? When I was pregnant, that butt's getting big. Oh, look at those thighs. And I'm like, sorry, I'm growing a human.

00:44:55I don't need this right now over here. And of course, they don't mean anything by it because generationally, right? You think about it. Yes, you are supposed to gain weight to house this human. But do I need a reminder that my thighs are bigger?

00:45:12Probably not, no. Right? But the thing is, if you go into your pregnancy and you've already had fitness within your lifestyle before you go into your pregnancy knowing this is what is going to happen, these are the changes that are going to happen to your body. This is what you are going to do afterwards. And you are going to rest, and you are going to take your time, and then you are going to work out.

00:45:38Everything's going to be fine. You will have to work a little bit harder. But right now, I don't work out any differently than when I did before baby. I'm now kind of at that spot where it's like I feel like my body has kind of normalized again. So now I can have chocolate.

00:45:54Like, I ate way too much chocolate last night and the night before. And I don't feel guilty for it because I work hard for what I do. I'm consistent, I feel good. And I think that you really need to not feel guilty about eating junk food. It's just like it's ingrained in US.

00:46:11Society has kind of construed this, know, and it's like, no, you have to enjoy yourself, too. Absolutely. So, Leslie, where can anyone who's listening find know? We mentioned this Facebook group. You have a new website, I believe.

00:46:28How can we get Leslie Nice. And my Facebook group is just Leslie Ann Fit, and I'll share the links to yeah, perfect. Yeah, I can share those in the transcript and in the video description. Absolutely.

00:46:45I want to thank you for coming on today. I feel like I've learned a lot. It's definitely a lot to think about, and I really hope that anybody listening who is kind of feeling down on themselves know, just want to get rid of a mom pooch or feel better, get in touch with Leslie and see. How she can help. I'll share that e book as yeah, yeah.

00:47:07It was a pleasure being here. If you are listening right now and you were feeling down about yourself and stuff, it is possible. Baby steps. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you, everyone, for listening.

00:47:19We'll see you again next time. Thanks, Leslie. Thanks.

00:47:26Thanks for joining me on the Holistic health show. If you enjoyed the episode, subscribe now and get ready to embark on an incredible journey toward holistic wellness. Until next time, be well and stay holistic.


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The Postpartum Core Blueprint eBook The Holistic Health Show




What I used to record this episode

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