Five-year-olds now worry about size: what a sad state of affairs!

According to an article from 29 May 2012 Press Association:

“More than half the British public suffers from a negative body image, an inquiry by MPs has been told. The problem is so acute that girls as young as five now worry about their size and appearance, with children in danger of picking up their parents’ body-related anxieties, their report said. Cosmetic surgery rates have increased by nearly 20% since 2008 and the rise was said to be fuelled by advertising and “irresponsible” marketing ploys, the cross-party group of MPs was told….”

What a shame this is the state of affairs. Having a young daughter this really worries me. The focus of parents should be on making sure their kids are happy, healthy, eating good foods and active. Equally importantly, we should NEVER verbalise our negative body images in front of our kids. If we don’t like what we see in the mirror that is our problem and not something we should be passing on to our kids.

My exercise programmes and resources and all about being fit and healthy and a side effect of this is that they will make your body look better. I hope women can use my plans to give themselves body confidence, which will give them energy and positivity. The focus should be around exercising for health and happiness, whatever your shape and size. Let’s try and pass the message on to our kids that life should be about getting out there, trying new things, having fun and shared experiences with your friends and family. Our kids should be kids and not obsessing about what they look like.

There are things about my body that I don’t like – I have a non-existent chest and cellulite on my bum, but do I care? No! Would I moan about these bits in front of my daughter – definitely not! I try to work on the bits I do like and make the most of my good points and not worry about the rest. Why do we think we need to be perfect? (Whatever that means!) The world would be a very boring place if we all looked the same.

My final point is that everyone seems to be after a quick fix nowadays, for example opting for cosmetic surgery instead of old fashioned diet and exercise. Fair enough if you have surgery on something you can do nothing about – I can understand that, but if you are worried about your fat bum then get active! Another lesson we should teach our kids is that to get what you want you need to put in hard work, whether that is success, a good relationship or a good body; you get back what you put in.

So come on everyone – let’s try and shape the next generation mentally and physically and teach our kids about the big stuff that really matters x

Diastasis: what is that?!

You may have some separation of the abdominal muscles during and after pregnancy (the technical term is ‘diastasis’, which sounds scarier than it is). This is obvious when you think of how much your tummy needs to expand to accommodate your little babe.

When you have had your baby, you will be able to feel whether you have this separation, or not, with your fingers. Lie on your back, with your feet on the floor, knees bent, head and shoulders lifted. Feel above and below your belly button to see if you can find a gully between your tummy muscles. By doing the exercises in the 3-Plan (read more on my web site – book coming soon!), using a good technique, you will be able to gradually close this gap and get a toned, gorgeous tum that you will be proud to show off! Diastasis separation varies from one person to another, so don’t worry if yours feels quite wide.

There are certain exercises that you won’t be able to do until the gap has closed to a narrower than two finger-widths (like sit ups). Until then you can carry on strengthening your core (doing exercises like ab pull ins) to help close the gap.

I found it comfortable to wear an abdominal band to help support tummy and back while I was exercising, but it is up to you whether you do or don’t. My support was a stretchy band that covered my whole bump for the first six months of pregnancy. Then I switched to an under-the-bump band for the last three. I wore a support most of the time and never experienced any back problems.