As women, I think however hard we try, there’s always a tiny voice (or sometimes a not so tiny voice) telling us that our bodies aren’t good enough. We should be skinnier, more curvy, taller, shorter, the list goes on. As mums, I think it’s really important to appreciate just how amazing our bodies are. Growing a human is a pretty impressive feat. That’s why I really enjoyed attending the MuTu System event last week.
When I was invited to the event in London I thought I was going to hear about an exercise program, and was expecting to be told how I could lose my ‘mum tum’ and ‘drop the pounds’. In other words, the same old rubbish we are constantly peddled. Particularly on social media at the moment, where the current fad is the ‘strong not skinny’ message, which sounds admirable (and I do think it’s better than the ‘get as thin as possible’ message we’ve previously had), but actually when you think about it, it’s just another unattainable goal and another thing to feel bad about. Mums don’t have hours to spend in the gym. We can’t possibly hope to look like some of the fitness/wellness stars of Instagram. Thankfully, the MuTu System event was anything but that.
Creator Wendy Powell invited us to watch screening of a film called Embrace. Embrace is a documentary by inspirational body image campaigner Taryn Brumfitt. You might have heard of her. She posted an unconventional before and after side-by-side photo on Facebook a few years ago showing her body after childbirth and it went viral. She ended up founding the Body Image Movement, which aims to “end the global body-hating movement”. The documentary was pretty hard to watch in parts. One part that really hit home was when they asked lots of women to describe their body in one word. I was shocked by how many women said they were ‘disgusting’. That’s a pretty strong word! I do recommend watching the documentary. I found it depressing and uplifting in equal measure.
After the screening we chatted with Wendy about body image and how childbirth affects women’s bodies. She highlighted how pelvic floor dysfunction after childbirth has become a bit of a joke among mums. You hear plenty of women laughing about how they can’t trampoline because they’ll wet themselves. One thing that really stuck with me after the event was Wendy saying “We all deserve a body that works.” I couldn’t agree more.
We then did a gentle exercise session to try to reconnect with our core muscles, which is a major component of MuTu System. It really made me realise how much I’ve neglected mine since having Jacob. It’s definitely something I need to work on.
I came away from the event thinking about how we’ve been sold this idea by the media that we should look a certain way. It’s rubbish. Our bodies are amazing, stretch marks and all. Instead of worrying about how we look we should focus on how we feel. And yes, that might mean exercising to feel healthier, maybe even losing a little weight by cutting out junk to replace it with the fuel our bodies need. But it shouldn’t be about punishing ourselves or attempting to look a certain way.
I’m going to be trying out MuTu System over the next few weeks. The program aims to strengthen your core and pelvic floor, including healing diastasis recti (the split some women get in their tummy muscles after having children). I am hoping it will help me with the niggling back pain I’ve experienced since having Jacob. I’ll be back to update you on how I got on in a few weeks.
*This is a collaborative post with MuTu System.