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Episode 52: Health and Healing Diastasis Recti with Camille Beckstrand

Updated: 4 days ago


Camille wearing a green shirt and black pants smiling at the camera
Camille Beckstrand

Intro:   

Welcome to the "Wellness in Every Season" podcast, where we embark on a transformative journey towards achieving total wellness, even in the midst of overwhelming moments. I'm your host, Autumn Carter, and I'm thrilled to have you here.


This podcast is a sanctuary for all mothers out there, and we extend a warm invitation to anyone seeking guidance and inspiration. We believe in fostering an inclusive community where we learn and grow together, supporting each other during life's challenging transitions.


Join us as we step out of survival mode and discover the path to thriving, embracing wellness in every season of motherhood. From sleepless nights to new beginnings, we'll explore practical strategies, share heartfelt stories, and uncover the transformative power of self-care and self-love.


Together, we'll unlock the wisdom, strength, and resilience within ourselves, reminding one another that we're never alone on this beautiful, yet demanding, journey. It's time to prioritize your well-being and reclaim your joy, one season at a time.


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Autumn Carter: Hello and welcome to Wellness in Every Season. This is episode 52 and this is another one that I'm very excited for because I am a huge fan. Today I have with me Camille Beckstrand and I found her after I had, I think it's after child number four. I was looking around trying to figure out how to get my stomach back because after four kids it wasn't happening the way that it was with the first.

I found this program online that was perfect, it was a great cost, it worked with my schedule with kids especially with the newborn, and it was called the Mommy Tummy Fix. She was his practice patient while her husband was doing the videos. Her husband is a doctor of physical therapy, and she is a mom of four kids, so she gets it.

Anyway, I'm really excited. I'll let her continue introducing herself.

Camille Beckstrand: You are so sweet. Thank you so much.

 Like Autumn said I'm a mom of four and wife to Jared and those are my favorite titles for sure.

I love being a mom and I love being married. Jared and I have such a great relationship. After I had my fourth kid, actually it happened with all my kids, but by the time I had my fourth. I was in my mid thirties. And I remember after I had her, I'm like, okay, she's my last baby.

I am going to work really hard and get my body back to me. I was just so excited to have full ownership of my body. I, for the past decade had humans. It was so exciting that I was like, I am done with this phase of life and I am going to take care of me.

It's time for me to focus on me. So I started going to the gym and I would do these workouts at home and. I was working so hard. So hard that my joints hurt. I was trying to do a lot of HIIT workouts and I figured the more intense I went, the better that it would be. The outcome would be what I was going for.

 Working myself to the bone. The same workouts that I had done in my twenties, I was trying to do in my mid thirties as this tired mom of four. I was so tired and what was crazy is no matter how hard I was working and no matter how many planks I was doing and how many crunches I would do my tummy looked the same and it was so frustrating and I finally went to Jared which is so funny because he is a doctor of physical therapy But I didn't know exactly all the things that he did.

I knew he was going to work every day. I knew he was helping women after they had their baby, but I thought it was for severe things like back pain or maybe they had some pelvic floor problems. And I had a little bit of pelvic floor problems. Like I couldn't jump on a trampoline anymore. I pee my pants, but it was .

We were doing our own things and I was super stubborn and independent. I just wanted to figure it out on my own. I knew how to work out. I knew how to lose weight. I could do this. And finally, after about a year of plateaued progress, nothing was changing in the way that my body looked, I went to him and said I need some help.

I can't. It's not working. What I'm doing is not working. And he said two things to me. Number one, he said. You probably have diastasis recti. Have you ever checked for that? And I was , I don't even know what that is. And then number two, he said you're probably working out too hard. I was too hard.

That's not a thing. Like the harder you work out, the more calories you burn, therefore more weight you lose. And he goes, not exactly. Depends on the outcome you're going for. So he checked me and. I totally had diastasis recti. It was a three finger separation, meaning I could take three of my fingers and put it in my stomach and go into my guts.

Basically, that's how far my abs are separated. And then this second thing that we did was evaluate the types of exercises I was doing because I was doing such high intensity running and jumping and HIIT classes. I was in a carb burning fat zone, like a cardio or an aerobic or anaerobic heart rate zone, meaning that my fuel source for the exercise I was doing was carbs.

But what I wanted was to burn fat. So I needed to be in a fat burning heart rate zone, which meant slowing it down, bringing the intensity down just a little bit so that my heart rate wasn't as high. Which would kick on the fuel source of fat so that I could melt the fat off. And it was like a light bulb went off when I started doing these two things and everything changed.

In fact, my results became so fast and furious. I was completely dedicated to doing the things that he outlined for me. It gave me this whole protocol of look, I need to do this and this every single day. I was like, I'm in. Mostly I was in to prove him wrong. To be like, this isn't going to work.

These exercises are silly. These core exercises, what you call core exercises, they're not going to be super effective. And then also slowing down my workouts. He was asking me to walk every day instead of run. It's this is Not going to work. So I said, all right, I'll do it. I'll prove you wrong.

But after 12 weeks, I had completely closed my ab separation. It's now maybe half a fingertip and it's been that way for five plus years. And then I was able to lose those last pounds that I had been working on for a year. I was able to lose those and everything changed. And after that, Jared and I talked and we were like, This needs to be available for more women.

I didn't know diastasis recti was a thing. My OB never told me anything about it. And I have four babies. Why didn't anybody mention that to me? That my abs are separated and that's why I felt like I had a gut hanging out all the time. And why did nobody talk to me about the right heart rate zone to be in?

And so Jared was like, look, if you're okay with it, he photographed my journey and I thought it was mostly so we could see my progress as I was going, but he actually was like, no, I want to give this to other women. I want to be able to help other women. So fast forward to today. It has been over four years since we launched the mommy tummy fix program. And we have had over 11, 000 women come through and work on themselves. And it has been a really cool thing to be part of. So that's where we're at today.

Autumn Carter: So I'm a science nerd and I had to research cause it was , wait a second, what is this fat burning zone?

And make sure he was legit. Before I clicked pay , he's right. And there aren't a ton of studies on it, but the ones are legit studies. DI, can you explain when you're having a baby, why this happens and why it's normal ish? Yeah, I don't know if you even say normal, but it's pretty common.

Camille Beckstrand: It's totally normal. I've heard it pronounced both ways diastasis recti or diastasis recti, but it basically means ab separation.

 Visualize that six pack muscle. If you were to see a perfect six pack, it would have, your three sets of muscles on each side. And in the middle is a line. Called your linea alba, that line is what keeps all your muscles together. But when you are pregnant, think of it like a balloon and it blows up and it's going to separate your six pack.

It's going to separate, so three muscles on each side they're going to be separated because your belly has to expand to make room for that baby. When you're done being pregnant, We like to think Oh, it's going to come back together like a balloon deflating. And here's the thing.

When a woman is in her third trimester, every single woman has diastasis recti, your abs are separated. That's just. Science that is it happens to every single one of us after you have your baby and your muscles come back together, or we think they should come back together . They actually don't there is a separation there right after you have a baby .

So two thirds have diastasis recti right after they give birth after I think it's that first. I can't remember if it's the first couple of months or the first year, but a lot of times that DR will heal on its own. Our bodies are amazing. They know what they are supposed to do. But after that first year, there is still one third of all women that have diastasis recti, and it will not go away on its own unless you do rehab or surgery.

And the thing is, not a lot of people talk about rehab. In fact, a lot of OBs just recommend surgery if you want to take care of it. That's their go to. But, there's this beautiful world of physical therapists, pelvic floor physical therapists, where they specialize in postpartum rehab. In helping you Tighten it all up and bring it back together.

And so that's where the words mommy, tummy fix come from to fix something is to make it whole, to make it complete. And so we are bringing your tummy muscles back together. We are making it whole and complete. Once again, now there's a lot of people who will be like, do I really have to do that? If I have diastasis recti, I say I have a two or three finger separation.

Do I have to fix it? No, you absolutely don't, but there are a lot of perks to fixing it. I would say the biggest one is a lot of women that have the condition of ab separation also suffer from low back pain, and it's almost a chronic. Back pain, that ache that never goes away. And it's because your core isn't as strong as it could be.

And what's crazy is when we think of our core, so many women, so many people think of those six pack muscles, but it actually wraps around your entire body and includes your back. And so if you want to have a strong core, that's going to take care of your back pain. And so that's the number one reason. I would say the number two reason why you want to take care of this condition is for pelvic floor problems.

It's all connected. Our deep core muscles, our pelvic floor. And after we've carried a baby for nine months, our pelvic floor has taken a beating and it does need some special care. It does need some attention. It needs that rehab. To get strong again and to not be weak so that we don't pee our pants when we're running or jumping or coughing or sneezing.

You don't have to have that problem. You can fix it. And that's something that I want all women to know because it's made my life that much better. And I think, Oh, we , we need to help the moms after they have a baby.

Autumn Carter: Can you explain what pelvic floor is and why it's more than just doing kegels? And a lot of people don't even do kegels properly.

Camille Beckstrand: It's the muscles down beneath that held the baby up as we were carrying our babies during our pregnancies. You think about it. All my babies were over eight pounds. My biggest was almost nine pounds. That's a bowling ball sitting on these pelvic floor muscles. Of course, they're going to be weak.

Of course, they're going to be tired, but that's how I envision it is all the muscles underneath that. Jared always says, " when you do a kegel or when you tighten up or brace your pelvic floor, think of it as stopping the floor flow of urine or holding in a fart", and those are the two cues that he gives you.

And you can even do that right now, as you're sitting there. Wherever you're LISStening to this, think of what would that be to like stop the flow of urine or to hold in a fart. Those are the muscles that we are activating Those are the muscles that need to be rehabbed after you have a baby.

Autumn Carter: So if you still have more questions or you want the visuals They have videos that are free. What do you call it where you check to see what your gap is? There's a term for it that you guys used where it shows you where you're coning.

Camille Beckstrand: Yes we have so many different resources. In fact, we earlier this year. Launched a YouTube channel specifically for this program. The YouTube channel is called the mommy's semi fix. That is where you will find all these resources and you'll find Jared talking through all these different things but The very first video we put out there was how to check for diastasis recti yourself and literally it takes two minutes.

Just do it. You can do it on the floor of your house and Jared walks you through how to check yourself to see if you have this condition and it doesn't matter if you had a baby six weeks ago or if you had a baby 60 years ago. You could still have diastasis recti. Postpartum doesn't have an end date.

 After you've had a baby, you are postpartum for the rest of forever. So these same principles will apply no matter how long it has been., to check for that ab separation, the video's called 'How to Check for Diastasis Recti' and it's on that channel.

 I also love that he talks about is men can have it too.

Autumn Carter: So you can have it for various reasons. And this series, you buy it, you pay for it for yourself. Do it with your husband. Why not?

Camille Beckstrand: Yeah. We've actually had a lot of men who have done the program with their wives or even by themselves. And they are so cute because they're always so apprehensive. I needed something. And so I bought this program. I know it's for moms, but it works for me.

And Jared's of course it did. Anatomy is anatomy. The muscles are the same and it's going to take the same exercises to close them. So yes, it can work for men and it can work for women who haven't had a baby, who maybe are suffering from some type of ab separation, no matter what brought it on.

Autumn Carter: What led you to become who you are professionally? Right now she is a certified personal trainer, and I'm really excited for this when you had the announcement in the newsletters, did a happy dance, it's so exciting. So tell us about this journey.

Camille Beckstrand: My life is so funny if you were to track out my road map as far as my career goes I started out in elementary education that I love to teach and I thought this is it. This is where I'm supposed to be and went through that process. It wasn't where I was supposed to be. And so then I started this journey of entrepreneurship and I actually have been in the recipe development space for 12 years, started a business with my sisters. Released cookbooks, it has been so much fun and I'm still doing that now, but it's a lot more hands off than it used to be. And so my time has opened up a lot and I thought, okay, what's next in my life? I'm closing in on 40 years old. What's the next phase looking like? And as I worked with women in the mommy's tummy fix, I just knew that I wanted to help them on a deeper level.

 So I did a couple of different certifications. The certification that I got was actually a group fitness certification so that I could teach fitness to groups, which I wanted to do on this new YouTube channel we were launching. And then the other certification that I got was a life or mindset coach, which sounds maybe a little bit woo woo, but in 2020, I actually had a mental breakdown, the pandemic on top of other things that were going on.

And I just. I broke. And it was because I wasn't taking care of me in the way that I needed to. And physically, I looked fine from the outside, but my inside was a mess because I didn't know what that looked like. And thanks to therapy and a Really awesome coach. I was able to turn my life around and I was so inspired by them.

I thought that's what I want to do. That's where I want my life to go. And I want to help women in the same way that these women helped me. So got that certification and really it's about a lot of the mental. And so I was telling Jared with his Mommy Tummy Fix program, he addresses all the physical.

He addresses, your core. He addresses fat burning cardio exercises. And then he even dips into eating a little bit. And what does that look like? Making this part of your lifestyle. But I told Jared, these three things are nothing if you don't have the right mindset. And if you don't love yourself, and if you don't know how to best take care of yourself, like women.

We'll never have long lasting results if they don't take care of the things going on in their head. And we are sometimes our own worst critic, our own biggest enemy, and that's what I wanted to help women with. That's what led me to get all these different certifications and led me to where I am now, working with Jared.

Autumn Carter: A lot of people, a lot of moms in particular, had Breakdowns during the pandemic, because we were already giving a lot.

And then we were asked to give so much more during the shutdown in particular that I know that it was hard for so many moms. It's interesting how your journey led you to coaching compared to mine. Mine, I was finishing my degree and it's okay, what's next? Do I do a master's? And I took a class called the helping relationship and it was like this.

This is what I want to do. And it was during the pandemic that I was doing school and pregnant and doing the things since actually things aren't too bad. It was towards the end. I was like, okay, I'm ready to climb the walls now, but it's interesting how, for a lot of people who ended up in coaching, it was because they needed therapy and coaching and, or usually it's both. So it's very interesting that's how. Your path ended up going this way.

Tell us about what you're doing now and how you bring coaching in with it because I know in the newsletter you talked about how you have a new YouTube channel that is private that you pay monthly for. Tell us about that and what else you do.

Camille Beckstrand: We are revamping the Mommy Tell Me Fix program and incorporating more of the things that I bring to the table because it has been the missing piece. In the past, the Mom's Home Fix program has been PDFs that you get when you buy the program and you can print them off or you can try to look at them on your phone but Jared is a man of many words and so it was a lot of PDFs and a lot of information. He's like you, he needs to know the science behind everything, he needs to know the research and the statistics.

And he shared that a lot in the program, but what most women want is not that. And most women are like, I don't care about all that. Just tell me the exercises to do. Just show me what I need to do. I don't need to read the 68 pages of research or whatever it is. And we also got a lot of feedback and a lot of questions asking, can you put this on an app?

Or is there any way this can be easier to use? With technology. And so about a year ago, we came out with the mommy tummy fix app and it has been awesome. Exactly what so many women wanted, but it was a very basic app. Basically took the workouts and put them in an app.

So you always had access to them and the daily checkLISSt that we have to do is on this app. And we decided let's make the app more user friendly and more include all the things that are a big part of this program. So when the app relaunches on January 1st, it will include we call them our mindset modules, basically every week.

It's some mindset coaching from me because I'm going to walk you through what my journey looked like. When I was doing it the first time and the things that I wish I would have known about myself and about my thoughts and how my thoughts are going to completely control where I'm headed and the outcomes that I get.

So therapy deals a lot with the past and you need a good therapist to work you through, hard things or trauma or things you went through in the past, but coaching helps with your future and coaching helps you determine where you want to be and how you're going to get there. And so that's what my mindset coaching is I'm going to walk you through those thoughts that hold you back.

The thing that was keeping so many women stuck were the thoughts about themselves or the thoughts about this program probably isn't going to work for me, or this program feels too hard, or whatever thought it is. I'm going to coach you through those thoughts when they pop up, and help you know and understand the best ways to handle that, and to keep you moving forward towards your goal.

And within this app, there will be these mindset modules. There will also be a community within the app because women need women. We need other people around us who can support us and cheer us on and be there for us. And so community is such an important part and we've done some beta groups and testing groups with groups of women running them through this program with the coaching and the community and it was a game changer. We had a 98 percent success rate versus what we had before, which maybe what we knew was like 25 percent of women actually finishing the program, actually seeing it through to completion, whereas when we were coaching them and helping them, it was almost 100 percent because they had somebody on their team, somebody cheering them on, somebody doing it with them.

 That was really cool. And we're so excited about that. And then within the app, we are including strength training because that's so important for women to, to keep their bodies strong. And a lot of women aren't sure where to start when it comes to strength training. We have a 12 week program and we're going to keep adding more and more to it, but 12 weeks are ready to go of strength training that you can do right at home with dumbbells in your living room.

And get the same benefits that you're looking for. That's where Jared is a doctor of physical therapy and also a certified personal trainer. And then I bring to the table all the mindset and the coaching and helping you reach those goals. And so together, I feel like we're a pretty good team.

Autumn Carter: Let's talk about who is your ideal client.

Camille Beckstrand: So the ideal client for the mommy tummy fix is anyone who has ever had a baby. And if we were to give an age range, I would say we work a lot with ages 25 through 35, but say, There are a lot of people who have had babies later in life or never did any type of rehab after they had a baby.

 One of my favorite stories ever is I coached a lady through the program who was in her late sixties, who we ran through this program. She had diastasis recti, had a two and a half finger gap and had always suffered from back pain. And she never knew why and she was pretty active, but anyways, ran her through the program. She had huge success, saw weight loss, saw her ab separation closed. And she was so happy because she had finally.

Decided how to take care of herself and what was the best way to take care of herself and it changed everything. So ideally anybody that's ever had a baby is our perfect client.

Autumn Carter: So my next question is for those who are obese, how do you still check? Is it going to be different?

Because those people who are in that mindset I'm not. Anywhere near my ideal weight to even do this program. Talk to them for a minute.

Camille Beckstrand: The same way to check still works. You can still feel that ab separation, no matter how much fat or weight is around your belly. Jared has worked with women who are very much in shape that have diastasis recti and women who were over 400 pounds that had diastasis recti.

 He was able to find the ab separation in both of them. What's great is you lay on the ground. So gravity is going to pull that extra weight down and it might take some work to find it, but you still can. So that test will still work, but what is, I think one of the best things is the LISS cardio that is included in this program.

So low intensity, steady state cardio. And that is where everyone should start on their journey because of the extra fat storage we needed on our body to, to help this baby grow and to feed this baby after they were born, we are usually carrying around a little bit of extra fat.

The way to get rid of that fat is to be in a fat burning zone, which is usually low intensity exercises that keep that heart rate in that steady state of fat burning. And that's our favorite place to start, especially if you are overweight or have some weight to lose, start walking, get in 10 minute walks every day, and you will start to burn that fat off, which is going to get you one step closer to where you want to be with your core strength and with your diastasis recti.

Autumn Carter: And then I mentioned your newsletter for people who want to get on it. How do they get on it? And then how else can they be in your world?

Camille Beckstrand: What we have for all moms, and it's completely free, if you want to get started on healing your core, your ab separation or your diastasis recti, if you have that, we have a Free 21 day challenge and we'll include the link in the description below, but jump on there.

And then that adds you to our newsletter. We'll update you when we have new videos that come out, when we have new podcast episodes that come out everything that will help you on your journey. We email out. And that's where I would recommend starting. Plus, it gives you a little jumpstart and a look into what the program would look like, so that you would know if it's a good fit for you or not.


Thank you to Camille for her vulnerability, education, time and love. As we wrap up today's conversation, I want to leave you with a glimpse into our next episode, a topic that's close to my heart and I believe, to many of yours as well. Next week, we'll be exploring the power in just showing up as a mom. We'll journey through the emotional landscapes of everyday parenting, discuss the beauty in imperfection, and celebrate the strength and resilience that lies within every mother. This episode is not just a discussion, but a tribute to the silent yet monumental moments that define motherhood. So, if you're a mom, know a mom, or have a mom, this is an episode you won't want to miss. Make sure you're subscribed to our channel so you don’t miss out on this heartfelt exploration. It goes live next week, and I promise you, it's an episode that will resonate, inspire, and perhaps bring a tear or two. Until then, keep showing up in your own lives with love and courage. See you next week.


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Outro: 

Thank you for joining us on this week's refreshing wellness discussion. I'm Autumn Carter, your guide through the seasons of motherhood, and I hope you found inspiration and valuable insights during our time together.


If you resonate with the topics we explored today and want to continue your wellness journey, I invite you to follow me on Instagram at Moms Wellness in Every Season. There, you'll discover a wealth of ongoing wellness tips specifically curated for moms like you.


Sharing our podcast with others is an act of caring, and I invite you to spread the word by sharing, subscribing, and leaving a review wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Your support is deeply valuable to us and enables us to reach more mothers who are seeking transformation and empowerment.


If you have a specific topic you'd like us to cover in more detail or if you're interested in a free coaching consultation, don't hesitate to reach out. You can send me a direct message on Instagram or visit my website, wellnessineveryseason.com, to send an email. I'm here to support you on your wellness journey.


Thank you again for being a part of our vibrant community. I'm genuinely excited to connect with you, hear your stories, and continue this important discussion in the weeks to come.


Until next time, remember to prioritize your well-being, embrace every season with grace, and always strive for wellness in every aspect of your motherhood journey. Take care, and I can't wait to catch up with you soon.

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