Body confidence is a hot topic at the moment, so when I was invited along to an influencers event towards the end of last year to see a private screening of Embrace, an inspiring documentary film that explores the idea of female body image, I jumped at the chance to see it. The film was honestly amazing, a must see for all women, kids and men. I do hope that this powerful film and the Body Image Movement help continue to create a positive global change. The screening was followed by a discussion and motivational exercise class led by MUTU founder Wendy Powell. I have discussed my body and embracing my postpartum mum curves and belly in the past on the blog, even taking part in the Warrior Woman Project with Natalie from Style Me Sunday. I know how important self care and body love is - we need to celebrate our amazing bodies and not constantly feel guilty or negative about them, easier said than done right? Your body changes so much when you become a mum so I was really excited to hear about the MUTU System from the founder herself and chat to her in person. It was nice to hear how down to earth she was and that MUTU was all about feeling good from the inside - we all deserve a body we can feel happy in.
MUTU is an award-winning medically approved restorative online exercise programme for women who want their bodies to look, feel and function better after having a baby - whether this was 6 months or 6 years after having a baby. Wendy offers expertise and guidance to mums who want to shift the mummy tummy, heal their core and pelvic floor, get strong and fit, and be truly body confident inside and out. Wendy knows how to make women feel better about, and in, their post baby bodies. She strongly believes that postpartum confidence starts with a body that works effectively (no leaking) and makes a woman feel good, and that we all have more important things to worry about than the size of our thigh gap. Amen to that.
My pelvic floor, as I'm sure many of you can relate to, is something that is always neglected but also something I have always wanted to sort out and know how important it is to look after. I have been loving my weekly Pilates sessions but know it would be nice to do more to sort my core out. So, I have been trialling the 12 week module programme (I'm currently half way through it) and I can honestly say I feel like I am slowly starting to get my old body back! I've always had a battle with my jelly belly, coming to terms with the fact it was part of me and has carried 2 babies and learnt to love it. However, if there was an area I wanted to see an improvement most of all on it was this...and I am! The programme is about making small, realistic changes each week with no pressure and a lovely community of support on hand to help you if you need it. You can see my 'before' photos here:
The biggest issue I encountered so far (except some next day discomfort from doing lots of squats when I first started!) was learning to build the system into my week and routine around the kids and making sure it was a priority - after all self care is so important as a mum and it does make you feel better and therefore a happier person! For me I find getting up at 7am each day, ideally when the kids are still in their bedrooms (not that often!), worked for the core exercises. Then the intensive exercises are good on child free days or in the evenings. It's easy to do in the comfort of your own home. I did find it took a good few weeks to really get into the swing of the programme (not helped by Christmas) and build it into my lifestyle, but I love that there is no pressure to stick to a set routine. We all know as mums we have weeks when the kids are sick at home or we are simply just too exhausted, so you can adjust it to suit you. Although I have to say the programme really does help with the exhaustion and give you extra energy! You do need to commit to it to see some great results and hey don't we all want those fab before and after pics?!
The main ethos about the system is strengthening your core and pelvic floor, healing your diastasis recti (if you have it, it also tells you how to check for it) and lose excess weight. I have made small changes to my diet, for example replacing standard bread with rye bread and krisp breads, not snacking on crisps but eating nuts and fruit, replacing normal milk with almond milk. Also trying to pick wholegrain over white in pasta and rice. They reccomend avoiding processed and refined foods which have a lot of hidden sugars in them so you do need to be well prepared, making sure the house is well stocked with fresh food and plenty of meal ideas (which there are lots of on the MUTU mamas site). I still find it hard to not hoover up the kids leftovers and some days I still do! It's a simple idea to eat more nutritious food, making better food choices and breaking some bad eating habits - the course is there to guide and support you through it. Alcohol is not something I am willing to give up (they recommend no more than 3 glasses a week) and some weeks are better than others but being a mum is tough and wine o'clock is still very important to me! I have made adjustments that I hope to keep long term in my diet. Don't get me wrong when I go out for a nice meal and someones birthday drinks I have what I want but when I'm at home in my day to day life I am being a little stricter and trying new healthier food options out.
Your body belongs to you and this programme is up to you - if you want to make changes then I highly recommend you invest in this easy, supportive programme. If you want to take back some control, find your mojo and feel empowered then becoming a MUTU mama is for you. I will keep you posted on how I get on with the rest of the programme for a art 2 blog post on MUTU.
Here are some of the key questions and answers that I hope cover some of the things you may be thinking about...
Who is the programme for?
The programme is mostly aimed at post partum (be it 6 weeks or 6 years!) mums. You can still do it if you’re pregnant, have a hernia or prolapse - there are some modifications to ensure the program is perfectly tailored for you and you will be shown this on the programme.
If you aren't a massive exercise person like me and need some sort of structure and discipline to do anything then this is for you. It isn't a hard core work out, at times nice and gentle and others you are working up a serious sweat - but that's what I like it is simple and easy to follow.
What do you get and how does the system work?
You get access for 24 months to the MUTU system - an online exercise and recovery programme that is lead by the voice of MUTU founder Wendy, across a series of step by step, bite sized videos over 12 easy to follow modules. The videos have real women in them which is nice to see in all shapes and sizes. They use research based exercises and adjustments with information on good foods to include in your daily diet.
...no judgement, no yelling, no shame, no planks, no crunches, no bootcamp, no hang ups and no diet...straight talking and a lot of love!
There is an easy to use journal and checklist to monitor your journey and no pressure at all to complete it in 12 weeks or 6 months - adapt it to what works for you in your own time.
With each module you are expected to try and do a 10/15 minute core workout everyday (this is really simple and easy, no sweating at all), walk everyday and do the Intensive workout (20 mins, a bit more of a sweat sometimes) at least 3 times a week. You will need to commit to it as much as you can to see the results. There are also some nice motivational pick me ups to help you along the way.
Do you need any equipment or special clothes?
You can do the workouts in bare feet and any clothes that you feel comfortable in (personally I find getting changed into workout clothes and a sports bra really helps set me in the right mood!). I have been doing it in my living room on the carpet but I would recommend investing in a mat if you want to be more comfortable for some of the floor work. You will also need a resistance band, resistance band loop, cotton yoga strap, pilates ball and straw to blow it up. You can get all this kit in a bag included in the programme if you pay for it in full.
How much does it cost?
The course costs £146 and you get 24 months access. You can pay in full and receive a free kit bag (worth £37) or split the payments.
I have a 15% discount to share with my lovely readers with the code EMBRACE15. Click here to buy the MUTU programme, you won't regret it!!
I will keep you updated on my MUTU journey including my after pictures - watch his space for part two of MUTU Self Care & Body Confidence...
Please note I was gifted the programme to review and this blog post was commissioned by MUTU but all opinions expressed are my own.