Hi guys, welcome to my brand spanking new website and blog. I’m so excited for you to join me here and hopefully some of you will also come with me on a journey of self discovery, fitness and healing through safely designed exercise, for women.
I’m Charlie McSherry, founder of charliemcsherry.com and Fundamental Female Fitness. I’m a fully qualified and insured personal trainer, but more than that, I’m a pre and post natal exercise specialist and all round women’s well-being advocate.
I have such a burning passion to push the forefront of women’s health and fitness in a new direction. There are so many mixed messages out there and it can become really confusing when trying to find a fitness experience for yourself.
Trainers and instructors are ten a penny, you’ll be able to scour your local selling page and see at least a dozen people all offering you “THE solution” to whatever problem you may have. Classes will be cheap, they will be very full and you will be promised sweat, fat loss, and a reduction in that well publicised “mummy tummy”. But… you’ve got to ask yourself… what’s the catch?! Well, hey, there isn’t always a catch – some of those classes are exactly what some women are looking for. Perhaps they had a super straight forward pregnancy, kept very active and had no problems during labour or post-partum healing. Perhaps they put on minimal weight and managed to avoid painful issues like SPD, carpal tunnel, lower back pain and SI joint dysfunction. Maybe they aren’t experiencing a diastasis recti (separation of your abdominal muscles), or pelvic floor dysfunction after birth. It’s not impossible for a woman to have an “uneventful” experience of pregnancy and labour, but it is certainly very uncommon. It is more likely that the women are unaware of these issues existing, because it just isn’t discussed enough.
When women become pregnant, their bodies change. The hormone levels change. Their mental well-being can become impacted. Pregnancy can be scary for some, exciting for others, and however it makes you feel, there is no doubt that you are on the path of something quite spectacular and quite literally life-changing and it happens over a period of months.
It’s no surprise then to learn that once your baby has been delivered, that women do not suddenly “bounce back” to how they were before they became pregnant. This is not even true days, weeks and months down the line. Growing a baby, birthing a baby, nurturing a baby are all major tasks for your body.
There is a very common misconception, that once women have their 6-8 week check with their GP or care provider, that they are then fit to get back to normality. The reality is, that the 6 week check ironically checks very little about how mum is doing, both physically and emotionally. You’ll get a couple of questions from the GP, like – “how are you feeling?” (you’ll probably try to answer with something like “exhausted, drained, out of my depth a bit”, but usually a “fine” pops out instead), or maybe you’ll get “is your baby easy to care for?”… errrrmmmm, is there such a thing? That’s it, your 5 minutes are up, out you go, free to enter back in to the world, go running, take that spin class, move that sofa, carry all that shopping….
Now, from the outside, you may look great. By 6-8 weeks post partum, you may have found a way to shower, to pull a brush through your hair and to make it out to the GP surgery with minimal baby puke on your top, but there is still some major healing going on inside you.
Birthing a baby should really be compared to having major surgery. Whether you birthed vaginally or via c-section (emergency or planned), your insides will be incredibly sore and will need care and attention to optimally repair. You need great nutrition, rest and hydration. You wouldn’t go for knee surgery, then start running around 6 weeks later – your medical practitioner would have a fit! So, really, the same rule applies to birth. 6-8 weeks is NOT the magical marker. Some ladies may be able to ease back in to gentle exercise at this point, most wont be anywhere near ready to start until 12-18 weeks post-partum & some may not feel ready until months later. It’s all pretty unique to each lady.
The message here is that you need to take care of yourself in the weeks and months after birth. The early post partum period is not the time to jump back in to or start new exercise classes. This is not the time to “get that pre-baby body back” – isn’t that an awful phrase? Your body didn’t go anywhere, it didn’t check out for a bit, waiting for you have to track it down and lure it back in. It was with you all the way through the last 9+ months & it did the very best it could for you and your baby, it had your back, quite literally. But now, it needs you to help it, to help it heal, to help it slowly and safely regain the movement, the flexibility, the alignment and the function that you need to live your best life. (Do you see how I didn’t mention fat loss, jean size or mummy tummy in that?!)
It’s true that some women are unhappy with what they see in the mirror once they have given birth. Society leads us to believe that those stretch marks, the extra bit of weight you may be carrying, the loose skin are unacceptable, but the truth is, they are absolutely acceptable, lovely and part of who you are now.
It is OK to want to lose weight, to return to your old jeans. It’s OK to want to look how you did a year ago. But, and here is the big but, it is essential that you create a safe foundation on which to build your future self. Returning to exercise too quickly can cause or worsen issues such as diastatsis recti (quite often the cause of this “mummy tummy”), pelvic floor dysfunction (think weeing when you jump, laugh, sneeze), lower back pain, pelvic pain. I can work with you safely, to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Prescribing tailored exercises and nutritional guidance to help minimise issues and to heal.
The ethos of fundamental female fitness is to ensure that all women are trained correctly and safely for their life stage. When you choose to work with me, you’ll be individually assessed and only given exercises that are suitable for you and your abilities and goals. All my one to one and small group clients receive personal attention and education, with time and a safe space to discuss any issues. You’ll never be part of a “stack them high, sell them cheap” fitness model. Your investment in my services will be an investment in your future. You only get one body and if you don’t look after it, especially in times of need, it won’t perform to its best.If you are wondering if my services are right for you, check out this handy list to see if you fit:
You’re a perfect fundamental female fitness client if you are:
- An adult woman of any age
- Trying to conceive
- Currently pregnant
- Recently postnatal
- Long-term post natal (once post natal, always postnatal)
- If you suspect you may have core and floor issues – bulging abdomen, core weakness, lower back pain, urinary or fecal incontinence (that includes leaking), frequent urination, discomfort or difficulty during sex, pelvic girdle pain.
- Would like to start or return to fitness, but are feeling nervous
- You are ready to commit to improving your life and body, safely
If you think the fundamental female fitness ethos suits you, I’d love you to get in touch with me and see how I can help you learn to love your body and all it does. Check out my services, or contact me for more information.
Thanks for stopping by!