Approaching Nutrition Sustainably
Today I ate boxed mac and cheese. That’s right. Dyes, preservatives, and all.
Some would say this is a “guilty pleasure”. But I can’t say that, because I don’t feel guilty.
I've realized something. Changing a diet is like building a skyscraper. Lofty goals and ambitions can be good things! We ought to pay attention to our health, and food plays a huge role in that. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we are told to respect what God has created, to protect ourselves from harmful behaviors, and to be balanced and healthful in our lifestyles. Not only that, but when a woman is pregnant she is nourishing her baby's body as well as her own!
But we can easily create goals that are so far out of reach from our current situation, that without first building a deep and sturdy foundation our skyscraper will inevitably crumble and we'll be right back where we started.
When we approach our food with extreme, difficult to manage restrictions we start to see cravings, binging, “cheat days”, and guilt and shame over “mistakes”. That’s why the typical “diet” trend is never long term. Diet culture can even become the cause of, or prolong, harmful disordered eating.
But when we approach nutrition holistically by taking into account overall health before and after, and thinking less about taking food away and more about making thoughtful additions, sustainable lifestyle change can begin! Slowly but surely, step by step, our skyscraper goals can begin.
The primary goal of every woman, pregnant or not, should be to feel well.
- Do you feel strong enough to complete every day tasks and activities?
- Do you sleep well at night, and feel awake and vibrant during the day?
- Do you want to eat when you are hungry, and do you feel satisfied to stop when you are full?
- Do you feel you're in a positive frame of mind most of the time?
Notice that none of these areas have anything to do with numbers, measurements, or physical appearance. They have everything to do with living life to its fullest! Food is not an enemy - it is a gift. It's meant to provide both fuel and pleasure! When you are 75 years old, what will matter more to you - the way you look, or the way you feel?
Here are four simple mindset shifts I've made that have created sustainable change in my eating habits:
- Plan Ahead
The food that ends up on your table begins on your grocery list.
- Have Realistic Goals
Your intentions may be good, but if they're too extreme they'll lack longevity.
- Don't Compare
Your health journey is as unique as your DNA. It can not be replicated.
- Find Enjoyment
Some food is for fuel. Some food is for pleasure. And some food is for both fuel and pleasure!
Today I sat and peacefully enjoyed a bowl of mac and cheese, without any feelings of regret and knowing that my body is balanced, nourished, and well.
Nutrition is a key aspect of healthy pregnancy and postpartum! That's why it's so important to include it in your education as you prepare for your birth. We cover nutrition and health in my Comprehensive Childbirth Class - it changes everything!
Let's continue the conversation! What's a simple shift you've made that keeps great nutrition sustainable in your lifestyle?