Spring is here! I love the beginning of a new season, especially spring. Spring means longer days with more sunlight (and vitamin D), warmer weather (I much prefer sandals to rain boots), and new life and colors popping up around every corner. It invites hope. Hope for new beginnings, excited anticipation for the growth that will happen not only in creation, but in you.
I am anticipating this spring for I love new beginnings. 2015 brought on many beginnings: the start of marriage, the start of my nutrition and wellness coaching business, and the start of this blog. 2016 has already given me another beginning: the start of parenthood. I have an exciting announcement:
West and I will be parents as of September 2016!
To be honest, yes, I am beyond excited, but pregnancy has been a challenge. I have not felt great, and I have struggled with the changes that are happening in my body. At times, I have not wanted to eat anything and then later craved (and eaten) a whole sleeve of saltine crackers (no nutritional value, full of gluten, loaded with salt, and tastes oh so good!). I try to eat healthfully, I will eat a big green salad for dinner, but then finish the evening with a good ole chocolate chip cookie. I have been really tired, which tempts me to skip exercise, but I have pushed through as I know it is good for me. All these changes, physically and emotionally, have given me a greater understanding and appreciation for the struggles of trying to develop and establish a healthy lifestyle.
People always assume eating well and exercise come naturally for me. When I worked at a large corporation, people were always examining what I would put on my lunch plate to make sure I filled it with greens and quality protein. And yes, for the most part, eating well and exercise has come naturally for me, and I do love a plate full of greens. I was passionate about health and wellness as a teenager playing sports, which led me to study nutrition in college, then guided me to a career field I absolutely love. I do practice what I preach. BUT the changing of seasons (i.e. pregnancy) has brought about a new set of challenges for me! I crave saltines and chocolate chip cookies, what?!
Everything I coach my clients to do, I am learning to do for myself. I am engaging in the art of listening to my body and resisting the urge to indulge in ALL of my cravings. I am scheduling exercise appointments so I stick to a plan even when I don’t feel like it. I am setting small weekly nutrition goals like replacing a 2nd cup of coffee with hot lemon water and eating breakfast, even if it is small, 5 days/week. I am struggling with many of the same challenges as you do. So I get it.
I understand the struggle is real. I also know that my mind is stronger than my body’s cravings. I really am starting to see that “the body achieves what the mind believes*.” Therefore I set my intentions to get off the couch and go for a run. I plan 3 healthful breakfast recipes (see last post for ideas) at the beginning of the week, buy the ingredients at the grocery story, and stock my fridge so I have what I need to accomplish my goals. It sounds simple, but I know it requires focus, energy and intention to make it happen. I am setting my mind on what is true, pure, and wholesome: that attending yoga classes and eating Brussels sprouts will give me and my baby the nutrients and fuel we need to make it through this new season of growth.
This is my encouragement to you as you try to establish healthful eating and exercise habits: what do you want to be true about your health? Set your mind on the answer. Post it on your bathroom mirror or dashboard of your car. For your body will follow your mind.