Healthy eaters aren’t born, they’re made.
There’s so much information about healthy eating out there—yet still some people find it a struggle, day in and day out. Some people do it, they enjoy it, they like it. Why?
It’s not because they know certain secrets; they weren’t born liking healthy stuff and not wanting everything else.
The habits that took years to build, do not take a day to change.~ Susan Powter, nutritionist and motivational speaker
It’s simply because they understand its importance, they know why they want to be healthy and have taught themselves to like healthy eating.
When you’re pregnant, you need to rethink your beliefs, attitudes and mindset towards healthy eating.
Developing positive healthy eating patterns is important for you and your baby for the rest of your lives: It’s not just the here and now, when you’re pregnant or feeding.
Rethink Your Food Relationships
Our relationship with food is very much like our relationship with people. So changing our food relationships is just a matter of looking deeper at them.
Bad foods are like bad friends. If it’s difficult for you to break your friendship with bad habits, it could be because you’re not quite attracted to new people, new friends, a new crowd just yet.
Choose your foods the way you would choose friends: Surround yourself with people who love you, who care for you, people who are fun.
In the same way, choose healthy foods that mean well, are honest and care about you.
How to Make the Change
Find your motivation:
You might be struggling to do things because you’re not connected to your motivations—perhaps they’re not clear or inspiring enough.
Uncover your true motivation by asking yourself “Why is it important for me to eat healthier?”
When you have your answers, repeat them to yourself until your heart is engaged along with your mind.
Connect to your willpower:
If you think you’re lacking willpower, learn to stay connected to your motivation. If your ‘why’ is clear and you remember this at the moment of choice, it will help you to do the right thing.
Rethink your mindset:
Are you open to change? You need to believe that you can change your preferences, learn to like healthy food and acquire some skills.
It takes some time, but you can change your relationship with food with the right mindset.
We don’t like to be told what to do, so it’s important to keep yourself in the conversation and know this is what you want. When “I want to” switches to “I have to,” this triggers resistance.
The simple trick of changing your language will help you feel like change is your choice.
Make an investment:
The mindset shift from healthy eating is not an expense or a cost, it’s an investment. It’s an investment in a healthy, happy, long life; in your children’s relationship with food.
Look at your relationships with your food. Who is your real friend here? The good food or the bad?
Healthy eating will be hard if we expect it to be instant. Cooking healthy food takes some time, just like cooking a baby.
It’s a question of adjusting your expectations because you know what you get at the end is a healthy, happy future for you and your child.
Think progress, not perfection:
If you put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect, it’s setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration—with yourself and the whole process. Change takes time.
“I’m doing this because I love myself.” Don’t push yourself into change, it’s not about doing this because you have to.
It should come from a place of love—for life, for yourself, for your baby.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s about cultivating the right mindset, attitude, culture and relationship with food—for yourself and for your kids.
Having a baby is difficult, but you’re doing it. It’s the same with healthy eating: Once you get connected to your motivation—your pregnancy—it will be simpler and much easier!
Tatiana is an Eating Behaviour and Habit Change Coach who helps people find joy and peace in their relationship with food. As well as personal coaching, she also runs talks and workshops for companies and their employees.