What if we told you your mindset has a lot to do with your fertility? This might be a shocker for some of you! Today’s episode we dive into what a healthy fertility mindset looks like and how that affects your overall fertility journey. You don’t want to miss this episode as we connect the physical aspect of becoming pregnant to the mental side of BELIEVING you CAN become pregnant!
Although we are practitioners helping women bring home a healthy baby, we are still human and have our own doubts. In this episode, we share our own stories about how we struggled internally with the mental olympics of believing we could become pregnant despite our own personal obstacles. First of all – take a step back and tell yourself you ARE a person that can do hard things. You do believe in yourself. You are taking steps to shift your mindset…after all, you are taking ownership of your life and listening to this podcast!
You do not wear a badge that defines your struggles. You do not wear a badge that says “Hi, I’m infertile.” No…you are YOU! Talk to yourself like you’re talking to your best friend. Is the first thing you think about your best friend is “oh…she is infertile..” ..No! It’s likely more along the lines of, “She is strong, beautiful, and she WILL become pregnant.” It’s as simple as that. Begin to speak to yourself in a kind and gentle way. Simple techniques to begin developing this healthy fertility mindset are:
- Inclusion vs Elimination: add in foods and nutrients that your body needs instead of removing things that you love! How can we add in more foods and nutrients that will enhance your diet/overall health? Can you add two cups of veggies to your dinner, and still have cheese sprinkled on top? How can you add more colors to your plate?
- For example: Make a taco bowl with anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, add grass fed ground beef, bell peppers, and black beans (healthy fats, lots of protein, micronutrients) and STILL include mac and cheese as a small topping to still enjoy the foods you love without making it the focal point of the meal
- Honor your body. Have the pasta dinner if you want a pasta dinner. Just learn to be strategic about adding things in that can better serve your fertility journey! You don’t have to take away your favorite foods…but begin to think about how certain foods will serve or take away from your fertility journey.
- Focus on YOUR progress, not HER progress. In the world of social media, it’s easy to judge your behavior and habits and compare your progress to others. This will do nothing but make you feel inferior to others and isolate you. What works for someone might not work for you, so remember you are an individual and don’t let others’ journeys distract you. Celebrate each other’s victories and stay on your own journey.
- Build positive patterns. Look for consistency and improvement in these small habits – adding in more colorful vegetables, possibly changing habits in your sex life, or going to bed 15 minutes earlier to get more sleep. Little by little these small actions will add up. You don’t need to strive for an A+ in “Fertility Nutrition”… we are just trying to accomplish a goal, so remember to find joy in life while still implementing small, consistent healthy habits.
- When an obstacle comes up, like you miss a spin class, pivot and try something else. Take your dog for a longer walk or do a YouTube exercise video. Stay on a “winning” path! If you go to a birthday party and eat cake, pivot and make a healthy choice following that. Let setbacks set you up for comebacks! Don’t let these small things snowball into huge unhealthy habits. Be flexible.
- Don’t let things you read or hear on social media dictate your behavior. Listen to your body and let that be your guide. If you see someone post about eating more seeds, don’t force them down your throat if you hate them just because they tell you they are the key to fertility. If someone talks about how good spin class is for your health, don’t kill yourself to make it to that 7am class if you feel run down. Make these habits fit for your individual lifestyle to honor your cravings, energy levels, and mood.
- Focus on your own continued growth, not your past mistakes. Setbacks are a part of the growing process! Let them prepare you for comebacks. If you ate that chocolate cake you swore you wouldn’t, learn from it. Look at the details of your day leading up to that choice…were you hydrated? Were you in a bad mood? Did you go grocery shopping starving? How can we better prepare you for next time to not make the same mistake? Mistakes are great propellers to help you grow. YOU WILL NOT BE PERFECT, MISTAKES WILL HAPPEN!
- Celebrate improvements – in your cycle, in your hormones, indications for ovulation, insulin/sugar cravings, etc. Every step that you improve is worth celebrating and worth being excited about even though you haven’t reached your ultimate end goal of becoming pregnant. You are getting closer and closer to reaching your goal, so enjoy every step of the way!
Remember to enjoy and celebrate the small victories along the process. There needs to be JOY in your journey. You can do all of the things – take the courses, have sex, buy the tests, but if you struggle with developing this healthy mindset, don’t hesitate to see a therapist. Your mind is part of your body and it’s just as important to nurture and invest in your mind as it is your body.