This is the second of a five-part blog series titled, “Get Your Body Back After Baby” which is based on a past School of Mom Facebook chat session, where I discussed “Five Tips to Get Your Body Back After Baby”. The following is taken from chat transcript, where I discussed Tip 2: Nutrition.
Nutrition: Think Add, Not Subtract
Can I tell you a secret? This is coming from someone who’s worked in the fitness and wellness industry for years. Healthy eating is difficult and horrible. For EVERYONE, even if it’s your job. There, I said it.
There is no secret to enjoying healthy eating. Except maybe this one: you won’t enjoy it. At least not in the beginning. Especially not with the kinds of foods that toddlers tend to enjoy. So how do you make healthy, clean eating a part of your lifestyle? Simple: as inconvenient and unpleasurable clean eating might seem (at least when you start), you have to come to decide for yourself that the alternative – not being optimally healthy – is even more inconvenient and unpleasurable.
Yes, you can actually cultivate a taste for kale (if only because it has none), Revita crackers (tastes like chipboard, but in the good way!), and apple cider vinegar water (just grin and bear it). But the fact is, if you have a sugar addiction like me, your tastebuds and brain are used to the feel-good chemicals in processed foods.
Being a busy mom, you have to be realistic! Here’s what I recommend: don’t worry about eliminating anything from your diet. Seriously. We suffer from enough mommy guilt as it is. If eating brings you pleasure, then take it while it comes! Your kids won’t be this little forever, this too shall pass, and you will have plenty of time to train your tastebuds when you can take a few deep breaths.
So what do you do instead? ADD IN healthy food. Find creative ways to sneak more veggies, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and clean protein to your diet. No meal is too crappy for a side of leafy greens. Insist on a couple Timbits? Fine, but can you also have an apple or a banana with that?
Here’s what’s gonna happen: first, you’re going to start to get used to eating healthy food. Second, and most importantly, your healthy food choices will start to CROWD OUT your unhealthy food choices. Adding in healthy food is a kinder, gentler, more gradual, yet ultimately MORE EFFECTIVE way of cleaning up your diet.
Don’t believe me? Just try it! Trust me. After a few weeks, you’re going to opt for the healthier option first, and then eventually you will find that you prefer the healthier food. It WILL happen, you CAN do this.
If you choose to go “cold turkey” and eliminating all of the bad foods (tell me, what exactly will you be left with?) all at once, you run the risk of overwhelming yourself and giving up. Again. This “add not subtract” theory may sound counterintuitive, but it works! What have you got to lose, except your desire for junk food and excess weight?
Stay tuned for Tip #3: Sleep.
To your health,
Timmie Wanechko, RYT, FIS, NWL is a Yoga + Fitness Instructor, and Nutrition + Lifestyle Coach. As the founder of Sassy Wellness and Director of Modern Mama St. Albert, she works to inspire women and families to live their happiest and healthiest lives. Visit her online at SassyWellness.ca and ModernMamaStAlbert.com.