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October 2, 2012

Life Happens: Switching Your Mindset

By Sara Baker

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” –Wayne Dyer

Here at JillFit, we write a lot about mindsets and having the right frame of mind.  We believe the mind body aspect is just as important, if not more important than a proper nutrition and exercise plan.  As I have shared, I am 17 weeks pregnant.  Since telling others I am pregnant, numerous of my clients and others in the JillFit group have reached out to me. Some of these women are going to try to become pregnant and have questions.

One of the reoccurring questions I get is asking about body change. Some women are embarrassed to admit/ask that they are terrified of what pregnancy will do to their bodies. There is no reason to be embarrassed and I think this is a very common question/fear, even more so for someone who works as a fitness professional or someone who is very active and works hard on keeping their body lean.

I of course, have this fear as well.  So how am I ‘coping’ with this?

First, of all, I have to remember, I chose this and I want this. I was fully aware that I was going to gain 25-30lbs over the course of 9 months and had to be okay with that.  I know that some people say, ‘well, it’s not you really gaining the weight, it’s for the baby.’  Yes, true, but it is still me who will be gaining the weight and for someone who has related self-esteem to their physique and works very hard on trying to stay lean, a few pound changes here and there can be a big deal.  I think it is a big deal for most pregnant women. I have even read that the weight gain associated with pregnancy can lead some women into depression.

To help me through these changes,  I am switching my mindset for both my workouts and nutrition. I therefore had to switch some habits:

For as long as I can remember, I cannot eat anything before my workouts.  It makes me feel lethargic and heavy so I figured I would just continue this into my pregnancy. When I was 8 weeks pregnant, I went to the gym without eating and 45 min later felt so weak and my tummy was growling.   Right then and there, I realized that I needed to switch my mindset from trying to burn fat during my workout, to working out to maintain, stay healthy for both myself and baby. Now, I have a few bites of something before every workout.

My mindset for my eating has changed as well.  Of course, I am trying to eat as healthy as possible but I have had to relax with some of my food rules.  I generally try to eat only veggies and protein at night.  Again, tried this and an hour later I was starving.   Thought I am only eating for 1.1 (not 2!!!! As many people like to claim), I do need more calories every day and especially since I am still working out 6 days a week.  Therefore, I have added more good clean carbs to my diet overall.

This has been a challenging mindset switch for me as I have always been working and out eating for fat loss.   I have also had to be okay with the weight gain. I know it is healthy and supposed to happen but to me it still brings makes me feel self-conscious and I immediately go back to my college days when I was heavier and very self-conscious.

Everyone will go through different stages of their life where might have to change their focus of their exercise plan. Switch your mindset!

  • Too busy to train for a fitness competition? Make your workouts be about maintaining.
  • Going through a major life change, divorce, moving, starting a new job? Make your workouts be about releasing stress and gaining focus.
  • Injured? Tighten your diet and focus your workouts on healing/strengthening your injury.

I am working on this day by day just as I know many women who are working on not putting their self-worth into some number on a scale or in a clothes size.  Sometimes you just need a change in your mindset and think what your number one goal/priority is at that time in your life.


Related: Are you in great health? 5 ways to know

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