Nutritious Nuggets: Focus on What You Can Control

Coming at you today with a more personal post. Earlier this week I attempted a pull up for the first time postpartum…YIKES! I quickly felt defeated after I realized I am starting back at square one. After experiencing a difficult labor and a much longer recovery due to pelvic floor dysfunction my rehab and fitness is going a lot slower than I expected. I am still not “back” to my pre-pregnancy weight or clothing size, maybe it never will be. The truth is my body will NEVER be the exact same…and that is okay. On top of all the physical changes I have experienced I also have found during this time I have to eat more than usual to support a nursing baby and depending on what she needs that day sometimes my needs get put on the back burner.

While you may not have had a baby, I think we can all relate to setbacks, changes in our bodies, changes in our schedules, seasons of stress and unexpected circumstances that can impact our nutrition, fitness and wellness. The truth is it happens to us all. What we are often temped to do is focus on all the things we cannot do:

  • “I don’t have time to make it to the gym”
  • “My schedule is too full to meal prep”
  • “I am traveling and have to eat all my meals on the go, it’s impossible to eat healthy”
  • “I’m too tired”
  • “My (injury) wont allow me to do (fill in the blank)”

The list goes on and on.  While ALL of these are valid and real, focusing on the things you cannot do or are OUT OF YOUR CONTROL won’t get you far. Instead I challenge us to change our focus to the things we CAN CONTROL. So maybe it looks like this:

  • “I literally cannot make any camp classes this week due to my work schedule”….”I do have time to move 15 minutes today (walk, short at home workout, mobility, etc.)”
  • “My schedule is too full to meal prep” ….”I can make sure I have a good amount of whole foods on hand to grab for meals” (vegetables, fruits, nuts, roasted chicken, etc.) OR “I can try different strategies for cooking meals for the week to find which works best for my schedule”
  • “I’m traveling and have to eat all my meals on the go”….”I can look at the menu ahead of time and choose something that is at least a little bit better in supporting my health.”
  • “I’m too tired.” …”I will limit my screen time to get more sleep.”
  • “I’m injured.” ….. “I will reach out to my trainer to discuss what safe movements I can do and not let that stop me from going into the gym and moving.”

We all will go through different seasons in life that will force our nutrition and fitness habits to change and look different at times. What is most important is that we don’t fall into the ALL OR NOTHING MINDSET. Just because it looks different or is not your “ideal” does not mean you completely give up. Instead give yourself permission to move 10 minutes if that’s all you can do rather than nothing at all. Drink enough water throughout the day no matter how busy you are. Add vegetables and protein whenever you can to your meals. Limit sugars and process foods. All of these are in your control and will make a big difference over time and these habits will get you through busy, tough, unexpected circumstances. Know that your current situation will not last forever. 

If you need a visual activity to really grasp what is in your control and what is not take a look at the picture below. Sit down and actually write down the “excuses” you tell yourself and then ask yourself what is in your control and what is out of your control? This can then help you take the action steps needed to keep pluggin’ along.

Circles of Control