February is the Month of Love
February is the month of love. It’s a time that makes us all think about relationships. But before you consider others, think about the person you should love most of all and unconditionally at that: yourself.
Many women love themselves at least partially. They have some degree of self-esteem and self-awareness, which helps them to be comfortable in who they are as a person. Still, it is very common for women to not fully love and accept themselves for how they look. They dream of a smaller nose, a narrower waist, less cellulite on their thighs, a flatter stomach, or a more tone backside. They fantasize about how they might change their physical appearance through cosmetic surgery or Botox and fillers. And even when they act on making a change in appearance, they can always find one more area on their body that disappoints.
Other women are even less confident about themselves and have not fully developed healthy self-esteem. The feeling of helplessness and desire for control can lead to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. On the other end of the spectrum, some women use food as an emotional reward. They eat to feel better, but in the long run, this behavior is counter-productive. Emotional eating often leads to obesity, which in turn ultimately lowers self-esteem and increases feelings of frustration and disappointment.
All of these self-sabotaging body image struggles are difficult; when combined with other issues such as problems conceiving a child, the accumulated effects may be devastating. Feeling let down by your body can be a vicious cycle of anger and self-doubt – the opposite of self-love.
Loving yourself unconditionally is especially important when trying to get pregnant. Start by thinking about your body as your best friend.
Now, would you abuse your friend to get what you want? Or would you remind yourself that she has always been there for you and is deserving of your love and respect?
Being conscious of how you treat yourself and the emotions engaged with eating can open important doors to a healthier you. For example, if you tend to overeat when you are sad or depressed, it will only perpetuate your negative feelings. Similarly, if you are hurt or angry, overindulging to counterbalance those emotions will only backfire. And conversely if you eat to celebrate a good thing, some of your happiness may be deflated if you overdo it.
So mindful eating is key, and engaging in the proper, not excessive, amounts of exercise is essential to your health and well-being. Learning to love the body you have and treat it in a respectful way is the gateway to the state of mind you need to be fit for fertility.
Love yourself first, and that’s the best preparation for motherhood there is!