Early in my pregnancy my weight was increasing at a rate that felt like too much, too soon. I realized that if I continued to put on the pounds as quickly as I was, by the time I carried to term, I would end up gaining much more weight than what was recommended by my doctor. I knew I needed to become more conscious about my habits, and for some reason, my initial motivation rose up out of negativity for my lack of discipline and carelessness. Combine that with being sick and tired most of the time, and I had nothing to propel me toward healthier habits except negative internal motivators and the intention to simply eat less and watch the numbers on the scale go up, up, up.
For about one month I (tried to) deprive myself. An internal dialogue of negative thoughts and regrets about how weak I was being was followed up with how guilty I felt about being weak in the first place.
Needless to say, that month didn’t go so well. I ate more because I felt bad, and I felt bad because I ate more. It was not a healthy cycle to be in.
I realized that my approach wasn’t working, so I decided to focus on what I really wanted—and that was to have a healthy baby and a healthy pregnancy no matter what the number on the scale was.
My internal motivators shifted from negative to positive. I was still sick and tired most of the time, but when I felt like snacking on salty or sugary foods to ease nausea, I tried drinking tea, practicing yoga or walking instead. My motivation was no longer focused on my weight; I was focused on having a healthy baby and pregnancy instead. And I stopped looking at the numbers on the scale.
The weight began to even out, and eventually fell into a healthy pattern of gain. By the end of my pregnancy, I was right where wanted I to be—feeling strong, relaxed, comfortable, and well within a healthy weight gain for my body type.
Through this process, I realized that the negative internal motivators were really pulling me down and keeping me there—creating a cycle that didn’t give me the confidence or the positive motivation that I needed to see the real reason behind why it was important to me to stay within a healthy weight range. When all of my focus was on the numbers on a scale, it triggered personal attacks such as feeling guilty and weak—which of course, didn’t give me the strength to make any positive changes. But once I got clear about my intention and motivation, it aligned with my internal strength and resolve to do something that would benefit myself and my baby.
I’m amazed at the power of internal motivation. Both negative and positive motivators have a tremendous effect on the physical outcome.
I’ve put together a fun and easy little worksheet that will help you to determine your internal motivation as it relates to your body, exercise and food. It’s a free, downloadable pdf that I can send to you once you’ve signed your e-mail up for occasional updates and information from my blog. You can sign up for that right HERE.
I hope you’ll take a close look at what motivates you and your relationship to well-being. I truly believe that a positive outcome starts with positive internal motivation, and that begins inside of you–a place where your strength and power are unsurpassed.