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A Dietitian's #NewMomGoals

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Hi there! New mom here.

As I re-enter the workplace and try to find a new balance, I am learning just how much my life has changed. I guess in a way, you could say I am trying to re-discover myself as I take on this new adventure I like to call mommyhood. With that being said, I have had to adjust what I once viewed as my goals. In order to do this, I actually decided to use a program that we have at work to help divide up the goals. If you are not familiar with the program, it is called Freedom Wellness. The 4 components of the Freedom Wellness program are: lifestyle, exercise, awareness, and nutrition.

While I dive headfirst (at times without a helmet) into mommyhood, I am noticing that almost every aspect of the Freedom Wellness program has changed for me. The first pillar, lifestyle, is honestly probably one of the biggest areas of change. As I prepared to have my first child during COVID times (that is what I like to call it), you can imagine I was a bit anxious (on top of my normal anxiety). I quickly realized that after this baby arrived, I would need to make sure that I took time to recharge, practicing self-care. If I am being fully honest, this is not an area that I was super stellar at to begin with, so I knew I would have to get creative and possibly call on my husband to hold my feet to the fire. Over time, I found that I started to shift my thinking and remind myself that if I am going to care for my little one the way he needs me to, then I absolutely MUST NOT skip out on my own self-care. When I bring up the phrase “self-care” in session, I think people often think of $$$ spending! The truth is, self-care could even be scheduling a little quiet time for yourself daily. For me, self-care is enjoying a nice hot bath and not giving myself a time limit to adhere to.

The next pillar, exercise, and I have a history. Over the years we have had a love/hate relationship. I used exercise to transform my body when I was younger. As I got older, my purpose of exercise changed --- it was a time for me to give back to myself and have some much needed me-time (that self-care keeps popping up, guys). My most recent purpose for exercise is using it as a time for me to connect with God through my spiritual relationship with Him. To be honest, this really transformed my views of exercise. With having a little one, I am starting to re-explore my options for activity. I want to have that time for myself, but I also want to carve out time to have movement with cutie patootie.

The third pillar focuses on building awareness. For a lot of my patients this pillar can vary greatly when it comes to setting a goal to focus on. One of the things that I am adamant about speaking to patients about is their “intentions”. What are you doing on purpose and what is your intention? Right now my purposeful actions include me focusing on what steps I can take to plan ahead for the next day. I am learning that time is of the essence. I need to be strategic, while also practicing flexibility. To accomplish this, I have returned to planning out menus for my family in advance.

My nutrition goals have also shifted in the past year. Now more than ever, I feel like I need to focus on getting in a good variety of nutrients and ensure that I am staying on track with meals/snacks when I am busy. I am currently breastfeeding my son, so it is important that I focus on staying hydrated and also fueling for every need. One of the things I often talk to my patients about is the importance of not exceeding >4 hours between meals to help with blood glucose stabilization. I am not sure about you, but if my blood glucose drops, I could star in a Snickers commercial! With breastfeeding, it is important to try to be relaxed, so I view this as another reason to stay on top of fueling adequately and frequently throughout the day to help with mood stabilization and to help keep my energy up.

As I continue this new journey, I am sure I will continue to revisit each pillar of health and continue to refocus each goal. As times change, I expect the goals to shift just as my priorities will. I do hope that with that change there is some consistency --- always making a point to celebrate the little victories along the way.

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