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Sticking to a Fertility Diet
For many years I could not work or study or sit at my computer without a cup of coffee. I just couldn’t think unless I had that cup of Joe. I’d mope, get distracted and finally give in and grab a cup. Getting my work done was more important than whatever the coffee may or may not have been doing to my body or my fertility.
Whenever I traveled to foreign countries, however, especially to places where coffee was not accessible (the jungles of Belize, for example), I did not have my daily doses of coffee, and I didn’t miss them, either. Didn’t even think about them.
I could let my coffee habit go because, while traveling, I was completely out of my usual routine, out of my habits. The sensory indicators (my office, computer, house and so on) were not there. Soon as I came home, though, I’d be right back where I left off.
Changing Our Routines
We need our routine and our habits because they help simplify our lives, streamline them. To break a habit that’s not working for us, we need to shake up our routines, change something, or teach ourselves to respond differently to something, and practice that change long enough so that it then becomes a habit.
With coffee, I had to prove to myself that I actually could think and work without it. This was no easy task and it took time. I had to create a new, different habit to help me. Instead of coffee, I'd go for herbal tea, and every time I thought I had to have coffee or my work won't get done, I reminded myself that it just wasn’t true, and I’ll prove it! Obviously, it took time to convince myself.
The Fertility Diet Habit
I'm sure you've heard that it takes 21 days (3 weeks) for a change in routine to become a habit. I would say the length of time it takes depends on what it is and how attached you are to that habit. For some habits, it might take a little longer. This is the reason it’s so important not to cheat the first three weeks on a fertility diet once you’ve eased into it and started in earnest. It’ll take that long for some of your old cravings to subside (especially for sugar and processed foods), and it will take at least that long for you to make a habit out of eating healthy.
So if you eliminate dairy, for example, keep it out for at least three weeks until you no longer miss the cheese so much. After that, your willpower will be much stronger.
Another powerful aid to willpower is your desire, or motivation. I found that nothing helps me stick to a pure, wholesome, healthy diet more than the desire to create a baby. Every time I thought to have a cup of decaf coffee or glass of wine, I would ask myself if that would be good for the baby I desired so badly. Did I want to take a chance that it wasn’t? Asking myself this, I’d almost always skip the cheat.
After months on a fertility diet, eating that way became a habit for life, long after we brought home our baby. I just eat that way now. I only “cheat” when I go out to eat, or with a couple of my steadfast "weaknesses," namely decaf coffee and the occasional glass of wine. If healthy eating can become your new habit, keeping you strong, healthy and feeling great for life, this alone is a beautiful gift to yourself.