Nicola Salmon is a gentle warrior for fertility freedom and a proud, fat feminist. Her work as a fertility coach, acupuncturist and naturopath ideally places her to help women in reclaiming their health and fertility.
Here is an abridged version of Nicola’s honest and practical Guide to Getting Pregnant.
I’m sure you’ve been told time and time again that you need to lose weight in order to get pregnant. It’s been drummed into you since you were little that you need to be slim and pretty to get what you want in life – the perfect husband, the perfect career and the perfect family. The problem is that it’s a load of crap and this idea that you need to be something other than you are right now is doing more harm than good.
If you think you need to lose weight to get pregnant, it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It also fuels the negative relationship you already have with your body. You’ve been trying to lose weight your whole life so how the hell is it going to be any easier now?
And if you’ve been trying to lose weight but can’t? Does that mean that you are a terrible person because you can’t do this “simple” thing to get the most important thing in the world to you? I’m going to share with you three steps you can take to begin to unravel the f**d up way we see our fat bodies when we are trying to get pregnant.
Throw Away The Scales
Drastic, I know. And I know exactly what you’re thinking….. “If I don’t weigh myself then my weight is just going to get out of control” The scale is not your friend. This one number dictates whether you have a good day or a bad day and that is not ok. You are more than a number. Your worth is not measured in kg or stone.
Right now, at exactly this weight (not in a couple of pounds!) you are worthy of becoming a mother. We’ve been taught that somehow the scales can tell us if we’ve been a good girl or a bad girl, if we need to punish our body with exercise or if we can treat ourselves to a cake. You don’t need to know how much you weigh to be happy and healthy. You aren’t going to balloon to the size of a house if you aren’t checking that number daily. If this idea scares you, start where you are.
Try not weighing yourself for a week or a month.
Throw the scales away. I mean literally. I smashed my scales on the ground and never looked back
- Pick a new measure. Find a meaningful way to measure your health and goals. Instead of having a goal weight, pick a different way to look at your health. This could be around movement, food, habits or lifestyle. Here are some examples
- Walk 10,000 steps a day – Drink 8 glasses of water a day
- Eat 2 fruit/veggies with each meal You feel more motivated when you achieve these and these healthy habits with add up to big change in your life
Nourish Not Punish
For so much of my life, I used food and exercise as a punishment for being fat. I ate food that was restrictive (dieting 101) or binge ate a whole tub of Ben and Jerry’s. Each being a punishment of some form. I never ate what I wanted to when I was physically hungry. Anytime that I tried to exercise, it was from a place of punishing my body for the food I’d eaten or the fat that had accumulated around my middle.
Let’s just say it was all punishing and no nourishing for a long time and I hated my body with a passion. It all changed when I changed my intention around my actions. I now choose the food and movement that will nourish my body and I make a conscious choice that I’m taking care of my body with each decision I make. Do I make the perfect choices every time? No! But part of nourishing myself is being kind to myself when things aren’t perfect.
- Begin with getting clear on your intention. With every action, what is your intention? Why are you eating this food? Why are you moving your body? Why are you making this choice?
- Once you have started to ask why, begin to look for the patterns. What keeps coming up and where do these things come from? For example, if you have a pattern of emotional eating, what are the triggers?
- Tracking these patterns can help you unravel what is going on and help you decide what you want to be doing instead. Grab yourself a fertility journal and begin to uncover what you are doing from a place of nourishment and what is happening from a place of punishment. Getting curious and being kind to yourself is the key
Look After Your Mental Health
Your mental health is an important and often overlooked aspect to this journey. When you are constantly beating yourself up about your weight, it’s easy to fall into a negative and stressful spiral, believing that you will never become a mother and that it’s all your fault. Spending a little time everyday focusing on your thoughts, feelings and beliefs is a really useful way to being to give your mind the attention it deserves.
Mental health is a huge topic, so take baby steps and if you are struggling, please do seek support from a healthcare professional.
- Unfollow any social media accounts that make you feel less worthy, bad about your body or make you feel crap in any way
- Start to notice the thoughts that are on an endless loop in your head and at the end of every day, spend 5 minutes writing them down. What negative thoughts do you have on repeat? What are you saying to yourself about your body on a daily basis? What are you telling yourself about your fertility and your ability to get pregnant each day?
- Once you have spent a few days/weeks actively noticing your thoughts, try this! Remember, tracking your thoughts can be tricky, it’s impossible to watch them 24/7 so do it when you remember and keep it up even if you think you aren’t doing it enough.
Every time you notice yourself experiencing a negative thought, in your head say “STOP, that’s not useful” and try reversing it.
E.g. If you spotted the thought “Why does my tummy look so fat in these trousers? Say “STOP, that’s not useful. My tummy looks beautiful in these trousers”
It may feel impossible to catch these thoughts and you may not believe what you tell yourself, but we are building a new habit and the more you do this, the stronger this habit will become.
I HOPE THIS HELPS.
Love from Nicola x
More information on Nicola’s work can be found at www.nicolasalmon.co.uk