Before I wrote this article, I sat down with GoStork’s Chief Marketing Officer to brainstorm how fertility depends on nutrition and not just medical intervention alone – Can your diet fix PCOS? Can it prevent secondary infertility? Are “fertility foods” a thing?
Regardless of the medical science available to us today, ‘reproduction’ is something we humans have been doing for billions of years. So when it comes to our nutrition and fertility health, what gets in the way of getting it right are the behaviors we’ve unwittingly made bad habits out of.
For example, this chart of stellar fertility foods is a great place to start when nourishing a friendly environment for developing life. But sticking with this plan isn’t dependent upon whether or not you have this list. It’s also up to the people around you, your current relationship with food, the price or availability of these foods, your morning routine, etc. and how all of those factors create a behavior pattern that either resists change or permits it.
If that sounds like a ridiculous reason for not being able to stick with a simple list, allow me to unpack the power of ‘habit’:
Habits are not intentional…
They happen outside of our conscious control as a response to triggers that have always stimulated them.
… which is why you are the bomb at doing stuff you always do…
Even at your groggiest, you find the toilet, shower, select an outfit, make coffee, eat breakfast, etc. and you execute it all flawlessly (usually). When’s the last time you looked at your toothbrush like “what should do with this”? These tasks are so ingrained into your memory that you don’t have to consciously choose to perform them (like being on auto-pilot). This little trick our brain uses frees up mental bandwidth to solve bigger problems and absorb new skills. In fact, 43% of your daily actions are habits and you’re reinforcing them with every repetition. Imagine how exhausting it would be if you had to think critically about all the things we’ve put on auto-pilot!
Bottom line: What you do consistently is what becomes a habit.
…And why you are NOT the bomb at doing stuff you don’t always do.
Performing your morning routine is only easy because each action cues up the next habit. As a kid, this took persistence until it became automatic and you moved on to other things. But unfortunately, when we attempt to make new habits nowadays, we tend to stop persisting before the task becomes easier. Not only do we allow persistence to putter out, as adults we have a whole lifetime’s worth of habits already in place (and in the way). For example, you might be motivated to get up and run in the mornings so you tell yourself you’ll do it. But the aspirational “you” who made this goal was not considering the routine that the real “you” relies on like getting up, walking the dog, finding her shoes, and deciding if she still has enough time for breakfast.
Bottom line: Not only does habit-making require repetition, it requires identifying the parts of our daily routines that will support the new habit.
When you consider that habits by their very nature occur subconsciously, simply being well-read on the topic of nutrition and fertility just isn’t enough.
So how can someone make change when we have this secret force setting actions into motion behind our backs? Start by focusing on what you know and what you’re already good at. If learning how to make sourdough or becoming enlightened through meditation isn’t something you’ve already mastered, trying to start now won’t transform your fertility anytime soon. But if you can identify positive attributes in your existing habit arsenal, you can plan around barriers and turn your habits into fertility superpowers.
In fact, you can start today. Consider which of following changes might fit the easiest into your life right now:
No one needs to master a brand new set of skills to get and stay pregnant. But polishing your strengths will enrich your fertility more than grasping for new ones. Dreams of family and a healthy pregnancy may fuel your motivation. But real change persists when barriers are lifted.
Hell yes it’s hard planting new skills into a habitat not cultivated for change – but only if you do it alone and only if you bite off more than you can chew. This time in your life requires the most support and the strongest team. Are you ready for change?
Take the first steps towards making healthy changes here.
About Joey Coppedge