As the wellness space gets more and more commercialized (think $4.2 trillion dollar industry), consumers of it need to be sure to practice discernment about the outcomes that are being promoted. One area that has been coming up for me lately is nutrition and exercise.
First of all, we are of nature. Our bodies are not machines and not the same models. They are much more amazing than that and specialized for each person at each phase of life. They inherently possess well over 200,000 years of knowledge to help us survive (let me point out plants have evolved for far longer begging us to realise their intelligence over our own). Let's start there with discernment.
When a personal trainer promotes their exercise system as a 6-week weight loss programme or a book is selling you on a Keto diet for weight loss, there is something disingenuous about that. Are they promising quick fixes or practices that are actually compromising our health in the pursuit of having what society has imposed on us as the perfect body? The type of body that nature perhaps has not intended for us, individually.
What seems to be more important, is asking ourselves, what is optimal health and how do I achieve that? Think critically and long-term. Perhaps muscle bulk, low body fat or the methods we use to achieve them are actually not best for our bodies and overall health.
Let me come clear. I've been on this journey to look and feel great too for a long time, and have tried some surely unhealthy endeavors in pursuit of dropping a dress size. I have learned the lessons first hand. What have I learned? Mostly that our health is more important than that and actually everything falls in to place when we put true health first. Quick fixes don't last. It's a lifestyle.
As someone with a slow metabolism, I was on the weight loss treadmill since the 80s. I thought health was measured by the scale. I tried everything. In the end, for the past 13 years, I discovered it was so much easier than anything I was doing. Effortless action. Basically eating whole foods, think one ingredient products, (get rid of the highly processed foods!) and being active every day. There is nothing new there. Processed 'low fat this', 'processed high protein-fortified that' is not the way!
As a result I can better listen to my body's messages when something deserves my attention, whether it is physical or mental. I can get out of my head feel into my body and know exactly what I need or don't need.
Where am I going here? We live in a capitalist society, a society that actually has created the products that have made us unhealthy and are now pushing products to 'reverse' that. Notice the candy section at check-out now has nearly all the major brands stamping Protein on their junk food. <facepalm> And the books and online programmes promising a solution are endless. Practice discernment.
I'm not a health care professional, just sharing what worked for me. And I'm definitely not going to package this up and monetize it. Enjoy being human!