How do I look at the wellness culture? Hint: It’s Waayyy outside of the norm
[NOTE: This is MY belief. I’m not a medical advisor. I don’t provide medical advice anywhere in this post. It’s MY approach to wellness.] [There. I said it. 🙂 But if you’re as unhappy with our healthcare approach as I am, you might find something you can take and use yourself.]
Have you ever perused health and wellness posts and profiles and thought: I just don’t get this advice.
OMG – Me too!
I believe the wellness culture is waayyy outside of reality anymore. In other words, I don’t believe much of any of the advice posted because most of it is nothing but a bunch of !@$%^^.
(Yep, can you tell I’m passionate about this topic? Because I believe the medical industry is so far beyond reality anymore.)
We’re a nation that spends way more on healthcare than any other Western society. And yet we’re the sickest we’ve ever been.
I don’t trust professionals just because they have letters after their names. Most of them have completely bought into the system, and are more focused on writing prescriptions than helping people get to the root of the problem.
Wellness is internal. Wellness comes from inside. Wellness is individualistic. Wellness is foundational. Wellness changes all the time.
You can’t achieve wellness by a societal approach. What works for me might not work for you.
But you can learn from others. You can try what works for one, and find that it fits perfectly in your own foundational wellness plan.
Find one thing that works for you. Share it with someone else. Achieve wellness.
And that’s how you develop a wellness culture.
Focus. On. Wellness.
There, that’s not so difficult, is it?
Okay, let’s dive into a lot of current beliefs that, in my opinion, just don’t work. If you want longevity, you have to forge your own path. If you strive for wellness, you can’t live in a state of sickness. You have to ask new questions. You have to take charge of your own plans.
That means stepping away from what society is currently doing, and developing your own plan.
Let’s dig in.
Opinion #1: Fads are NOT wellness
Fads are everywhere, and social media has only made it worse. The latest influencer might be brushing with charcoal toothpaste, approaching CrossFit as if it was their job, and using jade eggs and other “tools” for down there health. It’s probably not something you should follow.
My goal has never been to look and feel good today with little regard for tomorrow. Instead of a quick-fix approach, I always do things for longevity and consistency.
I ask questions like:
- Will this work in a year? In ten years?
- Will I be able to do this when I’m 100?
- Will this make me better/healthier/stronger/more agile?
By asking better questions, you’ll find you can weed through the fads that don’t give you anything but quick fixes.
Opinion #2: You’ll never find wellness in a “quick fix”
I remember when I was heading to my ten-year class reunion. Many people around me were looking for fast diets and quick fixes to look their best.
I’ve never bought into that. I could care less what people think. While there may be some merit to quick fixes, they rarely are good for you and most likely will never provide you with real results.
It’s time to put your thinking cap on, and be critical about everything you hear, see, or read. Will a “magic” pill be a cure-all? Is it possible that one solution can be the answer to all your problems?
Consistency will always win. If you can’t do something consistently to improve your health, you shouldn’t do it at all.
Opinion #3: Wellness IS NOT a competition
This gets back to building your own approach to wellness. Because nobody else’s approach will work for you.
Let’s say a guru says you HAVE TO meditate 30 minutes every morning to reduce stress. That might work for some people. And in fact, I really love my morning meditations.
But that’s because meditation is RIGHT for my life. I’ve made it a part of my morning ritual, and have done so for more than a decade.
But maybe you can’t stand to sit still. Maybe walking is more your style. And a 30-minute walk in nature gives you all you need for stress relief.
You don’t have to shout it on social media to prove you’re part of the “in” crowd. You don’t have to log your meditation hours into an app to prove you’re on the right track.
Wellness is all about finding what works for you, and gives you the best results to make you well.
That’s how you find WELLTH!
Opinion #4: Wellness doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive
I’m a bit of a biohacker when it comes to wellness. I love perusing IG and seeing what wellness experts are using and finding results with now.
Sometimes I click and find something cool, only to have my eyes fly open when I glance at the price tag. Does it really cost thousands of dollars to improve your health? Does it have to be hard-to-find or hard-to-manage to have it work?
I always laugh when I see an ad for a “latest and greatest” product.
- Makes you look decades younger.
- Takes away all your wrinkles.
- Provides a youthful glow in minutes.
- Do “this” every day for the rest of your life for amazing results.
Is it just me, or is the hype getting hype-ier all the time?
To me, wellness is doing what works. And that changes every year of my life, every season of the year.
It’s about making choices – I’m huge on the “this or that” way of living. I eat organic … unless I have to choose between, let’s say, a non-organic strawberry or a candy bar. I walk 10,000 steps a day … unless it’s icy and cold outside, in which case I’ll do a couple of online workouts and spend a little more time in self-care.
We live in a modern society. And that means doing our best with what we’re given. I don’t want to look like I’m 21 again because … Why? Been there, done that.
Right now I want to be the best ME I can be. Mind. Body. Soul.
Opinion #5: Wellness doesn’t take a lot of time
I remember vividly when a family member walked up to me and said, “it’s not fair, you’re always so healthy, you must have a great metabolism.” Of course, I smiled.
Yet inside, I was singing a different tune.
Almost thirty years ago, my dad died of a massive heart attack at 54. It changed my world forever. I’ve been on a journey toward better health ever since.
You don’t achieve optimal wellness 5 minutes at a time. You can’t pay attention to health one day a year. Even a great metabolism doesn’t ensure health. Instead, it’s a daily commitment to learn more, grow, and take control over your health.
That said, of course, you’ll mess it all up from time to time. That’s the I-hate-everything-and-need-ice-cream moments we all have as we navigate these crazy times. You mess up. But you get right back at it when the moment passes.
You CAN be as healthy as you choose to be. How MUCH time are you putting into it?
When I told myself I wanted to be 100 years old, traveling the world, and having the time of my life, I held that “me” dear to my heart. I continue to treat my body as if I’m that 100-year-old. I’m committed. I put in the time.
Opinion #6: A diagnosis isn’t the end of the world
Every day, people get diagnosed and move to a new stage of life. Some approach it with gusto and do whatever they can to put it behind them. Others feel devastated and let it bring them down.
I’m fascinated by life stories. I often read about both kinds of people, wondering where the differences lie. Of course, a lot of it starts with mindset. I’ve been a mindset junkie for years, and understand the power of the mind.
I believe our bodies are perfectly wired to move through this life healthily. A diagnosis is a segway to tell us we’re off track. Something isn’t right, and it’s time to pay attention.
Yes, you might have something that won’t ever go away. Then again, belief can change everything. Can you manage your new situation in a new way? Can you find a new approach that helps you live a fuller life?
You can’t expect to feel 25 when you’re 75. But you can be the best 75-year-old you can be. And that comes down to mindset.
Opinion #7: Internal stress matters
I’m an idea person. A go-getter. A person with five irons in the fire.
I meditate, journal, and do a short yoga session, all before I start writing at 5:30am.
I know how to manage stress! Except I recently discovered, I don’t.
Stress builds up even when you supposedly do everything right. Because it starts from within, and it builds as you hold it close to your chest. The more you hold it in, the more it comes out in other ways.
Like a pain in my hip. Or a stiff neck.
Wellth comes from getting in touch with every side of health. Physical. Mental. Emotional. Spiritual.
We’ll never “solve” or be “perfect” with it. It changes daily.
Opinion #8: Avoid labels at all costs
Ugh, have you ever felt like you need to whip out your labels when you meet someone new?
Keto, paleo, plant-based, western medicine, functional medicine, Ayurveda, gluten-free, immune-compromised …
Just saying the “lingo” starts forming some pretty significant opinions. And it can lead to a pretty rigid approach.
I found myself there when I used to tell people I was vegan. I am vegan. I don’t use animal products in my cooking.
But I have leather couches and have had them for years. I go vegetarian when I’m traveling or going out to dinner with friends – cheese is a nightmare to try and avoid in “traditional” restaurants. That’s why plant-based felt right to me as I explored more. I’ve changed a lot over the years …
I have similar stories about a lot of the “labels” I might define myself as. And that’s the point.
None of us will ever be 100 percent of one thing. There are gray areas – lots of gray areas.
If any medical professional says “my way or no way”, I choose to leave. In fact, I had a female doctor say that to me two years ago when I was searching for someone new. She laughed – laughed! – at my beliefs and said I needed to get over it and do it her way. NO THANK YOU!
I always aim to be 1 percent better today than the day before. I learn more. Try new things. Be better at serving myself what I need most. That’s my approach to wellness, and that will never change.
Opinion #9: Modern medicine has its place … but it’s not everything
Oh, have I learned a lot these past two decades. And frankly, it scares me sometimes.
For example, did you know the majority of doctors rarely take a nutrition class while going to school? I tested this theory when a close family member was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. I asked his wife: “Did they talk to you about nutrition?” She looked at me as if I’d sprouted another head. “No, why would they do that,” she responded.
Let’s face it, doctors are motivated to push pills. Pharma funds medical schools. Pharma offers medical practitioners all kinds of stuff in the “hopes” they’ll use their products. And it’s showing up in our health.
Some medical practitioners get it. Many of them are stepping away from conventional practices and doing wonderful things by going against the norm. They take their traditional education and morph it with new-age philosophies. They’re reinventing everything we’ve ever thought about medicine, and turning it into something more.
Sickness care shouldn’t exist. Yet it does.
Yes, we’re living longer. But we’re also living longer with dis-ease.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be healthy for life. That doesn’t happen on its own.
Unless you take charge of your own health, and turn it into WELLTH that will last a lifetime.
Opinion #10: Wellness should never be about just medical advice – it’s internal, baby
There has been A LOT of information circulating these past few years about who is qualified for medical advice … and who isn’t. And quite frankly, I’m a little appalled at the popular opinion that says we the people aren’t “smart” enough to make health decisions on our own.
I believe you don’t need to have massive credentials to talk about health and wellness. Give individualized advice – of course! You better have credentials to provide individualized care. But from a general stance, personal opinion can be every bit as powerful as talking with someone with “letters” behind their name.
If you are recently diagnosed with a problem, why wouldn’t you want to learn from someone who has lived with something similar for a decade? Especially if they took a path that resonates with your own beliefs.
I see a split forming in our current “healthcare” system. One belief states there’s a pill for everything – just follow the rules and be on the pill for life. The other belief is that there is always another option. Another approach. Another way to discover wellness, and a better way to live your life.
That’s what makes this time so amazing. You don’t have to listen to what one health professional says. You can research on your own. You can look for other opinions, explore different ideas, and come to your own conclusions about what is BEST for you.
Opinion #11: Wellness should be simple
I think about the family member who walked up to me and said, “it’s not fair, you must have a great metabolism” a lot. They’ve said it multiple times.
When I offer tips, I’m often met with an eye roll. “I don’t have time for that.”
I believe there are two sides to everything.
I can “pay” now or later.
I make choices every day.
Is “this” good or bad for me? While sometimes it may be unclear, we as humans generally know what to do.
Wellness should be about conscious choices. Mind, body, and spirit.
If you feel frazzled, take note. Make a conscious choice to change your path.
Make yourself a cup of tea. Sit and relax instead of “go, go, go.” Choose to make dinner instead of going through drive-thru. Take a walk instead of turning on the TV.
I believe we can all change, especially if we consciously do so 1 percent per day. Strive to do one thing better today. It adds up over time.
In closing – Wellthy Living
I think about that fateful night my husband met me at the door and told me about my dad. How much I’ve changed since then.
And none of it happened overnight.
I couldn’t go back in time and teach her. She had SO MUCH to learn.
I had a woman say, “I’m so overwhelmed. I don’t even know where to begin regarding food because I don’t know what I’m supposed to know.” She was overwhelmed with choices when she shopped at her local store.
With thousands of products vying for your attention, it’s only natural to have your brain turn off, and settle in on familiarity.
But familiarity is what got us into this mess. (And a lot of lies and manipulation from the top.) We can take it back by getting curious about health once again, and relying more on our intuition.
One change makes a difference. Because one change turns into two.
Once you learn one thing, you’ll ask a different question the next time.
I have this “puzzle philosophy” where each of us is given about 30,000 “puzzle pieces” on the day we’re born. (80 years is roughly 30,000 days ~ 30,000 “puzzle pieces”.)
You need piece #1 to connect piece #2. Eventually, #100 fits eagerly into place. On and on it goes, creating the puzzle of YOU. You wouldn’t be YOU without piece #1,526.
No two people ever have the same exact puzzle. You look at the world uniquely because of how your pieces fit together.
Your puzzle is still incomplete. The pieces are still being created.
Start asking different questions now. It really can make a difference.