Everywhere we turn these days we see or hear information about health. The information may be about what not to do because it’s “bad” for our health or what to do because it’s “good” for our health. Everyone seems to have an opinion whether they are doctors, health experts, or simply just health enthusiasts.
It’s great that there is so much awareness around health and that people are eager to learn more so they can support their health and wellbeing. The public’s increasing interest in health and the rise of health information is a seemingly positive thing, but I find that it’s a double-edged sword.
This awareness around health can easily become hyper-awareness. What is most worrisome to me is the negative language being used to talk about health and wellness. Here are some examples:
- Good Food versus Bad Food
- Clean Food versus Toxic Food
- Fattening or Slimming
- “I have been good this week”
- “I had a bad week but will be good again Monday”
Health and nutrition information is spoken about in very black and white terms. I see more and more guilt, shame, and anxiety around food and exercise choices. When we factor in thoughts, pleasure, and stress around these choices, we can start to see a whole new perspective.
A delicious chocolate bar eaten slowly and with pleasure could be more beneficial than eating extra vegetables because of wanting to eat “clean”.
A person who is exhausted after a long day and just feels like curling up in their pj’s for the night instead of going to the gym should not feel guilty. It is quite likely that a relaxed evening is exactly what the body needs to replenish.
I believe in education around health that comes from a place of empowering people to be able to tune into their unique needs. I also believe in supporting choices that come from a place of wanting to nourish our precious bodies and wanting to feel good, instead of a place of not feeling good enough and wanting to punish oneself.
There is no such thing as a “perfect diet” or a “perfect exercise routine”. Flexibility, kindness, and enjoyment are key ingredients I believe support you relaxing into health.
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