How I Really Feel About Health
I've learned over the past five years that being "healthy" is relative. The health and wellness industry is worth about 8 billion dollars, and people still don't know how to eat or exercise. It's confusing. I know I have tried every diet out there, and when you are looking for a better way to live and there are thousands of trends out there that you could follow, it can be overwhelming and discouraging. Along with the extensive diet and exercise options we can choose from, there's also the topic of social media. I posted an article on my Facebook page yesterday written by Jennifer Pastiloff on how we need to stop comparing ourselves and what it really does to us. This article was posted on one of my favorite sites, Mantra Magazine Yoga & Health; I've attached the link below. What she stresses in the article is that what we see in social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc) is not everything. "Comparing ourselves is dangerous business. Especially when we do it online or with the media. Almost everything we see on the Internet is a careful construct."
I know as a health coach it's easy for me to see other wellness advocates who are gung-ho about being gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, etc, and I think to myself, "wow, should I be eating like that in order to be a successful health coach?" And then I remind myself.... NO. I've been there before and guess what? It doesn't work for me! I have spent years trying to figure this out. You don't have to do what "they" are doing to be healthy. Find out what works for YOU. When I got my very first client one of the things he said to me in our first session was, "I'm worried about changing my lifestyle because I don't want to give up coffee." I looked at him and I said, "When did I say you had to give up coffee?"
In the most serious way I could I told him that if he wakes up every morning and has a ritual that makes him happy and prepares him for the day, to please not mess with that. In my mind that is a meditation. Also, I am in a relationship with a man who owns a specialty coffee roasting company and I can tell you that you do not need to add anything and it is certainly not the same as Folgers. 8oz is just plenty. But this is my point. There are so many people saying to be healthy you have to give up coffee, sugar, alcohol, dairy, gluten, legumes, red meat, etc. But what I believe has been inspired by my favorite, Michael Pollen. His mantra is "eat food, not too much, mostly plants." HALLELUJAH! Finally something that makes sense. This is exactly how I eat. I believe that minimal indulging every once in a while is good for the soul, that giving yourself permission to eat wholesome foods will bring you joy, and that eating clean makes your body happy.
I need to add something. For those of you that are gluten-free, dairy-free, caffeine free, and vegan.... that's friggin' awesome! Love that you have found something that works for you and lights you up. It's just not for everybody. Like all things in this world, one size does NOT fit all. So for all of you in the world that are searching for the lifestyle that fits who you are at your core, keep searching, stop comparing yourself to "them," and trust in your path. You'll figure it out as long as you stop looking at them and start listening to you.