Everything about the way “healthy lifestyles” are promoted in our culture makes me 🤮

Unpopular opinion: Everything about the way “healthy lifestyles” are promoted in our culture makes me 🤮

Here you have it folks, the skinny instagram model type mixing expensive shakes in workout clothes - the epitome of what we're taught "healthy living" looks like 👇👇 🙄🤦‍♀️ "Healthy living” has just become a rebranded version of diet culture. It’s the same focus on looks - pretty pictures of bodies and food and gyms and yoga at sunset and step counts and calories burned, and water jugs. The same rules, restrictions, messages of suffering, work, willpower and motivation. The same air of superiority around one way to eat or live and demonization of everything else. Drink 8 glasses of water. Eat healthy. 10,000 steps. Sleep 8 hours. Move your body. Motivation. Willpower. Discipline. Hard work. I mean I get it. I fell prey to that crap for a long time myself. Now though I just feel like shouting... 👇👇 Admit it, you read that meme in a British accent, didn't you? Yeah, me too. 😂 Everyone talks about how hard it is to do this healthy living thing - how we know what we “should be” doing but it’s just sooo hard to do it. It’s become totally normalized that prioritizing our health is supposed to be hard and something we always have to be “working hard” at. Noooooo. No. No. No. No. I’m curious - how many hours of your day do you spend ragging on yourself for all the things you “should be doing” but aren’t? How many times have you “started again Monday” because you can’t force yourself to do all those things so you end up doing none of them? Exactly. That messaging is not helping our population actually live healthier in any real measurable way. All it's going is creating a population that lives stuck between being either "on track" or "off track" their whole lives. Not. At. All. Healthy. Physically or mentally. And do you know WHY? Why it’s just so hard to do and why everyone struggles so hard to “make themselves” do all the things they think they "should be" doing? Because of all that messaging. Because we’ve been taught that prioritizing our health means actively forcing ourselves to ignore what we want and need - that it means finding the “motivation” to start working at checking off that ridiculous to-do list of all the things everyone else tells us we need. Because in the biggest lie of all - we’ve been taught that our natural instincts are to “be bad” and so to be healthy we have to not only resist all our natural instincts, but actively “find the motivation” to fight against them - to “be good” & “stay on track”. There’s even a feeling of superiority built right in when we are “being good”. We end up either feeling good or bad about ourselves depending upon whether or not we’re “on track”. It’s so toxic. I’m not saying sleeping more, eating “well” and moving more are toxic behaviors. I’m saying the messages and the culture that promotes them are toxic because it keeps people stuck in that unhealthy battle between either fighting to be “good” and “stay on track” or being “off track” and making choices that make them feel like garbage. Here’s where the biggest lie of all has steered us in such a toxic direction - the idea that our natural compulsion is to “be bad” and eat all that bad stuff is full on bullshit. Pardon the language. We’re not born into bodies that naturally want to eat in ways that make them feel like garbage. We're not even born into bodies that are "too lazy to exercise". I call bullshit on all that too. Our bodies want to move and feel good. We’re born into bodies that know how to eat and naturally want to move. We’re born into bodies that want to feel good and are actively working to try to keep us healthy 24/7 for our entire lives. We've just been so busy hating and ignoring them that we can't even hear them anymore. As we grow up, we learn patterns of thinking and behaving from those around us, and our own life experiences teach us coping strategies that aren't always in our best interest long term. These learned behaviors get programmed into our brains and end up driving our choices - rather than the natural instincts we were born with. It’s not your natural instinct to chow down on a whole bag of potato chips just because they’re there. Nor is it your natural instinct to ignore your body’s cry for some movement. Those are learned behaviors. By the time we get to adulthood, the way we eat, think and live just become learned patterns of behavior - that can be changed when you stop trying to follow other people's rules and start understanding how you got where you are. When you spend your life stuck in that “on track” versus “off track” cycle you’re completely disconnected from yourself, your body and what you actually want and need. The only two things that are driving you, when you live in that place are either: 1) learned patterns of thoughts & behaviors from old programming (when you’re “off track”) OR 2) other people’s rules about what you think you should be doing (when you’re “on track”) Neither have anything to do with you - with what you, at your core, actually need or want. That’s why everyone is struggling so much! We're not put here to live by other people’s rules for our bodies. We were put here to just live - as the most authentic expression of who we uniquely are. Prioritizing your health shouldn’t be work. It shouldn’t make life harder, it should make life easier - I mean, that’s the whole point isn’t it?! And it has nothing to do with how many steps you take or whether you drink 6 or 8 glasses of water today. Prioritizing your health SHOULD mean knowing, and being deeply connected to, yourself and your body. It should mean learning to understand the messages your body and your emotions are sending so you know what you need, when you need it. It should mean working on loving and trusting yourself first so you naturally want to make choices for yourself and your life from that place - not from old programming or other people’s rules and restrictions or some societal notion of what “being healthy” looks like on the outside. If you want some help learning how to do that, don’t miss the free micro-course I’m hosting this month. Learn how to rewire old programming that’s not serving you, tune out all the “should be doing” thoughts and reconnect with what you need (mentally, emotionally and physically) to feel your best. THAT is healthy living at its finest.

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NOTE: While counselors or therapists often use CBT to deal with mental illness or a patient’s mental/emotional conditions and/or processing trauma, MBCT & cognitive eating does not. My roll as a coach, in its most simple form, is to encourage, coach and/or act as a facilitator of a client’s self-reflection, decision making, planning for the future, and creating life changes. As an MBCT & cognitive eating coach, I am obligated to refer clients in need of mental or physical health therapy to an appropriate licensed professional.  

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