Note: I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous to post something. I want to make clear before sharing this that this is not coming from a place of judgment. I am also acknowledging my own privilege and contribution to the problem. My goal is to encourage you to use your own critical thinking skills when figuring out what is right for you NOT to judge anyone else’s choices. Please read with an open mind.
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I’m not going to pretend I don’t love my job. I do. I love it A LOT. I get to spend my days exploring the health and wellness world, trying things out for myself and sharing those experiences with you. I get to interview “mavens” and shakers in the wellness space about their journeys on the podcast and this space has given me countless opportunities that I never take for granted. I definitely have days where I don’t want to work or feel overwhelmed by what’s on my plate, but never have I wanted to do anything else. Starting this blog completely transformed my life and my career.
But as this space has grown and my hobby became my career, I’ve increasingly become aware of the responsibility that comes with this platform. I’ve always hated the term “influencer” but the truth is that when you share your life online you inherently will influence those around you. That community could be big or small, but no matter what the size is there is great responsibility in ensuring that what you share is truthful and is done with awareness of your audience.
I’m not here to reprimand or throw shade at those who don’t play by those rules. The reality is that truth looks so different on everyone so even though I personally disagree with a lot of things I see shared within the health and wellness space (namely diet and fitspo culture), it’s not my job to tell them they are wrong…because right and wrong is an ever-moving target.
What I am here to do is send a message to you guys. My community. My people. I want to talk to you about the health and wellness space and what I fear is becoming a classified, privilege-based system. I’m also here to admit that I am a part of the problem, but hopefully my own admission can help you see where you’ve unintentionally passed judgement or played a role in the fracturing of the wellness space.
First, health is wealth. There is no arguing that. If you feel great, you are able to wake up everyday and do the things you need and want to do. Maybe that’s going to work, or taking care of your kids or showing up at a yoga class. If you’re feeling sick, dealing with chronic illness, addiction or pain, you cannot do these things. Or perhaps you can, but not without sacrifice. Health is never something to be taken for granted and absolutely should be one of our top priorities in life.
However, health should not mean wealth. I mean this in two ways. First, the healthcare system in the US is so messed up. As a born and raised Canadian I see it so clearly. That’s not to say the Canadian system is perfect (it’s not), but the amount you must pay for access to healthcare in this country is ABSURD. I’m lucky to be able to afford it and I 100% recognize this privilege, but it’s also absolutely crazy to me that that you must have money to get access to your basic health needs. No one should ever have to decide between their health and paying for something else. That being said, please make sure you’re covered. Health is not predictable so don’t roll the dice on it.
But what I’m really here to talk about is how money plays into our decisions when it comes to wellness. I think so many of us take for granted (myself included) what it means to pay for a yoga class or buy vegetables, let alone every new superfood powder that comes out or life-changing supplement.
Yes, I’m very much a part of the problem and I’m not going to pretend I don’t love my adaptogenic elixirs and cute yoga pants. I personally use a lot of these things in my life, and yes, professionally it is my job to promote them. By now you know I don’t promote anything I don’t love, but I also want to make it very clear that I do NOT think any of these things are essential.
You can do yoga with just your body on the floor of your bedroom. You can eat cereal instead of a green smoothie for breakfast. You can drink your coffee without MCT oil/mushrooms/god-knows-what. You can do all these things and still be healthy. They are all perks but don’t confuse them with essentials.
I don’t share every workout I do or product I’m trying out for this very reason. I have a platform and am deeply aware that my decisions influence yours. Whether you have half a million readers, or two this rule still applies. Your decisions influence those around you. It’s not that I’m not being truthful, it’s just that I don’t ever want to make anyone feel badly because they can’t afford the same things that I have access to.
I want YOU to use your critical thinking skills when you see someone else sharing their shamanic healing protocol or daily cryotherapy sessions. I’m not saying any of these things are bad, you just do not need these things to be healthy. You are absolutely welcome to experiment. In fact, I encourage it! But not if it’s going to drain your bank account or take precious time away from doing other things you love or need to do.
If you get 8 hours of sleep, you are enough. If you go for a walk, you are enough. If you get bee-venom injected into your veins daily, you are enough. Wherever you are at, you are enough.
Remember that everyone is on their own journey so please don’t pass judgement on where other people are at or what they have access to, whether it be a lot of access or very little. And don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.
Sleep, breathe, drink water, eat your veggies and show compassion to yourself and others. Oh and free healthcare…but let’s save that talk for another day!
Thoughts??? I know this one was a heavy one…
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MarkJune 6, 2020 at 4:17 pm
Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.
ComfortfindsApril 24, 2020 at 6:34 am
Thanks for sharing very useful information with us. Keep it up.
AncientHerbsJune 12, 2019 at 4:12 am
Thank you so much for sharing. It’s such a significant issue, that we should all examine. Wellbeing is never intended to make individuals feel awful or make some sort of chain of command. Wellbeing depends on what you have before you and access to and that ought to never be contrasted and any other individual.
Know Your FoodMay 1, 2019 at 3:25 am
BNP BDDecember 24, 2018 at 1:40 pm
Jade RobertsSeptember 21, 2018 at 2:36 am
I think it’s easy for people to become overwhelmed with what they should and should not do. Sticking to the basics of eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veggies, drinking plenty of water and getting some exercise is a good start. And it doesn’t have to be that expensive!
Dr Loden RogersMay 27, 2018 at 4:30 am
This is a great post.thanks for sharing.thanks for sharing such great article.
Dr Loden RogersMay 27, 2018 at 4:28 am
I couldn’t agree more! Thank you SO much for posting this!! My family and I have all we need, but we don’t have a whole lot a room for additional expenses…say yoga. We try and drink water and eat our vegetables, but the price of healthy eating and living is so expensive. You could spend far less on a cart full of candy, chips, and cereal than a cart full of fruits, veggies, and essential dairy. But it’s nice to know that there are people out there who won’t judge for that. Thank you so much for posting this!! thanks for sharing such interesting post.
Amber @ Bloom Nutrition TherapyMay 15, 2018 at 3:25 pm
Thank you for this!
Amber @ Bloom Nutrition TherapyMay 15, 2018 at 3:24 pm
I think this is perfect! I live in Southeastern, Ky, and it seems for most everyone here, life is 20+ years behind the rest of the country. We don’t have grocery curbside pickup here, let alone grocery delivery (what I would give!!). We are fortunate to have one gym that doesn’t even have a pool. Our community has made an effort to create some outdoor spaces for activity/enjoyment, but most everyone has to drive to get there (and not everyone can afford a car). Many of the areas in Southeastern, Ky could even be considered Food Deserts because families have little to no access or way to get the food they need for the week because they live so far out in the country.
I love that you have brought light to this important issue. I also think of myself as priviledged considering where I have grown up and where I live. However, even I, look at life in the blogosphere or Instagram and can only imagine what it might be like to be able to walk outside my door and have access to so many perks. Instead, I walk outside my door and am faced with the reality that I can’t even enjoy a walk down the street because it’s not really that safe for a woman to be wandering about in dissolute areas.
Davida @ The Healthy MavenMay 20, 2018 at 4:39 pm
Thank you so much for sharing, Amber. It’s such an important issue that we must all be discussing. Health is never meant to make people feel badly or create some kind of hierarchy. Health is based on what you have in front of you and access to and that should never be compared with anyone else. Lots of love <3