Why We Need to Get Over “Wellness” and Just Embrace Being Ourselves
There’s a new “fad” in the food industry, and it’s called wellness. It’s marketed as a lifestyle that encourages natural foods and clean eating, and it promises to turn you and your body into a beautiful and healthy goddess-like figure.
There’s just one catch. Actually, there’s a few — and that’s why “wellness” doesn’t automatically make you well.
Diet vs. Lifestyle
Over the past few decades, our society has made diets the devil. We see diets as restrictive and usually non-effective, so it only makes sense that the people pushing this wellness eating plan would stay away from calling it a diet. The wellness advocates say that eating clean is a lifestyle, not a diet.
Except it still is a diet.
It’s still a super restrictive and sometimes harmful eating plan that suggests that if you aren’t on it, you’re wrong. The people behind wellness eating suggest that you cut out entire food groups. They want you to invest more of your money into the food industry by paying for more expensive substitutes for food that is “bad for you” and “junk” and “fat.” That all-natural and organic coconut oil that’s more expensive that 50% of the rest of my groceries isn’t looking so great any more.
It is a diet, folks — and just because they slap the word “well” onto it doesn’t make it okay.
Ruby Tandoh said it best: “when we advocate … a diet so restrictive, moralizing and inflexible, and market that diet to young women, and then dress it up as self-care: just how responsible is that?”
They Don’t Have Any Answers
Following in the pattern of a lot of diets, the “wellness lifestyle” suggests a lot of diet changes, but it doesn’t really tell you why you should be making them.
They say “cut out gluten” and give you a list of expensive alternatives and recipes for “healthy” eating, but they never tell you why you should say goodbye to gluten. The most you’ll see on the subject is suggestions that it leads to health problems. The truth is that there’s no hard evidence or scientific studies to back it up.
What they won’t tell you is that only people with celiac disease or doctor diagnosed gluten sensitivity should steer clear of gluten. Everybody else that does it is actually depriving their body of a food group and nutrients that their body needs — and it’s the same for every other food they want you to stop eating.
Looks vs. How You Feel
The wellness diet suggests that by eating clean, you’ll get thinner, and you’ll feel more energized and happier. It’s the perfect promise. Thin doesn’t always equal healthy. An individual who some may deem as “overweight” could be incredibly fit and active. Using wellness to become a certain body size isn’t just unnatural but unhealthy, both physically and mentally.
You should be listening to your body and what’s right for you. When your body is craving chocolate, there’s a reason for that. Eating the food you enjoy actually makes you happier by triggering “happy hormones”. I’m not saying eat McDonalds every day but we need to relax a bit more about what we’re consuming.
And it’s not just food, either. The wellness diet suggests cutting out alcohol, soda and other beverages. With 3,418 breweries in the US and all these beverages surrounding us, though, why should we limit ourselves? Enjoying life should be your first priority. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time, and you can do it without being unhealthy.
It’s more important to be focusing on how you feel — not how much you weigh. You can still be a healthier and happier person without subscribing to the wellness lifestyle and restricting the food you eat every day. Listen to your body, and that is when you will be truly well.