Going into the new year, I hear the same resolutions being repeated: lose weight, exercise more, eat less carbs, eats less fat, eat less sugar, have self-control, stay motivated, blah, blah, blah.
If this was all there was to health, to feeling good about one’s body, or to happiness, you’d think that we’d find a way to make this happen. The problem is that this focus on restricted eating, keeping your appetite in check, and doing extreme forms of exercise jeopardizes your health, promotes negative body image, and sure isn’t making you happy.
A lot of what we are told or recommended by books, magazines, ads, and even public health initiatives is supposed to be “One Size Fits All”. According to these sources, we would all be better if we lost weight, did 1 hour of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week, ate a diet consisting of 12 ounces of this and 3 servings of that, and the list goes on. What do you think? Do we all thrive on the same prescription? If not, is the problem not the prescription but rather the noncompliant patients?
I think what’s needed is a “One Size Fits ONE” approach to wellness. We are all different people with unique genes, cultures, families, jobs, food preferences, body structures, energy levels… So, why do we act as if we’re all the same just because we’re all human?
Instead of arguing about all the ways of eating–Paleo, raw, vegetarian, vegan, Mediterranean, and the other endless options–I think we should start paying attention to what we like, how we feel, and what our body seems to thrive on. The same goes for exercise. Some people swear by spinning, others run, swim, kickbox, dance, walk, garden, hike, do Martial Arts, and this list also goes on. When the options are plentiful for food, drink, and exercise, why not feel curious and excited about what would make you and your body feel good? How does it feel to eat no carbs? How about low fat? Or lots of fat? Or few vegetables? Or 3 pieces of fruit a day? How does it feel to go for a 30 minute jog? Or take a pilates class? Or walk your dog? Or take a circuit training class?
Everyone’s answer will vary depending on them. Sure, there are some health recommendations that seem like they would benefit most people. What I am asking is for you to test the advice and see if it promotes your personal wellness and wellbeing.