I’m worried. I’m worried that so many people in today’s society have lost their ability to listen to their own thoughts, their own common sense, or possibly to care enough to search beyond what “they get told” by so many when it comes to health, wellness, or food choices, that believing in what others are feeding us has become our first response.
I get it – we find a product, we love it, it supports us, our lifestyle or our health in one way or another, and then all of a sudden – BANG – anything that company, or person tries to tell us we need (or don’t need) in our life becomes the one and only truth.
Working in the field of wellness, you can imagine how many new products, diet pills, supplements, or wellness tactics I see, hear of, or get asked to promote in my practice. On top of this, I see so many people both in my practice or my circle who have bought into these products to the point where they are no longer feeding their bodies with nourishing whole foods because a pill, supplement or shake can “give them what they need”. Or on a more dangerous note, we have started cutting out essential foods and nutrients because a documentary, website, or personal opinion of someone, not based in science and research, used persuasive tactics and psychology to make us believe we shouldn’t be eating said food. At what point have you begun drinking the juice that the source is (biasedly) feeding you (no pun intended), and stopped listening to reason, to common sense, what your grandmother taught you, or plain and simple, making stupid decisions when it comes to food?
I’m not saying to not listen to what others have to say. Trust me, we all need to be a little more open minded on many topics of the world. But possibly digging a bit deeper, reflecting, or if something doesn’t resonate with you, doing your research before jumping on the band wagon, would be a good idea. Especially if it comes to spending your money on something that you’re just not sure about, like a product, supplement, weight loss program, or even food products!
Food is food. There are allergies and I will respect that. There are ways and lifestyles people have chosen to adapt to because the nutrients from those foods make them feel their best. But at what point did we get to a place where people feel it so necessary to purchase packaged powdered vegetables or a chewable tablet, and think that mixing it with water or spending 2 minutes to chew it constitutes a meal? Truthfully, I am concerned. There is so much hate around “food” this day in age, and so much buy-in to the companies who, believe it or not, do not have your best health’s interest in mind unless if it fills their bank account. With that they feed biased, highly marketed information to persuade you that through all of your common sense knowledge around what your grandmother taught you, their method, product, etc is what you need.
That’s society dictating to us what we should and should not do, what we should and should not eat, and how we should and should not feel. Listen to yourself. I know that’s hard in a world full of “you should do this”, “I’ve been taking this product for 3 days and have lost 5 pounds”, “it makes me feel lighter”, “I can fit into my skinny jeans again”, “that procedure is toxic”, “oh you feed that to your child?”. Sure we all want to feel better, but only you can do that for yourself by acknowledging where you are currently at and what you want to achieve.
And I’m sorry, but if you have children and are sharing this type of nonsense dieting/you-can’t-eat-that/you-should-watch-your-weight, verbiage around food, or habits to them, please follow closely and have a read here, because if you think they don’t listen, or internalize what you say or do, they may be, and it may be affecting them in a greater way.
I obviously want to leave you with peace of mind, and things you can do to support your health in a positive way. Here are some “red flags” to look for when pursuing a new product, item, or lifestyle change (as a short list)?
- One-sided information (all of the pros of the product) followed by a “purchase here” tab – that expires in 5 hours on the “good deal”
- The requirement to purchase from the company monthly
- For weight loss programs – promises of big weight loss amounts (more than 4 pounds per week)
- A company that wants you to sell all of their products solely and entirely, indicating their product is all you need, rather than teaching you HOW to live and lead a healthy lifestyle
- The removal of certain foods/nutrients that are currently in your diet plan, going extended periods of time without food, or includes major calorie (energy) restrictions
- Questioning beliefs you’ve known flat out to be TRUE for years
- Information or research “funded” by a specific company by the same company
What can you do?
- Ask Questions!!! Don’t be scared to ask around – both to the people who use the product, or used to use the product
- Do your own research. Who sits on the board of directors? When did the product launch?
- If sitting down with someone, recognize whether they have YOUR best health’s interest in mind, or their own. If they are trying to push a certain way of living, or a product, and not listening to you, seek the support from another professional
- Ask yourself if you can sustain a certain diet/lifestyle change for the rest of your life (especially if it includes dietary exclusions)
Information is coming at us from all angles today. It is overwhelming, bombarding, and can honestly make us feel inferior to what we know, if it is delivered in a way that makes us feel powerless. Sit and think about new information that comes your way, discuss it with others, and do your homework before jumping on or into something new, only proceeding if it will truly improve your health and your life for the better.