Why The Norm Is To Be Sick, Overweight, And/Or Unhappy
I’ve spent a lot of time asking, “If being healthy is supposed to feel good, why is the norm in our society to be sick, overweight, and/or unhappy?”. I’ve talked about the 3 Wellness Levels, but there's more to the story. Let's dive deeper into the real WHY…
When you think of things you should do to be more healthy, what comes to mind?
How does your body react? Is there a sense of “woohoo, I can’t wait to get started!” or a feeling of impending doom as if a vacation is about to end?
If you’re like most people, it’s probably more of the end-of-vacation-back-to-work vibe. Less fun, freedom, and ease. More doing what you “should” be doing instead of what you want to be.
Now take a moment to imagine what it would be like if you achieved all of your health goals (mental and physical). Go ahead and close your eyes for a moment and notice how things are different. How does it feel?
My guess is that you feel better, right? You probably have more energy. You feel strong, confident, and happy. There’s probably a sense of lightness and ease and less stress.
Notice the difference between how you imagine being healthy will feel (energizing, easier, lighter) compared to how you think it will feel getting there (quite the opposite).
This is where our society has got it all wrong when it comes to the narrative and approach around health.
If being truly healthy means feeling good - inside and out, then the approach to achieve that should feel good, too. When you are making healthy changes, each step of the way should help you feel more and more of the energy, ease, confidence, and lightness you want. It should give you more motivation for the next step.
If your approach feels like you always have to be on your best behavior, drains your energy, and is motivated by self-judgment, then even if you achieve an external goal like a number on the scale it’s going to be disappointing and temporary. It won’t FEEL like you imagined. You won’t get what you really want (it will be Level 2 instead of Level 3).
The normal approach in our society is the opposite of healthy, which is why the norm is to be sick, overweight, and/or unhappy.
Here are some of the reasons why the norm doesn’t set you up for success:
1. The diet and fitness industry have hijacked the narrative around health so that being healthy is intertwined with calories, the number on the scale, willpower, discipline, and “being good”.
Calories are a unit of energy and the focus and messaging is to create a deficit. The message is literally about draining your energy - that’s exhausting.
2. We’ve been conditioned to see unhealthy options as more desirable than healthy options.
Example: Cake is for celebrating, pizza is for parties, alcohol is for de-stressing at the end of a long day, broccoli is what you have to eat in order to “earn” dessert.
3. Even when you’re really committed to getting healthy and you put in the time to do research, there’s a good chance the recommendations aren’t going to be in your best interest.
Sadly, the U.S. Dietary guidelines, seemingly trustworthy research that claim no conflicts of interest, and even recommendations from some health and nutrition experts are largely influenced by Big Food and Pharma companies who are more concerned about their bottom line than your well-being. The more I research and go down this rabbit hole, the more infuriated and disheartened I am that this is the reality.
4. The healthcare system is completely siloed so that no one is looking at how everything is connected or looking for the root underlying cause.
This includes stress and mental health which tends to get brushed under the rug.
5. MDs have their hands tied.
MDs aren’t taught about nutrition in medical school despite nutrition having a major impact on mental and physical health, and appointment times are so short that they don’t have time to do anything other than write a prescription or to give vague “eat better” advice.
6. Most Americans Aren't Eating Real Food
The majority of food Americans eat is ultra-processed (not real) which confuses their bodies and brains and leads them to feel out of control creating a vicious cycle of blaming themselves, not trusting their bodies, and turning to food to temporarily feel better from a dopamine hit.
7. The Norm Is To Be In Survival Mode And To Sacrifice Basic Necessities
We live in a stressed out culture that treats rest like a luxury to be earned instead of the basic necessity that it is. Simple things that our bodies need to function like real food, water, and sunlight tend to be sacrificed because we're "too busy".
These are just a small sample of why it’s very understandable that the norm is to be sick, overweight, and/or unhappy. When you start to look at all the factors that make it really hard to be truly healthy, it’s easy to think “why even try?” and that things will never change.
Things most definitely can change.
Here’s the good news: your body wants to keep you healthy, safe, and protected. The more you tune out the contradictory, confusing recommendations and tune into what your own body is telling you and embrace your inner researcher, the more clarity you will have on what your unique body, mind, and heart need to thrive.
There are so many factors that impact the way you feel physically and mentally, but after years of experience, diving into the research, trial and error, and observations with myself and my clients, I’ve realized it can all be boiled down to 3 L’s and the 3 B’s - the Life Boost (LB) approach.
The Life Boost approach helps you to connect with your own unique body, mind, and heart to create a sustainable lifestyle where healthy looks natural - because it is.
When you prioritize the 3 L’s and balance the 3 B’s, Wellness Level 3 “The Life Boost” is inevitable.
The 3 Life Boost L’s you need to prioritize are:
The 3 Life Boost B's you need to balance are:
- Belly (gut health)
- Blood Sugar
- Brain (mindset, stress, brain health, happiness)