Did my passion for health and wellness made me sick? This question came to my mind the other day when I listened to The Balanced Blonde/Soul on Fire Podcast (you should know by now that I’m a real podcast junkie 😁). The host Jordan Younger talked about how we have more access to health treatments than ever before but still don’t seem to get healthier.
Total a-ha moment right there and something that has been in the back of my head for some time now.
If you’ve been following me, you know I’m a total health nut. I’ve always been this way, even as a little kid. My mom told me recently that I wouldn’t eat any store-bought baby food as a child, so she had to make homemade pulp from real veggies. I think this says it all 😉.
From health nut to fitness addict
But somewhere along the way and with the emergence of wellness blogs and social media, I became hyper aware of what I put into my body and my fitness routine. My once health love for exercise and clean food had turned into an obsession.
At one point, I became so intimitated by all the new information constantly flooding my mind that I felt paralyzed. Paralyzed to eat or drink anything anymore other than water, out of fear of gaining weight or harming my body.
No matter what blog I read or which podcast I listened to, there was a new wellness trend or biohacking tip being advertised. Always supported by people who had changed their lives adhering to this concept.
I was so eager to get rid of my digestive issues (constant bloating and pain in my gut) that I was willing to try everything under the moon.
First, I thought I had to eat a cleaner diet, cutting out all the ‘inflammatory foods’ such as gluten and dairy. Then, I thought I had to get my hormones back in balance by cutting out everything that would have a negative impact on them (bye, bye beloved coffee). The list goes on and on. Suddenly, nothing seemed to sit well with my gut anymore.
I just couldn’t wrap my head around it until one day it finally dawned on me! The fact that I would listen to every wellness podcast out there and read every health hack blog post I could get my hands on, had messed with my nervous system and the way I perceived food and exercise.
When nothing is healthy enough anymore
It was not about the sugar anymore but suddenly also nuts and nut butters became a bad rep (hard to obtain in nature and therefore not to be eaten on a regular basis), coconut oil (formerly the holy grail of superfoods) suddenly became the worst thing you could put in your body, and don’t even get me started on soy products!
In the end, I was so confused that I didn’t know what to eat anymore without running the risk of ending up horribly sick, messing up my hormones or not being able to lose weight (which is a whole other story).
Looking at all the wellness influencers, bloggers, and ‘experts’ in this field, I thought: They must be sooo healthy! At second glance I realized: Not so much!
Ever thought about why all these wellness influencers and bloggers are suffering from at least one form of autoimmune disease or report anxiety? Let alone the fact how much these cronic illnesses have increased in the last few years.
Coincidence? I don’t think so! It’s the result of constantly stressing about how to become the healthiest version of yourself.
Think about it. Have you ever seen a strict vegan yogi who stays away from alcohol and coffee looking truly healthy? I haven’t! Most of them lack some serious vibrancy. They look overly skinny and haggard. Not exactly what I would understand under a healthy appearance.
How comes, if they live the healthiest lifestyle, according to popular belief and (paid?!) scientific back up? Well, I’ll tell you why! Because they are not happy (and mostly mentally disordered). I worked in the yoga scene for a couple of years and oh, boy, it’s a shit show!
Healthy is what makes you happy
So what is healthy? First of all, no one knows but you! But I can tell you from my experience and falling for a lot of wellness myths and belief systems that healthy is what makes you happy!
Yes, you read that right! Happiness is the only garant for health! If happiness means enjoying 5 cups of coffee a day because you just love the taste, then this is healthy. If happiness means running every day of the week because you love the way it makes you feel, then this is healthy. If happiness means eating a vegetarian diet because you just don’t like the taste of meat, then this is healthy.
Healthy is what makes you feel good. The less you think about how this or that could negatively impact you, the healthier you will be.
A general rule exists nevertheless: processed food should be consumed occasionally and not make up the biggest part of your diet. The same applies to exercise. Moving your body as much as possible should be a vital part in your life. This can be anything from taking a lunch break walk around the block, riding your bicycle to and from work, doing a tought HIIT workout, or attending a soothing yoga class.
As long as you keep these two things in mind, you build a strong foundation for a healthy and happy life!
What are your experiences with wellness trends? Let’s chat in the comments below or DM me on Insta @madeleinestanev Also make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I upload new workout videos every Friday and Saturday!
Stay fit & fabulous!