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The Anti-"Wellness" Movement

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

The newest trend to the wellness industry seems to be the anti-wellness movement. This is right in line with the fact that we are the most distrusting and cynical generation that has ever walked the planet. And for good reason. The global wellness industry alone is valued around $3.7 trillion. And I'd venture to guess that a lot of it is only half truth.

A recent article published in The New York Times entitled Smash The Wellness Industry author Jessica Knoll states, "The diet industry is a virus and too many smart women are catching it." JSTOR Daily published a similar article in 2017 entitled The Fall Promises of Wellness Culture discussing the history of wellness as an industry. While I agree with both authors that the diet industry promises false hopes of a better life, both authors are poking holes at the wellness industry without offering practical advise for those who ant to improve their health, which really means all of us.

We are a nation of fat, sick and over-medicated. So what if some (or many) 20-30 somethings swing the pendulum a little too far? How about we shift the focus to helping the millions of people who have no idea what self care even means?

Industry is a virus, and diets are not immune. “Wellness” is sold like everything else and while there will be imposters in any market, striving to be healthy is actually HEALTHY. Whether it's for you, for your family, or for the planet.

What is NOT healthy is allowing our drive towards health (whether it be for longevity or aesthetic reasons only) be all consuming and the only thing we think or talk about. A singular focus is appropriate at times, like when you're studying for an exam, performing an operation, or having sex (I said strive for singular focus, not is) but a singular focus at all times is not a balanced life.

It's more admirable to strive for disease prevention than to strive to simply look better naked, but that too is a social construct. We have to first realize there is an implication of morality around our food choices. Why do we believe that the more pure someone eats the more moral they are? History is one reason, and the diet industry is the other.

This bigger issue points to the current wellness ideal that we have to change or be better to be accepted, loved, or worthy. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wellness but buying the idea that you need to change means that virus has hooked you and the more proactive we are to protect ourselves from THAT, the better off we will be. It's not about striving to be a better version of yourself, it's striving for some else's ideal that's the issue. As they say, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

Love & light ~Audra

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