Dieting is expensive.
The wellness industry, which in my opinion is just about different ways of dieting, is expensive.
Gym memberships and exercise classes are expensive.
Eating conventionally ‘healthy’ foods is expensive.
And for the most part, it’s all bull.
The multi billion dollar diet industry goes to great lengths to convince the general public that losing weight and eating ‘x’ foods are required for good health. The wellness industry does the same, but from a ‘lifestyle’ approach that makes it seem more legitimate than it is and, on top of the list of expensive foods that will break the bank, it adds in a slew of powders and potions that are also absolutely necessary for you to live disease and problem free forever and ever and ever.
Oh, and you also have to have a gym membership or membership to a specific type of workout class to keep your body in tip top shape or you’re basically just asking to die at 35.
What this false information around food, weight and exercise does is give those who can’t afford such ridiculously expensive lifestyles the impression that health and wellness is unattainable for them. If they want it badly enough, they’ll go in to a lot debt trying to keep up, or they’ll just feel miserable and guilty for not being able to. It gives the impression that you have to have a lot of money to be happy and healthy and this simply isn’t true.
It also forces people who do have the means to participate in diet and wellness culture to spend an unnecessary amount of their hard earned money on making those industries richer… paradoxically, often at the expense of their health.
For those of us with a limit on how much money we can afford to spend on extra curriculars, donations, or just simple, small things that bring joy in to our lives (hiii, most people), it’s near impossible to also buy the xyz powders and grassfed organic steak, grassfed butter, organic vegetables, the 5 yoga classes a week, etc. But we feel we have to or we’re riddled with intense guilt for not taking care of ourselves.
This elitist view of wellness continues to place far more value on the food we eat and type of exercise we do than they deserve. Yes, food and movement are necessary for physical well being but it’s how you view what you’re eating that matters and how you’re feeling about your movement that matters.
Getting enough food so that your body has energy is crucial. Whether that comes from grassfed steak or an entire plate of cheesy potatoes (tbh your body and wallet would probably be better off with the potatoes because cheap carbs).
Moving your body so that it an get blood flowing is great, whether that comes from a yoga class or just a walk around your neighborhood. Whatever works for you. There doesn’t have to be a price tag and it doesn’t have to look any other way than what feels good for you.
Wellness shouldn’t be stressful. Not being able to afford the expensive food or exercise is stressful.
Wellness is spending time with people you love.
Wellness is having time to yourself to unwind and reflect.
Wellness can be meditating to give your brain a rest.
Wellness is sleeping enough.
Wellness is doing something creative.
Wellness is peace and joy and laughter and connection and anything else that makes you, you as a person, happy.
And yes, wellness is eating whatever damn food you can afford and like to eat. Boxed mac and cheese and all.
Frankly, I’ll take cheesy potatoes or plates of pasta over a smoothie with 6 powders in it and a hike in the mountains over a $20 exercise class any day.
Disclaimer: I am not a therapist or medical professional. This is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any illnesses and should not be seen as a substitute for professional help or delay you in seeking treatment. I share my experiences here in hopes of helping others, but I absolutely encourage you to seek professional help for your struggles.