It might come as a surprise to those who already live a healthy life full of exercise, unprocessed foods, smoothies, fitness trackers, meditation, yoga mats, gym memberships, etc. that many people are not the least bit interested in getting healthy, nor are they interested in seeing your workout selfie or inspirational quote placed overtop a sunset, abdominal muscles or fierce lion. In fact, there are many who get downright annoyed with comments and social media posts that highlight your love of everything healthy. I’m here to tell you that you, yes you, have some haters out there. That’s okay, we’ll discuss why later on.
Last week I got involved with a Facebook thread that a good friend was already commenting on. You know, those threads that you follow and follow while telling yourself not to comment. The thread eventually becomes the equivalent of a plate of fresh, homemade, chocolate chip cookies that you’re walking past over and over. Eventually, willpower loses out and you scarf down a few cookies like a toddler eating birthday cake. In other words, I just had to comment. I had to get my 2 cents in. I mean, it pertained to exactly what I do for a living, my passion.
My opinion is valuable, right? No, not always.
The original status update was something like “I’d be healthy too if salads weren’t $7 and I had time to exercise!”. To this I tried to explain why that salad is so expensive in comparison to a hamburger. For example, I mentioned government food subsidies and how grains like corn and soy that feed cattle were given so much more than vegetables and so on. I posted a link to further explain what I was talking about. Yeah, I was educating people about an important issue that I was passionate about. Go me! Guess what? No one cared and not one person commented on the link I shared.
I won’t lie, this bothered me. I mean, how could they not care about why food prices are so unfair. Why, it seems, that our great nation cares more about money than the health of her people. Why it’s so important to support local farmers and economy. Why it pays to pay a little extra for quality food, even if the system is rigged. Why the food pyramid was based on the strength of industry opinion (and money) and not on the interest of preventative health care. Why, unless you have the money, following a healthy, nutrient dense diet is next to impossible. Why advertisers and celebrity doctors use manipulation and body shaming as a way to sell bullsh*t supplements to those looking for a quick fix. Why, it seems, that you simply can’t get or stay in shape unless you join a gym (You can). Why, it seems, that having a “normal” body and a “normal” diet is not good enough (it is), be it in television commercials, film or print ads.
Why why why why?
After marinating on all of this for a few days, I came to some profound personal realizations:
1. People have enough to worry about in life without having to research, study and fight the power that is a rigged system.
2. People are so inundated with differing opinions on health, nutrition and fitness that it becomes a cluster of information, which makes it virtually impossible to know what is right and who to trust.
3. My job as a coach and educator is not to stir the pot or attempt to spark a revolution towards everything wrong. It’s my duty to give answers, support, to inspire change through self care, little by little.
4. People (including myself for many years) see those workout selfies and inspirational quotes as self serving humble brags that in no way inspires them to eat healthy or get in shape. Don’t get me wrong, many find a lot of inspiration in seeing the personal transformation of a peer. If posting such things holds you accountable, gives you fuel for the fire or gives you a sense of community, keep posting them as people always have the option to scroll past and move on.
5. There are those who, even with the proper knowledge, will never care to change their lifestyle in a way that could add years to their life, and guess what? THAT’S OKAY.