In defense of Wellness!
Updated: Jun 12, 2019
Last week I started writing for this blog and I very nearly finished it. At the end I thought… ‘Ugh, nobody cares about that!’ Well… some of you might be interested, but all in all, it was dull, boring and about a detox program I did last week (long story short: I did a doctor recommended 7-day liver detox, and it was kinda difficult - I fasted for 48 hours, then ate clean for 5 days - and felt pretty good after. The end). You don’t need to read all the ins and outs of it, right? At least not here. If you wanna know more about it, I invite you to contact me and I’ll be happy to tell you all about it and answer any questions you have.
So, what could be better than me sharing about a detox!? Well… read on, friend. I’ll tell you what’s got my panties in a twist!
I just read an article that a fellow health coach shared in a health coach discussion group titled, “Smash the Wellness Industry,” by Jessica Knoll. I was obviously really interested in what the article said since I’m a health coach, and that means I’m part of this wellness industry she wants to smash.
Frankly… the article pissed me off!
The author basically slams the wellness Industry as a whole and offers that we, as women, need to give up on the diet programs and learn to be happy with our bodies and eat intuitively... and oh by the way, when we eat lunch together, we should not talk about our bodies/diets or men.
In the words of Cher in the movie Clueless, "As if!"
At one point she says, “The wellness industry is the diet industry, and the diet industry is a function of the patriarchal beauty standard under which women either punish themselves to become smaller or are punished for failing to comply.”
Every time I read that sentence, my blood boils! Wellness industry does not equal diet industry!! If she had left wellness out of her tirade, I’d be more apt to appreciate her article and point of view, she made some great points about our yo-yo dieting obsession, as a societal disease.
She didn't bash on all the fitness apps, specialized gyms or cross fit. Nor did she talk about skincare and spas. Where is her tirade for meditation and stress-reducing techniques?
Nope… she didn’t mention any of that. All of which are huge categories in the wellness industry.
(Personal Care, Beauty and Anti-Aging are the #1 grossing category in the wellness industry, with Eating Healthy, Nutrition and Weight-Loss being #2)
Wellness industry is NOT the diet industry!
To say so, is shedding a negative light, and doing a huge disservice to people (health coaches, naturopaths, integrative medicine practitioners, etc.) who are actually trying to change how people see themselves in the big picture of their own health. Our jobs are to show them they have the power to help themselves with changing or improving upon their health habits, educating them about healthier food choices, encouraging more activity, espousing the benefits of meditation, etc.
Wellness is so much more than just diets. It’s a state of being well, and that means being healthy in mind and body. The definition doesn’t talk about weight-loss at all, or dieting.
She goes on to say, “...wellness also contributes to the insulting cultural subtext that women cannot be trusted to make decisions when it comes to our own bodies, even when it comes to nourishing them. We must adhere to some sort of “program” or we will go off the rails.”
Wellness is not insulting women. Or men. Period.
If anything, wellness is about empowering you to be whole and healthy in the way you want to be!! At least that’s how I use it in my coaching practice. Weight loss has sometimes been the impetus for a client to hire me as their coach, but as we progress through the coaching process, we often end up with a goal that has little to do with weight loss, and more about creating better habits.
Wellness is not a bad word. It's a good word and one that should not be demonized, or smashed!