If you’re early in your journey toward living a comprehensively healthier lifestyle, it’s hard to feel like you belong. But what does it even mean to be healthy?
Whenever I sit down to write about something about my health journey, I feel like a fraud. I feel like I snake oil saleswoman who dropped her briefcase of wears, causing the bottles to shatter, and ends up covered in stinky oil.
I’m not in perfect shape. Last year, I lost 30 pounds, kept it off, transformed my regular diet, and advanced my yoga practice, but I’m not at my goal yet. That’s why I end up feeling like a fraud when I try to write about health and wellness.
The commercialization of health and wellness is a big part of why people like me feel like frauds when we try to improve ourselves.
I do believe that all bodies are beautiful, but I still have a little more body fat than I should for my height. It’s not that I want to wear size 0 jeans — it’s that I am still dramatically more at risk for a wealth of diseases caused by heightened sugar intake and the strain that being overweight puts on my heart, lungs, and the rest of my body.
It sounds a little grim when phrased like that, but try not to get lost in the dark side of that. This isn’t a pity party. It’s about putting why “being healthy” really matters in perspective. It’s not to look a certain way, it’s to be able to live a long, happy life with as few serious health problems as you can manage.
The Global Wellness Institute reports that the “wellness industry” became a $4.5 trillion dollar global market in 2018. That’s horrifying, to some extent.
The industry grew by 6.4% annually from 2015–2017, from a $3.7 trillion to a $4.2 trillion market. That’s nearly twice as fast as global economic growth, which is 3.6% annually — which says a lot about how we, as a society, are putting wellness on a pedestal and focusing on it more.