I am so lost in the “Well of Wellness”. Maybe it should be called the “Sea of Wellness” because as far as I can tell, it doesn’t have a bottom. Despite the bucket that goes into a well that should be a way out, I feel like climbing it is the equivalent of climbing a treadmill or stairmaster. I keep climbing, it keeps moving, I don’t get anywhere. Where am I trying to get to?
What is “Wellness”?
Diets? Activity? Meditation? Therapy? Martial arts for self-protection? Team sports to build relationships? Yoga for spiritual connection? Burlesque for body positivity? Higher education for mental stimulation? Painting for creative expression? We need to assess our physical health, our mental health, our spiritual health. We need to ensure we are constantly growing, learning, moving forward.
I have been told that: because I make certain decisions related to my health that I don’t actually care about my health. If I actually cared, I would make other decisions.
That doesn’t really sound like wellness to me. That sounds like guilt and shaming because I eat bananas and drink beer. This was not told to me by my neurologist, doctor, nutritionist, chiropractor or personal trainer. Oh, that’s not wellness.
Somehow, anytime I talk about my body, I have to refer to it as “broken” or “imperfect”. I am “unhappy with my thighs” or “wish my stomach was flatter”. I wish I didn’t have epilepsy. If I am going to say something like “I love my body”, I have to add the caveat of “now, I’m not saying it’s perfect or the best, because it’s not…”. I shouldn’t receive a compliment without being like, oh, but my arms aren’t super toned and politely demur anything else.
What if I told someone in a relationship that I love them and added that caveat? “I love you except for…” just doesn’t seem right to me. Why can’t I just straight up love myself the way I am? What if someone in a relationship with me told me that they loved me and I pushed it away because I don’t have 0% body fat? My age? My lack of artistic talent?
Because despite the entire, huge, massive, all-encompassing wellness industry that tries to tell us how much we need to love ourselves, we are not encouraged to embrace that love. That confidence. That acceptance of who we are and how we prefer to spend our time and money. The wellness industry is telling us that whatever we are doing is never enough.
This week I will be seeing a financial analyst, to be a financially responsible adult. I will be going to a running clinic, to be prepared for a marathon in a few weeks (despite an injury – guess I am not that responsible). I will be going to the gym to work on some cross-training. I’m sure there are at least five more things that I can’t remember right now. Those are time and money. Why am I doing these things? Some because I like to. Some because I “should”.
As to the comments that because of the decisions that I made about my health meaning that I don’t actually care about my health, let’s look at it from a mental health perspective. I was making decisions that were detrimental to my mental health, and that was taking a toll on my physical health. While not what that advice was geared towards, I made a decision that took into account my mental health, and I moved to a new city. Not all that surprisingly, my overall health improved. In every way.
The overall point here is that lately I have seen so much of body positivity being promoted but in a way that is based on how much money I can spend. Not actually how I look, or what I can do, or how I feel, but what I can buy. Personally, I will acknowledge that I am a little self-conscious about the scars, the epilepsy, etc. Buuuuut……The epilepsy won’t go away. I will get new scars so there’s no point in paying to get rid of the ones I already have.
We need to love ourselves. With or without scars. With or without epilepsy. Whether we choose to paint or write or get advanced education or play an instrument or whether we want to watch movies and read trashy romance novels. You love yourself. You are worthy of it.