Your essential oils rep?
Your aunt who fixed her thyroid?
The pharmaceutical commercials on tv?
The peanut gallery?
When it comes to your health, who should you believe?
The amount of contradictory information about health, lifestyle, nutrition and exercise is astounding. The internet has made sure that we have access to different ideas and views which greatly expands the knowledge that we have at our fingertips but doesn’t get us any closer to knowing what, if any of it, is the truth.
If you are someone who is not confident about your health knowledge, how do you decide who and what to listen to?
Today, I watched this video: Kelly Brogan on MarieTV. Kelly Brogan is a traditionally trained psychiatrist who now focuses solely on a holistic approach to health and mental illness. She uses diet, exercise and meditation as ways to keep the body in balance. Her views are considered golden by some and reckless by others. Just the comments under the video on MarieTV alone were enough to send my mind spinning. People, thankfully, are passionate about their health and that was made evident. Some people were thanking her for speaking up about this method that changed their lives and other people were pissed and telling her that she was irresponsible. This dichotomy is evident in every health care tool, diet and supplement out there. So what the heck should YOU DO?!?!
This is the number one rule that I go by in my office:
YOU know your body better than I will ever know your body. You’ve spent more time in it than I have and that fact will never change.
can really judge if something is harmful or helpful.
really know if you are telling the truth when you say 5 hours of sleep is enough.
know if you can get away with having coffee every day and feel good (I can’t).
can decide if this or that exercise routine is good for your body.
feel the vibe from your doctor and know if it matches yours.
I could go on and on and on. This is amazing news, but it comes with a few kickers.
Kicker Number 1: In order to judge if something is good for you or not… you must try it long enough to make a solid decision. No matter how smart or in tune you are, you cannot decide that an exercise routine isn’t good for you if you haven’t tried it. Deciding what is long enough depends on the change that you are making. Most naturopaths I know agree that you can still react to a food up to two weeks after you’ve eaten it. This means that if you want to eliminate wheat, first you have to eliminate it for two weeks to get it out of your system and then continue to avoid it for a week or two to see how you feel without it. Taking a few days off of bread isn’t gonna cut it, sister.
Kicker Number 2: In order to be in tune with yourself enough to judge things properly, you need to spend time every day observing your body, symptoms, moods, food cravings, etc. etc. There is a responsibility that comes along with being the person that knows your body better than anyone else. If you don’t pay attention to it, you don’t know it’s broken and you can’t fix it. You can do this by journaling, making notes in your phone or, my preferred way, meditating. Meditating allows me time every day to check in with myself about how my mind and body are doing at the moment.
Kicker Number 3: You need a health care team that you communicate your findings with. I honestly believe that, in my office, acupuncture and herbs are responsible for 50% of the healing and our conversations about your health and wellbeing are responsible for the rest. You know your body, but you may not know what options you have or where you should start. If you have a doctor or other trusted health professional, you can discuss what the next possible steps are and create a plan to follow. Then you pop back up to kicker number one and try something out.
Kicker Number 4: You must be committed to your health. This should be obvious by now. If you are willing to pay attention to your body, discuss it with your health bestie (;)) and then try something out long enough to find out how effective it is, you need commitment. You should be doing something for your health AT ALL TIMES. Sometimes it is simply water in the morning, right now, for me, it is a 21 day Pilates challenge. It can be fixing a relationship in your life (yes! this is part of your health too!) or finding ways to have more fun. Your well-being needs to be at the center of the decisions you make in order to live a long and healthy life.
So – if you were going to listen to yourself, what SMALL change could you make today that will improve your long term health?
Let me know in the comments!