Postdate: 02 October 2017
A healthy lifestyle has been a trending topic for a long time. Yet there is clearly a counter-movement going on. It is precisely this focus on a very healthy life as the norm rather than the exception, which is a danger to our health.
Obsession for health
With a healthy lifestyle is absolutely nothing wrong. One is happy with less sugar, while the other prefers to train 4 times a week to become strong. The problem lies mainly with the requirements you impose on yourself. Are you always rigid and restrictive for yourself? Then it is more likely that you develop a serious obsession with exercise or healthy eating (also called orthorexia). This health obsession has various causes. In this blog we only discuss a few.
Clean eating as faith
Especially in difficult times we are looking for a faith to hold on to. Sometimes even at the expense of our health. Diets have been around for as long as people eat, but thorough dietary advice, such as the 80/20 rule, is often not sexy. Clean eating is, and its popularity is immense, especially on social media. Clean eating is natural, fresh and organic food, often in small portions. Social pressure plays a big part in clean eating. This happens when the motivation to inspire or to do better than others becomes bigger than the reality. We also live in an environment where ordinary food is increasingly seen as harmful. This feeling is enhanced by the food scandals that emerge one by one.
The danger of online training
Nobody can deny that exercise is healthy. But does 24/7 accesses to online training programs increase our pleasure to exercise? Working out as a top athlete while you are not, does not. Imagine: you want to lose weight in a short time, and the intensive online programs with fit gurus seem to offer a solution. You follow work outs every day, become part of a community, cancel social activities, and are focused on before and after photos. In short, it changes from 'fun' to a kind of mania. It is a ‘one size fits all’ schedule, there is no check that you are doing well, and injuries follow. At that moment you have tasted already the downside of healthy physical exercise.
By following a strict regime, you can get the feeling of failing. Consequently, the only solution to succeed again, seems to exercise more fanatical, or eat extremely healthy. By seeing healthy eating and exercise not as something compulsive, you make sure that sinning does not become a punishment.
“Create healthy habits, not restrictions”