Yesterday I was reflecting after an amazing women’s wellness event hosted by Indulge KC and City Gym... thinking through what my role is or could be in health and wellness arena. I know, I have my PhD so I’m trained to do research and work in academia (and I actually do, teaching graduate students about the foundations of integrative and functional nutrition), but a lot of academia is stuffy, political and painfully slow. I was asking myself, who can I help best?
I started thinking about what integrative and functional medicine actually is and also what many people who say they want to work with me often say. If I were to split them into two groups, there are the people (most often women) who say they should come see me, and then there are those who are searching for answers to a problem they haven’t been able to solve… either alone or with their doctor. These people are asking why?
When I hear someone say should, it honestly makes me a little sad. If you’re telling yourself you should eat healthier or should exercise more or you should work with a nutritionist or should lose weight or should eat a kale salad…. These thoughts are both a real bummer (that our society facilitates and even encourages these thoughts) and, at the same time, are extremely common.
Why do you feel like you should? Is it because you want to improve symptoms, lower inflammation in your body or just feel better? Or, is it because you feel some external pressure (social media, friends, family, personal expectations, cultural expectations) that you feel like you should be a certain way or doing a certain thing?
I hope you never join a gym, follow a diet, suffer through a kale salad or seek a consultation with me or any other nutritionist because you feel like you should. I hope you live the life that you feel authentically called to live. That way, you’re talking to yourself with compassion, love, confidence, and trust that you know your body best. No one else knows your body better than you, and I definitely don’t.
The other half of the people I hear from are asking questions involving the word why:
Why am I so exhausted?
Why have I seen 6 different doctors, been given 7 different diagnoses and have 8 different prescriptions (that I said I didn’t want to take)? And, I leave with 0 answers?!
Why is my skin reacting like this?
Why do I have to run to the bathroom after every meal?
Why am I bloated all. the . time? Why can’t I sleep?
Why does my doctor tell me “everything is normal” when I know it’s not?
I live such a healthy lifestyle… why me?
These are all questions clients ask me regularly and I love digging into with them. I love helping clients figure out why these (or other seemingly unrelated symptoms and diagnoses) are affecting them. I love asking why with my clients. Walking through the journey of discovery by asking about your whole health history, your social life, your history of environmental exposures, your stressors, your relationships, your diet and nutrition history, and even more. All of this information adds up to the countless things that can affect your health and nutritional status at any time. If you’re asking why and you haven’t found answers, let’s look for some together!
So, start paying attention this week… what kind of self-talk do you hear? If you’re asking “why?” reach out! firstname.lastname@example.org