At World Wise Beauty we wellness passioneers take a holistic lens to everything when we consider our personal health and well-being. We connect the dots by reviewing the research, we synthesize the best health practices for our bio-individuality, and we employ the timeless wisdom of lifestyle as medicine. No, we aren’t perfect people living in wellness utopia! We work hard at staying well and we could probably share a few scary stories about our health trials, mishaps, and tribulations. We live, we learn, and we course correct. We keep on learning because the culture around us demands we be self-advocates for our own individual health. We also have learned to love ourselves holistically and respect all the parts of our bio-individuality that make us uniquely who we are.
Just as a refresh, if you are new to this term that I use quite a bit, here is the definition of bio-individuality…
Bio individuality is defined as the understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all diet we can default to because every person is a unique organism with unique nutritional needs. When we look at holistic wellness this term really applies to our own unique nature too (mind, body and spirit).
So why did I use the word ‘sick culture’ in the headline of this post? For starters it’s because nearly 40% of American adults aged 20 and over are obese. 71.6% of adults aged 20 and over are overweight, including obesity. According to the CDC six in ten Americans live with at least one chronic disease, like heart disease and stroke , cancer, or diabetes. These and other chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in America, and they are also a leading driver of healthcare costs. What could be the main factor for these statistics? It can only be one thing…
“It’s The Culture Stupid”
I played with a famous quote from a former president who said “It’s the economy stupid”. The fact is living in modern culture today ( the last 50 years to be specific) it is no easy task to stay healthy and avoid illness and disease. Everything around us is essentially not good for us! So for the wellness superiors who judge people who are unhealthy and eat poorly, it’s time to get off your high horse and take a long hard look at the culture that all of us are steeped in, albeit to varying degrees. The truth is our health and wellness is really about the luck of the draw. Things like socio-economics, education, culture, and public policy all come into play. This is why Public Health matters to every culture. We certainly connected those dots when the Covid Pandemic hit the world. Why did some countries and communities do better than others? Culture and public health policy is what it really came down to.
Longevity Takes Work & Support
Wellness shouldn’t be a luxury or a privilege, but like everything else in our society today, it is. The biggest disadvantage is not having access to data/information and a support system around you. As a certified integrative health coach, I have a health history form I give to my clients to complete, and one of the questions I ask is, “will your family and friends be supportive of your desire to make food and/or lifestyle changes?” This is an important question because as social creatures we are influenced and affected by everyone around us. Our well-being depends on our family, our friends, our community, and the surrounding culture we are apart of. Our healthcare system is also part of our culture. Who you are with, where you live, and what healthcare you have access to, really does matter to your health and longevity.
In 2004, Dan Buettner, of Blue Zones LLC, set out to uncover the specific aspects of lifestyle and environment that led to longevity. Blue Zones uncovered 9 evidence-based common denominators among the world’s centenarians that are believed to slow the aging process. I add a Health Coach Tip to each of them for a flexible and integrative perspective. My new coaching practice is focused on ‘nurturing our nature’ for longevity and vitality. I am pretty passionate about what it takes, and I am on the wellness journey with you.
The Right Tribe
Number 9 is the ‘right tribe”, and it happens to be the most challenging aspect of getting healthy and staying healthy long into your golden years. This is why health coaches like myself will ask about your support system. It’s also why many traditional doctors would rather give you a medication than get involved with your nutritional habits and lifestyle. I am not prescribing the Blue Zones diet over another, although it is a very healthy one for longevity. The reason I shared the Blue Zones power nine, is I believe the most important insight from the study is found in number nine. It is last on the list but I believe it is the secret sauce of longevity. Our habits, rituals, or lack thereof, starts first with our family unit and then branches out to our tribe around us. Sometimes we have to find our tribe.
It can be hard work to change and improve our health when we are not supported or have to go it alone. It can take courage and independence to do what’s right for our own health. It also takes a supportive tribe to help nurture our progress. Last but not least, it takes self-love to nurture your own nature. We are all unique and have different health requirements, but the healthier the tribal values, the healthier the individual and culture. This is the best motivation for investing in wellness culture and values.
May you live holistically well, not just long.
Laura Connolly, Founder of World Wise Beauty, CHC