When you began your wellness journey, were you met with resistance?
I definitely was.
In my family, I felt like the black sheep while I pursued holistic modalities to heal my body.
I’m the daughter of a radiologist. Which meant conventional modern medicine was always used to treat everything.
And that amounted to years of me growing more and more dependent on medications to manage my symptoms.
It wasn’t until I began experimenting with alternative forms of integrative and proactive self care that I found freedom.
This was years ago.
At the time, I began experimenting with supplementation and nutrition.
I began receiving regular acupuncture treatments.
And the more I leaned into my new lifestyle, the more questions I got from those closest to me.
Intellectually, I knew their concern was coming from a place of love. They wanted to make sure I was doing what was “best”.
But it still often annoyed me and felt like they were judging me.
Many times when you pursue holistic health, it takes experimenting with a variety of modalities to create a strategy that works for you.
Kind of similar to how a doctor may prescribe several medications to a patient before he or she finds the one that works best.
Our bodies are different.
And how we care for them should be tailored to our unique needs.
In a model of holistic health, there is consideration for the whole person
- -- mind, body, spirit, environmental, financial, relational, professional, you name it!
- -- versus a focus on a specific disease process or diagnosis.
The holistic health model aims to address the root cause of symptoms and resolve them at the source, whereas most of the allopathic or conventional medical model (with the exception of cases of acute trauma) is aimed at managing or suppressing symptoms.
If you’re not used to thinking of health in a holistic way, it may cause resistance to trying new things.
If family and friends are questioning your personal journey toward better health in your own life, the most important thing to realize is it isn’t a reflection on your choices.
It’s a reflection of that person not quite understanding the value just yet.
The good news is you can use these 3 strategies I’m about to share to not only help them see that value, but to equip yourself to stay true to your journey even in the face of opposition.
Strategy 1: you’ve gotta stay true to your gut and stick with your convictions.
Remember: you aren’t doing this for anyone but yourself.
Which means, in the end, other people’s opinions don’t really matter.
Nope. So you can stop thinking about what other people are thinking.
Something sparked inside you that pushed you to make a change, right?
Maybe it was a diagnosis.
Or a conversation with your doctor.
Maybe it was a vision.
Or a gut feeling.
Or maybe it was a culmination of things.
Hold onto the conviction you gained when you made that choice.
This is your “WHY”!
And your “why” is the foundation for your entire journey. It’s going to be what keeps you on your path.
Your story matters. Your journey is fluid. Let your “WHY” be your guidepost.
And it’s also going to be how you articulate to nay-sayers the reasoning behind your choices.
When they hear you repeat it over and over, they’ll come to understand and maybe even believe in your conviction.
Strategy 2: As you live out your conviction, you’ll end up leading by example.
Literally no one has ever convinced a person to join their cause through force.
If your ultimate goal is to get your whole family on board with the lifestyle changes you’re making, you’re going to have to lead by example.
As they see you stick to your guns, they’ll get curious.
As they notice the changes you’re experiencing, they’ll feel the FOMO.
And, over time, they’ll probably make changes too.
It’s a slow process, but that’s okay.
We need to respect those around us and where they are in their individual journeys.
Think of the time it took you to get where you are.
Any good thing worth having in your life takes time.
The same principle holds true here, too.
Lead by example and, when they’re ready, they'll start asking questions and coming to you for answers.
Strategy 3: Adjust your expectations
This works hand in hand with the other two strategies.
I’m going to explain by telling a story.
I’m plant-based. This isn’t a secret.
My husband, Wes, is also plant-based. But it took years - literally 15 years - for this change to happen in him.
I tried everything.
But it wasn’t until he was ready that he finally made the choice.
It was a combination of my consistent habits.
Me walking out my truth.
And him finally seeing the value of it - as it could apply to his life.
But it took a lot of me adjusting my expectations.
Making room for things I didn’t necessarily want -- like a huge chunk of meat in my fridge.
I adjusted those expectations, though, because I knew force convinces no one.
Now, in our family, our daughter Madeline is the only meat-eater.
Which isn’t really the truth anyway since all she eats is oatmeal, raspberries, tortellini pasta, Ramen noodles, Goldfish and ice cream.
But you know what I’m not doing? I’m not forcing my lifestyle on her.
Instead, I’m adjusting my expectations. Which means most times (every time) I cook something separate for her.
It means I let her eat snacks that wouldn’t be my first choice.
And I don’t attach guilt to it.
Because here’s the thing: when you’re on a wellness journey, you have to choose your battles.
And my battle isn’t with my daughter’s refusal to eat what I eat.
So I keep my expectations aligned with what I know makes sense in this season.
I suggest while you’re managing your expectations, you do so from a place of grace.
Which goes back to what I said before -
Everyone is at different points on their own journeys.
Everyone has different priorities.
And everyone’s bodies are different.
Now, as you start to walk out these strategies in your day-to-day life, I’d like to invite you to join a like-minded community.
It’s a free group you can join with people who are all working to improve their health (one habit at a time).
Hopefully I’ll see you in there!