As a resource for health information & trusted coach that many look to for advice, I have regularly sat from my place of privilege, assertively suggesting that health is all about lifestyle choices.
That you get to decide what you do with your time, what you do with your body, & ultimately how you live your life.
While I don’t want to give up this notion of intentional choice, this year has made it abundantly clear that we don’t have all the same choices in front of us. Although I’ve taken classes on Women’s Health Issues that deal with this topic specifically, it has never really occurred to me until seeing it in action.
Recognizing that the medical & non-medical related health concerns women face in our culture are not equal or fair. Until now, it’s been easy to overlook the reality of our circumstances versus others.
Not surprisingly, this year has made me realize the high chair of white privilege upon which we sit in the wellness industry & introduced the idea that maybe health isn’t that simple for everyone.
We’re all dealing with environmental, social, relational, psychological, & emotional implications that affect the way we interact with the world. Previously, I would have claimed that yes of course we all have these varying experiences, but that it’s ultimately our decision what we do with our bodies, minds, & time.
Now, I know for a fact that we don’t have equal opportunity for those lifestyle choices.
Family genetics aside, we are each born into this world with varying propensities. Some would say we’re a “clean slate,” but that simply isn’t true. We all have personality tendencies & varying challenges based on how we were treated in the womb or in those early years of life.
Right from birth we don’t have a choice about what we’re fed or the clothes we wear or the toxins we’re exposed to or the locales we frequent. From childhood we may experience trauma that lasts years, affecting the way we then interact with others & see ourselves.
We’re each handed such a dramatically different hand, there’s no way we can treat every health choice similarly. We have different access, we face different biases, we lack education, we are not trusted, we are seen as a joke or misunderstood.
So, yes - we all have choices.
And our lifestyles are largely made up of those choices. But they’re also made up of our families, our neighborhoods, our religious affiliations, our friendships, our career choice, our education, & the list goes on.
As we recognize that these times impart lasting effects on our place in the world, we have to decide how we are going to show up.
Here at Her Healthy Habits, we have made a committed effort to make lasting change in the ways of diversity, equity & inclusion. But it can’t stop there, we have to recognize the ways in which our privilege changes the way we view healthy lifestyle choices overall.
We want to provide the best information, motivation, & inspiration to make changes in your life. But we recognize the difficulties that BIPOC & others may face in even getting to the place of getting to make those choices.