The Dark Side Of Getting Healthy

Welcome to Health Geeks Radio episode 66. This is Dr. Paul here and I’m coming to you on a Saturday. I was just in the shower and had an idea for a podcast, and a thought that came into my head that often gets overlooked in the healthcare community. It’s the actual darkside of getting healthy. You’re probably thinking, “What the heck? How’s there a darkside to being healthy?” The downside is sometimes being healthy, or getting healthy, or making those healthy changes in your life,

[00:00:30] or something new, results in isolation and social isolation. Sometimes you’re shunned from your friends. Sometimes people are always commenting, “Why are you eating that? Are you on a diet? Are you on some diet? Why are you gluten free? That’s a fad.” You hear all these different excuses and if you’re by yourself and you’re trying to do this alone, yeah, initially you’re gung ho. You that motivation and you take that action, but over time, after a few months or maybe even a month, you start to

[00:01:00] break down because of that social isolation. Maybe you worked on your relationships and you eliminated people from your, I guess, Meet the Fockers, circle of trust, so to speak. That can have a negative effect on you because community or just being socially liked is we’re wired to do that. We’re wired in history to do that. One of the worst things to ever happen to somebody in tribes or culture in the history of the world was to be shunned from that tribe, [00:01:30] or shunned from that culture, or the scarlet letter. No one touches her, no one talk to her type of thing. This is a downside. When we work with clients, this is one of the things that they talk about, actually, Even though they may be talking about their diet, but deep down it’s this social isolation of feeling that they’re inadequate, that they can’t do this because everyone else has left them. They left them alone. They’re trying to do this alone.

[00:01:30] or shunned from that culture, or the scarlet letter. No one touches her, no one talk to her type of thing. This is a downside. When we work with clients, this is one of the things that they talk about, actually, Even though they may be talking about their diet, but deep down it’s this social isolation of feeling that they’re inadequate, that they can’t do this because everyone else has left them. They left them alone. They’re trying to do this alone. This is the downside of trying to get healthy and it can suck. I’ve been there before

[00:02:00] back in 2008 or 9, I had a really bad reaction to something that started to create blisters all over my hands and stuff. I tried to do natural stuff and give it a few days. It didn’t work, so I went to the doctor and they gave me some steroids. That got rid of it. Well, what happened was, between the stress of chiropractic school, and other foods that I shouldn’t have been eating, and I was marathon training at the time, my body just went haywire. It caused this almost autoimmune reaction.

[00:02:30] For at six months to a year, it expanded all over my body. The rash expanded all over my body, literally every inch of my body. It was painful. It was red. I was embarrassed to go anywhere because everybody would look at me like a freak.

[00:03:00] As I was getting healthy, I felt like I as alone because no one else had this. No one knew what to do with it. No doctors knew what to do with it, and it took me three years to just keep testing everything under the sun, doing blood work, working on my diet, and finally, I figure one of the main triggers besides stress and some other bad foods was gluten. Now I’m told that I’m crazy because I’m gluten free. For a while there I was like, “Oh, I can’t be gluten. I’ll try it again,” but the more I’ve eaten gluten, the worse my hands get and it will flare up. I’ll get these painful blisters and the skin will slough off my hands.

[00:03:30] It’s all kinds of nasty stuff. Maybe many of you are thinking that where you figured out, “Oh, man. It might be gluten or it might be dairy,” and then everywhere you go, or every article you read is, “Gluten free’s a fad. Dairy’s a fad.” You’re killing yourself by not eating these certain foods and it can be isolating. Lucky for me, my wife is very supportive and helped me. Brian, who I was working within the last year or so to help me dial it in even more, but this is why a community is important.

[00:04:00] This is why, when you do something or make a change, is to find somebody else that you can hold each other accountable for. Find that group of people, especially if your family members or your spouse or significant other aren’t supporting you. Find that gym or community that you can do. That’s why people make fun of CrossFit and runners like they have a cult, but this is the reason why everybody’s so passionate about it because there’s a community of people that support them in what they do.

[00:04:30] Yes. Should you be getting healthy? Yes. You should always be making those healthy changes and working towards things, but you got to remember that the odds are stacked against you. We interviewed Robb Wolf. It’s not your fault. Things are scientifically made and engineered with all these hyper-palatable foods to make your brain rewired. We’re wired to be socially acceptable on social media. We’re wired to do all these things that change our brain and change our habits that we’ve used for centuries. If you’re making these changes, if you’re trying to figure these things out without a community, it can be really hard.

[00:05:00]  That’s all I have today, just a deep thought. I know that people struggle with it because I hear people say it all the time. I see it in their face even if they don’t say it until we start talking about it. You can see the stress that it causes on them. This is not to say that you shouldn’t get healthy and just give up. What it says is put your big kid britches on and dive in, but also find somebody that supports you. Find a practitioner that supports you, maybe a professional that supports you. Do something with your friends or family, 

[00:05:30] or have an accountability partner, or whatever you have to do, or a group to join to help support you because it can be isolated. It can be hard to do by yourself, and that’s why most healthy New Year’s resolution goals fail. It’s not because they’re outrageous half the time. It’s because people start this journey on their own, and then by the time a month or two months rolls around, by the time February or March rolls around, they’ve been told that everything they do is stupid, and everything they do is just over hyped, and dumb,

[00:06:00] or the doctors are like, “Oh, it’s all in your head,” type of thing. That can just wear on you as a person, and so in order to be socially acceptable, in order to find that niche in that community, is you just go back to your old habits because now you’re Cynthia that everybody likes again, that parties with them again and everything, but you still have your health problems.

[00:06:30]  Remember, it’s not your fault. Like Robb Wolf said in his book, Wired to Eat, they odds are stacked against you, but when you get that community, when you work towards that goal and just do the best damn job that you possibly can, good things happen. That’s all I have for today. Thanks for listening to Health Geeks Radio, and until next time, I look forward to geeking out with you. Bye bye.

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