I was afraid to talk about wellness. I’ve been on an 18-month journey to build Chicken Yogi. When I started, I had a list of blog topics, of the ways that chronic illness, wellness, and our current, flawed system all intersect, and boy do I have a lot to say on that topic. A lot of experience too, both as a care giver to my mother in her final years, as well as trying to navigate my own medical abandonment. There’s some fatphobia built in, because wellness isn’t supposed to be for a body like mine, and this mythical “will power” would fix everything and make me skinny if only I could find some. I guess our supply chain issues have affected “will power” too.
However, over the past month, I’ve done some soul searching. I’ve looked at my own internalized ableism, my own internalized fatphobia. Censoring myself before I’ve ever spoken is never a good idea, and it didn’t feel right to me. But one question kept remaining: who was I to speak about wellness?
Then I thought about my friends, my family, those I care about, and all the people I didn’t know who lived with chronic illness or neurodivergency. I thought about how the narrative so often shifts in disfavor of these individuals and never serves them well, if it even serves them at all.
My family, at least my mom’s side, is pretty uniform in terms of its health conditions, even the age at which they pass away seems to remain pretty close to the same (about 68). I think about how my mom struggled to get medications for years due to a lack of insurance and finances. I think about my aunt who could have used a health coach to learn healthy self-care. They could have deserved a wellness coach who understands.
And I also thought about the field in general. How it’s not filled with people who live rural lives, where your local healthfood store is Amazon because it’s a good 100 miles to a decent health food store. (There are two local ones, but both give me bad vibes. The question becomes just how often products are turned over and the service isn’t that good because everyone knows everyone and if they don’t know you, then they don’t want to help you.) And how many health and wellness coaches don’t know about the dynamic disability of chronic illness or the ways in which neurodivergent brains work. Sure, I can buy healthy vegetables to eat, but if I put them in the crisper drawer, I never remember to eat them. In fact, I have two bags of radishes — my favorite — to clean so I can snack.
So I’m not going to censor myself anymore. I’m going to talk about health and wellness, and if anyone has an issue about someone in my body, with my health conditions, talking about wellness, then that’s their problem–not mine. I’m doing the best I can.