Welcome to 2022! Time to make resolutions and goals for a new year — new you?
Is there any season more obsessed with pressuring us to make radical health resolves, than the dawning of the new calendar page? Even the “beach body” ads that fill Facebook in April or May don’t reach the same level of hype as New Year’s Resolutions.
Every time you turn the corner (or every time your streaming movie is interrupted by a commercial break), somebody is trying to get you to buy a class, a supplement, a shake, a piece of equipment, a diet, a lifestyle! It can be exhausting just trying to figure out what’s bonafide and what’s bogus.
It’s perfectly normal to feel motivated by a fresh start in January (or to ditch the resolutions this year!) But here’s a little guidance on whether you’ll decide to plunk down your hard-earned cash in response to the call to sign up for that shiny New Year’s health habit.
If whatever you’re thinking of trying swears you’ll get the desired result in no time at all, you can be pretty sure you’re entering into scam territory. (This FDA site has some interesting examples.)
After all, the human body is based on homeostasis. (That term comes from the Greek words for “same” and “steady,” and we’re talking about stability and equilibrium in your physiological processes.) Our bodies surely can change, and they certainly do, but most of those changes occur over time.
Most events that create fast changes in the body (like surgery) require a physician to administer them; products and regimes can be dangerous for your body if not used carefully. If you’ve been out of shape for five years, don’t expect to get back in shape in five weeks. That’s just not how our bodies work, unfortunately.
There are diets that can help you lose weight. There are exercise routines that can help you gain muscle and strength. There are massages that can help you relax and manage your stress levels. 🙂
But if someone is selling One Amazing New Thing that will evaporate extra pounds, increase your happiness, straighten your posture, whiten your teeth, cure your condition, and improve your social life? Sadly enough, magic bullets still don’t exist.
No, that essential oil will not prevent a pandemic infection, but it does smell nice and could help improve your mood if you enjoy using it in your home. Don’t fall prey to the internet’s exaggerated claims.
If a product’s main selling point is that “doctors hate it” or “___ doesn’t want you to know about this,” or if their main message comes from dubious testimonials touting miraculous results – we can tell already that it’s probably not trustworthy.
After all, you and your physician (also your dentist, your massage therapist, your counselor, your personal trainer, your yogi, your wellness coach, your nutritionist. . .) are part of your health and wellness team. If any one of them refuses to be a team player and disparages the value of your other wellness team members, they’re not doing what’s best for you.
It’s not true that your health care providers are keeping some secrets under wraps – they want to help you make progress toward your health goals with options that actually work, not fads or schemes.
Does the product or program fit your life, your budget, and your goals? Does it offer you realistic expectations?
If yes, then this investment may be something worth looking into, whether it’s a gym membership, a cookbook of heart-healthy meals, or a habit-tracking app.
Ultimately, we try things out and see how they work for us over the long haul. Not everything will be a perfect fit, but at least we can weed out some of the resolutionist marketing malarkey and move forward with our best efforts into the new year.