How and Why the so-called “Wellness Industry” Generates Shame

A myth in the wellness world of media-driven diet and exercise products seems to be that if we feel guilty enough, embarrassed enough, or disgusted enough about ourselves, this will motivate us to make positive changes in our lives.

In my experience working with hundreds of women seeking to lose weight, feel free around food, and comfortable in their bodies, this is NEVER the case.

True and sustainable wellbeing is never, ever driven by guilt or shame. Guilt and shame about our bodies and behaviours only ever takes us further away from a well, happy, and mindful life.

It is so tempting for us to believe that our weight or our drive to eat is an external reflection of our internal weakness. We are kept in this trance on purpose by a multi-billion pound diet and exercise industry. It needs us to believe that wellness is all about diet and exercise, and that our failures in this definition of wellness lie in our internal failures as humans … and that if we weren’t such failures, we would look more like the ideal they portray.

Guilt and shame make terrible motivators in our striving for wellbeing; they only make us unhappy, which is no kind of definition of wellbeing that works for me.

We can now decide to stop loathing and criticising our bodies, and end this fruitless longing for physical perfection. This frees up massive stores of energy not previously available to us – energy that can now assist us in making choices and putting into practice some new decisions and disciplines that can truly support our overall wellbeing.

It starts with gently and gradually becoming willing to embrace and love the way we look and feel… today.