Stop pretending you don’t see what you see

Have you ever stopped to look around at the health of those closest to you? Like really look. Like write-down-on-a-piece-of-paper-if-you-have-to look? Are the people around you sick, dying, managing medical conditions? Are they vibrant, healthy and experiencing optimal wellness whatever their age? Have you considered that the people around you are unknowingly influencing your health trajectory? This blog post explores the idea of a “sick culture” and how societal, familial or communal norms can desensitize us to unhealthy habits.

Heart disease, diabetes and obesity are becoming increasingly common, especially in the Black community. The prevalence of these conditions can create a sense of normalcy, where people become accustomed to seeing others manage these health issues… or succumb to them in one way or another. This can lead to a dangerous lack of concern, even when it comes to our own well-being and the well-being of our children. When our own illness or the illness of the people around us becomes “normal,” people might accept a lower quality of life and not strive for optimal health.

Acknowledge the current state of your health and the health of those around you. Based on what you’re seeing every single day, ask yourself some questions:

  • Does obesity seem “normal” in my family or community?
  • Am I concerned about my weight or the weight of my children?
  • Do I or the people around me rely heavily on medication to manage chronic health issues?

By honestly answering these questions, you can begin to identify areas where a “sick culture” might be influencing your behavior.

Once you’ve become aware of potential problems, it’s time to take action. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Educate yourself: Research the connection between lifestyle choices and chronic diseases.
  • Focus on prevention: Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep are crucial for overall health and well-being.
  • Lead by example: Make healthy choices for yourself and encourage your loved ones to do the same.
  • Seek professional help: If you or someone you know needs guidance on making healthy changes, consult a registered dietitian, holistic nutritionist or other healthcare professional.

Not to worry. There are tons of resources (like this blog!) available to help you create a healthier lifestyle for yourself and your family. By breaking free from the “sick culture” and prioritizing healthy habits, you can take control of your health and create a brighter future for yourself and your loved ones.

Whatever the reason for turning a blind eye to what you see, it’s time to turn that around and stop pretending you’re not seeing what you’re seeing every day. Be well, friends.

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