Everywhere we turn—Facebook, YouTube, TV, our phones—we hear different, competing messages about health. Eat only plants. Go paleo. Run a lot. Don’t run at all. Yoga is life-changing. Yoga is boring. This is the magic bullet for weight loss. There’s no such thing as a magic bullet for weight loss!
Trust me, I’ve heard—and written about—it all. Over the course of my career as a health journalist, I’ve produced stories about all aspects of health and wellness. I’ve covered everything from green smoothie recipes to positive psychology, from HIIT workouts to healing crystals.
Despite all the research and interviews my job entailed, the conventional health wisdom wasn’t exactly working for me. I actually believe that because of all the mixed messages about health and wellness I was writing about and reporting on, my own health suffered. In short, I tried to do too much—I tried to do it all, really, without taking the time to figure out what worked for my body.
So around the same time I quit my full-time job as a writer for one of the world’s biggest health websites earlier this year, I embarked a personal health journey to address some health issues of my own. I even got certified as a health coach and personal trainer to continue my education. Along the way, I realized a lot of surprising things that my years of writing about health never taught me. I learned why a lot of the conventionally "healthy" things I was doing weren’t working—and what I needed to do instead.
All in all, 2017 completely changed the way I think about health. As we enter 2018, here are some lessons this past year has taught me about my health, well-being, and overall happiness. Some were minor, some were more major, but all were valuable in some way. And maybe they’ll provide some value to you, too: