The Big Mistake I Made Trying to Be Healthier

The Big Mistake I Made Trying to Be Healthier

You feel like you’re doing all the right things. You watch what you’re eating, You try to get enough sleep. You’re doing everything you can to the best of your ability.


But the results just aren’t showing up.


'What am I doing wrong? Why does it seem to work {so effortlessly} for everyone else but me?!?'


This is what would go through my mind, pretty much daily.


If you’ve been there or are here currently you know how frustrating this feels.


Looking back, there were several things I would’ve changed or done differently to help me to get to a healthy place of feeling comfortable and good in my body.


Today I’m sharing with you one of the biggest things I wasn’t doing right and that tripped up my progress.  


My Big Mistake

I let labels and prices be my guide. Simply put.


I remember it clearly. I changed my grocery shopping habits.  Changed what aisles I frequented. Changed what products I bought. I even changed what stores I went to.


I thought if I paid an extra dollar for an item that was marketed as natural, simple, simply, pure, gluten-free, etc. - it must be better for me. Without even realizing it, I instinctively justified the price and told myself I was doing my body some good. 


I’d notice small improvements and then get excited. 'Yay!! I'm so on the right tract’, I’d thought. 


Then weeks or sometime later, I'd hit a lull, a plateau, or even a relapse (dang it!). No improvements. No changes worthy of a fist bump.

'What the heck? I’m doing everything right!' 


What Labels and Premium Prices Mean

One interesting tidbit that I’d later come to learn is that labels on food packages serve one primary purpose. It’s not to educate you on the quality of the product. It’s to grab your attention so you buy it. That’s it.


Labels exist solely for marketing purposes. Terms like natural, simply, no artificial ingredients, pure, etc. are incredibly ambiguous and the reality is often not comparable to what’s implied when we read those words.


The packaged 'healthier' products often still have artificial ingredients that are difficult for your body to process, especially when it’s trying it's hardest to get you back to a healthier you.


As you and I are becoming more aware + demand more transparency with the food we buy, large food manufacturing companies are being forced legally to adjust their marketing language.   In the US, the term natural isn’t even regulated and has no official definition. This leads companies to use this terminology carelessly. 


Premium pricing is also a marketing tactic. And I fell for it. Every. Single. Time. My thinking of ‘oh it’s a dollar more so it must be good for me’ - #busted. I'm a sucker when it comes to marketing, this I know. 


What I Chose to Do

With my new and improved consumer awareness skills, I knew two things were important to me.


One - I wanted to continue being aware. 

Two - I didn’t want to drown in overwhelm trying to figure out how I would grocery shop AND still work on my health goals.


So, I decided to try an experiment. I made a commitment to myself to start reading ingredients and ignore all labels.


And you know what? I got overwhelmed at first, lemme tell you. I mean, what did all those words mean anyways?


Being curious, I decided I wanted to find out. Slowly. #overwhelmisnotmyjam


Every time I wanted something that was prepackaged, I chose one word from the ingredients list that I didn’t recognize or could even pronounce. Then I pulled out my phone and I wikipedia’d that one ingredient.


Slowly over time I began choosing more foods that didn’t come with an ingredient list over foods that seemed super convenient. 


So did I always put the item back once I read what ohmygosh extract was? Not always. And there’ll be no easy yes or no for you either, I’m sure.

I challenge you to give this experiment a try. You’re going to be amazed!


Try it for a month and see what you notice about your habits. Does anything shift for you? Do your shopping habits change? Don't forget to share those insights with me in the comments below. Because you know I’d love to know. 


To ingredients over labels,

rena williams wellness