Anti-Healthism in a Nutshell


If anti-healthism is confusing to understand or difficult to explain, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Well-being is weight neutral. Don’t think living well is about being skinny, or make your health goals center around weight loss.

Health, like happiness, is not a destination but a means of travel. Anyone can be healthy(ier) regardless of their objective health or ability. Also, we are all vulnerable to injury, disease, and death, no matter how “good” we are. 

So set goals and make a plan to meet those goals if you want…but be realistic. Accept where you are and know that it’s okay. Enjoy the process. Be creative. Relax. And then come what come may.

Basically, anti-healthism is the idea that health is a gift and, possibly, a goal. It’s not a choice or an identity. Your health does not reflect your personality, morality, or worthiness. It’s not the whole point of living, especially if you live in fear. Health is attainable by all, and is, in a sense, an entitlement of all, not just the elect. You have the moral right, the patient’s right, to be supported in being as healthy as possible (depending on your unique health needs and goals) with the greatest amount of personal freedom. Neutral health advice that covers all the options honestly without lecturing and nannying. 

Healthism is essentially the practice of elevating the cultural taboos of a few into the health obligations of many. A fascism that is especially dangerous because it is so easily cloaked in good intentions and with a clean conscience. 

Anti-healthism is the idea that health is the right and responsibility of the individual, not the collective. And it’s not a moral obligation. The only person you “owe” health to is you and those you choose to care about…and the gift of health you give is tailored by you, not a lab in Alabama, not a bureaucrat, not a talk show host…you.

Live healthy. Live anti-healthist.

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One comment

  1. Saye Bennett · October 21

    It is difficult to read a magazine or the news online now without some scary health “news” (and the research the “news” is based on is usually faulty in some way if you bother to scratch below the surface). I like this philosophy because I see people becoming willing victims of whatever fad is being touted at the moment, only to be jerked in the other way the minute more “news” surfaces.

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