Column: When Will We Know Better?

May 4, 2023 | 2 Comments

[Opinion column written by Hafid James]

I have written and spoken on a myriad of health topics ranging from the health care system to why I don’t post weight loss transformation pictures and so on. All because I genuinely do want the best for people, so they can become their healthiest and greatest self. This op-ed is no different. This op-ed is directed to us as individuals and as a society, asking the tough question: when will we know better?

The saying goes “if you know better, you’ll do better,” yet from my experience, this isn’t always the case. According to Albert Einstein, insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results. Meanwhile for the last 50-plus years, we as a society have been repeating the same trends and hoping for different results.

In the 1940s, people believed mechanical devices would actually make their waist smaller or wearing sweat suits will help you lose body fat. Many of us today would think these devices look ridiculous and can’t be true. But, the problem is we are still falling for the same gimmicks today. Different packaging/look, targeted at a different demographic, but still the same basic concept.

When Will We Know Better Fitness Column Hafid James May 2023_2

These are not the only examples. Before there was ozempic, there was metformin, and guess what? In another 5-10 years there will be another pharmaceutical drug used to help with the “symptoms” of lifestyle illness and obesity. Yet, none will deal with the actual root problem. Veganism is the new craze, but it has been around for a long time. Same with keto, intermittent fasting, and other trendy diets.

They all go through a cycle of popularity only to be repeated every few years. For five decades we have been failing upward [referencing the proliferation of lifestyle conditions and obesity] at trying to outwork a bad lifestyle: strength training, endless cardio, HIIT, spinning, Zumba, ankle weights, shake weights. These can be factors of improving our health, but we have undeniable evidence that it can not be our focus. Yet we still repeat the same pattern, focusing on physical activities over other [more important] healthy lifestyle habits and mindsets.

As individuals, how many trainers will we go through before we realise maybe it’s not the training or the trainer. How many different teas, supplements, and powders are we going to try? How many waist trainers, sweat wraps, and ab gels will we buy? How long will we repeat the same patterns for short term results at best, deleterious results at worst.

When Will We Know Better Fitness Column Hafid James May 2023_1
Now, the people that are selling you these products/services may not care; the health/fitness industry is a profitable business and they can take advantage of your desperation or naivety.

Before we can fix the multitude of the external problems stopping us from achieving our greatest and healthiest self, we have to stop, reflect, and look within ourselves. Am I just repeating the same cycle over and over? If so, ask yourself why and what can be done. I suggest thinking about true holistic health and, even more importantly, have a better understanding of what ‘healthy’ really means. It’s more than a look, one’s physical abilities, or a test result.

Be happy. Be healthy.

- Hafid James

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  1. Melissa says:

    This is such a well written piece. These gadgets, fad diets and medications are not sustainable and never solves the real issue . It is mind blowing that it is still taking us this long to see that we are being presented the same rubbish, just repackaged and rebranded. Thanks Hafid for putting some spotlight on this. Excellent article and I hope this will create a mindset shift and get the conversation going on what it really means to be healthy.

  2. Joe Whalen says:

    Hafid is point on. I look forward to hearing more about his holistic approach to wellness.

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