This is why I'm grateful to Belle Gibson.

By Amy Crawford

Over the last few months many of us have been observing (and feeling) the effects of a leaking 'wellness bubble', a bubble that resulted in incredible opportunity for many, but is now reeling from weeks of controversial mainstream headlines. The wellness landscape has irrevocably changed, of that there is no question.

Jess Ainscough's tragic death from a rare cancer drew headlines for her decision to treat herself with controversial Gerson Therapy, declining treatment from her Doctors who could possibly have saved her life. Pete Evans' paleo cookbook Bubba Yum Yum was shelved after being slammed by health critics. Ashey Bines has come under fire for alleged plagiarism and a questionable diet philosophy. Finally (finally) this week Belle Gibson's long awaited words were shared with the world via a glossy magazine, as she admits to lying (to her hundreds of thousands of followers) about her holistic healing journey with life threatening cancers - a journey that propelled her to huge success with book deals and an Apple app to boot.

I've been grappling for some time to find the right words to share my views around this 'saga', observing from the sidelines but increasingly acutely from within The Holistic Ingredient, a life I have carved around my own return to health from chronic illness. I've felt a range of emotions from sadness to shock to absolute disappointment and frustration, as I've come to terms with what this means to the many supporters of these 'wellness advocates', whose decisions around their own health journeys may have been swayed, not always for the positive; of what this means for the health industry in general. Of course there is also the impact on my own journey with THI and what this means for my own future.

"At any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth, or step back into safety" - Abraham Maslow.

Two and half years ago, at the tail end of several years of chronic illness (CFS) I shared my very first blog post on The Holistic Ingredient. I had absolutely no idea where this journey would take me (with 18 years of recruitment experience behind me the health industry had never been on my agenda) and no idea what my future had in store.  The impetus was (and still is) one of sharing my journey, touching on each of those 'holistic ingredients' that were fundamental to my own path to wellness - not just diet, but energy healing, relationships, mindset, toxicity, exercise. I realise how blessed I was and am to build a career out of all those things I am most passionate about. Most significantly though and from the very outset - my desire was simply to inspire, to share my learnings, to be 100% authentic and genuine in all that I did (and do) in the hope that some part of my message inspires others to a happier and healthier life. 

I have never professed to be more than I am. I now find myself in an interesting predicament - for my history of chronic illness is in some instances now a blight. I feel this via the wariness of many who've lost faith in our industry and the messages we share. 

However fundamentally I believe everything happens for a reason, that there are always blessings in challenging situations - these are now coming to light. Yesterday I felt a strange sense of gratitude to Belle et. al, for highlighting what the health industry lacks in terms of accountability and transparency; for highlighting the urgent need for collaboration between western and holistic medicine practitioners; for opening the eyes of so many around the world and forcing individuals to take responsibility for their own health, to do their own research, not to take any one word as gospel. I feel gratitude too for the fact I am being pushed out of my comfort zone, to look at new and exciting ways by which I can share a lifetime of experience. I also now have an opportunity to prove to a growing and wonderful community of people that my message is and always has been one built on trust and authenticity. 

That said, my fundamental messages to you all today are these:

  • Question, always question what you read
  • Seek out your own educated health advice, look for both sides of a story
  • Question, again
  • Don't believe everything you read on the internet to be gospel
  • Let your decisions around your personal diet and lifestyle preferences be based on what makes you FEEL good
  • Let go of the need for perfection and absolute discipline around all that you do, and last but most certainly not least
  • Be authentic, be real, always speak the truth

You have my word that all messages shared come from a place of authenticity and a genuine desire to improve the lives of others. We commit to supporting our articles wherever possible with scholarly research to help you make educated decisions around your own health journey. 

Finally, to those of you who in our community who have supported and continue to support THI, a heartfelt thank you for the trust and faith you have placed in our messages thus far. I'm excited that this has prompted a shift in thinking for THI and we'll be sharing more with you in the weeks ahead. 

{Folks, we welcome your feedback but please keep it nice, this is a positive space and we love it that way}.




April 24 2015

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