The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

From hair loss to mental health issues - the dark side of a healthy lifestyle


Source: It

“I will not blame myself for every crumb I eat” - why it is dangerous to be a radical healthy lifestyle.

Photo: Shutterstock

Some do not leave the house without a smoothie bottle, others do yoga and love their reflection in the mirror. The gap between supporters of healthy lifestyles and those who "live once" is becoming more and more, writes It. Wellness is not just about nutrition and sports. It is a philosophy that allows you to maintain physical and emotional health, it is quality sleep, skin care, meditation, communication with nature and positive thinking. If there is nothing to say about the dangers of alcohol and fast food in the 21 century, then what would be the negative consequences of what would seem to be extremely beneficial habits?

New reality

Imagine that you came to the store, which sells lifestyles for every taste. Maxim Zhidko, Candidate of Psychological Sciences and Ph.D., believes that such a global “supermarket” reconciles various extremes and imposes on us the acquisition of more and more new products within the chosen “line”, and in this sense a new diet and a fresh sort of beer, as a good, they do not differ:

“The rapid growth of technological progress has led to the fact that the residents of megacities and large residential centers have formed a hitherto unknown person with an excess of free time and energy, as well as the need for constant stimulation with impressions. According to Georgy Pocheptsov (Ukrainian science fiction writer, journalist and specialist in the field of communicative technologies. - Note. Ed.), We are contemporaries of the emergence of a new type of person - a relaxed person.

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If a reasonable person was shaped by work, then a relaxed person is shaped by rest. Naturally, his attention is drawn to himself, and the excess - to the satisfaction of their own needs. "

Maxim says that post-truth and digital dementia phenomena are common for a relaxed target audience: a low level of development of certain mental functions and processes. Memory and critical thinking suffer, we simplify our experiences and experience total distrust, and instead of real relationships we use their virtual counterparts, including TV shows, porn and online games:

“What seems to us to be irrational extremes, for the people who practice them, are quite modern and reasonable options for caring for their own 'true needs and desires.' But all of this is skillful simulations that often only distract from real life. Their main goal is the same as that of the brain - to get the maximum benefit with the minimum expenditure of resources. "

The dark side of wellness

A few years ago, graphic designer Ksenia Godovanchuk decided to lose weight, so that the size of the LM turned into a cherished S:

“I bought a subscription to the gym and started experimenting with my diet. Then there was still no trend for proper nutrition and sport. I was a pioneer for myself: I signed up for the gym, but since I didn’t know how to do the exercises, I just worked on the track - I lost no more than two kilograms. In the diet, I also had big mistakes. I refused sugar, but ate cottage cheese with a can of honey and thought it was healthy. ”

Ksenia started going to group classes, and soon a friend called her to the gym:

“Global changes started: I lost a few kilograms per month. I had a goal - to lose weight up to 49 kilogram. I needed to see this on the scales. When I lost weight to this mark, I thought, why not throw another kilogram? ”

Excitement led Xenia to anorexia. With the growth of 170, the girl’s weight was 44 kg. What did she feel while losing weight? Pride: “I can not eat everything that you eat. I play sports and I have such beautiful shoulders, legs and a press. ” But, as Ksyusha says, she did not live the life of an ordinary person - only from plate to plate, from the hall to the sofa. She avoided meeting with friends, because she was afraid of the temptation to eat what she could not. The girl understood that this could not last a lifetime.


“I started having problems with women's health, I lost a lot of hair and had to cut my hair because it was unbearable to go that way. My nails also suffered, but the most important thing, of course, is the psyche. The recovery period was difficult. It took several years. ”

Healthy lifestyles become more radical - they refuse food of animal origin, and the most courageous even resort to raw food. The psychologist sees this as a danger:

“Mental health specialists practically every year introduce into the scientific lexicon more and more new concepts denoting the phenomena of the human psyche that are associated with life in different simulations. This is how the concept of orthorexia appeared - a painful dependence on healthy food.

Our brain has not yet adapted to such information loads, therefore, it is starting to “fail” in an elementary way, trying to cope. There are new neuroses, they mutate old ones, we ourselves create a “neurotic information bubble”, from which we can not get out later, not accepting ourselves real and setting goals that we also cannot achieve, like the horizon line ”.

What to do?

Maxim is sure that wherever we go - towards asceticism or debauchery - we will still be unsatisfied and unhappy. Another indicator of psychological distress is a feeling of lack of freedom:

“Modern life is largely uncertain (which is scary!), But for the most part it is still the sum of the choices we make with varying degrees of awareness. The feeling of lack of choice, transferring it to other hands, unwillingness to “pay” for it leads to the fact that we are escaping into an illusory reality, to the simulations prepared in advance and offered by the market. Whether it is a dependency on alcohol, labor, another person or a “special” lifestyle is a purely technical matter, which is determined by our genetic predispositions and the environment in which we live. ”

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To get out of this “pendulum” of extremes, the psychologist advises to adhere to informational hygiene, develop awareness and establish a balance between taking care of yourself and the prosocial interest. While gadgets are learning to simplify everything, make your mental life more complex: develop your own independent thinking skills and alternate physical, emotional, and intellectual workloads.

Today Ksenia weighs 53 kg and monitors her health: she tries not only to eat fast food and sweets, she chooses workouts she likes - now it's dancing.


“At first it was difficult to take oneself in such weight. But I had a goal to train myself to treat food normally. If I wanted to eat at 11 in the evening, I will do it calmly and will not blame myself for every crumb eaten, ”Ksenia says.

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