Lately I’ve been thinking about the importance of self advocation. I turned 26 and selected a new health care plan and was having a lot of issues with the care. I have also always had an issue with the food industry in the United States. The common thread with how to deal with these issues is that I learned I need to learn to advocate for myself. The food and health care industry are not designed to protect your best interest (unfortunately), so you have to!
I recently had a strange red irritation right under my eye, that I thought was from my sunglasses rubbing in a funny way. I thought nothing of it, it was so tiny and I have sensitive skin anyway. When I went to the dermatologist for an annual mole check he didn’t notice it. At the end of the appointment I brought it up, almost randomly. He looked at it and said it is basal cell carcinoma. Basically I learned that you can’t just go to the doctor and expect them to notice something. YOU have to pay attention to your body and advocate for your own health.
Another time you have to rely on yourself is with the food industry in the United States. Many things that are staples in the American diet are banned in Europe, because of dangerous chemicals, dyes, pesticides and preservatives. It is easy to feel like the government does not care about your health even that it is harmful to your health, for the sake of money and the benefit of large companies. The only way to advocate for your health in this area, is by knowledge. Do research on what is healthy for your body. Knowledge is power! Up until very recently the food pyramid was proven to be completely wrong for a healthy diet and for sustainability. It is finally changing but it is important to be ahead of the changes. Just because food is sold in your local grocery store does not mean it isn’t dangerous.
Tricks for how to advocate for yourself:
- Dont be afraid to ask questions: If you are concerned about something, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your health and wellness is valuable and it is okay to take more time and fully understand what is going on.
- Stand up for yourself: If you feel you have been wronged, don’t just let it go. Make sure to stand up for yourself even if it is a pain and takes time!
- Do your research: For anything you are dealing with, make sure you know everything there is to know. Going into any new or scary situation is difficult, it will be much easier to be confident and stand up for yourself if you are empowered by knowledge!
You should be your biggest concern. Make time for yourself and advocate for your health, wellness and everything else you deserve!