Have you suffered some sort of negative comments or treatment by your family, peers, or co-workers because of your choice to start working out, eating cleaner, partaking in culture, learning about spirituality and/or choosing to live a sober life? Did this discourage you or not and how did you deal with it?
It is obvious the root of this issue is cause from historical trauma – but if you have a solution...please share. Try to be lucrative with your response; it might help someone who’s experienced this. The intention is not to create an unhealthy cyber space to rant and be angry; it is to share solutions. I personally have not experienced this and I have my own opinions but I’d rather ask the online native community to help with solutions on behalf of others.
Since the movement to revitalize fitness and ancestral diet in our communities has emerged – we’re not only seeing this problem with those seeking spirituality and sobriety in their lives – we’re seeing this issue arise with those who are simply looking to eat right and get in shape for a healthier life.
Feel free to share this to create healthy and positive dialogue!
- I haven't had much experience about put downs, more so people telling me I don't need to diet and exercise because I shouldn't be any skinnier (although I don't think I'm skinny at about 140lbs). I say it's because I want to feel healthy and good about myself and what I put in my body, and to increase my natural energy. Then they get it.
- What I have experienced is more like fear. Some older generations have said things like "quit starving yourself" and "you're gonna hurt yourself if you work out so much" or "your gonna get big like a man if you lift weights". With patience and open mindedness I have explained the benefits of healthy diet and fitness, especially extreme fitness like martial arts I have participated in. I think it is a remnants of an era where women were shamed... And an era where food was scarce and our people have to eat whatever and as much as they could at any given time. This is pretty much the only time I have felt judged but I know it didn't come from a place of hate, just misunderstanding. And I have only once been bothered by a friend for not drinking and after I explained my choice the person apologized and never bothered me again. People are genuinely impressed and happy to know their peers are non drinkers.
- Choosing traditional beliefs and living a life of sobriety has brought about much adversity for me as a native man. Ranging from "You think you're better than us.", "You're to good of a guy to date, girls around here don't like that.", and "You're not real Sav mode native." I just think back to the ancestors and how strong they were. How they didn't have access to all these drugs, alcohol, processed foods, or chemicals. If they survived and made it so I too could live and receive the blessings of this life and cherish them, I can make it as well. Our people have an ancestoral strength within us. Now Is the time to bring it forth. Pesha eu.
About the Author
Thosh is a photographer and wellness trainer from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Arizona. He works extensively as a freelance photographer in the Native community and throughout the United States and Canada.Thosh started doing photography at the age of 15 at The New School for the Arts High School of Scottsdale, Arizona, and later attended the San Francisco Art Institute on a full-ride scholarship. Thosh uses photography as a tool to document contemporary Native peoples and their many talents and the realities of Native people as they strive to help preserve their identities in today’s world.