“Back on my bullsh*t” is the new mantra of modern wellness


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Photo: Getty Images/AleksandarGeorgiev

In the past few months, I’ve seen the same pithy caption hit my Fit-stagram feed over and over again. Whether stamped beneath a picture of a colorful kale salad or accompanied by an intense video of battle ropes class, the phrase “back on my bullshit” seems like the (and I mean, the) wellness call to action of our time. It’s the much-needed reminder that when the cult of busy, busy, busy pulls us away from our wellness habits, returning to them should be a light-hearted coming home, not a shame spiral.

To investigate the origins of this statement’s social capital across media platforms, I performed a deep Google search pertaining to its lineage. The earliest record I could dredge up dates back to the album Back to My B.S. by rapper Busta Rhymes. Then, in December 2016, American rapper and songwriter Papoose released an album with a similar title, Back On My Bullshit, featuring an eponymous track. Among the lyrics: “This time I ain’t playing fair, I’mma take what’s mine…I’m back on my bullshit, I’m back on my bullshit. I said I’m back on my bullshit, I’m back on my bullshit, hey.”

Flash-forward to 2019 and the “I’mma take what’s mine” connotation is still very much attached to the meaning. (The always illuminating) Urban Dictionary defines it in a few different ways, notably:

1.  “[T]o be back on one’s bullshit is to return to a state at which you were your truest and most vocal self with a renewed focus on authenticity and a decided lack of fucks given for others.” [December 9, 2017]

2. “[I]t is the act or process of accepting your inevitable return to the self-defeating and impulsive behaviors that have historically hindered your self-actualization but from which you cannot, and no longer desire to, escape.” [December 9, 2017]

3. “To be re-motivated to seek success. Resurgence in life and motivation. The next level of finesse.” [June 19, 2017]

It’s been making its way across the internet at large for a handful of years already via quizzes, memes, and more. But the phrase is definitely the new kid on the wellness on the scene, which seems to favor the first and last interpretation. I.e., when life gets in the way of the things that make you your fullest, healthiest, most-realized self, make it your business to take back—and own—what’s yours.

What’s even more significant about “back on my bullshit” IMO though, is that the word “bullshit” suggests a certain laid-back approach that we’d all benefit from in the era of performative wellness.

What’s even more significant about “back on my bullshit,” though, is that the word “bullshit” suggests a certain laid-back approach that we’d all benefit from in the era of performative wellness. As holistic nutritionist Daphne Javitch reminded the audience at the latest Well+Good TALK in New York City, “The sign of a pro is how quickly can you course correct, how quickly can you return to your routine.” It’s okay to stray, but drowning in FOMO over all the workouts/green smoothies/meditation you “should” be doing often makes the road back to your BS longer, not shorter.

Now that I’m acquainted with the evolution of this lyric-turned-life motto, I must say the turn of phrase deserves to make its way outside the realm of social media. So I, for one, will be captioning my whole life: “Get back on your bullshit, Kells.”

Some tools to help you get “back on your bullshit”: Here’s what to do if you’ve lost your running mojo and how to deal when your skin gets hungover (yes, it happens!)

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