I was pouring over a story in Runners World the other day… ok… stop.. yeah I hear you now..
“Wait a minute! You aren’t even running right now, and you’re reading a running magazine?”
Why yes, yes I am. I plan to keep on top of things while I’m recovering… not only that there’s lots of good stuff besides running in there… like… nutrition…
Nutrition is something that involves us all, running or not. OK, lots of the food stories do focus on fueling for a good run, but then I come across something like this that really resonated with me ’cause I understand this idea… and why I will always tell you that diets will fail you.
The story was titled “Why Can’t You Lose Weight?” On the sidebar is the “thing” that caught my eye. It was titled “10 Golden Rules of Weight Loss Success”. The first one said this:
You are an experiment of one.
No one has to live your precise life, with your specific challenges, biochemistry, anatomy, injury history, calendar, boss or family.
Yeah. Let that breathe over you for a minute.
You. Are an experiment of one.
No one else is wired just like you in any specific way.
This is why cookie cutter diets often ( and usually do) fail miserably. This is why the diet industry is a zillion dollar a year market.
This is why you must know your body, know what works, and what doesn’t. This is why giving someone a blanket 1200 calorie diet is useless.
It doesn’t take in to account any of the things listed above.
Obviously, I only have myself to experiment on. I’ve had people ask me about certain things.. I share with them.. as far as food I eat or exercises I do… but my anatomy is different from theirs… my metabolism…how I’m made is going to respond in a different way than their body might. In the past I’ve referred to myself as a “fun science experiment”. Eating certain foods or eating limited amounts, mixing up foods, plenty of exercise and a variety of exercise works in interesting ways on my body.
My dietary needs vary not just on a day to day basis but often on the type of training I’m doing. During the heavy part of marathon training, on any given day, my caloric needs are high. When I’m off heavy training, I need to adjust my food intake to my current training level.
You are an experiment of one. As you consider ways to lose weight, know what works for you and follow it. Don’t worry about what your neighbor does or if they are on some current trendy thing. Become an expert on yourself. No one has your unique, specific body design or life circumstances.
So as you consider health and fitness goals keep in mind things like….
Your schedule. Where in your day does your workout fit best for you to get it done?
What types of exercises can you do? Do you have any physical injuries or limitations to consider ?
How good are you at eating regular, balanced healthy meals ?
What “issues” are you maybe dealing with in life that could distract you from your goals?
Know your body. Does it seem to respond better to certain exercises or foods ?
Know how much you need to eat to satisfy your hunger, but no more than that. Learn, listen and obey your bodies natural hunger and satisfied feelings.
Are you an athlete ? Your feeding needs will be different as you must consider additional calories for whatever athletic endeavor you are taking on. You have to know and respect that.
When you really understand and consider yourself as “an experiment of one” with a focus on your personal needs and body requirements, you are on your way to nailing down your own unique health and fitness plan.