Experimental You


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.

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8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the fun...so adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

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