Your health is yours
I think it’s important for you to read and understand that there’s truly no other body like yours out there on the face of this planet.
When I think of my body I think of a vehicle that carries me through life. And just like with a vehicle it needs the right fuel ( nutrition) care (rest/recovery) and it needs to keep moving in order for it to keep on going ( training/daily activities). What these pillars need however depends on what kind of model the vehicle is and the same thing goes for our bodies. The aim of this blog is to let you see why your body is your own magnificent and unique vehicle. Unique in every sense of the word because it doesn’t matter how small the differences are between your body and any other person that you may know, those small differences make it so that your body has different needs than someone else’s. When we speak about different needs, we’re talking about nutrition, rest/recovery and internal/external activity. By internal activity I mean all the processes that happen in your body that requires some sort of energy source. In this blog I will focus on nutrition and how that has an impact on and should be influenced by the other two. I think it’s all about figuring out what works for you, so I won’t be diving in to the details to much. And just show you the areas where those differences lie.
And again if you do not really care about health and nutrition than I hope you will still learn and take something away from this.
So once we realize that there’s not a single body like the one you inhabit out there, it’s easy to understand that your needs are different from let’s say mine. That’s the biggest reason why I am not a fan of unchangeable diets, set workout programs and all other things that are not set to your personal needs, standards and goals. How can we expect the same results of these diets and workout programs if our bodies don’t work and react the same? Sure if you do not have a precise goal of what you want to achieve, like get leaner and live healthier than use what will get you to that goal and keep you there. But if you’re looking for specific goals that are truly yours, ( lose 7.5 kg/16.5 lbs. or run a half marathon under 2 hours) you will have to look at what your body and goals need. Because like I said before, we can’t expect our bodies to react the same to nutrition or workouts. And even when your goals are not that specific you still need to look at what you’re doing in order to get there. How do you know what your body needs and what works for you? By trying out a hell of a lot of things until you find what works for you. That might sound like a lot of work and time, and yes that could be the case but a lot of the times it’s just minor tweaks and changes to the things that you have been doing that will give you, what your body actually needs. Because it can be those small changes to that training or nutrition program that you were already on that will get you what you need. And that’s a big part of what we need to figure out, what are those differences my body need? To determine this you have to look at different aspects of your daily life that have an effect on your energy systems and storage. Some of these things are, what type of work you’re doing throughout the day, what do your workouts look like, how long are you on your feet every day, what is your muscle mass and you need to look at how you’re reacting to these things. If you don’t see the progress within a week than that is perfectly okay and actually good. Because those drastic changes are only going to slim your chances of success. Once there’s no progression after at least 3 months it’s time to start looking at why the things you are doing, are not the things you should be doing.
Let’s talk a little bit more about the things that make our bodies react differently and makes us have different needs. Obviously nutrition fuels everything that we do throughout the day and night and this is one of the big areas that we will need to look at when we talk about differences in needs and responses of our body. The reason why we need to look at nutrition is because the energy that you use throughout the day comes from that. And this is specific to you, nobody does exactly the same things as you’re doing. So looking at how many carbs and fat you’re using per day for all the different things you’re doing and the amount of protein you need to recover and stay healthy will give you the information you need to determine what your body requires. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of figuring this out to detail you can just stick to a basic principle. This basic principle is figuring out what the main energy source is for what activity you’re doing and fuel accordingly. For a lot of people that are on their feet all day or do workouts of a longer duration their main energy source will be the fats stored in your body. However our main energy source throughout the day are our carbohydrates, think of walking to your job or shorter/normal duration workouts. Basically everything we do that does not go on for a long period of time will mainly be supported by our carbohydrates storage. This is why carbohydrates are not the enemy, eating to many carbohydrates so your body can’t store it as such is however. We could go in to detail about how our bodies store carbohydrates but I want to keep it simple and basic, because mastering the basics is hard enough. The most important thing to know is that once your body runs out of room to store your carbohydrates it will eventually turn into fat and once you don’t use that as an energy source that will turn into a problem. You can probably see that is where the problem lies for a lot of people that struggle with being overweight for example. When you start looking at what you need to take in, you also need to consider the fact that your muscles burn calories just to keep on going. this is where the average daily intake comes from that you probably have heard of. This excludes all of the moving around and internal activities going on through out the day. I personally like the quote: keep intake to levels that will support exercise/activity but not body fat. With all of this you will find that it’s still a trial and error game, because like what this blog is all about you need to find what works for your body and your goals. A big tip that I want to share with you that is not a secret at all but is going to help you massively while trying to reach your goals, stick to whole foods as much as possible. Whole foods are great in quality of nutrition and they usually don’t have a label with ingredients on them. Having no labels means that there is no hidden ingredients in there, what you see is what you get. That might be the little thing that you hadn’t seen yet and why you were not reaching your goals. Those hidden ingredients and the lesser quality of the non-whole foods can make a big difference for you.
Now let’s take a short look at the physical/workout part of this story.Like our nutrition our workouts are entirely our own. Depending on what your goals are and how your body reacts to those workouts you’re doing to reach them you need to make changes accordingly. For me personally I do not have a detailed goal right now but I like to be fit, look fit and be decent at a lot of things, not great at one thing. This is why I started doing CrossFit, because it gives me the progress and results that satisfy me. What CrossFit is and how that could help you might be discussed in a later blog. What I mean by my example is that CrossFit works for me. Whatever that is for you, go out, find it, stick with it, have fun with it.
The reason why I wrote this blog is because I really wish that someone had told me that there was not one program that works the same for everybody when I started getting into health and fitness. Hopefully this shows you that what someone else is doing and gives them great results might not work for you. And hey I think that is great, I love the fact that our bodies are different and gives us the challenge to find what we need. So whatever you want to do, go out and do that and have fun with it.