Saturday, June 7, 2014

One Size Does Not Fit All

Eat Clean? Paleo? Gluten Free? Everything in moderation?

CrossFit? Run? MMA? Yoga?

The Internet is incredible because there is so much information out there. With that much info, inevitably you're going to run into ones that say X is good for you and others that say X is bad for you. There are arguments for all sides - things you should/shouldn't eat, exercises you should/shouldn't do -- there's no one right answer.

Just like years ago I had to make peace with the fact that my size 0 best friends could eat burgers and fries and not exercise and still not gain weight -- and I couldn't, I have made peace with the fact that not all food and fitness suggestions will work for me.

When people ask me how I managed to lose weight (mainly due to weight lifting/CrossFit plus doing the Whole Life Challenge - no dairy, no sugar, no preservatives etc.), they react in horror thinking that it's all too extreme.

I have a friend who eats clean (includes dairy and legumes) and only walks, but walks regularly and vigorously, and she manages to lose weight and keep it off.

Another friend of mine follows a Paleo lifestyle (no legumes, no sugar, no dairy) and runs (no weights). She is also very healthy and is able to maintain her weight loss.

Yet one more friend eats whatever she wants in moderation and does general aerobics exercise and still manages to lose weight.

We're all different. We have chosen to follow an eating method that suits our bodies and to do exercises that suit our interest levels as well as have a positive impact on our body.

Following the Whole Life Challenge guidelines work best for me -- however, even though legumes are allowed, I found that legumes don't suit me well at all -- therefore, I have practically eliminated them from my diet. I found that dairy doesn't bother me, so I am ok with having a bit of milk, some Greek yogurt, and even some cheese (not Paleo or WLC friendly, but alright under 'eating clean' guidelines).

As much as I would love to run, it just hurts my knees too much. However, intense weight lifting and MMA suit me just fine.

I find it amusing that more people react negatively to CrossFit than they do when I mention MMA training - I would think that being punched in the face would be more alarming on the injury scale than doing heavy squats -- but everyone has their own opinion and their own preference …

In the end - one size does not fit all.

You have to figure out what works best for you. What decisions are you going to make for your health and fitness that will allow you to comfortably include them in your lifestyle as an actual lifestyle (vs a diet or a phase)? What will you enjoy doing so that the tasks don't feel like a bore or a chore?

These decisions are all up to you.

The articles out there are often interesting and informative, but I would strongly caution about following something blindly and expecting the results to work with universal success. Build your knowledge base. Be patient through the trial period. Find out what works for you -- and don't judge others for what they have chosen to do.


  1. I love this post. Love it. I'm finding my own way and finding myself much happier.

  2. Very well said! This is the lesson that I had to learn also for myself!

  3. I have read about the Whole30 and a bunch of other stuff. I have not seriously attempted any of it because all these plans and programmes are too restrictive for me. I cannot imagine not to eat bread or pasta at all, although I can gladly live without legumes other than green beans because I just cannot stand their consistency. I have not chewed a kidney bean in decades (I usually avoid them, but on the rare occasion they happen to be in a meal I just swallow them whole because I think it's rude to pick out food components and put them aside; maybe not the brightest habit but that's just how I am). Anyway, I completely agree - some things work out perfectly for a number of people but not at all for other. Unfortunately, I haven't found MY perfect way so far, but I'm working on it. It is indeed fascinating how people around you are reacting to CrossFit - it's always quite fascinating for me how people react when I tell them I'm doing Krav Maga.

    1. It takes time and quite a bit of trial and error. It also takes brutal honesty - e.g. I thought that having a little bread wouldn't harm me, but the truth is, I bloat so much after eating bread that it was making me uncomfortable. That's when I had to decide - what do I want more, bread with bloat or no bread with no bloat -- I chose the latter. It took some time to get used to, but I managed.

      I can imagine the reactions to you doing Krav Maga! I've had quite a few interesting responses to my MMA training!

  4. This is a great article. I wish more people would realize that just because a certain product, work out, or diet works for one person doesn't mean it will work for everyone. It would stop people from giving up just because one way didn't work for them.

  5. "You have to figure out what works best for you. What decisions are you going to make for your health and fitness that will allow you to comfortably include them in your lifestyle as an actual lifestyle (vs a diet or a phase)? What will you enjoy doing so that the tasks don't feel like a bore or a chore?"
    Well said!!!

  6. Hi - you are so right - one approach does not work for all. Me I am partial to martial arts, bicycling, and hiking. Calorie counting and don't exclude any food group.

    But so long as you approach works and you can keep it up - you are in the zone.

    Glad I found your blog.

    1. For sure! I know that my passion for MMA now drives my other training techniques. I try to do what I can to improve my fighting game. Thanks for commenting! :)

  7. Love this. No one approach is better than another. AMEN!

    1. Yup - you just gotta find what works for you and go for it :)

  8. So true..I am still trying to figure out what I love the best...somehow I get excited about everything and everything is equally tough..

    1. Me too! I want to attend all types of classes and try everything!! :)

  9. Smoothie recipe (officially it's 470 calories, but I call it 500 because hey, why not) --

    This is the order I put things into the blender:

    2 cups (I don't measure; I just grab two handfuls) of mixed greens (baby spinach, kale, chard, whatever)

    1 scoop Garden of Life Raw Protein powder

    4 oz unsweetened almond milk

    4 oz liquid egg whites

    1/2 cup frozen mango (it comes could use fresh if you have it but then you will also need to add ice)

    1 teaspoon cacao nibs

    1 teaspoon chia seeds

    1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

    1 teaspoon coconut oil

    1 teaspoon maca powder


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I can use all the support I can get :)