Life is Not 'One Size Fits All'

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/21/2010 5:12 AM   :  130 comments   :  14,841 Views

By Beth Donovan, ~INDYGIRL

Healthy lifestyles are not just one of a kind; they have to fit the individual. How many times have you thought that if you could just do what your friend or a favorite celebrity did, you could look just like her? Yet when you try to fit their routines into your life, eat the foods they like, and do the fitness activities they love, youíre miserable. When you inevitably toss out their lifestyle, you feel like you failed. It wasnít you that failed. It was just a bad lifestyle fit.

We are individuals on our own journeys and no two are exactly alike. Not everyone can work out for an hour a day. I have to break my workouts up into 10 minute chunks throughout the day because of my disabilities. They used to be 3 minute workouts. My journey isnít the same as someone who is able to do a 30 minute workout or a 5K, but Iíve still lost 144 pounds and am getting fitter by the day. I have muscles I can actually feel now!

What about eating? Shouldnít you follow a specific eating plan and have foods you never eat again? Not in my journey. I tried that before and it left me feeling deprived and led to binge eating later. Now I eat what I want in smaller quantities and count it on the tracker. If Iím craving pizza so bad I canít see straight, I might have it for two meals in a row in a reasonable quantity. I donít have the fear that this will be the last pizza I will ever eat anymore, because I can have it any time I want it.

A pet peeve of mine is ďDiet Police,Ē those well-meaning individuals who ask, "Should you be eating that?" They try to control you all in the name of your good health. In my journey, they know better. When someone tries to talk me into bariatric (weight loss) surgery or some fast--and they do try--I politely refuse. If they persist, I reach into my purse and give them a SparkPeople card with my username written on it. I tell them the benefits of getting healthy the natural way. For them though, those are reasonable answers to their fitness problems. I donít feel they are any more right or wrong than I am. We are all out to save our lives from this obesity epidemic and there are many options out there. The trick is finding what works for you personally.

With so much advice out there, so many tips and tricks, so many magazines promoting new miracle diets, so many medical discoveries happening in the field, the weight loss industry is huge. Unfortunately so is the problem of obesity. We have celebrities promoting diet clinics, ads for diet pills on every other magazine, and doctors treating patients with disrespect if they canít lose weight. Even insurance companies are asking the obese to pay more for insurance or flat out refusing to cover them. (I was refused coverage once at 250 pounds back in 1989.)

My point is that the world is changing, my friends. Obesity is now considered an epidemic and we are all responsible to find a cure. It isnít going to be a one cure fits all fix, like a vaccination. We each have to find our own way. We know some basics, that calories in and calories out are the baseline answer to the physiological problem. Itís the psychological, genetics, disease related, and who knows whatever else, we need help to solve. Those things are all variables to which there is more than one problem and definitely more than one solution.

What works for me may not work for you. What works for you or any movie star definitely does not work for me. I mean it could if I were well and LOVED the gym and not eating. That isnít me, however. What really can work is finding a way to change our lives without disrupting them severely. Thatís the trick. Read, watch, listen, talk, absorb, gather all the information you can and make those changes one by one as they suit your individuality.

How do you know what fits your individuality and how do you push out of your comfort zone without over doing it? The change should fit into your life like a puzzle piece youíre trying out for a fit. Keep turning it around and trying it at different angles to see if thatís the right one. If it isnít, it will never go in place. Try another. The change may feel slightly unnatural, but it shouldnít make you panic. Thatís how youíll know that itís just enough of a change. Stick with it until it feels natural and then try another change.

No lifestyle is one size fits all. No single answer will solve all obesity issues. Nobody is a failure at this complex problem; they just havenít found their individual answer yet. Keep searching because it is out there.

What is your one size fits all strategy?


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Comments

  • 130
    This is so true. While there are some basic undeniable facts of weight-loss, the journey is completely personal. We all have to find our way the best way we can. What works for me and my life may not work for anyone but me. That's why we shouldn't compare ourselves against anything other than where we were yesterday and where we want to be tomorrow. - 3/31/2011   10:37:30 PM
  • 129
    I loved your blog. You are right. I too have to occassionally eat pizza or steal a couple of fries from one of my kids. I am like you a little helps keep me from binging. I know I can have things in moderation and I am happy. Once in a blue moon I will go and pig out on Chinese food. I don't do this very often but many times even when I do I don't go that much over on my numbers any more. The longer I eat healthier the less I find myself eating. I used to eat 3 or 4 pieces of pizza but now 2 pieces of vegetarian pizza fill me up. I no longer crave meat pizza but if I did find by self wanting it I would eat 1 piece occassionally if that is what it took. I am fortunate that I can get around pretty good in spite of my weight. I like to take an hour walk with my husband but with winter coming we are looking into joining a gym. - 10/29/2010   9:13:27 PM
  • 128
    Great Blog! You really confirm what it is all about. We are all individuals and have to find what works best for ourselves. Keep working on it. - 10/27/2010   1:18:40 PM
  • 127
    Great blog! All of your posts are inspiring to me. :) I totally agree with needed flexibility to adapt your diet and fitness plan to your lifestyle. Congrats for all of your accomplishments and wishing you all the best in the future. I have to say that I'm appalled that someone would suggest weight loss surgery. Besides the fact that doing so is completely rude and shameful (even though they probably had good intentions), I feel that it is rarely as necessary as many people think it is. I look at what real people have accomplished on SP and (although overexaggerated) The Biggest Loser, and I am happy to see that people can change their lives without drastic measures like surgery. :) - 10/26/2010   1:39:37 PM
  • DONELLABOWERS6
    126
    I love the part where you can eat what you want! I totally believe you should be able to eat what you enjoy. Life is about the good things and food is that good thing :))) - 10/25/2010   11:25:32 PM
  • MIEZEKATZE
    125
    Your blogs on here are so inspiring and bang-on! They really seem to resonate with all types of people at different stages of their life. I really look forward to your posts every time I log on to SP.

    Regarding this blog, I completely agree! They key is to keep trying and discover things that you might not know about yourself. For example, I always thought I would learn to love Yoga - relaxing poses, stretching... appealing, right? WRONG! I hated it! I kept trying it though, and every time I would leave a class I would think: why do people like Yoga? It's so ... boring! But I kept trying because I thought since all the celebrities and all the "cool" people do yoga, I had to keep it up.

    Long story short, I FINALLY realized it wasn't for me, and now take Pilates (which I LOVE). - 10/25/2010   11:59:46 AM
  • JAY75REY
    124
    Great blog and thought-provoking. The Diet Police! so true...and so tiresome. We are all adults and don't need their superiority and control issues foisted upon us. I really resist when someone who is normal weight or in my view, "thin," starts telling me how if only I did what she did, I'd be so much healthier, skinnier, morally righteous, etc etc. If only I could be more like her! (what a crock).

    No one knows the path that each person has walked and how we have arrived at the present day. No one knows how hard I struggle with weight issues and how truly hard it is to lose pounds. Or that I feel great just having gotten to this point and that I see the future as a slow steady journey in a healthier body, not a race to some goal weight finish line.

    Cheers, Indygirl! - 10/25/2010   1:36:58 AM
  • 123
    Beautifully put! couldn't have said it better!! - 10/24/2010   11:35:09 PM
  • 122
    GREAT! I couldn't have said it better! - 10/24/2010   11:31:09 PM
  • CARABELLA1217
    121
    Excellent blog! - 10/24/2010   10:55:32 PM
  • 120
    Exactly, every one has different needs,great to read this it is so reassuring. - 10/24/2010   12:39:36 PM
  • 119
    Thanks for sharing this. Everyone is different - My hubby can cut out any food and not pine for it, I LOVE food, and I need variety and flavor, so I'm gradually reducing my portions to a healthier size.

    Hubby loves to run - I can only last a couple of minutes, so I try different group classes, and different cardio machines to avoid boredom.

    We are all on our individual journeys, and we all need to find what works for us - 10/24/2010   12:18:39 PM
  • 118
    Great Blog! You are correct. Everyone's journey to their new lifestyle is different. I believe that's why some do not succeed when they try the first, second, third and even fourth time. We must find what fits us and works for our bodies and nutrition needs. We should be an origional and learn from others. If some of their plan works for you then use it. Focusing on what's working and knowing when to change when it stops. Great thought provoking words Indy. - 10/24/2010   12:33:49 AM
  • 117
    Nicely written, and congrats on your progress! Kudos for being true to yourself and kind to others. - 10/23/2010   8:06:55 PM
  • 116
    I believe that being overweight is a symptom not a disease and so, there is more than one cause for being overweight. I totally agree with Indygirl that weight loss is not one size fits all. Great blog! - 10/23/2010   2:42:38 PM
  • 115
    Hmmm... I'm going to have to remember 'diet police'. I have a hard time with them harassing me. I like the idea of pulling out a SparkPeople card too.... Thanks for your writing! - 10/23/2010   2:21:55 PM
  • RUQAYYAH3
    114
    Wish you the best! - 10/23/2010   11:46:59 AM
  • 113
    very well written; thank you. Sometimes it's hard to remember that we're all individuals and that "one size fits all" doesn't :) - 10/23/2010   11:32:46 AM
  • 112
    Ughhhhh. The diet police. I have so many of those you'd think I was in prison. If I want pizza, I'm going to eat pizza. Get the heck over it! - 10/23/2010   9:48:36 AM
  • 111
    Wonderful blog - saving it to my Spark Favorites so I can pull it up and review it when I need a push! - 10/22/2010   11:31:23 PM
  • JANI-LOU
    110
    Fantastic! Thank you for posting this. I needed to read it today. You are so right. So right!
    Jan - 10/22/2010   11:27:14 PM
  • 109
    What a GREAT blog , I am ever so slowly getting to what works for me - one day and one habit at a time - 10/22/2010   10:54:23 PM
  • DESTINEDTOBFIT
    108
    Great blog as usual. I am still trying to fit my puzzle pieces... Can't wait to scream that I've found the right fit! - 10/22/2010   7:55:26 PM
  • LIVINGONMYTERMS
    107
    That was a great blog! Love the part about the diet police! - 10/22/2010   7:42:43 PM
  • LITTLEGIRLSMOM1
    106
    Great blog. I continue to work my puzzle in my own way and one day I will have it all together and glued. - 10/22/2010   5:07:09 PM
  • 105
    Great blog--there is a lot of truth in it Really loved how you said it all - 10/22/2010   4:36:05 PM
  • 104
    very good blog, and it is so true. We are all so different, that's for sure. My weight loss journey certainly has had it's highs and lows. I'm still struggling. - 10/22/2010   3:45:29 PM
  • LJ1225
    103
    I am still searching for the answers to my weight problems and reading this blog has encouraged me to keep looking rather than giving up! Thank you for the excellent insight. - 10/22/2010   3:16:18 PM
  • 102
    Especially love the final paragraph.
    Got a real kick out of the "diet police" though! - 10/22/2010   2:54:18 PM
  • TLOVESC1125
    101
    I enjoyed reading this thank you - 10/22/2010   2:48:27 PM
  • 100
    Very inspiring, very thought-filled and well-written. This was written for everyone. Best of luck to you and your 'journey.' - 10/22/2010   2:47:05 PM
  • 99
    Great BLOG!!! - 10/22/2010   1:46:34 PM
  • MMM225
    98
    Totally agree! - 10/22/2010   10:40:18 AM
  • 97
    Big amen, INDYGIRL. What does a 62 year old with an extra 95 pounds, lupus, hypothyroidism, bad knees, plantar fasciitis, and two major rotator cuff injuries have in common with a 25 year old wanting to lose 5 lbs. before his next 5K--just a need for individualized programs, plus my love and best wishes for everyone's personal goals and endeavors. God bless you all. - 10/22/2010   10:34:43 AM
  • 96
    thank you for the blog. - 10/22/2010   10:31:37 AM
  • 95
    Best advice I've ever read. I totally agree with you on the splitting up the exercise into small sets because if you look at it differently than it is easier to grasp and will make you surprised that you could fit it into your life without having to do all at once. - 10/22/2010   10:12:24 AM
  • WAVES1
    94
    Thank you for that heartfelt, commonsense blog. - 10/22/2010   10:06:27 AM
  • 93
    Wonderful blog!!! Thank you for sharing. You are such an inspiration. Keep up your continued success!! - 10/22/2010   9:37:41 AM
  • 92
    Loved this blog, it is so true..I work at my own pace, and choose the foods that are correct for me..we are all different with different needs..we just need to find what is good for us, stick with it, and get healthy!

    Elaine - 10/22/2010   9:29:47 AM
  • 91
    Thanks for the post! I always love reading your entries. Very inspirational, thoughtful and sincere. Keep up the great work! - 10/22/2010   9:17:10 AM
  • 90
    wise thoughts. Thank you. - 10/22/2010   8:43:07 AM
  • 89
    Great analogy-- the puzzle piece fitting or not. Good luck to you, and thanks for the great article! - 10/22/2010   8:33:13 AM
  • 88
    My one-size-fits-all answer it SparkPeople. And that's oxymoronic, because the heart of SparkPeople is that each of us finds what works for us as individuals. We choose our own fast breaks; we develop our own vision statements; we have separate motivations; and we see individual results. I think a few of the things that are common to all of us on SP is that we've decided to do the healthy thing in changing our lifestyles and we realize how important giving and receiving support are to our success. - 10/22/2010   8:08:43 AM
  • 87
    As usual, you hit the nail on the head.. One of the things that struck me about what you wrote is the fact that people think they know what's best for you..and that you have to find your own way.. How true. But it is important to find that way, too. None of us like being judged about who and what we are, and what roads we have chosen to try to get healthy, but I find it is equally important to be open to everything else and more, not to judge other people's chosen journies. The most important thing I have learned in my journey is that it is a long road and will have many fits and starts..it's just really important to never, ever give up (as Winston Churchill once said). It's like trying stuff on for size, some of it fits, some of it doesn't. Thanks for sharing! - 10/22/2010   5:54:59 AM
  • 86
    Thank you for writing this blog you wrote what I have felt. Apparently, the diet police can be off line as well online sometimes even in our Spark Teams and on the message boards. Your blog hit the spot I wish those that tend to be like the diet police will read your blog and realize your message. Thank you again for posting it. It was awesome. - 10/22/2010   4:57:56 AM
  • 85
    Everyone is a different person; there can't POSSIBLY be a "one size fits all" approach!

    You GO girl; you have chosen a very sane approach to improving your health! - 10/22/2010   4:42:10 AM
  • 84
    awesome thank you so much, it means alot to see and hear all this good advise - 10/22/2010   2:32:34 AM
  • 83
    The one-size-fits-all is DON'T QUIT. Having been a Sparker for 3 years, the one thing I see is that people QUIT. They give up and go back to eating pizza and drinking beer with their friends because they can't upset their friends by not eating what they do, etc. etc. etc. The only way to have success is to stay with it. - 10/22/2010   1:36:04 AM
  • 82
    Great post, especially about eating pizza if pizza is what sounds good. That is what has made by weight loss journey so far extremely bearable. - 10/21/2010   11:20:10 PM
  • 81
    Thanks, I really needed that! - 10/21/2010   11:13:24 PM

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