One Size DOESN’T Fit All

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I confess; I used to claim I loved studying what made people HEALTHY. Years of studying has created a sense of dizziness resulting from all the “flip-flopping” required to follow the guidelines that “research” has dictated. Is it the low fat or high fat diet that creates the best lab panel? Is it cardiovascular exercise or weight lifting that provides the “best bang” for your time spent when it comes to weight management? How do emotions play in to the results achieved by modifying lifestyles? With so many “experts” in health and science disagreeing, how are we supposed to determine the best path to follow to achieve optimal health? The answer is actually quite simple.

We will NEVER be able to provide THE ANSWER to satisfy everyone’s individual needs to achieve optimal health.

Recognizing this fact is an important first step in improving the quality of health our society can achieve. This almost sounds like a contradiction. The fact is, understanding that each of our needs (physical, chemical, emotional and spiritual) are different helps us use research to apply different approaches that best suit our individual needs. In simple terms:

THERE IS NO ONE SIZE “FITS ALL” ANSWER.

Our bodies do not follow trends. Their needs do not change as new research unveils new findings. There is a commonality, however, necessary to sustain life. Water, oxygen and specific nutrients are essential for existence.  Existence, however, is NOT the same thing as QUALITY HEALTH. Each individual has a different physiological constitution that functions better under different circumstances. Discovering the different combinations of different components for each of us to maximize our individual health and quality of life has become an untenable task . Yet, rules are established by scientists, researchers and clinicians that adamantly claim to know the “RIGHT ANSWERS.” What is the average consumer who finds him or herself in the middle of this quagmire supposed to do?

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I suggest a good starting place is turning to the “doctor within” (also known as your INNATE INTELLIGENCE.)  I wrote about this “doctor” in a previous post.

(THE DOCTOR WITHIN)

Use your eyes and ears to see and listen to the latest recommendations; then follow your “gut”, your heart and your head. Using common sense (a skill the “doctor within” develops through real life experiences,) better results are often achieved than science and research alone. Ask yourself some common sense questions?

When it comes to food:

  1. Am I better off with real food or processed food?

  2. Is it more likely that nutrients are better and more efficiently absorbed by eating one large meal, or multiple smaller meals throughout the day?

  3. Since protein, carbohydrates and fats are found in various REAL FOOD sources, does it make sense we should drastically minimize or maximize any one of these macronutrients? In other words does the “doctor within” recommend approaching nutrition using BALANCE or EXTREMES?

  4. Am I more likely to eat healthier by preparing my own foods or eating out?

  5. Am I better off eating a variety of real foods or limiting myself to the same choices each day?

  6. Am I better off satisfying what the “doctor within” is telling me I NEED, or focusing ONLY on my brain’s pleasure center and satisfying taste and desires? Is it possible my innate intelligennce can guide me to better food selections AND help me satisfy my brain’s pleasure center satisfying taste and desires?

  7. Do I believe that GOOD NUTRITION is a component necessary to incorporate in life to PREVENT DISEASE?

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When it comes to exercise:

  1. Is a body that MOVES or a body that’s STATIONARY more likely to be healthy?

  2. Can exercise provide health benefits if performed only 2-3 days/week, for 15-30 minute intervals?

  3. Can exercise be activities (such as gardening, mowing the lawn, hiking, rollerblading, martial arts, etc…?)

  4. Do I believe exercise is more likely accomplished (LONG TERM) by using a BALANCED approach (some cardio, some resistance, some Yoga or Pilates {2-4 days/week, 15-60 minute intervals}), or EXTREME approach (high intensity cardio and resistance to burn as many calories as possible {6-7 days/week? 60-120 minute intervals.})

  5. Do I believe that EXERCISE is a component necessary to incorporate in life to PREVENT DISEASE?

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When it comes to emotions:

  1. Does the “doctor within” believe EMOTIONS play a role in good health?

  2. Do relationships (family, social, spiritual) impact my emotions both positively and negatively?

  3. Do I take the time to use the “doctor within” to help me evaluate and correct emotional imbalances?

  4. Have I ever considered emotional imbalances (as a result of chemical imbalances) caused by nutritional, exercise and social relationship deficiencies rather than pharmaceutical deficiencies? If I allowed my innate intelligence to provide common sense suggestions to follow, is it possible to achieve emotional BALANCE ?

  5. Does the “doctor within” believe that EMOTIONAL balance is a component necessary to incorporate in life to PREVENT DISEASE?

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Allowing your INNATE INTELLIGENCE to work with your conscious mind and body can provide better answers to improving your physical, mental and spiritual health than many of the recommendations offered today by trained authorities. Does this mean we don’t need professional guidance? Of course not. It simply means we should use professionals to help guide us when obstacles interfere with our ability to find common sense solutions from our own “doctor within.”

It is my opinion that the doctor within” is often best suited to help guide you through the decision making process along the various paths you will face and help you decide which forks in the road create the best outcomes to achieve the quality of life you choose. Rather than searching EXTERNALLY to duplicate a perception of happiness and good health , look within your own gut, heart and brain and discover the true source of happiness and good health.

Inspiring-thought

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32 comments

  1. I love the idea of a doctor within, of listening to my body rather than broad advice. Currently my inner doctor thinks I should eat less sugar and start back my morning yoga.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve accomplished the hard part; finding the “doctor within.” The next part is much simpler; follow the advice and measure the outcome. If it’s good, keep doing it, if it’s not good request another consultation! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree there is a doctor and healer within us all. I see so many people search for this outside themselves. It is difficult to trust this healer within who knows your body like no one else and who has the answers for every question. Of course to listen and know this healer, we must be still and quiet. That’s the part most of us don’t like ha! We are all so different, great post Jonathan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am thankful for all our differences. It opens the doors for greater personal growth and development. It makes it harder for all of us seeking answers to help our patients, but also increases our respect for the complexity of the human mind, spirit and body.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your chart illustrating how emotions affect our health. People tend think of of the usual cause and effect role that foods, stress, and exercise play in our health. But emotions must play a vital role. Following that train of thought, do pessimists have a higher potential for illness?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Absolutely. They have a tendency to have problems including high blood pressure and weakened immune function as a result of elevated cortisol levels (stress hormone that impedes immune function.) Generally, not the happiest people either. I wonder if it’s cause or effect? Great question; thanks for inquiring.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I was very curious about that. Thanks.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post! It’s about turning inward and listening to that still, quiet voice inside. Great pictures to illustrate your points! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you. Patience often yields clarity. It is from this perspective that great decisions are reached. We are all capable of finding our own unique answers if we’re willing to invest the effort.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love all the images!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much. I really liked the way they complemented the points I was trying to make.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sure did complemented it!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Another great post and I love the quotes….kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make sure you listen to that wonderful doctor within! I think yours is likely to offer great advice!

      Like

      1. thanks….I will try not to shut it out…kat

        Liked by 1 person

  7. First, let me say that I love, LOVE the graphics you have chosen for this post. A picture paints a thousand words, and these are perfect for the subject matter of which you speak.

    One sentence, among others, caught my attention: Discovering the different combinations of different components for each of us to maximize our individual health and quality of life has become an untenable task.

    Amen! As someone who began my recovery process by surfing the net for answers, I can say definitively that its important to find that one or two voices who speak truth to your inner man (or woman, as the case may be), and go with the truth they tell. There is too much conflicting information out there, and if you listen to it all your mind just shuts down. Or at least, mine did.

    No. 6 under your food category? Hard! So hard for this gal to achieve. I have an inner Helper to guide me, but surrender is required on my part to achieve success. Sugar is addictive, and the cravings definitely get in the way some days. Oh, that I had never known the taste of that powdery white substance…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lori. Helping people create positive change in their lives to improve health requires ideas that simply make sense. This does not mean every recommendation will work for every person. It acts as a starting point for people to take that first action step. As each person begins understanding their role in the process adjustments are applied to improve the results. It is an ongoing venture that becomes easier to follow over time. The benefits of participating in this challenging venture clearly outweigh the harmful effects a sedentary, poorly nourished and highly stressful alternative lifestyle offers.

      Like

  8. I used to spend A LOT of time researching the best fitness challenges to do. I am always open to new forms of exercise (I just tried barre for the first time this week – loved it!) but I no longer follow prescribed programs. I never thought I’d get to this place, but again, it was my mind setting the limitations on my body.

    I have a general guideline about how I’m going to workout (upper body, lower body, total body, cardio, etc.) because that helps me ensure balance. But then I decide the night before what videos I am going to do in the morning (I haven’t gotten away from videos yet). Lately, I have been known to change my mind in the morning because sometimes I feel like my body needs more yoga instead of another hardcore weight video and I’m glad that I’m learning to be flexible and listen to my body – only I know what I need and it’s take awhile to trust myself.

    My results have been way better since I’ve started this approach because I adapt based on what is working (and what isn’t), but most importantly, I adapt based on how I feel. I remember being so determined to finish T25 Focus (and I did!) but I was SO bored and not seeing the results that everyone promised I would. That’s because it’s different for everyone and just because it worked for my friend doesn’t mean it will work for me (and sadly, it didn’t).

    A lot of it is common sense and being honest with yourself. I like the list of questions that you provided and I think if people honestly take a look within and answer truthfully, then they will be able to make positive changes. Back when I was eating terrible food, I knew it was terrible but I made excuses because I didn’t care. Then, I finally decided to be honest with myself about what my choices were doing to my body (being overweight is only the beginning) and then I was ready to change my thinking, which allowed me to change my habits (and not to sound melodramatic, but change my life).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I hope your comment resonates in thousands and thousands of reader’s minds. Your message clearly expresses the intent of this article. By listening to the “doctor within” you begin to UNDERSTAND the various needs of the body. It then becomes a conscious decision whether to listen or ignore this innate intelligence within. Addictive behavior resists rational thinking and change. It’s only concern is to convince you that “MORE” of the same destructive behavior is needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Perfect image at the end with the egg! Sums it up egg-cellently 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Speaking to readers rather than at readers seems to help improve the connection and trust factor. I try to present realistic ideas and solutions so people don’t get frustrated with the “same old story.” I have been fortunate to receive many positive replies in the form of readers willing to take action steps to improve their lives. Makes the commitment to this blog site that much more worthwhile.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The love and support we get from fellow bloggers is immeasurable and makes the blogging journey more exhilarating:)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been following the doctor within and embracing a much healthier lifestyle. I’ve always been ” healthy” but I think I had some facts wrong. It’s been only through vitamin supplements, attention to food, and prayer that I’ve started to feel better. Still not where I need to be but so much closer. It’s amazing! Thank you for all of your posts. It’s been so difficult to find people out there sharing this type of information for so long that I find comfort in knowing more and more it is getting out there. I was wondering if you happen to have any resources on the healthiest materials/brands of cookware ? Or if you can guide me where to look? I am looking to replace all of my current cookware after much reading about this area. Thanks again!!!

    Like

    1. Your timing couldn’t be better. I just so happened to be reading the following article recently and made a note of it. I agree with her recommendations and use them myself for stove top cooking and baking. Some of the biggest problems with healthier cookware is the patience in maintaining them. Some require prep work and some require knowing which foods to avoid to prevent damaging the cookware. Often they need to be treated with greater care than traditional teflon coated products. Here is the link I suggest you check out:

      http://wellnessmama.com/5148/safest-cookware-options/

      Glad to hear you’re feeling so much better. You’ll notice answers to improving health come from various sources. So many people want to know the “one thing” that will fix everything. It’s all about finding the different shortcomings that result in a state of BALANCE that produce the best results. Wishing you all the best on your continuing journey.

      Like

  11. Food…too much..not good..too less not good..balance it..to have a balanced life..that’s good 🙂

    Like

    1. I am a big believer in moderation. People know the word and its benefits, but few practice this lifestyle. Balanced living provides a strong foundation for healthier outcomes. I hope my articles help tilt the scales in favor of people making better choices for themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your post are very inspiring .

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you very much for your kind words.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Finally someone said what needed to be said. There are so many “diets” out there. You are right, one size doesn’t fit all. Everybody’s body is different. We all have different needs and food and emotions and life all play a part in those differences. To support my daughter in her health endeavors, I’ve jumped on the train to support her. WE are eating no sugars, grains, beans, dairy. Mostly this is to see what foods may be a trigger. I have been suffering from intense itch on the palms of my hands and wherever clothing might rub too much. The itch (with spots) started moving to the tops of my hands and arms…At first I was thinking contact dermatitis. I am outside a lot and wondered if I touched a weed that made this happen. This had been going on for weeks (6-8 weeks). The itch was preventing me from sleeping. I was exhausted. Saving you the longer story, I went on this “diet” with my kid. The very first thing I noticed was no more itching/spots. It’s been three weeks. People were asking my daughter at her work why would she do such a diet when she ate healthy anyway…well, why not? Why not go totally off a few things to see if a certain food is triggering issues. In her case, she doesn’t have pain in her tummy. And I haven’t heard her complain of joint pain either. Both of us are not tired mid day. This so called diet is helping me understand foods more and as introduce foods that I haven’t eaten, this experiment will help me find out what caused the intense itching/spots. It was so bad I couldn’t leave my house! And cutting out sugars and grains, etc., isn’t such a hardship. We prepare everything we eat anyway. I do miss cream in my coffee! When this is over…I will add cream back. Hahaha. I do wish people would realize that all “diets” are not created equal. Vegan eating isn’t good for some, as eating meat might help others. I believe people need to find what works for them and do that. But what I wish more than that is when they do find what works for them…to not make someone feel bad for the choices they make for their own selves. As in if you don’t eat meat–don’t preach to someone how eating animals is a horrible thing. Or if someone wants to have a slice of cake that they have to purge. Life is meant to be lived and all in moderation as you’ve always said. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear about your reaction. Food sensitivities can develop at any age and will often go undiagnosed. Doctors are quick to prescribe pharmaceuticals without taking the time to determine the root cause of the issues. Your example is important and will help other readers apply a nutritional approach in the future. Thank you for sharing your story and enlightening all of us on the natural intelligence of the body and its ability to correct health imbalances given the proper tools.

      Like

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