I’m going to try blogging once per week, to any length, about things I’ve been thinking about, or about what I’ve been reading as long as it pertains to exercise science in some capacity.
I’ve noticed that across the blogosphere, there seems to be a binary state of affairs regarding diet and exercise: you either “get” diet, or you “get” exercise, with perpetual tweaking, fretting, or obsessing about the other. For example, my weight has stayed within a 3 pound window for the past 6 years. I don’t fret about calories, portions, or “being as paleo as possible.” I eat real food, from a variety of plant and animal sources, and enjoy indulgences periodically. I fast 16-18 hours a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. But I never, ever worry about it. I’m not fretting over if tiger nuts existed before the timeframe maintained by some as the spillover point from a higher-fat hunter/gatherer existence to that of a higher carbohydrate agrarian existence. I’m not worrying about if 151 grams of carbs are going to make me fat, nor if since today I ate all meat or all plants is going to impact my health long-term in any way. I abide, man.
But exercise? I wake up in the morning and my brain lights up, trying to find the way to turn myself into an ultra marathoning, knife-throwing, hand balancing, 6’3″ quasi gymnast, all while being joint-friendly, and on as few workouts a week as possible. I rationally understand that it’s an emotional thing, driven by the fact that I never became the hulking superhero of my childhood comic book fantasies, no matter how much food I shoved down my neck, how many “pro hormones” I took (I love that you were injecting it and could still lie to yourself that it wasn’t a steroid), or how heavy I lifted. I excelled in basketball and the high jump for a reason, and it wasn’t because I had the genes to be the Hulk. Spiderman is still an ectomorph, even with the proportionate strength of a spider. The genes abide, no matter how much I think I can hack the system. Certainly there are better ways but diminishing returns happen quickly.
I will tell you that it’s getting better. I’ll get closer to the zen I have for nutrition, largely because I have no choice given my boys and other changes in my life. By getting rid of the Paradox of Choice, I can focus my efforts on the things that count.