I’m of Irish, English, and Norwegian descent … This means I don’t tan well. I’ll freckle, turn red, peel, but tanning isn’t really an option for me. I’m fine with this, especially since they’ve started cranking out SPF-50 and up lotions.
What does my heritage have to do with fitness? Just as my skin tone is a combination of my ancestry, so is what works to keep me fit. My fabulous friend Liz Dialto called this “Bio-Individuality” yesterday and I thought that was a great, great name for it.
What is bio-individuality? The heritage of your DNA. What you do with that heritage is entirely up to you. If you honor it, you can expect to live a healthy, energetic life. If you ignore it, stuff’s gonna start to happen.
Here’s the kinda cool thing: I recently saw on the Discover Channel that humans share 99% of the exact same DNA, so it’s that 1% that makes us different from each other. But we have to respect that 1%. I think it’s all rather cool.
My Nordic roots mean I’m more likely to carry the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk, thereby making me less likely to be lactose intolerant. (I don’t seem to be, but I’ve never been tested.) It also seems my fat is distributed more in my abdomen and hips, something my grandmother called my “German birthing hips.” Yes, I’ve got some German in me too.
I’m sure you’re as aware of your family history as I am. A Roman nose perhaps, those Spanish Eyes, etc. Perhaps it’s something your family discusses regularly and something you pass onto your children. I’m always telling my son he’ll be tall because all the men in my family are six feet plus for instance.
My point being, there is no one diet or fitness plan that will work for all of us. It doesn’t exist. A diet that works for me may not work well for you and vice versa. Perhaps a fitness plan that you love will be anathema to me.
It doesn’t matter, it’s all good. We, as individuals, need to find what works for us and us alone. Fitness is only about you. What works for you. If a friend is trying something and it appeals to you, try it. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, just try something else.
Eventually you’ll find a combination of foods, exercise, rest, and play that put you in a happy place. When you get there, please acknowledge your accomplishment. It’s not all that easy to do!
Let me know what you think about your own fitness and health journey and what truths you’ve discovered for yourself. I’d love to hear them.
photo credit: Tiffany Terry