Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Unless I try

It’s common in discussions that sooner or later one, or the other, will express an opinion about something related to fitness, health and wellness, expressed authoritatively as if they're an expert on the subject; I know I have.

Generally, the source of this "expertise" comes from something read somewhere else written by someone else who believes it and then regurgitates it to others.  I remember, the first time I experimented with intermittent fasting over ten years ago, telling my Mom that I only ate during a two to three-hour window all my food for the day.

“it’s bad for you to do that”, she said to which I replied, “How do you know?”  “Because”, she said, “Dr. Oz said so.”  And how does Dr. Oz know this was the question I next wanted to ask but didn’t because the conversation would have led to nowhere.  Pick your arguments and battles wisely with parents and other family members.  It isn’t worth the effort.

Recently, I read an article authored by Jeff Novak, a dietician and nutritionist with over 25 years of experience.  The title of his article was, “Did you hear about the study in the news today?”  It cleverly drove home a point about how, thanks to the internet, health information today is much more common than the past.  We constantly hear or read about another new study or report on health. These reports are often very confusing and conflicting because if you listen to them, one moment something is good for us and the next moment it’s bad.

The good news is we’re now able to pick a study supporting what we believe and spread it around like wildfire.  The bad news is so can everyone else and, as a result, it makes for some heated discussions.  Such heated discussions are no longer limited to Christians and atheists going at it, or political conservatives mixing it up with progressive liberals debating capitalism versus socialism, or whether global warming is real or imaginary.

We now have heated debates about whether cholesterol is good or bad, whether the Keto diet is good or bad or whether fasting is good or bad.  As an experienced practitioner of intermittent fasting, I’ve wasted time discussing it with those who believe it’s a bunch of nonsense offering no proven health and wellness benefits.  Generally, these are people who have not tested the waters, but get their knowledge from something they’ve read written by someone else who may also not have first-hand experience either but, nonetheless, believes it’s good or bad for whatever reason. 

Mr. Novak’s article points out that studies over the last few decades, have repeatedly shown that less than five percent of Americans follow the basic healthy lifestyle habits with regard to smoking, alcohol, body weight, activity and diet and less than one percent follow the basic minimum nutrition guidelines of a healthy diet. Yet up to 90 percent claim they consume a healthy diet and over one-third say they consume a very healthy diet.  Many of these “experts” will be the ones dispensing advice based on something they’re read or heard.  Most will not be from actual experience.

Unless we go beyond the internet article, generally written click bait style, we’ll never understand what a research study completely reports but only what the author decided was important.  And, unless we occasionally test the waters with our own sample-of-one “science experiment”, we’ll not have the perspective from personal experience allowing us to have a higher-level perspective to share with others when having fitness, health and wellness discussions.

This is what Pierini Fitness tries to do.  Whether it’s testing an exercise approach or doing an experiment with eating a certain way, he’s constantly testing the waters for his own personal benefit.

So, when someone says that fasting is not good for you, he’s able to share real-life experience of having fasted 22 hours a day for 45 consecutive days and what was his experience.  Reading some article can never be as good as a real-life anecdotal experience.

While sample-of-one results may not be representative of the “truth”, it happens to be my truth and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

So, he'll continue with the science experiments from time to time in his pursuit of his truth because I’ll never know unless I try. 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Anonymous said...

(j/k) It hasn't been global warming in ages; now they just call it climate change. It's like the 4 seasons but ...wait... it's exactly like the 4 seasons. In the 1970's it was the potential ice age coming, but I digress.

Question: Do you still get your blood tested? If so, has practicing IF had any noticeable changes to these tests over the years.

Thank you.

Pierini Fitness said...

Yes, still get blood tested on my birthday and about another 2-3 times a year depending on what I happen to be interested in and tracking. Can't directly associate practicing IF with any significant changes in blood readings but didn't have any anomalies to begin with that would make me hopeful IF would be a relief solution. Thanks for asking and thanks for visiting Pierini Fitness. Come back often and enjoy the rest of your day.