THE RAT WHEEL OF DIETING.
Once while at a conference, I was listening to a pastor speak about how men and women are different when it comes to how they perceive their own physical appearances. He said when a woman wakes up in the morning and looks at herself in the mirror, she automatically zeros in on any flaws that she thinks she might have. However, when a man does the same, he’ll take a brief look, smack himself in the belly and say, “Yup, I still got it,” and go about his day without a care in the world! Men and women can be hard on themselves about their physical appearances at any age. Our society is so driven to look at the exterior, that sometimes we get caught up in trying to fix the outside before fixing the inside.
The inside of the body can suffer tremendously when lacking sleep, over-exercising, exercising for the wrong body type, eating the wrong foods, suffering mental stress at work, drinking too much alcohol, lacking sunshine, being involved in toxic relationships or not laughing enough. Your body craves the positive side of all these things to stay in balance, and all can affect your weight and leave you prone to disease.
Trends and your health
We’ve been trained in this country by advertising to focus on calories and pay no attention to anything else related to our health. That’s why our fitness industry and weight loss products are some of the biggest scammers today. I’m disgusted when I think about it. For years at the gym, I’ve watched inexperienced personal trainers with little nutritional knowledge give overweight and stressed menopausal women workout plans that will only stress their bodies more and prevent them from true success with their health. I’ve listened to clients tell me how a local doctor is putting hundreds of people on a 700 calorie a day diet with injections to reach their weight loss goals without addressing or educating them on food quality, hormones and behavior changes. In some cases, it’s these same types of doctors marketing these dangerous scams that have caused many people to suffer strokes and have lifelong weight issues after the temporary weight loss.
I’ve also observed people obsessively juicing without realizing the side effects of heavy metals and toxins that are being removed out of the tissues of their body too fast, which can be extremely dangerous. Another popular trend that has been around for a long time is an all-protein diet (and eating no carbohydrates). For some, this will work in the beginning until they begin to have liver and gallbladder issues from previous use of prescription drugs that already posed high stress on their liver. For some people, the high protein intake is too toxic to the body, especially the kidneys as we age. It can cause high ammonia levels and very slow digestion if not consuming enough water and fiber to pass it through the body. The other end of the spectrum are people who become vegan and lack vitamin B12 and iron in their diet. Some don’t take in enough complete proteins to heal tissues in the body, and I’ve noticed they have higher rates of depression and flaccid muscles.
We have a wave of constant information out there for people to absorb, but many are running around like a ship without a sail when it comes to their health. So what can you do to take charge and get anchored? I think you should start from ground zero. Who knows you better than you? First, I would take time to know what your body type is, before leaving a 12-hour work day all jacked up on Starbucks and headed to a CrossFit Class in gridlocked traffic. Don’t be a rat on a wheel without ever getting anywhere with your health because you’re working against your body! Save time and money by listening to your body for once and taking the time to know what it needs.
What’s right for me?
When we’re all born, we are born with a certain amount of assigned fat cells in our body. Yes, read it again. Some people are blessed through their genealogy to have less fat cells from the start than others. But, there are benefits to every body type. If you lined my extended family up in a picture, you would think you were looking at a row of meatballs! If I didn’t know how to treat my body, I would be a large meatball sitting here right now. The meatball in me is always hiding and can appear at any time it wishes, if I stop taking care of myself. As we age, it’s up to us to keep those fat cells from growing. Also, if we don’t eat right, we can produce new fat cells that will gladly join up with the old timers that are already having a fat party inside of us. We can also produce more fat cells if we have higher estrogen levels in our body. If we have high stress, which will cause our stress hormone to rise and keep us off balance by storing fat when we’re trying to burn it. It can be a vicious cycle, especially as we age and lose muscle mass.
The three body types
If you know your body type, you will be able to be realistic and educate yourself on what eating plan works best for you. You will know what workout fits better based on your schedule and body type. Most gyms that have group fitness classes are not tailored to a specific body type or age. I’m all for exercise and people moving, but most that start an exercise and diet plan will not even consider long-term success and what their body type needs. Everyone needs to take into account their stress level, their quality food intake, their age and most important their body type. It’s a simple place start and it will save you time and money. All body types have some positives and negatives.
Ectomorph: lack of muscle and fat
- Long limbs
- Thin build
- Small joints
- Narrow hips and clavicle
- Stringy muscle bellies
Ectomorphs can fit really nicely into skinny jeans. They typically have a harder time putting on and keeping muscle if they don’t have the right amount of protein and a good weight training program. They don’t have to do as much cardio and usually even a short distance works well for them to keep the heart healthy without sacrificing weight, or muscle.
Mesomorph: more muscular
- Wide clavicle
- Narrow waist
- Thinner joints
- Long and round muscle bellies
If you’re a mesomorph and workout a lot, you may still appear heavier in clothes, while you might have lower body fat with a consistent workout routine. Mesomorphs can put on weight very easily if they’re off their healthy eating plan. The good thing about this body type is it can build muscle very quickly with weights. The downside is that they have to eat a lot cleaner, because of how fast body fat can appear. I’ve seen some clients that used to work out a lot who still appear muscular, but have accumulated a sheet of body fat that just lays over the muscle like a blanket. I always recommend that mesomorphs keep their diets clean and cardio is a must to maintain good health and lower body fat. Weight training all depends on someone’s goal and lifestyle, but is important to maintain muscle and keep bones strong.
Endomorph: more body fat
- Shorter limbs
- Thick rib cage
- Wide and thicker joints
- Hips as wide or wider than clavicles
Endomorphs tend to have a larger and more dominant amount of body fat, and have to work harder than most. They typically should incorporate different types of cardio workouts ranging from high intensity on some days, to steady state on others and switch back and forth as often as possible. Weight training could be done with moderate weight and more of a high intensity circuit or giant sets. Their diets should be clean all the time.
So there you have it: the three body types that God has assigned us. Now examine yourself and your genes to figure out which you fit into. Don’t be discouraged, but be encouraged that this is the first part of knowing what you can work with and what your body will need from here. Don’t hesitate to reach out – I would be more than happy to answer any questions for you based on my experience and knowledge. God Bless
With more than 24 years of diverse experience in the health and wellness industry, Jaime has
dedicated her life to caring for and enabling people to increase their overall wellness.