Life is Not 'One Size Fits All'

By , SparkPeople Blogger
By Beth Donovan, ~INDYGIRL

Healthy lifestyles are not just one of a kind; they have to fit the individual. How many times have you thought that if you could just do what your friend or a favorite celebrity did, you could look just like her? Yet when you try to fit their routines into your life, eat the foods they like, and do the fitness activities they love, you’re miserable. When you inevitably toss out their lifestyle, you feel like you failed. It wasn’t you that failed. It was just a bad lifestyle fit.

We are individuals on our own journeys and no two are exactly alike. Not everyone can work out for an hour a day. I have to break my workouts up into 10 minute chunks throughout the day because of my disabilities. They used to be 3 minute workouts. My journey isn’t the same as someone who is able to do a 30 minute workout or a 5K, but I’ve still lost 144 pounds and am getting fitter by the day. I have muscles I can actually feel now!

What about eating? Shouldn’t you follow a specific eating plan and have foods you never eat again? Not in my journey. I tried that before and it left me feeling deprived and led to binge eating later. Now I eat what I want in smaller quantities and count it on the tracker. If I’m craving pizza so bad I can’t see straight, I might have it for two meals in a row in a reasonable quantity. I don’t have the fear that this will be the last pizza I will ever eat anymore, because I can have it any time I want it.

A pet peeve of mine is “Diet Police,” those well-meaning individuals who ask, "Should you be eating that?" They try to control you all in the name of your good health. In my journey, they know better. When someone tries to talk me into bariatric (weight loss) surgery or some fast--and they do try--I politely refuse. If they persist, I reach into my purse and give them a SparkPeople card with my username written on it. I tell them the benefits of getting healthy the natural way. For them though, those are reasonable answers to their fitness problems. I don’t feel they are any more right or wrong than I am. We are all out to save our lives from this obesity epidemic and there are many options out there. The trick is finding what works for you personally.

With so much advice out there, so many tips and tricks, so many magazines promoting new miracle diets, so many medical discoveries happening in the field, the weight loss industry is huge. Unfortunately so is the problem of obesity. We have celebrities promoting diet clinics, ads for diet pills on every other magazine, and doctors treating patients with disrespect if they can’t lose weight. Even insurance companies are asking the obese to pay more for insurance or flat out refusing to cover them. (I was refused coverage once at 250 pounds back in 1989.)

My point is that the world is changing, my friends. Obesity is now considered an epidemic and we are all responsible to find a cure. It isn’t going to be a one cure fits all fix, like a vaccination. We each have to find our own way. We know some basics, that calories in and calories out are the baseline answer to the physiological problem. It’s the psychological, genetics, disease related, and who knows whatever else, we need help to solve. Those things are all variables to which there is more than one problem and definitely more than one solution.

What works for me may not work for you. What works for you or any movie star definitely does not work for me. I mean it could if I were well and LOVED the gym and not eating. That isn’t me, however. What really can work is finding a way to change our lives without disrupting them severely. That’s the trick. Read, watch, listen, talk, absorb, gather all the information you can and make those changes one by one as they suit your individuality.

How do you know what fits your individuality and how do you push out of your comfort zone without over doing it? The change should fit into your life like a puzzle piece you’re trying out for a fit. Keep turning it around and trying it at different angles to see if that’s the right one. If it isn’t, it will never go in place. Try another. The change may feel slightly unnatural, but it shouldn’t make you panic. That’s how you’ll know that it’s just enough of a change. Stick with it until it feels natural and then try another change.

No lifestyle is one size fits all. No single answer will solve all obesity issues. Nobody is a failure at this complex problem; they just haven’t found their individual answer yet. Keep searching because it is out there.

What is your one size fits all strategy?

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CKOUDSI617 9/16/2020
"Diet Police", LOL! So true! GREAT blog! Thank you! :) Report
REDROBIN47 8/9/2020
So true. Each one of us is unique. I totally agree with your blog. Report
MILPAM3 3/21/2020
Variety is the spice of life. We are different. We can still interact and learn from one another. Report
1CRAZYDOG 2/29/2020
definitely a victory when we find what works for US. being unique, there really is no one-size-fits-all sol'n to weight loss. Report
CHERYLHURT 12/16/2019
Great Report
LOSER05 11/2/2019
Thanks Report
Thank you!!
I agree whole heartedly Report
You hit the nail on the head in several places. Thank you for this article! Report
YES!!!! 100% agree. Love your sentence: "Read, watch, listen, talk, absorb, gather all the information you can and make those changes one by one as they suit your individuality." Report
A very true and great article! Report
Thank you once again for hitting the nail on the head so to speak. There is no one pat answer for everyone. Each person must find his or her own way. I can say that one of the things that helps me cope is reading your blogs over and over again each day. Every time I do I get a new burst of enthusiasm no matter how often I have read it before. Report
I am doing a very low carb diet because it helps my blood sugar, but also works for dropping weight. My issue is that I also have heart issues, so I have to be careful with high fat. It works for me to do low carb, moderate fat. I sometimes get flack from people doing true keto, for not doing high fat. My answer works for me! Report
I love your blogs! Realistic and for the way weight loss and healthy living is! Thank you! Report
Beth, you are one of my favorite bloggers here or anywhere! I always feel like you understand my experience more so than the people who have struggled to lose (only) 15-20 pounds. Thanks again for a wonderful blog!! Report
Thank you for the tips! I never thought of it that way before! So many people fall into the trap of thinking "one size fits all!" Report
I so agree. We are all experiments of one. Simple accurate food and exercise tracking was the magic bullet that finally allowed me to lose all my weight and maintain for eight years. Report
Love this information Report
So true and I wish that doctors would keep that in mind too. Report
This is so true. While there are some basic undeniable facts of weight-loss, the journey is completely personal. We all have to find our way the best way we can. What works for me and my life may not work for anyone but me. That's why we shouldn't compare ourselves against anything other than where we were yesterday and where we want to be tomorrow. Report
I loved your blog. You are right. I too have to occassionally eat pizza or steal a couple of fries from one of my kids. I am like you a little helps keep me from binging. I know I can have things in moderation and I am happy. Once in a blue moon I will go and pig out on Chinese food. I don't do this very often but many times even when I do I don't go that much over on my numbers any more. The longer I eat healthier the less I find myself eating. I used to eat 3 or 4 pieces of pizza but now 2 pieces of vegetarian pizza fill me up. I no longer crave meat pizza but if I did find by self wanting it I would eat 1 piece occassionally if that is what it took. I am fortunate that I can get around pretty good in spite of my weight. I like to take an hour walk with my husband but with winter coming we are looking into joining a gym. Report
Great Blog! You really confirm what it is all about. We are all individuals and have to find what works best for ourselves. Keep working on it. Report
Great blog! All of your posts are inspiring to me. :) I totally agree with needed flexibility to adapt your diet and fitness plan to your lifestyle. Congrats for all of your accomplishments and wishing you all the best in the future. I have to say that I'm appalled that someone would suggest weight loss surgery. Besides the fact that doing so is completely rude and shameful (even though they probably had good intentions), I feel that it is rarely as necessary as many people think it is. I look at what real people have accomplished on SP and (although overexaggerated) The Biggest Loser, and I am happy to see that people can change their lives without drastic measures like surgery. :) Report
I love the part where you can eat what you want! I totally believe you should be able to eat what you enjoy. Life is about the good things and food is that good thing :))) Report
Your blogs on here are so inspiring and bang-on! They really seem to resonate with all types of people at different stages of their life. I really look forward to your posts every time I log on to SP.

Regarding this blog, I completely agree! They key is to keep trying and discover things that you might not know about yourself. For example, I always thought I would learn to love Yoga - relaxing poses, stretching... appealing, right? WRONG! I hated it! I kept trying it though, and every time I would leave a class I would think: why do people like Yoga? It's so ... boring! But I kept trying because I thought since all the celebrities and all the "cool" people do yoga, I had to keep it up.

Long story short, I FINALLY realized it wasn't for me, and now take Pilates (which I LOVE). Report
Great blog and thought-provoking. The Diet Police! so true...and so tiresome. We are all adults and don't need their superiority and control issues foisted upon us. I really resist when someone who is normal weight or in my view, "thin," starts telling me how if only I did what she did, I'd be so much healthier, skinnier, morally righteous, etc etc. If only I could be more like her! (what a crock).

No one knows the path that each person has walked and how we have arrived at the present day. No one knows how hard I struggle with weight issues and how truly hard it is to lose pounds. Or that I feel great just having gotten to this point and that I see the future as a slow steady journey in a healthier body, not a race to some goal weight finish line.

Cheers, Indygirl! Report
Beautifully put! couldn't have said it better!! Report
GREAT! I couldn't have said it better! Report
Excellent blog! Report
Exactly, every one has different needs,great to read this it is so reassuring. Report
Thanks for sharing this. Everyone is different - My hubby can cut out any food and not pine for it, I LOVE food, and I need variety and flavor, so I'm gradually reducing my portions to a healthier size.

Hubby loves to run - I can only last a couple of minutes, so I try different group classes, and different cardio machines to avoid boredom.

We are all on our individual journeys, and we all need to find what works for us Report
Great Blog! You are correct. Everyone's journey to their new lifestyle is different. I believe that's why some do not succeed when they try the first, second, third and even fourth time. We must find what fits us and works for our bodies and nutrition needs. We should be an origional and learn from others. If some of their plan works for you then use it. Focusing on what's working and knowing when to change when it stops. Great thought provoking words Indy. Report
Nicely written, and congrats on your progress! Kudos for being true to yourself and kind to others. Report
I believe that being overweight is a symptom not a disease and so, there is more than one cause for being overweight. I totally agree with Indygirl that weight loss is not one size fits all. Great blog! Report
Hmmm... I'm going to have to remember 'diet police'. I have a hard time with them harassing me. I like the idea of pulling out a SparkPeople card too.... Thanks for your writing! Report
Wish you the best! Report
very well written; thank you. Sometimes it's hard to remember that we're all individuals and that "one size fits all" doesn't :) Report
Ughhhhh. The diet police. I have so many of those you'd think I was in prison. If I want pizza, I'm going to eat pizza. Get the heck over it! Report
Wonderful blog - saving it to my Spark Favorites so I can pull it up and review it when I need a push! Report
Fantastic! Thank you for posting this. I needed to read it today. You are so right. So right!
Jan Report
What a GREAT blog , I am ever so slowly getting to what works for me - one day and one habit at a time Report
Great blog as usual. I am still trying to fit my puzzle pieces... Can't wait to scream that I've found the right fit! Report
That was a great blog! Love the part about the diet police! Report
Great blog. I continue to work my puzzle in my own way and one day I will have it all together and glued. Report
Great blog--there is a lot of truth in it Really loved how you said it all Report
very good blog, and it is so true. We are all so different, that's for sure. My weight loss journey certainly has had it's highs and lows. I'm still struggling. Report
I am still searching for the answers to my weight problems and reading this blog has encouraged me to keep looking rather than giving up! Thank you for the excellent insight. Report
Especially love the final paragraph.
Got a real kick out of the "diet police" though! Report
I enjoyed reading this thank you Report
Very inspiring, very thought-filled and well-written. This was written for everyone. Best of luck to you and your 'journey.' Report