The biggest challenge I have had to face in my career as a fitness coach is helping people understand the concept of bio-individuality. Almost every person I know is trying to achieve a particular aesthetic goal, but rarely considers all of the factors that go into it. Why am I losing weight so slowly? Why is my waist smaller but my butt won’t budge? Why cant I gain muscle like my friend does? Why..why..why?!
Bio-individuality is about focusing on what makes us tick by honoring the unique individuals that we are, & recognizing that each individual body will differ in their nutritional & physical needs as a result of the external and internal factors of their bodies and lives.
Now that I’ve thrown this concept at you, lets take a look at a case study and the factors that may be affecting this particular person:
HEIGHT - 5’6.
WEIGHT - 185Lbs.
AGE - 42 years.
GOAL - To lose body fat and maintain muscle.
ISSUE - Has never been “thin”, but since her baby was born a year ago, she cant seem to lose the weight, even with a diet change & exercise.
Genetics - First and foremost…Genetics. No fingerprint is the same. No person is the same.
Breast feeding - She has a 1 year old baby and is still breast feeding. Her body may want to keep these pounds until she’s done.
Stress - Stress raises cortisol levels and overloads adrenal glands, which can pack on the pounds. Is she stressed?
Age - The 40’s are a common time for women’s bodies to shift for the better or worse. Peri-menopause? Hormones?
Thyroid - Has she had it checked? And if so, did she get all 3 sides checked? Most doctors only test 2 sides.
Nutrition - She thinks she’s eating healthy, but what does her body really need to start burning body fat? Has she looked at the macros and calories she puts out and takes in each day?
Nutrition timing - When does she eat her meals, and how big are they? Does she eat at night and then digest while she’s sleeping? Huge red flag.
Exercise amount - Does she move every day? Because many people that work out even 5 days a week but have a sedentary job, have trouble losing body fat. Daily movement is crucial.
Exercise type - Is she only doing cardio? Maybe her body does better with weight training? Or both?
Sleep - How many hours does she get a night? Is she able to regenerate and recover enough for the demands of her days?
I honestly, could go on and on. But lets be frank. Most of us think that if we just stop eating “crap”, or just exercise enough, we will meet our goals. Then when it doesn’t happen, we are sincerely perplexed. You wanna know what the answer is? It’s learning about yourself. Pulling your head out of the sand and really looking at all the variables in your life before judging yourself and feeling defeated or giving up. We are all so vastly different, and what works for one person, just doesn’t for another. With that said, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, let you be YOU. My mantra, and I invite you to use this daily is…. “As long as I am TRULY taking care of my mind and body, I will look exactly as I should”. If I want to be a size 2, sure I can get there, but my quality of life will be so poor that looking good won’t even matter then.
So play Sherlock Holmes and uncover your bio-individual self. Remember, you are the ONLY you on this planet.