A recent blog post (sorry no link, can’t remember where it was!) started me thinking about the latest trends in fitness culture. From minimalist shoes and barefoot running to Paleo/Primal nutrition to Crossfit and more, it has become almost a rite of passage for fitness fanatics to try and in some cases cling to these fads. I freely admit reading Born to Run and promptly transitioning to a minimalist shoe. I even tried on some Vibram FiveFingers, and still think about going back to buy them. I’ve mentioned that I’ve recently made a foray into the world of Paleo/Primal eating, and the main reason I haven’t tried Crossfit yet is the expense.
Sometimes I find it hard to remember that just because these things are trendy doesn’t mean they’re what works for me.
Thus far, I’ve been pretty lucky. Knock wood, I am not injury prone. My IT band used to act up occasionally, but a little extra attention with the foam roller and I am good to go. Minimalist shoes were no big deal to transition to wearing. I already preferred lighter weight shoes. I’m a very neutral runner with minimal pronation and I naturally mid-foot strike pretty consistently. Minimalist shoes were practically made for me! Are they for everyone? Heck no! But they do work for me.
Let’s talk paleo/primal.
It started as something Curtis mentioned, then I grabbed onto and ran away with it. The transition was easy for me – I had to trade my morning oatmeal for eggs and veggies and my dinners of rice- or pasta-based dishes for more meat and veggies- but as long as I had time to plan and shop it was no big deal. I didn’t experience the first few days of headaches or strange symptoms that I’ve heard are common, and the only unexpected side effect I had was increased thirst over the first few days. My dear hubby, on the other hand, felt like crap the first few days. He bounced back over the next week, but after struggling with the very restrictive plan while out of town and eating at other peoples’ homes, he has opted out of this style of eating. It didn’t work for him.
Does it work for me? Yes and no. I feel no different eating in the primal style than I did before, with the notable exception that I no longer feel hungry all the time. I can actually eat a meal and feel satisfied for more than 20 minutes afterward! I love that about it. But…I still love pasta, bread, rice and all the other “no-nos” that are not consistent with primal. Because of this, primal isn’t going to work for me. I’ll complete my 30 day challenge in just 6 more days. After that, I plan to stick with some primal tenets for breakfast, lunch, and snacks, but if I want to have some grains with dinner or eat dessert, I will with no guilt about it. They don’t give me overwhelming inflammation, nor do they sap my energy.
Will a strictly primal or paleo nutrition plan work for you? Try it and see. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, keep the parts you like and get rid of the rest.
There are no hard and fast rules to fitness and nutrition! What works for me won’t always work for you. I may fall for each passing trend in running faster, eating better, or being healthier, and that’s ok, as long as I remember to listen to my own body and pay attention to what works for me without trapping myself into what works for everybody else.
Have you tried any fitness trends? What works or doesn’t work for you?
4.66 mile run