What Makes You Special? Hint – It’s not Your Body

You’re unique, just like a snowflake…you’re one of a kind…just like everybody else! So here is your special bear to make you feel good about being so special.

Just for you, cuz you're special!
Just for you, cuz you're special!

Ok so now that we’ve all stroked our ego’s enough and reminded ourselves that we’re ‘special’ lets get down to the business of exercise and diet.

I hate to have to be the one to break this to you (actually no I don’t, I love bringing stuff like this up), but when it comes to diet and exercise, you’re not special…you’re not even unique…in fact you and me and everyone else is very easily measured and categorized into general and predictable groups.

Fitness/nutrition marketers will stroke your ego and tell you that not only are you special, but so is your metabolism and your body, and that you need a special diet and exercise program…they’ll go on to say that the only reason you’re not satisfied with your body (if you’re in fact not satisfied with it right now) is because nobody has come up with a diet or workout that addresses your specific unique needs.

I find it rather ironic that this marketing message of unique one-of-a-kindness is trumpeted to a mass audience…

This marketing strategy plays right into each of our personal stories that we tell ourselves on a daily basis. It allows us to validate all of our shortcomings and fears and it removes the responsibility from us for the way our bodies look…this sets the trap that leaves us highly vulnerable to fall for the next fitness/diet item that is designed ‘just for us’.

There are lots of things that make you truly one of a kind; where you grew up, how you were raised, things you like and don’t like, your specific personality traits and quirks, your finger prints, your voice, even your gait (how you walk).

So don’t worry, you really are unique (just like everybody else! ha…sorry I can’t help but add that part in because it’s just so ironic)

So this is where reality sets in and the uniqueness ends and the commonalities begin.

This is the list of just some of the things that you and everyone else have in common:

1. There is a finite and predictable amount of muscle you can build based on your height and somatotype (assuming you’re not using steroids)

2. Your metabolic rate is determined by your lean body mass and is pretty much fixed within a tight range (see point 1 for explanation)

3. The only way you can lose weight is eating less calories than you burn (for real, this actually applies to everyone)

4.  Your body digests and reacts to food just like everyone else’s (give or take a couple items you might be allergic to or a congenital bowel disease)

So in general, your body isn’t as unique as your personality is.

And that is a good thing. That means you don’t need to search high and low for exercise and diet advice that will work for you. In fact what worked for most other people will work just fine for you too.

So have fun during your special day today, but remember that we’re mostly the same when it comes to exercise and metabolism.

John