I am a Science Experiment


They stay in my head for a long time, rolling over and over. I don't mind--in fact, I rather enjoy them. They entertain me and remind me of all the places my wide-open future might go. And I have to think them before they can be realities, right?

This incessant thinking may be the result of my tendency to consume things--often faster than I can digest and use them. Books, food, podcasts (the app on my iPod is aptly named "Podcruncher") conversations, ideas, art, etc...

Everyone knows that if you consume a lot of food without moving your body in a way that uses the energy, a person will gain weight. An Ironman triathlete can eat 6,000 calories a day and all that energy is used and actually strengthens the athlete. However, even 2,000 calories may be too much for someone on bed rest.

It would make sense that our minds work in a similar way. If we consume too much and produce too little, we get sort of… mentally fat, for lack of a better term. We become happy to consume what other people make without producing our own things to feed other people's minds. Something about that seems unhealthy--a leech-like existence. As a curious person who enjoys mentally consuming, I may have a responsibility to create. If I'm going to "eat" this much, I need to "work out" more!

What happens if I don't, though? What happens if I learn and learn and learn, and do nothing with my learning?

Well… the first person who misses out, is me. Knowing running is good for me doesn't give me the benefits of running. Running gives me the benefits of running.

I have plenty of good thoughts and ideas, but good ideas are common. What's hard to find is people who do good ideas. Posting on Facebook about your great novel idea requires a lot less effort than actually writing the thing.

Thinking about doing things is easy, but writing a story is hard. Working out is hard. Painting a picture is hard. Starting a business is hard.

Doesn't matter if it's mental or physical. Doing things is hard. 

So… if one is to consume, one must be a do-er. But there's more.  All this learning means a person probably has a good idea of what they should be doing, and there is very serious danger in knowing what to do and not doing it. In fact, if that mind/body chasm becomes habit, it's worse than if we simply didn't know what to do.

That's kind of a weird statement, but hang for just a minute. If we allow this chasm to go unchallenged and unchanged, our bodies and emotions learn to ignore our minds as a habit. We loose the ability to choose our own behavior. We teach our physical bodies--the only thing that can actually carry out our ideas and make us an effective force in the world--to ignore reason and pretend actions don't have consequences. We're denying the cause-and-effect set up of the world we live in.

Everything in my body screams, "NO!" when my mind attempts to reason for a positive change. The screaming child (that is so often my body) wins and my exhausted brain-parent gives up and gives in. And the more I learn about what I should be doing without doing it… the more times my mind looses the fight.

Children learn. When they learn that enough screaming gets them what they think they want, they will scream. Emotional children are beyond reason, and the body that has learned to ignore the brain is a child who has learned to scream with a parent who only knows how to succumb.

And so we teach ourselves to be rebellious.

I know what the consequences of eating right before yoga are, and sometimes I do it anyways. My body has learned indifference--the teenager that simply says "I don't care." I know that pulling out my credit card to spend $40 dollars on food for one day is not something I can afford and I will have to pay it. But I'm acting like I won't. (And those are really lame, mild examples because I'm not quite ready to make my predominant struggles public. Yet.) What I know and how I act are in direct opposition. I'm actively sabotaging myself. I'm practicing lying to myself with my actions. And just like lying to other people, it gets easier and easier. It becomes the default. The habit. 

This whole dilemma is hard for me to make peace with, and leads me to believe that curiosity and mind-growth may come with a price: create and act, or numb yourself into rebellion and fragmentation.

That being said, I am going to create something I think is valuable and worthwhile, that gently coaxes my body into unity with my mind:

I am going to be my own lab rat and commit to putting all my best ideas about healthy eating into practice for 30 days, and also create a record of the journey. I want to do and not just think.

So… here it goes. January 17th until February 16th.

  • Intermittent Fasting--currently every other day, but may shift if that becomes unsustainable or as I learn more about effectively doing it.

  • Following the Reset Diet given in Chris Kresser's book "Your Perfect Paleo Code." This guy is amazing--I've been following his work for about two and a half years and he's seriously got the most balanced approach to food and lifestyle. He practices what he calls "Functional Medicine" taking the best of BOTH conventional medicine and alternative approaches. Exceptions: butter and my glutathione supplement.

  • Testing my Gut microbiome! My friend Lynn (my comrade in health curiousity) and I are going to be taking part in the "American Gut Project".

  • Getting a mix of Bikram (Hot) Yoga, Bodyrocking, and Running

  • Making sleep a priority--between 7 and 9 hours a night. (And as I get into a rythm I'm hoping I'll depend less on my alarm clock!)

  • Shifting my bodycare to natural food-based remedies

Specific thing I'm expecting to happen include:

  • Losing about 8 to 10 pounds (no… I don't think I'm fat. I just feel better at 128 than at 138.)

  • Cleared up skin. It makes me self-conscious and I don't like being self-conscious. I also have to imagine bad skin is distracting. I want people to be able focus on what I'm saying instead of the zit I destroyed. I also have some killer before pictures and I would like to take after pictures at some point :P

  • Feeling like a superhero... and charging up to train with my sister-friend Jessica and her Dad for the Whistlestop half marathon next fall.

  • (Caution: the following statement contains male-sensitive material.) A regular period. I've had a very irregular (and often nearly non-existant) period ever since losing 25 pounds in a fairly short window of time 2 years ago. I haven't had it at all for almost the past 9 months and I'm pretty sure I haven't been growing a baby. This is actually already being fixed, because I've been doing the Intermittent fasting for two weeks now... and after my first day of fasting it showed up for 5 whole days! I have no idea how to explain that, but I'm fricking excited.

  • Learning and condensing. There are some books I've been wanting to read and this is the perfect opportunity to read them and share what I'm learning! I'll keep an ongoing book list, and post on whatever I'm discovering as I go.

I am a the Scientist and the Experiment. Frankenstein... and his monster :)