Saturday, October 8, 2011

A little bit of perspective

I have no interest in educating the readers of this blog in any overt manner. In fact, I have deliberately avoided doing so. My sole intention is to record an experience, to detail a progress under a certain methodology and to do so with a certain degree of rigor. In sort, this blog is a spatter of breadcrumbs without the pretense of a notion of direction.

This is not to say that I am uninformed or that ignorance is acceptable when embarking on this kind of pursuit. The opposite is true. In my opinion, those wishing to invest time into any activity must acknowledge the responsibility of educating themselves properly. In other words, I am holding back in order to force you to understand that it falls on you to research these subjects.

Please consider the following.

I started studying nutrition and fitness approximately two years ago. I am an academic and I pursued these topics in the same systematic matter I pursue interests in my own field. My education in nutrition and fitness involved extensive reading, from academic papers to popular books. I also took advantage of the informational flotsam scattered in blogs, wikis, etc. Over time, I amassed large amounts of data and processed it as best I could.

About eight months ago, I came to the conclusion that a Paleo diet and a H.I.T. protocol were worth a shot. This was not the first time that I had put my findings into practice and it would not have been the first time results did not match expectations.

As it happens, this has been the most productive approach so far. Nothing that I found in my research ensured this outcome. Eventually, I had to self-experiment. Educating oneself on the subjects of nutrition and fitness is a never-ending process that holds no guarantees. There are no final words, no dogma or hidden truth, waiting to be discovered. These are not topics that can be resolved like a jigsaw puzzle. This is science and its concern is reality. The amount of complexity involved is, literally, astronomical.

Thus, I make no reference to academic papers or books. I offer no leads. I contend that forcing you to do the footwork will be more helpful to you than trying to tell you what to think. I have made one exception by making explicit reference (several times) to Body by Science. It is a good book but so are many others. Why recommend this one alone? There is no particular reason that would be meaningful to anyone but me.

Last, I cannot emphasize enough how important critical reading is. Never, ever, take for granted the (in)validity of a notion on account of its origins. Focus on what is being said, not on who is saying it. If you are unsure as to how to put this into practice, my advice is that you start by clearly distinguishing what you know from what you believe.