This phrase has been running through my mind all month. It's popped in there every time I have read an article, been tagged with ads in social media, or seen a commercial that wants to sell me the best way to solve my health, wellness, weight, or fitness problem. Almost always the seller or testimonial presents the "one thing" "one diet" "one program" that will change the game for me. The right vs. wrong, good vs. bad, the never and always solutions. I am taking a stand against that idea. I am giving myself permission to experiment.
To me, permission to experiment is a freedom from fear of choosing the right or wrong program or way to eat. It is about being comfortable with discovering what fits best for me, right now. It's freedom to try things out and observe what happens. And if the results don't match the prediction, freedom to label the experience as an experiment rather than a failure. It's freedom to customize and modify, to ebb and flow. Experimenting is an active process that I control. Experimenting is iterative and essential growth.
So, let's experiment. Let's not worry about right or wrong, let's just start somewhere. Let's treat our body/health like a scientist would - an amazing thing of nature to be understood and then nurtured, protected and reveled for the phenomena that it is. Let's not label ourselves negatively if what worked for someone else isn't working for us. Let's marvel at the changes that happen when variables of the experiment change (age, sleep, stress, environment etc.) and face them with a scientist's curiosity.
Experimenting requires courage. But we are not alone, there have been many courageous women before us leading the way with science and experiments. These women have made history, changed the world, saved lives and bravely experimented. Today, they provide inspiration, not of perfect results but of all that can be accomplished when we are curious, question, hypothesize, experiment and iterate.
In honor of National Women's History month and in the spirit of science, here are some of the courageous women before us and a few of their words that inspire me.
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals" - Marie Curie, physicist, chemist and a pioneer in the study of radiation.
Me - "only when we care for and improve ourselves (sleep, nutrition, exercise etc.) can we improve the world.
"All sorts of things happen when you're open to new ideas and playing around with things" - Stephanie Kwolek, inventor of Kevlar.
Me - Play is part of the process. I don't have to buy into an entire idea, I can tinker around it and find my own way.
"Courage is like - its a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It's like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging. " - Dr. Marie Daly, discovered the relationship between cholesterol and clogged arteries.
Me - Becoming fit or healthy only happens when we practice the things that make us fit or healthy.
"Don't be afraid of hard work, nothing worthwhile comes easily" - Gertrude Elion, Nobel Peace Prize winner, biochemist and pharmacologist.
"I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy" - Marie Curie, physicist, chemist and a pioneer in the study of radiation.
Me - It's gonna be work because its totally worth it. (Times 2)
"No one is going to have quality of life unless we support everyone's quality of life" - Dr. Helen Rodriguez Trias, physician, educator and advocate for women's and children's access to healthcare.
Me - It's not a competition. We need to cheer each other on. We need to lean on each other. We win together.
Make your own history
I am cheering for you!