We love to train. Everyday I hear people say, “I have to get in shape”. We train to get in shape. We train to stay in shape. We train to change our shape. Our training, for many, shapes our lives. We listen to many who seem to be in shape, tell us how to get in shape, modify our shape, keep our shape, feed our shape, and they seem to shape our minds, promise to alter our shape, shape our bodies, and sometimes, shape our identities. Exercise has the potential to shape our lives for the better. It also has the potential to increase our daily stress load. This can get more complicated when we try things that look or sound interesting but don’t fully understand or perhaps have a basis for self application. One area that receives lots of attention are food & nutrition. The volume of information involving diet and lifestyle can complicate things heavily. Personal interests, history and how we live should ideally guide our dietary choices. The fitness industry, & the health & wellness industries are industries, & like any industry, has no shortage of quick fix promises, gurus and sound byte marketing efforts, where profits, unfortunately, often rely on an uneducated customer. Know one invests in a home or business venture without research, a plan or evaluating risk versus benefit. Trends in exercise, nutrition and making healthy lifestyle choices can be vast and confusing. Considering risks versus benefits can be helpful. in terms of exercise, think about your joints for example. We all vary in the amount range of motion we have available with regard to our joints and how much motion they permit. Some appear to have lots of available range and appear very flexible, fluid, or hyper-mobile, while others, seem to have very little or limited range and appear stiff or tight when they move. Many in the exercise and health industries, in an effort to offer ideas & simplify our understanding sometimes qualify their assessment findings of us with using general terms like, hyper mobile, tight or inflexible or that we have a slow, medium or fast metabolism based on our body shape and composition. Depending on the context & view, some of these may help us understand what we are working with. These can be informative to many, however, general terms tend to lead to many of us, fitness professionals & clients alike, down the path of wearing the “labels” we hear like an identity. A general category, can lead to general efforts and results or even an uncertain feeling about whether or not the right choices are being made. Fitness or the improving of ones fitness as something to work toward & obtain, just like health, or “healthy” pursuits, are a journey, usually a long committed one. Trial and error are part of the process. When we train at a gym, attend classes, or make dietary changes that we hope may have some positive long term outcome, I’ve learned that it helps to ask why. Why this exercise? Why this food combination, why this bodywork modality, and maybe asking how does this pertain to me, my goal, & my history, when given an exercise, a label or new dietary scheme. Progress from exercise and dietary changes is dependent on many factors often varying greatly from person to person. Identifying what to do & why, based on your mobility potential, lifestyle choices & how they pertain to your goals is key. This can be tough given how much information we have access to. There are no shortcuts, or easy paths you have to train, you have to eat, you have to sleep, & most of all, you have to identify the things about your lifestyle that get in your way. Sometimes the perfect food, supplements and workout can be the very thing slowing down progress. There are no one size fits all approaches when we work with our clients. We are all unique when it comes to the ideal formula to achieve our goals. Your results are based on what effort you put in. Sometimes, more is needed, and oftentimes, less can take you one step closer. Identify. Learn. Change. Grow.