Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stop Blaming Your Parents

Many believe the health traits of their parents and grand parents are their uncontrollable destiny.  If you ever hear someone say this tell them to stop blaming their genetics and starting looking in the mirror and also in the fridge.  Feeling like crap, not looking how you want, being unhealthy is something just about everyone can control.    


The operative term is Gene Expression.  Mark Sisson writes about it here.  What this means is that we do have the ability to control our genes and they will express themselves in different ways depending on outside environmental factors they are exposed to.  Things like the foods we eat, exercise, medications, and smoking are just a few factors that can have huge influences on the composition, health, and strength of one's body.  Here is a great example to illustrate the impact that outside influences have on the human form.  Believe it or not, the 2 men below are identical twins.  They were born with the exact same DNA.
Amazing huh?  My 7 year old son says "Aren't twins supposed to look alike?"  Well, if they lived exactly the same they would have a great chance of looking identical but these twins didn't live exactly the same.  They were both track athletes.  The one on the left ran long distance races and the one on the right did the shot put and discuss.  These are very different specializations.  They require very different physical conditioning thus different stresses on the body.  The photos were taken over 40 years ago so I am not sure if their diets would have been very different.  Today, the endurance runner would likely eat high carb and the strength athlete would eat high protein. 


I don't know much more than I already wrote about these twins but let's say these 2 chose their track specializations in their early teens.  That is 10 years of their lives that had a profound influence on their body composition by age 23.  In an average lifespan, 10 years is a relatively short time frame.  Unfortunately for most people, bad habits tend to persist for more than 10 years.  These bad habits cause genes to express themselves in negative ways.  Obesity, cancers, and other chronic diseases can be caused by genes gone bad. 


Except for the rare afflictions at birth, none of us are born to be unhealthy, fat, or weak.  We are born to thrive. Our bodies need the right environmental stimulation to thrive.  Good or bad, it all adds up.  


CP

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

What a great perspective, and a great example to teach the lesson that environment- and your choices play a role in your own health!

Asclepius said...

"They require very different physical conditioning thus different stresses on the body. The photos were taken over 40 years ago so I am not sure if their diets would have been very different."

That is quite a powerful insight on diet!