Big Rocks Build Your Foundation

In high school I had a great technology class where I was assigned to construct a water filter using no more than $2.00 worth of supplies inside an empty soda bottle. I learned that the way to build a good filter is to sort the waste from the water from largest to smallest. The top of my filter was filled with large rocks, then gravel, then coarse sand, fine sand, and finally a cheese cloth at the bottom near the spout. Remarkably, the sludge-looking water the teacher prepared came out looking clean* from my filter.

I saw others in my class tinker with different arrangements of materials, trying sand up top and rocks on the bottom, but their filters would get clogged and were rendered useless. Separating the largest elements first was and still is the best approach to filtering.

Many people fall victim to the same problem when it comes to their health and fitness. These are the people who use the finest sand first, hoping crystal clear water will emerge. They time their nutrient intake, periodize their exercise, eat only organic food, and they are always on the lookout for the next big thing. They worry about tiny details first and never make or sustain any tangible progress toward their goals.

If someone used only big rocks in their filter water would surely get through, and the biggest obstacles would be eliminated. Their water would not be perfect, but maybe it doesn’t have to be to start. Maybe it doesn’t ever have to be.

Your own “big rocks” are the foundation to your health and fitness. They provide a filter for what has to be changed before progress can be made. Many people would do well to focus on eating mostly unprocessed foods and doing some form of resistance training no matter their goals. It doesn’t matter all that much what unprocessed foods you eat and what resistance training program you follow as long as you can stick with both. To start on your journey to making lasting changes your health and your body, identify your big rocks and take action. All of the rest tends to fall into place.


* After testing pH levels I learned that additional elements were necessary to normalize levels to a safe level. The story still stands.

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