The Truth About Self-Experimentation for Optimal Health
If you want to become the optimal, superhuman version of you, then self-experimentation is a requirement.
I fell in love with self-experimentation when I was just a ten-year old kid, but I did not exactly think of it as that at the time. Every health and beauty tip that I came across from then on, I wanted to try. Each tip about performance enhancement that I read about in a magazine or online, I wanted to incorporate into my life. My dream was to become as healthy as I possibly could.
At the time, I told myself that I was only going to marry someone who was also as passionate about optimal health as I am, but little did I know that I would end up marrying someone who is just as passionate as I am about all areas of self-optimization. He also likes experimenting with his diet, as well as mental and physical performance.
Some might argue that Jonathan is even more extreme than I am when it comes to trying new things. We have done quite a few experiments together, such as trying intermittent fasting, doing the carnivore diet, red light therapy, the ketogenic diet, carb cycling, etc.
As it is self-experimentation after all, we usually experience different results. Jonathan is already basically a superhuman, and my body takes far longer to see results, but we do have fun with it. We are becoming our optimal selves together.
Perhaps you would like to start experimenting on yourself to see if you can improve symptoms of a certain condition, change your body composition, or improve your mental and physical performance. You could even have multiple reasons for being interested in it, but there are a few things that we have learned about making this part of your lifestyle:
Do Not Expect That One Change Will Get You to Optimal Health
The first rule of self-experimentation for optimal health: do not think that one change will be the solution to all your problems.
It is hard to escape the desire to want to solve your health problems or reach your goals very quickly. Whenever you start a new habit, take any supplement, or start a new diet, it is easy to get your hopes up that this will be the answer to all your problems.
But in reality, it might only be a puzzle piece in the big picture of optimizing yourself. You might be lucky, and it turns out that you only have to make one change in your lifestyle to reach a goal or to solve a certain health problem, but it might not be sufficient if you are actually aiming to become your optimal self.
Know That You Might Fail and Have to Start Over
With any goal you want to achieve, you can expect to make mistakes along the way, but you should not give up. The key is to just start over immediately. It takes time to see results and obtain optimal health.
Whenever you make a change to your diet or lifestyle, you need to give it some time to see if you respond to it well or not. Although with some things, you may react badly very quickly and then you know to just stay away, or you could already see benefits after just a few days. But as with most things in life, you are probably going to have to be patient.
I recommend that you give yourself at least six weeks to three months in order to see if something is truly beneficial or not.
Know That Self-Experimentation Will Be Frustrating at Times
When you first start a new experiment, it can be easy to feel that it is going to be easy and that you will be able to do it with a smile. You are probably really excited about the benefits you are expecting to see, which could be clouding your judgement about how difficult it might be.
Somewhere between the second half of the first day and day three, you usually start to experience how difficult it really can be.
You might get angry, you might even cry, but know that it is okay. The road to self-optimization and optimal health is not an easy one to follow. Find a way to get rid of the frustration, such as boxing, driving to an open field to scream at the top of your lungs, ranting to your partner, etc. and then carry on.
You Might Need to Continuously Motivate Yourself for Optimal Health
Going on this journey of self-experimentation is an exciting endeavour, but it is not easy. Even though you may be very motivated in the beginning, you should keep motivating yourself throughout the process. You are going to need the extra motivation when the cravings start to set in or halfway through your workout.
I like listening to podcasts by inspiring people while exercising, which motivates me, and if I am feeling particularly weak in terms of willpower one day or am just feeling demotivated, I listen to David Goggins. Hearing what he has put himself through in terms of challenging his own body always makes me feel like I have nothing to complain about and that I am capable of finishing my own challenge.
Not All Self-Experimentation Attempts Will Work for You
Be careful not to say that you will make a change in your lifestyle permanently. You do not always know what your body will respond well to, and you never know if you will actually like it or if you will be able to incorporate it into your lifestyle easily.
See it as self-experimentation, and tell yourself that you will try it for two weeks or even a month. After that time has passed, you can decide if you really want to keep doing it. Everything is optional. You do not really have to do anything related to health and wellness if you truly do not want to.
The nice thing about self-experimentation is that you get to choose your own ideal health and lifestyle approach that will help you feel like the optimal, superhuman version of you.