The Trout in the Milk


I love Henry David Thoreau. He was an official wild man and a trail runner, and if I could rock that beard without looking like an Amish rabbi I would totally do it in his honor. 

One of my favorite Thoreau quotes gives the secret to pain and fat: "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk." Right? Is that great?

Too many people when they see a trout in their milk say, "Hey! Get that trout out of my milk! This trout makes my milk taste like trout!" So they just throw away the trout, which by the way may still be alive and in desperate need of water, without finding out how the trout got there in the first place. And yet that trout may indicate something extremely important, something that could be affecting our entire milk supply. 

Now let's apply that analogy to pain. When we feel pain, our first instinct is to treat it like a trout and just get rid of it: Take a pill, feel better. But that pain is a signal. It's telling you something. Pain in the foot may show you're wearing the wrong shoes, or have bad form, or have something rude and heavy sitting on your foot. Pain in the triceps--that good, achy pain--probably shows that you're building bigger triceps. Make sure you take a recovery drink after an intense workout, and consider taking creatine. (No, creatine isn't a dangerous hormone. I'll be talking about it in a later post.)

Fat: Same deal. If you weigh an extra 10 or 15 pounds, and used to weigh less a few years ago, and haven't been pregnant in the meantime, that adipose tissue is probably sending you a signal. If you gained that weight slowly, you need to make some small adjustments in your habits. Shift your big daily meal to midday. Get good nutrition instead of flakes for breakfast. (I use Shakeology.) Start an exercise program. Work out first thing before eating anything. Any combination of these will get your weight down over time. Combine all of them and your weight will fall pretty quickly. If it creeps back up, that's a signal. Like a trout.

Don't just remove that trout, people! Ask the trout what's it's trying to tell you!

Personal note: Rest day today. Feeling trout-y.