CHAPTER ONE: THE JAY WAY
Hi, I'm Jay Cooper, Wellness Director of the Green Valley Spa in St. George, Utah. For more than twenty years I've helped thousands of clients unlock the secrets of their Body Code. This unique genetic programming, which is different for each individual, determines our general body build and dictates the best food and exercise plans for each of us.
Now, I'd like to help you discover your own Body Code. Whether you want to lose weight, find more energy, or simply become more healthy, I invite you to join the thousands who have improved their lives through understanding the Body Code.
At Green Valley Spa, clients arrive from all over the world. They're stressed out, overweight, underexercised, and overfed. Some are recovering from their umpteenth diet, or worn-out from doing too much of the wrong kind of "no pain, no gain" exercise. Many have low energy and wonder if they'll even be able to make it through the week.
After a few days on our program, most have turned completely around, feeling relaxed, energetic, and losing weight. Some feel better than they've felt in decades.
They're not counting calories or fat grams. For the first time in their lives these clients are eating the foods that are right for their metabolism. They're performing the type and amount of exercise that keeps their fat thermostat low and their energy level high.
Our clients are working with their bodies instead of following a one-size-fits-all diet and exercise plan that is supposed to work for every human but simply does not. The bottom line is that some approaches
work for some people and not for others. I know you've observed this yourself. Some people, no matter how they eat, stay slim. Others, no matter which diet and exercise regimen they follow, always battle to keep their weight down.
I understand this reality very well, because I am one of the latter types. Although I've been medium-sized since 1979, I was born and raised fat. In my family, my mom served good old American food. You know, the stuff that sticks to your ribs: meat, potatoes, gravy, heavy sauces. My father and brothers all thrived on this diet, but my mom and I kept battling weight and getting fatter. I remember looking at my bony younger brother and wondering how it could be that we'd eat the same things, day after day, and yet I kept gaining while he remained so thin. By the time I was a sophomore in college, I was up to 242 pounds -- and I'm only five feet nine inches tall.
By then I was also an accomplished couch potato. From time to time, I'd try to diet or just cut down on eating, but it never worked. I made feeble attempts to exercise. I even tried out for the wrestling team, until the other boys laughed at me and dubbed me "fat boy." Luckily for my self-esteem and sanity, I was interested in music and theater and was able to get roles that fit my physique, such as Snoopy in Charlie Brown, and Tevye, the portly milkman, in Fiddler on the Roof.
Later in my sophomore year, I had the good fortune to badly twist my ankle. I say good fortune because that mishap may have saved -- and certainly changed -- my life. It sent me to a doctor, who discovered that my blood pressure and resting heart rate were very high for my age. After the exam, he skillfully used shock therapy by sternly asking me, "Jay, how are you going to spend these last ten years of your life?"
It worked. I was petrified. What did he mean, the last ten years? I was still a kid. But deep inside I knew he was right. I knew it was time I grew up and faced that my eating and exercise habits were literally killing me. He said, "Some people wear themselves out. You, on the other hand, are luxuriating yourself to death."
I immediately moved off campus so I'd be forced to walk to school. I didn't change my eating habits, not then, but I did notice that just walking was having a noticeable effect, both on how I felt and how I looked. Encouraged by this interplay of exercise and well-being, I was determined to return to a more natural lifestyle. I continued to study, in school and on my own time, to better understand biology and physiology.
By the time I graduated from college, I was only moderately overweight, but far more fit. I was also a newlywed! My new bride and I moved to St. George, Utah, in the heart of canyon country, where I began to test the principles I had been studying. Most of my diets would work a little, for a while, but I was still overweight.
As I continued my walking program, I gradually progressed from a mosey to a walk to a fast walk to a walk/jog to finally running. One day it dawned on me that quite by accident I had evolved into a runner. I had even melted down to a trim person and have been medium-sized ever since. These changes in my body convinced me that exercise really works. I began to study human typology (the study of human characteristics) to find more specific information about weight loss and metabolic functions. I read the works of Dr. William Sheldon, who wrote about constitutional types. According to Sheldon's team of medical researchers, most of us are one of three basic somatotypes, or body builds. I scored as a mesomorph -- the compact, muscular type. The other two anatomical types are the ectomorphs, the thinner, lanky-type folks, and the endomorphs, who tend to be more rounded or pearshaped. Sheldon established that body type and personality type are roughly correlated, with the mesomorphs tending to be hard-driving type A's; endomorphs the calmer, more deliberate type B's; and ectomorphs either the high-strung or the reclusive types.
Around this time I also reread a book by Dr. Henry Bieler that I had originally read in 1968, which steered me to the works of a group of physicians, including Dr. Herman Rubin. These scientists had followed up on the earlier work of Dr. Lewellys Barker of Johns Hopkins, and Francis Pottinger, who had medically confirmed an association between our body shape, personality, and our Endocrine System. This was what I needed! The association made sense, and I soon became a disciple of the metabolic-types movement.
In a nutshell, what these physicians had found through studying tens of thousands of people was that each of us is genetically programmed to be influenced by one dominant endocrine system gland or glands: the adrenal, thyroid, pituitary, or gonads. The dominant gland or glands govern metabolism -- food intake and energy output. Bieler and the others showed that all the major glands are designed to work synergistically like members of a chorus. The dominant gland is like a chorus section that has the strongest voice. If that section overwhelms the others, the balance is lost.
This information changed my life. I identified myself as an adrenal type and began to eat the foods that were recommended for that. The results were miraculous. Keeping my weight down and eating right were no longer a battle. I simply felt fantastic and wasn't hungry.
During this period of my life I became a certified personal trainer, and began training clients to run marathons. I knew for sure that I wanted make my career as a fitness/wellness educator. Within a few months I made a business proposal to Dr. Mark Sorenson, an exercise physiologist. Together we built the National Institute of Fitness (NIF) into one of top-destination wellness retreats in the world. Although my job title "general manager," my real function was client counseling and tweaking the diet and exercise programs. I coached literally thousands of clients. I weighed them, measured them, and tracked their progress. My task was to keep all clients losing weight systematically and feeling great. By taking body-site measurements and skin-fold calibrations weekly, I began to document that humans are not only built differently, but also store body fat in different parts of their bodies. Furthermore, we lose weight at very different rates.
Some of my clients, for example, would store excess weight in the stomachs, while others would gain in the hips. Still others tended to gain weight all over, even in their fingers and toes. Some of my clients thrive on a basically vegetarian diet, while others felt well only when consuming more protein and fat.
Some would lose four to seven pounds in a week, while others actually gain weight on their new regimen, even though all were started on the exact same program of diet and exercise.
The more clients I worked with, including various ethnic types from all over the world, the more crystal clear it became to me that there are four different basic metabolic types, and each type responds quite predictably to specific diet and exercise principles.
At this time NIF was continually growing, and moving in the direction of keeping all clients on the popular and less expensive low-fat, hi carbohydrate, near-vegetarian diet. I knew that that diet was healthy had helped most people. But I also had stacks of evidence showing that wasn't working for everyone. Some people not only didn't respond favorably, they even gained weight and felt bad.
Since I had this "built-in laboratory" of clients arriving weekly all regions of the world, I began to record and study the data in attempt to get my clients the results they were so willing to work for. I was the troubleshooter. I began putting thyroid-dominant clients on a thyroid-type diet, and adrenal-dominant clients on an adrenal-type diet. My clients began to lose weight more predictably through this individualized approach.
Over the next six years, I became thoroughly convinced that putting everyone on the same diet was often counterproductive. So it was time to put my beliefs into practice. I resigned from NIF and started my own fitness center. My client base grew steadily as I succeeded with people who had failed on the one-size-fits-all program.
And then, in 1990, I received another life-changing wake-up call.
I was diagnosed with a highly metastatic type of testicular cancer. I had been so passionate about my work that I had been putting in seventy to ninety hours a week. I'd been running marathons and triathlons. I had overstressed my body and mind -- and now I had to pay the price. But this experience, frightening as it was, taught me one more piece to the wellness puzzle that I had not really understood.
That missing piece was the energy component. I realized my mistake as I restudied the ancient Indian system of Ayurveda. Ayurveda, which is actually a complete science of life, sees all humans as made up of vibrating waves of energy. This body of thought dovetails quite nicely with what we know today about quantum physics. The literal essence of what we are is not tangible mass, but the vibrating fields of energy between particles of matter. According to Ayurveda, each person is a combination of three energy types or doshas, but one dosha is always a stronger influence than the others. The dosha types correspond categorically with the anatomical and glandular types I mentioned earlier. Your dosha type actually determines which anatomical and glandular type you are. This is the fundamental system behind all the others. Your dosha type shapes your energy patterns, temperament, and personality. Thousands of years ago, the Eastern World cultures had stumbled on what is only now being studied in modern medicine as psychoneuroimmunology, the science of how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect physical health.
I experienced the reality that allowing one's doshas to become unbalanced can lead to illness. For my dominant dosha, the pitta type, one of the most serious dangers is too much intensity, which can certainly come from overworking. The pitta dosha types are the prototypical type A's, hard-driving, task-oriented, and intense. For us pitta types, as for all the dosha types, balance is the key. I had lost that balance, weakened my immune system, and needed to regain the balance.
After the surgery that followed my diagnosis of cancer, I took some time off to ponder and pray. I decided that for me a cure lay not in taking the poisonous chemical treatments that had been prescribed, but rather in slowing down, regaining balance, and continuing to work. I systematically decreased my workload, sold my fitness center, and came to Green Valley Spa, where without the long hours I could still help others pursue wellness. I modified my diet even more, bringing it more in line with the principles of my Ayurveda energy type.
As I lived this less intense lifestyle, my cancer regressed, and I've now been cancer-free for nine years. I continue to integrate the principles of Ayurveda with the anatomical and metabolic systems to fine-tune the most balanced diet and exercise regimens for the four mind-body types.
From this book you will get these time-tested principles. I will show you the four basic human genetic types, identify which type you are, and most importantly give you the specific diet and exercise approach that is best for you.
My ultimate goal is to help you evolve toward a healthier, happier lifestyle, where you will feel and took your best.
Copyright © 1999 by Jay Cooper