To put it simply, endomorphs are people with big, bulky joints (particularly hips that roughly are was wide as the collar bones) who tend to put on fat easily and more quickly than they put on muscle. Our bodies seem to cling desperately to fat and efforts to lose weight are often unsuccessful in the long term because the strategies we use to restrict our diets result in a more efficient metabolism that leads to a rebound effect popularized as “yo-yo dieting.”
From an evolutionary standpoint it makes sense that this body type would stick around through hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution and be represented heavily in the population — you don’t need tons of muscle mass to survive long enough to reproduce and take care of your children. Muscle is “high maintenance,” requiring extra calories and protein to be maintained. It takes work to keep it around. Your body would prefer to just have the “right” amount of muscle to get you through your day-to-day requirements and to store the rest of your food intake as fat.
Muscle mass absolutely helps us as we age and the more muscle you have, the more you can “waste away” in the hospital from a degenerative disease before it kills you. It’s a physical reserve of powerful tissue that absolutely keeps you alive, so long as you can feed it.
That’s a good thing. But from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes sense to store food as fat, because small, dense muscles can get a tremendous amount of work done, and from an evolutionary standpoint it was far more beneficial to have small wiry muscles that get you from point A to point B rather than the sort of physique that requires enormous protein-based meals to maintain.
If you go into a typical gym, you’ll probably observe relatively wiry people with small calves and quads squatting hundreds of pounds. If you’re new to the gym, you might look at your own big calves and quads and wonder why you can barely manage to squat 135 pounds, while some skinny dude is blasting 255.
It doesn’t take a lot of bulky muscle mass to be strong, so if your body is more efficient at storing food as “fuel” (fat) rather than as “fuel burning meat that can be used for fuel in an emergency” (muscle) all things being equal, you’re going to benefit from having “thrifty” genes that store food wisely. Except all things aren’t equal — now we find ourselves surrounded by cheap, high-carbohydrate, high-sodium food that is far more addicting, affordable, and easy to eat than a well-prepared meal.
We tend to struggle to burn fat without also losing muscle in the process, and tend to “emotionally eat” due to stress and find the act of eating difficult to control compared to the “hard-gaining” ectomorphic body type.
There is some truth to the notion that people largely fall into three different somataotypes, but it’s far more complicated than that, and important not to let the notion of “body type” describe exactly how you are going to go about your life. It is not a prescription for the sort of life you’re stuck with, but a framework to understand where you go from here.
So, back to the question. What is “endometamorphic?”
It’s a result of trying to think of something clever and unique to name my blog, simple as that. I took the word “endomorph” and inserted “meta” in the middle to suggest that endomorphic people can transform themselves by putting in the work. First know thyself, and then, see what you can do about the parts you don’t like. Embrace what you cannot change, and fight like hell to stay alive and well.
It doesn’t mean “only endomorphs will benefit from reading this blog.”
Psychology and your reaction to environmental stressors play an enormous role in determining how you will look and feel, and endocrinology ties psychology , so that if, for example, you are exposed to tremendous amounts of stress, you will experience decreased testosterone levels (for both men and women), and increased cortisol levels. Controlling stress, and subsequently, cortisol, is immensely important. There are thing you can do to reduce the impact stress has, as well as things you can take that help you manage your reaction to stress, your ability to sustain stress, and your endogenous cortisol levels, and these are referred to as adaptogens — common examples are ashwanganda and shilajit. But more importantly, you must feel as if you’re taking actual tangible steps to improving your life. Feeling helpless is the most stressful sensation there is. It is the foundation of emotional trauma — intense stress in the face of helplessness to change the situation.
Simple “psychological” stress has a profound impact on how our bodies develop over time, and it’s not easy to resist stressors that feel out of our control, which makes stress feel even more urgent and debilitating.
We are all dynamic beings subject to environmental and emotional stresses that shape the type of body we grow into through puberty, adolescence, and adulthood. For the longest time, I assumed I was an endomorph because I gain weight easily, I’m very sensitive to carbohydrates, and my natural inclination is to have a “beer gut” and “man boobs.”
Now, I’ve taken control of my destiny, have decided to embrace all of my previous “failures” to “get fit” as building blocks, and would like you to join me on this journey, and to tell me all about yours.