Minimum Effective Dose and Dominos {Feed The Human}

How much is enough?

I care a lot about fitness and being healthy, probably more than the average bear. My life is structured to include wellness, fitness, and healthy eating choices as much as possible. This is a big change from a few years ago. For a season in my life, it was all consuming and my complete and only focus.

My life didn’t include fitness, it was fitness:

To sum it up, I was extremely difficult to live with – both for myself and my husband.

Oh the HANGER was the worst! Poor Jon...let's all have a moment of silence in honour of his patience.

Oh the HANGER was the worst!


If you’ve ever trained and dieted for a bodybuilding show, you are laughing right about now. The season of final prep is totally hilarious, weird, and OCD and it is supposed to be a short season. 12 weeks of complete and utter randomness that no one in your life understands other than your bodybuilding friends.

I turned a season into a lifestyle.

Our culture defines being ‘fit‘ at around 8% body fat, beautiful, and magazine cover ready.

When I was at my ‘fittest’, I felt my worst and hated my body – yet I received compliments galore, people raved about my ‘success’ and everyone wanted to know how to do it for themselves.

I had to get a new picture...

I had to create a new picture…


I don’t get these kinds of compliments anymore and I am more than ok with it.

I was recently added to a weight loss accountability group on Facebook because I quipped in a comment on someone’s status about wanting to lose a couple more pounds in a moment of wanting to connect and commiserate. The women in the group are all beautiful, fit and fabulous and I would love to journey with them, but not on this journey. For me the destination of this journey is becoming an OCD, hard to live with woman who is never happy with herself.

I struggle enough with feeling insufficient without adding body image into the mix.

Minimum Effective Dose.

The Minimum Effective Dose (MED) is simply the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome and anything BEYOND the MED is wasteful. For example, water boils at 100°C at standard air pressure. Water is not “more boiled” if you add more heat. You would save money on your gas or electric bill if you didn’t continue to increase the temperature of the water – thereby conserving resources for something else more productive.
~ Tim Ferriss

These past few years, I have learned this mostly applies to my brain. How much thinking, planning, and obsessing is required to get the results I want?

Being a happy, healthy, and fit Donloree means not thinking nearly as much about fitness as one would think. I have woven exercise into my life, try to get as much sleep as I need, bought bigger clothes, gave away all the clothes that are way too big or small, and work on comparing me to me.

What you think about and focus on is what you become and if you aren’t made to be that thing or do that task, life gets wonky really fast.

be awesome


It was and still is important to realize what I think about and focus on is up to me.

Worrying that I ate guacamole with my baked tortilla chips, freaking out that my workout got highjacked by having to be somewhere last minute, or checking my weight daily or hourly to ensure progress is being made is a surefire way to create utter chaos and a lack of ‘results’ in my life.

Donloree’s minimum effective dose.

  • Did I do something active today?
  • Did I eat healthy choices?
  • Am I hungry? Full?
  • Did I laugh? Have fun?
  • Do I need to not do something active today?
  • Am I taking care of my body and not caring about the size?

Size 6 or 8 and around a buck fifty-five or a buck sixty is an effective and healthy way for me to live my life and purpose out. It means I can coach amazing leaders, write books, work as a Human Resources Director, go out with friends, complete home renovations, and still set and go after audacious goals.

My body is not my identity.

Feed The Human interviewed me about life, my work, and how fitness is part of everyone’s journey – even though every journey is different.

Hey look! Its me!

Hey look! Its me!

We talked about how so many of us choose to make our bodies our identities and how quickly it becomes our identity without us even knowing it happened.

In the end, Donloree has a message for everyone who is seeking a healthier, fitter life – or any change in life for that matter. Change your first domino. Starting doing one thing differently and see where the dominos fall. Your life may just change in ways you can’t imagine.

Now you can listen to the voice that goes along with the crazy blog!

I would love to hear about your journey towards figuring out what your minimum effective dose is and what your first domino for it is.

  • My first domino was “I am enough as I am.”

What are your thoughts on fitness in our culture? What does ‘fit’ mean to you and look like in real life? Your life?