Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sugar, Sugar, Everywhere

I do love my sweet stuff, but have always been choosey about which sweet I eat. For example I don’t eat bargain pastries, cookies, ice cream or the like, but I will eat quality versions of these foods. The key here is that I “choose” rather than allow others to choose for me.
What I don’t choose is all the hidden sugar in just about everything commercially produced and sold in supermarkets. Bread is a great example of a food that has no need for sugar. Historically, for thousands of years, bread never contained sugar, but reading labels now will reveal that the vast majority of breads sold in supermarkets do contain sugar. Keep in mind that other ingredients such as corn syrup, raisin syrup, fructose, molasses, etc. are also sugars.
Other foods have, through the years, been alternately labeled as good for us or bad for us, such as coffee, eggs and the like, and these wax and wane with the season, seemingly. But sugar has always been marked as a villain, and keeping sugar intake low is universally believed to be a good and healthful goal. Sickeningly sweet breakfast cereals like Cap'n Crunch or Lucky Charms shouldn't be on anyone's menu, especially children's. The entire reliance on cereal as a now-traditional breakfast meal is an amazingly successful marketing ploy by that industry when you think about it. "Traditional" means "I do it this way because others tell me I should and I don't have a free will to make my own decisions."
Save your sugar intake for foods that would not be what they are without it, such as desserts. Reject foods containing sugar that would not suffer from the lack of it, such as commercially produced pasta sauces, frozen skillet meals, bread, crackers and a whole host of other foods that make you ask questions like, why does a salty cracker need sugar?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Richard Sullivan at age 52

Bodybuilding = Bone Building.

In 2012 my doctor recommended I join a state study that as a bonus included lots of medical tests not covered by any medical insurance, tests which, had I been obliged to pay for them, would cost a small fortune. I jumped at the chance. Among these was a full body scan whose purpose among other things was to measure overall bone density. At first after viewing the results the staff thought there had been a mistake. The scan showed that in my 60s I had the bone density of a male in his early 20s.
They could observe that I was externally in exceptional physical shape, not just ‘for my age’ as the classic back-handed compliment goes, but for any age. There’s nothing like a medical professional who’s in terrible shape him/herself qualifying your physical condition despite your being in better shape than 95% of the general population. But I digress.
The scan revealed that years of strength training had had a profound impact on my skeletal frame.
In my early 30s I suffered from back ache and weakness in the back that made walking more than five blocks tiring and painful. I knew intuitively that I needed to strengthen my back muscles and that my then-current exercise routine was lacking. That gave me the impetus to approach a competitive bodybuilder at my gym and convince him I’d make a very good workout partner. Luckily for me he was also a great instructor/trainer. I made phenomenal progress quickly because I was motivated by fear of what lay ahead for me in the not-too distant future, my being too young at the time to be rightfully suffering from such an “old person’s” problem.
Younger people might begin strength training purely for vanity’s sake, and there’s nothing at all wrong with that. But if they make strength training a life-long endeavor, the payoff will be a rich one as they remain strong, flexible, active and attractive at a time when most of their peers will be experiencing the opposite.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

When Life Gets In The Way, It's Best To Just Go With It.

On August 7, 2014 Hawaii’s Big Island braced for the arrival of Hurricane Iselle. For those of us living on the island’s eastern shore, we were especially worried, as we would take the first hit. Checking the NOAA website to see the eye of Iselle was aimed directly at my area of Puna, I finished up criss-crossing all the windows with duct tape and moving as many objects to higher shelves and rafters as would fit. I packed the car for escape in case that need arose. I felt protected somewhat by the cliff at my yard’s end that put my house about 25 feet above the ocean’s surface, that is until the first 25-foot-plus wave came right over it and hit the house. It was 4 hours before Iselle was ready to land, but the ocean had breached the cliffs already. I jumped in the car and headed for a friend’s house 7 miles up the mountain.

The next morning a normally 15 minute drive took more than an hour, with hundreds of trees, snapped power poles and wires blocking roads. When I did get home, thousands of rocks and enormous boulders covered my lawn, right up to my house. The cliff had collapsed and the debris thrown through the air, somehow miraculously sparing my windows. My neighbors were not so lucky.

The weeks following, with electricity, phone and internet down, it was a trial of clean up and hunting down people in person — no one was available by phone — who could fix things that I could not. Fitness took a back seat, physically exhausting as it was to try and get things back to “normal.” Deciding to go for a run a week into it, I didn’t get far as wires were still down and lots of debris waited to trip up pedestrians.

Friends actually agonized over the interruption in their fitness routine, irrationally believing their muscles were going to atrophy if they didn’t get back to the gym. This stress only added to their hurricane clean-up problems, and knowing my own limits, I refused to worry about it. I’d get back to fitness when the long days and physically challenging work of clean up were behind me. Sometimes life gets in the way, so having a rational, balanced attitude about your fitness regimen is important to your mental state. During this time I also comfort-ate, something new for me. It felt good to dig into the ice cream, chips, and whatever else I wanted for the two weeks it took to repair and clean. But once things were caught up and I wasn’t so stressed, I stopped running to the supermarket for my fix.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Running After Radar

Only those who have lost their best canine or feline companion can know the profound sadness and emptiness accompanying that.
Rather than being a substitute for humans in our life, pets in fact are an appurtenance, an enhancement. In many ways they epitomize traits humans are barely capable of. We as people build walls and boundaries. We have ulterior motives. We have a hard time letting go of the past. We put ourselves first. We’re insecure about expressing love, reticent about showing affection.
Pets are cursed with none of these failings.
Having had dogs throughout my life, each of whom excelled in his/her own unique way, I can truly say that 5-year old Radar stood head and shoulders above the rest. Perfectly behaved by some fortuity of nature, never a-wandering, ever watchful over me, enthusiastically and unswervingly kind toward humans and other canines, yet protective of his home and people, joyful in the face of his adversity, his months of decline due to osteosarcoma and his ultimate loss were heart crushing.
The house is now empty, yet every morning like clockwork I still awaken at first light to take him for his walk. The first few days I felt adrift, but recognizing I needed a diversion, a new routine, I began running at this hour.
I live in a rural area and loved the morning walks taken with Radar — the quiet, the lack of cars and people, the cool breeze sliding down from the mountain tops. I could mentally organize my day while attending to his needs. I missed that. And so on day four of my grieving, as I got out of bed, the horizon just beginning to lighten up a golden pink, I, instead of shuffling morosely in the general direction of the coffee maker and the computer, put on my running shoes.
I’ve always hated running, but it has newly provided a way to work out my feelings through physical exertion, and allows me to celebrate my canine kid by tromping along the same route we followed during his way-too-short lifetime.
As much as I traditionally have shunned running, at this meaningful hour of the day it’s the right thing to do. It lightens, just a little bit, the burden of Radar’s loss, not just while I’m running, but throughout the day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mental Illness and Eating Disorders

People utilizing food to express their dysfunctional mental state is not a modern phenomenon, but with the expansiveness of media in modern times has come a more acute awareness of this issue. A friend of mine has long argued that even non-disturbing eating regimens such as veganism are the outward expression of inner turmoil and unresolved damage expressed through one’s control of food. Those in denial of the problems that have overtaken them who engage in self-destructive behaviors like bulimia, anorexia, binge eating and drinking, who explain away their aberrant practices as if they were some minor quirk, are creepy enough, but their supporters and defenders are just as emotionally unfit. After all, we are who we defend.
Going to the gym or practicing daily some physical activity like running, swimming, parcours, etc. allows for the shedding of — or at least a reprieve from — whatever mental or emotional problems we are carrying around. But choosing the opposite tact, turning the rage inward and damaging one’s self through an eating disorder, to use just one example, broadcasts to the entire world how fucked up we truly are.
Most of our damage has been accumulated in very early childhood, when we were voiceless and at the mercy of the adults around us — parents, neighbors, clergy, caregivers, teachers — and either could not or were not allowed to express our suffering. Those who grow up having an aversion to therapists must create some other way to articulate and disburden themselves from the pent-up rage they feel. The healthier way is through physical activity. The corrupting way, the dark way which turns the rage inward upon one’s self, can be a disturbingly public manifestation such as an eating disorder.
An eating disorder is a mortifying symptom under which lies other more sinister behaviors, such as living a hateful life and expressing ongoing tirades of rage towards others, as do many so-called media “pundits” who puke out their inner misery on any and all who irritate them in any way. These sick and malignant individuals are provided a voice by a corrupt and irresponsible media, with like-minded damaged people signing on as their “fans”, forming a club of sorts wherein, instead of collectively striving for a happier, healthier life, they pursue the exact opposite.
Physical exercise doesn’t cure mental illness, but it does provide a healthy constructive outlet for one’s personal suffering. Those who seek out the spotlight to broadcast their inner turmoil, who in fact celebrate and promote their destructive ways need to be recognized as the malignant individuals they are.
Shut off the TV and the computer and go for a run.

Monday, June 23, 2014

This Is What 84 Is Supposed To Look Like:

Bob Delmonteque's Los Angeles Times feature appeared ten years ago at age 84, reintroducing the Legend to a new generation. A lifelong fitness buff with an extraordinary physique, he was known and respected throughout the fitness world internationally. The feature he was proudest of was not his abs, but his hair. He said "I've been called an ab man. But really my best asset today is my hair. Not a day goes by without someone coming up to me and saying, "My God, you have nice hair."

Read the article here.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Eugen Sandow, circa 1890s

Curious about how a man back in the 1800s built a physique this awesome? Free download of Eugen Sandow's book here:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How Do I Make Myself WANT To Do It?

The most common thing people ask about a fitness routine of any sort is, “How do I MAKE myself WANT to do it?”

It helps to choose a routine that you actually like, such as swimming, or something you can do anywhere, like jogging, both of which we can do “mindlessly.” That means that you don’t have to concentrate too hard on the task at hand. When I swim lengths in a pool, or jog around the neighborhood, I am pretty much on auto pilot and I think of other things as I proceed.

Strength Training is a different matter, as it requires close attention to detail during the short but INTENSE bursts of activity, and in between sets of exercises it helps to keep your mind on the workout rather than drifting off somewhere.

Some things that help us want to or look forward to our chosen workout is to surround ourselves with stimuli. Among these might be watching videos of those we admire who have succeeded in that particular fitness endeavor, taping photos of our heroes to our refrigerator or photos showing before and after shots of those who have already accomplished their goals, and visiting websites that are loaded with stimuli and role models such as and perhaps engaging in some of the forums.

Scheduling a workout for the days of the week or times of the day when it is most convenient helps also. My favorite gym time is sometime in between 1 pm and 4 pm when most gyms are sparsely frequented. At times my work schedule has made it necessary to switch to a 6 am workout, or a 9:30 pm workout.

Little is more conducive to your looking forward to and enjoying your workout than RESULTS. 

If you can buckle down and stick to a with a no-excuses 30-day dedication to your fitness routine in conjunction with healthy eating regimen you will see vivid results and be empowered by them. Nothing is more motivating to continuing your new fitness routine than seeing a brand-new new you emerging every time you look in the mirror.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Negative is Actually Quite Positive.

Every exercise has two components or movements: the positive and the negative.

The exertion half of the exercise, such as raising the dumbbell while doing biceps curls, or raising the barbell when performing the bench press, is called the positive.

Returning to the starting position is called the negative.

Most people put all their effort and attention into the positive movement but ignore and thus discard the enormous benefits provided by attentively performing the negative movement.

The negative is just as essential to shaping the muscle and building the muscle as is the positive.
You can amplify and accelerate your growth by paying as close attention to the negative as to the positive, but it will require increased effort and further depletion of your stores of energy.

The negative is all about keeping the target muscle flexed, rather than relaxing the muscle as we return it to the starting position, and maintaining control over the weight while doing so.

Most people concentrate on a number — the number written on the side of the weight — and once we achieve a larger number, graduating from a 25 lb. dumbbell to a 30 lb. dumbbell for example, it is anathema to consider going back to the 25. But since utilizing the negative takes far more energy than allowing the weight to just drop without resistance, backing off on the weight will be necessary.

Remember that this is just a NUMBER, and that the added component of the well-performed negative will MORE than make up for the lessened weight.

It is as much the intensity of the exercise as the weight of the dumbbell or barbell that provides us the results we seek.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Denial Concerning The True Enemies Of Your Fitness Goals

Baiters are people who have the troubling compulsion to control others’ lives. Those who criticize you directly or indirectly concerning your healthy goals — specifically, losing weight, becoming strong and fit, and/or becoming more physically active — are a special kind of baiter: the saboteurs. They sabotage others because they can, because as their prey you allow them to remain in your life. As impressionable children many of us have had questionable beliefs drilled into our heads by parents, teachers and religious figures that we have never adequately questioned, and thus need to be reexamined or even completely excised. One of these is the old chestnut that we “should” give other people the benefit of the doubt even when they have made it clear they are working against us.
What “giving the benefit of the doubt” to others really entails is ignoring or refusing to trust your own primary instincts. And the people who are advising you to give others the benefit of the doubt should be considered your primary suspects.
We all have had the experience of knowing someone who gives us an uneasy feeling that we can’t quite put our finger on. Our gut is telling us to tread lightly, or to avoid this person altogether, yet that instinct often gets overruled by the bizarre mantra that we should ignore our own hard-won feelings that are warning us about those individuals. We are branded, or we brand ourselves as “judgmental” when in fact it’s our lifetime of experience accumulated from having dealt with bad people that is the source of this warning signal. When someone in your life brands you as judgmental because you interpret others’ actions as being unfriendly or hostile, you need to reexamine the relationship to your accuser as well.
The most diabolical saboteur is the one who poses as a loved one; a toxic parent, significant other, relative, or “best friend.”
Recognizing these people and the damage they do, yet allowing them to remain an influence in your life, makes you a volunteer victim. Sometimes we cannot so easily leave these people behind, but we can limit our contact with them.
Saying “My life is none of your business” and then walking away makes for a good start.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Check Your Ego At The Door

 The great appeal of the internet is that it allows everyone on the planet to publish, to have their say, as opposed to the olden days when an editor — or a group of them — looked over what was submitted to them long and hard before approving material for publishing. The goal of many internet writers, who are in reality common trolls, is to provoke rather than to instruct.
Recently DETAILS magazine ran with a piece by one of their resident experts-in-everything titled “The 5 Exercise Machines You Should Never Use at the Gym,” which of course features 5 classic workhorse machines that everyone should be using. To make it worse, a link to this farce on the DETAILS site was found on MEN’S HEALTH website, making it doubly crazy.
Also, on MUSCLE & FITNESS (and to be fair, other bodybuilding sites as well) the put-down of those who caution against deep squats has reared its crazy head again. I’d like these macho-inspired deep-squat proponents to produce a selection of deep-squatters over the age of 50 — no, let’s make it over 40 —  who still have their real knees and can get up from their easy chair without screaming. You know, to prove their point of how safe and beneficial deep squatting is.
Deep ass-to-the-grass squatting has no extra physical benefits but does provide a host of dangers to knees and lower back.
The Number One Rule in strength training is “Check your ego at the door.”

Saturday, May 3, 2014

My Cable Technique

Supplements Aren’t Substitutes

After noticing him wandering around the gym from person to person for an hour making small talk with whoever he could corral, with virtually no time spent with a weight in his hands, he walked up to the counter as he headed out the door and spent $200 on supplements.

His routine was not a unique one.

Nothing takes the place of putting in the work and eating intelligently for the workout. Supplements don’t build muscle; the workout does, along with plenty of good healthful food.

From age 13 to 33 I had worked out but was always troubled by my lack of progress. I believed I was working hard at the gym because I worked harder than anyone else — until a true bodybuilder joined, and I witnessed the intensity and focus he invested. He was 21. I was 33. Impressively, he was quiet and sane, not one of the show-off grunters. Most notably, he rested little between sets. My previous problem was that once I began to overheat as I worked out, finding the feeling very uncomfortable, I’d rest, rather than push through.

I approached him, having seen him take on much larger guys than I as temporary workout partners, and seeing these guys buckle under the intensity and flake out on him, I asked if he’d like to take me on. To my surprise he said yes.

I’d experienced nothing like it — the hard work, the gasping for oxygen as I tried to recover from the last set only to have him push me into the next set. I didn’t flake out. I saw it as my do or die opportunity; either I’d push through the barriers I had myself erected to see what was on the other side, or I’d quit.

I kept at it. It killed me for three weeks, as the guy was on a 6-day-on, 1-day-off schedule. Previously I worked out just 3 days a week. I pushed through somehow, driven I guess by the previous 20 years of frustration and feeling that if I didn’t do it now, I never would. Last chance. It wasn’t really, but that’s the attitude I took. And I learned quite a bit about myself in the process. The big discovery was the benefit of pushing through to the next level, of answering that challenge.

I discovered supplements later. Slowly I recognized that supplements were an adjunct to a healthy diet, and except to experiment occasionally, I stuck with whey protein and creatine. The glossy ads and testimonials in the magazines didn’t sway me. I believe that the most that whey supplements do for us is to allow an easy way to ingest a lot of protein. It was good food eaten every 3 hours or so (the classic brown rice/chicken breasts and broccoli/asparagus meal) and an intense 5 or 6 day a week workout routine that was 95%+ responsible for building the muscle and rewarding me with the physique I’d always wanted. Supplements were in no way any substitute for this. Unless you’re working at the gym at full capacity, my advice is to save your money. Supplements are only  for those who are doing everything right when it comes to eating, sleeping and working out.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

On The Internet, Everybody’s An Expert.

The great appeal of the internet is that it allows every moron on the planet to have their say, as opposed to the olden days when an editor — or a group of them — looked over what was submitted to them long and hard before approving material for publishing. The goal of these internet writers, like other trolls, is to provoke rather than to instruct.
Recently DETAILS magazine's site ran with a piece by one of their experts-in-everything titled “The 5 Exercise Machines You Should Never Use at the Gym,” which of course features 5 classic workhorse machines everyone should be using. To make it worse, the link to this farce on the DETAILS site was found on MEN’S HEALTH website, making it doubly crazy.
Also, on MUSCLE & FITNESS (and to be fair, other bodybuilding sites as well) the put-down of those who caution against deep squats has reared its crazy head again. I’d like these macho-inspired deep-squat aficianados to produce a selection of deep-squatters over the age of 50 — no, let’s make it 40 —  who still have their real knees and can get up from their easy chair without screaming. You know, to prove their point of how safe and beneficial deep squatting is. Yeah, I thought so.
Deep ass-to-the-grass squatting has no extra physical benefits but does provide a host of dangers to knees and lower back.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Trust Food From China? Read The Label.

Remember back in the 80s and 90s when JAPAN was touted as the new world economic leader, and the media was crying about the decline of the US, and how we’re “falling behind”, or worse, that we as a nation were already has-beens, only to see Japan implode and all the emotional stories and hand-wringing just evaporate into thin air?
That’s CHINA today.
The first rule of being a happy healthy person is not to believe the media. The second rule is READ FOOD LABELS, especially with the sly and ever-increasing incursion of Chinese foodstuffs into our supermarkets.
The scandals that have rocked China over the years concerning tainted/poisoned/diseased/filthy food are epitomized in the 2008 baby formula scandal that killed 11 babies due to melamine “contaminated” milk powder and ruined the health of hundreds if not thousands more infants.  “Contaminated” is in quotes because there was nothing accidental or neglectful about the addition of the poison to the baby food. It was intentionally added. All because the idiots who instigated this scandal thought adding poison to baby formula would give the illusion of increasing its protein content. Don’t ask me to explain such a ludicrous concept, because the “logic” here is so horrific as to defy all that is humanly decent.
I don’t trust the Chinese to raise or grow or package my food. TARGET sells frozen fish of various types that is marked “product of China” in a tiny font.  You have to look hard to see it. WalMart sells all kinds of mainstream imported food from China that is not ethnically Asian, and that you might not even suspect originates in China, such as frozen chicken breasts. Pet food and pet treats are manufactured in China, and have their own scandal, so there’s no way on earth I’d ever feed these to my best buddy.
The original baby formula scandal didn’t teach anybody in China a lesson, as the scandal was repeated again in late 2008 when baby formula manufacturers watered down their product resulting in malnutrition deaths — babies who drank their product starved to death.
Wikipedia has a comprehensive history of this scandal, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. China has poisoned 16% of its own farmland and recent photos of Bejing’s “air” quality tell a tale of national indifference to life and health.
Trying to save a buck by buying food originating in China is crazy.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Website Ad Blocking: Blame it On The True Villain

In recent months you've noticed the vast proliferation of intrusive ads on websites, such as the New York Times, Huffington Post, etc. Websites both big and small have made the brilliant decision to frustrate the shit out of visitors with auto-loading videos that freeze visitors' browsers and pop-ups that block content. Last week on one popped up after I clicked a headline, it ran a 30 second ad, then disappeared to reveal the "article" was a single paragraph, and worse, the "headline" that made me interested in it in the first place was misleading. Both GAWKER and HUFF POST are egregious examples of websites that have bought whole-hog into the misleading/lying headline bullshit. What kind of idiots think that misleading visitors and screwing up their computers with delaying tactics will be met with anything other than fury? The stupidity of any website owner to think that forcing visitors to click, watch, read and wait endlessly is bizarre, as with most of you, I just move on. A number of websites I used to visit have been deleted from my bookmarks and my mind.
Now, free software is proliferating that allows us to shut off these disprespectful annoyances, but the downside is that many websites make their income with advertising, and these websites are justifiably crying loud and clear that they may soon have to disappear.
I have seen online tirades by small website owners demonizing AdBlocker Plus and Ghostery, when in fact it's the website owners themselves who are to blame by allowing this gross intrusiveness in the first place. Hey website owners! Stop this crazed advertising invasion and go back to ads that visitors can click if they want to, rather than alienating visitors wholesale to such an extreme that they download AdBlocker.  The problem isn't the ad blocking software, it's the foolish website owners who have turned what used to be passive or optional participation in advertising into something mandatory, controlling and highly intrusive, and the result will be a disaster to especially smaller websites that have enough regard for visitors to not allow these auto-loading videos and javascript nightmare animation ads that freeze up our computers and turn internet browsing into a nightmare obstacle course.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Real Peanut Butter vs. Fake

REAL peanut butter is a great food for everyone, not just bodybuilders and strength trainers. But the kind that you’re eating might be crap.
Above you can see the same manufacturer sells both GOOD peanut butter and BAD peanut butter. The Adams 100% Natural is the good stuff; the Adams "No-Stir" is the bad stuff.

If the peanut butter you buy has any ingredient other than peanuts, then you’re buying trans fat-filled crap, or its slightly less-awful tropical-oil-filled crap.
Don’t be lazy. Buy the stuff with the peanut oil floating on top, like Adams or Laura Scudder’s, or the grind-it-youself variety from the health food store.
The manufacturers of Jif, Skippy, Adams No-Stir and the like sell off the peanut oil in their brands because it’s highly profitable, then they add back in garbage like trans fats, palm oil, coconut oil, sugar, flavorings and hard-to-pronounce chemical compounds, trying to restore some semblance of the taste and texture that REAL peanut butter already has in spades.
REAL peanut butter has only one ingredient: peanuts. Any addition — other than salt—
makes it non-peanut butter.

A Bad Egg — and Sperm

Self-loathing is a bizarre thing, whether it takes the form of a 400-pound human, or someone who works tirelessly against their own best interests. How troubling to see the people who need it most marching in the streets and hollering against Obamacare. Never mind that the USA is the only developed country on earth with no public healthcare program. Where does the self-loathing and convoluted “thought process” that demonizes one’s primary basic human right come from? As taxpayers the first perk we should enjoy for our tax contribution is access to an affordable fair plan whose goal is keeping its taxpaying citizens productive, healthy and alive. Dead people can’t buy things. Dead people can’t contribute to generating an economic recovery. Dead people pay no taxes. Cigarettes are not only legal in the US but are subsidized by our government. Making people sick — then dead at the rate of 400,000 Americans a year —drives nobody into the streets in protest, yet the wackos pour out the door into the lanes and avenues at the “threat” of accessible health care.
The female “celebrity” who blames her child’s autism on vaccinations is well known among her friends for her emotional problems and self-destructive and reckless lifestyle prior to her becoming pregnant, as well as during her pregnancy. Unwilling to take responsibility for her past choices, she now wants us all to suffer by placing OUR children at risk with her bat-shit crazy crusade that is now paying off in spades as we see diseases once thought eradicated now reemerging.
People — meaning both men and women — who refuse to accept responsibility that their smoking, drugging, boozing, junk fooding and whoring contributes overwhelmingly to the production of compromised eggs and sperm are fools. They damage themselves and thus damage their ability to produce viable cells. It’s a roulette wheel, and those that brag how reckless they were prior to or during pregnancy, claiming their child “turned out all right” have 18 years or so to observe just “how well” the kid came through in the aftermath of mommy and daddy’s partying years. Parents like to speak of schizophrenia, ADHD, autism, mental retardation and the like as if these things were just quirks of fate — as if it were no fault of their own that caused or contributed to their damaged baby.
Throughout my life I’ve been aghast at parents who actually blame their own kids for how they “turned out,” refusing to review what they themselves did or did not do that contributed or caused their child to be such a disappointment to them.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Eating Issues: Cravings and Whatnot

Other than “How old are you?” the question I get most is “What do you eat?”
I think I have a good understanding — in an obtuse way — of addiction and obsession, because I’m surrounded by people who routinely eat or drink what they are told they shouldn’t, but have a WTF attitude. I myself will polish off an entire bag of frozen Snickers minis in a few hours, so I do get it. But my personal quirk is I will rarely buy the stuff that I believe is bad for me. And that decision is painless for me, mostly, compared to everyone else I know. For them it takes teeth-grinding determination and self discipline. For me, it’s “so what?”
So for that reason my answering the question “What do you eat?” has no basis in reality for others.
For example, I never in my life have had food delivered to my door. Never. No pizza, no Chinese. Nothing. I’m also too lazy to put my shoes on and get in my car to go to the store when I have a craving. I’d rather do without. Laziness overrules cravings in my case. Also, I might lose my parking spot.
At the supermarket I might buy a bag of Snickers or a tub of Roselani ice cream or a bag of Lay’s chips, but never all three. That’s just me, because the person in front of me in the checkout line has his cart filled with little other than sweet snacks, Hot Pockets, cases of soda, and convenience/prepared foods. I also won’t buy frozen meal items, like Bertolli’s or PF Chang’s frozen meals or frozen lasagna, etc. Making a stir fry takes me the same amount of time, and I know what’s in it. I mean, freezing food preserves it, so why does frozen food have preservatives added? The ingredients list on the package is in a tiny point size for good reason. With all the bizarre chemicals these corporate assholes add to food, and I’m talking about petroleum products and the yoga-mat chemical that is stated to be present in at least 500 prepared foods, and also having worked in a restaurant for 3 years, I am not big on letting others make my food. So I don’t eat out very often, knowing as I do what goes on behind the scenes. And since the restaurant I worked in was a hot celebrity hangout, I figure if the owner was going to be as casual about cleanliness and food handling as he was with food that Streisand and Voigt and Minnelli were eating, I can only imagine what goes on at the chain restaurants.

Friday, February 7, 2014

What's HIS Probem?

The claims made by rabid detractors of hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, that steroids shrink men’s testicles or cause “roid rage” and the like are preposterous lies. Whenever we hear a criticism, especially an impassioned emotional criticism — of anything or anyone — our first reaction should be, “What the hell is HIS problem?” not, “Please, tell me more, oh Wise One.”
The fascinating thing about the internet is how many people present themselves as experts in areas they know absolutely nothing about, and how they simply parrot disinformation they’ve read elsewhere online or heard on talk radio. People need to feel special and important, and spouting crap overheard elsewhere as if it is gospel is a common way for these individuals to prop up their ego.
Cigarettes are legal despite killing 400,000 American annually. Steroids are classified in the same group as heroin, yet steroids are non-addictive, and the only way people die from steroids is the same way they die from Tylenol — by taking so much that it damages their liver and kidneys. This steroid hysteria is insanity plain and simple, and yet people not only shrug their shoulders over this corporate and social hypocrisy, but eagerly volunteer to become disseminators of lies and disinformation concerning both.
I have stated before that I myself do not take any of these pharmaceuticals because of the adverse effect they have on my cholesterol and red blood cell count. The greatest advantage to my taking testosterone when I was able to safely do so under a physician's supervision was the enhancement of quality of life. Hormones are complicated things, regulating and affecting as they do a whole range of physical and emotional issues. A hormone we all produce naturally, testosterone, when production falls or fails, affects far more than just our physical strength. It detrimentally affects our mood by initiating depression and diminishing our positive outlook on life in general. Hormonal treatment is a balancing act that must involve a physician, a specialist preferably, one with much experience in the field.
Having been married to a physician for seven years, and attending social events where doctors after a few drinks begin to reveal the most outrageous attitudes, prejudices and biases, I became aware that ignorant doctors are just as common as ignorant plumbers, ignorant contractors, or anything else. Physicians who are anti-HRT have emotional reasons for their prejudice having no connection to the medical.

Counterfeit Online Drugs

If you have purchased drugs online — Pain killers, Viagra, Cialis, testosterone, HGH, steroids —  chances are excellent that you not only didn’t receive the actual drug, but that the “ingredients” pose a direct threat to your health.
About 2/3 of all the world’s counterfeit goods come from China. India is an especially active hotbed for bogus pharmaceuticals.
It has always been alarming to me when friends told me they purchase drugs on the street, since drug pushers aren’t exactly the most ethical humans on the planet, and God knows what they put in their wares. But still, these eager customers cling to the “nothing bad’s going to happen to me because I’m so smart and special” mantra as they merrily ingest questionable materials.
Counterfeiters have sunk so low as to market bogus cancer pharmaceuticals such as a phony form of Avastin, a chemotherapy infusion pharma, the counterfeit version having  infected the US supply chain in 2012. Automobile brake pads, computer chips, airliner replacement parts — even breakfast cereals like Cheerios are being counterfeited. The crash of the Concorde supersonic airliner in Paris in 2000 was directly due to the plane hitting a counterfeit airline part that fell off a DC10 airliner that preceded the Concorde on takeoff. Counterfeit parts have been found on the US President’s Air Force One 747 and Marine One helicopter.
People who buy counterfeit running shoes, purses, watches and the like are directly contributing to this threat to our everyday well-being by supporting the increasing power of these out-of-control underground industries.
So, how can we tell if a pharma is counterfeit or genuine? The truth is, we can’t.
If you visit you can watch a well-produced Canadian documentary titled Counterfeit Culture:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Selfie

There’s no better way to accurately gauge your strength training progress than photography, but a selfie falls short. Since full-body selfies are taken in a mirror, that’s what you’re seeing — the same view you see in the mirror.
To more accurately track your progress, enlist a friend, or put your camera on a tripod (or ladder or table or other stationary resting place), set the self-timer and standing in front of a plain wall, take straight-on shots from all four angles: front, back, left side, right side.
A month from now set up the identical situation (especially the same lighting, whether natural or artificial) and repeat.
Lots of before-and-after photos used in ads to sell you products or services are rigged by changing the lighting, having the subject tense their ab muscles, taking the photo immediately after a workout so that the subject has a pump, etc.
Keeping your chosen photo set up the same from photo shoot to photo shoot will allow you to accurately gauge your progress.
On the other hand, when taking selfies for social reasons, you’ll want to show yourself off at your best, so do whatever it takes to create the most flattering shot.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Human Growth Hormone

In the year 2000 I participated in a UCLA Medical Center study for HGH, or human growth hormone. The study was conducted in part to determine what the ideal dose of HGH would be in those prescribed it. I stayed in the study just three months due to the physical discomfort, especially in my hands and feet.
Around age 21 the ends of our bones seal off and further bone growth stops. This means, for one thing, after age 21 we won't be getting any taller. I'm not an expert in HGH, just a short-term participant in a medical study, but I do know that HGH used in children who are deemed small for their age accelerates both bone and muscle growth. In adults, the bones can no longer lengthen. The effect on me personally was that my bones were trying to grow regardless of their inability to do so, which created pressure at the ends of bones, in my hands, feet and legs. In addition, I had up to that point had developed what I thought was an esthetically pleasing physique. My ideal weight was 185 lbs., but after three months on HGH I weighed 200 lbs., and I was no longer happy with my appearance. So this esthetic result too contributed to my disenchantment with HGH and ending my participation in the study.
Many bodybuilders' main goal is indeed size, but my priority was "the look" as I perceived it to be, rather than getting big at any cost. Both friends and strangers however reacted very positively to the change in me. A noted sculptor, Kira Od, asked that I pose for her for her series of bronze castings of male physiques topped by animal heads, such as horse, or in my case, a water buffalo.
In the end, the decision to employ the use of medically supervised testosterone, nandrolone or HGH is a highly personal one. These three pharmaceuticals saved thousands of lives in the 80s and 90s when the AIDS epidemic was at is most horrifying, when muscle wasting was the number one cause of terrible bacterial and fungal infections' ability to take a foothold in patients and no drugs were yet available to treat HIV. The bizarre beliefs that certain ignorant, fearful individuals embrace, that certain pharmaceuticals are inherently "bad" or "unsavory" for example, is to be questioned always. A timely case is medical marijuana, its use by people who are suffering or dying demonized as "illegal" and "immoral" with all fury that control-freak behaviorists can muster.
Who are these people whose lives are so screwed up that their paramount objective becomes controlling others?
Using pharmaceuticals bought on the street is crazy, pure and simple. If you feel you would benefit from growth-enhancing pharmaceuticals, there are many ways that a doctor can prescribe them for you. It is essential that your blood work be monitored closely. Every pharmaceutical has it's potential negative side effects, as watching TV ads for them in which the list of side effect warnings take up almost the entire voice-over in those commercials. Growth-enhancing pharmas in fact are safer, under a physician's supervision, than Tylenol as proven by the statistics. Over 100,000 Americans annually end up in the ER due to Tylenol use.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Circumstances In Opposition

I hear you. You want to exercise, work out, swim, etc., but circumstances impede your way.
I am once again living in a community where there is no gym within a reasonable drive, and when I go to the gym the commute takes longer than the actual workout. It's a 40 minute drive each way, so the getting ready, the commute, finding parking and the workout itself eat up three to three-and-a-half hours a day. That's a lot of time not to be attending to income-generating business. So as an alternative I work out at home. But the basic equipment at home doesn't even begin to compare with the sophistication and variety at the gym, and so my progress is stunted.
What to do, what to do?
Happiness in life to a large measure begins with acceptance. And that includes not beating yourself up when you are truly making an effort. When I drive to the gym I feel guilty that I am ignoring work in a diminished economy where having an income that allows me to grow a rainy day fund is imperative for my own peace of mind. And the best way for me to do that is stay at home and put in the work hours, because peace of mind is something at the very top of my list. But when I don't go to the gym I feel guilty in a different way because my personal fitness goals suffer. I think Oprah places this dilemma under the heading of "having it all."
Right now I can't have it all.
For many years I was in a situation that was ideal for reaching my fitness goal. Economically and personally things were better, because the 2008 crash hadn't happened yet. Then I lived in a huge city, 15 minutes from 4 different phenomenal gyms and certain complications that exist today did not exist then. Today I live in a rural place that I love, and having  friends in distressed situations involving finances, health issues and relationship fiascos, despite things not being even close perfect in my own case, has made me fully realize what I do have and how lucky I am compared to my friends.
Like any normal person, I do want it all, and so should you. But we can't always have what we want when we want it. All we can do is make the best of what we have at this moment and keep laying the groundwork for the future so we'll be prepared when opportunity again presents itself.

Metabolism Slowdown

Commentors take me to task for my basic denial of metabolism slowdown as pertains to age. They are mad at me for my view that it isn't age that slows metabolism, it's the slowdown in activity and the denial about what we're eating, and how much, that slows metabolism.
I understand that science supports the idea of age-related metabolism slowdown, which makes lazy people VERY happy. "Yay! Science agrees with me! See? I told you!"
I may be dumb when it comes to some things, but I'm very smart when it comes to others, like denial, procrastination, projecting, and excuse-making. I see right through that stuff, and THAT makes people mad. Because I won't let them off the hook about it.
But I do! I do let everyone off the hook by famously saying you don't have to eat right, or work out or exercise. The police will not come to your door and drag you away.
Writing to me in a futile attempt to make your contrarian point will not work. I'm empathetic only up to a certain point. You don't have to read my book or blog or watch my videos. But you insist  on doing these things regardless, and then you want to argue about it.
I urge you to stop this nonsense. Rather, just live your life and be happy. Eat. Lay on the sofa. Watch duck shows. But stop complaining. You can't have it both ways, intentionally sabotaging yourself, then lying about it ("Honest! I eat like a bird!") and then whining about the result.