Saturday, December 31, 2016

To Lose Weight, Recognize That You Are Comfort Eating

Atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island.

Most of our overweight, whether it be 5 or 50 lbs., is due to comfort eating — soothing ourselves when we feel down or anxious, or to celebrate when we’re happy. Extreme out of control comfort eating is called binge eating.

It’s no accident that many of our comfort foods are grab’n’go instantly available, immediate gratification items.

The key to losing weight and keeping it off is change. We must determine when and why we eat, and change those factors that lead to our anxious/mindless eating. The more positive changes (destructive habits, stressful schedule, toxic people) we make the farther away we’ll be to those triggers that cause us to grab snack food.

All diets basically work because they call for a change in what and how much we eat, but if the change is not for the better — who really wants to eat grapefruit and egg whites every day? — we will not continue with the diet. This is why diets “fail.” You should not “go on” a diet, but rather change your present diet, permanently. 

Branded diets are unnecessary once you admit a significant percentage of your weekly food intake consists of snack foods and fast food and mindless grazing. Not keeping grab’n’go foods in the house is the foundation required to begin ending comfort and anxiety eating.
 Old is absolutely the wrong time in life to get fat, stay fat, and ignore health problems.

Instead of telling yourself “I deserve this” next time you find yourself hungrily eyeing that piece of cake, realize what you really deserve is not to be sick, lethargic and overweight. You deserve mobility. You deserve a better body. Nobody feels good about people seeing themselves go downhill. Choose instead to turn around and start trudging uphill. The first two or three steps might be a pain, but upon seeing the intial changes for the better you’ll soon pick up speed.

And walking uphill is really good for your butt.

Monday, December 26, 2016

You Have To Start Someplace.

Losing weight is a real challenge for people who depend on food to comfort them. I went to a Holiday party where the discussion turned to food and weight. Misconceptions and untruths were sprinkled generously throughout the conversation, in my view as a way to justify their present state of big bellies, man boobs and muscle loss. Generally I don’t pipe up in such discussions because I understand that people making excuses are not ready, that they disseminate disinformation as a way to reinforce and bolster their decision not to have made necessary changes yet.

What was stated that was so revealing was people’s agreement that they still had time to make needed changes in health, weight and fitness despite their advanced years and underlying existing health problems. It’s great to have an optimistic attitude as long as it is not based on fantasy. People in their 60s who state they still have plenty of time to lose weight and begin a physique-changing fitness regimen sometime in the future are fooling themselves, which of course is their entire intent.

I did suggest one thing in general terms. I said, “If people who want to lose weight would just cut their carb intake and fast food intake in half — bread, pasta, potatoes, whatever — they would soon begin to see weight loss while still being able to eat favorite foods. If you have two slices of toast for breakfast, have just one. If you have two cups of rice or mashed potatoes with dinner, have just one. If you normally eat a McDonald's large fries order a small.”

This set off a debate among big-bellied people about why this cannot be true (“I read somewhere that your body will think it’s starving and go into survival mode and your metabolism will shut down!”.) Then the guy with the V-shaped torso got up and excused himself to go get a glass of wine and left while the pear-shaped guests remained to expound on their superior knowledge of things.

The moral was these people felt threatened by the suggestion to take even a first step — even one as relatively painless as their cutting carb intake in half. With every improvement we make in life, we have to start someplace, and it begins with that first step.

Had Enough Not Looking The Way You Always Wanted?

With New Year’s resolution-making in progress it’s apparent that people want to make changes because they’ve had enough. They’re unhappy with some aspect of their life they are freshly determined to change.

For dedicated gym-goers January is a time for disgruntlement as the gyms fill up with the newly-dedicated determined to get in shape, or get back into shape. By mid-February all is back to normal with the great majority of New Year’s newbies having lost interest in their most recent determined goal.

However there’s no rule that says you have to wait until January 1st to make a new resolution, nor a rule that if stuff gets in the way and you have to back off your resolution for the time being that you can’t just restart once the dark cloud blows over.

In fact, resolutions made at any time of year other than January 1st have a much higher rate of being fulfilled and being successful.

No matter what you resolution for change for the better is, start now, or start later. The important thing is that you do indeed start.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Quaker Oat Bran Now Comes With Bonus 100% Natural Protein Added At No Extra Cost!

Opening a box of Quaker Oat Bran I found the product crawling with bugs. I was surprised that there was no inner liner as is the case for virtually every other cereal on the planet. Granted, Quaker Oats also has no liner inside the signature round box, but the zip-seal at the top keeps bugs out. The Oat Bran has no such seal: the product is simply poured into a naked cardboard box and glued shut with gaps at the edges by which critters can easily invade.

Customer service person “Pilar” responded in the manner in which no customer service ever should, by claiming that an inner liner would not have helped. She stated authoritatively, an “inner liner would not have prevented insects from ‘boring through’ a cardboard box.” Whaaat?

I never said insects “bored though” the box. Clearly they just waltzed in through the gaps at the edges and sat down to a welcome meal, defecating with abandon as they went.

Here’s another example of customer service that not only does not rectify a problem, but creates an entirely new one by trying to justify their failings. When we have to actually explain to a giant corporation (Pepsico) that they need to protect the products’ contents integrity by packaging them properly, then its time to stop buying their product. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fitness As A Treatment For Depression

Battling the vicious cycle that is depression is a challenge for anyone at any age, but for older people it’s especially vexing.

Added to the everyday problems and disappointments that people of other ages also suffer, older people see and feel themselves diminishing — their bodies, their employment opportunities, their finances, their physical equilibrium and strength. The fact is, getting old is hard enough to deal with without adding newly-acquired bad habits into the mix.

Physical activity is the most powerful rejuvenator, both physical and emotional, an older person can find — and it’s free.

No matter how weak or fat or depressed you are, get down on the floor and try to do a push-up. If you can’t do one, try again in an hour. Then again until you can manage one. If you can do one, try for a second. Tomorrow do the same. When you can accomplish two, try for three. Next month is going to come regardless, unless we’re dead, and then we don’t have to worry about it. But you will find that a month of push-ups will make a world of difference in the way you feel 30 days from now, especially if your goal is to challenge yourself to continually increase the number of repetitions. The improving of ourselves and feeling and seeing the results of that improvement is the most powerful treatment for depression that there is.

One month from today, without cost, without a gym membership, in the privacy of your own home you can be stronger and fitter. Or you can be that much weaker than you are today.

It is within everyone’s power to turn hopeless into hopeful.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

What Am I Doing Wrong?

More valuable than most instructional workout videos are Mike Thurston’s “Common Gym Mistakes” series on the common, growth-killing mistakes people most often make in their workout style.

Even with all my decades of experience, Mike opened my eyes to a few less-than-productive habits I had fallen into. Working chest has always been more a challenge for me than other body parts, and after adjusting my form as per Mike’s recommendations, my chest was decimated, even while doing the same exercises I usually do. Mike’s adjustments made my chest workout more effective and rewarding, and his suggestions for other bodyparts have been gratifying as well. 

I’ve only been implementing them for a week and am stoked by the difference I feel. I will report back in a month or two to report on the actual improvements to my physique using Mike’s methods.

Check out Mike Thurston’s “Common Gym Mistakes” videos on YouTube:

Friday, December 9, 2016

GQ Editors All Look Like Crap.

Yet one more satisfying reward for getting into shape is how much better clothes from jeans to business suits look on a guy with a tight and fit body.

One of the more entertaining websites is men’s fashion GQ. While at the same time GQ writers outline all that is wrong in men’s fashion they celebrate people like David Beckham who breaks every one of their stupid rules every single day and does it with enviable style.

The latest example of GQ dweebs instructing the world’s men how to dress suitably (pun intended) is the magazine’s own Editor-in-Chief Jim Nelson dressing like absolute crap, and breaking all his own rules for how others should outfit themselves, at GQ’s annual star-studded GQ Men of the Year party at LA’s Chateau Marmont on December 8, 2016. Nelson’s the one in the nifty camo jacket and I-don’t-give-a-shit half-assed tied tie.

GQ Editor Nelson somehow managed to not take his own advice at his own PR event.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Excess Skin Removal Surgery

I’ve got nothing against most self-improvement surgery (except lame and lamentable “muscle” implants), cosmetic or bariatric. But I think it is disingenuous when men like these pictured with gigantic waistlines lose enormous amounts of size yet appear to have tight skin in those areas where obviously there should hang dead-weight excess skin.

Surgery to remove excess skin is basically necessary for health reasons if nothing else, so why keep it a secret? Followers of these success stories want ALL the facts relating to the journey these people took to get from fat to fit, and the details about their skin-removal surgery are a necessary part of that story. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

It's Only A Number

I saw another video on Youtube where some guy is totally focused on 17 inch arms, his dream goal.

Fixating on a number, any number as a goal, is pointless, whether it’s what you want to weigh or what you want your arms to measure.

My friend Alex who already was too puffy and smooth at 200 lbs. wanted to reach 225 lbs. as his goal weight. I pointed out that if he were in another part of the world that 225 lbs. would translate to 102.7 kilos. Who has ever said “I can’t wait for my goal weight to reach 102.7 kilos!”? Nobody.

The same with 17 inch arms guy. Everywhere else other than the US, that’s 43.18 cm. Nobody ever said “Someday I’m gonna have 43.18 centimeter arms!”

A number is just that: a number.

What 17 inch arms guy didn’t take into account was, would 17 inch arms look good on him? Would they be in proportion to the rest of his physique? Two guys can have 17 inch arms, with one guy looking chiseled and jacked while the other guy’s 17 inchers looking like shapeless blobs. The number is meaningless. 

Forget the measuring tape and the scale: look instead in the mirror. There’s your best measure of how you are progressing.

Saturday, November 12, 2016 Wants To Give You A Lot Of Money.

Each year Bodybuilding.Com sponsors a competition offering the ultimate incentive for you to finally get off your ass and get fit: MONEY.

Visit their website to learn how:

Winter Dreams Of Summer Fun

Six months ago were you thinking about how great you’d look by now if you’d only started working out back then, upping your nutrition and fitness game? Yet here you sit six months later and nothing’s changed because you were too busy or tired or stressed or whatever. There is no perfect time in your future to do this: there is only NOW.

There are lots of enviable before-and-after examples online on YouTube and on fitness blogs and websites of what people accomplished in 90 days when they finally made up their minds to do it (search google images with "men before and after"). Browsing these examples might just get you revved up to finally take that challenge, to change yourself, to turn over a new leaf.

Looking great is a life-altering prize in itself, enhancing your self esteem. Kidding yourself by railing against others’ “unfair” judging you by the way you look overlooks the obvious truth: we are all judged on the way we look, and all the self-righteous nonsense in the world will not change that reality. It just IS.

Looking better than we do presently is within everyone’s power. But feeling great physically and being secure in the knowledge that you are fitter, stronger and healthier by your own efforts has its own unique rewards. Losing your spare tire and building muscle has significant emotional benefits as well, not the least of which is the stress-reduction that comes from working out your excess energy and frustrations through strength training.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Equinox Gym: A Dystopian Nightmare?

This article in GQ about Equinox Gym does a great job of describing the kind of gym and exclusive cliquish membership that might just send shivers up your spine.

The female author revels in and celebrates and promotes this Dystopian gym’s retina scanner in place of a membership card and its social-climbing, vacant, status-seeking preening posers. In the process she disparages all other gyms, claiming Bowflex at-home workouts are “bogus,” and claims that Gold’s Gym members are all steroid users. She also seems repulsed by actual muscle: “Lean is the physical ideal here; company executives actually use the term Equinox body—a toned, androgynous shape designed to glide in and out of $300 Acne jeans and sleep (“regenerate”) on the finest linens.”

Androgynous? Sounds like a nightmare.

My chosen gym is frequented by old people, really obese people, muscular Marines, hard workers, female bodybuilders, and all kinds of others whose main goal at the gym is not schmoozing, networking, or feeling superior to all others.

The article makes for an interesting, albeit creepy, read. You may end the article, as I did, with a new appreciation for your current gym.


Trolls are solitary attention seekers. They are individuals who feel ignored and unheard in real life situations, so as a way of validating themselves they manipulate others via their keyboards. They write things with the sole intent of getting a reaction, and THAT means triumph as far as they’re concerned. To get others involved in their drama is the ultimate validation for them. Nothing feels worse to a troll than being unnoticed.

Your responding to a troll hands them the victory they seek.

Your responding to a troll provides them the attention they desperately crave, which only drives them onward to state even more outrageous things. If no one listens, if no one responds, if their words are rejected as unimportant and irrelevant, the troll will go away. Being ignored is the ultimate indignity for a troll. With no one listening, there will no longer be any motivation to shout. It’s akin to being the sole resident of a ghost town. Any response to a troll provides them with the gratification they so aggressively seek, so the very best way to respond to a troll is not at all.

An online troll, once he makes his outrageous comment, sits back and waits with bated breath for the responses to pour in. How very gratifying to see when no one has taken the bait, no one has responded, to know that this pathetic little person is sitting there waiting, deflated and ignored. But that’s okay — trolls have nothing better to do.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Old Is The Wrong Time Of LIfe To Get Fat And Weak

A friend of mine who I’ve been nudging in the direction of becoming fit because he’s old and fat gave me an insight into the ball of confusion that is getting fit by those who are far from it.

A fitness routine is just not on sedentary people’s radar; they tend to ignore what looks to them to be disorienting and complicated.

Ain’t nothing complicated about being overweight: overeating = overweight, so nobody gets a pass pretending they never heard of that equation. But I admit the noise concerning fitness is deafening. So many “experts.” So many theories. So many idiots online writing how-to’s and what-not’s as if theirs is the last word on the subject.

I like to recommend something I myself do: watch youtube videos. There are videos for every level of fitness interest, from clueless to professional. Watch and learn: learn what interests you and what does not. Sign up on youtube and you can save those videos you like for your chosen routine. It’s true there are a lot of dunderheads giving stupid and even dangerous advice, especially the macho male types who preach that if you’re not practically killing yourself working out that you’re basically a sissy, but these sad guys/gals are obvious: hey, you’re only trying to get fit, not compete in the Olympics.

Sifting through all the fitness material in print and online is confusing, but starting off with a very basic at-home program that includes classics like push-ups and chin-ups will indeed produce results. For working abs, sit-ups have always been hard on the back, as are crunches done incorrectly, but planking is effective and there are dozens of variations for which there are a ton of videos online. Planking is fairly recent in popularity. Planking is not only effective, but for many it is much more enjoyable than old school situps and crunches. There are literally scores of different ways to work the midsection, and combining three or four different abdominal exercises in your workout will soon produce results without the tedium.

Just remember, it took you years to get into poor shape, but it will take only weeks to see your first initial improvements. You can’t expect to reverse years of damage entirely in a couple of months, and you can’t view your new diet and fitness routine as temporary: it is a lifestyle change so that you might enjoy better health, increased strength, higher self esteem and increased mobility.

Old is the absolute wrong time in life to decide it’s OK to get fat and weak.

Monday, October 17, 2016

How Does Your Protein Drink Taste?

How Does Your Protein Drink Taste?

My informal survey of the opinions on expressed by those providing their views on protein powders was eye-opening because the most often expressed criteria placed TASTE at the top of the list of attributes. Taste. Not quality of protein, or quantity. That’s telling right there. A scoop might contain 5 gms of protein in one product and 25 in another, but reviewers didn’t seem to notice this or other far more crucial factors than taste.

I recently switched from IsoPure whey protein, which I have used for at least 15 years, to MyProtein Iso:Pro 97. This MyProtein product, which is made in the UK, landed at the top of the list on, the website that tests supplements for both quality and value. IsoPure Dutch Chocolate tasted fine, but I always added a big spoon of Hershey or Droste cocoa powder and pure vanilla flavor to intensify the taste.

MyProtein Iso:Pro 97 has no added flavor or sweetener, which is ideal, so you can make it taste any way you like. Many people don’t like sucralose or other artificial sweeteners, so the absence of a sweetening agent is a big plus for many. (MyProtein does make other protein powders with sweeteners.)

Best of all, MyProtein was 2/3 the price of IsoPure, so that made me really happy.

As far as MyProtein’s effectiveness, I will monitor that as best as one can do so and report later. Effectiveness is hard to quantify due to most people changing up many fitness/workout factors at once, such as a modified workout technique or length of workout session, adding other supplements as well, such as NO2 and Creatine, etc., getting more sleep, and on and on.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Stop Claiming "It's My Metabolism!"

Hopefully you’re not one of those people who explains all those excess pounds away by calling up the “it’s my metabolism” bullshit excuse.

But let’s just pretend for the moment that your cupboards and refrigerator aren’t filled with junk food and that you don’t eat at McDonald’s 3 times a week, and that it actually is your metabolism.

Your argument is that your metabolism has “slowed down” with age when in truth you yourself have slowed it down. Intentionally. You slowed it down by slowing down. You got lazy and slovenly. Intentionally. You stopped moving, and moving is what keeps your metabolism chugging along efficiently. You want to argue you had great metabolism as a teenager but then “something happened.” Yes, something did happen: you zoomed around like a crazy person as a teenager, and then you stopped doing that.

Your fat friends are fully supportive of your metabolism excuse since it so conveniently jibes with their own vexing situation, but I’m not your fat friend.  Rather than keep embarrassing yourself with the metabolism BS, get up and move — every day. Walk the dog a couple of miles, jogging intermittently, a few meters further each day. Go to the gym. Strength train. Swim. Yoga. Exercise along with the 10,000+ free exercise videos on YouTube in the comfort of your own home. Have more sex. And stop focusing so intently on food. Studies show fantasizing about food leads to depression.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Master Of Posing Perfection: Bob Paris

No one has yet come along who can equal Bob Paris in esthetics or posing mastery. Watch in wonderment over the man's Zen moves: if you're thinking about entering a physique contest, you can't go wrong emulating his routine.

How Does Your Supplement Stack Stack Up?

The problem with supplements has always been, how do we even know if what is claimed on the label to be in there actually is, and if so, is it any good? has come to the rescue with its independent testing and rating of supplements. Visit the site and check on how your protein powder, vitamins, creatine and a host of other supplements rate as to price and efficacy:

Show your support for this vital service by buying your supplements from Labdoor.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fitness Trackers? Thinking About Dyeing Your Hair?

If you're contemplating buying a preposterously useless and expensive fitness tracker to decorate your wrist. please, just flush your money down the toilet. Better yet, send the cash to me.

While you're at it, if you're a graying Gent, or maybe a Jared Leto follower, you might be considering dyeing your hair. No. Get your ass to the gym if you want to look younger, feel younger, move younger. Spend the hair dye treatment money on workout gloves or a weight training belt or some creatine. Or send it to me.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Rules: Why?

On one hand people complain bitterly about rules, about others, such as politicians' law-passing to the rules laid down by their religious leaders to fashion rules, telling them how to live their lives.
Contrarily people long for rules. They want to be told how to conduct themselves and how to live their life. One reason is that it absolves them from personal responsibility. Most seem oddly comfortable with these two diametrically opposed actions. This post is not an opinion, but rather me just wondering how people can so easily hand over decisions both big and small to others, rather than acting on their own.
Fashion magazines and blogs are a good example because their rules have no consequences really, yet people actually follow though with nonsense such as not wearing white after Labor Day, or in the case of this typical piece from ESQUIRE magazine, taking the words on the screen about when to wear shorts (!?) as some sort of guide for their own behavior.
The fitness world is especially swamped by rules and self-proclaimed experts. It takes a while to learn what's right for you when it comes to working out based on your personal ability, injuries, etc.
Rather than follow the command of some "expert" on how to proceed, question why you unthinkingly allow others influence over your life, to make rules for you to live by, dress by, work out by.

Friday, August 19, 2016

GQ Magazine Suggests You Might Want To Consider Surgery Rather Than Exercise

As far as can be deciphered, Megan Gutashaw, a writer for GQ magazine, has no credentials of note in either human anatomy or psychology, yet presents herself as the worst kind of uncertified authority.
She, a woman, expertly declares to GQ readers, all men, just how near-impossible it is for us to develop our abs, and therefore promotes the only logical solution: surgery.
Just when it seems GQ magazine can’t get any stupider, or more vile, they top themselves.
In her featured article, titled “The New Way Guys Are Getting Olympic-Swimmer Abs.” Gutashaw provides the name of a NY surgeon for those losers out there who have concluded that having their guts sliced open and implanted with foreign objects for a mere $10,000 or so is a far saner option than planking for 10 minutes a day and cutting back on the potato chips. 
There is something morally wrong about feeding into disturbed people’s body dysmorphia and painting a wildly insane idea as mainstream and acceptable. Men getting implants for vanity’s sake rather than working out is as loathsome as it is indicative of their desperate need for psychological evaluation — as too should be required of surgeons who enthusiastically promote and perform these gruesome body modifications, and magazines and their writers who glamorize such a truly disturbing and completely unnatural-looking option.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

If You Have A Great Body Then You Must Be Doing Steroids.

Oh, no...wait a minute...steroids were still 50 years away from being invented when these photos were taken — way back in the 1890s.
Left: Hankenschmidt. Right: Sandow

Little is more revealing of males’ insecurities and thin skin than online comments made by viewers of photos or videos of superfit esthetically muscled men. These losers’ comments predictably accuse the man pictured of “doing” steroids — because they have no excuse for their own self-loathing laziness and lack of accomplishment.
Even weirder is the prejudice and railing against HRT, the medically-supervised replacement of natural hormones lost mostly due to age. Bitter comments by men who themselves imbibe in alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, pain killers and the like who try to recapture their youth through Viagra, Minoxodil, or other topicals and ingestibles, believe because these products are advertised in the mainstream, they are perfectly acceptable socially and otherwise. But somehow to their way of thinking, working with a physician to renew one's diminished hormones is "cheating."
Understanding that critics are telling us everything we need know about what makes them tick — or sick — while telling us nothing at all about those whom they’ve targeted for their criticism, is the key to dealing with these broken people. A basic rule of thumb in life for those with a healthy level of self esteem is to steer well clear of anyone trying to recruit you over to their side for any reason or purpose whatsoever — for you are being played, manipulated and controlled. They are viewing the world though their own distorted lens, and anyone who doesn't agree with them is a threat. They have been unsuccessful at creating the kind of body they desire, and you haven't, so you must be "cheating." It's the most childish of tactics, blaming or shaming others for that which you alone are responsible.
Rather than providing these dysfunctional people a willing ear the next time you hear some angry red-faced blob freak out over what scares him most, and your assuming he must have a point because he’s being so “passionate” (crazy) about it, instead realize that all anger stems from fear, and all fear stems from cowardice. Think twice about supporting or blindly signing on to others’ dysfunction. Try a bit of critical thinking first. 
Nobody respects a follower, and there’s nothing like having a good workout to clear the fog from your head.

Question Those Disembodied Words On Your Monitor

Why do we pay any attention at all to words strung together on our screens or monitors? We need to give this quirk of ours a lot more rational thought. It’s nothing new; ever since the printing press was invented the same thing has been happening, only on paper rather than electronically. The worst kinds of words on a screen are those that purport to be written by so-called “experts” in whatever field. Since I have been strength training since age twelve I am confident in my personal experience in the fields of fitness and nutrition. So when I see some outrageous article on a mainstream website warning us not to do certain exercises or eat certain foods, I want to punch that writer and the morons who employ or publish that drekmeister, for many reasons.
The main reason is because anyone allowed to advise others on fitness or nutrition should be required to post a very recent photograph of themselves in a bathing suit. That would eliminate, oh, I’d say, 98% of these fakers. The remaining 2% who look great in a bathing suit, and therefore practice what they preach, also have problems since some of their workout and nutrition practices are just plain flat out crazy.
YouTube is overflowing with videos by “experts” who look great but spout crazy. In other videos, looking-good vloggers insist that there is only one way to do something, i.e., their way, when in fact there may be many ways, because we are all individuals. We are not them, and they fail to understand that, to get out of their own head and understand that their life experience is unique to them and their advice might not work in our particular case.
But the bottom line is US, and our not signing on to or adopting others’ opinions, prejudices or poorly thought out arguments. This goes for fitness, nutrition, politics, religion and sports teams to name but a few. Be wary of others’ preaching, especially when delivered in a bombastic, “I am the authority” tone. Nobody is YOU. Only you are you. Stop looking for leaders: become the leader of your own life instead. Choose wisely whose advice to follow, especially if you realize you have a history of jumping into to things too blindly and too soon. An examination of your past failures in this regard will inform your future strategy.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Wisdom Via Experience

I have followed Clark Bartram's basic fitness advice since he was on Kiana Tom's Flex Appeal fitness show. In his 50s now, Clark has some great videos on YouTube well worth your time:

What Kind of FuckHead Can’t Even Feed Himself?

I grew up in a great big family in which my mother did not teach her daughters to cook. Or iron. Oddly, our mom was a good cook and and even better baker, and back in those days a girl’s #1 priority was to find a husband and have babies, all of whom needed to eat — so go figure.

Anyway, by age 12 I was a self-taught baker because I had a sweet tooth. I also taught myself to cook, because, what could be easier, or more logical, or more essential to life itself? Apparently millions never got the same message I did, since they eat all their meals out, or subsist by thawing something frozen.

This is why so many people are fat. Allowing others to prepare the very stuff of life rather than doing it yourself is stupid on a dozen different levels, from others deciding for you what your portion size will be, to whether they are scratching their rectum while handling your food.

Rather than tell you how to learn to cook — screw the idiots who can’t figure that out on their own — I’ll just remind you how vulnerable you make yourself by not shopping for basic ingredients and tossing them in a skillet: Obesity, e coli, cancer-causing chemicals, insects, bacteria, viruses, vermin, vermin feces, cigarette ashes, strangers’ body fluids, open sores, human hair, product recalls and more. Hungry yet?

Maintaining health means learning to cook and shop for quality ingredients and starting meal prep from scratch. Hamburger Helper, Stove Top Stuffing and similar chemical-filled garbage products do not count as cooking from scratch. Most bodybuilders and athletes in training prepare their own food or have a trusted partner/friend/employee who does it for them under their personal supervision. Allowing strangers to make the very food you need to maintain good health will always come to no good: illness is not a given in life. If you are often sick, there's a good, avoidable reason for that.

I stopped going to restaurants about ten years ago. ALL restaurants. I have had no colds, no flu, no vomiting, no food poisoning, and no headaches since. Before that I suffered all of the above on a regular basis. Also, I was once a waiter in a Los Angeles celebrity (Barbra Streisand, Jon Voigt, Liza Minnelli, Donna Summer - she married one of the waiters -, Tom Jones, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney) restaurant for three years, and things went on in that kitchen that if widely known could well have shut the place down —  not to mention the staff habitually exiting the bathroom without washing their hands.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Volunteering For Disability

I live on a lovely street where 80% of the people are over age 50 and more than half of them are ill with what they like to call "age related" conditions. Some have been very eager to tell me about it. In truth these conditions aren't age-related. They are diet-related, obesity-related, smoking-related, sedentary lifestyle-related, alcohol-pain medication-drug-related conditions willingly adopted and relentlessly pursued.

When we get older most of us find we may have to work harder to make ends meet financially, just as we also may have to work harder to stay in shape physically. Nobody much questions the first part of that sentence, but they rail ferociously against the second.

Old people dredge up every excuse in the book to keep from losing weight and getting fit. Everyone sees right through the bitching and nobody wants to hear it. I have an easier solution: Just Shut Up. 

Eat all you want. Sit on the couch all day. Nobody cares as long as you take responsibility for the outcome. That means, shut up. Stop complaining about the illnesses you suffer due to your lifestyle choices. You fought long and hard to do exactly what you wanted whenever you wanted, and railed against those who advised you otherwise. Congratulations. You won. But part of your prize package is a self-inflicted physical disability. Stop pretending that this "just happened" to you, that you are the victim of bad luck. Unless you were in an accident not your fault or suffer from a debilitating malady medically recognized as a disease, you are a volunteer as pertains to your overall poor health. Obesity is not a disease. Substance addiction, alcohol, gambling — NOT a disease. Sorry, Oprah. You're a lovely person but full of shit on that one.

You can either start today to try your damnedest to turn things around as much as is still possible, or you can continue to deteriorate. When it comes to health and fitness there is no status quo. We're either making things better or we're making things worse. The choice is up to us.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hanes Designs "Activewear" For Everyone Except Those Who Are Active

The new "Hanes Sport" line of so-called activewear showcases, among other things, big baggy shorts that graze the knee in length. Pro Basketball nonsense aside, wearing big baggy shorts while attempting to engage in vigorous athletic activity is not just an impediment, but hot and uncomfortable as well. Hanes isn't interested in fit people or those working to become fit.

The proof lies in their questionaire asking buyers to rate/review the items. As seen above, they want reviewers to reveal their body type. Not one of the choices they offer even hints at a fit, athletic, or muscular body type — as most athletic people's body type would be.

(The "Fit" as seen below "What Is Your Body Type?" refers to whether the garment runs true to size or not.)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ask Your Beer Belly Where The Hell Your Penis Went.

Wheelchair Bodybuilding competitor Jason Greer.
And you thought YOU were having a hard time getting to the gym.

I like my penis and I like the idea that when I look down, there it is. I can see it. But there are millions of men who haven’t seen theirs in years — even decades. They carry around this huge, ponderous, balance-challenging belly, many even as a badge of honor. I admit I was at the same time both fascinated and repulsed finding out that there are women and gay men who have sexually fetishized men with huge guts. But that’s another story, best addressed never.

Health-wise big guts are a screaming red flag indicating imminent health danger. A big gut is also a major factor in falls in both men and women, both due to people not being able to see their feet and the tripping obstacles before them, but also because their center of gravity is thrown off balance. This means, hire somebody to patch your roof rather than climb up a ladder to tackle it yourself.

Other medical views include the belief that the beer gut is not filled with beer, or fat, but oftentimes with feces. That some people are carrying around twenty pounds of petrified shit 24/7 which cannot be expelled naturally, and they do nothing about that, is just downright disturbing.

As humans we possess an uncanny ability to adapt to diminished mobility and health. This fascinating phenomenon was highlighted in the ‘80s and early ‘90s when emaciated people with AIDS were admitted to hospitals with infections that might have killed a healthy person, but somehow they recovered. Despite being faced with life threatening challenges, in many of these cases the body was able to fight off infections, both bacterial and fungal, that no one believed the patient could ever survive.

Such as it is with all kinds of adversity. People adapt to a serious threat or inconvenience, especially if they believe they cannot overcome it. We endure by convincing ourselves that the adversity is only temporary, that we will somehow resolve it at some point.

We really can’t control much of anything, but we are in total control of what we ingest (eat, drink and inhale) as well as our physical activity. Old age is absolutely the wrong time to nurture a beer gut, whether caused by beer or not. We can begin resolving a big gut, which is as literal an obstacle to a great sex life as it is  to our health, mobility and safety, by reconciling that it didn't just happen suddenly, all by itself.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

More Stupid Bullshit From

According to this fear-mongering cesspool of a website, America's poor put-upon men are suddenly suffering intolerable pressures to look like a superhero...

...or so claims this expert on such things.

The Great Bob Paris On Ego and Steroids.

Bob Paris was always the voice of reason in the bodybuilding world.

Psychology and Weight Loss

Chris Pratt before and after.

In all that we read or see in the media about obesity and fat loss, the words "deprived" and "deprivation" crop up continually.

People say the hardest thing about "going on a diet" is feeling deprived of all their favorite foods. They intentionally fail to connect the uncontrolled eating of their favorite foods to the inevitable result of that: obesity.

The psychology of it all is complicated. 

It comes down to choosing your brand of deprivation. "Depriving" one's body of the foods that made one fat in the first place in favor of a better looking, better feeling, better functioning body sure doesn't sound like deprivation — it sounds more like a well-deserved reward.

Weighing the momentary pleasure or comfort of eating whatever one wants whenever one wants it in any amount one craves, against feeling, looking and functioning better 24/7 is no contest. This is why people concoct the most complicated and convoluted justifications for the poor physical state they are in, because the solution is so obviously simple: eat less, move more.

I like snack foods almost as much as the next guy, but being in shape, knowing I can run or climb from danger, looking good, feeling great physically rather than feeling diminished and old rather than worrying about the outcome of my poor condition, FAR outweighs any temporary minute-long satisfaction I get from gorging on pizza or ice cream. 

I do eat pizza and ice cream, but the frequency and amount I can enjoy without it taking a physical toll are well known to me, because I pay attention. Often I read that seeing one's self in a photo or video in their obese state is what snapped people out of their obesity denial. It's intriguing that someone can be carrying around 50 extra pounds or more night and day and psychologically speaking not be aware of what a constant burden that is, yet one view of themselves as others view them can change their entire outlook.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Your Body Is Out To Get You! Excuse-Making In The New York Times

As a fitness author and instructor allow my opinion that competent journalism might compel the writers/film makers of this New York Times piece of May 2, 2016 to balance their story just a tad by spending as much time and effort highlighting those who did NOT revert to their former ways. The Times' sympathy and bias are all too blatant.

No one here, neither writers nor commenters, address the truth: it requires cramming a gargantuan amount of food down one’s gullet to achieve such an astonishing and destructive weight gain as 100 pounds and more. Metabolism my foot!

The core issue is the uncontrolled eating that none of these people admit to (notice how she distracts by carefully weighing her seeds/nuts; I challenge the film makers to return on a surprise visit and open their cupboard to reveal shelves of snack foods), because, it’s all the fault of their bad metabolism! The former excuse of “thyroid problems” from back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, once accepted as fact, has now been laid to rest in favor of a metabolism disorder justification. What a bunch of ongoing denial BS.

No one is THIS hungry. This is compulsion in a tailspin. These people went right back to their former ways, the ways that led to their gross obesity in the first place. And my using the term “gross obesity” is not a judgement — it’s a literal, medical fact.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

REVIEW: "Soup" as Dessert: A Fascinating New Idea From Campbell's.

Campbell’s Tomato Basil Bisque “Soup” tastes fucking disgusting.

It is hard to imagine that people sit around at Campbell’s headquarters to taste-test this glop without having vomit buckets at the ready. The amount of SUGAR in this gunk is absolutely horrifying, and I say that as someone with an almost insatiable sweet tooth. SOUP IS NOT DESSERT. To add such a shameful amount of SUGAR to a food item that by tradition requires absolutely NONE is criminal.

 After a few spoonfuls of Campbell's Frankensoup it occurred to me that I had turned down the offer of a couple of chocolate chip cookies earlier in the day in my quest to eat more healthily, when in fact those oatmeal-chocolate chip-walnut cookies would have been a far healthier choice than this slop.

According to the label — and don’t believe for a moment that these companies are being honest or accurate as per the information on their labels — this package claims to contain two servings, when in fact for a grown man it is a single serving. It also states there are 40 grams of sugar (!!!) contained in the package. Forty! However, I dispute that figure as being too low since this “soup” is as sweet as an equal serving of pudding.

Forget for a moment about it being disgusting, it’s literally a threat to your health. No wonder diabetes is rampant in developed countries; sugar is dumped in virtually every packaged and canned food.

Keep a couple of cans of chicken broth and canned chicken breast in your cupboard and a package of frozen veggies in your freezer. It takes less than one minute to open those cans, pour the contents into a saucepan, dump in some frozen veggies and as fast as it takes to heat up this Campbell’s abomination, you’ll have a far better tasting and nutritionally superior COMPLETE MEAL.

Take it from someone who worked for three years in a Los Angeles restaurant super-popular with celebrities — you never want to let other people prepare your food.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thinking About A Hawaii Vacation?

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Fitness Saboteurs; Part 2

Those people in our lives who are threatened by our desire for success are our saboteurs. They do not want for us what we want for ourselves. They will, either overtly or passive-aggressively, work hard to discourage us.

Saboteurs can be coworkers, friends or family who are threatened in large part because they have always thought of themselves as being superior in some regard. Relatively few people are secure enough to pursue as potential friends others who they feel are superior to them in important ways. Most people want friends who they feel comfortable with, their so-called “equals.” But in many instances if not most, that comfort is in fact about their feeling slightly superior — smarter, better looking, more talented, from a better family, etc.  than their friends. 

Most people have someone in their lives who is uncomfortable with others’ ambition. As a fitness trainer and author I have found this most commonly true when it comes to weight loss and fitness. The common term many use to describe these people is “jealous.” I feel the term jealous is too simplistic. One dictionary definition of jealous is “feeling resentment against someone because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages.” The term “threatened” is nowhere to be found in any definitions I looked up, but “threatened” is the key component to jealousy. Threatened in this case meaning “You’re making me look bad in comparison, and I won’t tolerate that.”

Many people suffer insecurities which result in their being more attracted to those over whom they feel some measure of superiority. So when the supposed inferior individual breaks out of that mold, when he or she pursues or accomplishes something admirable or impressive or ballsy that they themselves have not or cannot, like losing weight or getting fit, this is interpreted as a threat:

1 — Failure. Your success brings into sharper focus their failures as they pertain to the way they view themselves, and how they perceive themselves as being viewed and judged by others.
2 — Balance of Power. Your success upsets the dynamic. You are accomplishing something impressive that they have not been able to.
3 — Abandonment. You were once in solidarity with them, they believed, regarding a shared lack of interest in weight loss or fitness. But now you've broken out of that alliance by pursuing an unshared goal. You are leaving them behind and they are upset with you for that. It doesn’t matter that you may well have invited them along with you. They don’t want to go along, or are not ready to go along. Because you went ahead anyway on your own they interpret that as having been left behind.

Calling someone “jealous” rather than the more accurate “threatened” minimizes the real problem. Often our saboteurs are those we are closest to and love the most, which makes coming to terms with the phenomenon painful. 

The bottom line is this: don’t allow saboteurs to get under your skin.