Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thinking About A Hawaii Vacation?

Driving & Discovering Hawaii: OAHU — Winner of the Best Hawaii Guidebook Award from American Airlines and the Hawaii Visitors and Conventions Bureau. Dedicated Photo Location Guide, Fantastic driving maps, beautiful photographs and seldom-visited beaches, lookouts and hiking trails.

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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. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bad Genes vs. Bad Jeans

There are two guys at my gym, both in the Social Security age range, who came into the gym a few minutes apart last Friday wearing jeans. The difference between the two really struck me, as does the fact that so many guys of any age, but especially those over 50, are so clueless about clothes.

One of the gym guys never works his legs, which for an old guy is crazy. He has a decent upper body for his age, but is shriveled from the waist down, with a paunch that proves he doesn’t work his abs either, and he has no ass whatsoever. He was wearing ill-fitting thin droopy dad jeans which greatly accentuated his overall frail appearance.

The other guy looks like he’s been hitting the gym all his life; on leg day he goes at it heavy for well over an hour, going from leg machine to machine with a minimum of rest between sets. He walked into the gym wearing the classic Levi’s 501s, a style well over 100 years old and still the world favorite. He looked amazing because he filled up his jeans - his thighs and buttocks are better developed than most guys half his age, and dressed in a roomy but well-fitting polo shirt, his 501s, and boat shoes with no socks, he attracted a lot of admiring eyes. Also, because he works his legs and has impressive muscle, he WALKS like a young guy, while the other guy SHUFFLES along like he's ready to topple over at any minute.

It has only been in recent years that men’s fashion media has made the obvious point that clothes look a hell of a lot better on guys who are in shape, no matter their age. But even more so for older guys who work hard to build muscle, this means that they will be treated more respectfully in all kinds of social situations — in restaurants, the DMV, at the airport, etc.

People who don’t give a damn about how they look are sending the world a very negative message, and then they want to complain about being disregarded, or “invisible.” In the computer age, with endless blogs and websites to instruct and inspire, there’s no excuse for not searching online for role models. Although when it comes to our looks we might be tempted to blame bad genes, there’s no excuse for bad jeans. Lose the belly and go try on some 501s at Sears. 

Looking Old Unintentionally?

Here's a nifty cheap (99 cents) eBook with a lot of good advice on how we unintentionally give off the geezer vibe. I would have added to their list that having a pot belly is the absolute best thing a person can develop if they want to really look old and over the hill, but hey, that's just me. Lots of good advice here:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Surgery is OK, but Substances Are Banned?

“Blink” author Malcolm Gladwell applies his unique reasoning and questioning to ask, in athletics, why is “this” allowed but not “that”?
Gladwell provides examples of athletes genetically predisposed to excellence due entirely to the providential gifts they have inherited, then he discusses the multiple legal surgeries that are allowed professional baseball players in order to up their game, while questioning why pharmaceuticals, at the same time for the very same purpose in professional baseball, are not allowed.

I personally have always been fascinated by the rabid emotional outbursts of people expressing their outrage and bile toward medical testosterone replacement therapy or the administration of steroids under a doctor's care, not just among athletes, but even within the general population. Only fear makes people scream, so it would be interesting to know what they are so fearful of.

I also question, with so many psychologists running around, why we don’t hear their take on this from their professional perspective. What makes a screaming anti HRT or anti-steroid lunatic so unhinged about something that has nothing to do with them personally? Going one further, as an aside, the media is crammed full of opinions about Donald Trump, yet none of these assessments are coming from mental health professionals who are disturbingly silent on what should be a lively discourse on the emotional / mental stability of this candidate, as well as the sort of people who are so excited about having such a vengeful, lying, thin-skinned whiny man-baby as their leader.

Anyway, take a flying read at Gladwell’s New Yorker piece and see if it doesn’t expand your reasoning.