I owe you an apology

I just wanted to say sorry, James.

When we talk of diet and exercise, we often joke about bulking and cutting and generally have a bit of a laugh. It’s what we do.

And yet, deep down, we know there’s a more serious part to the conversation; I mean, health matters.

But mostly, we just let of steam, using humor and hyperbole to lighten the conversation and color our daily discretions.

But the other day, I let you down. You. My son. Someone I love more than life itself.

After poking fun at each other as we often do, the conversation changed. You were being sincere about wanting to shed a few pounds, lose some weight, get fit. You started to describe some perfectly reasonable steps as to how you’d do it, and I shot them down.

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Are you balancing your fitness books?

Broken piggy bankI was inspired recently having read a great article by Bryan Krahn on having to earn the right to moderation. Gritty and well written, the article asserts that before you back-off on your next visit to the gym and simply go through the motions, be sure that you’ve earned the right to moderate your efforts.

Most interestingly, to help actualize the concept, Bryan uses the analogy of a bank account, with deposits and withdrawals. This mental model is useful, because it helps people understand the notion that just as with money, your fitness books need careful balancing. In his specific example, moderation–a withdrawal–can only be made if you have the funds in your fitness account. That is, you’ve been making regular deposits–hard workouts–to build a surplus.

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Progress, workouts, nutrition and more

Sunset at Lafayette reservoirGiven I started Testosterone Replacement Therapy on Thursday, I just thought I’d share a quick update on progress.

First-off, let me start by saying that I have no real sense of what to expect. Some things I read say common symptoms start to improve in 3-6 weeks, with some taking perhaps months to improve. That said, I did feel like my general mood and outlook had lifted somewhat yesterday, and I also had a storming workout at the gym.

Was the influx of Testosterone responsible for this seemingly noticeable improvement in mood and performance, or was that just hope personified… the placebo effect of having just taken something and literally willing it to work? I honestly don’t know, but I guess we’ll find out over the coming weeks.

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This is how change happens

There’s an old adage that says you are what you eat, and in spite of the great many diet fads that come along each year, this simple advice has largely withstood the test of time. Of course, you are free to interpret this simple statement however you like, but for me it boils down to this: all things being equal, your quality of dietary health is largely the sum of what you let pass your lips.

Increasingly of late, I’ve discovered the same is true in other areas of our lives too, such as the friends we surround ourselves with or the people from whom we are taking our advice.

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Another epiphany? Really?

My life seems full of them, of late. No, not visitations from a celestial spirit… just more of those gut-wrenching pangs that accompany a moment of sudden insight.

They’ve been happening more frequently too, something I’ve put down to both advancing age and the company I’ve been keeping. It’s also part of my genetic disposition; always moving forward, always looking for answers — even to questions that probably don’t matter.

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Weekly round-up #13

When it comes to health and fitness, the Internet is a mixed blessing. Yes, there is great information out there, but unfortunately, the good (useful, accurate, valuable) material is outnumbered 1,000,000:1 by inaccurate, misleading BS.

If you are to truly make progress on your goals–be that getting healthy, improving strength or shifting visceral bellyfat–you’ll need to start following people that can actually help move you in the right direction. Here’s excerpts from just three of the people I follow on a regular basis.

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Not every workout will go to plan

MMA Heavy BagI worked from home today and didn’t have access to the gym. So that meant mixing things up and improvising with what I have at home… which isn’t much!

The “plan” was to unhitch the heavy-bag and go through a series of lifting, pulling, pressing movements with it as many times as possible in 20 minutes. This particular routine is more about metabolic stimulation than it is strength and conditioning…

Anyway, after setting-up and trying a few of the movements, I knew I’d miscalculated. On the downside, the “plan” went out the window within seconds as I quickly realized there was no way on earth I could complete the sequence as written. On the plus side, it turned out to be a grueling workout!

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