3 Things I learned about relationships in 2013

1. To manage boundaries effectively

Nobody is perfect even though perhaps a little closer to that each day. To manage boundaries is crucial to moving forward in life and getting what you truly desire.

2. Practice understanding of gender

People seem to all be quite different and I recognize that it’s impossible to completely make sense of that which makes up us as human beings. It is okay to use more neutral gender terms in common conversation and in business relationships.

3. To value the vibe of emotional states

The reality is such that our behavior becomes dependent on current emotional and physiological states. Perhaps our strength is enough to spare so that we can share the burden… and then we may experience empathy.

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Blog & Personality

Are Performance Enhancing Drugs and Steroids considered Cheating?

Steroids

There’s no tricky street names like many other drugs. Everyone knows them as steroids. Technically, the class of drugs are known as Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids (AAS).

Sometimes it’s made in a basement, other times it’s labeled veterinary grade.

Gym Rat vs. Professional athlete

Fans across America, including the politicians in Washington D.C. have condemned performance enhancing drugs over and over. The argument is that it creates unfair competition and sets a poor example for the youth of America.

However, most people who take steroids are NOT professional athletes. Typical steroid user is male between ages of 20-50 years old and uses for physique enhancement. The question that has been going through my mind is whether or not steroid use by regular joe’s “ruins it” for the those who try to improve their physique naturally.

Unrealistic Expectations and Psychological Issues

Nowadays, we all know that the bodybuilders on the cover of hardcore magazines are obviously ‘roided up and have gone through many cycles of exogenous steroid injections. But, what surprises most people is that even some of the guys you see on Men’s  Health and Men’s Fitness have allegedly cycled as well.

Really, I can gain 10 lbs of muscle in one month with your nitric oxide supplement… are you frackin’ kidding me?

The problem here is that these magazines are promoting certain diets, natural supplements, and training programs even though the fitness model used 10 weeks of testosterone injections to build mass, and then another cycle with specialized gear later on to get extremely lean. Consider this: some muscular body types can be achieved with 10-15 years of natural training whereas it can be achieved in only 3-5 years with steroid cycles. And if you want to get HYUGE, then you are going to need a reliable supply man for your steroid use.

Steroid addiction

Let’s say someone takes steroids for 10 weeks and gains 15+ pounds of LEAN PURE ROCK SOLID muscle. When their cycle ends, no matter how good their post-cycle-therapy is, they will undoubtedly lose strength, muscle, and ability to train as hard. Thus leading to the never ending cycle of needing to go on another cycle to gain more muscle and feel that high you only get from external hormonal modification.

Muscle mass gains instant respect

Nobody wants to mess with a big dude (except drunk bros). Let’s face it, having big muscles will gain some sense of admiration or jealously from other males — either way there is definitely an effect on the social status. So in a sense, when people say that steroids are cheating, it means that they are cheating the natural hierarchy of men.

However, the strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski would be a man among men irregardless of his steroid use.

Big muscles come at a cost

People who use steroid cycles will always defend the safeness of steroids, but in reality there is not much research on the long-term effects of steroids.

Steroids + Human Growth Hormone which causes enlargement of internal organs and pushes up against the abdominal wall.

Potential side effects are well known:

  • Shrinkage of testicles (one patient was reported to have lost his testicles completely after steroid abuse, the sack was literally empty)
  • Gynecomastia aka manboobs
  • Mood effects (depending in particular on the type of steroid)
  • Aggression
  • Increase LDL cholesterol
  • Stress on the tendons/ligaments (because steroids grow muscle and allow heavier weights, but they do nothing for the other connective tissues)
  • Injection issues, including HIV, transmittable disease, and infection at the site.

Before and after surgery to treat Gynecomastia. Some bodybuilders will undergo multiple surgeries for this condition as it arises from additional cycles.

Now, obviously the side effects of steroids are not much a deterrent for a lot of people. Why? Because having big muscles comes with a big reward: social status, power, and strength.

Bottom line: Steroids aren’t going anywhere

Every man who trains seriously with weights will have to make the decision whether or not to use steroids. The allure of a perfect, muscular, ripped body can be very appealing. And if the benefits outweigh the costs (such as surgery to repair steroid induced male breast development), then people will continue to inject.

The dialogue continues…

We HAVE to talk about steroids. I don’t think it does the fitness community any good to keep stuff like this underground.

The truth that many steroid users neglect is that long-term side effects are simply unknown. When 1970’s famous bodybuilders die from heart attacks, they look for other reasons. When Arnold had heart surgery, they look past his rampant steroid consumption. When players from the football teams of the 1960’s silently pass away at 40-50 years old, no one talks about it.

Unfortunately, there is almost guaranteed to be some 17 year old football player taking steroids right now to get bigger. What will become of him?

Natural vs Unnatural

Chronic steroid users are some of the most educated people with regard to the physiological effects and dosage protocols of steroids. Yet, when the conversation comes up of Natural vs. Steroids, they often shut down and berate people who have chosen natural. So are performance enhancing drugs cheating? Steroid users will say no, but aren’t we — as men — always in competition. Of course.

Remember, women love muscle — but it has to be proportionate fellas!

I wonder if I’ll get some interesting comments from the internets on this post…

Cheers…

Blog & Personality

Are you Inspired? How to Reach Goals by Growing from Others

Think of any lesson which you have ever learned.

Have you touched a hot stove or how quickly would you learn NOT to touch a hot stove?

That’s why they invented tools.

Consider the emotional experience resulting from flesh burning and physiological distress. Lessons are the representations of meaningful memories and experiences.

Lessons are powerful

The human experience contains rhythms of knowledge & discovery. Perhaps we should all seek to unlock deeper and more enriching realities. We must bring to light to those that matter.

It’s good to be a winner.

How to Find Value and Inspiration in other people

Pause for a second and think about a moment when you called upon your own strength to overcome a new challenge. You should  enjoy the memory of an experience which accompanies the feeling of accomplishment.

So look for that in people. Bring encouragement to the vulnerable part of a person who just wants their pain go away and for recovery to be achieved.

Believe in the Journey… Envision the Outcome.

You have to wake up every day and make choices. Those choices are not mere Yes or No’s… actually it becomes who you are. Life is a huge opportunity. Take pride in yourself, for the way you have experienced your fitness journey.

Take on challenges with open arms

Envision your perfect body despite imperfections. Maybe there’s a mole, or a wart, or something you wish you’d never seen… think about the way that your own thoughts can make you feel proud. Embrace that which you are most self-conscious about.

See your vision…

Feel your vision…

And,

Be your Vision.

Blog & Personality Power of the Mind

Learning from Bodybuilding, Success, and the Zyzz

Ripped, muscular bodies.

How many boys have dreamed big? Like Superheo big. Thanks to human nature and cultural media, we have become overexposed to ideals of perfection.

“I bench press 2,000 pounds”

The perfect body is so very alluring. The look is beauty with strength, a sort of gentle confidence that exudes power over the situation. Of course, the personality is the foundation for all exterior vessels of humanity.

Zyzz was willing to try anything once

While many guys find comfort in video games and DVDs, Zyzz pushed beyond himself. Despite his devil-may-care attitude, he inspired many young men in Australia, North America, and worldwide.

Zyzz (Before) Body type: Scrawny. Interests: World of Warcraft and seeking lulz

Enough is enough.

Think about the last time you reached a breaking point.

It’s the same thing with fitness. Actually, it’s the same as it relates to EVERY type of modification to the body. You realize that it’s worth the effort or money to do something today — now.

The Aesthetic ideal… Zyzz?

If you asked any guy in the world if he could wake up tomorrow and have that body…

Zyzz gained fame for his philosophy of aesthetics over mass.

Zyzz personified what most people thought to be the ideal physique.

The downfall of Zyzz

No one is invincible to the forces of nature. When the body composition changes drastically, the body is pressured to seek homeostasis. So if you are constantly on fire, building muscle or downing drugs, you will realize that the exterior isn’t always the best marker of health.

Zyzz was inspirational, no doubt. Sure, he was young and reckless, but he was passionate. You could feel it, you wanted him to call you a, “s*ck c*nt,” which became an Australian battle-cry to motivate yourself to train harder and eat better! To be known as a, “s*ck c*nt,” was to be known as the type of person who would get up, move heavy objects, and maintain a healthy appetite for food. It was motivational for young men in the stage of defining their masculinity.

After a few too many laboratory produced cocktails, Zyzz passed away in a fatal Thai steam room. Later reports mentioned an undiagnosed heart condition, but made no comment as to whether the anabolic steroids played a role in his death. R.I.P. sir, you will remain a key figure in the society of aesthetic bodybuilding.

Video contains mature language.

What lessons to learn from Zyzz?

The first is passion and execution. You must get the fire in your system, then go out and perform through progressively more challenging physical activities.

Secondly is that to promote effectively, it helps to get out there. He understood that his body was a major attraction to be inspired by, proud of, or any other type of attraction a person may feel. Being ripped out of your mind will definitely separate you from the pack.

Lastly is the finalé of Zyzz. He perished due to his ride high lifestyle. His body was seeking homeostasis and all it was receiving was more stimulation. As a result, the body will eventually go numb.

The inspiration lives on…

I take this valuable lesson for Zyzz. Be whoever you want to be and don’t be afraid to do it. You can make changes in your own life and in the life of others by being inspired.

Zyzz made an incredible change.

As for the natural vs anabolic steroids discussion, I will leave that for another post. This blog post is just one more dedication to the shortened life of Zyzz.

Blog & Personality Celebrity's & Weight Loss

Healthy Snacks #1: Pomegranate Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is a fantastic fitness snack

The key is to purchase PLAIN yogurt and then add your own flavorings at home. This way, you can control the amount of sugar in your food and therefore improve the nutrient density.

Pomegranate Greek Yogurt:

1. Plain Greek Yogurt

2. Pomegranate Juice Powder

3. Almond butter or Peanut butter or coconut oil

4. Cherries — frozen or fresh

Delicious, high in antioxidants, and healthful!

Eating clean means consuming natural foods. There are so many flavors in natural foods that cannot be replicated by processed foods. Expand your horizons and enjoy the nutrient benefits of whole foods.

Blog & Personality Nutrition, Immunity, and Digestion

An Open Letter to the Santa Claus of Fitness

Dear Fitness Santa,

Have I been naughty or nice?

If my blood sugar level surpasses the pre-diabetic levels, will you put coal in my stocking?

Let’s just forget about my brother’s triple layer homemade pumpkin cheesecake I ate on Thanksgiving — I swear it was a special occasion!

If I’ve been good, then you should know what I want for Christmas this year.

My Fittmas Wishes for 2010

Santa, if you are really true, then you will help me get these Christmas wishes.

1. Health for my friends and family

They are good people, I promise…even though they may occasionally carbo-load on a regular basis.

My Aunt makes the BEST Christmas cookies.

I realize their pancreas’ may be working overtime to secrete insulin, so my Christmas wish is that you improve the Insulin Sensitivity of all of my friends and family. This way, they will be able to enjoy carbs better, to utilize to energy from carbs, and to not gain weight as fast.

2. Extra protection for my Central Nervous System

Because I am an addict of strength and total body power, I engage in strength exercises as HEAVY as possible for only a single repetition. This taxes my body and causes significant Oxidative Stress to my Central Nervous System.

This is not about muscles, this is PURE Central Nervous System stimulation.

In order for me to prevent disease and continue to strengthen the neural connections between mind and muscle, I ask that you give my battle hardened nerves an extra boost going into the new year.

3. Give me the Fat of my Friends so I can burn it off for them.

I can seriously eat the worst tasting foods in the world if I can realize the benefits of it. Even some of the healthiest people I know are not even willing to consume foods like the sticky, stringy, bitter fermented Natto soybeans.

It's an effective fat burner, but I can do it better.

As long as I can maintain my skin elasticity, I will take your fat and burn it or find some way to make sustainable energy to slow down Global Warming (err..I mean Climate Change).

4. Give Justin Beiber a hamburger

Kid needs to eat.

’nuff said.

5. Collectively lower the world population’s Homocysteine levels

A customer jokingly asked how I know about all this “Bullsh*t” and its because I read a lot. Homocysteine is a real threat within every person if levels are constantly elevated.

Elevated levels of homocysteine are a marker of inflammation and oxidative damage in the body. Even worse, the higher the homocysteine levels, the greater risk of cardiac events.

How efficient is your body at Remethylizing Homocysteine?

Santa, it saddens me to see 30-40 year old open-heart surgery patients who have been weakened by disease of lifestyle. Please supply significant methyl-donor molecules, which can re-methylize homocysteine and protect the structures of our mortal human bodies.

6. Reform the Farm Bill, which may be responsible for Diabetes in America

What does the Farm Bill mean to you? It means that you can walk into any grocery store and purchase processed foods containing High Fructose Corn Syrup at an artificially low price.

The Farm Bill supplies Corn farmers with BILLIONS of dollars just so that they continue to produce corn in massive quantities. In fact, corn would not really be profitable for the farmers without YOUR tax dollars artificially increasing the demand for corn.

Corn mass made possible by government Subsidies

Scientists and people-without-your-best-interest-in-mind who wear lab coats are constantly finding ways to process corn into “products” (food items) that consumers can purchase at a low cost.

These food items contain NEGATIVE nutritional value, but they taste good. High Fructose Corn Syrup stimulates the reward section of our brains at a very fast rate, but it does NOT affect satiety.

The Farm Bill helps make this "evolution" possible

So Americans just want more and more and more, and they CAN GET MORE, because the price is artificially decreased.

Reform the Farm Bill with both HEALTH and ECONOMY at the heart of the issue.

Then, Santa, Americans can move forward together in health.

7. All Restaurants should supply Digestive Enzyme supplements with meals

Capsules containing plant based enzymes can make a world of difference when it comes to digestive health and nutritional absorption of meals.

Amylase carbohydrate digesting enzyme

Protease protein digesting enzyme

Lipasefat digesting enzyme

A 10-cent capsule containing these enzymes prior to meals at restaurants can not only prevent cases of bloating and gas, but also improve the absorption of nutrients entering the body.

Enzymes make it all flow smoother

When chunks of food aren’t able to be digested well enough, the food can putrefy and have a toxic effect on the body. For example, when someone eats Steak and an hour later gets horrible disgusting nasty gas, that is a signal from your body that the digestive system is compromised and therefore the immune system is taxed in order to detoxify it.

Enzymes before meals can promote a healthy digestive and immune system, even after a heavy steak meal.

8. Nutrition courses should be a Requirement for EVERY Institution and Industry!

If it is truly our goal in this country to prevent disease and be well, then we need to align our goals with our actions.

Enjoy an apple AND know why you should enjoy it.

There are not enough resources available to the typical consumer — which is a reason why blogs like this gain popularity. Health matters.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/16/what-doctors-dont-know-about-nutrition/

9. Help me Show Americans the benefits of Fermented Foods

I realize Santa, that since I don’t have an appendix anymore… I no longer have a “reservoir” of beneficial bacteria in my body. Which is why if I get sick or experience significant dysbiosis (bacterial imbalance), then I can only cure myself by consuming Pre and ProBiotic foods.

This is Natto. It took me six months to learn how to Enjoy natto.

Fermented Foods are the foods with the most living activity. They provide life because they are living. Fermented foods like Yogurt, Kefir, Kim Chi, Natto, etc. have a huge array of proven physiological benefits on the body.

This Probiotic Blog post is one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written

I wonder how many cases of cancer we could prevent by eating two bites of Kimchi before dinner.

Even though it is super health, Santa, please don’t put any KimChi in my stocking.

10. I wish that EVERYONE becomes an Herbalist!

I used to think Herbs had little effect on the body…except for “certain” herbs.

But now I know better.

Herbs are similar to food.

Lots of herbs contain vitamins and minerals just like food. But what makes an herb so special is that it often has a specific “phytonutrient” or “phytochemical” which helps the herb grow and survive in its ecological environment. These PHYTONUTRIENTS have beneficial effects on the human body.

For example, Milk Thistle helps the detoxification process of the human liver.

Dandelion will make you pee, and your Kidneys will love it.

Arjuna lowers blood pressure and your gets your heart happy.

Ginger kills H. Pylori the bacteria responsible for ulcers and also puts an end to nausea (I gotta take ginger if my step-dad is driving).

The list goes on.

Tulsi, aka Holy Basil, is a great "Feel-Good" Herb. It makes wonderful Tea!

Herbs are for real, and everyone should be an herbalist.

Santa, if you are truly real, please help me promote Wellness in the world.

I am nice, and sometimes naughty, but I care for my people and you do too.

Lets make this Christmas a good one. Let’s bring awareness to the self and confidence from within.

Merry Christmas to one and to all.

Perhaps there is a little Fitness Santa in all of us.

Blog & Personality Nutrition, Immunity, and Digestion