Motivation During The Holidays – I Doubt Very Much I Can Help You

It is barely the holiday season, really, but for me the tree has been up for two weeks and I’m sort of on holiday all the time anyway because I don’t have a job so I’m in the spirit.

And I actually really like the holidays – I have such a hard time relaxing most of the year but the lights, the smells, the cozy clothes of Christmas make me feel like yeah, I want to take it easy today.

The thing is I also really like working out and eating right.

So I’ve wound up bouncing back and forth unexpectedly – like the other day I had a healthy breakfast and did my marathon training then I was supposed to eat a meal, recover for a few hours, and do my strength training. Instead I had a beer then more beers then some cookies, played nostalgic video games then watched animated Christmas specials.

And the pie chart is I feel 20% guilty about it and 80% like hey, it’s the holidays, it’s what the holidays are for.

Because the truth is you can’t mess up a week’s progress in one day, you can’t mess up a month’s progress in a week, and you can’t mess up a year’s progress in a month. What matters is trending upwards over the long haul.

Where I think some will run into problems is if they typically view fitness as chore and exploit the holidays to take a break from it – ’cause you’re not getting back on track Monday, man, admit it. You’re gonna coast hard for a month and then at some point you’ll see your reflection (literally or metaphorically) and a lot of guilt and self-loathing is gonna hit you all at once. And that sucks. And all your positive habits will be broken and you’ll have to build up from scratch again with even less confidence you can be successful.

And the other side of that coin is the person so into their fitness they miss the holidays completely. Staying on-lock all the time and being a dick about your gains or your run-times or your energy or whatever makes you feel superior to friends and family who are merely having a good time and want you to join in.

I can’t say more because I honestly don’t know anyone like that – I don’t know anyone who under-indulges in anything – but I know they exist so if that’s you relax, take this time to dispel suspicion that you have an eating disorder. Or to maybe ask yourself if you have an eating disorder.

What matters is that you continue to not use exercise as a punishment. That’s the worst. If you’re having a big carby meal and bottles of wine don’t say I’ll work this off tomorrow or tell yourself it’s okay because you’ll do an extra class this week – it’s okay because it’s okay. It’s okay to eat and enjoy and celebrate. Then keep your gym schedule as normal and that should feel like a celebration too – body fueled up and mind relaxed.

Marathon Training Resumes!

Day 1. Oh its good to be back.

Over the off-season I mentioned a few times in my private life that I missed running and I was looking forward to coming back; I’d get the urge, for the joy of it all.

And now I’m back old friend. I got a junkie-like thrill walking up to the treadmill which makes sense, so many positive chemicals running through the body associated with the sights and feels of the treadmill (the treadmills at MRU and SAIT are different generations of the same machine which is great).

My form was odd at first, shaking off the cob webs, but it settled in; and my cardio was much the same – I knew I’d taken a hit but it’s still there.

Day 2 of the program is 45 minutes of non-running cardio so I’ll hit the treadclimber at home, day 3 is rest so that’s no problem, and I need to run 5 miles on day 4. Since I can’t afford to drop-in at the gym or a pass it’s going to get complicated but I might be able to borrow someone’s pass and/or use someone else’s treadmill. If the temperature is around zero I can still run outside too.

How Eating For My Skin Saved My Life

I have bad skin.

That’s a phrase we all understand even though it’s really weird; because my skin is actually perfectly good in that’s it’s perfectly functional. It does all the things skin should do like protect my veins and muscles, regulate temperature, and filter toxins. When I say it’s bad we all know that means it’s not attractive. I have acne constantly. From 13 to 34 with no signs it’s going to ever truly clear up.

And my feeling that I could do something about it rather than merely suffer from it comes down to a friend who once said we wear what we eat instead of we are what we eat.

That little frame change made me think oh yeah, I should include and exclude foods based on their effect on my skin.

Even though I knew food effects things – things more important than skin included – I’d never thought of it the same as choosing to wear something. Choosing to wear something is a statement you want to make to the world about who you are. Even if you’re the kind of person who thinks I don’t care about that, I’ll wear pajama pants to the gas station you are making the statement that you’re the kind of person who wears pajama pants to the gas station. Which means we never have to listen to you about anything.

So with some Googling I formed a skin-friendly breakfast of bananas and walnuts; and I stopped including cheese in whatever I had for lunch like a burger or a wrap.

Such a simple thing but it represents a systematic shift in me. I ate like a nihilist before, I even made a video about it once.

See, people will answer the question why do you eat with the phrase I eat to live. Which isn’t true. Not only because people eat in a way that’s shortening their life in the long run but because it’s honestly not what they’re thinking. People eat to make hunger go away. Eating isn’t a pro, it’s an anti. It’s done to be anti-hunger, anti-boredom, whatever. That’s why people eat garbage, eating like nihilists, because nothing more than that matters.

And when I started picking foods for reasons other than hoping I’d enjoy them and not feel things, suddenly I thought about it more like equipping my body with the things it needs for the quests I undertake.

So when I was going through severe depression I figured I could deal with it the same way. I already understood that depression comes from neurotransmitters and neurotransmitters come from precursors in vitamins and minerals.

Meaning food.

And all it turned out to be was eggs, sardines, and expensive salt. Getting my daily dose of selenium, choline, zinc, and magnesium was the foundational change that gave me the emotional resilience to start getting up early, exercising, and looking forward to things in life that pulled me out of the depression.

And as I make sure I get all the foods – all the nutritional equipment – that I’ve prescribed myself it turns into a full day of eating where I don’t need much more but if I really want a treat in the evening occasionally that’s okay.

I Like Being On The Monday To Friday Diet

‘Round here we took our dietary advice from Tim Ferris who’s dietary advice was basically cyclical keto. It’s all boiled down to no carbs during the week.

Weekday eating is so pragmatic and typically joyless anyway that it doesn’t matter. And to be clear – I like things that are pragmatic and joyless… they bring me joy.

When we’re busy the only reason we eat is to make hunger go away because it’s wrecking our ability to be busy. I say go with it. Foods that promise to be pleasurable hasty lunches or breakfast are lies anyways; marketers trying to take the edge off the capitalist dehumanization you’re subjecting yourself to.

And then in the vast minority of your time that is the weekend you’re allowed – dare I say encouraged – to eat leisurely. Which is why we all end up fucking binging.

And again – I like it. It’s a way to eat with no thinking, no wondering, no tracking, no deprivation.

Coming off a weekend of joyfully eating whatever we want I’m looking forward to Monday and starting to get back on track – like I want to feel healthful again – and by Friday I’m looking forward some treats and some variety.

And in between I feel good, I feel on the path. Stringing together a few days – just a couple – of eating right and working out does wonders. At first I think it takes a whole week to feel good but the longer you live this way the quicker the effect happens. I always do the same exercise at the end of every workout and it’s become a ritual time to think. Monday it’s always yep, back on the path and by Thursday I’m thinking that I’ve really made progress, I’m really earning something.

And I’m thinking about it right now because this week I almost messed it up.

I ate a lot of very indulgent foods very late Sunday night and decided that I’d fast for a while rather than get immediately back on my routine. Throwing off my meal times threw off my work out times and by the 16 hour mark the sun was down (thanks Canadian winter) and I felt like skipping my work out. And skipping everything I was supposed to be doing.

But I didn’t because it’s only okay to put something off if I’m going to do something more important, not less. Spending even more time on YouTube is not more important than getting in a work out – especially the first one of the week.

So I did the work out even though I didn’t feel like it and I ate even though I didn’t feel like it and that little sense of being on the path crept in. Next day I jumped out of bed and banged out everything I had to do right away. Gleefully. Fully back on the path clearheaded I’ve strung together the rest of the week feeling great. By mid week I am lean and routine.

It’s going to take 3 or 4 days of work to counteract 2 days of indulgence and I can understand people getting into spirals of discouragement about that but long-term sustainability is what matters. I’ve lived like this for 3 years and I’ve got the most muscle and least fat of my life – even if on Sunday nights and Monday mornings I sometimes feel I went too far and threw it all away that isn’t objectively true.

And sometimes on Wednesdays and Thursdays I think I’m strong enough and happy enough to never need indulgences and I could stay on the routine unwavering forever and I know that isn’t objectively true either.


Videos I Liked This Week

This is the kind of week it’s been. Every once in a while I fall down a rabbit hole trying hip hop I like and come across a gem like this.

I could write paragraphs about how I think this relates to body positivity and how being invisible unless being explicity celebrated is good-but-not-great (which I was just rambling about at the coffeeshop) but really it’s just a fun song and can be treated as such.

Except for Lil’ Dicky. Why is he on fucking everything?

I promise there’s serious videos toward the end of the list…


And mash ups. I love a great mash up.


And a nostalgia binge. I loved this game as much as Cap and I tried to track down my copy earlier this year to no avail.


The horror of how easy it is to pick a lock.


Okay, into the serious stuff – in other words the long videos.

A Some More News that I can finally show my Libertarian friends.


This articulates what I think about Dave Rubin. I liked him when I discovered him through Sam Harris but eventually Dave just seemed like an insincere petty douche bag when talking about THE LEFT, (which is one infinite-headed gender-neutral hydra to annoying people) and irrational supportive and glad-handing when talking to about the right (which is a multi-faceted patience and free speech rainbow to be people who are trying too hard to be open minded).


This video because while I find the OK BOOMER portion of the culture wars interesting it’s also when someone says they liked the meme yesterday and felt it kind out played and died this morning. We’re finally at that point in a culture.


Some actual fitness related stuff… always an after thought on the video portion of this supposed fitness blog.

I like this video because the treatment for depression isn’t to get up and get excited about your life and live your dream and shoot your shot and instagram – it’s to get your fucking blood work done.

No amount of cheer-leading and support and platitudes is going to break a cycle of depression if your depression is hormonal. Emotions – All emotions – are downstream of your biology. If it’s out of whack you have to fix that first.


And I love it when two different sports try each other’s shit and rather than be played for cheap laughs (Bodybuilders try pole-dancing! Thousand LOLS how silly!) they respect and appreciate each other.


And finally this guy. This simple rural Russian with millions of views. The forgettable miracle of the internet is that the extremely normal lives of extremely different people are now available to us and can give us a sense of wonder.

Videos I Liked This Week

Discovered another fantastic prison YouTuber. She’s half totally normal white chick who loves cooking tips and sales & half train-wreck-life drug survivor. She had a baby IN PRISON, that’s a story I can’t hear anywhere in my normal life.


Just posting this because Blaire is trans and Blaire agrees with me.


Happy Halloween. I like videos about supernatural stuff that aren’t cynical but also aren’t mystical – I think it’s possible to be neither. Because neat stuff is real, it’s just not magic, but it is real, and spooky, but not magic. But that doesn’t make it not-neat. Just not supernatural. You idiot.


Now You Know.


I like this video because Arnold – one of the biggest movie stars of all time and an elected politician – talks about these roles like they’re just neat stuff he’s done. Like he has no ego and he’s reminiscing with buddies.


Two fitness history videos in a row by coincidence.


I like this video because she’s making it in response to people asking to look a certain way, to show that beauty trends will come and go so not to worry too much and be healthy and happy while you can.


This video 100% just for when he says Fight Or Flight turns your legs to Jello. Crisis hormones are actually fucking horrible. Last time I almost got in a fight I was aware intstantly of how weak I suddenly felt and I was like thanks body, that’s the opposite of everything I need right now, if you want to survive this you should be making me more stable not less. Dick.


And this because Sam Harris talks about it. “Traditional” martial arts and traditional anything need to get thrown up against non-complimentary opponents. Nothing should be sacred, if something is good – and idea or a fighting style or a recipe – it fearlessly be presented against challenges and it should win. If it doesn’t, then it wasn’t.

Videos I Liked This Week

This video is right and wrong, virtuous and guilty. Virtuous in that it’s correct about how we see radicalization occur, guilty in the fact that it blends everyone it doesn’t like into being Alt-Right.


Two interesting music videos this week


This video got me because I’ve been hearing a lot of “Work Out” music lately and it’s all the kind of tasteless, vaguely uplifting stuff he’s talking about but it does it’s job.


Watch any video by Like Stories Of Old. Any.


Staying philosophical…


And fascinating human nature


Some actual fitness stuff, what a shock


And this I must confess that I’m posting because it’s like admitting I was wrong. I read about the study from Malcolm Gladwell and just assumed the conclusions were true.