Great days, terrible days, ruined days– we have all of ‘em. After all, a lot can happen in a single day to change our outlook.
But I want to challenge you to simplify your perspective: ”What are the three things you need in order to consider a day, a good day?”
For me, I’d want to…
- Exercise – This was my crutch for my first big break-up, but it’s been a staple ever since. With all the stuff in my life that’s out of my hands, this is one area that I have complete control over. All the frustration and stress can be exhausted at the gym. So no matter how rough the day’s been, I can still get a sense of accomplishment.
- Eat Meat – Just to clarify, I love vegetables too. The problem is, I could eat vegetables all day long and still not feel full. I need meat to feel satiated. This is probably why 1)I’m able to keep my sanity while dieting and 2)I never got too homesick for American food while in Japan. Meat will always be there for you!
- Talk to a Pretty Girl – Look, I know chemistry is whack and signs are misleading, but that’s dating. I’m talking about enjoying the tiniest of tiny victories. This isn’t even on the same level as getting a girl’s number. Just being able to say, “Hey, see that lady? I talked to her.” Satisfaction, baby!
Now there’s a trick to all this. Being able to meet each point is totally doable every day! In other words, I’ve rigged the system so that each and every day is a good day.
Can you set yourself up for good times too? What are your three points?
Let me know in the comments below or via e-mail (commdao @ gmail) or on this reddit thread. I’ll be turning this idea into a little side project, so expect your comments to be featured again in a more grandeur fashion!
Have you ever tried to talk to someone but felt too intimidated? Did you feel like they were way out of your league?
If you really want to connect with someone, you can’t be starstruck. You can’t idolize. It’s okay to think about that stuff, but keep it to yourself (and in your pants).
Admiration and respect
is one thing are two things, but too much of that adoration pushes a person further away. And what you’re actually doing is turning someone human into something untouchable– all at the cost of putting yourself down.
Break that cycle; close the gap.
No one is unapproachable. No goal is unobtainable. Nothing is impossible if it happens! In relationships, business, and fitness.
At least, that’s what you got to believe if you want to move forward…
With Mother’s Day coming up soon (May 12, 2013, hint hint), I thought I’d share the best gift you could possibly get her! It’s what your Mum really wants.
Why, the key to your Mum’s special Sunday is proper communication, naturally!
Give it some thought– how many times have you two had a misunderstanding? While there’s much to discuss, I’ve narrowed it down to three classic Mum-related scenarios. They might be giving you grief for now, but I’ll show you the appropriate course of action to follow.
1. She Always Intrudes/Interrupts.
How it usually goes: You’re in the middle of something. For instance, the most important part of the game is interrupted with her need to vacuum. Or, she barges in your room to open your window right when you manage to unhook your girlfriend’s brassiere.
What you probably said: “Can’t you do this later?”, “Why now?”, “I’m busy!”
Her thought process: I need to get stuff done… like I always do.
You’re mistaken to think she’s simply being inconsiderate. For most of your life you haven’t been able to take care of yourself. That’s the luxury of being a kid. The truth is, it took her a long time to nail down the habits of being a caretaker. But after getting accustomed to it, the habit’s become hard to break. And really, there’s no “opportune” time for cleaning. You just have to do it, otherwise things will never get cleaned.
But kids grow up fast… at least, they want to. Suddenly, there’s a demand for privacy. Suddenly, you’re protesting how capable you are, and how she doesn’t need to be doing these sort of things. The shift is quite jarring. And what complicates things is, these claims are often BS in the beginning.
What you can do next time: CLEAN. Seriously. Don’t be snarky, but feel free to vacuum while she’s trying to watch TV. Casually bring up how you’ve put your room in order within daily conversation. She needs a clear and consistent demonstration of how self-sufficient you’ve become before she’ll be able to back off.
2. She Always Forgets.
How it usually goes: She never seems to remember dates you’ve mentioned. Your preference on food. Your opinion/stance on a subject.
What you probably said: I already told you a million times I work Mon-Thurs/ I’m not pregnant/ I’m gay, etc.
Her thought process: I’ll never commit this to memory.
There’s numerous reasons as to why she isn’t able to recall. Sometimes there’s more pressing matters on her mind. Sometimes it’s stress. Maybe she’s playing momma mind games. But the focus shouldn’t be why she didn’t remember, the key to easing this situation is your response.
Perhaps you started off cool, but after the umpteenth time of repeated answers you’ve become quite agitated. And with that tone of voice, you’ve rendered verbal cues completely useless. In fact, you’ve promoted an even further disconnect from memory.
What you can do next time: Make use of nonverbal cues. If she can’t remember your schedule, don’t tell her. Write it down and put it on the refrigerator. Use pictures to serve as reminders. Embed memories through events. She’ll never forget your dessert if you throw a strawberry shortcake party every Sunday.
3. She Always Nags.
How it usually goes: Why can’t you~/When are you going to~/Why don’t you~/What are you going to do about~
What you probably said: “…” or, you became really, really defensive
Her thought process: If I don’t bring up my concerns, I’ll feel guilty for not saying anything for the rest of my life!
It’s a ton of pressure being a parent. There’s an ideal image floating around, which portrays “good parents” as fully supportive of their children in all endeavors. It takes a lot of guts to separate one’s life from the offspring. Most people are caught in the mindset that they are directly responsible for the actions and behaviors of their children.
Any resulting offenses of a daughter or son becomes proof that the father or mother has failed them. The worry is grounded in uncertainty, and it’s tremendously hard to shake.
What you can do next time: Unfortunately, your disagreement and push of how wrong she is will fall on deaf ears. Your actions will have to disprove and alleviate her worries. So in the meantime, offer the path of least resistance. Let her open up in detail about her fears. Thank her. Entertain her ideas. Tell her she’s right while disagreeing on the inside.
Was there something that didn’t click? Feel free to ask questions or disagree in the comments below!
Here at last, my weight loss journey– all the ups and downs, the dieting and non-dieting, the progress and regressions.
I’ve been using this picture for the past couple of months. It gives a pretty decent overview of the pounds I’ve been able to shed, but it ain’t the COMPLETE story. So, in true Vietnamese fashion, let me rewind back to the beginning…
Blah, blah, blah, I got fat when I got into a relationship. Basically, I shot up to 185 pounds in college.
This is right before I left for Japan. While overseas, the relationship ended, and I got a big push from my BFF to start taking care of myself again.
And I dove DEEP. I cut back calories severely and buried myself in the gym (full body workouts 6 days a week). I did lose weight, but I dropped way lower than I intended: 30 pounds.
For the next move, I thought maybe I should move to my pre-girlfriend era weight. But this time, all muscle! I tried planning my workouts sharper– less time and more efficient. I stayed pretty lean, but something was still off…
I ate healthy, but I wasn’t getting the proper nutrition for muscle growth. I thought protein powder was steroids.
For the three years I was in Japan, I hung around this type of body composition. It wasn’t until I was back in the states that I made the best progress with my workouts and diet. I started tracking my food seriously for the first time.
And even though I was cutting, I still saw strength gains. I set new PRs for all my lifts.
At least, that’s how I wish it would’ve been at the end.
The truth is, those photos were about 2 weeks before the end of my first cut. Even though I kept up with my diet, at the end of the program I looked like this:
Up til now, I haven’t shown these pictures to anybody. I was so excited to show my progress, but at the end I felt embarrassed. To me, I suddenly looked no better than I did when I first got fat. No amount of lighting or effects could change it.
Coming off my diet, I felt bitter. But it gave me more incentive to hop on board for another challenge.
For giggles, I tried to see if I could gain 10 extra pounds in a week to make my before pictures extra awful.
To be honest, I am sticking out my stomach quite a bit. Also, I’d like to bring up a great video from Furious Pete about before and after shots. If only I thought of this beforehand– instead, I actually hit the 181 mark thanks to lots of pizza and soda.
In my last cut, I did a great job of watching my carb intake, but not so much with the fat. I really tried to address that in this go.
I did have another scare– I bloated up again. It was so confusing and demoralizing but I didn’t want to fall off– even if I felt disappointed. I prepped myself just in case this cut would turn out like last time.
I made a video.
And I’m glad I made that–I needed that reminder. Even with the setbacks, I’m still moving forward.
Disciples of Darkness,
Hopefully, he uploads a picture of the cake later. Spoiler alert: curlbros love it.
Even in the final week before his comp, he made sure to indulge a bit. But, he also paid a visit to the gym beforehand. Today’s workout consisted of:
- Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises
- Tricep Pushdowns
- Weighted Calf Raises
- Sled Pushes
- Fitocracy Spark Challenge
- 30 minutes Cycling
With just 5 days before the competition, here’s what’s going to happen:
- Maintain water intake
- Maintain caffeine intake for metabolism spike
- Decrease fiber intake
- Increase lean meat consumption and decrease protein shake consumption
- Eliminate protein bar consumption
- Implement stretching everyday
- Practice stomach vacuum and poses
Monday’s workout will be the last heavy leg workout before the show. Chest and back for Tuesday, depletion Wednesday, photoshoot Thursday, travel on Friday, and showtime Saturday!
If you’d like to show your support for Blackout Trainer, be sure to swing by his facebook page and upload a photo of yourself sporting the trademark black bandanna.
In other news, Jon Goodman swung by for the latest episode of the Jack-n-Out Connection. BT actually talks a little about his cutting progress!
He We forgot to mention that there’s going to be a weekly contest in future episodes, so stay tuned for how you can win an entire box of protein bars!
Lastly, we’ll be documenting the trip, show, and results. So if there’s anything in particular you want to be included, let us know!
SIX DAYS OUT…
I’ll be turning 26 this week, and there’s plenty to reflect about. As a little present to myself, I thought I’d share some lessons I learned when it comes to a little thing called dating.
Getting dates, or getting close to getting dates– it’s all awesome. But for most of my life I thought the opposite. A few years back, I would never imagine myself taking my misadventures in stride. I was too busy being a wreck and saying really, really emo stuff.
I was just a little on the serious side, but I didn’t know how to stop. I was so absorbed in trying to find what I was doing wrong. I felt like I never knew what signs to look for.
But looking back, I’d tell my old self…
1. Chemistry is Wack
In short, totally overrated. “Falling” for someone feels great, but it’s got to be the most inaccurate way to gauge compatibility. You want someone to sweep you off your feet or floor you? Join a martial arts class!
Drunkenness, loneliness, horniness– you name it– can all set you up for this false sense of “love”. In reality, you’re just infatuated with someone you don’t really know.
Even if you do get to know someone and build rapport, realize there’s different types of chemistry. Getting along and enjoying each other’s company? That’s how you make legit friends.
Hey, you can enjoy, but don’t always trust the butterflies.
2. Don’t Look for Signs
I’m not saying signs don’t exist because they do… I think.
But if you haven’t quite balanced your confidence and insecurity, you’re going to misread a lot of stuff. You’ll either spin every response into nauseating optimism (she totally wants me) or pitiful pessimism (she didn’t pick up? she hates me).
If you fall into the latter category, you waste a bunch of time agonizing over BS you don’t even know is real.
3. Always Ask!
Getting rejected sucks. But wondering what could’ve been is way worse on the psyche. Go hang out with your person of interest and get some closure, sheesh!
What if I… Maybe I should’ve… –I’m sure your friends could do without all the whining.
And just so we’re clear, it’s not only a matter of asking someone out to dinner, ok? I know working up the nerve to be up front can take a lot out of some. But, please, please, please, do yourself a favor and confirm if this person is even “available”.
Otherwise, you might be spending all your dough on a girl who’s taken, even married. Or secretly a man.
All of which might not bother some people I guess, but it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into.
4. Never Beg
Wanting a relationship ain’t a bad thing. Going into each episode enthusiastically is good! But being over-eager… that’s really no different from being desperate.
You can try to highlight your good side, but this isn’t a business. Putting emphasis on strong points, skimming over the bad points. Worrying about the right answers, the right timing.
Relationships take work, but not this kind of work. You shouldn’t have to be making a sales pitch.
Is it worth it to be in a relationship where you had to persuade the person to be with you? Is it worth it to be in a relationship where you had to convince them of what you could do for them?
People are free to choose. Sometimes they get it right. Sometimes they get it wrong. Have some pride to say, “Oh well, their loss”.
And the best way to have that kind of esteem is to…
5.Friend Zone Yourself*
No, I’m not talking about some psychology game where you imagine a F-zone and brace yourself for the “worst”. I’m talking about how you shouldn’t buy into all this mainstream portrayal of love.
Don’t believe the hype that dictates you’re incomplete.
You have to know you already have what you need most: yourself. And so, you got to be your biggest fan. A fan that appreciates you. A fan that’s always there to support you.
If you’re not happy with yourself, having a relationship doesn’t fix that. It’s still your internal problem.
If you have the right backing, all the pressure’s off. Let’s face it: you’re going to mess up. There’s times you’re not cool. But a true friend doesn’t give a damn.
So when you friend zone yourself, you get peace of mind. Because now that you’re able to be yourself, you know that’s more than enough.
*Yeah, I could’ve said love yourself, but my friend told me not to get too melodramatic =P
One thing I’ll never understand is why people get so hung up on apologies.
You see it on TV. A celebrity will get caught in a scandal, and soon they’ll hold a press conference about how sorry they are. Even in everyday relationships, people will hold grudges and stay hurt until they hear an apology.
An apology isn’t a bad thing, but rarely does it change anything.
I think people are too quick to say, “I’m sorry” whether it’s relevant or not. And I think it’s because people are less willing to change, they’re more likely to say sorry. They think that’s the magic phrase that makes it okay to continue the same old BS.
When you flub and hiccup, don’t waste time crafting the perfect way to say sorry. Don’t waste time beating yourself up either. If you really want to make an impact, change.
Every slip up is an opportunity for the greatest comeback ever.