What is Your Normal?

Mindset, Special

One man’s meat is another man’s poison

One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor

One’s man’s pleasure is another’s pain

One man’s loss is another man’s profit

One man’s fault is another man’s lesson

What may be a sin to one is a blessing to another.

What is your normal?

What may be deemed as normal for some may often seem extreme to another.

Someone may warm-up with your max, take a main for a starter or habitually crack open a can on a Monday morning, but it’s still no more extreme than your extremest.

We tend to focus on the general progression of those around us for scale and perspective, weighing up the likelihood of emulating similar feats. While it is easy to get distracted by the fine details and raw ingredients that make for someone else’s success, it’s often a basis of personal traits that come to distinguish an ability to define the extreme from the necessary.

In that lies the contradiction, considering anything outside the capacity of our normal to be abnormal, whilst equally reluctant to replace our own habits with what may be required. It’s only when requirement becomes obligatory can we set old habits aside for new beginnings. Unless you live every day like its your last, are reluctant to step outside of the confines which contain your potential or simply fear disappointment, this is normal.

It is upon anticipation and the likelihood of failure that better defines possibility, enough to make what once seemed impossible less than such. Some people are just plain lazy, they wear their faults and restrictions to exercise like a badge of honour, welcoming those who refuse to follow suit with bitter applause, eager to criticise something they can’t or simply won’t do themselves.

This is THEIR normal.

Just because you can run doesn’t make you any better. It’s a redundant comparison which does nothing but put you closer into the category of quitting prematurely. Simply doing more than someone who does nothing isn’t a feat worthy of adulation, unless you couldn’t physically get on your feet before or have surpassed your own restrictions to get to this point. Don’t celebrate doing the BARE MINIMUM, EVEN IF it is more than most.

So how can we define OUR NORMAL from everyone else,

Do one thing you didn’t do yesterday. Always be thinking about the distance between yourself and your capacity over anyone else’s. Level up on the cardio, or ANYTHING that is difficult, go faster, do more calories, demand more from yourself rather than looking for ways out of it.

When you do, outwork any reward besides the reason for starting. If you do 500 calories on the stairs, and you have to think about chocolate all the way to get you through, you’re just making it harder for yourself. Later you get home and eat the equivalent amount, have you just done it all for nothing? Does the goal warrant the reward? If it does, make sure it is worth it. If it wasn’t we go back to where we started, justifying how you did so much more than you anticipated, certainly more than the BEST laziest comparison, but you’re now no much better than if you stayed home and did nothing. Rather than compare and rationalise how much LESS you COULD have done, think about how much more ground and momentum you COULD HAVE MADE for bigger goals beyond momentary pleasures.

There’ll ALWAYS be an opportunity to EAT, DRINK and INDULGE, what there won’t be is enough time or energy in-between to maintain something that demands a lot of both, aside everything else. If it’s normal for someone to eat whatever they want and seem to look the same, drink the night before and still seem to perform, let them make that their normal, whilst equally owning yours. If normal isn’t staying till the end, leave. If it means eating something you wouldn’t usually for the sake of being hungry, don’t. There’ll always be a way around everyone else’s normal.

Having goals and requirements doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence. You can always factor in more flexibility around days which require you to be more flexible, just make sure it’s that day and not the full weekend. Have a look at what you plan to eat in a few days time, earn it in advance, do the work now rather than overcompensating.

 

 

Leap of Faith

Mindset, Special

Despite the title, there’s no one defining point of physical action required to separate the person you are, from the person you could have been or will become. You can either learn from your mistakes and failures or let them cast shadows of discontent over the work you have done thus far,

Everything in life is about timing, a large clash of smaller fragments and transient moments to make for grander opportunities. It’s these moments which can either define or make you crumble underneath the pressure. One capable of exploiting your incapabilities; a stumble, a slur, a misstep, a resolution down to 100th of a second.

All of these smaller points contribute to the larger duration of a lifetime; stressors, nervous processes, erraticism which we cannot control, but can come to understand. From my understanding this is a process which forces the instinctual means of  ‘get it right or don’t try at all’, the reason why most of us do exactly that. Stress can make the action of something usually second nature seem just as alien as learning it again from scratch. Although, without it are we denied any such urgency or impending consequence for not doing, trying, leaping.

It’s usually the timing of our response to the unknown and unsettling which separates the impulsive and irrational from necessary. The cogs of clarity turning reluctantly in spite of the fire below, the transitory respite of comfort, a tactful back step to better scale the void ahead.

This would be to blank, bottle it or pass, consumed by the fear of upset, treading on eggshells or around the possibility of failure.The backstep usually being a harder decision to make, conscious of losing momentum, regressing, losing ground, pride. It’s a tough pill to swallow but a necessary step to rediscover.

By this rationale, is everything worth having so hit and miss. A game of fine margins. No such reward for mere participation. Yes, a result to which can either discourage or prepare you for a later date when it actually matters. So why do we stumble? hide beneath a passive guise? Lack of practice? Confidence? Retention of knowledge? Nerves ?

All of the above?

Sometimes it’s better to watch other people jump first and acquire a better angle to the rocks below, but aside the best, most optimal, safest or most elegant, you have to commit to it regardless. It’s easy to own your own place or role within a certain environment which demands for nothing less than hard numbers and solid facts. Either you reach the same number or one of you is wrong. Faith in your own ability to get there equally bears a doubt that the other person doesn’t, otherwise it just becomes a free for all. Don’t allow the CAN’T’S and WHAT IF’s to put fear and doubt in your head, any risk worth taking is one worth knowing.

Embrace the thoughts and affirmations as you woke, write them down, listen to them carefully. What remains to think about before you go to sleep? Has it changed or muffled by the noise of your day. This doesn’t have to resolve a budding realisation, million dollar question or subversion of the beliefs you have currently, but failing to acknowledge the questions you have in your own mind is equally denying them of the answer.

If we had someone else’s heart or organs, our bodies would quickly attempt to adapt and survive with the now dwindling resources that match our physiology. Establish control of every fibre in your body and own it before it owns you, a transitory state of settling for any less than what is BEST. Have faith in your own ability and capacity to succeed in ANYTHING worth having, anything less is not worth your sacrifice.

 

Joker

Review, Special

During a particularly poignant time in which we find our political system and current affairs, Todd Philips’ ‘Joker’ delivers Arthur Flecks’ (Joaquin Phoenix) dramatic transformation into madness whilst brushing together the parallels of justice and anarchy.

Aside the Joker’s denouncement of the media masquerade, we bear witness to the social divide separating suffering and privilege; the gloomy hues of poverty, endless steps, paving the ground for grander paths and carpets of plenty. Arthur Fleck’s contest to justify his purpose as a clown by trade compliments the entitlement of a younger Bruce Wayne, one that lends into Batman’s own burdens and inception with violence

We quickly acknowledge the conflicting notion of how laughter gives Arthur purpose besides suffering, whilst confining him to the disillusionment of a brewing sourness which slowly bubbles over into reality. It’s a sourness with the system and disregard of matters surrounding mental illness which stand resolute throughout film, though we are neither led nor assume Arthur is categorically ‘crazy’, until he reneges the hand that makes him human and reveals his calling-card. It is ultimately a realisation which puts the entirety of both his own existence and the audiences morality into question, ushering the same measures of what is right and wrong, entertaining or palpable. 

Arthur’s optimism is shattered by the reality of being upstaged by Murray Franklin  (Robert De Niro) amidst his own dismay for existence or lack thereof. It is only until Arthur takes both the role and pragmatics of character that his malcontent for the system transpires, amassing a crowd of clowns to play out the blissful pandemonium of mob rule.

Antihero?

Subverting a now familiarly human face under that of the quintessential masked villain provides enough reason with situation. We proceed to diffuse responsibility for murder, allude to alternative means for stable establishment and reevaluate Arthur Fleck’s role of passenger to chaos rather than a perpetrator. Audience, centre stage, living in fear, inciting it. We undertake the Joker’s decaying sense of purpose since he has no job, family or any real friends besides a dwarf who he spares from killing. It begs the question of how existence is entirely based on what you earn and certainly not the character you behold. A social criteria ascertaining order to make sense of death, when you make no ‘cents’ worth living for. 

Onto my favourite point which concludes on the ground of ‘That’s Life’ is this whole dichotomy of humour and morality, though subjective. Something amusing to one differs with what others consider or know to be morally conflicted, which begs the greater question of ultimately who decides what is funny and what not. Arthur Fleck sits and reads from his diary/joke-book, often sagaciously, prescribing his own means for purpose and entertainment besides that of which is eagerly handed out to him already. The ways of suppressing or diluting his dismay and tainted disposition towards society is one no longer contained by the now lack of drugs enlisting council for. He plays devils advocate to his own inception into madness though not initially mad, as humanity fails to diagnose the undiagnosable, equilibrium hangs in the balance along with the earlier allusion of unstoppable forces and immovable objects; one cannot exist without the other, Batman, Joker, happiness, suffering, reality, insanity.

 

 

All (f)or Nothing

Lifestyle, Special

Most of our decisions take shape on the basis of extremes. Yes. No. All. Nothing. Either we want it all, or essentially not at all. Between the two bears the potential for losing out or seeming to acquire ALL for nothing, DEPENDING ON YOUR OUTLOOK. The first demanding little to no effort or sacrifice, meaning that although you failed to gain anything you can safely breakeven. The opposing side of NOTHING, All, conjuring up every ounce of effort DESPITE THE RISK of seeing nothing in return, so was it all for NOTHING? This is enough to discourage most, encourage some and pose to define a small few. The difference between TRYING and not at all is bound ultimately, by a justifying cost with benefit. This isn’t to say merely trying is enough, but it’s definitely an improvement.

TRYING isn’t filling your fridge and cupboards with foods you know you’re going to eat and just delaying time before the inevitable. Or packing your running clothes for work with the INTENTION to run, and inevitably doing more running away from the prospect. We are pretty predictable beings at best, if we see a better option than the one to hand, it won’t take much persuasion to bolt in the other direction. If you’re someone that is predictable, acknowledge the inevitability of your typical route in real time, get ahead of yourself in the queue and make for some better alternatives than those besides bottomless snacking.

Night time hunger following a substantial meal at tea time means you’ve either under-ate at some point or another that day, over-ate sugar or have overly-anticipated the eating ‘freedom’ you didn’t have at work since, no one needs to know what I actually eat. What I mean by this is again, the relationship you have with food. How often do you binge eat? Or go through these periods of starve and gorge? Look back at our eating habits thousands of years ago when we stockpiled and feasted outside of stress, fear, and prospects for Survival. Survival mode isn’t a state of hunger that you want to create when food is in such plentiful supply. Unless you had to chase a wild bore 10 miles through a ravine in order to burn off a box of crunchy nut, stick to a bowl. If serving suggestions appear more comical than informative, weigh it. Kellog’s don’t care how many 30g portions fit your breakfast bowl, they have to state this information regardless. On the flipside, by denying your body of food for a significant time you are starving it of essential nutrients and priming it for things now seen as hard to come by. We can understand how the more you eat something, the more you crave it, so why not make your body actually crave the things it needs?

Depending on your outlook, everything has a benefit. Sugar, caffeine, carbs and other energy sources benefit our system if it means we are operating well, though they often come with a limited time that eventually wears off and then, immediately sought after. Any lesser the immediacy of impending cost or consequence seems to bring only benefits in the forefront, which is why there’ll always be more gastric bands than there are gold medalists and why a lot of people give up once the novelty wears and the compliments stop. We want it all, and the extras. The sides to compliment the burger. Health, but with moderation, acknowledgement for strength and sympathy when we struggle, it sounds just like we want more of EVERYTHING for NOTHING and with no reminded consequence.

Our reluctance to lose or waste time is equally matched by our need to otherwise spend it, better yet when it concerns pleasure of gratification; earning money, spending it. The same goes for reinforcing such a system of something for nothing, there are some things in life you can hustle and acquire by means outside the rulebook, but the same cannot apply to the successful business of our bodies and mindset; Put some good stuff in, get some good stuff out. Invest in things and people that make you feel good, cut your losses with those that don’t. What’s the purpose of your business? To progress? Help others do the same? Ingest ALL of the good stuff and encourage those around you to do the same rather than shove it in their face, if you’re full this way often enough, you leave NOTHING to chance and the inevitability of gorging for the sake of it.

All or Nothing,

An approach that will serve a benefit for some, and setback others, it comes down to specificity. It’s ALL in the VERBS, EATING, WORKING, SLEEPING, DREAMING.

Being in it PROPERLY or NOT AT ALL. So what’s your trigger for such instances?What kind of relationship do you have with life’s pleasures; is it one that puts your state of WANT before the state of NEED, the WANT to feel better or the NEED to feel the BEST you possibly can at the time, aside the weight of consequence  and impending cost? 

Let’s keep this as loosely related to food as possible, despite being the simplest example to use. Picture anything you simply can’t get enough of, either you sought after it or you don’t. Think about the relationship you have with it, does it dictate most of your thoughts in its absence or is it merely a precursor for feeling better and that’s what you crave? 

We know that associations link our thoughts and influence matters from our conscious rationale to our unconscious dreams. If you think about something hard enough, or even better, try thinking about it less, you’ll be inadvertently demanding it from the universe to see more of. It’s the cruel coincidences of reality that truly test your willpower when you need it most. It only takes one time to abstain from temptation to overcome it. Every other instance after breaking a habit becomes the norm. Make your norm pride and fulfilment rather than FULL-FILLING an ever-hungry stomach with guilt.

follow my journey on Instagram

Jake 👊

 

 

Confiding and Venting

Lifestyle, Special

We’ve considered how it is easy to be influenced; for better, or worse. How as polite social beings we acknowledge experience and wisdom in all forms and from different directions, often fail to question the reliability of such and bear witness to the hypocrisy of do as I say not as I do.

It’s world mental health day, and hopefully  I can finish writing this today so that I can make my contribution to a topic that I think is slowly getting the attention it deserves.

As someone that doesn’t suffer with mental health problems, and that’s not to say I haven’t experienced the stresses and anxieties of modern life, this begs the question of can you confide in someone that can’t relate to what you’re going through?

I mentioned in a previous blog how we can often better confide with strangers than those that know us all too well. In this regard then, are we truly confiding our stresses and life questions honestly, or merely venting the top layer to the nearest ear.

In other news,

Anyone that follows me on Instagram will be pleased to know that last nights pizza was everything I anticipated. The reality of it, was the hanging question of whether 6 months of expectation could be fulfilled. I can confirm. It’s rare when expectations are fulfilled. I was expecting to feel guilty and regret my decision though this was nothing of the sort.

You’ll be wondering how this bears any relevance to confiding in people and alternatively requiring the facility to vent: anger, dismay, worry. Well you’d be right in thinking that I have been encouraged on numerous occasions to ‘just enjoy yourself’ to eat and drink like a normal person as though I didn’t have the capacity to. The acknowledgment of choice to refrain from junk food, alcohol and such is my instance of how people seeming to lend an ear, may not have your best interests at heart. I’ve had food forced past my mouth, pints of beer an inch away from my lips and unnecessary temptation in the form of confiding,comforting and reasoning with what may have seemed unreasonable or obsessive, a glimpse of of people that would rather see you fail. What seems like a convenient ear to vent your frustrations may well be a detriment to your wellbeing.

This isn’t everyone. While a lot of people probably want me to say that I’m now going to fall off the wagon and go back to eating pizza everyday, you won’t ever be short of encouragement when people can see your struggle and empathise with how you feel. In the thick of dieting, this was all over my face, it didn’t take someone to do a similar diet to understand. Going from one extreme to the other doesn’t firmly arrange the traits of character I wish to bring to light for the sake of understanding.

If anything, it’s balance which I aim to advertise. Ultimately, I want to inspire and motivate people to ignite the fire of their own transformation; it doesn’t necessarily have to be physical. I can imagine it may be hard for someone on the cusp of contemplation to confide in me, taking the authoritative tone as a coach and making out as though I know something you don’t.  The reality is, whether it’s me, a stranger or someone you know, the sooner the better. it’s easy to ignore advice from friends and family in our stubbornness, harder to swallow your pride and take what you can from every lesson, first hand or otherwise.

Not everyone has someone that they can confide in, or vent their frustrations, and it’s these people that seem to manage life much better than not. Don’t let other people’s laziness or nihilistic outlook on life deter you from your own hopes and dreams. They have just as much the choice to give up and play dead as you have your own insistence for better. If you breathe the same air for long enough, problems and insecurities become shared, unless you can put your own mask on first don’t fret over someone else’s, you might have to help get it over their head, adjust the straps, but only they can decide whether to breathe. Sympathy and empathy can be conflicting notions when we fail to relate and put ourselves in the position of those less fortunate or stable. What you may think is helping someone may be encouraging them to uphold. Negativity is infectious whether it’s acknowledged or ignored. Someone wearing a defeatist outfit has created an identity based on their insecurities rather than their attributes. Complimenting the person you see will not satisfy their own, but don’t hesitate to confide in them honestly, pleasantries don’t cure people’s self-inflicted discontent with themselves, only truth.

follow my journey on Instagram,

JAKEDARCYFITNESS

Jake 👊

Post Comp Blues

Fitness, Special

With any great high comes its latter counterpart; an extravagant meal comes the bill, any great night, a headache and every other lapse of time in between a good time is otherwise then, a bad one.

What do I eat now that I can have anything I want? How do I train consistently without a looming date for which I will be judged? The best thing I can do is just turn the competitive switch off for now; Surely I have earned a rest?

Essentially It’s this crucial point which dictates how long our low points last for, the extent of comfort required to bring things back to normal. What kind of treatments and rituals do we award and console ourselves with in our potentially depleted, tired and vulnerable states. Or boredom, It may not be either one of these, but merely comforting for the sake of comfort, the blanketing of our younger selves, tucking away our stresses and responsibilities, time for bed.

How can we truly embrace the highs when they come around, cautious of their impending price. Accepting this fact. Any experience or pursuit which requires hard work will come with the highs of achievement, recognition or fulfilment. The physical cost of achievement differs from what seems like a mere pat on the back, though not all achievements have to be concrete to be tangible. Conversely, every other tangible contribution toward the debt you run up in order to justify simply great experiences come with a double dose of the blues; the physical cost and the mental weight that bears  once it’s all over. We battle with a ‘what now’ and ‘what next’ paradigm of having nothing to look forward to or work towards, a stalemate in time which only makes us look back rather than moving forward.

I think granting the perspective of whether you live day to day, month to month or years at a time will contribute to this fact. Planning ahead for the future at things to be excited about will serve as some respite on the days that seem to hold nothing but passing time. It is easy to chase days away and fill the gaps with a good time to make it go faster, yet only seem to celebrate empty feats bereft of a purpose besides a worthy toast.

When we eat and overindulge, that impending food coma awaits. When we drink ourselves sober and no longer get the benefit, the denial for perseverance of a better night always seems to outweigh any sense or judgement entirely. I suppose with any high there’s the justification of whether it’s worth it? Sometimes a headache or hangover is not much of a price for a good time, but a precursor to a knowingly successful one.

I’ve mentioned a lot of the justifications and excuses we employ to swerve matters we’d simply rather not do, and rightly so, we’d rather do stuff we enjoy. While it’s easy to have a good time, it’s even easier to have one whilst everything else hangs in the balance, though a consolation doesn’t treat or cure anything, it merely consoles.

So where does this leave me? I’ve tried to remove my personal attachment to this matter thus far in hopes to define the contrasts that run the parallels of our daily lives. It’s difficult to ignore the urge to compete just one more time this year, trickling out those last few drops of motivation at the bottom of a glass soon to be taken away, but it’s essential to know when to call it quits.

You can chase the highs of life but what you can’t do is get time back, you only have to do something truly uncomfortable for the first time to truly bear witness to every second of time. Whether it slips away or you suck it up and make every one count. You can either suffer now and reap the benefits later or always be comfortable and dread anything outside of that blanket you confine yourself to.

Follow my journey on Instagram,

JAKEDARCYFITNESS,

Jake

The Issue with KNOWLEDGE

Fitness, Special

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how our own experiences or lack there of are only as applicable to us as they are general to the next person. Although we advise each other on what we think is best, it may not be, naturally, we feel obligated to assist anyone when it seems like we are able to, but do they need it?

The contrast of fact, to the frivolity of bro science, has come to blur rather than define the commonly practiced knowledge surrounding the likes of physiology and nutrition, to the extent that people have over complicated the simplest of processes to make profitable confusion. Opportunists and the illusive crash course PT’s revere this way of thinking in a bid to over-prescribe what they think is correct, highlighting just how much they know vs what you don’t. More often than not, they don’t know much more either.

Whatever it’s down to reinforcing bad habits or this misinformation you may have accumulated, once it’s been corrected don’t dwell on it, move on and seek a better source of knowledge rather than merely entertaining it out of politeness. It is this politeness that doesn’t get anyone any closer to fact than fiction, the same goes for managers and players, a lot of people can’t take their own advice but somehow know what’s best for you. Listen intently and discard anything lacking true application, you can learn just as much from someone starting out their own journey than someone concluding theirs. Mould what you know now rather than consolidating what you didn’t, you’ll have plenty of time to reconsider your actions when they don’t turn out the way you want, so cross that bridge only when it comes. Your beliefs on a lot of things will change over time for the better and worse and ultimately with the wind.

The issue isn’t with your OWN KNOWLEDGE. Think about just how unique your opinion is to you, how it differs wildly on certain topics yet can be shared broadly on others. There will be a lot of things you may not yet have fully comprehended and would be foolish to commit your senses to in stone. A lot of the knowledge to which we lead our daily decisions by would have once started out as an opinion, proven otherwise, or made the norm. The basis aside from fact beholds an idea belonging to someone, and in turn shared for anyone else’s benefit, but it is ultimately THEIR KNOWLEDGE. Don’t allow other people’s experiences to be the source of your own, ultimately you need to experience it for yourself, you’re not learning from their mistakes, you’re merely acknowledging them.

My point is one that begs the question,

‘Who do you turn to?’

friends

family

mentors

colleagues

strangers?

Isn’t it funny how sometimes we find it easier to confide in strangers who don’t hold any predispositions against us or influence our own, impartiality is comforting when we are often told what to do. It is often that keep too much to ourselves or equally overshare at the expense or personal gain of those around us. With that in mind it would only take something as small as budding aspirations to be shot down or knowledge taken out of context to create discouragement, an idea to be stolen, be diligent and courageous in spite of this, you can’t be anything but.

How hard can it be to lose body fat, or get stronger, mentally more robust? Not as difficult as it’s made out to be, entrusting the correct information. It boils down to confiding in your source of knowledge and not being preyed upon by those that want to tactfully misinform for whatever reasons but their own. It’s like investment, people that can assess and predict the turn of the tide, is it based on previous numbers and patterns or superstition. Are you being entrusted with someone’s lucky numbers rather than a trusted source or system of previous success.

A lot can be said for the range of methods and practice of transformation; mental, physical, spiritual? The latter bearing nothing but questions and cynicism until the turn of the tide, still dwelling on the inadequacies of our pursuits, eventually  asking the successors of our ambitions HOW? When it’s too late.

Finally, it’s great to be well read, book smart and illiterate, especially when your field demands this from you. But don’t keep to one source of knowledge, whether it’s from a book, a friend, YouTube. Broaden your scope of knowledge and even try to connect things initially far between, retaining information will come to be much easier when it is commonly associated and not just memorised monotonously.

Ultimately, don’t be subjected to someone else’s knowledge without proving first that it is useful. In a world full of all the gear no idea, start with attaining some sort of idea first, before investing all your time and money into it. You only have to look around any gym to see nothing but branded water bottles, clothing and such, anyone can simply look the part. Expensive clubs at the driving range and electric trolleys on the course, but still no sign of a decent swing in sight.

Are you sharpening your tools and broadening your horizons, or simply just blagging your way through life?

Invest in what you know as opposed to what you have. Anyone can press 4 digits into card machine and satisfy the safety of everyone’s taste. Rather than buying new clothes for the gym or new clubs, watch tutorials, learn how to swing, read around the subject first.

Knowledge is power.

Follow my journey on Instagram

JAKEDARCYFITNESS

Expectation and Reality

Fitness, Special

Even after regaining back a few extra layers of fat, my perception of food and the reality of taking off the competitive blinkers is proving interesting to say the least. Maintaining a healthier weight in between shows has served to not only keep me warm as we get into October, but kept everything else in the balance also.

I forgot just how tunnel visioned I was becoming, pushing the boundaries of day to day function to chase better condition, to the point where I would be irritated by absolutely nothing at all. While I’m definitely not saying that I’ve cracked the code of contest prep, with anything in life, I’m glad I’ve learnt the HARD way.

My expectation of competing was it would surely be HARD. Easy though it felt, at certain points, I soon mistaken the ease I felt with enjoyment, the reality of the process entitled me with everything and more than I expected. RESULTS. They motivated me so much more than any amount of attention on social media or compliments coming from all directions.

The majority of the time, I yearned for it to be HARDER, questioning that it was almost going too well; I became fitter, lighter, my skin cleared dramatically and my general outlook on life for a good few months was nothing but gratitude and appreciation that I could experience this side of training without the negatives that surround it.

As a beginner, I had and still have NOTHING to lose. As soon as I walk out of that theatre, having enjoyed it and graced with more experience to know what to do better next time, I won’t lose sleep over it for sure.

In this regard, I have no expectations of the show, apart from anything goes and anyone could turn up, though, reality bears these conflicting means of success and failure, winning and losing, happiness or disappointment, necessary components of fulfilment or goals seemingly unfulfilled. For me the goal IS the challenge, not a title, or trophy that I can justify the things that I have missed out on or sacrificed, but a WHY, a reason TO stick to something rather than do what’s easier and put it off for a later date. If you don’t commit to it NOW, you never will, and this goes for any decision you come to wish you had the time for AT THE TIME.

I initially had the idea of calling out people on their unrealistic PORTRAYAL of themselves vs the reality of not being that impressive, but who am I to say? Someone might share this same opinion about me and it’s exactly that, an opinion. Yes it’s frustrating to see people with a bigger following than you when it seems like you work harder or have put more into the means of acquiring what they have but what harm can it do besides motivate you further? If they can do it so can I?

From the first time I added FITNESS to my name on Instagram this is the message I wanted to put out. Knowing it would be both well received and otherwise. Once you commit to the expectation of something like FITNESS you are then defined by what people often see as a hobby, another means of attention, an annoyance to some and merely a current trend thanks to another . While I’d love to admit for your entertainment that I do press-ups as the kettle boils, calf raises in the queue at Asda and hit impromptu poses for old ladies in the street, I can acknowledge how fitness can influence a lot of both your decision making and general conversations.

The reality is, when you are competing everything has to follow a structure, to the point of what seems like obsessive  precision, but life definitely isn’t as clinical. This is the grey area to which I wish to discuss, the line that people try and falsely promote. Including myself.

I tried one cal spray on a crumpet in the first few weeks of dieting and it’s safe to say I’ve not had once since. Here, with every chewy bite, was this said expectation of ‘you can have both’ shattered into a few dry, chewy pieces. No crumpet was ever going to be the same again. Calories are calories, potato po-tato, chocolate increases serotonin therefore, chocolate. In all my previous drunken and otherwise misguided squanders, topics of the sort aren’t hard to come by, here came the birth of actually getting this stuff down on paper to acknowledge just how FITNESS is falsely advertised to the unsuspecting, unscrupulous to the unbecoming and an even greater source of confusion for the many.

So where does this EXPECTATION of FITNESS leave me NOW? The one I will soon give out to people falsely by maintaining a lifestyle that doesn’t match up to photos. Finally I’ve created the hypocrisy of the catfish that doesn’t match their profile in person. Is it worth stressing and fussing to maintain my current condition, more so sustain, and it’s exactly that, unsustainable, like a lot of what you see on Instagram.

If I can be an example or spectacle of the points I’ve been making about the grass not being greener, ignoring the influences around yourself and simply just doing what serves you the best, I’ll be content. No I won’t just be content, I’ll be genuinely happy, knowing that I’ve shed a small light on just how we can overthink ourselves in to a bad situation and out of a good mental place.

The freedom of choice and the expectations of being able to have anything you want at the click of a finger, or a mouse, has withered down our natural sense of reward and achievements down to mere snap decisions that make us feel good only momentarily.

You could say the highs and endorphins of being on stage or performing in front of a crowd are equally as addictive as drugs and alcohol, not to say that I’ll never drink again. What I would say is, are your expectations of yourself confined to a good time? Is the person you want to be or wish to put out matching the one that your friends and family want for themselves for selfish means. Is it selfish of you to deny them the easy-going, joyous person they are used to or is this guise a costume of the person that wants out from celebrating a state of being they are not happy with? What is your true expectation of yourself and does reality match up?

I will always put myself and my morality before other people, if it means staying true to myself. If being off a meal plan and a routine that has kept me in check for over 4 months means that I am not maintaining the image I put out, I am guilty of the aforementioned. ULTIMATELY, I hope to maintain and uphold MY expectation of myself and my own capabilities, over anyone else I can sit and compare myself to. In this regard I urge anyone that wishes to make a change for themselves to stop looking at everything else around them and wondering WHY they haven’t made it yet or receive the attention they THINK they deserve. This only stands as the case for not having done anywhere near enough YET. If you’re struggling for motivation, look inward for what YOU wish to achieve and not what everyone else has already done or currently pursuing. Don’t be a shadow to someone else’s achievements or accolades, you will always be unfulfilled and never bear any purpose but stand second to someone else. Run your own race and don’t stop running until you come first.

Follow my journey on Instagram

JAKEDARCYFITNESS

💪

 

 

 

 

 

The Issue with Influence

Lifestyle, Special

Think for a moment of the analogy that confines a fish to the size of the bowl it resides.  Now imagine the fish were to be a great white. How much more difficult was it to imagine the likelihood of the shark successfully sustaining in the smaller tank without eventually busting over the bowl, compared to a goldfish. Now this isn’t an attempt to define us categorically by pure aggression or passivity, but it’s easy to be confined by your environment when you fail to look beyond it.

I’ve previously mentioned the precarious, vastness of choice, in my last blog The Grass isn’t Greener, though it’s not just our decisions that are influenced by environment, but our thoughts too.  It is often difficult to acknowledge your surroundings and adapt to them whilst staying completely true to yourself. To converge and entertain the opinions of other’s when you don’t know any better. But there comes a point in time where you can either stare back blankly at the pointing finger and swim round in circles or go straight through the glass.

It is easier said than done, to be yourself, if you don’t know who that person is yet, and often people never get the chance to find out. The easiest way that you can distinguish yourself and your beliefs from others is knowing what you’re not. Throughout your social transformation you probably dipped your toe in a lot of different fish bowls, some you merge more of your body into and other’s you pull suddenly from tepid water. It is much harder as you become an adult to simply just drop opportunities and responsibilities simply because you’re not keen on them, but it will serve you a lot more time than just plodding on regardless.

So how does this relate to influence?

Where we put our time and thoughts is crucial. When we don’t influence our own decisions and let other means dictate our path, we are merely existing. Entertained by the passing tides and seeing new buildings which take shape, life seems to be quickly moving on but is it actually changing for the better?

In a world full of influencers, DON’T BE INFLUENCED, not even by ME. Nothing that you can learn overnight will grant you an even greatest capacity over time. Making your own mark and reaping what you sow will serve you better than simply having it handed to you on a plate. If you wish to change your environment for the better, or simply seek to pursue a new one, it is essential that you ascertain the vision of what this new environment should look like.  If you were to ask most people what theirs would be, it would be a warmer climate, beside the sea, with nothing much more to do besides relax. This sounds great, but more like a holiday than a more permanent position. Although the contrast to our daily working lives makes it seem all the more appealing, you’d soon be wishing for more purpose and fulfilment once you’d had enough of simply drinking cocktails and not having a care in the world.

Distinguishing influence,

Good influence

If it didn’t sound so much like the opening chapter of a self-health book, I would have gone for ‘Positive Influence’ though, forever the cynic, I equally account just as much of all this ‘quasi positivity’ amidst all the other sources of influence conflating further confusion.

These are the things that MOTIVATE for no other means beside motivation. Giving people a reason to get off their arse and do something, rather than just acknowledging in awe at what they can never attain. It’s easy to like and share, INSPO, rather than true INSPIRATION, igniting a new belief rather than copying or emulating something that’s already been done, Plato. Rather than categorising this unattainable standard that people are either chasing or defying out of spite, whether we like it or not, standards keep us competitive, and though we may no longer live in caves or mud huts, hotels or mansions, being all too often content makes our imprinted purpose of life merely an unbecoming spectacle to our survival.

Whether the reminder of this fact is a gentle or obvious one, either way we GROW into our ENVIRONMENT. It may not always be easy to change our environment or influence it to the degree that we would like, though it may be worth noting that this may be a stunting condition to the ultimate success or growth of your potential.

Bad influence

Anyone or any thing that makes you feel unworthy or insignificant simply because they have something you don’t. For a lot of people scrolling through Instagram this will be the feeling they endure most of the time. Unless there’s something you desperately want to change or improve about yourself, don’t be quantify what you have on what you haven’t, rather what you are and are not. Things can be improved or replaced, upgraded or downsized, but they surely will not effect the moving parts underneath.

If all of what you see is fitness, travel, food or lifestyle’s of those seemingly better than your own, ask yourself whether it is motivating you to do better or making you feel more disgruntled with your current situation. It’s no one else’s responsibility but your own.

For me I used to have a disposition with social media in that things aren’t always what they seem; falsely advertised sugar coated, but all comes to light in reality anyway. You cannot hide behind a good lense or editing software in real life, so it’s even harder to maintain than simply being yourself. If that is not enough, you either have to just work harder or get much better with a camera.

On that note, my next blog will consider one of my favourite topics,

EXPECTATION AND REALITY.

Follow my journey on jakedarcyfitness

Jake 👊

 

‘The Grass isn’t Greener’

Lifestyle, Special

It only takes observing something which seems better than our current situation to think we’re either missing out or that we’ve got it wrong.

How often in occasions like these do we question our purpose for doing things? As tediousness grows, so does the attraction of not doing it at all, especially as it seems to get more difficult in nature. Imagine it this way, greenest, and the associations we can take from such a green, suspect in colour and bearing an artificial shine. I’m not urging you to pick bruised apples from the shop, to boycott the current aesthetic of apples or defy your natural attraction to things, because that is what should ultimately inspire your decisions.

What I am referring to is distinguishing NEED from GREED, and the haste to whichever decision takes precedence. It would be nice to base ALL of our decisions on the scale of TASTIEST, NICEST, MOST attractive, MOST expensive or BEST. It may seem like the MOST attractive option at the time but that doesn’t mean it is the BEST FOR YOU, NOW.

The grass isn’t greener.

Have you ever sat and watched someone eat when you are already full, no matter what it is, it doesn’t look that appetising. If it were only this simple when having to steer clear of somewhat more appealing options AT THE TIME. Knowing that it’s only temporary, and how the benefit or lacktherof usually outweighs the cost ANYWAY.

On the flipside, the same can be said for being in good shape, having kids, or simply having enough money to sustain all of it. You see plenty of surface snippets of what it would be like, stories of success, but often not behind the scenes. Besides putting in the initial work to obtain anything to which you desire, my advice would be to enjoy the benefits of doing so as much as you can, while you can, along with the process, as you may not always get chance to. We look at the end goal and excite the anticipation of finally finishing something though it is often all the time in between that needs to be savoured.

This would essentially be enjoying your side, making it as green and fruitful as possible, as it may not always be that way. I think we fail to savour some of life’s simplest pleasure’s on the basis of this fact, they are simple. It may be somewhat easier to attain than other feats that come with various stresses and complications along the way, which presents this contradiction of what we strive to achieve the most. Happiness or Content.

Happiness and content, or more so being content, are often transient. We can achieve happiness in many ways, yet feeling content is an emotion harder to describe yet easier to achieve. I believe feeling content more often than happy is healthy. It is easy to be happy if you throw enough money at it or physiologically trick your body into feeling happier for a small amount of time but it only lasts as long as you notice.

If we always think the grass is greener and succumb to every other means of transport than our own two feet, we slowly become passengers to the ominous power of influence. This will come to be my next topic. Though we politely converge and support the successes of other people’s desire’s, in turn we refute our own. Ultimately, there are no bounds to the superlatives that dictate attraction, cost or BETTER means of living in a world that evolves with enticement.

So aside from the obvious contrasts of the grass actually being greener; pizza over porridge, holiday’s over a shift at work and every ‘would rather…’ analogy you could possibly muster up, make your own mind up. You are an adult. You don’t have to eat what everyone else is having, nor do you have to partake in anything you don’t want to.

Remember,

the grass isn’t greener.

Follow my fitness journey on Instagram jakedarcyfitness

Jake 👊