Fasting or Starving?

Fitness, Lifestyle, Mindset

Throughout the day, insufficient nutrition can often lead to periods of hunger, onset fatigue and influence changes to our mood.

Whether you’re fasting because you don’t like the idea of breakfast as your first meal or simply favour time elsewhere as you wake, this contrast of starving and filling only sets you up for more confusion later on in the day.

By confusion I’m referring to the difference between being full and malnourished. If you think this involves under eating, you’re right, but it’s more of an under eating of the things you NEED rather than what you do not. The title of this blog was initially ‘NEED > GREED’ in that the better we get at differentiating between the two, we have more energy, less moods and no repercussions further down the line. The reasoning for keeping overindulgence and greed from the title is that we are all aware of this happening one way or another. Demonising hunger and cravings doesn’t help anyone. What is important isn’t the WHAT, but the WHY, and the WHY is usually because of under eating.

Prolonged periods of starving and filling, fasting and binging, has a hoarding effect on calories you could have been burning throughout the day. You don’t want to be training with lethargy, neither on your only meal of the day, it’s about having sufficient energy to fuel a decent workout. Merely starving yourself for the sake of a larger meal later on, only denies your body of the bare minimum required to function, make it even more difficult when you can’t help but fill to the absolute brim later on.

I don’t want to get into the black hole of protein synthesis or how much you can absorb in one sitting. How macros are respective to the numerical target and not the quality of food. But just think how long it takes your body to process all those nutrients in one go. It’s like trying to merge twelve cars into one lane, hoping that none of them crash or break down. Or downing a bottle of spirits then eating a high fat meal, your liver will probably be too preoccupied to effectively breakdown the food before the task at hand.

Firstly. Ascertain various points of the day where you can add in more meal(s). Granted that you have enough time to properly digest and assimilate nutrients before breaking your muscles down during training. Rushed meals and hoarded calories only make for disjointed hunger and cravings later on in the day. A time to which isn’t always convenient for cooking or anticipating the best options.

Unless you’re hitting a session fasted or doing cardio before your first meal gone midday, you’re not going to burn that much more fat to soundly justify, if any more at all. Eating is what increases metabolism, enough to suffice till the next and often enough to reach a level of satiety that doesn’t leave room for too many options.

It is options which give the fasting protocol more appeal, a window to eat, another to fast, useful for people that usually eat the most after 8pm. As everything which has a place within YOUR routine, find out the best approach for you. Acknowledge when you get hungry, respectively to the time of day, and what you’ve consumed so far. It’s usually self explanatory as I mentioned in Why We Get Cravings, we are missing something. If it’s FAT, have more of that within your first meal of the day. If it’s sugar, have a small amount of fruit throughout the day.

AND FINALLY.

CARBS. They are NOT the enemy. If you keep skipping carbs irresponsibly, you’re only going to want them more. This is where we get the majority of our energy from. Energy is performance. Bad performance is mood. Mood is stress. Stress leads to hunger. The cycle continues.

Look out for my next blog

‘GET ON A ROLL’

Jake.

Why Do We Get Cravings?

Fitness, Mindset

A pinch of salt, a dash of this, a splash of that. When it comes to cooking, it’s a fine skill to get these things right. There are many reasons why we aren’t all Michelin star chefs. Is it a perfected arrangement of fresh produce? Meticulous measuring devices? A unique blend of spices? It goes back to what we were saying about superlatives; best, worst, fittest, strongest, TASTIEST.

Food from a restaurant will always be served to SATISFY. The same can be said for what we decide to put in our body, so when our tastebuds suddenly become stubborn food critics we can’t help but wonder why things that once seemed appetising just don’t hit the spot?

TASTE and CRAVINGS.

Not to get the two confused, our tastes and cravings are two separate means of being satisfied, one is making decisions based on what we enjoy and the other can often be completely irrational toward things with no nutritional benefit or further resolve.

Whether you see cravings as good or bad, cravings are messages which tell our bodies that we are missing something. Missing, either in that we physiologically depend on having more of something in order to sustain and bring back balance, or emotionally, to make us feel better. How quick we are to ascertain not only the difference between the two, but pacify whatever cravings we have to a REASONABLE degree of satiety, will determine how much longer it has a voice, and whether we insist to listen.

The impending case of binge eating, whether it’s the first thing to hand or the last thing you’d expect to eat, are merely filling the gaps that can only be filled by what you crave. Your brain sees an over abundance of possibilities and makes demands, whereas your stomach only recognises one thing at a time.

What if you crave nutella because your blood sugar is low,

Peanut butter because you haven’t consumed any fat,

salty food because your dehydrated.

and the things that you happen to rectify those deficiencies with are equally consumed as they are demanded, you get an easy justification of being emotionally dependant. There are plenty of other sugar and fat sources, plenty of alternatives to assist with mineral balance that doesn’t concern high amounts of caffeine and replacements. What you fancy and what you need are two different things entirely.

The best contrast I can provide between the two is comparing restaurant quality food to a ready meal when you are hungry. Though it’s easy to use savoury food as an example, in that it is more filling, sugar is no different when you understand why you want it so much. No matter how bland or inferior to a cooked meal, the ready meal will do the trick if its been a while since your last meal. Though they’re not ideal, most of which will be very dense in calories, contain SOME macro nutrition, protein and fats for example, which will seem to fill you up much more than the quick grabs and snacks on the go.

Now your cravings have subsided, you have a full belly, for now.

Whether it’s salt, butter, spice, oil or sugar, flavour, taste aside, anything that you cannot possibly emulate in your own kitchen or have readily available is no real issue.

So what happens when you combine fats, sugar, carbs, put it into a pot and in your tea cupboard. NUTELLA. It’s all of the things you crave, with no expense, no preparation, no plates to put out, dishwashers to empty. Fool you fool me, if I was to put Nutella in my breakfast often enough, I personally don’t think i’d be able to stomach plain oats without it? It’s the same with cheese, anything sweet, pleasant or even remotely more-ish, it’s hard to close the flood gates on something that’s going to make us feel better for a period of time. With all the subliminal messaging, marketing and offers that play on our hunger,  it’s not like we need much more persuasion as it is. Anything you know you’ll MOST LIKELY eat if it’s there, don’t buy it, then you won’t be tempted.

TIME.

We will happily save ourselves a meal or two in weary anticipation of a meal out, wait thirty minutes once we’re actually sat down, and yet can’t wait a second longer than two stood watching through the window of a microwave.

If you spent an evening shadowing any decent chef, you’ll soon learn that timing determines quality. If something is too hot, it burns, too cold, undercooked. It doesn’t take much of an eye to distinguish between someone who regularly cooks and eats their own food and someone that will happily stand in a queue for the same amount of time. How long can deny your body of what it needs, wait to be served your daily hit of cravings, only to be unsatisfied. Cravings manifest themselves in thoughts, but they are still ultimately choices, whether you choose to ignore them and suffer or abide by their dictation, this will ultimately determine whether you remain hungry, adequately satisfied or painfully full to the brim.

Look out for my next blog ‘NEED > GREED’

Jake.

 

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.

 

 

Workout Your Own Mind

Lifestyle, Mindset

You can drag a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Has anyone ever thought maybe it could be the water?

We are creatures of habit, depending upon what environment we develop either a firm understanding or naïveté, the basis of reinforcing our own truth or becoming lies in what we have been exposed to or protected from.

The same goes for the horse, who drinks from the nearest pool and only knows such as life. What endeavours and aspirations do we suppress in spite of our natural ability or initial interest? Is it doubt or ignorance to our own transcendence that determines the limits that confined those before us to those before them? In doing so, defying our true nature to progress absolutely.

It’s down to a deep-routed fiber, inherent ability and not just a participation of norms which transpire through the purpose of popularly and recognition, but progression which sets out to surpass previous attempts. The same can be said for genetics.

Some people pride themselves on being lazy, they wear their traits like a sash of honour rather than a burden to their own potential and find solace in excusing action rather than taking it.

The same goes for inheriting one good and one bad trait from each of our parents. If one sits at home most of the day and the other trains as a triathlete, does a better lesson come from seeing one achieving and being recognised more than the other or simply acknowledging what NOT to do.

After all we usually have the choice of two means for purpose, based on the traits and habits of our parents and those before, whether they were any good at it or not will often either save you a lot of time or demand it all.

Have you found what you’re good at yet? Are you good at anything? It’s not in the fine details or the skillset, this can be learned later, it’s in the colours that you use, the tones in which you create the mood and the background which gives context to your OWN purpose. If you were to paint numerous canvases using the same colour palate, it’s only going to go so many ways, whether you experiment with different means of expression, lead erratic strokes of frustration into the foreground or ruin them all completely, in this instance they bear the sole purpose of being a draft.

Maybe next time I’ll use different colours, a different brush, maybe you don’t want to use a canvas. We’re not all born to be successful painters, and yet we are promptly expected to master the art of our own fate. How much of our skill set and knowledge has a default setting, one shared with our classmates, similar age and ethnicity. Amidst all the numerical data and graded outcomes of either success or failure it seems only our character remains completely unique to us, leading or distracting. Ability is learned, but without listening to the voice inside your own head, it’s requires ability in itself to make room for both; what you want to know and what you’re told you need.

Workout your own Mind.

I don’t know how much scientific credibility this has on our memory but if our brain deliberately forgets information serving us no purpose beyond remembering, don’t feel so bad for forgetting.

When have you had to use Pythagoras Theorem in your current working role? The same goes for retaining pointless information, somehow, somewhere in our minds we acknowledge that there is still some use out of knowing, seeing, hearing, reading, rather than merely being told to listen.

Only you decide what or why something is useful.

Research your own experience

Absorb what is useful

Reject what is useless

Add what is specifically your own.

These are some of the generic values endorsed by Bruce Lee, but for how simple they appear to be in theory, it’s this inherent attention to judgement and finding independence which is particularly poignant in finding purpose, better yet, success.

Forget anything in your life which seems all too readily prescribed. Reject what you know is useless after proving it to be so. What habits and rituals promote your best headspace and capacity for creativity.  By creativity I’m not referring to that which makes us great painters, writers and such. It’s the ability to regularly workout your own mind and create the best environment for your passions and ideas to thrive. Write the best lines and link the best scenes of your own narrative, edit the things that don’t fit the bill that you envision and filter out the  negative energy which plagues your momentum of growth.

If you’re still working it out, granted your glass is half full or half empty, it’s likely that you have options rather than attempts, skills to perfect and tools to sharpen. A position all to easy to forget to appreciate. Don’t fret over a missing puzzle piece, especially not one that helps complete somebody else’s game before your own.

Follow my journey on Instagram,

Jake 💪

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.

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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.

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JAKEDARCYFITNESS