A reader asked why I talk so much about being physically vs mentally fit. Good question. I’d dare say if you were a more regular reader *hint hint*, you’d know that I have used this blog over the last 8 or so years to try and work on my mental/emotional growth. From my perspective, it’s just the opposite. Lawd only knows I have my demons and have worked hard to exorcise them as best I can. Not an easy task but possible. I’m proud to say some I’ve killed off, others I’ve just beat into submission. And yes, even a few I still battle with. That is the nature of life.
I do spend time on a variety of subjects including religion,1 physiology, and psychology. I’ve always had a very metaphysical slant in my beliefs. One such book that was truly a revelation was Eastern Body, Western Mind.2 On the surface, it deals with Chakra development, but as you delve into the book it is clear the author has a strong knowledge of psychology. The combined outlook was a pivotal and truly life-changing read for me. It helped me identify and focus on healing fundamental parts of my psyche that were damaged and scarred from childhood. Seriously, I can’t even begin to tell you how much this book helped me.
Even if you don’t believe in chakras, I still highly recommend it.3 To this day, I can’t read the book w/o getting goose-bumps at some point. It was that profound for me.
As for the physical, having been very scrawny as a kid, I have struggled all my life to improve my size. Vanity certainly plays a role but I’ve mentioned here plenty of times the benefits of being physically fit. So yes, I do harp on my progress (or lack) in the gym from time to time. But, it is not the only focus in my life or even the most important. I wish more guys spent half as much time working on their inner demons as they did their pec muscles.
To this day, I still internally perk up when someone refers to me as big. While I was shoe shopping the other day, the sales clerk at Foot Locker referred to me as “a big guy such as yourself.” It was obvious he wasn’t trying to flatter me because he looked slightly embarrassed after he said it. I giggled inside because I still don’t exactly see myself that way. While my dysmorphia is not as pronounced as before, it still lurks in my id. I guess it is something you never truly get over. I don’t see myself as the scrawny kid I used to be but I also don’t think I see myself as I truly am.
As I always say, the important and often overlooked distinction is to find balance. Too much of anything can be bad for you. I don’t live for working out but I do spend the necessary time it takes to care for my body as well as my mind. I’m currently trying to see how lean I can get. It’s a slow process because I love to eat. lol
Not so much anymore. It’s become a farce of greed and control IMO. [↩]
Available in hardback, paperback, or ebook! lol [↩]
The simplest way I can think of to describe a chakra is as a point of focus. If you think it’s all mumbo-jumbo, use my definition as a frame of reference. [↩]
I hit a new personal best at the gym the other day! It felt so good too because it was my chest muscles. hehehe Being a typical homo I work out my chest a lot. One, well the obvious and two, I have such a hard time getting my chest muscles to grow.
I’ve you been using the exhaustion method a lot lately and I’m feeling/seeing the results. Instead of doing a prescribed list of set/reps I push heavy on the first set to failure1, second set lighter weights usually by about 20/40 lbs to failure again, and so on. This method often requires more time in the gym as you need more rest time and going to failure naturally goes slightly longer.
Having recovered fully from my shoulder injury, I’m also doing almost 100% free weights now. I usually alternate between benches and dumbbells. The only problem with dumbbells is I’ve reached a point where it’s hard maneuvering the weights w/o a spotter. lol Once in position it’s easy but getting to that position can be a hassle and creates a higher risk of injury. Don’t even get me started on the hassle of trying to to decline bench press with dumbbells. Having been at the same gym for basically forever, I know enough guys to reach out and ask for help. Often there are at least a couple guys I know that will pop over and help me when needed. I certainly don’t want to injure myself again so better safe than sorry.
Anyway, it felt good to push past a plateau I’ve been battling for awhile now. I’m not expecting any huge jumps but just being able to say I did it feels great. I’ve also been really good about not blowing off my cardio or leg workouts. I’m not pushing for huge increases on my legs but I wanna make sure they stay in proportion with the rest of my body. I’ve dropped all the extra fat weight I’ve gained lately as well. I’m taking the opportunity to see if I can lean up a little bit more. Naturally, this is a battle against my love for eating good food.2 Either way, I’m comfortable where I am but looking a little more trim never hurts.
failure is officially the number of reps you can do WITHOUT breaking form [↩]
The previous batch of homemade cookies and cakes didn’t help none either! lol [↩]
I don’t know what it is about my upper back workouts but I always end up very achey afterwards. It is odd because it’s my only muscle group that makes me feel this way. I can bake my chest or arms until I can’t move and they don’t make me ache all over like my back does. lol
Part of it might be because I’m doing more back workouts lately. Like a typical bad homo I tend to ignore muscles I can’t see. lol I’ve always done my back but only in a very cursory way. After noticing my calves weren’t as even as the rest of my body, I started paying attention to my back. Naturally, It is a bit underdeveloped as well. Anyway back to my point, I get so damn achey afterwards. It isn’t good to take aspirin or ibuprofen after a workout so I avoid them. I drink lots of liquids, take my supplements/vitamins, etc but for the first 8 hours or so after I just get incredibly cranky. lol I’m hoping as I develop my back muscles more and they become conditioned to heavy weights, the aching will subside.
I was supposed to work out my chest today but felt kinda blah. I’m either fighting off a cold/flu or my allergies are acting up. Either way, I switched to my lats/glutes since my concentration was off a bit. All I need is to injury myself in a moment of carelessness. I still managed to get my workout in but it was lackluster. I’m gonna grab one of the Odwalla Wellness drinks on the way to work. Nothing like a good lymphatic flush to get you feeling better again.
On a side note, I started a new tumblr blog focused on my self-portraits. No nothing x-rated but still not always something I want posted here. My blog is known by more than a few of my coworkers and there are just some things about me they don’t need to read about! lolol
I wonder how many of you here can guess what the URL is? Don’t post it but if you find it post a comment there. heehee
I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard lately even with my crazy work schedule. I think I overdid it this last week though. Thursday, I started feeling achy and run down at work. I was afraid I was getting sick. That night I tossed and turned all night from achiness so ended up not getting much sleep. 1
Friday rolls around, I’m feeling less achy but exhausted from lack of sleep and developed a lovely migraine. Joygasm! I got some stomach problems as well so maybe it was a combination of both. I called off from work and literally laid on the couch all day relaxing. I napped off/on until about dinner when I finally dragged my carcass out of the house for some dinner. Feeling a tiny bit better but still achy my stomach was demanding food. lol I ended up having sushi with my buddy Nikitas. Probably not the best choice considering but it hit the spot.
Saturday, I’m feeling almost like my old self again. The stomach is returning to normal and the achiness had abated. I didn’t have a sore throat or fever so I figure maybe I was just worn down.
Ironically, I feel totally guilty for not being in the gym. lol Lately, I’ve been trying to hit the smaller non-primary muscles that I often neglect. I think they decided to fight back. Anyway, if you’ve been following me on Google+, you’ve already seen my latest pics. I included one to show off my had work. How do ya think I’m doing?
Apple guy neglected to mention he’d taken the last of the Ambien. *ahem* [↩]