Jan 28, 2011

Wheat is bad /&/(;!!!

Click title for interesting link!!

Jan 25, 2011

Most recent workout. Click on title for great link.

20 rep "breathing" leg presses
dumbells shoulder presses
Nautilus low back.

Did 24 reps with 310 lbs. Not bad for a 52 year old who does less than 20 minutes of weekly exercise.

Are you wasting time, wearing out your body or getting injured for no good reason?

Jan 22, 2011

Integrity.... part 3

In my last entries, I've talked about the physical, and the mental aspects of being integrated, and with short blog entries, it is impossible to do anything but piece meal it, as I believe there are too many aspects, so for today, rather than move on the the social and philosophical, as I mentioned in my last entry, I will refer to the interdependent nature of each aspect, and how, failing to recognize this interdependence, and so, focusing on any one or two aspects to the exclusion of others, is doomed to failure, or at best, a mediocre result.

In a previous post, entitled, "He who is Good with a Hammer, thinks that Everything is a Nail", I talked about how people who have had success with any one aspect tend to attach too much importance to their particular area of focus, and assume that they can attribute their results to this, when in fact, they may be creating a desired result because of many other aspects they are not even aware of, and even, in many cases despite what they think is giving them success. (nothing fails like success.) For more on this, I suggest the book "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell.

What I will do is take each aspect and give an example of why its absence, will limit if not completely undo the good done by the others.

Physical: If we are sleep deprived and as a result our neurotransmitters/hormones are off, (serrotonin, dopamine, melatonin) then our moods will be seriously affected, and our resolve to reach our goals will be seriously undermined. If we eat wrong, and with just one example, produce too much insulin, this can cause, obesity, inflammation, etc. etc., and all the best intentions in the world will not change this. If we have allowed our muscles to atrophy, whether in combination with the above (sleep or nutrition) or not, we will find our energy low, be more prone to injury and again, we will limit our results. Conversely, if we do too much or the wrong type of "fitness activities" (too much and the wrong type are the norm), then we can actually break down our body, and do far more harm than good. (In fact, tragically, the saving grace for most people when it comes to the current state of exercise, is that they don't stick too it long enough to experience acute or chronic injury.) On the physical side, of course, I'm not even mentioning how the use of drugs, alcohol, and other poor lifestyle choices can make any success impossible, but again, even getting off drugs, for example and actually transitioning to a balanced life is multifactorial and cannot be achieved simplistically. Not being physically "integrated" will undo our best efforts despite having all the knowledge or philosophy below.

Mental: If we don't research and discover the knowledge that we need to reach a fitness goal, acquire a certain skill, succeed in a certain area of business or have fulfilling relationships, we will make "innocent" mistakes, and fall short again and again. This again, will occur, as we will not even be aware of the need and the methods to achieve the physical above and the philosophical below.

Philosophical/spiritual: We must take the time to scrupulously choose our values, and in so doing, acknowledge the supremacy of objective reason, recognize our worthy purpose (achieving happiness) and develop the self-esteem that makes us see the justice of earning the rewards that we properly seek for ourselves and our loved ones. If we don't, we will be constantly held back by self-doubt, "like a ball and chain, where our mind's wings should have grown" (quote by Ayn Rand) Therefore, even if we have the physical and the mental, lacking the philosophical base will also hold us back.

Social/Emotional: A truly integrated person does not "need" other people, but recognizes that his life is enhanced by being able to share his journey with people with whom he shares basic values. He does not see any other person as "saving" him from a life of loneliness, and he does not feel dependent on anyone, nor is he attracted to someone who is "needy" looking for someone else to prop them up. Having said that, without someone to share their life with, while being able to achieve happiness, they will fall short of the ultimate that life can bring, and while the other three aspects, will still allow a person to live a truly happy life, it will fall short of the enrichment that the social aspect can bring.

So, like a garden, which objectively needs to have water, seeds, fertilizer, sunshine, shelter from frost, as well as having weeds removed, etc., what must be recognized, to be truly "integrated" (to have integrity), is that it is not so much a matter of one aspect such as water being the "secret" ingredient to a great harvest, but rather to recognize that we need it all (and in the proper balance) and that is not easy, but, there is no getting around it. There is no quick fix. The sooner we accept that, the more we are on our way. Scott Peck.... said "Life is hard, once we recognize that, it gets easier."

In the end, my purpose in writing this, is because of my own experience (mistakes) and seeing people with truly great intentions set out with strategies and worthy goals, that I know because of the exclusion of certain parts of the above, will end in frustration, and then they possibly resign themselves to "settling" for a "pretty good life", which is a tragedy, when a proper "integrated" strategy can really lead them to a "HEROic" life.

Jan 1, 2011

Integrity (continued)

So far I've touched on how integrity is about making and keeping promises/commitments you make to yourself. I've also said that achieving this is a process of "integrating" ourselves physically, mentally, philosophically/(spiritually) and socially.

Last blog, I touched on the physical aspect which is foundational because if we are sleep deprived, malnourished, (under, over or poor choices) or unfit (from too little or too much activity) our results on the other aspects will be limited, or non-existent.

Arguably some would say with a great deal of validity that philosophy should be the foundation as, determining out purpose in life would be the starting point but in fact all aspects are interdependent as any one missing will often undo the good of the others.

For now I will touch on the mental. Reading/learning is to the mind what proper physical care is to the body. Always seek to discover knowledge and weigh it against what you think you already know so that you don't stagnate.

Two quotes I like are

"The most important things we learn are those things we learn after we think we know everything."

The other one, from a scientist, is, "50% of what we think we know is wrong, we just don't know which 50%."

When we read we should always think critically and not simply accept what the writer tells us.

For now, I will recommend books/websites on the physical aspect that I spoke of in the last blog. It is a great place to start as doing the physical wrong, as is all too likely with the misinformation that is rampant in this area will be counterproductive to achieving the goal of integrity.

On a side note, simply cultivating these habits as with the formation of any good habits, will make it that much easier to form habits in other areas of our lives.

The sources I recommend not only give valuable information but do so in a fashion that requires you to think critically and not just take their word for it.

Body by Science by Doug McGuff and John Little. Bodybyscience.net


garytaubes.com and his books, Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat, and What to do About it.

Already too long of a post, see you soon to discuss, the philosphical and social aspects, of being "integrated".