Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weight Loss Terrorists: The Struggle Eternal

Life is a wheel. Sometimes the rudders slow down, speed up, or burn at us. The main point is that as long as time is linear, there is constant motion. That can be a great thing, for our failures can seem like a poison diluted in the ocean of time. The only problem is that our successes and victories become watered with time as well.

We tend to take this personally, like the forces are against us, and maybe in some sense they are. But, we need to understand that this happens to all of us and that the restart button is a part of life. It can seem to be constantly against you if what you work on washes away like it never existed.

You find work hard, and you have nothing to show for it, because turmoil happens again and people forget what you have contributed. This is the root of most stress.

Lack of gratitude. It's the cause of what we find most unfair in society.

"Kim Kardashian makes all this money, while airline pilots struggle to feed their kids. All the injustice in the world!"

When results don't match effort, we feel used. That gets to us. Occupational burnout comes from the feeling that our work is never done, because in reality, it never is.

It can happen when we work on a project by ourselves or when we pursue something as a team effort. Whether we blame ourselves or external factors, something is not working.

It is at this moment where we are tested, where the men are separated from the boys, where the "posers" leave and the "crazy ones" (as Steve Jobs called them) get their moment to shine. It is at this time that champions are made.

I can talk about this all day, and Nike, Gatorade, and whatever fitness company can market a thousand ads about this concept, but when you come into contact with this is when you will find out whether you can do this or not.

For most people, they find that they will fold on the first couple of tries, more out of fear than anything else. It will take a while to go all the way, but it can be done.

It will be difficult, but possible. And when you do it once, you know you can do it again.

Bite the bullet and deal with the douche-chills, cause it's going to happen. All the incidents of drug addiction that have occurred between entertainers are an example of the insecurity that happens when we undergo a new journey. You don't have to partake in such self-destructive behavior, but understand that the agony is something everyone goes through.

Mediocre culture is the product of people who valued persistence over talent. There are a lot of people out there who are gifted and talented, but they don't believe in themselves or they are waiting for some mandate from heaven that will never come.

The road to success is extremely uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable for a bunch of different reasons, reasons that can only be found when you walk barefoot in the hot desert sun. Artistic hyperbole aside, there are obstacles on any worthwhile journey, but with time and dedication, it will happen.

Take pride in hardship. It's the best way to deal with it. If you find yourself battling addiction while trying to lose weight and struggling in debt, write a book about it. There might be a spot in Oprah's Book Club for you.

Think of it like brushing your teeth. There's no endgame to brushing your teeth. We all do it and accept it. Your goals should be approached in a similar fashion. It's not about the fifteen mile hike you took a week ago. It's about the little walks you take everyday.

Weight Loss Terrorists: Intimidation

Negative vampires will always exist in some capacity as long as everyone wants to create some drama. Monday morning quarterbacks will always tell you that you can't do it. We react to this by asking "what have you done with your life?" and we find that when we stack their accomplishments against ours, we win.

Goals take up a lot of time. We determine who we are by defining our dreams and what we reach for. In effect, we want our lives to reflect on the effort we put into what we believe in. The dreamer wants to be given credit for what he remembers seeing after he wakes up.

"Ignore the haters". It's basically doctrine at this point.

But sometimes, we come across someone that's indifferent to your goals, but for different reasons.

It might not be a hater. Rather, this person we come across might be very supportive of our goals. They may have done nothing wrong.

This is the one-upper. This is the guy at the gym who is currently on vacation from his Ivy League school who is also good friends with your girlfriend. This is the guy who knows more about movie trivia than you do, and he's friends with someone who has a direct line to JK Rowling/Michael Jordan/whoever your childhood hero is.

A lot of fear can come from the one-upper in that we find that whatever little amazing tidbit we have about life has already been discovered by this individual. This fear means that our identity and the goals of our life mean nothing because someone can do it so much better.

But, here are some things to consider:

You all have different starting points:
Some of us are born rich. Some of us are born poor. Some of us are born middle class and cannot get government benefits. Whatever the starting point is, life is not about where you were, but about where you are going.

Don't fold your hand before the game's over. The one-upper might get hit by a truck for all we know, and a vacuum might open up. Don't stop because someone else is leading you in the score. You're still in the first quarter. Don't give in.

No one brings baggage to the table:
Unless you're promoting a book exploring your battle with heroin addiction, you don't greet people talking about all your shortcomings and weaknesses. We try to impress people when we first see them. It's highly likely that one-upper's have an inferiority complex.

They could be hiding something. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but at the end of the day, we are all human. Batman gets scared until someone brings out the Kryptonite.

Set yourself against your goals, not anyone else's:
If you want to get better at math, you will always lose if you compare yourself to Stephen Hawking. If you want to get a better jump-shot, you'll never start if you compare yourself to Michael Jordan.

Goals are about growth. It's about getting better. If you're a competition junkie, knock yourself out, but if you cannot win against yourself, you won't win against others.

Step up to the challenge:
Sometimes we lack direction in life. Success can make us feel guilty. Adversity quickly changes that. Commitment to stopping the competition is a great reason to get up in the morning.

Or collaborate:
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. It's easy to see people as a threat, but if someone has the same tastes that you have and they want to make the same changes to the world that you do, what's not to love? See if you can contribute something to what they're working on. There could be an awesome chapter about you in the book of this guy's life.

Challenges stop us from being cocky. In any form of greatness, rivalries happen. Welcome it.

Weight Loss Terrorists: The Brain Is The Strongest Muscle

A lot has been said about the various diets, workout plans, and nutritional supplements that we are convinced will work like some elixir and make the fat go away. We have been led to believe that the quest for some "fountain of fit" will allow us to gorge our faces at the buffet while our chiseled abs remain impervious to the effects.

Even if you were to find such a thing, human nature would make you tinker with it. You would eat fried chocolate eclairs just cause you can. Your arrogance would be your caloric downfall.

There may even be a short period of time (after hard conditioning) where we find that this can actually happen. But, what goes up must come down, and you might find yourself at the bottom of a mountain that you now recognize as your stomach.

In order to live out your dreams, you need to have the right mindset. A lot of us have goals that we keep off into the distance. We fantasize about what we are going to do this summer vacation.

We say "I have little time to do what I want with my busy schedule, but when vacation comes I will do half of everything I've ever wanted to do ever", and yet when the vacation comes, we find that it's impossible to sleep all week and see the world at the same time.

Our dreams seem like an amazing picture in the background of our lives. We like looking at it from where we are, but the difference between achieving your dreams and letting life pass you by is that the achievers go out and be part of that picture.

Sometimes we are afraid to be part of the picture. It's one thing to look at the Empire State Building as a country bumpkin (or a city boy looking at a tractor...whatever), but going inside the Empire State Building does not seem as glamorous as it does from the outside. We find obstacles on our way there, people do not share the enthusiasm for something we find valuable.

We hesitate because for some strange reason, the opinions of idiot strangers matter to us.

In reality, you shouldn't care. If it's your dream to go to the Empire State Building, do it, and don't worry about anybody else, because believe me, no one's going to worry about you. The people in life who should take the second to overthink what evil they are about to commit are either a) never the ones that do, or b) thinking about it and doing it anyway

I'm not saying go out and pursue self-destructive behavior, but if your dream isn't hurting anybody, hell, if your dream is making the lives of the people around you better, you should pursue it like a rottweiler.

The only thing guaranteed in life is you, your dreams, and your deathbed. You want to not pursue something because a degenerate somewhere told you not to? That's ridiculous.

Great people have always had opposition. Superheroes have supervillains. Normal people aren't super, and neither are the haters. We all indulge in hating on people every once in a while. I have uncreative talentless hacks, it's the monster I wake up to fight every morning. Sometimes when I feel I've created something that doesn't feel unique enough, I even hate myself.

But when you decide not to do something to better ourselves out of some need not to hurt someone's feelings, what does that accomplish? Not much. You don't go to the gym because your older sister is fat, and she mocks you for working out? What do you accomplish by bending to her pudgy needs? Not much.

Two pudgy sisters, which isn't to say you can't work it, but your sister will then hate you for having a personality.

In my own personal experience, I find that bending to a hater's needs will not make them accountable in the future. They're not going to thank you for worrying about them, they're going to throw you under the bus and hate on you for being inferior.

So workout, develop a personality, become talented, do something with yourself in whatever little time you have left in the day. I hope you're doing some push-ups while reading this. I'm not, but I've been working out this week, which has been the first time in a while.

Baby steps still burn calories.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Feminist Commits Suicide at Strip Club-funded Sandwich-making Competition

PITTSBURGH- Alexis Markan, a 23 year old grad student at Point Park University, committed suicide at local entertainment bar and grill "Hoochie Boochies", during an event designed to feed the homeless.

The event, organized by restaurant owner Todd Flaubert, was designed as a way to give back to the community after an incident where a child beauty pageant organized at the adult themed club caused a backlash.

"The parents were very enthusiastic, but I think it was a bad call of judgment on my part" Flaubert said.

Flaubert began organizing the sandwich making event in hopes that feeding the homeless would make the city overlook the charges of child endangerment.

"The homeless were excited about this for weeks. Stumpy [one of the bums] said this was going to be the high point of his life" said Flaubert.

"They don't give lapdances at the soup kitchen!" Stumpy further commented.

The "Hoochie Boochie Hands On For the Homeless" was supposed to be a benefit that had the entertainers of the club participate in a contest to see who could make sandwiches the quickest to help feed the needy.

The event was well under way when Alexis Markan, jumped from the rafters, an electrical cord tied around her neck. Being a liberal arts major, she measured the length of the cord wrong and ended up collapsing to the ground.

Paramedics and Markan's family rushed to the scene, but she was pronounced dead on impact.

Her family was hoping that Markan would give up her feminist crusade and settle down, but she had other plans.

"Alexis was a different girl. She was always cutting up hot dogs cause she said it was a form of Freudian submission. I thought she was getting better, but apparently she wasn't"

Markan left behind a suicide note that criticized Hoochie Boochies for holding such a demeaning event. The note detracted into a long rant that covered a list of female angst issues from hating cute things to the durability and elasticity of the vagina's membrane as compared to the fragility of the penis.

While online support for Markan's act of martyrdom is growing, the local feminist groups have not made a statement. The leader of the Women's Empowerment Movement of Pittsburgh (WEMP), Agatha Stimmon, was actually at the sandwich event, saying the gluten-free bread used in the sandwiches was one of the few places in Pittsburgh where she could eat due to her allergies.

"What we've experienced in Pittsburgh today was very sad, but I wish this young lady knew better. Sandwich making is only demeaning when they serve men, but when they serve people like me who are in the condition I'm in, it's something to be celebrated" said Stimmon.

Candibutt, one of the entertainers, disagreed with Markan's acts, saying the event was something women should aspire to.

"We're feeding people and putting food on our own tables when we're not dancing on them. What's more feminist than that?"

Flaubert has reached out to the family of the deceased, promising to help them grieve.

"This tragedy is very sad. As a consolation, we think it is only proper to give the family a lifetime supply of beer and sandwiches. The Markans are welcome to visit Hoochie Boochies whenever they need a shoulder to cry on, even if it's just to get a better view of the cleavage".