the sunshine state of mind

from the endomorph:

keeping up a strict routine at gym is about as hard as walking on eggs …
no one will ever be able to tell me any different.
even on days i absolutely love going, the mission of going home, getting dressed and going back out can be an obstacle, especially when it is that cold outside and for some reason you seem to own a lot more gym shorts than sweat pants.
yet i have managed to bite down on the complaints and stepped up to stepping out.

i have dropped two pants sizes and lost about 15kg now with 20%BF – thats body fat … not boyfriend … as i am not sure
how one accurately measures that.
all of a sudden people here and there are saying … oh my you’ve lost weight … thank God … means it’s working i guess.
but oh the little sins in the kitchen … i am still battling with those a bit.
i can kill off a block of cheese faster than a possessed mouse of steroids.
and the late night craving for sommit sweet, why always at 11pm ??
i think there is an invisible fairy in my house that comes out at night sprinkling sweet fairy dust all over my senses.
how stupid we are to tell ourselves it’s ok to cheat a little here and there because tomorrow we will be back at gym working up a sweat and working out the chocolate of the night before.

this is just another vicious cycle that i like to create for myself.
investing in something that is hard work to obtain something that i really want without the effort of sticking to the rules.
a good body starts when you are not at gym …. thats what “they” all say.
and i know in my deepest lindt chocolate tormented heart that it is the truth.
it probably also isn’t as hard as the walk from my car in em shorties through the wind and rain to the very confusing revolving door of my gym.
(i always seem to make it stop when i am on the inside momentarily turning me into living art – tis the blond of my nature)

how to break the cycle … i don’t know yet … and will keep you up to date if i find something that works, a method or a spell.
perhaps it will just be admitting to myself that it is pointless to do one and not the other, perhaps i will acknowledge that now is probably the time to start, to try even a little harder than i have done before.
that saying no is not as much effort as an hour on the treadmill, and that an hour on the treadmill will be better spent loosing another kg than keeping off on that may have been gained the night before.

i would like to loose another 10kg’s before the summer. i have about 3 months to achieve this goal and the one thing i am very proud of is the fact that i still have a goal.
the other thing that i am very proud of is the fact that lately i am starting to do these things for myself, the focus has shifted from making someone else happy to finding a little warm place in the sun where i can just stretch out and be a little more of what there is behind the veil of a person i have been pretending to be.
there is nothing wrong with pretending for a while, if we have to do this to survive. i would have to guess one just needs to know when the time has come to lift the veil so that we won’t find ourselves lost in an act that just is to hard to turn back on.

i am guessing  that my time has come.
to keep looking back is going to make going forward a lot harder.
even if the sun is in your eyes, it will eventually be above you in the perfect place, merely shining down on you.
for now it might be good to squint a little, to walk straight into it, leaving the shadows behind.

the best part of this is that the sun comes out everyday and that it is never to late for any endomorph to start crawling, walking, running.
we are all champions to ourselves and being our own super-hero might just be the best rescuing act of our lives.

good luck .
to all
and
good luck … to me.

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“Be Breakfast Smart”

from the Endomorph:
I never used to eat anything in the morning,
in fact I used to be quite proud of the fact that I could stay without any breakfast until almost lunch time.

I thought this would also categorise me as a small eater and you should loose weight when you skip a meal like breakfast right ??…
Wrong…
Skipping breakfast is probably the worst thing an Endomorph can do!! As it is we are like bears coming out of hibernation when we first wake up, because our metabolism is so slow. It is like trying to start an oversized antique diesel engine …. and now try starting it without any fuel !
That is exactly the problem – the metabolism stays shut down when the Endomorph refrains from adding fuel to the Engine = no metabolism = no burn = no energy = no weight loss – in fact … your body might actually try and push fat into hard to reach places because it is fooled into thinking that it will need storage due to pending starvation … say hello to a beer gut even if you don’t drink and ……..MAN BOOBS (aka moobs) the breakfast deprived body of an endomorph will push fat straight into the chest, because the chest muscles are so small and the least of the bodies metabolic action is concentrated in the chest.
If you really read up on muscle function you will see that “moobs” are like two litte fat silo’s under the neck and that if you are a slow burner you gotta really work at all the areas surrounding your “moobs” to burn the fat stored.

I carry most of my fat storage on my “moobs” and stomach and strangely most research shows that HIIT cardio along with weight training is more effective at getting rid of these little body snags than any diet alone.
I have actually now been converted to believe that there is no such thing as an effective diet, I hate the word ! I believe that the best diet is, not to diet but to be “food smart” …. you need to eat to loose weight !
So since the beginning of this month I have been “breakfast smart” and it started off real rocky, shaky and bumpy !
You have to find something you like to eat in the morning …. and something you like to MAKE in the morning. Making breakfast takes time … and if your a slow morning person ya aint gonna be flipping omelettes every morning, sometimes you can just fit in a bowl of oats and a bit of fruit and that is still 1 million  times the power of #no-breakfast.
#note … main stream cereals with animations on pretty coloured fun filled boxes are no good for breakfast especially if you are trying to loose fat , they are sugary sweet fat-traps , no matter how high in fibre the tell you they are, have way too much oestrogen and preservatives … you unfortunately have to be a little more inventive – even a piece of steak and 2 egg whites make a better breakfast than a bowl of , off the shelf serial!! (unless your 13 and burning fat at the temperature of the sun)
This morning I had a owl of oats with a banana and blueberries – cooked it in 5 min ate it in 3 , still had time to shave!
Interestingly enough – if you want to know why oats are good and a slow release energy food – leave your empty bowl unwashed for a while and see how long it takes you to get it clean later … like forever – not even water softens it up , it’s like cement! Same in your stomach, slow to digest but not heavy on digestion, low in fat + high in fibre and energy ! Follow with a protein shake , no milk mix with water and you got yourself a “super smart breakfast”.
If you have time to cook a steak – thats amazing – I’ll be right over !
Alternatively boil 3 eggs the night before – peel – strip the yolk – shop a red and yellow mini pepper – and bingo another great breakfast – on my menu for tomorrow morning !
So eat up Endomorphs – eat – burn – eat – burn – workout – trim up !
If this fatty can pull it off – so can you xoxo

“The Brutal Kindness of Strangers”

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from the Endomorph …

Remarkably, I haven’t quit, in fact I just got back from gym ! (#goldstar)
Sundays have become one of my  days to go to gym, it real quiet and for an hour I have the floor almost to myself and thats great if you want to try out a new workout and still feel a little clumsy !
The Truth … my weight hasn’t changed that much since my last update …
The Truth … I have lost body fat and my jumpers don’t look like I am trying to find a substitute for spandex anymore!
The Truth … I would have loved the scale to say :”wow your awesome you lost pounds” but scales don’t talk they just point and point out!!
The Truth … About a week ago I burst out crying because it felt like someone had used formaldehyde on my body and I was doomed to stay the same forever !! … and then a stranger told me to pull myself towards myself and that I didn’t get fat overnight and wouldn’t get thin overnight either … brutally honest opinions from strangers can piss you off enough to keep going!
The Dare … I have promised myself that over the next two weeks I will post a report with photo’s of a much slimmer me.
I have started to really focus on what I eat with much greater clarity than before, instead of starving myself I am eating small amounts on a regular basis. I have also started taking more time to prepare food in advance instead of trying to find something adequate at a moments notice … it doesn’t work.

“a little confession”…
“forgive me Father – for I wanted to commit the sin of desperation cheating”
(enter the Endomorph)
so here goes, don’t judge me too harshly ,but …
patience has never been one of my greatest virtues and this week I sneaked down to the pharmacy to beg for some miracle pill that will take the hunger away, or kill it completely (lowering head in shame)
(enter the girl behind the counter)
“thats fine” she said, “but just let me read you a little something on the leaflet here before you start swallowing”,and she started pausing between facts with a raised eyebrow.
“Side effects !”
“May cause renal failure” (raised eyebrow)
“May cause sever dizziness and heart palpitations (raised eyebrow)
“May cause shortness of breath (eyebrow still raised )
“May cause neurological damage “(still raised)
“May cause sleeplessness and agitation “(still raised)

“So”  she said, “Whats wrong with you, I thought you wanted to be healthy and in shape and be proud of your body, ain’t no one proud when they pissing themselves and cranky !!”
“Your legs working”, she asked
“Yes mam “, I said…
“Your arms working”, she asked
“Yes mam” I said ….
“Well you ain’t gonna be needing any shit like this then!” she said
“Yes mam” I said …
I left without a quick solution and I went to gym completing my program for the day feeling grateful that in a world where we seldom meet someone who cares enough what they leave us with, someone gave a damn!
And since I have to healthy arms and legs and a (relatively) good heart, I have no right to destroy or be ungrateful for the gifts I do have.
I went for a walk this week along the beach and thought how lucky I was to walk down the beach, a healthy guy who just needed to show his belly who was boss.

I also have a new friend … those are as hard to come by as flat stomachs !

“Blood, sweat and tears”

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from the Endomorph :
the replay …

If this were a journal I think it would have to read something like this:

May 14th 2013

Traffic, strikes and a country in turmoil .
Chaos has followed me around the entire week , robbing me of my spare time, trapping me in a situation that I cannot change as
an individual, leaving me frustrated and angry!
I am not alone, I share this frustration with thousands of others.
Again in an already failing economy our entire public transportation system has been sabotaged by nationwide strikes.
Thousands of people are left stranded and battle to find their way to work and back home again.
The roads are flooded with cars and jammed from one end to the other.
A 30 min journey is taking 2 hours to complete, sometimes more.
Our governments sits back, takes little notice of the man trying to put food on his table, why should they, when they have been put there
to govern without cause.
It’s known that they are escorted during their travels with brigades of armoured cars flashing blue lights so that all must stand aside and let them pass.
Not so easy for the rest of us.
South-Africa is infected with corruption, a disease spreading so deep into her core that I doubt if she will ever be cured again.
South-Africa is dying.
Even the beautiful die. A beautiful country has collapsed, left alone to die, with no one to care for her in the last years of her life.
Most of us don’t know how, we’re not qualified.
The ones who are  qualified steal her last riches while she is down and use her weakness against her. It’s the perfect time,
the world is too busy to care. Too many countries are ill with the same infection. And unfortunately for us South-Africa does not belong to the debutantes of Europe.
She is left, no one noticing as she comes crashing down the flight of stairs. The pretty girls from the right side of the tracks steal the show, no one will help her up, eventually it will be too late.
People who no longer live here make documentaries of what a miracle the transition was. How amazing it was to see a country change it’s values. They ran from the transition though, they do not suffer with the rest of us, there is no miracle in corruption.
There is no democracy if the only change is changing the victim.
There is no democracy if the initial victim has never been healed.
There is no democracy if hate has just changed colour.
The miracle most of us wanted was just a magic trick, flawlessly executed, fooling us into believing we will become strong together, when the plan was to separate us even more.
The smart ones saw it coming and left quickly, before the world closed their doors to us.
The rest of us are sitting in traffic, wondering when the price of fuel will increase again, and how our president will spend foreign aid on his family home instead of the desperately hungry and homeless.
Then again we won’t know, because after the great “miracle” the #SECRECY ACT of South Africa prevents us talking about it.
Our leaders have convinced the world that they are now looking after their own, that we are singing and dancing hand in hand in the street, the rest is a secret to everyone.
My friend from Zimbabwe tells me their country had caught the same kind of flu many years ago for which there was no cure until the day of her death.
Make a documentary about that miss Theron and Bishop Tutu.
Tell the world how we have come together as a nation, together in our equal neglect, our equal desperation, our equal devastation.
Tell them from your home in Miami and your lounge on the hill.
Another magic trick! Forget to interview the man and woman living in an informal settlement, still living there since the “miracle”,
still without running water, still without a toilet , still without a school, a doctor or bed.
Show me the miracle of this while we are standing in a road lined with homes made from garbage and scrap, and I will show you
a magic trick too…
but this is not a journal, this is a blog about fitness, so whats my point.
Point is … fuckers robbed me of my gym time and it was virtually impossible to get to do something that ads meaning to my life because of the ripple effect caused by my current every day situation.

fast forward …

I get that all the “super-hero’s” say fitness is the mentality to create time to accommodate a dedicated lifestyle.
I failed terribly at this, I could barley manage to accommodate brushing my teeth never mind my fitness routine.
They never tell you what to do when that happens in the “body for life” and “super abs in 60 second” books.
I was going strong, and then I just couldn’t get to gym.
Did I gain a pound. Perhaps I did.
Did I suffer the wrath of the gym gods, n0 I didn’t !
Things happen to normal people.
The blood, sweat and tears we spend just getting through the average day is enough to show us that we are not quitters!
We are already dedicated to the impossible, SURVIVAL!
So I have to go to gym on a Sunday to catch up, same as working late to catch up.
So I lost a day or two and ate inconsistently, but those were the circumstances, and that was the best I managed to do.
The one thing I have learned from excepting a glitch here and there is that it is easier to get back into balance as soon as things even out a bit.
When the ocean is rough you can’t fish.
When life is rough you can’t always get to gym.
Try and restore the balance (***note to self) first by calming yourself down,
this will have better results when your working out anyway!
However fess up and grow a pair, don’t just walk away forever, a few days or a week is not forever!
As “Dori” says in #Finding Nemo “JUST KEEP SWIMMING!”
There is a truth to gym, and life and dieting that we should never forget,
“FALL DOWN 7 TIMES, GET UP 8!! “,
Sorry it’s not the secret to getting abs in 60 seconds that I just dedicated to myself more than any one else here, but perhaps I have talked myself into getting my ass back on the treadmill today and getting back to beating that unsightly bulge that makes flying coach even more terrible than …. well flying coach !

“Just keep swimming dudes!”

” Back to Basics ” free yourself mentally.

lucas-malvacini-by-leo-castro-0

from the “Endomorph”

Time goes quick, burning fat on the other hand not so quick.
I have two days to go before checking in for my second BMI take down.
I am hoping for a positive de4crease in my overall body fat, because I have worked really hard to maintain a 
goal orientated approach.
I read something great the other day on bodybuilding.com, that read something like this…
“you wouldn’t normally just get into a car without having a destination in mind, why then would
you go to gym without having a goal or destination in mind.”
This had a huge impact on me personally because I recognised that my goals or destination was not clearly set out for myself.
I wanted to loose weight, build muscle, diet , become strong , become fit, change my body image, change , change , change.
It was almost too much information and I was running around the gym from weights, to machines to treadmills trying to incorporate everything I have read online and in my various fitness guides and it has been a little mad and … desperate.

Desperation is a pothole …. pull yourself towards yourself , find a quiet place in your mind and focus on something specific . 
I cannot say if this changes for people who have trained for years and for “superhero’s” but I can imagine that it would be easier to break up tasks the more accomplished you are at something and that it would be easier to set numerous goals at once.
I can do this in business, because I have done it for years and can split my goals on a daily basis and mostly manage to achieve them.
In regards to fitness and gym, this “endomorph” is a newbie and had to (on a personal level for my character) regroup myself  
and re-asses the areas that I wanted to be “focus-specific” and goal orientated. 

For me this was a mentally quieter place and an easier approach to training.
I have decided to place my immediate focus on reducing the size of my stomach. Simply that.
I found that I could do this through a combination of cardio and weight training. 
And since I am not built like “The Rock”, I also found that I do not need to do 5000 different exercises to keep my not so clued up body guessing!
I just had to do learn the basic techniques first, just like a dancer needs to learn the basic footwork ! Everything in life that anyone has ever mastered started off with the basics, remember school and the ABC songs = basics!!
I am not fit, so basic cardio is a great place for me.
I am not muscular, so basic weight training is great for me. 
The advantage to getting to know the basics is that you will discover things about yourself and your body. 
For instance , I have discovered that my calves are particularly weak but I can bench press like a son-of-a-bitch. (not always bad being built like a rhino) 
I also like walking on the treadmill apposed to running which kill my ankles and this is not the end of the world since I still manage to increase my heart rate substantially by increasing the incline and speed to almost the point of a slow jog. 

The best thing about learning the basics is that you get to increase your skill . I you take the madness out of an activity it becomes calming and fun!
FUN … yep that’s right … FUN !!! 
For me a 30 min H.I walk has become fun, simply because for 30 mins I get to put a pair of headphones in my ears and I get to pretend the world around me is perfect. Even when things are too much on the outside , after 5 mins of just turning up the volume and working to feel that first blast of perspiration filled heat , I star to clear my mind of all the shit that I get to worry about later.
This has been another goal for me , to just relax for an hour a day , and if this means staying on the treadmill for an hour then thats what I do.
Goal = accomplished .

Please don’t misunderstand (*not to self more than anyone else) what I am trying to say. 
You still need to push yourself and you still need to move the goalpost a little further each time you go to gym , there is enough 
concrete evidence from fitness experts around the world that has proven this is the only way to achieve success! I am saying that for someone who has made the mental shift to get his ass out the house and to the gym for the first time or for the millionth time, don’t ruin it by going mental .
Think clearly and positively.
I also had to realise that I’ma not gonna look like “The Rock” in 12 weeks !
This is ok because I will be a more relaxed 30 something with less grey hair and a smaller stomach ! 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Battle of the Bulge”

24

“from the Endomorph”

Thousands upon thousands of articles and posts have been written on the subject of loosing weight,
that leaves a nutritional novice with very little to say about the subject.

I have been dieting for years, I have yo-yoed up and down in body weight from extreme to extreme,
causing a superhighway of stretch marks reaching metropolis like lengths from my stomach down over my ass to my thighs.
Stretch marks are gross and they don’t go away, and 20 gallons of vitamin e-oil won’t make them lighter.
You also can’t tattoo over a stretch mark as it is technically dermis that has been deprived of blood flow and has died.
This really sucks and on of the only treatments I know that is semi-sucsessfull on stretch marks is “carboxy” treatment.
I know – cause I’ve tried every potion and lotion out there.
I could have saved myself the effort and the expense had I taken the time to educate myself and kept a regular, steady and balanced diet.
This brings me back to the point I was actually trying to make….
The one thing every fitness guru, supplement pusher and miracle body transformation will tell you is that there are no miracle diets (amen) that you will almost always gain all the weight back that you have lost ( and then some) , and that death induced by the ” Mexican Fire Ant” is more sensible choice.

I never believed any of the “jibber jabber” and thought that the best way to loose weight was to starve yourself and block out the starvation with appetite blockers of the most dangerous chemical composition.
And it worked …. and then it didn’t !
I also ended up going mental, destroying my libido, inducing halitosis, and feeling over all quite miserable , but hey I was a size 28 – big woop !
My take on all the BS out there is that for the poor, sluggish overweight “Endomorph” like myself the only way to knock of the pounds
is to admit to yourself that there is no quick fix to battling the bulge, that it is a constant battle between the right amount of exercise and eating right .
None of this above is very complicated , but it is hard work , and difficult to do if your a little on the homely side.(preferring to stay indoors watching endless amounts of series with the curtains closed – my idea of a perfect afternoon in hiding from the big bad world)
I want to say out loud that it is so much easier just living with the pot belly, fat thighs and flabby arms that develops so easily for the “Endomorph”.

I want to say out loud stop wasting money on a lot of crazy shit products and use it to go on holiday.
I want to say out loud that it is better to be a little fat and happy than starving all the time because it sucks to be hungry.
I HAVE to say that if you still want to change your body after that, it probably means you have something inside you that is reaching desperately to become more than you have even given yourself the recognition for wanting.
The “Endomorph” who possesses this kind of fighting spirit, who has tried everything and suffered for it and is still willing to try one more thing, is a “Superhero” in his own right and one that I will wage money on is able to keep fighting the battle of the bulge.
I would like to think of myself as the latter, but that is still to be proven.

The one enemy the fighting “Endomorph” has to be weary of is the “scale”.
Looking at it too much, is like watching too much porn, you start loosing interest when the action never changes.
I jokingly took a few pictures of myself when I started training, and then again a couple of weeks later and even though
there wasn’t much change when I got on my scale, in the second set of pics a couple of weeks later my stomach seemed a little smaller, and whats even more telling is that a few people have mentioned that I look “flatter”!!

The other thing most fitness guru’s and supplement pushers will tell you is to eat 5-6 small high protein meals at 2-3 hour intervals per day.
Sounds great right ?
It’s not.
You gotta cook like a lot of stuff and prepare like crazy – it’s a mission and something that I really struggle with.
One tends to think because someone is fat that the are constantly eating ! This is not true , I am overweight according to my BMI but never ate more than 2-3 meals per day. It was what I ate and the amounts I ate that was the problem. It also didn’t help that I washed every mouth full down with a litre of Coke Zero.
I haven’t been able to manage 5-6 small, high protein meals per day yet, and this (I dare say) is where a supplement like a protein shake comes in real hand. It’s quick and some taste like chocolate milk so it’s not as much torture as a piece of chicken every other hour.
“Hero’s” are people that decide to do something about something that bothers them and changes the world around them.
“Super-hero’s” are ordinary men who decide to change the things that bothers them about themselves, and then changes the world around them.
(Thats just how I think about it anyway, cause it’s so hard to change ourself before we try to change other stuff)

Before I try to be a “Superhero” , I will just try being a little bit more disciplined and a lot more determined.

Do it the “Old Khaki” way !!

"Postcards from Oxford"

“Postcards from Oxford”

 

Get your "Goat" on !

Get your “Goat” on !

Fashion is about much the same, and I believe that looking good contributes to feeling good.

My advice, find a clothing brand that works with your body.
I have been struggling with this for years.
I am a short square, most manufacturers cater to persons of lengthy statuesque proportions, which makes the search
for appropriate apparel a little more challenging.
For instance there is a big movement currently toward “skinny jeans” and “skinny  …” just about everything else.
For an Endomorph with short legs and a rugby players shoulders working his way back to fitness, this is the most ridiculous look ever.
It makes you look like a bowling pin and even larger and more out of proportion than you feel.
This is great if you have the retro body of the “Ectomorph”, and get your style tips from John and Yoko !
It took me months to find a brand that didn’t cut off the circulation in my legs and sat so low that my crack was visible to the whole world . I have almost no bum and a (currently) rounder middle , which means every time you bend in a pair of hip hugging skinny jeans, the whole lot pulls down to your knees.

I also had to find a budget friendly brand without it being typically cheap !
Its financially straining for anyone that is working towards fitness and having to buy supplements, to have to splurge large amounts on clothing as well ! I.O.W I just can’t afford “Diesel, Gucci and Prada” lol !!

I was given an “Old Khaki” gym bag for my birthday and immediately connected with the masculine, almost vintagy, postcards from Oxford kind of feel.
So I decided to check out their clothing as well and “Bam!” , what a cool brand !!
Even though the pants were a size “36” they didn’t look like my dads or like I belonged on a park bench.
They fit perfectly, a mix between cargo and smart casual. (still a little too long but nothing my tailor can’t chop)
Nice comfortable loose cut around the leg but not baggy ! (also makes an Endomorph look shorter !!)
Since winter has hit in the Southern Hemisphere, I opted for to great jumpers with the same vintage feel, slightly faded v-necks,
and slim body but not constrictive.
There is something about “Old Khaki” that wants to make you buy a “Moleskin” journal and a real set of “Travel Chests” so that you could head towards “Victoria Falls’ on a journey to finding the lost treasures of Sheba !
I’m loving it.
I am not saying that this brand is the sensible choice for every “Endomorph” out there !! (We are not all short squares)
I am saying that I made a personal connection with a certain style that suites my current shape and made me feel good about myself
and more importantly about shopping for clothes which I have found an almost traumatic experience in the past !

Again there is a small relation to fitness …. NEVER GIVE UP !

from the Endomorph: