Dad at 40

Fitness, Nutrition, Parenting, and Life

Archive for the month “April, 2017”

Power – Why Understanding It Matters


I have been observing the world around me quite a bit, especially myself. In taking this long and hard look at the world, I have galvanized this idea about power. This is nothing new, per se, but it is often something that people do not think about. So, I wanted to share my thoughts about this. It is necessary because it is a crucial part of fitness – specifically mental fitness. But, do you really understand power? Honestly, do I understand it? I think I have a grasp of it and I am going to share with you what I have observed and surmised.

First, let’s get a basic definition of power as it applies to what I am discussing. According to Merriam-Webster:

Power – 1b: legal or official authority, capacity, or right

2a: possession of control, authority, or influence over others

We function in a society where definition 1b applies to us. We have police. We have employers. We have authority figures. In leadership theory, we discuss the different types of power – legitimate, referent, coercive, expert, and reward. Thus, power is measured in a very real sense. Many of you may have experienced this in your lives. The person that is so skilled at a job or task that everyone defers to him or her. Or the person that can give you something you want so you defer to him or her. Or the person that simply inherited the title of CEO and you are obligated to listen to. We see this every day in our work lives.

However, the power that I want to discuss is the second. It is the more damaging of the two definitions and the one that most directly impacts us without us even knowing. Let me explain, but I warn you, that this topic may be very uncomfortable and I will use some examples that may bother some of you to bring this point home.

Why Power Matters

Power is critically important to us as individuals. Without it, we feel lost. Now, some of you may say that you have no power. But that is not true. In the legal or official way, you may have no power over someone else (unless you want to use the parenthood thing). But we still have power. So, if you take one of the most extreme things that robs people of power and examine it, you can see what I mean. Sexual assault. It is a violent and degrading act. It is illegal and in no way acceptable in any place, way, shape, or form in our society. But, as individual adults, we engage in sexual activity. So, is it the sexual part that really kills it? I would argue that it is not. Not in the slightest. It is the violation of your ability to choose. Of your right to say no – man or woman. Of your right to walk away from a situation by choice. When you are robbed of that right by force, it is terrifying. You have lost your power. Your power to choose. Your power to walk away. Your power to remain safe. Your power in knowing that you have rights. It is violently stripped from you and you are left holding the pieces. You are left powerless. It is devastating to people. So, as you can see from this very real and visceral example, power matters.

We do not have power over our employers. We cannot just tell them to pay us. We cannot cancel a layoff. We cannot stop the closing of a factory. We have no power there because it is so far beyond our reach. But, in our own sphere of influence, power is something important. I have the power to choose when to do something. When to see someone. When to engage in an activity. For the sake of this discussion about mental wellness, let’s leave out religion. Yes, I understand that one can argue that an action is God’s will, but I do want to want to tell a sexual assault victim that it was God’s will for them to be sexually assaulted. It is a choice that the person makes – to try to take power or to give it away.

Generally, the extremes on this scale are in the realm of taking power. When you violate someone’s trust or violate their privacy or their personal space, you are making a choice to take power for yourself by whatever means necessary. And, more importantly, with a total disregard for the effect on the person you are taking it from. This is why bullies just cannot process the damage they do. Everything comes from this need to have power. The more someone craves it, the more they are willing to do. It can corrupt even the best of people. For some that exist outside the normal spectrum of behavior and move into the sociopathic and psychopathic, you get crime. Terrible and horrible crime. It is all a mechanism to acquire power.

Power and Your Life

Well, shit Rod….what do I do then? Power is not a bad thing. It is just something we have to recognize. We have to understand how it influences us and how it changes us. We have to see the role it plays in all we do and why it is critical to be hyper aware of it. But wait, that makes no effing sense man? Did you smoke some weed or something? WTF are you even talking about!!!

Think back to a time in your life that does not involve work in which you felt powerless. Perhaps you were diagnosed with an illness. Perhaps you had a terrible end to a relationship. Perhaps your significant other cheated on you. Perhaps something personal and private was revealed. Ever know someone who was afraid to tell people they were getting divorced? Ever know someone who was afraid to admit they were gay? Ever know someone who was afraid to profess a love for someone else? What do all these things have in common? Think about this….they all involve a person losing power. Not the official power like an employer, but that personal power that they had in their lives, whether it was real or perceived.

I have been divorced. It was painful and heartbreaking. I was embarrassed and hurt. I tried so hard to be a good husband, but it was not enough. Circumstances just derailed the marriage. But, I did not want to talk about it. I have loved someone from a distance. But, I was afraid to say anything because if I was not loved back, I would make a fool of myself and that person would know how I felt and I would be powerless (admittedly, I made a pretty big fool of myself anyway as I thought I was hiding it and really wasn’t).

On the flipside, there are times when I have given my power away. I have lost love and lamented that fact. I have been sad and moped around. I have let people walk all over me because I care about them only to have them use that against me. I have held on to anger and recrimination. I have been mad for years at people and things. How many of you have been there? Come on now…I see all the Facebook posts, so I know at least a few people out there have been through this. We cannot all be Taylor Swift and write songs about our broken hearts to try to take our power back.

So, we live our lives doing this dance. We dance around this concept of power. We say it is not important, but it really is. We do our best not to lose it, but we give up far more often than we would like. We fight this herculean struggle to maintain some measure of power over ourselves and our lives so that we can function. And, when we lose it, we start to unravel, little by little. Facebook is an interesting place because you can usually see this in your friends’ feeds. You watch people post these oddly personal messages about how someone did them wrong and how the original writer does not care and that it was this other person’s loss. But, if they did not care, why are they posting about it? Hmmm…

Oh yeah…because they care. Because it hurts. Because they feel powerless. So, by posting they think that they are taking their power back. But in reality, they are just giving more of it away. And, they are letting everyone see just what is happening in their lives (and I will discuss this concept in my next posting). For some, it becomes all-consuming. I think we have all seen people like this. Think really hard about this, but do you know anyone like this in your life?


Power can corrupt. This is a real fact. But, that is only if you keep seeking more and more power. We are each captains of our fate. We each have our own internal power. And the thing we need to focus on is identifying what that power is and nurturing it. We have the power to choose. We have the power to think. To love. To give of ourselves. To share. To laugh. To break bread with others. To feed our minds and our souls. To care for our bodies. This is the power you should nurture. This is the power you should not give away. You can say that “he/she took my power to love” or “took my power to laugh” or “took my power to trust” but that is just not true. You gave it away! You let some person have it. That person has control over you. You may think they do not, but trust me when I say that they do. If you are still lamenting what was instead of focusing on what is….then they have taken the power you have given them.

Fitness is not just exercising in the gym folks. Fitness is mental health too. You cannot move forward if your mind is not coming along for the ride. You have to see what you are sacrificing. You have to understand what your power is and whether you have given it away. You have to take it back. You have to stop focusing on who did you wrong and start looking to who will do you right. You have to look to the future with a sense of wonder and excitement, not dread and despair. If your destiny is to be alone, so be it. You can still laugh. You can still break bread. You can still feed your mind. You can still care for your body.

Your power can give your strength. Or you can give it away to someone who is undeserving of it. So, why would you do that?

I can speak from personal experience. There was a time when I was concerned only with power. How do I get power? I felt powerless. No matter what I did or how hard I tried….I kept coming up short. But, one day, I just decided to not care. I started being authentic to myself. No, that does not mean I was a hard ass or mean or overly vocal. I just started smelling the roses. Laughing at the funny things. Appreciating the times that mattered. The less I craved power, the more it fell back into my lap – and not the official kind, but the personal kind. I started to be in more control of myself. As I gained that control, I was able to curb bad habits, create new ones, and change my perspective. I stopped bickering and fighting what I perceived to be ignorance. I just realized that people will do what they do. My power is to live my life in a way that makes me happy. For me, that is the gym. For you, it could be something different. But you have to find what that is. It is your first step to healing yourself.

So give it some thought. Really, take a moment to think about this. Do you own your power? Or are you pretending you do? What keeps you from owning your own power? Who do you give it to? Why? Does he or she deserve it? When you can honestly answer these questions, you have taken your first steps into freeing yourself. The first steps to a healthy mental outlook (although for some, you may need some professional help to get you there). Then, you can start to focus on other things, like the gym, or your work, or your relationships. You have to fix your relationship with yourself first and foremost.

Hopefully this helps you frame power in a way that helps you take yours back. But make no mistake, the more you think that you never give it away, the more you probably do. And just know, we all give parts of it away all the time. We have to unless we are a CEO somewhere, and even then, we would answer to someone. What you have to really try is to keep the important parts for yourself…..laughter, love, kindness, generosity, intelligence, compassion……or you’ll find yourself going down a very dark hole alone.

Good luck to you….and as always…feel free to comment or start a discussion. It never hurts to express yourself.

Your Song – The Correlation between Fitness and Music

my song

Cor·re·la·tion – a mutual relationship or connection between two or more things.

As I think about things to write, I come up with idea after idea and I find myself prioritizing the things that I want to share. I have things lined about protein, workouts, diet, blenders, and so many other topics. But, this one stuck out for me a bit – Music.

Music is an interesting animal – it can calm us, inspire us, mend a broken heart, motivate us, and elicit so many other emotional responses. It has a unique power to do things in ways that we cannot comprehend, but we can relate to. Here is a very academic article explaining it all:

In a nutshell, music allows us to look at deeply emotional things and process them in a way that makes sense to us and is even therapeutic. So, when we find ourselves feeling particularly emotional, we search out that song that gives that emotion meaning. Or that song that transports us back to a happy place.

Music and Fitness

But Rod, you write about health and fitness mostly, so what does music have to do with that?

Most health clubs and gyms have music on in the background. Perhaps it is just for the background noise or it is because people enjoy music, but I always find that the music being played is not suited to my pacing or tempo. It just slows me down. As I try to focus on the weight movement and pace of my repetitions, certain types of music just screw me up. It is incredibly frustrating. Sometimes I tune it out, but sometimes it is a catchy song I like, but that is not right for the gym. Sometimes, and I do hate when this happens, a kiddie jingle or song pops into my head and I cannot get it out of there no matter how hard I try. Seriously, try working out with the wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round going through your head,

So, if music can throw me off, is it then possibly for it to amp me up?  Well, according to this article:

music has a significant effect on athletics. I tend to think back to my days in high school when I played basketball. We would always open our pre-game warmup to something like Marky Mark’s Good Vibrations or Gun’s & Roses Welcome to the Jungle. It was always something upbeat and harder hitting. So, it is naturally something we all strive for. I know a lot of people like loud beats. Rap. Metal. Heavy paced music to push them. I cannot walk through the gym without seeing someone using a pair of Beats headphones and listening to something. And, I always wonder just what is on their music player. So, there is a definite correlation between the intensity of the music and working out. Pacing. Beat. Rhythm. Tempo. These things matter.

Taking it up a Notch

However, I want to take it up a notch. I am not just looking for the song that is fast paced or heavy hitting. I started to look for the song that not only motivated me, but that fit the narrative of my life. I have a ton of workout songs. They meet all the criteria that I seek when working out. But, I keep coming back to one song that is a metaphor for my life. And yes, it is pretty cliché, so nothing I can do about that. But, for me, the song is Eminem’s Lose Yourself. Yes, I get it. I have a professional job, make a solid salary, and do not have the challenges his character faced in the movie 8 Mile.

But, let me break it down why it pushes me so hard:

If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?

For me, this resonates. As I look back on my life, I can tell you I had moments to seize. Moments to capture. And I let it slip. We all have those moments. This does not mean we will not get them back, but they get fewer and farther between. And sadly, for some of us, it is only one moment….usually based on our socio-economic status. So, this is a powerful motivator for me.

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti
He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
To drop b
ombs, but he keeps on forgettin’
What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out
He’s chokin’, how, everybody’s jokin’ now
The clocks run out, times up, over, blaow!
Snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity

I have had these moments in my life. Moments where I choked. Where I could not find the courage to speak my mind or say what needed to be said. These were valuable and teachable moments for me. They helped shape how I see the world now. I swore never again to hold back and to speak when I needed to speak.

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

The refrain. You have to lose yourself truly in a moment. You have to put yourself out there. Take a change. Be passionate. With great risk comes great reward. Of course, with great risk comes the potential for great loss. Playing it safe might be the wise choice. But, playing it safe may also be the wrong choice. I call this living by the sword and dying by the sword. Although I do think you can fight for more than one opportunity.

 No more games, I’m a change what you call rage
Tear this motherfuckin’ roof off like two dogs caged
I was playin’ in the beginnin’, the mood all changed
I been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
But I kept rhymin’ and stepwritin’ the next cipher
Best believe somebody’s payin’ the pied piper
All the pain inside amplified by the
Fact that I can’t get by
with my nine to
Five and I can’t provide the right type of
Life for my family ’cause man, these God damn food stamps don’t buy diapers

At a certain point, I just had to get serious. I had to buckle down. I had to make a choice to move forward. To push forward despite the struggle. I need to do more with my life. I needed to claw my way out of the hole I was in.

And on and on. This song, while not a direct reflection of my life, resonated with me on a metaphorical level. Couple that with an intense beat and powerful emotions it elicited from me and it became an anthem of sorts, despite its clichéd nature. See, it is not about what other people perceive it to be, but what it means to me. How it moves me. How it drives me to push myself. There is not just a connection because it is a good workout song. It is a song that reminded me of aspects of my life. Of my failures. Of my mistakes. And yes, I conquered them. I am lucky. But I am not exempt from making those mistakes again. We can become complacent in our lives. We settle. We stop fighting. We stop pushing ourselves. That is a weight I carry every day. So, this one songs drives me to remember that and it fuels me in the gym. It makes me push harder. It makes me push the weight. It makes me want to succeed because I know I have failed.

So, this article is about your finding your song. Finding that one song that is not only your workout song, but the anthem that drives your life. Whatever that song is, you must find it for yourself. I am not judging what it is. If it is Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Metallica, Nirvana, Jay Z, Kanye, or whoever else, you need to find it. You need to use it to drive you.

And if it drives you in your life and inspires you, then use it in the gym. Apply it to your health and fitness. Use it while you run. Use it while you lift. Use it to motivate you to walk around the block. Push yourself. Drive yourself. Challenge yourself. Demand more from yourself (safely and within limits). But you must make that choice. So, find your song. Find your anthem. Find your musical fuel. As Eminem says:

Success is my only motherfuckin’ option, failures not.

No Pain, No Gain – Dumb Choices and their Consequences


So, the other day, my cousin posted about not feeling it and laying off his run. It got me to thinking about the choices people make when it comes to health and fitness. It is an important topic that is not often discussed and very often misunderstood. Thus, I felt it was important to discuss it in a bit more detail.

For years, we have been conditioned to buy into this concept of no pain, no gain. If you are not feeling pain, then you are not working hard enough. Kids are force-fed this line of drivel and they buy into it lock, stock, and barrel. However, it has also led to a ton of injuries. This mostly comes from this insane need to prove something to someone.

There are two variations of this:

Parent pushing the kid –

You have seen these parents. My kid does this. My kid does that. My kid is a star. I live vicariously through my kid. And perhaps their child is a star. Perhaps their child loves sport. But, more often than not, it is a parent pushing a child into something. Why? What is the psychology behind this? Well, without looking at any studies, I think it is safe to say that people want to see children succeed on the field, court, diamond, track, etc. Coming from a small town, I can honestly say that there was the notion of hometown Friday night fame that permeated the culture. It was something parents lived for – my kid is on varsity and is the hero of the game! Sadly, in my hometown and surrounding towns, a very stark reality is faced when small town kids face big town schools.

Let me share a personal story on this one. Many moons ago, I fancied myself a great basketball player (which, in retrospect, is completely laughable). I got invited to a tournament in Houston where I did marginally well, which earned me an invitation to a tournament in Phoenix. So, off I go spending money galore and thinking myself great and getting to Phoenix and walking on the course and having the coach call me the point guard. Whoa…whoa…whoa….I am a center coach. I have no idea how to play the guard spot. Cue team laughter and coach telling me to quit joking (come on, I am 6’8”…guard!??). But no, I am a center coach. Fine. Have it your way center. Tip off. Walk on to court and the opposing center is 7’2” and 280 lbs. with a scholarship to UC Irvine (so the dude was good, but not top-tier). Yeah…tough lesson learned and I realized all those hours of killing myself and beating my body up and busting my ass might have been better spent on academics. But of course my ego got in the way and I shirked it off and went back to the relative safety of thinking I was the best player on a small town team. Sound familiar? Know any parents like that? My kid is the greatest. Will be the best. You’ll see. Blah blah blah.

And if you do not believe me, just look up the statistics for the number of teens and kids that get Tommy John surgery. This being the best mentality really hits home in baseball. One study shows that teens 15-19 accounted for 57% of this type of surgery.

Even more frightening, they may be doing it because it possibly gives them an edge of some type. Granted, I know little of baseball, but are you effing kidding me??

Person pushing themselves –

Next is the person pushing him or herself beyond the limits of what his or her body can do. But Rod, you show off these videos and you talk this smack about fitness…jackass. Yes, but it is a slow process and I have gained experience and knowledge and paced myself as I make this journey. I am talking about those people who try to do too much all at once. We have all seen them. Usually, it is younger people. But, you have moments where adults will make ridiculous choices and pay a heavy price physically.

A person hits that point where the body is subtly, or not so subtly, telling you that you it needs a break. It is saying stop right now please. I am hurting and I really need you to stop what you are doing. But instead of listening, you just push right on through it. No pain, no gain. And then boom, you are hurt. Now you have to lay off for 3 months. And all that progress and effort is lost. You just got age checked bro…enjoy it!

The Reality

I have been saying this pretty frequently. Healthy living and fitness is a journey a person undertakes on their own. It is not something forced on yourself or on your child. This leads to injury or to a lack of understanding of limits. And it has consequences. Let’s just say that for kids, living up to some parental or societal expectation can be damaging psychologically. But that is an entirely different topic. You push a kid too hard and he or she can hurt him or herself. ACL surgery, joint problems, neck injuries, and even death. They want to be the player that you want them to be and they will push themselves through the pain.

As an adult, it is dangerous too. You do not listen. You do not remember that your body is older. It heals more slowly. It takes longer to recover. Age is merciless. It does not care what you think. It keeps marching on with time. So, when you work hard for weeks or months to make gains and you finally get to a point where you think you have it covered and you feel that twinge, you decide to push through it. And pop goes the ligament. Or strain goes the muscle. Or out goes the back. And now you face weeks, or months, of recovery time. All your gains and your progress go right out the window. Ta-da….have fun with that. Age check bro!!!! Haha (in that Nelson from the Simpsons laughter)

A Smarter Approach

Well Rod, what are you saying then? I am suggesting you take a smarter approach to training. Listen, if you are one of those crazy parents who think your kid will be the next best thing, I cannot help you. I will not even try. I just hope you encourage your kids to be somewhat smart, since sports will not pay their bills. If you are one of those people who push yourself harder than you should, I suggest you take stock of your fitness level and honestly assess where you are. For those people, I offer these tips:

  • Assess your body weight and take a hard look at the impact it has on your joints, then use that to determine how much to push yourself on a daily basis
  • Test your cardiovascular fitness and work to make small, incremental improvements to it
  • Start with small challenges (50 push-ups a day for 15 days) to get tuned in to how your body feels so you can start gauging what it tells you
  • Be sure you get plenty of water and sleep on a daily basis
  • Do not mask the pain with pills because you will not know if you are going to hurt yourself (yes, you can take ibuprofen, but do not eat it like candy so you can work out)
  • Acknowledge your age and limitations and design a program, either yourself or professionally, that works within the limits of what you can do at your age and fitness level
  • Give your body the fuel it needs to heal – protein and amino acids
  • Maintain a healthy diet – watch your macros carefully

Doing this will not be the be all, end all, but it will help you on your journey.

Remember, pain is bad. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong. Discomfort is okay at times. But honestly, you should be going for measured workouts and some slight muscle soreness. If you feel pulling or tearing or your body is just resisting exercise, then lay off. Listen to your body. Do not give up or quit, but listen to it. It will make a huge difference.

Healthy is the New Skinny


Society has done a number on all of us. We are constantly inundated with images of beautiful, skinny, handsome, fit people in just about everything we see. Heck, just right now I finished a few hours of mentor training (required by my job) so that I can help mentor veteran’s in my organization. While taking this training, I saw nothing but what I would consider to be handsome or beautiful people. Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Skinny. Muscular. Etc. Etc. Etc. It is just a part of the world we live in.

Just the other day, I read a story about Amy Schumer. Say what you will about her comedy or her views, but I consider her an attractive woman. She is not this tiny, waif-like figure either. She has a nice womanly body. However, someone tried to shame her about her body. This lady said the following:

“I can have my opinion and you can have yours. I’m tired of the media and publications trying to push the FAT agenda. It’s not healthy and it’s not pretty. What is wrong with featuring healthy and fit cover models?”

Read the entire article for a taste of what this lady really thinks.

But here is the thing, Amy Schumer is not fat. Not even close. And hold on, what part of her looks unhealthy? And what part of her is not pretty? Maybe she is not some supermodel on the runway, but where is she not fit or healthy? Again, disliking her politics or opinions is a far different thing than saying she is unfit, unhealthy, or not pretty. What message does that send to women out there?

Marilyn Monroe, who some considered to be the epitome of a beautiful woman, was the same size as Amy Schumer. A 14 back in the 50s is the same as a 6-8 in modern clothing sizes. But, the important thing here is something she said:

I don’t want to be bone thin, and I make it a point to stay the way I want to be.” Movieland Magazine July, 1952

She was happy whatever her weight happened to be. It was her choice. So, I just find it disheartening that people have this perception that fat (as subjectively defined) is not healthy or pretty. Let’s be really honest here, pretty is in the eye of the beholder. And healthy is determined not by a look, but by medical tests. A doctor tells you that you are healthy, not some silly swimsuit designer.

Now, is there such a thing as too heavy? Yes. There is. When your weight starts to affect your joints or your mobility, you may need to do something about it. When your weight starts to impact other people, say for example sitting in an airplane seat (and yes, I get that airplane seats have become smaller over the years), then you may want to consider changing something. When your weight starts to impact your ability to participate in life, then you may want to look at modifying your dietary and exercise habits. But, if your doctor determines you are healthy, your life is not seriously impacted by your weight, and you are genuinely happy in what you do and how you look, then more power to you. Do not let societal expectations dictate to you how to live your life.

But Rod, you post pictures of your abs and talk about working out. Yes, but that is my personal journey and decision. It is a test of my own mental fortitude to hit a goal and maintain it. I am not saying every guy out there should be going for flat, defined abs or lifting weights like I do. That is my personal choice. I want people to find their zen place. I want people to exercise for the sake of exercising. I want people to breathe easier and walk comfortably. I want you to be able to lift your children or grandchildren. I do not care if you look jacked or normal or even a bit overweight. Sweet sassy molassey….life happens. We have jobs, families, children, responsibilities, and a list too long to mention that demands our attention on a daily basis. So, we do the best we can. If the best you can do is cut our soda, then awesome for you. Perhaps you give up eating chips. Great job. Maybe you give up sugars for six months. Amazing. Maybe you start walking around the block. Or doing jumping jacks. Or something to get your heart pumping.

This is all it takes. Getting healthy can be a challenge for some, as diabetes and other ailments can be a challenge. But, it is not impossible to make small gains. What you should never, ever believe is that skinny is always healthy. Don’t believe me? Read this:

or this:

or this:

Now, I am not saying that you should not want to be thin. I am saying that being thin at the exclusion of properly achieving it is dangerous. People think that thin is just eating way less and losing weight. There is a science to being thing just like there is a science to getting fit and muscular. You have to do your homework. It is a lot of work to main the proper nutrition in small enough amounts to stay health while nourishing your body.

So, the moral of this story is focus on being healthy. Focus on exercising to add some variety and mobility and enhance your muscle tone. You do not need to work out at the levels that some people do (such as myself and countless others). You just need to find a balance in your life where you enjoy some moderate exercise and a good, healthy diet. If at the end of all that, your body naturally gravitates to a size 10 or better for women….then so be it. If you are a hefty guy, but you can run and walk and do all the other things everyone else does, then be happy. Ignore the magazines. Ignore the media. Ignore the bullshit message shoved down your throats. If you are happy with yourself when you look in the mirror, then that is what matters most. If you are unhappy at the person looking back, then ask yourself how to use good science to help you with your goals.

Healthy is the new skinny – to me that simply means that being healthy is really the new ideal that we should all strive for. We should all be monitoring our specific biological needs and getting the proper medical testing to determine our overall health. Then, and only then, do we create a game plan to address the challenges we face medically.

For now, if you take nothing else away from this, take this – learn to love yourself and be happy with yourself. Only you know if you are unhealthy. If so, try to change it, one bad habit at a time. One inch at a time. Good luck out there. And know this, you always have support here…….

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