Saturday, 29 October 2016

Post 30: Drinking Problems


Hi Guys,

I hope you’re having a good weekend, so far. I know it’s early but I promised to be annoyingly punctual with the blog post this week! So thank all that is holy for scheduled blog post releases!

I say this because at this moment, I am probably nursing a mini-hangover. I say probably, because I am writing this one day in advance, and I say mini because of what we’re going to look at today.

When I started this blog in 2013, when it was student themed advice, I wrote a little about alcohol and how to deal with “calorie shame”, which you can read here.

But now I am older and wiser, and able to give you a much better rundown of what I do with alcohol. This ties in well with my post on social events, which you can read here, and is the next facet to sidestepping the obstacles which can delay and derail your best efforts.

On top of that, it is Halloween: the perfect opportunity to discuss spirits (huhuhuh…).


No Bullshit

I want to clear the air, and say that I’m not going to bullshit you in this post. I like to go out and drink, and you probably do too (otherwise, I might ask why you’re reading this article…).

It’s obvious that alcohol is going to knock you out of ketosis, but with a plan you can practice a little damage limitation and still enjoy all of the social life you can. Alcohol will divert attention away from fat burning and there’s always the danger of the late night takeaway.

Before we get into the meat of this post, my number one piece of advice is to have a plan and go out with certain drinks in mind, and perhaps even an order of drinks in mind. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I’ve gone into that level of detail in my own planning, which I’ll lay out for you today. But for most people, just knowing what to have is 80% of the battle.

While the damage caused by a night of drinking the wrong stuff can easily be recovered in a couple of days, the water weight might stick around for longer. Of course, it is just water weight and is largely immaterial, but it has a psychological effect that will take longer to shake. For a lot of people, including myself, I need to see the number on the scales lower than it was before to feel like I’m breaking new ground.



What to Drink

I’m trying to give a true guide here on what to drink. As per usual, I’ve done extensive testing on all of these methods. I would never recommend something I hadn’t tried before!

First of all, if you’ve been following a little bit of the advice presented here, then you’ll probably have a greater appreciation for sweet things. This works well for me, and partly motivates how I choose what to drink and in which order.

Here’s a summary of what’s best to have, from best to worst:
  1. Tequila, whiskey, gin, vodka
  2. Dry white wine or dry champagne
  3. Red wine
  4. Beer

Spirits win out because they are distilled and purified so that more of the toxins are removed, especially if you mix them with low sugar/non-artifically sweetened mixers (or straight of course). As I said in my post about “surviving” social events, becoming a one mand brand really helps. Part of that persona is to become a connoisseur of the various spirits, and there’s a huge world to explore. It’s a lot more interesting than what the standard drinker will experience.


Surprising Truths

The next in line is dry white wine/champagne. The reason I’ve put these above red wine is why this section is entitled the way it is.

Most people consider red wine to be a health food for the antioxidants, but the truth is that the amount found in red wine is pitiful. There’s a lot more in dark chocolate, green tea, and coffee, which you’re probably consuming as well. In fact, you could do more with supplementation (here’s my post on supplements), so drinking red wine for the “health benefits” is laughable.

The next reason why white wine is better is found simply in how it is made. The reduced contact with the grapes themselves means less of the toxins find their way into the finished product, making it preferable.

In last place is beer, for what should be obvious reasons (gluten, toxins, grains, high carb, etc.).

What I want to get across in this section, though, is that I’m aware that you will drink any and all of these drinks again. I know I come across as militant and strict, but I know a fair deal about human nature too. Have what you enjoy, but my advice is to become that connoisseur and choose quality over quantity.



What I drink

So this is the main event, where I reveal exactly what I drink. If I’m going out, then it will be the following, in order:

  1. Tequila, soda water, and fresh lime
  2. Vodka, soda water, and lime cordial
  3. Gin and slimline tonic water

If I want to relax, and have a drink with friends then it will either be a G&T or a glass of wine (usually white).

So why this particular order? As with all of my oddities, it’s well thought out! As the night progresses you will want something a little sweeter, to give it a little kick. So rather than starting out with something sweet, then wanting something sweeter or heavier, I begin with my trusty favourite: the tequila, soda and fresh lime.

It lets you appreciate the tequila and get to know it’s true flavour, keeps you mentally agile and keeps you on your toes. It’s not heavy in any sense, and starts you as you mean to continue. Most of all, you get to enjoy that mild social euphoria from alcohol without the downsides.

Something that appeals to my narcissistic side also, is that it raises a lot of eyebrows, especially considering that most people associate it with nasty tasting shots. People always question why I drink this particular drink and it gives me an opportunity to say what I’ve said above, and to talk about how tequila is made and how it will improve your energy for the night out.

When I want something sweeter then I will transition to the second drink, using lime cordial rather than fresh lime to generate some extra kick. Having been a “clean eater” for so long, it really does taste sweet and you appreciate it.

I don’t usually go beyond that point, but if I do I will go for a G&T. Gin is becoming much more popular now, as I’m sure you know, and the different varieties coming to the market means that there’s a lot to explore.


Takeaways

Before we look at the takeaways, let’s take a second to think about literal takeaways. We’ve all been there, and if you go back to that old 2013 post you’ll see that I recommend having something at home to eat when you return. That’s certainly doable, but in keeping with my no BS policy, it doesn’t really hit the indulgent spot.

So when you’re getting a takeaway, go for a low carb option with just meat and salad. You’ll still fulfil that desire to eat something that “you shouldn’t” but it will have less impact than if you tucked into a large pizza.

Here’s the takeaways for this week’s post:
  1. Drink spirits; they have less negative health impact, keep you light on your toes, and maintain more of your clarity
  2. Become a connoisseur; choose a drink to know a lot about and become an expert
  3. Have a plan; know what you’re going to drink before you go out, and if you’re super nerdy like me, have an escalation plan as well

Thanks for reading, leave a like, leave a comment, and snapchat me your drunken pictures as well if you’re using this advice!

Until next time,
Cowlean

Monday, 24 October 2016

Post 29: Ketobulk Update/Review


Hi Guys,

Here with a quick one for you this week, I aim to get my post out on the weekend but I’ve been incredibly busy with life, as I’m sure you can understand. Much like sticking to a diet, however, I’ll be right back on the horse straight away, and next weekend’s post will be annoying punctual…


Ketobulk Part 2

What I want to tell you about today is how my bulk is going, or as I aptly named it: ketobulk (#ketobulk; tell all your friends!).

At the end of September I threw down the gauntlet and put together a post detailing why bulking (adding lean muscle) was indeed possible in the absence of carbs, and how I planned on doing it. Having experienced the ketobulk for nearly two months now, I wanted to report back and collate my thoughts on the topic.

In case you haven’t already read the original post, here’s the link where you can find out all about this little scheme I’ve cooked up.

You can almost count this post as part 2 to the original; the sequel to the movie where they ride off into the sunset. Nothing will ever work out exactly as you planned. What Mike Tyson said really is true (“everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth” which in my case luckily was not literal...).


Results So Far

I must say, the results have been really good, and proved my hypothesis correct. Below is a what my lifts were when I started, and where they are now (heaviest 5*5 fully completed; all in kg):

Squat: 72.5 to 95
Bench Press: 50 to 60
Deadlift: 85 to 115
Barbell Row: 30 to 52.5
Overhead Press: 35 to 42.5

Total Weight Lifted: 272.5 to 365
Weight: 84.1 to 87.8

Power to Mass Ratio (TWL/W): 1.47 to 1.89 (29% increase)

The ratio I want to draw attention to is the power to mass ratio. Think about it, how much you weigh will allow you to lift heavier objects and apply more force to them. Therefore, it makes no sense just to judge strength increases by the sheer weight moved. Instead you need to look at how much you can lift beyond your own body.

This is the same as measuring progress by weight alone, rather than bodyfat %. Just using absolute weight lost can be misleading.

The increase in my bodyweight has me feeling both ways. On one hand, there must be an increase in muscle in there, and am still quite lean. This was one of the things I set out to do when I formed this idea: mainly to prove that it really was possible. However, it is certainly above what I was aiming for (in the original post I said roughly one lb a month).

This led me to my first pivot: to decide to have the non-workout day macros every day, rather than having an increased allowance for workout days. This has worked, and my weight has grown at a much slower pace since implementing.

Something else that I must draw attention to is the fact that I have been sticking to my 5*5 Stronglifts plan, which is a strength building plan (for more info go here). So you would be perfectly within your rights to say “well then it is the strength plan that’s doing it”, and you would be correct. But then again, if you were eating a standard western diet, and not doing doing strength based training, you wouldn’t get any stronger! What I’m getting at is that the training program is required, and that in all fairness what I wanted to show was just the ketobulk was possible, and to maintain the therapeutic benefits.

Back in my post on ketogenic workouts (read it here), I made it clear that you will need to burn sugar for top level anaerobic exercise. So of course, for someone eating carbs every day, they’re probably going to push more weight in the gym (compared to their body weight of course! ;-) ), but I don’t think the tradeoff is worth it.


Random Ketobulk Musings

Here’s a list of other, smaller issues/concerns/thoughts that I’ve had, which are smaller in nature, but interesting points nonetheless (in my opinion):

This is not a license to eat
I’m less guilty of this now than I was a couple of years ago, but it is tough to get your head around this point. Now that you’re trying to gain weight, you think “I can eat anything I like”. This does not work for me for two reasons: 1) I gain weight quickly and am happily bulking on roughly 2500 calories a day. For a “hardgainer” this would be a lot more and they would need to have the intense feasts, but not I. 2) Ketogenic foods don’t give themselves over to mass eating, because they provide good nutrients and are filling. So those pizza binges just aren’t part of your life, like a “dirty bulk” would contain. So if you do choose to open that door it becomes much harder to close it again and get back on the keto wagon.

Cutting is more fun than bulking
This might surprise the lifters out there, but I genuinely enjoy cutting more. I have to think less about food, and you just let your caloric deficit be filled with your internal fat stores. I also find that I enjoy being deeper in ketosis while cutting due to the extended fasts. Another point, is that I am still staying lean, so the fluctuations of a kg or a few lbs actually has a noticeable difference. You get tempted to eat less because the next day you’ll look (even more) awesome.

On ketobulk you need to be even more attentive to your food
This was touched on a little in the first thought, but I want to expand on it a tad more. Like I said, the carb binges are a non-entity now, so if you do decide to say “f@ck it!” and go for a cheat meal, or even cheat day, it is very hard to get back on the wagon. It has given me some very useful insight into how people feel when their diets go ary. Ketobulk actually calls for a lot of discipline, because there will be hard workouts, and you will be tempted by non-compliant food on every street corner. But that’s something I like about it: the challenge; and at the end of the day you can say you tried it and succeeded.

You should take more advantage of the water weight realignment week
This came a little out of left field when I was making my notes, because it is one of those psychological “inner game” tricks. Water weight, in my opinion, is an uncomfortable bedfellow. It’s the annoying friend your parents make you hang out with; you know that they’re to stay, but sometimes you just want to be left alone. Fluctuating water weight makes it a lot harder to stay accurate in tracking your progress. Did you eat too much? Or was it just water weight? My advice is to make sure you get your salt! Read all about how ketosis interacts with salt/sodium intake here. Keep the sodium levels constant in your body and keep your water weight consistent. Then you’ll know whether it’s muscle you’re adding!


Takeaways

I hope you enjoyed this stripped down post, and if you’re trying the ketobulk or thinking of trying anything ketogenic in general, leave a comment below! Here’s this week’s takeaways:
  1. (I feel like I’m always at this one but…) Pivot!!! If you have a plan (like I did) then be willing to adapt and change it. Dogma leads to poor decision making.
  2. Even if you’re not bulking or ketobulking, utilise the power to mass ratio. It’s a smart way to calculate whether you’re gaining appropriate strength or not losing too much strength (when dieting).
  3. Bulking is not a license to eat and go nuts… unless you want to get fat like I did a few years ago! Unless your plan is to go nuts and eat nuts, which is totally ketogenic anyway… ;-)

That’s all folks. Leave a like, share with your friends, go back to whichever social media led you here and click that little heart shaped button. It all adds up.

Until next time,

Cowlean

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Post 28. Ketogenic Social Events (or how to eat clean at social gatherings)


Hi Guys,


I’m sure you’ve come across this problem before;




Your knee deep in your diet, you’re doing really well, losing weight, looking good and feeling good, and then something dark looms on the horizon. An event which previously would have brought joy to your heart, has now mutated into something awful. A question arises which wasn’t really a problem before: what does one do for social occasions? How do you negotiate the awkward jarring of your old and new life? Can you have your cake and eat it too? (huhuhuh)


This is the sort of event which, as Jack describes, is commonly defined by that sweet devil named cake. And don’t fool yourself, because you know that it’s not going to be some “healthy cake” made with organic ingredients. Or better yet, a “fat bomb” (look them up, they’re awesome).


This is the chocolate cake with icing, sprinkles and those stars on top which people eye up with a near fervent desire. Better yet, it’s a Colin the Caterpillar cake from M&S… And it doesn’t stop there, because the cake is preceded by all the foods that you swore off.


So what can you do? Become a social pariah and demand that only food appropriate for your diet is served? Perhaps. I mean, it would be effective at maintaining your progress, but not your long term social life.


A lot of advice gets thrown around and a lot of it is cliched, so today I want to present to you first the boring ideas, and why they might work, and then I want to throw at you the advice which I follow myself i.e. the stuff that really does work. As always, I want to tell you, the reader, exactly what I do to stay on track. This is my own tried and tested method which you can start using straight away.


The Cliched Advice


1. Talk to them ahead of time


Ahh the old classic. “Maybe if I just explain to them beforehand they’ll totally understand”. Face it, you’re being a pain and you’re being apologetic; you haven’t got the balls to say what you really want. Worse yet, your host goes out of their way to make a special dish for you, which, while absolutely lovely, is just extra hassle for an already busy person. Talking to the host ahead of time can be effective in getting what you want, but it’s the “behind the scenes” effects which aren’t worth it.


2. Refuse to eat anything


This was referenced to previously, but it creates the same risks as point 1 and to be honest you’ll just come off as an arse. Take notice, however, that I say “anything”, rather than “particular things”. It’s going to come off really badly if you show up and say “no thanks I’m going to be chowing on some internal fat stores”, but if you start to pick and choose exactly what you want… there could be something there…


Don't become a social pariah. You're going to need something better than the cliched advice


3. Schedule a workout on that day


Now this comes last and perhaps could have made it into the “proper advice” section, because it genuinely does help. What defines social gathering’s food offerings? Carb dense foods. And when are you at your best to receive carbs? After a workout of course. The only reason why I would avoid this strategy is because once you start to say, I can have all these delicious things because I worked out, then why not say that on any other day? It might be that to stick to your diet, you’re the sort of person who needs to be absolutely strict. This is what works best for me. I feel at my best after long periods of “clean eating” and on a scientific level, it takes 2-3 days to get back into nutritional ketosis. So if this is the case, why would I want to be breaking my state on every workout day? Once you open up that door it is hard to close it. I would rather stack all the “bad things” on one day. Which leads me to the following...


Fast/Feast/Binge/Purge


On a personal level, I’m more of a fast/feast/binge/purge kind of guy. I’d rather go all out one day than spread it out over the week, because it works for me on a psychological level. Knowing that I’m going to throw caution to the wind and have exactly what I want to have at a social event frees my mind to enjoy a clean lifestyle otherwise.


What cheat day means for some...


On these days I’ll have a long fast beforehand, and probably another one the day after, but apart from that I like to simply go nuts and have anything I want. This happens maybe every two or three months. So perhaps the problem isn’t “how to stay keto/eat clean at social events” but how to introduce a little scarcity into your life. You’re not at every event, because it goes against what you want to do/eat, but you’ll sure be there for the big occasions, and on a mission at the same time to enjoy everything you’ve said goodbye to.


Also, in a perverse way, it reminds you of how bad things used to be. You realise what it means to feel bloated, and what it means to be tired all day even though you slept for a long time. I’m not eating junk food, I’m eating perspective!


Real Advice: Become a One Man Brand




Now we get on to the real advice, the stuff which I do myself to turn a gathering more ketogenic. This is in addition to what’s said above about sometimes just throwing caution to the wind and going nuts.


Becoming a “one man brand” is my absolute number one tip, and pretty much encompasses everything I have to say from an effective advice perspective. This is something that I have built up over time and is like any reputation.


Now, you need to realise that you don’t need a blog to make this part of your make-up. You earn it over time and eventually it supplants the first piece of cliche advice. When people know “what you’re like”, they’ll go out of their way to support that without you asking. This dramatically reduces the hassle resentment.


It also massively helps with rejecting certain foods. You’re the “healthy guy” who doesn’t have “that stuff”. You’ll no longer get odd looks, tuts and sighs, because it’s your “thing”.


Part of this reputation is built off of the back of a little initial awkwardness. There is no free lunch, after all. You’re going to learn to reject things you don’t want, but remember, they’re not off the table forever, especially if you allow yourself to say “screw it” every now and then and do whatever you want. In this case, honesty really is the best policy, become a straightforward person and don’t have things you don’t want to. The downside is actually pretty small. It’s your body after all. If you try and make me feel bad for not eating something then you, quite frankly, can go to hell.


Being a OMB helps you to pick and choose freely just as Jack talked about in the initial question. You can load your plate with the food that you want and avoid the ones that you don’t. All the while you have an implicit agreement with the other people there that it’s all par for the course. And this is a big point as well, if you’re serving yourself, then you have absolute freedom to pick and choose exactly what you want. Just do the obvious thing and give yourself a small portion of whatever you don’t want!


This is a sneaky one, but if you won’t be serving yourself, then eat a lot beforehand, and then you won’t be at fault when you say that you’re full, and you won’t feel like you’ve cheated yourself out of a meal.


Not only that, but when you’re showing off your legendary willpower (people will be genuinely amazed that you can resist sugary treats) they will be more likely to want to find out about your lifestyle and what you do to stay healthy. From that point onwards it’s only a matter of time until everyone is dancing to your keto tune…


I’m extending this analogy ad absurdum, of course, but the point stands. Being a role model in this way will make people stop and think. It starts with a small change and that snowballs into something else, and you become their point of reference. It generates massive respect.


Takeaways


So what are you to do with all this? The truth is, you’ve changed, and other people are going to need to start realising that. So use this week’s takeaways to break through one of the biggest problems you face in keeping a diet going and staying healthy:


  1. Become a “one man brand” and let your actions do the talking
  2. Get over the initial awkwardness, realise that it’s your body/life and you can do what you want with it
  3. If you feel like you can’t give up these things forever, then schedule days where you have everything that you want. Throw caution to the wind in its entirety.


I hope you enjoyed this post, and good luck going out there and building your own OMB. What are your own experiences? Have you tried out these methods and succeeded or failed? Leave a comment below and let’s get the discussion started.


Until next time,

Cowlean

Friday, 7 October 2016

Post 27: My Food Philosophy


*** Warning, this week the post is not about food... directly. It relates to food, but is more often about life. It may offend some people, but I really hope that it doesn’t. You might even recognise some of the analogies as pertaining to someone similar to yourself, but in keeping with the message of this post, take this as an opportunity. I’m putting this disclaimer in because I don’t want to feel like I’m holding back (but also to make sure I convey that I’m not a sad, angry man!). I recently heard someone say that your secret sauce is a function of your “carefully cultivated awesomeness”. From my perspective, that includes not just my knowledge, but also my philosophy. From this post I want to open up new perspectives. For once be truly harsh on yourself, and you’ll have the power to make a change. ***


Hi Guys,


I like to bring the science (you know I like to bring the science!), and some would say to a fanatical level. I really do enjoy getting up on my soapbox each week to spread a message and (hopefully) help people to lose weight and feel great, all the while changing a few perspectives and breaking down some long held beliefs. But I digress...




All my oddities are well rationalised




As I recently said to a colleague: “all of my oddities are well rationalised”. One example which springs to mind is fasting, and how me just having coffee for breakfast isn’t out of sheer laziness!


It was in that moment that I encapsulated my whole thought process behind food and life. A lot of people speak about mindful action, being aware of what we are doing, but I want to talk about reasoned action. The ability to say exactly *why* we are doing something, and never to just be happy with the excuse of “it was something to do”.


One of my favourite Warren Buffet quote/philosophies, is the following: what if you had an investment punch-card, and you could only pick 20 stocks in your life, ever! If you’re immediate reaction to something isn’t “heck yeh!”, then your response should be no. Settling for average is only going to lead to average results. If you settle on a sandwich for lunch because that’s only what was there (when fasting could even be the answer), then you know what’s around the corner!


What I’m getting at in my usual, long winded way, is that the motivation and the psychology behind our actions are worth considering. Sometimes when presented between a sub-par choice and nothing, you could easily better off choosing nothing. Sometimes “the only way to win is not to play”.


Consider a person who you know who always seems to be tired. Then you learn from them that this is because they stayed up late to watch junk TV, and just wait for the why! Because it was too early to go to bed! This is the same person who eats crap for lunch then “wonders” why they feel tired around 3pm! Observe the pattern of reasoning for someone I’d like to identify as as a lifestyle luddite (LL):


  1. Person identifies problem in their life
  2. Select one of the following:
    1. Person neglects to ask for help
    2. Person is offered help but is too afraid to take a hit to their ego by listening
    3. Person is already aware of what is causing the issue but chooses to ignore their knowledge
  3. Person makes excuses and continues to suffer


Cowlean Top Tip! if someone ever “wonders out loud” to you about an issue, they are not looking for a solution. They are looking for acceptance of their defeat. It sounds harsh, but think about it. When you offered unconditional support, was it brushed away, or was it accepted and chased for?


This might all be down to a problem of motivation, because motivation really is the driving factor. When I say “wanted to change”, I mean *really* wanted to change! Imagine how your efforts would gain intensity if you had a gun pointed to your head. Incentives make the world go around.


  1. Person identifies problem in their life
  2. Person approaches someone/something more knowledgeable than them for a solution, starting with the easiest available and understandable source
  3. Person applies knowledge gained
  4. Person uses their results as a feedback loop


What is a feedback loop? A feedback loop occurs when you utilise information gained from a previous action to fine tune a future action. What it effectively leads to, is a win-win life. If I am successful, then I am successful! If I fail, I learn what doesn’t work, and am better suited to succeed next time.


Also take note that I specify the “easiest available and understandable source”. The journey of 10,000 steps starts with the first. Observe and pursue the low-hanging fruit principle. Basically, go for the easiest options first!


The key to escaping the LL way, is to move beyond step 3. If you sample something new, but never utilise a feedback loop, then one day you will fail and you’ll never get past your bottleneck. Think about all of the people you know who have tried, and failed to lose weight and keep it off, via calorie restriction. These are the people who identify the problem (they are unhealthy), they cut calories to an unsustainable level, it works for a bit but then they get right back on the fast food wagon and BOOM, it’s three months later and they’re halfway through a tear spotted tub of Ben and Jerry’s. It is at this point that they have another great idea “I should start eating healthy!”.


That turns into a vicious circle of failure, with no growth: a lifestyle black hole.


Some people need to go it alone, and that’s when they do their best. Some people need love, care, and support, to grow to their potential. The truth is that it doesn’t matter which camp you might sway towards (because everyone needs a combination of both), but the unrelenting constant between the two is ego and pride. Can you suffer being wrong for long enough to actually be right for once?




Never settle for average




The next step is never to settle for average. Like I said last week, you want to feel great, not just good. So when it comes to health, you want to first survive, then thrive. To be honest, for how many of us reading this post is survival an issue?


Writing this makes me think of two quotes, which emerge from as disparate sources as you might find. The first is from a fitness YouTuber: Christian Guzman, who is “proud but never satisfied”. Now, what the LL might start to do is try and pick this phrase apart. They might say “if you think that you’ll never be happy”. If you take the phrase literally, then I agree, but by appreciating the intention, I see it as saying that you need to be happy with your achievements, but understand that nothing is ever perfect. There is always something to strive for.


The next phrase (and I warned you about the disparity!), comes from my main man Socrates; “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable”. In this quote, my attention is drawn to the virtuous couplet of “beauty and strength”. On a superficial level (the one we spend most of our life in), this means just looking good. On a higher level, I see it as a call to be charismatic, to be a leader, and to inspire people. It also tells me that in mediocrity you are never deserving, apart from the middle of the road experience you’ve brought upon yourself. The aim is to make your life feel unreal. Therefore the way forward is to be in perpetual growth. Much like with stock prices, growth is valued more than absolute earnings.


So don’t let the food in that is going to make you weak! By being consciously rational, you select what goes into your body and ensure that everything you consume is going to make you feel terrific.




Be in perpetual growth




Now, I always have three takeaways at the end of each post, and so far we have two points, so for the sake of continuity I’ll be presenting my third tenet for unreal living.


Again these two quotes are from two very different sources (I hope by now you see that I like to draw inspiration from everywhere in my life). The first is from a podcast I listen to about Taoism called “What’s this Tao All About”: “things are never going to be as bad you think they will be”. The second comes from a book called “Man 2.0”, a book which is part health and fitness, part modern age masculinity reassessment. The quote from that source is “Don’t ask for permission, beg for forgiveness”.


What we commonly observe in life is that people ponder events, overthink the risks and negatives, and underweight the positives. It goes without saying that people are notoriously awful calculated risk takers.


So the first step is to take more risks? Yes. But a simpler way of saying this is to take the initiative. Be proactive. How many times have you thought of a way to complete a task but then asked for approval by someone else? Don’t ask permission from your family to kickstart a change in your life. This works especially well for the lone wolves, the people who sway towards going it alone. The describes me quite well. I like to research independently, apply, and see what works. I suppose it is ego protecting in a way, but no one finds out about your failures!


That’s where the second quote comes in: “don’t ask for permission, beg for forgiveness”. Trust your own intelligence to pick the correct course of action. If you succeed, then great! In fact, the people who you were going to ask permission from will congratulate you more. If you fail, then just provide your justifications and be done with it. Using a feedback loop you’ll know what to do next time and also what the person expects you to do. It all ends up with the classic question: “have you lost weight? You’re looking really good!” (cue awkward admittance that you always looked good and it was just a turn of phrase…).




Life scorecard




Now let’s take this all and bring it back to food and health. You’ve tried various methods of losing weight but they haven’t worked. Each time you learn what you liked and what you didn’t like. You accumulate this information and put together a custom plan, for yourself, which caters for your every need. You stop caring about what people say about it, because it works for you. You stop acknowledging other people’s disparaging attempts to slow you down, because they are stuck in the lifestyle luddite way of thinking. You start to systematically eliminate the negatives in your life, and your plate suddenly becomes much clearer and cleaner. That scorecard you hold in your hand starts to open up, and you only fill your life with things that bring you joy.


This week’s takeaways;
  1. Begin to consciously rationalise your actions utilising feedback loops
  2. Never settle for average
  3. Take the initiative, and however cliched it sounds, be the force for change in your life


That’s it folks. That’s the part of my stream of consciousness which I could capture and put down into words. I hope you like it, see similarities to yourself, and can get to know me better.

What psychological tips and tricks do you use to overcome obstacles? Do you have any lifestyle hacks which make you awesome at what you do? Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear what you guys have to say.


So until next time,
Stay superhuman,

Cowlean