How I stay in shape over 50: The most effective, simple, and sure fire way to lose weight

This won’t be a long post. It doesn’t need to be really. The health and fitness industry has made billions of dollars on selling people weight loss programs, supplements and work out plans. I’m not here to tell you any of that is bad, a hoax etc. I’m also not here to profess I am some exercise guru who has all the answers. What I can tell you is since the pandemic hit I lost and have kept off nearly 30 pounds. Now you may or may not believe that, there is no actual proof here just my claim, believe what you want.

“The most effective, simple, and sure fire way to lose weight” is consume less calories then you expend. Yes, it’s that simple. No workout plan required, no special diet, no personal trainer. You need to count calories. If you burn 2000 a day, you need to eat LESS THAN 2000 a day to lose weight. It’s not complex, and remember, as cynical as this will sound, it is not in the fitness industries interest for you to actually lose weight and get in shape. If you did, what would they sell you?

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Work Anxiety: The worst kind of Co-Worker and how to deal with them

Most of us have to work. We do so to make money so we can survive and do the things we love. Now if you have been working, even for a week, you know you run into all kinds of people. It’s not just customers, it’s the people you work with and believe me there are some real idiots out there. A prevalent problem for many is problem coworkers. Even worse are the problem coworkers who are not dealt with by management.

The good news is we have a hot job market; it’s never been easier to get another job then it is right now. Leaving a job is no small thing though, particularly if you have anxiety. So what is this “worst kind of Co-Worker”? it’s the coworker who has no authority over you, but they have power. Let me explain with a few examples. You work in a dept. that produces widgets, you have been there 2 years your coworker has been there 12. You do the same thing, have the same title etc. but because of their tenure they have power, or at least they THINK they have power.

Another example is someone who has a narcissist or “strong personality” you know the type, the person who can never admit they are wrong, they never apologize. Maybe your company tolerates this person because they need bodies or your boss just sucks too. So this person isn’t necessarily in a higher position then you they just exert power because no one will put them in check. Including you, you have anxiety you don’t want conflict. These coworkers are the worst kind, they have no authority but they have power so how do you deal with them?

I work for money so I can live a good life and do the things I love.

There are a couple of ways really, but most create even more toxic situations. You can go to the boss, that may or may not be the best idea only you know if your boss is trust worthy. You can go to HR, which IMHO is always a mistake. HR departments are marketed to be for the employees but it’s actually the exact opposite. They are there to protect the company from legalities involving employees. It’s been my experience that when you go to HR you put a target on your back, don’t do this unless you are prepared for all sorts of B.S.

The last best solution? Is ignore the coworker. Now this will result in that person reacting, but again we are in a situation where this person has power but not authority. When you ignore them, you remove their power so you now put them in a position by which the only way they can enforce their power is by using authority (which they don’t have). This creates the situation where they are forced to over step, and then you have them.

Now by “having them” I mean they have created a situation where you are forced to either comply or there is a consequence. This is when you use one of the responses below:

  1. “Let’s go talk to the manager, if she says I need to do that, then I will”
  2. “I am going to do my job first, if I have time later I will do yours”
  3. “No”

Each one of these has the potential to create a serious melt down but you’ve done something remarkable here. You have changed the power dynamic; you are now the one with the power. You see the equation is simple, and human interactions are predicated on this simple equation. Someone wants something, they want you to do it, you do it because you benefit. Both people in the equation benefit, prior this person was the only one benefitting, with anyone of the response above you begin to benefit as well.

Work is work, these people aren’t your friends. They might want to be, you might consider them to be, but at the end of the day you do work to obtain a benefit (mostly wages). Don’t put up with any crap at work, particularly in this job market. YOU have the power (for now), companies need you more then you need them. Start flexing.

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Student Loan forgiveness

So if you pay attention to the news you know the President of the U.S. has issued an executive order to forgive up to 10K of student loan debt for U.S. tax payers who make less than 125K annually. This blog isn’t overtly political so we aren’t going down that rabbit hole here. I do however devote a portion of my blog to finance. I am a finance professional, and the finance posts I make on this blog are my opinion only, they are not financial advice.

So that out of the way, let’s say this off the bat. Reducing individual debt is the quickest way to wealth. When you aren’t sending your money to other people, you get to keep it and accumulate wealth. So that’s a net positive. There are however several issues with the loan forgiveness as announced. The first one is, the President does not have the ability to forgive debt, only congress can do that.

What that means is this will inevitably be challenged in court. A republican somewhere will file a lawsuit and if it goes to the supreme court, which it may it would likely be overturned. The other thing announced was another freeze on payments until the end of the year. Meaning you do not have to make your federal student loan payments until 2023. This has been in effect since covid lockdowns and its likely this will be extended again.

The fastest way to wealth, is being debt free

To be clear the President DOES have the authority to do this via executive order. There are all sorts of views on this issue. Some will say “why should they get a hand out and I don’t?” others will say “education is a right and it should all be free”.  The biggest issue I see here is the notion of loaning teenagers thousands of dollars in the first place. Who benefits from that exactly? An 18-year-old takes out loans to go to school, to obtain a job to pay off the loan?

I don’t want to be flippant here, education is fantastic you should pursue it. But doesn’t it seem dubious in the first place that the institutions giving the loans decides to forgive them later? Why give them in the first place? Some of these college kids are staring down hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans. They were railroaded into the education industry and now sit on a pile of debt. Sure they will have a degree at the back end but how bitter must it be to go to work every day?

I worked full time and went to college, I cashed flowed both of my degrees. My kids each got 30K set aside for them to go to college, everything else they have to cover on their own. They chose state schools and are making it. I got the 30K for each by working, inheriting etc. and I am happy to do it. If they take a loan I expect them to pay it back. However, I would caution them both before ever taking a loan at such a young age.

Student loan forgiveness is a net positive if you are one of the lucky ones who qualify. Don’t be fooled here, this is political. The problem is all the people out there who don’t get it will be pissed off, and then there is the uncomfortable situation of “where does the debt go”? it just doesn’t evaporate, someone will have to pay it. Guess who? All of us, yes, you get to help pay off someone else’s debt.

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Forgiveness is overrated

This will be a controversial post but I think it needs to be said. Forgiveness as a concept is wonderful for those worthy of it. The narrative of forgiveness is centered around “it’s for you not them”. It’s supposed to make you feel better and move on. For some people it can for many of us it just suppresses the anger of the betrayal. Many of us have been faced with the forgiveness narrative. A “second chance” is almost expected in many cases and if you don’t give one YOU are the villain.

I believe forgiveness should be extended to a very small pool of people. I am talking about kids, spouses, siblings and parents. Beyond that I believe it should be used sparingly if at all. What we don’t do often enough is examine the cause and effect of the betrayal. Why did this happen? Why am I in a position to HAVE to extend forgiveness? if you have been wronged by someone, more often than not the person who wronged you did so knowing that it would be a betrayal.

Now they probably hope that you never find out, but they know the behavior is wrong, but they do it anyway. In my mind someone who knowingly harms me with the intent to hide the action is a threat. This person is willingly hurting me, knowing they are doing so and trying to hide it from me. What exactly is worthy of forgiveness in that scenario? Now this can be infidelity, financial, spiritual there are all sorts of levels to do this.

Forgiveness is divine

What should you do? It really depends on your situation; you may need this person in your life presently. Each person has their own spirituality and many might struggle with the concept of NOT forgiving someone. For me, if someone I love and trust knowingly harms me I would have a hard time forgiving, if at all. For me the only people in the world whom I would even consider forgiveness in that situation are my children.

Remember there are different levels of betrayal. I’m talking about the major transgressions in life. I hope you are never faced with a scenario like this. If you are remember forgiveness is a gift, perhaps one of the most valuable gift you can give. Don’t give it over so freely, and never be convinced that it’s your duty to do so. Forgiveness, in many cases is overrated.

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BACK TO SCHOOL Anxiety

Are you a parent? Do you have younger siblings? Are you an aunt or an uncle? Chances are you have kids in your life at some level. If you suffer from anxiety you are keenly aware of some of the debilitating issues that comes with it. You are also uniquely qualified to help those kids BECAUSE you have anxiety.

If you recall your school days (or maybe you’re still, there) there are all sorts of social pressures around your peer’s. I’m not professing to understand the modern teenager at 50, but I have kids I do know what they go through. Things are different now, kids don’t meet at the mall (hi all my Gen X friends, remember those days? See you at Orange Julius) they meet online.

The digital world is cruel, people hide in anonymity with screen names and post messages to others they would never say to someone’s face. Remove the adult filter and kids are worse. On top of that teenagers are starting to experience hormonal shifts that come with puberty and these swings can amplify anxiety.On top of that, kids today are more tapped into the real world because they are online so much. Mass shootings? Your teenager knows all about it. Opioid epidemic? Your kids have seen it online. All of this can trigger anxiety and if you have it and these are your children its likely they inherited some of their issues from you.

The digital age is brutal for kids

There is no “fix all” but there are 3 important things you can do with kids of any age that will help them navigate anxiety.

  1. Talk to them: I know every says talk to your kids. Really take the time to do this, particularly on current events. Its critical they have a venue other than their peers to talk about the issue.
  2. Invest in what they love. If your kid is a gamer, try playing some games yourself. If your kid is a soccer player, take them to the soccer field. Whatever they are into, start investing your time into it too.
  3. Listen and watch them when they are online: This is critical as so much interaction happens online now.

School is right around the corner and kids will get anxiety. Start building the foundation now so if needed you can help the child later. You can do this; they are totally worth it!

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How to be a better man: They know, do you know they know?

So this is a cryptic blog title, but it’s important. Before we get going too far a quick reminder. My “How to be a better man series” is written for and by a heterosexual man. I can’t write for other sexualities as I don’t have those experiences myself, my opinion on those would be abstract. So that out of the way, Women know. They know what you want, generally, although this does evolve over time (what you want, and their ability to know it) but the initial phase of any heterosexual relationship (think the first 6 months) they know.

The question posed in the title is do you know they know? There really isn’t a mystery here, it’s been the driver of male pursuit of females for centuries. Men want sex. Again we are talking about heterosexual men. I am assuming other sexual proclivities want this as well but I am an expert on myself and I am a heterosexual male. Women know what you want. This is the dance. Now this dance has changed over time.

Its factual to say that it is easier now for men to get sex than ever before. We have the internet which has opened up many new avenues to obtain sexual gratification. It’s also factual to say that women are far more liberated sexually than ever before. The likelihood they that want to have sex is also higher. So this notion of they know, do you know they know might not be as potent in application as it was 50 years.

Talking about sex and attraction these days is like going out on a limb

It’s still very important. Females realize, and in many cultures are trained to understand that a man’s desire can be used to cultivate the type of relationship they want. Let me be clear here, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. You use what you have to obtain what you want. I have no problem with females using their attraction to garner a relationship they desire, they should do that. Men need to be very clear here, regardless of how liberated society is this underlying dynamic between men and women still exists.

Let’s also be clear on something. For all my male readers, it’s okay to pursue and “court” females. When they make it clear to you they are uninterested you must stop. The days of yore where you could be zealous and really over pursue females (which in modern day IS harassment) is over. IF a woman is not interested in you, leave her alone. Again it’s okay to ask, but you HAVE to take no for an answer.

If, however you are in a relationship, regardless of the scope of the relationship remember they know. They know you want sex, and intelligent women use this knowledge to steer things the way they want it to go. Its manipulative yes but not all manipulation is bad, meaning if you have a good woman who has healthy intentions it’s safe to allow this to occur. Not all actions by females whom try and derive a benefit from their availability for sex is sinister. That said, you as the man have to be very clear on your sexual expectations. If they are reasonable they should be accommodated.

Your needs are not secondary; the difference here is most women know what your primary need is. You have to go in knowing they know, and now you do. Good luck.

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Gandalf

THE WISDOM OF TOLKIEN…. AGAIN….

 “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit or There and Back Again

I’ve looked for things, I’ve looked for peace of mind and to no avail. I have found Anxiety, Stress and depression. Did I want to find these things? A part of me did, how else can I confront, overcome and reconcile these issues?

I’ve looked for other things, I’ve looked for happiness and have succeeded. I am married for 20+ years with a great family who understands that I have anxiety, they are just not in tune with the depth but that’s okay.

I’ve always been averse to popular notions that -sound- foolish. “look within yourself” or “the answer lies within” I have been foolish not to apply these simple sayings to my historic behaviors. The answer to many of the I’ll of my life have in fact been my reactions to what I perceived others thought. Of course, I couldn’t really know, I have no way of knowing the operation of someone else’s mind.

I’ve looked for it, the answer. The answer to why I am predisposed to consider what others think. Perhaps it is a societal norm? Perhaps a social construct I am bound to in the subconscious? Or perhaps I need to continue looking at myself and find what has been there all along.

I am okay, I am normal, I am too critical of myself, I am an expert in me. It’s not really what I was after, but I will find it. The wisdom of Tolkien once again astounds me.

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Justice

Politics & Anxiety: More is coming

This blog isn’t a political blog, so have no fear I am not going to go on a political rant here. We do however cover Anxiety issues a lot and in the U.S. we are entering a new political season. You could argue that politics is always in season in the U.S. As an example in the community I live in, we have people with signs in their yards regarding politics, it comes up in conversation regularly. For my non U.S. readers a quick aside so you have a more accurate picture of the political climate in the U.S.

The narrative of political divide, the splintering of the culture etc. is partially true. People here are more galvanized then ever politically but we are not at each other’s throats. The overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens are normal, quiet people who go about their business and take care of their family and friends. They aren’t light flags on fire, at protests, storming the capital. Those are the exceptions not the rule, but if you were watching news on the U.S. that’s what you would see. The U.S. is in a transition period; this has happened many times before.

Back to the anxiety. So what is happening now is you are seeing the political apparatus in the U.S. “Heat Up”. You will see more arrests, more investigations, more foreign policy moves, more scandals. This is par for the course really, our mid-term elections are coming soon and the heat will be turned way up. Soon we will know if Trump is running for President or not and that will likely make things even hotter.

Vote
Liberty is paramount

I wish I had great news for you. I wish I could say there is a remarkable candidate who will unite American’s under one platform and a reconciliation and rebirth is to follow. If I did say that I would be lying to you. I think things are going to get more stressful and anxiety is going to spike. This won’t resolve until the presidential election of 2024 and even then one side will be unhappy. Expect viral protests, some violence, gas lighting, fear mongering… Everything will be on the table.

How you deal with all of the noise is really subjective. I stopped listening myself. After 52 years on the planet I have lived through Democrat and Republican regimes neither have been great. I would encourage you to invest your time into those who are important to you first. Your civic energies should be focused on your locale. Get involved in your town or city politics, this is the most effective way to steer changes that immediately impact the people you know. National politics is theatre; dangerous theatre I concede but it’s designed to anger you to affect a specific outcome. Once that outcome is achieved, they don’t want to hear from you anymore.

You are going to be fine, things will heat up. Things will look dyer for a time. Large scale upheaval is highly unlikely its only happened a few times in U.S. history. I realize this post isn’t painting a particularly rosy picture but knowing what is coming is at least one advantage. Hopefully it helps you prepare for the inevitable. The political season in the U.S. is on its way, buckle up.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Justice

Politics & Anxiety: More is coming

This blog isn’t a political blog, so have no fear I am not going to go on a political rant here. We do however cover Anxiety issues a lot and in the U.S. we are entering a new political season. You could argue that politics is always in season in the U.S. As an example in the community I live in, we have people with signs in their yards regarding politics, it comes up in conversation regularly. For my non U.S. readers a quick aside so you have a more accurate picture of the political climate in the U.S.

The narrative of political divide, the splintering of the culture etc. is partially true. People here are more galvanized then ever politically but we are not at each other’s throats. The overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens are normal, quiet people who go about their business and take care of their family and friends. They aren’t light flags on fire, at protests, storming the capital. Those are the exceptions not the rule, but if you were watching news on the U.S. that’s what you would see. The U.S. is in a transition period; this has happened many times before.

Back to the anxiety. So what is happening now is you are seeing the political apparatus in the U.S. “Heat Up”. You will see more arrests, more investigations, more foreign policy moves, more scandals. This is par for the course really, our mid-term elections are coming soon and the heat will be turned way up. Soon we will know if Trump is running for President or not and that will likely make things even hotter.

Vote
Liberty is paramount

I wish I had great news for you. I wish I could say there is a remarkable candidate who will unite American’s under one platform and a reconciliation and rebirth is to follow. If I did say that I would be lying to you. I think things are going to get more stressful and anxiety is going to spike. This won’t resolve until the presidential election of 2024 and even then one side will be unhappy. Expect viral protests, some violence, gas lighting, fear mongering… Everything will be on the table.

How you deal with all of the noise is really subjective. I stopped listening myself. After 52 years on the planet I have lived through Democrat and Republican regimes neither have been great. I would encourage you to invest your time into those who are important to you first. Your civic energies should be focused on your locale. Get involved in your town or city politics, this is the most effective way to steer changes that immediately impact the people you know. National politics is theatre; dangerous theatre I concede but it’s designed to anger you to affect a specific outcome. Once that outcome is achieved, they don’t want to hear from you anymore.

You are going to be fine, things will heat up. Things will look dyer for a time. Large scale upheaval is highly unlikely its only happened a few times in U.S. history. I realize this post isn’t painting a particularly rosy picture but knowing what is coming is at least one advantage. Hopefully it helps you prepare for the inevitable. The political season in the U.S. is on its way, buckle up.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Squats

How I stay in shape over 50: The importance and illusion of the forearm

If you have been working out for a while you’ve likely heard about the illusion of the V taper. Basically the broader your shoulders are, the smaller your waist will appear. This creates the illusion of you being thinner then you actually are. This actually works, but there is a subtler, yet potent illusion men can use to increase attraction. The Forearm.

To be clear, this post is meant for heterosexual men attempting to attract women. I don’t know if this works for other sexualities, you would have to tell me. Now your forearms are the director connector to your hands which many people watch while engaged. Hands are used in communication all the time, people watch your hands, so do women. There is plenty of psychology around this, I’m not going to post a bunch of links here but I would ask you to consider this: Why do women get their nails done and make sure their hands are smooth?

Back to Men…. So hands are important, for men this extends to the forearms. A muscled and cut (you can see the veins) forearm creates the illusion (in some cases its true) that the rest of the body is as defined. Most men are covered head to toe. Often the only thing exposed is the head, neck and arms. If you have sleeves on your jacket or shirt even your arms aren’t exposed. Females like flesh too. Don’t be fooled by this, this might not be their sole motivation for engaging with you but we have to be real here, women evaluate men sexually too. Attraction may be different for them (meaning the fact you can fix the car might be “Hot” to them) but they also enjoy a man who looks good physically.

What ever you say Popeye

This isn’t absolute, there are always exceptions to the rule. Your forearms set off one of the few socially acceptable “flesh points” for men. If you are having your nails polished, nvm… if you aren’t, then a vascular well-muscled forearm will get you attention most of the time. The issue then becomes training. Your forearms are engaged in nearly every exercise you do in the gym so hitting them exclusively has to be done carefully.

Forearms should be worked at the end of a workout so you do not pre exhaust them and prohibit other lifts. Reverse curls, and wrist curls are two simple exercises you can do that will beef up your forearms. Start working these into your routine a few times week. Your forearms will grow quickly, you use them all the time so be very aware of how they feel and where you are at with them.  Strong forearms set off an entire look. You can be wearing a suit and you roll up your sleeves…. Your forearms will take center stage. You might lift something for someone, and the veins pop, and their eyes widen.

Don’t neglect your forearms, the illusion they can create is potent.

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