Why Am I Happy?

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Sometimes, I come off as overwhelmingly positive. I tend to let things that tear some people to shreds roll off my back. I don’t get too bent out of shape, and I always manage to plow out of bad situations far better than I was when I got into them. Honestly, there’s no real magical formula to define why this is the case. But today, I was driving around listening to some good music with my windows down and the volume up, and started to think about exactly why I’m so fucking happy all the time. A few things sprung to mind.


 

I don’t get worked up about things outside of my control.

It’s a sick, disgusting, horrifying world. There’s all flavors of conspiracy, cultural manipulation, civil unrest, murder, disease, and death out there. My eyes are open. I acknowledge it, and do my part to stay informed (and active when it’s appropriate). But I absolutely refuse to lay awake at night worrying about the problems of the world. If I find myself straying too deeply into negative territory, or merely even lingering there for too long, I re-focus my efforts towards something positive. It works every time.

I am no longer tied to a career.

The feeling this freedom gives me is indescribable. Right now, as I’m getting my business ventures underway, I’m still working a part-time job to pay the bills, but it’s unbelievable how much of a difference this shift has made. I am no longer worried about workplace politics, projects, deadlines, or offending someone. Never again. There was always a black cloud hanging over my head at every job I’ve ever had. I knew full well that if I didn’t toe the line and made one mis-step, I’d be fired at the drop of a hat. I had to kiss the asses of some of the worst people I’ve ever met. All for the sake of enslaving myself 40-60 hours a week just so I would have enough money to keep the lights on, food on the table, and gas in the tank to get back to my cubicle the next day. When I walked away from my last job, I swore I would never do it again, and I intend on keeping that promise. My part-time gig has almost zero stress, and interestingly enough, although I’m earning less money, I’m spending a lot less, and saving a lot more. I’ve surprised myself on more than one occasion in this department.

I have freedom and independence.

This relates to the ditching of my job, but it also has to deal with the fact that I don’t have any lifestyle servitude. I live well below my means, in a small apartment. My car has been paid off for years, I have no debt, no kids, and truly answer to no one. Tomorrow, I’m jumping on a plane bound for Florida to visit a friend, simply because I feel like doing it. I’m not obligated to do anything I don’t want to do, and that gives me immense freedom.

I’m in a healthy relationship.

I have been in a stale, dead relationship with a girl who was a glorified roommate, and I have been in a tumultuous, dramatic nightmare of a relationship with an angry, parasitic monster. I’ve dated emotionally damaged girls, boring girls, alcoholic girls, and a couple of life-ruiners. After all of this, I had some fun and when I wanted to settle down again, I met my girlfriend with her “type” in mind. She’s shy, polite, feminine and pleasant. Every aspect of the relationship leaves me not wanting anything more. We enhance rather than complicate each other’s lives, but I can honestly say that I’m not dependent upon her for anything.

I am physically healthy and strong.

I have never, at any time in my life, ever been stronger or healthier than I am right now. I lift five days a week, and in warm weather, I’m on my bike six or seven days a week. Most of the time, I’m eating very well, but I don’t mentally beat myself to death over one or two cheat days here and there. Being strong enhances every aspect of life, and I can’t imagine it any other way. I still need to lose body fat, but this is a project (see below). I’m playing the long game with fat loss.

I refuse to rush.

I often drive my girlfriend to work during morning rush hour, and the things I observe are pitiable. There’s people going 55 in a 25 zone, blowing red lights, sliding sideways into telephone poles at intersections, honking their horns and screaming, red-faced with fury that someone else on the road would dare to make them late for work. After all, their asshole boss might decide to write them up for running in the door at 7:03. Because I don’t have to answer to anyone, I’m exempt from the tardiness game and never have to be in a rush to get from point A to point B. If I’m expected to be somewhere, I simply leave eariler than I need to, put on some good music and enjoy the ride. Should I hit traffic and I’m late, so be it.

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Sorry I’m late, boss!

 

I have eliminated the clutter from my life.

I like my life to be clean and simple, cut and dry, without needless fluff. I talked about going into self-imposed exile, and cutting all of the extra crap out of my life. Media, activities, and people that were time-wasters and got the axe. I deleted my social media accounts (aside from establishing a Twitter account, and even there, I’m very conscious to not spend too much time on the thing), gave up alcohol, and cut parasitic people from my life with utter ruthlessness. Communications with ex-girlfriends, dumbass friends, and overly dramatic extended family were severed, ultimately strengthening the bonds with the few people I kept close (due in no small part to the fact that I was no longer spreading myself so thin). I extended this mentality soon after to my possessions, as well. When I left my last aparment, I moved mountains of junk to Goodwill and the trash pile, and I haven’t missed any of it. Closets were emptied, I have a grand total of ten shirts right now. The things that remain in my life allow a stripped-down, lean-and-mean existence. Not quite minimalist, but simple and manageable. Even now, I have plans to give about 1/3 of the stuff from my apartment away over the next week or so. I don’t use it, I don’t need it. It’s fluff.

Never being forced to apologize.

I don’t report to anyone, so I have no one to apologize to. If I want to say something, I say it. If I want to do something, I do it. I don’t set out to cause damage, but I tend to offend the thin-skinned in certain circumstances. I realize, however, that their reactions are not my responsibility, my views and opinions do not warrant an apology. The only time I feel the need to apologize to anyone anymore is for being a dick to my girlfriend when I’m awakened after too little sleep. In this case, an apology is appropriate. There really is a fine line between being an asshole and being a dickhead.

I always have a project.

I think big, and I have a lot of works in process. I’m getting businesses rolling and forming new sources of income generation (which is the key to sustaining my lifestyle). I’m dropping body fat, as my body is always a project. I’m moving to the other side of the country, which is a huge undertaking. And then there’s the smaller stuff. Individual blog articles. Ruthless junk elimination in my home. Buying a dirt-cheap truck and turning it into a reliable cargo hauler. Refurbishing the paint and doing maintenance on my existing car. Re-finishing the fork on my Freeride bike. Turning standing deadfall into firewood for my parents. All of it. They’re all projects, and they keep my mind and body busy, productive, and building towards something that will improve my life in some way. The projects I’ve finished have turned into some of my proudest achievements, and the ones I’m working on will leave those accomplishments in the dust. Always be building, always have a project.

*I realized this a long time ago, but it has been best put into words by Victor Pride and Mike Cernovich.

I am active, rather than passive.

Years ago, I would have, and did, spend $800 on a new TV. A device that I could plop down on the couch in front of, to watch other people running around “doing things” on. Now, that money is spent on a trip, or put towards the fund that is moving me across the country. It’s why I don’t have any interest in spectator sports. I want to be the one on the screen, doing exciting things, not perched on a barstool, staring at a screeen, watching other people feel the rush of victory. When I go to mountain bike races, yeah, I watch the Pro guys’ race runs, but it’s either before or after I’ve blasted out of the starting gate to attack the same course they’re also competing on.

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This looks like a rush. Actually doing it is a lot more exciting than looking at a picture of it.

I have an abundance mindset.

Ah, here’s another nugget of wisdom by Mike Cernovich. Abundance. I didn’t know much about it until I became familiar with Mike’s work, but it’s a subject worth learning a great deal about. To summarize, “I have enough, I am enough”. When a person begins building, there’s a sort of weight that can hang over them, a weight I used to have. It’s a feeling that what I’m doing isn’t enough, jealousy that the next guy is doing better, or has a better life, a better car, a hotter girlfriend, or more money. It led, in some cases, to self-sabotage, and a reckless, spastic approach toward life. It’s easier said than done, but be abundant. Let go of the jealousy. “I have enough, I am enough”.  You are focusing on what you HAVE, and not what you are lacking.

I love my life, I love who I am (this sounds like touchy-feely shit, but bear with me). I’ve been through the ringer, and come out of some nasty situations a lot better off than before “disaster” had struck. I’m thankful that I’ve become who I am, and understand that shit happens. Shit has happened, and shit is going to keep happening. Because I’m abundant, I know I can use these messes as opportunities and turn a “woe is me” situation into a positive. I can think of dozends of times over the last year when an abundance mindset has resulted in a measurably positive outcome of a bad situation.

I am always learning new things.

There’s millions of books, blogs, and interesting, applicable information in the world. We have a staggering abundance of knowledge in 2016. I can have any book delivered to my door within 48 hours, or on my ipad instantaneously. What I’ll never understand is why miserable people spend their time hiding from reality, escaping into soul-sucking TV shows, when there’s endless resources available to give them the knowledge they need to reverse everything shitty in their life. I’m incredibly thankful that I started seeking out and utilizing this information before it was simply too late for me. Never stop soaking up knowledge. Life is too short to spend sitting in a cubicle, or laying on a couch, staring at a TV.


I’m not the happiest guy in the world. I’m certainly not the fittest, the richest, or the most well-connected. I fuck up, I get in bad moods, and I piss off people I care about. But when all is said and done, I’m doing things better than I ever have. I’m truly having a blast with life, and I intend on continuing to do so until I’m underground.

 

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Self-Imposed Exile

It’s often said that catastrophe is one of the more powerful forces in reshaping a man. I believe this is true, but the determining factor in this reshaping progress is how the catastrophic situation is faced. The old saying is “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, but in reality, it seems as though modern men will gladly cite this sort of quote after they have “coped” with the event by (in this order):

  • Going on a three-day bender
  • Crying to their friends at the bar
  • Posting emotional and vague status updates to social media (while they’re drunk)
  • Buying a new toy to make themselves feel better
  • Visiting the gym for three consecutive days and bragging about it on social media (before giving up due to crippling DOMS and never mentioning the gym again)
  • Finding a new “hobby” like brewing beer, playing fantasy football, or something else that distracts them and doesn’t require any sort of discomfort.

I won’t delve too deeply into why I believe that this phenomenon is all too common, but chances are, if you’re reading this and you’re younger than 50, you’ve seen a man faced with a breakup or job loss cope in this sort of manner. Maybe you’ve even done it yourself.


A few years ago, I was faced with a serious personal catastrophe. A relationship, a job, and a home had all had come to define who I was. My identity was wrapped up in those three things, and within two months, all three of them were gone.

It all came to fruition so quickly that I didn’t have time to panic. I find it difficult to explain, but there wasn’t even a sense of loss. It was simply a very calm “OK, what’s done is done, those bridges have been burned. But where do I go from here?”

The way I saw it, I had three different options:

  • React as I described earlier, setting myself up for more scenarios like this in the future
  • Take some time to rebuild my life as I saw fit, ensuring that I didn’t make the same mistakes in the future
  • Give up and accept my failure at life

Historically, I had taken the first option so many times, with the same end result that I saw either option two or three as the only possible choices.

Regarding the third option: The fact that “giving up completely” came to be on the table at all was (even at the time) alarming to me, but the idea evolved from a position of logic and not one of emotion. Simply put, I told myself “I am not going to live a miserable, unfullfilling life any longer, for better or for worse”. It was simply one option to break the cycle of failure and disappointment by quietly slipping into the ether. I’ve had relatives and former friends that have done the same, and all it took was a reminder of them to realize “I’m not that guy”.

So it had to be the second option, one of rebuilding. It was terrifying to me. In my adult life, I had not put a single iota of effort into improving my finances, my mindset, my choice in friends, or my lifestyle (other than lifting weights, which I had only started doing two months prior). I had lived my life with my head in the sand. I didn’t enjoy or see the value of hard work or discipline, and would have to erase this mindet immediately.

Right away, after making the choice to rebuild, I understood that this was not going to be an undertaking that was compatible with any part of my lifestyle from the past ten years. I had to drop off the map, isolate myself, and remain cut off from society as a whole until I felt I could re-emerge with a solid understanding of why I had allowed disaster to consume me. I wasn’t familiar with the “bucket analogy” at the time, but the thing had to be completely emptied. I needed no distractions. I had to purge.


The first to go was my social media. I had lived on my facebook feed for the previous five years, and I could scarcely even process the thought of going without my daily highs and lows, without the jealousy, rage, happiness, resentment and fear that my social network brought. When I deleted my account, I was almost choking back tears. I was deleting my only interactions with all of the people I had collected as “friends”.

Within 24 hours, I started to realize that the vast majority of these people simply wouldn’t bother with me any longer. Out of the hundreds of people I called my friends, under a dozen of them made an effort to reach out to me. It reinforced the fact that I truly was on my own, and would have little to no support moving forward. I started to get bitter about it, but before long I felt great. It was as though a dead weight had been lifted off of me.

The truth is, the depression I was expecting never set in. Anger, frustration and disappointment, yes, but never depression. I came to see all of these “disasters” as opportunities. In truth, my relationship with my now-ex had been all but dead and buried for the previous three years. I was passionate about my job, but it was soiled by the presence of my manipulative, alcoholic boss. My house was not in a location I wanted to be tied to. All of these losses had the potential to be chalked up to experience, re-framed and turned into something far better. On top of that, I had made myself too busy to get hung up on the mistakes of the past; I gave myself a mission.

I got a new job that would at least cover my bills, and moved into a small apartment at a friend’s house (the only person, other than my parents, who made it a point to offer a helping hand through this process, I can’t thank him enough) and set to work. I would read day after day, night after night, about psychological disorders and personal finance. I would sit there and think, writing my thoughts down with a pen and paper, looking to decode the reason why I had fallen so hard. Was I nuts? Was I stupid? Was I lazy? I couldn’t figure it out, but I had taken an important step: I started to take an unbiased look at myself and who I had become, just as I had months before in a physical sense, when I entered the gym. It was December of 2012, and I was officially getting started after hitting the reset button on my life.

After only a few weeks, I felt renewed, like I had a “breakthrough”, when in reality, I had barely scratched the surface. Full of bravado, I came out with all guns blazing, good-intentioned, yet still naive and stupid. I had the opportunity to date a new girl who I found attractive, fun, and smart. “Why not?” I thought. “I need to get back on the horse”.

This turned out to be a massive mistake, unsurprisingly. The attractive, fun, smart veneer was almost immediately stripped away to reveal an insecure, angry, miserable person, who was determined to drag me down into the abyss with her. Still being of a scarcity mindset at that point, I ignored the sensible option to sever ties and send her packing, instead seeking to pull her deeper into my life, to try and make her “happy” (and we all know exactly what happens in those scenarios). At best, she was a setback and an annoyance. At worst, she became a huge headache, a waste of time, and a roadblock on the path to rebuilding myself.


The whole idea of really going full-bore with this idea of a “period of exile” didn’t end up happening until about six months later, when I accepted a new job two hours away, in the middle of nowhere. Once I moved into my new apartment and got settled, I was ready to get started. Aside from Miss Waste-Of-Time showing up every Friday night to complain and pick fights with me, there were really no distractions in my new location. I had a good job, a gym on the premises, and lived in a sleepy, boring town where I knew virtually nobody.

I would wake up, go to work, lift weights, go home, eat, write or read, then go to bed. Day after day, week after week. Stress slowly faded away, save for the always-argumentative Friday nights. Saturdays were for laundry and grocery shopping, but little else permeated my sphere, and I wanted to keep it that way. I was pushing through to my goal of betterment, despite the human roadblock I had foolishly allowed into my life.

As another six months passed, it was plain to see I was making measurable progress. I became leaner than I had ever been, as I was intermittent fasting throughout this time period, and lifting five days a week. I was reading and pulling in new, exciting information every day. And I had gotten serious about writing. Not just rambling incoherently, but actually writing thought-provoking insights about my experiences during this process, even if I was the only one reading them. This became an indispensible tool for problem solving and development.

Months later, I came out the other end of the proverbial tunnel. I had long since dropped Miss Waste-Of-Time, and I haven’t spoken to her since. I was in the best physical shape of my adult life, and the best mental shape of my adult life. But I was genuinely shocked at my outlook when my job disappeared to New England, causing me to take the severance package and move back to “civilization” in July of 2014.


I hadn’t “gone into exile” as I had told myself I was doing. Rather, I had completely moved on. I no longer fit in the mold I created for myself from 2000-2012. This became obvious when I tried to re-unite with some old acquaintences. I found that I no longer had anything at all in common with them, as they were still just going out to the bar and getting hammered at 80’s night, gossiping about who was fucking who. It was like being stuck in a time warp. It really could have been any night in 2005, and the only difference would have been the clothes they were wearing (and the amount of body fat they were sporting).

And so it went with most everything else from my old life that, in the back of my head, I thought I’d eventually want to get back to. I had zero desire to create another facebook profile, to go back to the bars, the lazy days spent in front of the TV, my old life of fucking around and killing time, sitting on the sidelines. It was a new world, a new reality. I had momentum, and with nothing standing in my way, I wasn’t about to let it go to waste. So I kept going. I started riding my Downhill bike again, and won a race for the first time in my life. Newly single, I made an OKcupid profile and started playing the field. I found and studied the Red Pill through articles, podcasts, and books, helping me reach the next level, and the next, and the next. All remnants of my old life faded from a recent memory to a distant one.


That period of “exile” has become far more important than even I intended it to be: It was a foundation that has been built upon. Without it, my life would be incredibly different. This website would not exist, I would not be planning to move to the other side of the country, I wouldn’t have stuck with the gym, I wouldn’t have become an entrepreneur, I wouldn’t have met my current girlfriend, and I wouldn’t have discovered all of the resources that have taken me to the next level. Sometimes I think of what my life would look like if I hadn’t built this foundation. It’s actually terrifying yet still strangely entertaining. Where would I be? What would I be doing? Who would I be spending time with? How bad would it have gotten? Would I still even be alive?

Thankfully, I took the steps to make sure I would never have to find out.

 

 

 

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Pushing Past “Carb Flu”

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. None of the words on this blog post are to be interpreted as medical advice in any way. Consult a physician before considering any sort of changes to your diet. 

Ten years of eating poorly will do some irreversible damage to the human body. I’m living, breathing evidence of this fact, but not in the sense that I’m perpetually destined to stay above 20% body fat.

Rather, it’s that to reach my ideal level of fitness and body fat percentage, I simply have more significant hurdles than a twenty year old who has been eating a healthy diet for his entire life. One of these hurdles rears its ugly head when transitioning into a zero-carb state. The technical terminology for the contition is having an impaired metabolic flexibility, which manifests itself as the more commonly referenced “Carb Flu”.

It feels the way it sounds, but before I get to that, I’ll explain (in the simplest possible terms) the mechanics behind the phenomenon:

When someone is ingesting only proteins and fats, with trace amounts (less than 30g per day) of carbs, their body must “flip a switch” and start burning stored body fat as fuel. There are no carbohydrates present in their diet, so stored body fat becomes the only alternative. When this person has been eating a carb-heavy diet for a long time (even if there’s been occasions when low-carb has been implemented in the past), flipping that switch is not a simple, trouble-free transition. Their body wants carbs. Their body is used to running on carbs, and it will kick their ass all over the room until they give their temper tantruming body what it wants, not willing to “flip the switch” without putting up a hell of a fight. This “fight” happens as the result of an impaired metabolic flexibility mechanism.

The virtual fighting, temper tantrums and ass-kicking going on inside your body manifests itself as “Carb Flu”. And there’s nothing pleasant about it.

There’s lethargy, lack of motivation, and the intense, all-consuming urge to eat a grilled cheese sandwich, a doughnut, a slice of pizza, anything carb-based at any cost. Without a doubt, though, the worst symptom is the crushing, immobilizing, relentless headache. You can’t help but think about the fact that just a handful of crackers would make it all subside. It doesn’t last forever, but it’s torturous while it’s going on, and staying the course in this time period is make-or-break. Give up, and your body never fully enters ketosis (the state where you are burning body fat as fuel) until you start over again from square one.

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For me, there’s no greater barrier to sticking with a low-carb lifestyle. The symptoms are reminiscent of a severe, all-day hangover, but will last two or three days before “breaking through” to a ketogenic state and a lack of physical suffering. This phenomenon doesn’t happen to everyone who goes low-carb, which for me, is a bitter pill to swallow. The determining factor in whether or not one is affected by these symptoms? Previous diet. So this agony is a direct result of my years spent wreaking absolute havoc on my metabolism via a terrible diet.

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Conquering Carb Flu can only happen through discipline. 

It’s a concept I’ve become well accustomed to, through the work of Mike Cernovich and Victor Pride (this is the second time in two days I’ve mentioned 30 Days of Discipline). There’s a very relevant purpose in developing discipline through unpleasant tasks like waking up early and taking cold showers. You become conditioned to discomfort. Your body wants nothing more than to crawl back into that warm bed or crank the hot water on. When you deny yourself this and say (to quote Cernovich) “I am done when I say I am done”, you develop the discipline needed for tasks like denying yourself carbohydrates, building a business, really anything that catapults you out of your comfort zone.

The sad reality is that most people, in their adult lives, tend to avoid any sort of self-discipline. I’m making a broad generalization, but the vast majority don’t really have any urge to do something unpleasant simply for the sake of conditioning themselves. There always has to be a tangible payoff like a paycheck, beating an addiction, helping someone out, or simply maintaining their lifestyle. There’s little motivation to increase one’s self-discipline because (and this subject has been covered by others far more knowledgable than I) modern living is comfortable. There’s no “point” in simply developing a characteristic through practices that normal people would consider masochstic when there’s no proverbial trophy waiting at the finish line. What they don’t grasp is that discipline is the reward, in and of itself.

But let’s get back to the issue at hand:

Carb Flu is just a collection of symptoms. It’s never killed anyone (that I know of, at least). There’s no danger in weathering the storm, just a whole lot of discomfort. I tell myself this when I’m suffering the most. “I am done when I say I am done”.

Like anyone, I fail sometimes. On Tuesday night, my Zero-Carb headache had me lying in complete silence and complete blackness, as any stimuli would send waves of searing pain through my head. I simply couldn’t function or get anything done, so I caved in and made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I was at 100% within fifteen minutes, but disappointed in myself. “I couldn’t stay the course. I was not strong enough” I thought, and vowed to crash through the barrier the next go-around.

The truth of the matter is that I haven’t mastered the art of self-discipline. But every day is a new opportunity to apply the knowledge and experience I have gained so far, to grow stronger, and continue sharpening this vital tool that most will never even take off of the shelf.

45 Days of Osta-Red

Before I get ahead of myself, I want to preface this article with a bit of transparency: Aside from exchanging Tweets here and there, I don’t personally know Chris at GLL or Victor Pride. I think they both put out EXCELLENT content, and I was very happy with a purchase I made about a year ago from Vic: 30 Days of Discipline. That being said, I paid for my bottle of Osta-Red, just like everyone else has to, and am not in any way associated with Red Supplements.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can get to it.


 

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Osta-Red at Red Supplements

Before Osta-Red, I weighed in at roughly 216 pounds. The scale I’ve been using consistently has only been in use since the second week of Osta-Red, so I don’t have an accurate “day one” number. However, at day seven, I was at 216, with 27.8% body fat.

I started taking Osta-Red on December 17, and took my last dose yesterday, February 3. Throughout this time period, I would take 12.5mg (one pill) at 11:00 AM, and another 12.5mg pill at 11:00 PM, giving me the medium dose of 25mg per day.

Starting off at 27.8% body fat, my fairly obvious goal with this product was to drop that number while not losing any lean mass or strength. It’s a difficult thing to achieve. Normally, while calories are being cut, one will lose muscle mass and strength as well. I was also supplementing with Scivation Xtend, a BCAA powder intended to work in a similar manner. Other than that, I supplement daily with Zinc, and occasionally a melatonin/5HTP blend. That’s it. No bullshit protein powders, pre-workouts, creatine, or fat burners (aside from coffee).

My eating protocol was SUPPOSED to be fairly simple: Intermittent fasting until 2 PM, less than 30g of carbs per day. All whole foods like Steak, Chicken Breast, Asparagus, Spinach, and Eggs. Unfortunately, I’ll get to why this didn’t happen as planned.

Workouts were done on a four-day split of Shoulders and Traps (focusing on the standing overhead press), Legs (focusing on squats), Chest and Triceps (focusing on bench press), and Back (focusing on Deadlifts and Lat Pulldowns). Cardio was ideally to happen 3-4 times per week for 30-60 minutes per session.


I picked the absolute dumbest possible time of year to use Osta-Red, and this is fully on me for not having the foresight to plan this more accordingly. Christmas shopping, social functions, driving, late nights and giant tupperware containers filled with leftovers from my girlfriend’s parents. As it turned out, as December turned to January, I was met with even more situations which needed my attention. A legal battle, two close relatives in neighboring hospitals, a broken rib and a massive snowstorm all threw various wrenches into what was supposed to be a controlled environment.

I have discussed those scenarios on here already, so let me get down to the most important takeaway from this article:

OSTA-RED WORKS.

  • Throughout the 45 days I was taking Osta-Red, I lost ten pounds and 4% body fat, despite eating like a jackass over 50% of the time. Visually, I can see that I’ve lost a bit of fat, and my clothes fit differently.
  • My strength increased:
    • Bench press went from 230 to 250.
    • Squats went from 205 to 230 paused.
    • Deadlift went from 405 to 415.
  • I had boundless energy in the gym, and could do set after set at or near my maximum weight.
  • Pumps were rock solid and lasted longer. I mentioned on Twitter that my muscles felt like they were “made of steel”.
  • Sense of calm and well-being is present, but not overly pronounced. 

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In terms of side effects, I had none. My libido stayed at exactly the same level, I experienced no testicular shrinkage, and the compound didn’t even make me nauseous on an empty stomach (like Zinc does).

Aside from the obvious BENEFITS of the compound, I did not feel ANY different.

And as we know, a picture is worth 1000 words…

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The differences are pretty apparent.


So where do I go from here? I think it’s fair to say that Osta-Red works pretty damn well, and that I’ll be using the supplement again. I know what to expect from the stuff, so I can go into the next round prepared.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • I’m upping the dosage to 37.5 mg (three capsules) per day, taking one every eight hours for 30 days.
  • I’m sticking to 6 days a week of Ketogenic dieting (-30g of carbohydrates) with one cheat day per week. I will not be counting calories.
  • I’m going to continue lifting on my standard split.
  • I’ll be re-introducing outdoor cardio as the weather breaks (and definitely during my trip to Florida later this month) via my mountain bikes, my road bike (which rarely gets mentioned on here), and walking/running in my neighborhood.
  • I tend to go overboard on cardio for a few days at a time and then crash. I’m limiting my cardio time so it’s more sustainable.

All in all, I have to say that Osta-Red is the most effective supplement I’ve ever used. Nothing else comes close.

The last point worth mentioning is the fucking STELLAR customer service from the OWNERS of the company. Any time I have had questions about the product or my protocol, those guys were quick to answer questions and clarify anything I was confused about.

Great product, great company. 100% worth the money spent.

Until next time,

RHLH LOGO1

 

398 Days

So as some readers may know, and others probably don’t, I’m 34 years old. I’m no spring chicken, but I look better, feel better, have more energy, and think with more clarity than I ever have.

I feel better than I did when I was eighteen, largely because of a massive shift in mindset. One result of this shift has been an absolute removal of sheer recklessness and self-sabotaging behavior from my life. This is, of course, subjective, as I do many things that could not, by anyone’s standards be called “safe”.

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My favorite things in life have a statistically high element of danger. Boosting off of the lip of a 30-foot step-down on my Downhill bike. Squatting and Deadlifting heavy weight on a weekly basis. Watching the speedometer surge into triple digits with 300 angry horsepower under my right foot. Cooking with fire. These activities have risks, yes. I’ve been in many hospital beds as a result of my Downhill bike, paid thousands in speeding tickets over the years, and given myself injuries in the gym. But lately, the risks have been far more calculated and thought out.

But the most notable behavior that I’ve changed is one I haven’t simply altered. I’ve removed it altogether.

The consumption of alcohol.

I labeled myself as “straightedge” during my high school years. I didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, and didn’t do drugs. When things really started to go downhill in my life during my sophomore year of college, I started to reconsider, as all of my straightedge friends had “broken edge” and started drinking. I had my first mixed drink a short time later, and by the time I turned 21, I was fully immersed in drinking culture.

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My social life revolved around the chemical, meeting friends and dates at bars, drinking beer and talking about nothing until past last call at least a few nights a week. I started driving after I had a few drinks, then a few more, then a few more. “I know my limits” I thought. One night, I drove after six beers and a date gone wrong. I got a flat tire and drove the rest of the way home on the rim, sparks shooting from the bare metal contacting the road, a prime example of “drunk logic” in action. When I was inevitably noticed by the police and pulled over, the officer simply laughed at me and let me continue on my way, thinking I wasn’t drunk, I was just stupid. In reality, I was lucky.

The years rolled by, and it only got worse. I was using alcohol to fall asleep every night, drinking at work meetings in the afternoon, having a beer with dinner, and partying hard several nights a week. I had a large group of friends that all engaged in the same debauchery, making my actions all the more easy to justify.

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When I moved to a rural ski area in 2009, the problems compounded and intensified. I made some new friends in the area. They knew all of the local bar’s staff, and would be allowed to stay and drink until dawn. There was no law enforcement presence. It was a routine occurrance to drink WHILE driving, wreck cars while drunk, laugh about it, and be right back at the bar the next night.

And I was front and center. Drinking was just “what I did” to celebrate, comiserate, or simply because it was a Wednesday.

One night in late 2012, two friends and I were bar-hopping. I was trying to impress a waste-of-time skank I had just met by proving that I was the most party-hard motherfucker in town. Before I knew it, the next morning had come. I was passed out on my porch, covered in vomit and piss. My car was stuffed into a ditch at the end of the driveway, the front bumper ripped half off. I didn’t know how I had gotten there, and after sobering up, decided that maybe I should slow down on the drinking a bit.

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I tapered off of alcohol, drinking rarely over the next year and a half. I had started pointing myself in the right direction, getting into the gym, getting away from my poisonous friends who’s actions I used to justify my own. My ex girlfriend got a DUI. Once the fog started lifting, I saw who I actually was when I drank, and I fucking hated him. He was irrational, impulsive, stupid, weak and overly-emotional.

By April of 2014, I almost never drank. If I did, it was one or two, and then I was done. It was what most people would consider a “safe” level. But old habits die hard. I found myself at a friend’s house one night. I had just made the decision to break up with my girlfriend at the time, and was discussing my reasons for doing so. One vodka mixer turned into four or five, and by the end of the night, I was more or less screaming and blubbering to him about my problems. Out of habit, I figured “I’ll be fine”, got in my car, closed my left eye, and drove home through one of the most police-patrolled neighborhoods I’ve ever seen. He didn’t try to stop me.

I actually got home safe and without incident, but again, this was yet another wake up call. I didn’t get a DUI or kill someone for any other reason besides luck. My behavior was disgusting, horribly dangerous, and stupid. That’s the last time I’ve been drunk. The rest of 2014 was peppered by the occasional beer or bottle of wine in the comfort of my own living room. When the year drew to the close, though, I had a fresh perspective.

“I don’t need this. I want to do so many things in my life that are incompatible with alcohol. I hate who I am when I drink, and don’t want this person to be a part of my personality any longer”

I decided to stop drinking for 30 days. This was an absolute breeze, so I upped it to a year.

I went to the beach in May. I couldn’t remember what I did on vacations before alcohol. They always started the same way, by ceremoniously stopping at the distributor for three or four cases of Corona, which would usually last a few days. Driving past this traditional “first stop” felt bizzarre. On these trips, I was always photographed with a beer in my hand. I would wake up hung over, drink on the beach, drink at dinner, and party all night.

This year was the first time that I was able to simply enjoy the company of my girlfriend (on our first trip together), read some excellent books, and spend the vacation as it was intended, as a relaxing getaway.

The summer turned into fall, and I had grown accustommed to simply ordering lemon water anytime I went out. My girlfriend jumped on board and more or less stopped drinking as well (since I’ve known her, she hasn’t been much of a drinker anyway). Having avoided the culture for so long, I went out to some bars with a friend of mine, and was surprised at what I witnessed in that environment while sober.

Loud, dumb guys stumbling around and falling into other loud, dumb guys, then starting fights with them. People passed out in corners. A guy who had visibly pissed his pants. A girl standing on the sidewalk with no shoes, covered in some unidentifable liquid, screaming at the top of her lungs at a person who was not there. Obese women being talked out of jumping into a patch of bushes from a 20+ foot balcony. And vomit. Lots and lots of vomit.

I didn’t feel pity or sadness. It was more of a sense of relief. I never had to be one of those people again, or interact with them in any way unless I deliberately entered that environment for some (admittedly pretty dark) entertainment.

It’s been 398 days since I’ve had any alcohol. I don’t foresee the need to ever re-visit the substance in any way. Sure, I can’t deny how delicious and flavorful a good wine is. Sipping a crisp, cold IPA is great way to relax on a hot afternoon. But none of this really does much to offset the ugly, dark side of things that everyone has horror stories about.