Rise and Grind

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Early morning studies. Rise, grind, and work for your dreams.

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Life’s Candle: Interlude

The flame meets room temperature wax and their controlled chaos is stirred. One solid and unwavering, and the other performing a fiery dance with breezy spontaneity.  Together they are resilient and unmatched in the levels of patience they’ve achieved. The past couple of months, the cylindrical glass home they inhabit had been restless with ambition – proving to be a real test as the rewards of hard work presented themselves. Together they’d burned a shortcut into shared destiny’s plan for success and the journey was exhausting. Each night they’re thankful for well-deserved rest. Wax hardens from it’s tired liquid state, as the flame becomes one with the night’s air. Both the wax and the flame enjoy smokey relaxation before sleep – a vacation from life’s heavy rotation. There’ll come a day we don’t have to burn towards our goals so fiercely. Sit back and relax will just come another day.

What is Queer?

insta queer

What is your definition of queer, friends? Are you queer? Even a little? The dictionary says queer means strange, odd, freakish, or bizarre. Those of us in the community know it’s an umbrella term that represents anyone who isn’t heterosexual or cisgender, but what does “queer” truly mean to you? I am peculiar. I am odd when I want to me. But! I’m also a tough, charming, and a fierce intellectual. My being gay and super-scorpio-sexy just adds to it! So… What does queer mean to you? What’s your version of queer? Can you answer me this, friends? Spill the tea in the comments and we’ll dive more into the significance of queer later this week.

Meditative Monday Mindfulness – 11.5.18

Good morning, readers!

 

I’m super proud of myself. Wanna know why? I managed to get to bed at a decent hour, after doing homework and things for the podcast, woke up at 4:30 a.m., and got my ass to the pool for open swim. I know, I know, 4:30 a.m. is crazy early, but I desperately need to be back on a regular workout schedule.

After about thirty-five minutes of swimming this morning, I spent a good fifteen minutes in the dry sauna.  I really enjoy the heat of a sauna, especially after a workout. Your muscles get a nice, relaxing blast of heat and the restorative benefits are pretty great. The feeling in the dry sauna reminds of me a hot yoga session – except you aren’t doing a series of poses. I like to sit with myself, in silence, and roll my neck and shoulders gently as I enter meditative thought.

I’m not particularly social in the mornings, so it’s a bonus that by the time I get to the sauna, that I’m the only one there. This makes it easy to meditate. I closed my eyes and let the thoughts flow. In two weeks, I will be thirty-two years old. The past few years have been very formative for me as a young professional and young man. I feel like when you enter your thirties, you truly enter your adulthood. I decided this morning that as I push forward with any personal goals, projects, or career moves, that I need to keep it light. It’s amazing, the amount of pressure you can put on yourself without realizing the true weight it exerts.

I spent the majority of my fifteen minutes in the 120-degree heat processing how I accomplish this: Take baby steps and go forth with confidence. Not putting too much pressure on myself if something proves to be more difficult than planned. Being as supportive as I can be to everyone supporting me. And remembering to be patient. What is meant to be, will be.

I plan on starting every Monday this way, so I can keep myself on track throughout the week. It’s easy to get caught up in the crazy, maybe sharing these little blurbs will help some of you remain centered and focused too.

 

Have a great Monday, everyone, and a gorgeous week 🙂

 

Feeling Great After a 24-Hour Fast

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We fasted today to give our bodies a surge. In a fasted state, I have the most focused and productive workouts and feel a cognitive boost throughout the day. I feel great and wasn’t hungry at all today – probably because I keep my healthy fat intake at 70%-80%, my protein moderate, and my carbs really low.

My workout schedule wasn’t too strong this week, but there’s still time to make up for that. We’ve been really good because we want to look good at this wedding this weekend. Fasting while keto boosts your metabolism and naturally pumps up your muscles; it’s also scientifically proven to fight cancer cells.

I won’t lie though – the longest period I can fast for is 24 hours. It’s tougher when you lift heavy weights, so I generally stick to my #intermittent fasting windows; 16 hour fast. 8 hour feeding window. It’s amazing what the body can do when you fuel it properly and generously. 🐻

The Man on the Bike

Where is he going? Every couple days or so I spot him leading the trail of cars that’s anxiously trying to get around him. Other oncoming traffic and myself keeps this from happening and deep down I’m glad. He’s confident, black, and moving at a slow pace down the 40 mile per hour stretch. I’m unable to guess his age and I worry that one of these crazy drivers will strike him; knocking off his Kangol cap and harming what I believe to be a good soul.

He looks like he could be someone’s grandpa. He’s dressed in khakis and a jacket that hangs on either side of his bicycle; a sweater or plain button-up underneath. It’s usually around 4:47pm when I spot him, just before I go through two more roundabouts and make my way onto I-465 South, a tad closer to home. I wonder where he’s going or if he’s just running an errand. Regardless of where he’s headed, I always enter that first roundabout hoping that he makes it to his destination safely.

We’re all in such a hurry at the end of the workday. Rushing home to whatever petty matter we feel is of the utmost importance. For me, that’s getting off the road and home to my yoga shorts. The man on the bike reminds me to slow down; to take my time. Slow and steady wins the race. Slow and steady keeps you safe. A piece of me smiles each time I see him, because to me, it’s him letting me know he’s safe.

Alternate-Day Fasting Journal: Day 1

Fasting for any period has always been difficult for me. I believe the main cause of my up-and-down scenario in the world of fasting is the inability to get out of my own head. Before S and I became extremely busy – and exhausted – I was doing exceptionally well sticking to a regular intermittent fasting schedule. By eating between the hours of noon and 8PM, I was able to break my fasting period around lunchtime at work, but was also able to make sure I wasn’t eating too late in the evening.

In the past, I could successfully fast – only consuming green tea, coffee, and/or water – I could last two and a half days. Fasting for long periods does not work well for me and that’s okay. You’ll notice at one point I began a fat-fasting journal, but never got past the first entry here on the blog. At least on a fat-fast you could eat, but it became really difficult to do that type of fasting once I cut dairy from my diet. After two years of exploring the ketogenic lifestyle – almost three full years low-carb – I feel I can openly move forward with this fasting experiment.

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Today went surprisingly well for coming off a weekend where I consumed more carbs than I’d like to admit. Thanks to the low-carb, keto pumpkin cheesecake we made last night, I didn’t wake up hungry. Skipping yoga this morning, I went right into work where I made it through the day with no temptation or fear of collapsing under hunger’s heavy pressure. There were a couple moments of mild stomach cramps, but drinking plenty of water calmed that symptom. Immediately after work I hit the weights and had a productive lifting session. Lifting after not eating for about nineteen hours was an interesting experience; but more on that later.

It’s been just over twenty-three hours since my last meal. There were no headaches, I feel strong, my mind has been pinging and alert all day, and I don’t plan on eating until tomorrow morning. All it took, so far, was keeping a clear head; even smelling all the food in and around the breakroom at work today didn’t phase me. Focus is it. Focus is what’s been missing from my past attempts at exploring fasting. I’ll most likely break my fast with some eggs scrambled in coconut oil and spinach. Did you know the term “breakfast” comes from one breaking their fasting period? Breakfast doesn’t have to be in the morning, but I’m sure mine will come before lunch tomorrow.

Fat Fast Journal – Day 1

After a not so ketogenic weekend, I’ve decided to kickoff my week with a fat fast. A fat fast is a good way to jumpstart weight loss and cleanse the keto body after a few carb-loaded indulgences. So what does a fat fast consist of?

1. Keeping your daily caloric intake at a maximum of 1000

2. Making sure 90% of those calories are from healthy fats (moderate protein, little to no carbs)

3. Minimal exercise

Fasting is not for everyone, and this needs to be understood. I only do this fast because I CAN eat, and I feel completely reset after a few short days on the schedule. I break my calories down into 200 calorie servings. This makes it easy to keep track and adjust my plan of attack. Only 1000 calories sound scary, right? Well it’s quite easy when 90% of your calories are coming from healthy fats. A few things I snack on during this fast are macadamia nuts, bacon, coconut oil, and other organic meat snacks. I’m dairy-free, so I’ve taken cream cheese off my list of fat fast snacks.

I made a conscious decision to not workout this morning. I don’t fast regularly, so I like to play it safe and not over exert myself with my normal morning stronglift routine. The current time is 1:47PM EST. All I’ve had to eat was a serving of macadamia nuts, a couple cups of black coffee, about 50 ounces of water, and an organic beef stick from the local market. I’m feeling alright so far. I kind of have a headache, but I’m not feeling hungry. As far as the internal “you’ve got to eat something” alarms go, I’m feeling okay! This comes from using fat as a fuel source. When you’re full of healthy fat, those EAT NOW sensors are far from active.

I want you all to keep in mind that I’ve had practice with the fat fast. I mentioned above that I only do this fast because I can eat. I highly recommend starting small with any kind of fast, and incorporating it into your regular nutrition and fitness routines. I’ll probably do yoga later, only because I know what my body can handle. When I’m fat fasting, I don’t like to put my body in a position that will yield to failure. I avoid this by not working out as heavy as I would during a normal day of eating keto and NOT counting calories. Everyone’s body is different, and everyone should listen to the signals their body sends. Be smart! Be healthy! I’ll be in touch with more fat fast entries to let you know how the rest of the week is going.