Choosing to be More of a Human and Less of a Person

People are killing the human race. In fact, do some research on global warming, endangered animals, dying art forms, anything that could be saved with care from more people are all the victims of their negligence. This is because people live in the world, and this world is quite different from the earth we all inherit when we are born. People’s disregard for the earth and full regard for the world is why it is easy for all of us to imagine this population being the last.

Our world is full of people who deal with inhuman conditions all the time.

Humans though, aren’t afraid of extinction. One can’t fear something that they’ve watched their brothers and sisters perpetuate throughout history. People’s fear of death is the same as that of the cockroach: “please don’t kill me, I’m just looking to eat and procreate. My existence is too insignificant to really bother you.” But their existence in strong numbers makes them repulsive to the civilized human. This is because billions existing for the cause of survival makes the cause wholly trivial. This does not mean that the practice of survival is unimportant, it simply means that it is no reason to exist. It is a means of existence. We must do things like eat, find shelter, or excrete waste to survive on earth as humans. The practice of working in the world to afford food and a place to live is not survival. A person who places the emphasis on survival without realizing that their world does not call upon direct survival skills will live a life that is fully dependent on society.

How people raise children.

Life as a person starts early, and far earlier than people want to admit. A person will argue maliciously with anyone who disagrees with their parenting methods or even denies the complete innocence of an infant. Children are reflections of the people who raise them, and without knowing, people raise their children to be people-to build a life of materialism and dependence, to seek out pleasure and comfort and connect these things with basic human needs like food, sex, and shelter, to find value in possessions instead of simply seeing the beauty of things. Children are taught to desire things that it is unnatural for the human body to consume like refined sugars and fats. They are helpless slaves to materialism. They know the brand of sneakers they wear before they can play a sport, which is understandable when they have a mother who demanded in her baby shower registry that she receive a specific brand of stroller. Children in today’s society have little passion for the outdoors. Their sugar-induced ‘tummy aches’ are seen to be preparing the body for more awful foods to come later in life. People think that denying them what will kill them is depriving them.

Our society’s most successful are those who can get people with less wealth to care about their lives more than their own. This does NOT mean they are talented at anything.

It builds an adult who doesn’t know what it means to be human, to crave oxygen and exercise, to respect nature as something that exists for our survival, to feel the pleasure in knowing that a healthy meal will keep you strong and alive. Humans have a connection with the earth that people simply don’t have in their world. In fact, most people have little knowledge of how their world works and any understanding might bring on severe depression. Informing a person that their favorite “reality” television show has writers, that high fructose corn syrup kills or that jump-starting your metabolism with coffee twice a day is a bad thing will get you mean looks, a possible nasty and ignorant argument, or if the person trusts you (people trust doctors with television shows, so yeah..) they may go into a hopeless rant about how “everything can kill you.”

Things are now made to be popular, based on the notion that people (especially young ones) are stupid and will demean art forms for the sake of living in the moment.

I don’t want to be a person. It makes me cringe every time I hear a person say that “real women have curves” or that healthy food isn’t food for “real men.” In my estimation, those who do things without a notion of integrity, eat artificial things, and do artificial things to hide personal flaws that they’ve created, are the realest people out there. To be fake, artificial, to lack integrity in what you do, especially for yourself, yes these things make you fat, unhealthy, lazy, and ignorant. They also though make you a target consumer for any corporation looking to capitalize on stupidity, which is most.

Most humans are trapped amongst people. Every day having their healthy, vibrant spirits broken every day by the stupidity of society.

While people feel that obesity needs a cure, humans agree that if obesity is a disease, it is one brought on by hundreds of thousands of personal transgressions. If life as a person means that one is conditioned from birth to make these transgressions, then life as a human in our time means fully erasing them from our practices.

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The One Percent of Fitness

In fitness, its about being in the 1%

In fitness, being a part of the 99% means, you’re unhappy with your body in some way, you either exercise or your don’t but you only associate exercise with changing your appearance, and you’d rather buy something to fix the problem momentarily than explore the practices that fix the problem permanently.  That’s all liberal fitness, and sounds awful to those who do it right.

ScalesonFire.com is not all negative, and I’m not the most harsh trainer out there, but this is conservative fitness.  I don’t apologize for pushing buttons.  Why?  Because Bill O’Reilly and Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh don’t do it.  Most issues that inspire passion in the public like politics, religion, choice of cellular phone provider, and even fitness have its conservative and liberal sides.  Generally, the elite, successful, one percent conservatives both control and are the envy of the ninety-nine percent liberals.  This is common, understood, and the backbone of every liberal/conservative argument around us.

In America, we teach our children to come down on the elites before trying to be elite ourselves.

In fitness though, since there is no participation in the argument from the conservative side, liberalism is simply the way.  I am simply here to preach conservative fitness to combat liberal fitness as Fox News preaches conservative politics to combat networks they feel preach liberal politics.  In America, we need a balance.  By coddling the overweight and out-of-shape, by allowing quick-fix and celebrity-obsessed ideals to run rampant through our media, by going out of our way to simply accommodate the consumers who consume more, we have all contributed to the notion that obesity and fitness mediocrity are an accepted element of today’s society.

We need voices that will help everyone understand that first, complete fitness inadequacies are unacceptable in any normally constructed human being.  This is because effective fitness methods are incredibly simple.  Liberal individuals make fitness complicated by first, making the process about superficiality, then by refusing to participate unless the activity is fun to them and easy enough to complete, then they quit and try the new thing.  Over a lifetime, liberal fitness can become extremely expensive and create all of the lasting negative emotions about fitness that we see in hopelessly overweight individuals.  If we have given so many the choice to be overweight or obese, but tell them to buy a particular product or to buy into a diet or method, then we should hear from those who think we should be independent of diets and methods and make the choice every day to be healthy.

In fitness, for those who are liberal with their bodies, everything productive feels unjust.

Conservative fitness represents the deepest fear of those ninety-nine percenters who could never imagine real exercise and in result, have no concepts of the benefits of real exercise.

“Real exercise” is first, practice-based, meaning that it is done with a frequency, consistency, and encourages improvement.

Second, real exercise does not end.  Acting as though there is a finish line to the fitness process is acknowledging the fact that a person began the process to achieve a set, superficial result instead of looking to simply live as a fit person indefinitely.

Last, real exercise is independent.  It is independent of diets, gyms, workout plans, friends, doubters, anything.  It is independent of all the things in a person’s head, and independent of all of the ideas being placed into heads.

Real exercise is exercise that has not been repackaged to fit the desires of people who don’t have the will to do the boring, tedious things it takes to be truly fit.  All other exercise methods, diets, gyms, trainers, they all require full dependence for lasting results, or are designed to take an individual’s money before the goal is met.

The goal of personal trainers, athletes, yogis, and all other practice-oriented fitness enthusiasts should be to understand and accept that they are the one-percent of society, because those who are active but are so because of superficial reasons are also a part of the fitness problem.  These individuals should lead their practices and businesses with this understanding in mind.  Those who exercise to understand deeper levels of focus, discipline, accomplishment and strength are the ones who obtain what one might call permanent results from exercise, they’re also the individuals in our society with the most desired after bodies and who soak up crowded rooms with their sexual energy.

Taking control of your body is about fighting liberal urges.  When it comes to fitness, no outside power can help you more than you can help yourself.  I tell it to bewildered clients all the time: My goal is to cure obesity, so that in fifteen years I’m out of a job.  The liberal needs the help and begs for the help and is dying for the help, but when the help comes, they aren’t as passionate about doing the work.  They’d rather pay to have the work done for them.   If not, they’d rather do something to keep up appearances.

Conservative fitness is about constant exercise, so that appearances don’t need to be kept up.  Let the liberals worry about appearance.

Fat people and fitness liberals are already trying.

Fat New York

He doesn't necessarily care if anyone needs to sit next to him.

I live in a fat town, a big one actually.  It isn’t New Orleans, or Birmingham, or Washington D.C.  Its New York.  It isn’t some food-obsessed, spread out, laid-back town.  The trendy, pretentious city that I’m from has an ugly side.  Its common people.  The fat, lazy, ill-spirited residents of New York City who crowd the buses and subways, dying for the chance to get a seat, to never have to walk, to never have to take the stairs.  They know they are fat, but they must squeeze into that middle subway seat.  They know that they are touching you.  You WILL be punished for getting on the train earlier than this person.  They know that their size is an inconvenience.  They stand still on MTA escalators and take MTA elevators instead of the stairs.

Aww. Too bad.

Know what else?  They’ve got kids.  Strollers, double strollers.  McDonald’s bags stuffed in the compartments and Arizona Iced Teas in the cup holders.  The kids are three years too old for strollers and have never walked for more than four minutes.  If there’s no elevator in the subway, they expect you to help them up or down the stairs with this Escalade stroller.  They take up the space of five people between their over-sized body and the stroller.  They travel with other parents who bring other kids and other strollers.  THEY CAUSE TRAFFIC.  They’re listening to headphones as their children cry.  Their favorite time to travel is rush hour.

"No Ma'am, you may not have food delivered and waiting for you at 125th Street."

They also fight to the death for seats.  They stand at the door to maintain that position in a crowded train.  They go out of their way to be lazy and in the way. These are generally the only things they go out of their way to do.  The backwards MTA system is built for and around them.  “Improvements” to the MTA come in additions to laziness like elevators.  I’m from a fat city that could be a fit, stair-taking, gym-hating, active place.  I often run in and see races in the city that make me wonder if these are ALL of the individuals who run in the city.  I know it isn’t, but it feels that way.  I feel like I’m surrounded by fat and acceptance of fat.  I feel like the line at the Shake Shack is getting longer.  I feel like life is getting slower here like we are in the south.

"So you want me to like, walk up the stairs?"

I remember this being a fast city, with fast money and fast movement and a whole lot of people with places to go and things that should’ve already been done.  You can’t move quickly without a hard body, so this overpopulated, over-stressed city is going to slow to a stop if this trend doesn’t stop.  In New York, we don’t simply need to look better, we need to be better, or else how can we be special?  Fitness in our city should be about being intelligent, hip, crafty, and should help our personal success.  It needs to embody everything New Yorkers seem to be to the outside world.  Our inability to live up to our expectations will eventually tarnish our image if it hasn’t been already.  It starts with us as individuals, and how effectively we use our bodies.

Your Fitness Year in Perspective

"It's ok, I just ordered that Tracey Anderson DVD set. Thirty days before the snow melts I'll start, then thirty days of summer in that bikini that don't fit right now."

This is going to seem redundant, mostly because production in life comes from consistency.  Scalesonfire.com is about consistency (even if the posts aren’t), but exercise is about practice, and workouts are for people who exercise already.  That practice though is a tricky thing.  For people struggling with weight, it is very difficult to find perspective on practice, mainly because their regular practices already involve so many deeply negative things.  People with overwhelmingly positive practices rarely struggle with anything.  Since most are simply trying to lose weight and look “better” without the practice, I will use this post in my series on practice to discourage anyone with this warped thought process by giving a a set template for fitness and remaining steadfast to this idea.  There’s are ways everyone can make this work, and that way is to generalize the average fit person’s year.

Rest days are key, so you’ll need sixty-five of them to get the most out of all of these things you’re doing.  But before you judge that number, try to put it into the perspective of a year. It’s more than one and less than two days off from everything for the week.  It might make you tired, and you might feel like working out has gotten a little hard core for you, but you’ll adjust just fine after about a month.

Then, fifty times a year you’ve got to do workouts.  Here this is slightly less than once per week.  Workouts are fun, challenging tests of your abilities.  They can not and should not be done daily, and hence, will not produce the effect that most desire from them.  They should though be done with vigor and focus because these things are what workouts build.

The staple of your fitness regimen should be your daily, personal practice.  It should be at least two hundred and fifty times or about five times per week.  If you’re a runner, you’re thinking of five runs at various speeds and distances where you practice every technique from breath to form.  If you’re a yogi it’s five yoga classes where you’re out to fully open your mind to the yoga you practice.  If you just want to be strong, lean, hard, etc., then it’s calisthenics at home, working on form, range of motion, control, and finally, numbers.

Committing to that sort of year is tough, especially because most can’t predict their entire year.  Committing to that sort of lifestyle though is generally possible.  Understanding what you want from your year will eliminate the guilt, anger, self-loathing, and the rest of the negative feelings from exercise.  It is so simple to operate this way because now your goal in fitness is to build this sort of year.  Things happen on less of a schedule and more based on trust in yourself.  “Two times this week is not enough, I’ve got to run five times,” you might say, which is a far cry from running once, failing because you tried to do too much too soon, then failing going forward because you’ve added so much negativity toward the activity between time one and time two.

The very notion of planning out the fitness year goes against what generally sells in the fitness industry.   Programs like P90X, extreme fitness to the fat world, is only extreme because in terms of selling fitness, a ninety-day program is an eternity.  On average, people, no matter what their level, expect to be fit within a month.  Knowing this, “get-thin-quick” schemes (whether they be diets, workouts or an unhealthy combination of both) are usually set out over about half that time.  My own body did not take a week and a half to build, but this building only became an easy task when I came to understand that placing a time limit on a life-long commitment is an entirely stupid notion.

Approaching fitness in every other way means that at some point, the process will stop, end, or falter before the end.  A fit person must see their fitness year in perspective, and the effective personal trainer has no choice but to offer to the client a life without cop-outs.  Fit is something you become.  The goal should be to not only change the body permanently, but to reset it.  The only way to see this reset is to make evaluations after a year or, not at all.  Really, why evaluate something that doesn’t stop?

Exercise four, five, or six times more than you rest, anything else might not make you fat, but it will keep you fat.

The Continuous Cultural Divide

How does one get to the Wall Street Journal? Practice, practice, practice...

Last Saturday morning I was on my way to meet a regular client when I picked up my usual weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal and was struck by a feature at the top of the first page.  It read WHY CHINESE MOTHERS ARE SUPERIOR and displayed a picture of a smiling, slim Chinese woman with her arms folded for implied elegance flanked by two teenage girls who looked like younger versions of the woman, except not fully Chinese.  I was intrigued by the headline and read the article.  The woman was Amy Chua, a professor at Yale University, and this week the woman amidst a firestorm of judgmental parents and adults with strong opinions on childrearing methods.

As it turns out, many people were as intrigued as I was.  Nearly four thousand comments have been left for the online version of the article, the most for any online Wall Street Journal article ever.  An astounding one hundred and seventy-eight thousand people “liked” the article on Facebook, and yes, there are lots of opinions.  Some think that eastern methods are far too harsh, citing mental and emotional breakdowns in children who completely reject the methods.  Some think that Prof. Chua’s insights offer some of the freshest and most revolutionary ideas on childrearing we’ve been allowed to read in a long time.  I just thought it all pointed a huge foam finger at childhood obesity.

In fat, stupid kids

We live in a strange time, especially in the west, where childbirth is a right, mostly because abortion is a choice.  Meaning, many women and families have the option to negate pregnancies, so those same individuals, in choosing to get pregnant, see it as a right to be and stay pregnant.  It should be the opposite.  One chooses to be pregnant, and they have the right to abort the pregnancy.  All it means is a great deal of people with children, not because they’re interested in raising stellar individuals or forming effective families, but because they’ve been given the right to have them.  To me, the parenting problem begins here.  Before the letter grades, before slamming the ABCs into their heads, before pre-natal yoga, the decision over the baby’s birth holds the keys to what sort of individual the baby will become.

If so many see it as a right, they’ll make every other decision based on right, i.e. “I have the right to feed my child whatever I want,” and “I have the right to raise my child however I want.”  What these parents forget is that seeking pleasure, or doing things based on what they “want” is what initially created the child.   What they’re doing by parenting this way is teaching whole families to seek pleasure.  There’s no guidance in those priorities.  There are so many areas of our society where eliminating choice necessary.  That’s not to say that we should relinquish freedoms to an omniscient government so that food may be rationed and jobs are chosen for us.  It’s that individual censorship that lacks in our society, or a voice that screams clearly from within that the things that are better for us are far more important than the things that make us feel good.

This is a difficult and often rejected concept in the west, but it’s the basis and foundation of families in the east.  Now, when eastern principles are running families in western societies, things can become skewed.  So, if a parent has eastern-type expectations for a child at school, the expectations come more from the idea that western children don’t properly apply themselves, making those who actually do the winners in our society.  If a parent thinks that put-downs are encouragement, it happens more because they know other children never get any encouragement, positive or negative.  They’re told they make their parents proud, but they’re not “encouraged” to seek the highest level of what they’re doing because of possible failure, or because parents aren’t really fond of people who are actually about things.  Remember, these are people who simply work because they’re about their children.  Western children aren’t encouraged to really be or do anything of merit, because people here don’t think life is within their control.

I believe that statement to be true.  Children here are raised under a cloud of “ifs.”

If my baby is born healthy

If my child is interested in this or that

If my child gets into college

Here, it’s the norm to treat a life span like something that’s left to a state puppet master.  Those leaving life to chance are taking an even bigger chance with the things we should hold most dear.  If family is most important, then why not enforce your most important values, making it so that you control your family’s priorities for generations?  The answer is, because individuals here have no idea what the correct values are.  This is a place where we give more importance to reality shows about other people’s lives than our own.  Second, if education is important, why do we simply rely on schools to provide it for our children?  If children here practiced things, and not simply schoolwork but also every thing that took perfecting to really enjoy, then we’d have far more individuals with developed talents in far more areas.  Practice, in terms of repetition is taboo in our society.  We hear about people who are diligent and dedicated to things, but not many of us actually are.  A nerd-type enthusiasm for one’s craft is a cause for ridicule.  Really, human beings have the capacity to practice and perfect almost any concept that human beings can already comprehend.  Lastly, if our bodies are most important, then why is it also taboo to do the best things with them and to put the best things in them for fuel?

"Kids, this is soccer. In other countries, children practice this for hours every day because it's important to them that they get better. Here, we need this game because kids refuse to run to do anything, and because they can't understand baseball."

A deficiency in all three is holding back American children.  Their families don’t know what families should do, or how they should be run, and they make a multitude of incorrect and sensory choices.  They go to schools that aren’t equipped to raise children for their parents, and surely can’t serve out work ethics like school lunches, so children learn to do things, but never how or why to practice and perfect them.  They eat based on what tastes good to them, and they do as much sitting as adults, so much that children need to be encouraged by the media to be interested in activity.  This trio of issues produces a child (and later and adult) who, according to society is normal, but in terms of being an effective adult is failing.

This is what Michelle Obama is afraid to say when she’s saying that getting kids active will help childhood obesity.  What’s missing in all of these speeches from the White house lawn are insights into proper priorities and observations of our changing society.  Old world ideas might not survive in our world, and new world ideas aren’t always effective just because they’re new.  Smart ideas trump both.  I’m not a parent yet, but if and when I do have my own family, I’m going to start with a foundation that says to all “this family treats progression, enrichment, and our bodies with the utmost importance.”  Prof. Chua’s aim is one of reaction to western society and defending against the mediocrity that society accepts.  It may lead to exceptional performance in school and life or a negative emotional reaction to a surrounding environment that doesn’t support these methods.  The west’s aim is help everyone get the things they desire, which may produce loving, supportive families or incredibly fat and incompetent children.  I say, if you really love your children and they’re not just here to cement your right to have them, then you’re making intelligent decisions every day that are based on who you want them to be.  You’re not simply waiting to see how society will determine who they are and who they will become.  It will be far too late when you find out.

A shortlink to the original article:

http://on.wsj.com/f4TYN5

The Death of Diets

Most are so irrational about their eating habits that they'd rather not even look. As long as the taste pleases them.

Long ago, before our society evolved into…this, English words had definitive meanings.  Then, with the continued glorification of superficiality, envy, and irrationality, some words that were once normal took on negative connotations.  Where people used to see budgeting their money as a means for survival, now, instituting a budget means heavy financial restrictions to individuals and families.  Where people used to listen to both points in an argument, today, the word “argument” is used to define heated screaming matches.  People used to see diet as defining a person’s entire food intake (i.e. “my diet consists of…”), now people see diets as strict regulations or extreme changes in food intake.

It’s all for the sake of superficiality, envy, and irrationality.  Budgets and diets scare people because with our liberalized living they represent strict and uncomfortable changes in spending and consumption.  Arguments scare people because they are far too irrational to hear outside opinions.  It might all result in people who can’t properly handle saving money, communicating with others, and eating properly.  That’s because with our current definitions of these words, we can’t effectively manage these essential elements of our lives.

If you don't really exercise, the potato may be too many carbohydrates...

Before you go on your next diet, consider a few things.  First, which factors have gone into this being your “next” diet?  Meaning, if initially every diet and exercise plan that’s sold to you works, then where did you allow them to fail?  Was it in the approach?  Second, what was your normal diet before you started going on diets?  Meaning, before you thought you needed to look better, what did you eat, and since you’ve been going on diets, how many times do you revert to your original diet?  Which is the way you’re naturally inclined to eat.  Which approach makes you more comfortable?  Third, do most diets you embark on force you to into completely uncomfortable eating habits?  Would a different approach make you feel differently?

It all makes the word “approach” sound far better than “diet.”  In my experience, taking a different approach sounds much more solid then starting a new diet.  Taking time to be honest with ourselves, diets are quite easy to break, and sell to others so that they aren’t too discouraging.  Taking a new approach is far more frightening and permanent than a diet.  Without the catchy names, the calculated starvation, the instant and ephemeral results, new approaches are exactly what “diets” as we know them aspire to be.

New approaches are rooted in common sense, something that diets aren’t.  They may not help you lose five pounds in five days, because the superficial and irrational nature of that type of weight loss is not rooted in common sense.  Also, that sort of weight loss indicates that a person might not want to completely eliminate unhealthy foods from their daily intake.  That same person, taking a different approach to food might give up all unhealthy foods and lose thirty pounds in two months.  Still, those who are focused on the looks of things can’t imagine deeply committing to doing the right things for their bodies.  Most who try new diets are looking for ways to wear certain articles of clothing by a certain date, are envious of others with different bodies, and are willing to irrationally alter their bodies regardless of risks.  People who choose new approaches have simply determined what they should and shouldn’t eat.  For all of us, the lists of both should be extensive.  Anyone with basic knowledge of healthy and unhealthy foods should be able to make simple determinations on food and what’s right for them.

What's really entertaining about Kirstie Alley? That she struggles like most other Americans with weight, and that money won't fix your approach.

Why is it so difficult?  One, because we’re not all fed the same ways, but since we were babies, the only thing we’ve ever really been given for its nutritional value was breast milk or baby formula.  Beyond that, we’re mostly fed based on what our parents thought a human being should eat, and what we like and don’t like.  This creates an adult who is naturally inclined to only eat things they enjoy, and who will only eat healthy food when forced to by the doctor or the mirror.  If you’ve ever wondered why so many Americans are obese, start there.  That’s a completely unhealthy approach to food.  Mentally, it lacks consistency, which can put an unnecessary amount of stress on food and food issues.  Physically, it places bodies in unhealthy situations with fluctuating weight, health problems from years of sensory eating (for some reason, all the foods that taste great also kill you), and it feeds the fitness industry with money that American consumers could save, possibly changing notions about the prices of healthier foods.

A new approach to food should be the complete opposite of a diet.  If we start diets to look better, we should start new approaches to be better.  If we start diets thinking we can change for the short-term, a new approach should mean decisions we’ve decided to make permanent.  If we start diets to sell people on the idea that we’re trying by having them agree with the diet’s principles, then a new approach should be full of things that are unique to us and our own principles.

Lastly, most diets, on their face, mean well.  They tell us to eat less bleached foods, fewer carbohydrates, or to take in more liquids.  Really, humans shouldn’t eat bleached foods, they eat far too many carbohydrates for the insufficient amounts of exercise they get, and they don’t take in nearly enough liquids or fiber to live in good health, much less lose weight.  What diets are really showing us is that we’ve conditioned ourselves to be so unhealthy for life that fixing one of the many unhealthy areas temporarily will result in losing five pounds in five days.

If you think that’s a good thing, you need to take a different approach.