Category Archives: Health

about alcohol

I wanna talk about alcohol.   

I recently had a small “discovery” about myself which has drastically cut down on my alcohol consumption.

And just for fun, I’m going to write this email, whilst drinking a beer!
Cheers:
——————————————

So here’s how I’d normally drink alcohol:

IF I’m at a party….
–and–
IF they are serving alcohol…

I will normally drink.  

There’s no real rhyme or reason to this.  I’ll simply have a cocktail or beer out of habit.

Now my problem is I drink FAST.
If I have a drink in my hand (whether it’s a beer, martini, or CocaCola), I’ll keep taking sips until it’s finished.

When I’m done, I’ll get another.

I could finish three drinks before someone else finishes one, and not even realize it till it “hits me.”

I went to 9 weddings in 2012 alone, and I want to share with you a common theme:

1….) I would show up to the wedding reception where there’s always an open-bar starting around 7pm till dinner starts.

2….) I would load up on free drinks, and by dinner time, be kind of buzzed (let’s not use euphemistic words to hide the truth here ….I’d be kinda drunk by this time).

3….) Every drink I take lowers my ability to keep up conversation and be “sharp”…..so I’d be bit dull by the time dinner starts.

4….) Since I’ve been drinking, I’m SUPER hungry by dinner time, and I scarf down the meal and whatever leftovers I can get from others.

5….) So now I’m at a wedding, can barely stand up, feel bloated, have to take a huge dump, feeling cranky, and can no longer make witty conversation.  I just wanna leave at this point.

OK……so by the end of a wedding I’m feeling like crap all because I had too many drinks too fast in the beginning.

This was shockingly apparent to me when I was at a wedding in Cancun (the 4th wedding of that year).  I drank before the dinner started, then scarfed down three plates of food (they flew in a chef from Goa and the food was incredible)….and I felt so bloated and full that I had to go back to my hotel room to throw up.

I ate SO much food I literally couldn’t keep it down.

This was my body’s way of saying, “OK YOU DUMBASS YOU NEED TO SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.”

I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that story until now.
It’s incredibly embarrassing.

SOoooo I ended up making a “Wedding routine” I started following with great success for the next round of weddings.  Perhaps you can use this advice for parties you go to:

1.) I would not have any drinks till AFTER dinner.  Because of this I could keep up great conversation and have a good time without an impending crash.

2.) I would only eat HALF the dinner portioned to me (to avoid feeling so full).

3.) Sometime late into the dinner or after, only if I felt like it, I would start having drinks with friends.  Having a few drinks helped me have more fun on the dance floor.  Several times I simply didn’t feel like drinking at this point because I was having a lot of fun and didn’t want/need any drinks.  It was liberating.

THAT’S IT.  That simple change of “only drinking after dinner” completely changed the outcome!!

Such a stupid little hack changed everything!!

Now that routine worked well for events like weddings, but I frequently go to tech meetups and events, and they’re often held at bars.

The WHOLE point of these is to meet other nerds and have cool conversations.  But with every drink I have, my intelligence goes down.

So one day I was talking with a shy-yet-incredibly-intelligent friend *cough cough* STEVE *cough cough*

….and we were talking about drinking habits.  He asked me one question which till this day I cannot get out of my mind.

This is almost verbatim what he said:

“I don’t understand why you drink.  You’re already outgoing, so why do you need alcohol?  I’m super quiet and nervous at parties, so if I have 1 or 2 drinks, it actually loosens me up and I have a better time.  So the alcohol serves a purpose for me.  But for you it doesn’t.”

–my friend Steve

HOLY FREAKIN CRAP.

I had never ONCE in my life asked the simple question:
Will this drink make my time here better or worse? 

This led me down this path of thinking about all the other hidden invisible scripts I (and others) follow in life.

Go to party with drinks —> You drink. 

Go to college —> Then get job. 

Party is invite only —> You can’t go

It seems that we all follow these invisible scripts for seemingly small things.

So remember in the beginning of this article I said “I’m going to write this email, whilst drinking a beer!”

That wasn’t a joke.
I am sitting on my couch with my Macbook Air and a Blue Moon beer on the table.

But here’s the thing…..
I was feeling lazy and un-creative before.  I was tickled by the idea of drinking a beer WHILE writing an article about drinking, so I did it.  And the beer served me.

Actually the beer isn’t near me anymore.  I only drank half and put it back in the fridge.  Because instead of following the script of “Have open beer —> Drink it”….I’m asking if the beer is serving me or not.

It served me when I started.  And now that I’m done, I don’t want anymore.

I’d like for you to identify one invisible script you do on your own, and how you’ve changed that behavior (or plan to).

I love hearing stories that have TINY changes that product BIG results (so I can emulate them).

I’m particularly interested to hear about changes in your relationship, work, or habits.

Leave a comment on my blog about them (you can remain anonymous or change your name if you’d like).  I will be selecting 5 commenters to send a NevBox to in the mail (anywhere in the world)! (remember each NevBox cost $97 and I have to physically ship it to you via snail mail…..and I’m no longer selling them).

So go comment with a SMALL change that’s produced BIG results for you, and I might be contacting you to send you a NevBox!!!

Losing —- In a good way

Over the last few months I’ve been trying to GAIN weight.

During my previous six-pack experiment I realized that losing weight was also great because I FELT GOOD all the time from eating healthy food.

However with this weight gain stuff……I’ve been feeling like CRAP all the time.

In fact, I did a pretty bad job of gaining much weight since I simply couldn’t eat as much as I was supposed to everyday!

Adam from MyBodyTutor (who was helping me out) told me:

Eating is your JOB when you’re trying to gain weight.

I thought that sounded FUN!  I mean…..who wouldn’t want to stuff their face every 3 hours with lotsa food??

Well I’ll tell you this:  IT…..COMPLETELY….SUCKED.  

Eating became such a damn chore.

For starters, I always had to be around food…..and relatively healthy food at that (can’t simply eat fast food all the time).

I was supposed to eat at least 3,500 calories per day.

And at least 175 grams of protein a day (I weight about 175lbs right now).

Here’s what I looked like every time I realized how much food I’d be eating:

Plus I had to cut down on cardio exercises, and focus on weight training.  That meant less biking and outdoor stuff, and more pumping weights…..which isn’t all THAT fun on it’s own.


THE GOOD OF GAINING WEIGHT:

  • I gained muscle and got “bigger”
  • It was interesting to at least experience the weight GAIN part.
  • Could eat WAY more at restaurants.

 

THE BAD ABOUT GAINING WEIGHT:

  • I was full all the time, and usually tired because of all the food.
  • I wasn’t as “clear” in my head.
  • I had to use the bathroom a lot more….and things weren’t as “efficient” when going (picture THAT in your head)!
  • I had to actually cook stuff….don’t think I’ve used a stove for over a year before this.
  • I had to buy a lot of food all the time….I was going to Whole Foods pretty much every single day to get ready-made food that was healthy.
  • Every heavy meal zonked me out.
  • I enjoy meat…..but eating SO much meat concerned me.  Every meal was lots of protein which usually meant some meat.

I was actually REALLY BAD at following my diet requirements for gaining weight.  Almost every single day I missed my target calorie or protein intake since it was so damn much.

I just couldn’t do it sometimes.

I even called up Adam half-way through and told him I’d be cutting down my intake because it was interfering with my work (I had WAY less energy everyday).

 

WELL AANNYYYHOWWW….I’ve decided to start shedding the excess weight and get a bit more “cut” in the next few weeks/months.

I know posting shirtless pictures of yourself in the mirror is extremely douchey…..but it’s necessary as a point-of-reference….so here they are!

I can finally start eating healthier again….like this!

SumoDietKourse from Hawaiiiii

SO I released another product on AppSumo today (woot woot)!

The SumoDietKourse was made not really out of demand for the product (in fact, it’s a huge departure from what AppSumo normally sells)…rather this was made because of the amazing feedback I got from my Six Pack Experiment.

I never intended for that to help that many people, but it really changed some lives (and belly-sizes)  :-)

While I lost a little weight and did my own little Six-Pack experiment….I’m nowhere qualified to talk extensively at help….so I brought in the big guns:

Adam at MyBodyTutor who I filmed all the videos with.  I flew to NYC for a few days to film with him, and I’m actually very proud of what came out!

If you read the Six Pack Experiment you’ll see I mentioned Adam over and over and over and over….so it was cool to actually film this whole thing with him!

One of the other things is…..this was launched today (Dec. 15th) while I’m currently in HAWAII!

Aleks noticed in my Cancun pictures I didn’t have a handstand picture like normal.  Well here’s one fresh off the camera from Hawaii!

That was taken on the battleship where WWII was officially ended.

Anywho…..checkout the sales video thingy and copy I did for the AppSumo landing page:

After the holidays, and I’m still not a lard-o

Previously when I would “try and eat well” it would always be destroyed over the holidays.

So this year I decided to think about this in advance and solve it…and it worked beautifully!

There was a Zoroastrian Congress in Houston over the holidays where all my friends and family would be.  It took place at a hotel, which ensured I’d be eating out all the time and have plenty of chances and excuses to eat like crap.

It’s easy to think, “It’s the holiday, I’ll just indulge a little”….but I KNOW the end result is being sluggish, feeling fatter and finding it hard to wake up etc…

So for the weeks prior to the holiday I began tracking my meals like I did during the 6-pack experiment.  I didn’t necessarily give up ANYTHING…I simply ate good, not bad.

I made an old piece of cardboard into a “tracking chart” starting two weeks before Christmas.  Everyday I was to write down everything I ate on a little sheet of paper (which I carry in my pocket), then post it on the board at night:

In around two weeks the chart was full:

I actually filled up BOTH sides of the cardboard, for 20 full days of tracking:

It’s amazing how just being conscious of how much you’ve eaten for the day keeps you on track.

Here were some of my eating habits during my hotel stay:

  • I’d keep fruit in my room, or eat it wherever I could (I stole a bunch from the gym at the hotel).
  • I’d get the vegetarian meals at hotel-catered events because they would generally have more veggies..not just a big piece of meat and little else.
  • Tea or water instead of sodas.
  • I still drank alcohol, but would account for it and compensate by eating fewer calories earlier.
  • Worked out on a normal schedule.
  • I wouldn’t “skip” dessert…but rather I’d “pass up foods that don’t add nutrition”.

Since I was eating so well, the tightly packed schedule during the holidays was much easier.  I could wake up easier, recover from drinking much quicker, and just in general feel good instead of weighed down….all by simply writing down what I ate!

How I’m losing weight before I stuff my face during the holidays

….and ensure I’ll eat well through it.

Ever since my six pack experiment, no sane person would dare call someone in my physical condition “fat” or “overweight” (this picture was taken today, AFTER a meal):

However, I’ve since stopped being as strict an eater as during the experiment.

The four months I spent tracking my meals (and getting critiqued on every single one by Adam at MyBodyTutor) left a permanent impression on me.

I’m not gonna lie, after eating well for a while, the two things I liked the most are:

  • I looked good (at least to me) in a mirror.
  • I feel a lot better and get stuff done faster.

I particularly like the positive streak of productivity the experiment left me in. It’s easier to wake up, easier to start my daily work, easier to concentrate, easier to work longer…hey, I’ll take it!

So lately I’ve been indulging A LITTLE MUCH in all the holiday parties I’ve been going to (damn I’m popular)….and you know what?
I DON’T REMEMBER ANY OF IT.

Meaning: the temporary act of eating “one extra” cookie or some other relatively useless piece of food is 100% forgotten, but I do live with the consequences of stuffing myself in the next few hours, and certainly the next day:

Waking up feeling sluggish, wishing I didn’t eat something I KNEW I shouldn’t have.  It’s no good.

So to give myself a quick “reminder” to stay on track, I’d like to return to tracking my meals for the next 11 days before I go back to Houston for the holiday season.

I seriously cannot emphasize enough how insanely well this works.
(Adam will back me up on this).

The holidays will represent roughly 10 days of holiday parties, food and a schedule that won’t be conducive to exercise or productivity.

So to keep accountable to myself, I’m going to carry around a little slip of paper and write down everything I eat:

I will do this for several days, and post each day of eating on a piece of cardboard I had laying around:

I will be keeping this “Accountability Board” on the TV Stand (which I doubt will ever contain a TV) in front of my bed:

THE GOAL:
Track my food intake for the remaining 10 days before I go back to Houston for Christmas.

THE METHOD:
1.) Carry around a piece of paper and pen, and write down exactly what I eat, before I eat it.

2.) Stick each daily list to the “Accountability Board” I made.

THE OUTCOME:
I’ll be productive, healthier, and in shape (so I can show off to all my friends…duh).  I’ll be happier that I’m productive and healthy, and therefore enjoy my time more during the holidays.

Six Pack Update

Remember that Six Pack Experiment I did a while ago? (You can see all the posts here).

I tried to get six-pack abs quickly…and found the main way to get them quickly was by modifying my diet (in a sustainable way).

I started eating mostly raw food (even though I never gave up anything…especially not drinking!) and quickly lost a lot of weight (17 lbs in the first 5 weeks)!

Many people commented this change in eating wouldn’t last.  I didn’t think that was completely true, especially after using Adam’s MyBodyTutor service for four months which completely shifted the way I think about food.

So here we are, months after the six-pack experiment has ended, and even after I stopped using MyBodyTutor.

Have I started eating badly again?
Not really.  I’ve had SOME things I probably wouldn’t have ate during the experiment…but it’s extremely rare and I always regret eating the junk.

Does the temptation to eat a bunch of junk still come up?
Meh.  When you look at the end result of eating a food rather than the immediate gratification of it…junk food isn’t very appetizing.

What do you eat at restaurants now?
Salads.  I’ve never been a big foodie, so I love knowing EXACTLY what I’ll be eating at a restaurant.  It’s pretty hard to screw up a salad.  I’m actually surprised how easy it is to find healthy meals at even the WORST of restaurants.  Sometimes a salad will have meat on it, which is fine since I never gave up any type of food.

Have your drinking habits changed also?
Yes.  When I drink I’ll generally get a light beer or liquor with soda water (NOT to be confused with cola).  I’ll still have drinks that aren’t as healthy, but I keep it to a minimum.

What about your grocery habits?
I still buy pretty much only raw foods to keep at home. I save all the bad stuff for when I go out to restaurants.

What are your workout habits now?
Currently I do Bikram Yoga roughly every other day which keeps me really thin…so I workout in between days to keep my abs and chest reasonably toned.  I started working out again after my abs shrank from doing too much cardio and not enough strength training.

What do you look like now?
I just snapped these pictures in the mirror:

So recently I’ve stuck to my healthy habits.  I’m proud of that.

Will this last forever?  I hope…but that isn’t enough.

I’m a HUGE fan of this particular quote I heard Earl Nightingale say in one of his audio programs (I had to re-listen to about three 30-minute long audios to find this one damn quote):

Remember…Physical fitness is an unusual commodity.  You can’t buy it, borrow it, or steal it.  And once you have it, you can’t even store it.  To possess it you must make regular activity a daily habit, and physical exertion a part of your life.

–Earl Nightingale.   Direct Line.  Tape 2B.  27 min and 30 sec.

That is by far the most elegant quote I’ve ever heard about physical fitness.

Kettlebell Post

A few days back Josh left a comment on one of my six-pack experiment posts:

You’re always trying new things. So I’d like to recommend a quick and easy experiment for you- concerning getting in shape.

You’re always trying new things. So I’d like to recommend a quick and easy experiment for you- concerning getting in shape.

Get a 35lb kettlebell and do one exercise (swings, snatches, etc) as soon as u wake up (stretch or do some jumping jacks first to warm up) and before you go to bed. The most important thing (besides good form) is to do this TABATA style. Google it and download the app tabata timer or use the website. Takes only 4 minutes, but holy $h!t will u feel this and notice a difference.

So I did!  I went out to Wal-Mart (the only place I figured I could buy a kettle bell at 3:00am) and bought a 20 pound kettle bell (they didn’t have heavier).

Now it’s in my collection of workout accessories:

I kind of always wanted one of these things, I’ve heard  a lot of good stuff.

This post isn’t really advocating kettle bells since I haven’t really used it yet…but more of a “SEE…I do read the comments on this blog!” post.

Unexpected Benefit of the Six-Pack Experiment

After doing MyBodyTutor for the Six Pack Experiment for several months….everyday…..I learned something:

The sheer power of consistency.

It’s blatantly obvious being consistent in something is powerful, but I never really HAVE been consistent at anything.  Look at my blogging habits for example.  Right now I’m blogging everyday, but there have been MONTHS in between posts at times.  Inconsistency.

Even through school I would have strong periods of doing well in all my classes…followed by a total fall-behind.  Inconsistency.

So when I did the Six Pack Experiment and used MyBodyTutor I had to answer everyday to Adam (whom I didn’t want to disappoint), and also to NevBlog readers (whom I also didn’t want to disappoint).  I also had a solid end goal in mind (getting a six pack) which I didn’t want to miss.  TRIPLE accountability definitely helped me stay on track.

Adam probably used the word “Consistency” more than any other during that experiment…and how true it was.

As Earl Nightingale put it:

Plan out what you want to do for the day.  Accomplish it, and that will be a successful day.

Have 5 or 7 successful days in a row, and you’ve had a successful week.

Do this 4 times and you’ve had a successful month.

…then year.

…then lifetime.

Imagine a bricklayer building a wall.  He starts with laying a single brick.  He may be able to lay 200 bricks in a day.  Everyday he continues laying the bricks, and after a while an immense building can be made.  However it all happened with single bricks, day after day, week after week of diligent work.

It’s such a simple concept I truly don’t think I’ve ever applied till this Six Pack Experiment!  Imagine…I’m 27 years old and never ONCE have been consistent for over 3 months in anything.  Definitely a late bloomer.

However lately I’ve been keeping the consistency up.  I learned that after about 120 days of MyBodyTutor the eating habits I developed stuck around.  I’ve done 30 day experiments before in consistency, but it seems it takes me 4X longer to learn than most people to learn.

The crazy thing is, when I’ve applied consistency to something and its done very well….I wasn’t even working that hard! Usually I would just do a moderate amount of work each day towards the goal, and if I do that little work EVERY DAY it usually ends in a BIG RESULT.

SO I can either be inconsistent and garner decent results with periods of laziness followed by working very hard.

-or-

Just be moderately productive EVERY DAY and garner BIG results.

I choose the 2nd.

6 Dr. Klaper Videos

Just a random share:

These six YouTube videos (all of the same speech….so technically ONE YouTube video) changed my attitude towards meat.

I doubt I’ll ever fully give it up, but I have been eating significantly less since I saw this:

Next vids:

This video answered a question I long couldn’t figure out: Why do we get fatter?

I mean…how is the fat PHYSICALLY deposited in/on our organs and belly and thighs?

It all made sense to me when I heard:
Animal fats are solid at body temperature.  Plant oils are liquid.  Eureka!

Watch and learn.  He has an easy-to-understand way of explaining this all.

My abs shrank….

After doing MyBodyTutor for 120 days my diet has completely changed in a way I’m very satisfied with. However my six pack has been slowly fading away…meaning I CAN still easily see it, but it’s not quite as defined as when I was doing MBT.

My body fat is still pretty low, so that’s not the problem. Sadly, I know exactly where I’ve slipped….I stopped doing the ab exercises Adam made for me.

Nisch Nisch.  If I’m doing 98% of the work to stay fit, why not do that extra 2% to be REALLY fit??

I’ve been doing Bikram Yoga one day, then biking the next….and somehow stopped doing the ab exercises (which honestly take very little time).

The issue is clearly I haven’t been pushing those muscles to grow (they looked so much better when they were being exercised regularly).

The solution is clearly to start doing them again!

In case you need a refresher:

Bicycle Situps: 3 sets of 20

Knee Bends: 3 sets of 20

Foot Reaches: 3 sets of 20

Checkout the six-pack exercises for more info.

UPDATE (8-19-2010):

Adam (founder of MyBodyTutor) emailed me shortly after this post:

Instead of setting a daunting goal of doing them every day – which is over-training anyway – aim for 2-3 x per week. If you trained your abs 2-3 per week for 15 minutes a shot, it’ll be all you need.

-Adam