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Quotes That drive my life

If you would rather watch than read check it out here:

As a guy who has spent the last year dedicated to making, editing, and posting advice, quotes, and motivation my life is driven by a handful of carefully selected quotes and sayings which when dissected really do explain my character and my beliefs so I wanted to dissect a few of these quotes I live by to both give you a look into my life and to maybe give these quotes a different light that might make you consider taking some of these quotes or sayings into your life.

  1. “My only fear is that on my death bed the person I am will meet the person I could have been”

This is a simple quote, I have a very big fear of death as death means the end of progress for me and also my fear of not reaching my full potential. So this quote hits me personally very hard as regret is also another thing in my life that is a reoccurring pattern where I have had a goal, not worked hard enough, and realized I failed too hard so death being the ultimate end is the only time to never have regret! This quote also goes along with the quote “imagine you’re on your death bed and standing around your death bed are the ghosts representing your unfulfilled potential. The ghosts of the ideas you never acted on. The ghosts of the talents you didn’t use and they are standing around your bed angry, disappointed, and upset. They say we came to you because you could have brought us to life and now we have to go to the grave together”

So I have 2 questions I want you to ask yourself mentally and truly spend time thinking about.

Will the person you become match up to the person you could have become and can you work hard enough to know that you did everything you could when you realized this?

And, how many ghosts are going to be around your bed when your time comes?

  1. The only limits that exist are in your own mind

This quote is very true for me as every time I have set my mind to something seen as impossible with the mindset of it is completely possible I have always achieved it and every time I have set limits upon myself I have failed horribly. An example with this was with my football years, I decided in grade 10 I would be a starting lineman in grade 11 even though I was 50lbs lighter than the smallest current lineman and far weaker and through the summer I worked harder than anyone else on that line and grew enough to take a near immediate starting position that following season because I put no limits on myself and said it was a do or die situation and there were no limits to it. Now an example of me putting limits for myself is when I first started bodybuilding. I told myself that if I wouldn’t grow because I was too stressed with school and for 2 months I didn’t grow at all and after I snapped out of that progress came immediately!

The question I want you to ask yourself on this quote is

What limits do you put upon yourself in your own mind?

  1. Instead of “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority” and see how that feels.

This is something I started saying 5 or so months ago as I realized I was getting soo busy that I was always saying “I don’t have time” so after listening to a motivational ebook (how to persuade others) I wanted to try and change it and after a few weeks of saying this to people I changed my entire schedule to things I was proud to do. When people asked me to do time wasting things I would say “im sorry I gotta do such and such work and they would ask why I wouldn’t do what they were doing and I said because I didn’t prioritize it or if I was to stop doing something and people would ask why instead of no time I would say I didn’t prioritize it and people gave me a lot more respect for this. I did have some backlash for it as people get offended when they are not your #1 priority but I don’t want these people in my life to begin with.

The questions for you is more of an action. Try and do this for a week and see how your planning and people change.

  1. I never lose. I either win or I learn

This quote is very important to me as it has kept me driven through tough times and failures. If you consider every loss a learning experience instantly you are able to see everything in a new light which opens to new opportunities and ways to not only accept a loss but use it to your advantage!

The question for you is what is a recent loss you have had that you can learn from. In this do not blame anyone for anything (even if it was 100% them) everything that happened think about what you did to cause it in some way.

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Sugar Free Vegan Series (7/31)

Yesterday was Nikolaus here in Germany, a day where Santa comes to the kids to give little presents to the good boys and girls and Santa’s buddy Krampus sticks the bad kids in his burlap sack and carries them off. But enough of our charming local traditions.

Nikolaus day kicks off the Christmas season for real and I used it as an excuse to forget all about healthy eating. I stuck to my sugar goal (13gram total for the day) but I ate an entire mountain of fried foods.

This whole thing is about my health, but I seem to have a real knack for finding the worst choice on the menu.
I’m struggling.
And I don’t even know why!
On paper my first week has been great. I hit below my sugar target six days out of seven. I got through detox symptoms and I feel good. After breaking out at the beginning of the week, now my skin is clear and luminous to an extend that I haven’t seen without the intervention of a cosmetician.
I get out of bed much easier in the mornings and I feel like I have more energy. So much energy in fact that I’ve started working off my “to-do list of personal admin and self improvement” (snappy title, right?) I signed up for a half marathon in September and I went for a first training run this morning. It was more of an energetic shuffle, but that’s not the point.
The changes I’ve made clearly put me on the right track.
Why do I feel like I’m not doing enough? Is that just who I am as a person? Never satisfied, that’s not who I want to be. It doesn’t sound much fun.
From tomorrow on I’ll be a positive person with a sunny disposition. You just watch. I’ll unfuck my head. I’ve kicked the chocolate habit, I can lift my outlook. I’ll be so delightful, chipper and cheerful.
Oh yes. That sounds like a pleasant change.
Welcome to the sunny side of the road.
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Sugar Free Vegan Series (5/31) – THE RETURN!!

I know I disappeared for two days, but it was for the best. Between work stress and lack of sleep my brain stopped working properly and it’s been two days of constant car alarms in my head. That’s no fun to read.

Now I’ve had a good night’s sleep and I feel like a functioning person again.
Speaking of function (and this is the point where I advise the squeamish among you to skip the next three paragraphs) my bowels are a battle field.
Have you ever made changes to your diet and it had… effects? There’s a certain… acceleration in proceedings between stomach and …the exit? Sorry to go there, but it’s foremost on my mind today.
I’m hoping it’ll clear up quickly. I got through the headaches I’ll get through this. Not as quickly as my food gets through me. Ba-dum-tish
I think the sugar detox that is progressing head down. It started with headaches, next was a face full of zits, followed by shaking hands (though that might be caused by lack of sleep. I can’t be sure since I’m lacking a control group) and now it’s my digestion.
If things continue along these lines it’ll hit my knees by Monday.
Yesterday I was close to throwing in the towel. With everything that was going on at work, it felt overwhelming to deal with a fairly restrictive change in diet as well.
Just then my mother -who is either psychic or the head of a sophisticated surveillance network- came to the rescue. Because she knows me better than I know myself, she sensed I was struggling and decided to give me an early Christmas present.
I am now the proud owner of a brand new juicer. It’s beautiful and I love it so much.
Today I had a cucumber, apple and ginger juice for breakfast and a carrot cucumber celery juice for lunch.
Chewing is for suckers.
The lack of solids also seems to help with the other issue.
On the other hand the apples in my breakfast juice pushed my sugar intake up a bit to 33 gram. According to the app anyways.
Much, much better than giving up and falling face first into a pile of truffles anyways.
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Sugar Free Vegan (2/31) – The Hardest Part

It’s only the second day and I should keep this light and fun. You guys reading this are still deciding whether this is worth your time. (thanks for reading, by the way)

One the other hand this is all about honesty and honestly, I’m going out of my tiny mind. The sugar cravings are so bad. My body is going through some symptoms as well, but the headaches I’ve had all day aren’t half as bad as that constant nagging voice at the back of my mind whispering: chocolate.

It’ll pass. It’ll pass.



Today I went to the supermarket and bought one of every type of hummus they carry. For dinner I’ll conduct a taste test to determine which I like best.

I’m trying to educate my palate in the pleasures of sugar free snacking.

As I was walking along the shelves in the store, I passed a display of vegan chocolate spread (think Nutella, but not as nice).

I passed it.

I walked back.

I walked away again. And returned.

I picked up the jar, looked at it and put it back. I kept looking at it. I wanted it. I wanted it so bad. I wanted that tiny jar of chocolate more than I ever wanted any lover.

Finally I walked away… And then returned after a big loop around the periphery of the store.

In the end the only thing that saved me was the store employee, who had noticed my strange antics and kept looking at me with one eyebrow raised.

Don’t judge me, store employee, I’m going through withdrawal.

I left with hummus, pita, a lot of fresh vegetables and a big jar of peanut butter. I felt like a hero going through those doors, having beaten my cravings and walking victorious off into the sunset.

In total I had 9 grams of sugar today.

I feel accomplished mentally and defeated physically.

Can’t wait for tomorrow.

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Sugar Free Vegan Series (1/31) – Introduction

My name is Michaela and I’m a sugar addict
I switched to a vegan diet and it might be making me sick.
Shocking, right? I know it took me a while to get used to the idea.
Over the past months I started feeling more and more run down. I had no energy, I was always tired, but I couldn’t get to sleep. I couldn’t concentrate and my skin was breaking out. In my thirties, this shouldn’t be happening anymore. To the best of my knowledge then, I was living a healthy lifestyle. I didn’t know what to do to feel better. Then I took a hard look at my diet.
While nosing around the Internet, I found a couple of articles about sugar addiction and going by the symptoms, I’m a 5/5, gold star, poster child for sugar addiction. Looking back now, I’m surprised it took me so long to realize. (What? Not everyone walks to the store at three in the morning to buy cookies?)
I’m a very lucky vegan. There’s 3 independent whole food shops and a weekly farmers market within ten minutes walking distance of my house. My city even has a dedicated vegan supermarket and a number of restaurants that are either vegan or have vegan options.
I’ve got it all.
But I made no use of it. Instead I indulged in vegan convenience foods. Chocolate (so much chocolate), granola, sorbets, apple crisps, cookies, cakes, fruit bars and an Olympic standard pool’s worth of pre-packed smoothies.
After logging my food on one of those apps for two weeks, I found out my daily sugar intake is between 120 and 170 grams… The NHS recommends no more than 30g per day for an adult.
Um. Oops?
Drastic changes need to happen and you get to read all the gory details.
From today until the end of the month, I’ll be living low sugar. After my first day on the new diet I’m nervous, I’m not going to lie.
For breakfast I had celery sticks dipped in peanut butter, because I had no other ideas. My usual breakfast of granola, soya yoghurt and dried fruits has a total sugar contend of 60g all by itself. So celery it was.
I drank my coffee black instead of with agave nectar. It felt like drinking a cup of sadness and misery.
In the afternoon I bust out the cookbooks and marked all recipes that either conformed to my new diet or could be easily converted. I found some delicious sounding dishes and I’m hoping tomorrow will go better.
My app informed me that today I had – drumroll, please- 16g of sugar. Nice.
That’s literally a tenth of what I had yesterday.
Day 1 of 31 is officially a success (I can’t stop thinking about cookies)
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Working Out With Arthritis

What is arthritis

Arthritis literally means joint disease (arthro, joint, and itis, inflammation). There are many types, but osteoarthritis accounts for 80% of the cases and affects millions of people around the world. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder in which the cartilage – the cushioning between the bones that acts as a shock absorber – begins to breakdown. Cartilage is composed mostly of water; it’s like a damp sponge or a balloon filled with water. When pressure is put on the joint, the water is pushed around to equalize the force and protect the bones. The spongy part of the cartilage also contains chondrocytes, cells that regenerate new bits of cartilage. Osteoarthritis is usually thought of as “wear-and-tear” arthritis, but Dr Nelson says that’s “too simplistic.” The immune system is also involved. Nelson explains that the job of the immune system is to repair damage and, in the case of cartilage, it sometimes overdoes it. “The problem,” says Miriam Nelson, “is that the white cells of the immune system cause damage even as they clear it up: They carry enzymes that break down cartilage.” Moreover, she explains, cartilage has no blood supply and, as a consequences, only limited ability to repair itself. Eventually, the combination of wear and tear, over-active immune system and slow healing causes enough damage that the body “sounds an alert to the changes with pain,” says Nelson. That means you’ve got trouble. All is not lost, however. As we’ll see, there are ways to prevent or treat arthritis.

What are the risk factors

Some people are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than others, according to Dr. Nelson. Age, gender (women are slightly more likely to develop arthritis than men), excess weight and family history are all predisposing factors. Injury to the joints, of course, increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis and appears to have contributed to the problems experienced by the famous lifters mentioned above. Tommy Kono believes a knee injury was the precipitating factor in his hip replacement. “To compensate for my bad left knee I taxed my left hip too much,” he told me in an email. “It is amazing how we minimized injuries when we were young, but later on self-preservation kicks in and sometimes it is too late for the damage has been done,” Tommy wrote. “This is the reason I harp on perfect technique for the Olympic lifts and the correct way to perform the full squat.” In a letter to a friend of mine, John Grimek traced his double hip replacement in his 80s, shortly before his death, to an injury suffered about 10 years earlier in a spur of the moment squatting session. He let an unexpected visitor to the York Barbell gym talk him into doing some very heavy squats. The visitor wanted to do squats, and Grimek agreed to join in, even though he hadn’t done squats for some time. Squats were always easy for John and he thought he could get away with it. Unfortunately, it appears that he eventually paid the price for showing the much younger visitor who was boss. Pat O’Shea suffered a major injury to his left quadriceps – you can see his atrophied thigh in the photo on page 205 of Challenge Yourself – which may have been a contributing factor leading up to his recent hip replacement. He blames his hip problem on “overuse.” Pat says, “Too many years of split snatching, running and backpacking.” Happily, he reports that after the implant his hip “has never felt better.” Bill Clark’s hip and knee replacements came after 20 years behind home plate as a baseball umpire and 38 years of pounding up and down hardwood basketball courts as a referee (see the profile in the last chapter of Challenge Yourself). Bill’s long involvement in harness lifting, back lifting and other odd lifts probably didn’t help. He set national All-Round lifting records in the 70-74 age group in 2002. Interestingly, it is reported in the December 2002 issue of Milo that a study performed in England found basketball to be the most injurious sport of all. Olympic weightlifting was number 19 and powerlifting was 12. A later study sponsored by the National Centers for Disease Control also found basketball at the top of the list for reported injuries; weight training and aerobics were near the bottom of the list. Finally – and importantly – muscle weakness is a major risk factor. “If your muscles are weak,” Miriam Nelson writes, “you are at an elevated risk for developing osteoarthritis.” As we’ll see, strength training is the key element in her prescription for beating arthritis

The importance of muscle

“Muscle is the most important protector of joints,” says Dr. Nelson; “cartilage only absorbs shock that gets past the muscle.” That’s why muscle weakness is so harmful. “Without strong muscles, cartilage wears out much sooner.” Miriam Nelson compares muscle and cartilage to the shock absorbers and springs in a car. In your body, the muscles, like shock absorbers, take the brunt of the shock, but once in a while the impact is so severe that the cartilage, like the springs and axles, takes the hit. Just as the passengers feel and hear the bump, you feel a painful shock in your joint. Nelson says that’s called a microklutz; it means the shock got through to the cartilage. “Over many years,” says Nelson, “such shocks can slowly degrade the cartilage.” As the damage to the cartilage increases, the pain forces people to become less and less active. It sets off a “vicious cycle,” says Nelson. Pain leads to inactivity, muscle weakness, joint damage and more pain, and the cycle starts over again. The bad news is that you can’t grow new cartilage to replace the cartilage that has been worn away. The good news, says Nelson, is that “you can grow new muscle and thereby rebuild a critical part of the joint’s shock absorber system.”

The study to prove the above

Miriam Nelson not only says you can beat arthritis with strength training, she proved it. In fact, she says, the study which forms the foundation of her book was more successful than she and her colleagues hypothesized. Arthritis has been around forever but scientists only began studying it about 125 years ago. For at least 100 years after that, doctors thought the best treatment for painful joints was rest. Actually, that’s still the norm in many, perhaps most, places. A friend of mine has severe arthritis in both knees, and to the best of my knowledge she has never been encouraged to exercise. The doctors prescribed strong pain pills – they allow her to walk and work – and told her that they will replace her knee(s) when the medication no longer allows her to function. Dr. Nelson says early studies of the benefits of exercise were not encouraging. That may be one of the reason for the treatment my friend has received; the other is probably a history of non-compliance by patients. According to Nelson, earlier studies fell short because they focused on walking and range of motion exercises. They didn’t address the problem of muscle weakness. The exercises “weren’t intense enough;” the training wasn’t designed to make the muscles “become more powerful,” says Nelson. “That’s the whole point.” With the help of Ronenn Roubenoff, M.D., a board-certified rheumatologist, and her doctoral fellow, Kristin Baker, Dr. Nelson designed a study to determine the effect of aggressive strength training on older adults with osteoarthritis of the knee – in their own home. They recruited 46 people, 55 or older, with moderate to severe knee pain. All were “significantly limited” in their ability to do normal things – “walking, stair climbing, even just sitting and standing.” Kristin visited each person at home several times during the course of the four-month study. Half did strength training and flexibility exercises three times a week. The other half received emotional support and tips on healthy eating from Kristin, but no exercise guidance; 38 participants completed the study. The training – gentle to start with and progressively more intensity – included modified squats, step-ups, knee extensions and other exercises. Kristin instructed them to start with “moderate” intensity and learn perfect form, and then over the course of several workouts increase the intensity to “hard.” She encouraged them to increase the weight or reps as they got stronger. She explained that reasonable muscle soreness is normal; that it’s “a sign that you are challenging your muscles appropriately to adapt and become stronger.” The key is to “begin slowly and progress consistently,” she told them. It worked! The strength of their quadriceps increased an average of 71%, compared with 3% for the control group. Pain in the exercise group decreased 43%, as opposed to 12% in other group. Physical function improved by 44%, in activities they were having trouble with before, such as walking and climbing; the placebo group stayed about the same. Importantly, the exercisers showed less depression and gained in self-confidence and self-esteem. They even slept more restfully. “Their lives turned around,” wrote Nelson. The changes were “astonishing,” says Dr. Nelson.

(For more information on strength training, diet and medication – even exercising in preparation for joint replacement – to beat arthritis, I urge you to read Miriam Nelson’s wonderful book: Strong Women and Men Beat Arthritis. I also recommend her other books on the benefits of strength training to stay young, stay slim and build strong bones.)

Shoulder arthritis (as requested)

Comeback Strategy

For mild cases of shoulder arthritis, you can return to training and competition when you can tolerate the pain. When surgery is performed to treat glenohumeral arthritis, complete recovery takes 4-6 months.

Incorporate these exercises into your comeback routine:

Standing Shoulder External and Internal Rotation (two sets until fatigue)

Floor Y’s and Floor T’s (2 sets of 10 repetitions for each move)

How to Prevent or Delay Shoulder Arthritis

There are things you can do that might help prevent or delay AC arthritis, but there are no guarantees. Try decreasing the weight, frequency, and duration of weightlifting.

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A Recovery Week For Muscle Building

What Is It?

Heavy weight training starts the muscle building process, and normally you should not miss any scheduled training days to have max results. However, every few months it is said you should have a scheduled week every few months. The point of this is to give your body a rest obviously. For months you push your body to its limits to further grow the muscle. Exercise is much like taking any kind of drug as you exercise your body gets used to this intensity and it becomes less and less effective so you have to always increase the intensity but of course like drugs there is an overdose limit where if you train any harder you will not be making significant muscle growth while if you don’t exercise that hard you also don’t make muscular gains this is where most people plateau. When you take the 1 week of rest per every few months you don’t completely reset the need for more intensity. The muscles are not the only part strained by heavy weight training so is the CNS (Central Nervous System) and this rest allow for your CNS to reset and prepare your body for another few months of going hard.

Is This Necessary

In no way are off week necessary for your casual lifter. Your guy or girl who goes to the gym a few times a week to get fit, to look good and just to enjoy the gym does not need off weeks. They simply do not train as intense as a serious/ hard core lifter and don’t need this.

The Mental Aspect

To me not training for 3 days drives me crazy, all I want to do is train and when I get back I have a completely refreshed motivation to train because iv forced myself not to do it for the entire week. Normally id think that if I left the gym for even a few days id start to shrink but now as I research I learn that there is an importance to taking a week off every few months and I think this knowledge will ease the thought of shrinkage the wont happen.

Simplified Summary

Recovery weeks every few months help with …

  • Reset CNS (Central Nervous System)
  • Allow the body to rest and prepare for next few weeks of training
  • Increase strength gains
  • Helps avoid plateau