Dimensions of Happiness

happiness-pleasure-karl drogba

Hello,

today’s video is one of my favorites because I dig into happiness and break down the different kinds of happiness, from pleasure to joy, to happiness and then bliss. Studying fitness, psychology, philosophy, mind science, spirituality, and doing meditation for the past decade, I spent a lot of time understanding various levels of happiness.

Sigmund Freud, the father of western psychology said that what we call being normal, being healthy is general unhappiness. This is what being normal is about, hence why so many of us, even when healthy are looking for something more, let’s call it true happiness.

I think if you learn to differentiate the various types of happiness, you will have a better idea of how to navigate your life and reach higher levels of emotional maturation and happiness while reducing levels of suffering in your life, physical and mental. As you will see, higher levels of happiness have less downside. For example, drug addiction to cocaine provides a lot of pleasure, but at what cost, because the level of suffering is pretty high.

Every month, I make a theme video, one video that is longer and focused on a specific subject. In previous months, I made one called thinking in systems, another one called LSD, Molly and Weed… and another on Racism.

Since we are in the heart of the holiday season, I choose a video on happiness for this month. In the past few years, I became less enthusiastic, less excited and happy about the holiday season and to an extent, to every holiday of the year. Because I want more…why increase my happiness only during holidays like a puppet, why not reach a stable state of inner peace and long-lasting happiness every day. Why settle for less?

There are only 11 public holidays in the US every year, and you see some people who are so happy in the days leading to holidays. They call it the holidays spirit, or just another marketing slogan to get people to spend more money.

But you also have the TGIF people, who thank god it’s Friday…but in actuality, this is an insult to god, he created 7 days and you are so happy for only one day, Friday, and then maybe Saturday. Please don’t bring God into this, it’s not his fault if you cannot be happy 365 days a year, you are setting your own limits.

Then lastly you have those I call the weather people, whose emotion shifts or swing, according to the weather outside, cold, dark, rainy, they are sad, moody, low energy…then as soon as the weather is better, boom, they are ecstatic, they cannot stay inside, they have to go out, meet with friends, they cannot focus at work…they become hyper extroverted, life is good as long as the weather is good.

From the Holiday people to the TGIF and the Weather people, all of them fit into the category of sensory pleasure, the lowest form of happiness you can reach. And this is what I told my mom during a conversation to move away from, go toward higher levels of happiness because what we call pleasure don’t last, we get used to it quickly and crave for more. In the worst-case scenario, some become addicted to sensory pleasure.

If you want to reach emotional maturation and higher states of happiness, your happiness cannot be at the mercy of what day of the week it is, or thanksgiving, or a warm and sunny weather. To me, that doesn’t look like happiness, more like emotional slavery, because you are not in control of your happiness. Emotional maturation is the only true freedom.

Before going further, here are the 4 groups of happiness from the lowest to the highest levels I will dig into:

You have Sensory pleasure, what we all call pleasure..like eating an ice cream
Then you have Joy, which is a form of mental pleasure, like achieving a goal
Then you have True Happiness, which is a deeper level of Joy, joy is like the wave, true happiness is like the ocean at deeper levels
Then you have the highest states of happiness like inner-peace and bliss. Basically, a state of happiness that is neither physical nor mental, it’s like a form of happiness at the core of your soul, at your center, which when developed, never leaves you.

Now, I will break each one so you can understand these different dimensions of happiness and decide which ones you already experienced and how high you want to go. Dimensions of happiness is the right word because they are not all located at the same level of your being.

When you deconstruct who you are, you can observe how you are made of a physical body, a mind, and something being your mind. The observer of your thoughts and mind, the one who experiences.

This is the reason you say, my body hurts, the body is part of you but not you…or you say, I feel sad, you are experiencing an emotion, but the emotion is not you.

This witness aspect of who we are is called consciousness, some people call it the soul or spirit. Each of the three parts that make you YOU have an associated form of happiness. It’s very important to understand this.

Spirituality, in the right form, and now positive psychology are both focused on happiness at the level of your spirit, your soul, your consciousness.

The lowest form of happiness is the one we share with animals: Sensory pleasure. Reflect a bit on this and you will see that what we call pleasure, some call it happiness, only comes when one of our 5 senses is triggered in the right way. This is why it’s called sensory pleasure.

We have 5 senses…which can lead to 5 types of sensory pleasure you can experience. I will go over some examples of each so you can see them in your daily life. The goal is to become more aware of what kind of happiness you experience every day.

Listening to some good music can lead to pleasure, we feel happy…So it’s a sensory pleasure via Hearing…

Having Sex or Dancing can also lead to pleasure..we feel happy…So it’s a sensory pleasure via touch

Then eating some delicious food, we also feel good, happy…So it’s a sensory pleasure via taste

Watching a good tv show, looking at someone who beautiful, or arts, some beautiful landscape can lead us to feel some type of pleasure…this happens via the sense of sight

Smelling some good food, or an amazing perfume..or the fragrance of nature in the spring, in a park or a forest, can also lead to sensory pleasure via the sense of smell.

As you can see, there are many, many ways to reach sensory pleasure, and in many cases, like food, all our senses are triggered: sight, smell, and taste are involved in eating.

Dancing to some good music, you have touch, actually, here it’s called proprioception which is almost a 6th sense that is combined with hearing…

We also experience sensory pleasure from the three actions we perform in life. Thinking, Speaking, and Acting physically. We can generate some sensory pleasure using these three actions every day.

Now, it’s important to realize that we live at a time where sensory pleasures is our God, capitalism combined with technological achievements made by cheap energy enables billions of people to access happiness via sensory pleasure.

Pleasure via eating, pleasure with technological gadgets like the TV, traveling on a plane or car all around the world to experience new things, eye candy landscapes or exotic food…pleasure via dressing up, pleasure via sex, pleasure via entertainment, music, and things of that nature.

Our ancestors did not have access to the level of wealth we currently have in the world. Our current economies led billions of people out of poverty, where basic human needs are covered. There are still billions of people who don’t have daily access to food, shelter or water, but capitalism helped many come out of the survival mode of living.

Technological innovation from capitalism led to machines and then overproduction. We went from covering all our basic needs to having too much stuff. Then many people thought… the more the better, so our society and the world created a new religion… Consumerism, which is basically triggering sensory pleasure with new stuff…over and over and over again.

Binging on food, binging on relationships, binging on tv shows, traveling all over the world, having the freshest clothes, 50.000 songs on your old iPod now collecting dust, 100K images on your phone…we live in an era of sensory gratification to the max.

Yet some people were not satisfied with all this stuff, so they discovered ways of pleasure from ingesting chemicals or natural plants to trigger their senses directly, either to spice up their weekend, recreationally or in the worst-case scenario, by becoming addicted to drugs.

Next thing you know, business was booming for drug cartels and drug dealers…Depression and pandemics led to billion-dollar profits for tobacco and alcohol corporations. Al Capone, El Chapo, Escobar, they all provided sensory pleasure just like Mcdonald’s and Disney does. They are all in the same business.

I can go on and on about different types of sensory pleasure but that’s not the aim of this video. I just want to share with you what I started to realize, that all this sensory pleasure, all this technological stuff gave me a superficial, short-lived type of happiness and pleasure. I remember back in college… you get the new Jordan, you feel cool and happy for a second before hunting for another shoe, chasing again. You become a fashion victim, another word for emotional slave.

You don’t need to be Einstein to realize that every form of happiness via sensory pleasure, from sex to delicious food or watching Queen’s Gambit on Netflix comes and goes faster than a shooting star, and we are left wanting more. As I said in the video on needs, we go from empty to full, full to empty. Sensory pleasure binds you in a loop your entire life.

What’s worse is that the more you trigger your sensory pleasure, the less pleasure you get in return. You reach a point of diminishing return, also called down-regulation in the brain.

So there are two limits to sensory pleasure, one is that pleasure doesn’t last long…Second is that you experience less pleasure over time from the same stimulation. So you have to either up your dosage or increase quantity, which radically reshapes your brain chemistry. At that point, your baseline happiness is pretty low. You are now a perfect consumer.

Once you realize the limits of sensory pleasure, the limits of consumerism, and endless consumption, you can now look for higher forms of happiness.

So let’s talk about Joy, which is a form of psychological, mental happiness. Less dependent on physical pleasure. First, notice the difference between sensory pleasure and mental pleasure I label as Joy here. You can physically be tired, yet because you just reach a big goal, you access a state of mental joy that overpower your physical fatigue.

For example,in the final of a championship, the winning team is tired, if not more tired than the losing team yet they are so happy, because of joy which is mental, not physical.

Now, if you construct your life in a way that you are aiming at Joy more than at sensory pleasure, you will access a better, more stable and long-lasting form of happiness. And this is where finding your purpose in life, meaning, or the right job that stimulates you mentally is so important.

This is why Nietzsche said, “If you know the why, you can live anyhow.” There is something magical about having meaningful goals in life because it makes you endure the grind of daily life…Endure is the wrong word here because so many people love the hard work that leads them to their goals, like a sword master polishing his sword day after day.

Or even better, finding your calling, where money to buy sensory pleasure is not as gratifying as perfecting your skills… because you found your WHY to exist. This is how some doctors can work barely sleeping, with so much to manage yet be upbeat and happy every day. You hear that from athletes sometimes, that god put them on earth to play this or that sport. They have purpose.

Now, there are still downsides to mental joy from having goals and finding meaning in your life, but the downsides are less destructive than sensory pleasure. It’s important you first realize that Joy is 100 times more powerful than sensory pleasure because it allows you to become less dependent on triggering physical pleasure every day.

You will be happy even if your senses are not triggered to release pleasure like hormones in your body…Joy helps you stay relatively happy even if the weather is not optimal, if your food is just alright, or if you don’t look your best today. Because you have purpose.

Let’s go over the downsides of mental Joy. First, not everyone can find meaning in life, there are now close to 8 billion people on earth, so not everybody does what they really want to do every day.

Second, you have people who had something meaningful, goals in life that pulled them in the space of mental joy but they were not able to reach those goals, or what gave them meaning is gone. So what to do, many people end up facing various levels of depression and anxiety after losing things that gave them meaning, a divorce, the loss of someone, losing a dream job, becoming physically limited, losing children or pets.

Because what gives up purpose and meaning can fade away or disappear, a whole philosophy emerge in Europe 200 years ago and thousands of years ago in Asia. It’s called existentialism and then Nihilism. Individuals, philosophers, and mystics who realized that life, from a certain point of view, was meaningless.

This is illustrated by the famous story of Sisyphus by Albert Camus the french philosopher, where meaning in life is equated to pushing a big boulder to the top of the mountain to have it fall down again, we end up repeating this story our entire lives.

You have people who get their dream job, they feel so happy it’s like they can levitate because reaching your goals and finding meaning can uplift you. Yet after a while, even some of the best jobs in the world can become meaningless. You fall back down to earth. And it’s very common for people who lost mental joy to fall into sensory pleasure and worse, addictions.

Addiction to drugs, addiction to food, many people who lost meaning and purpose use addiction to cope with the loss of joy, trying to fill this void.

But they are other levels of happiness you can reach, it’s really up to you. The next one is True, unconditional happiness, one that does not depend on endless physical pleasure or having goals and meaning in your life. Hence why I call it unconditional happiness, it’s not dependent on something external.

Of course, you need some basic needs covered…like food, water, and shelter. But beyond that, you don’t need much to be happy because your baseline state in life is happy. It’s almost absurd, how can someone be happy for no reason, yet it’s what true happiness is all about. Sadly, in today’s consumerism culture, billions of people don’t know that this state is possible.

As you might know, some people in life have genuine happiness that other people don’t have. Genetics might play a role here. Some people are somewhat always upbeat, always optimistic. But everybody can reach this state of true happiness, which way deeper than Joy and last longer because there is a true transformation of your mind, just like lifting weight build muscle.

This state of true happiness stays in your shadow, like an undercurrent…Whether you are experiencing difficulties in life, mentally or physically, if you have true happiness, you can always tap into it and change your mood back to this baseline. You bounce back easily.

Now, the recipe for developing true happiness is simple, yet simple is not easy. The answer is emotional maturation, which is the result of maximizing positive mind states and emotions while burning toxic emotions.

We humans arrive in the world with seeds of positive and negative emotions. Joy is an emotion like anger, and we can amplify those seeds, you can destroy roots of jealousy in you and magnify joy, amplify discipline, detachment, enthusiasm, equanimity, reduce reactivity and hatred.

True happiness is similar to a healthy body. For your body to be healthy, you need fitness and nutrition. For your mind to reach true happiness, you need mental fitness, which leads to peak wellness, blossoming.

Now in the context of being in shape, losing weight, eating healthy, you can see how beneficial accessing true happiness within the mind can be. You are more likely to eat healthy and stay fit because your happiness is not entirely dependent on sensory pleasure, especially food.

Yet, beyond true happiness, lies another realm. For thousands of years, this dimension was in the domain of mystics, individuals who are spiritual in the right sense. Mass religion is fake and superficial, is about culture, identification with a group, and sharing some common values. But the core of spirituality is focused on raising your state of happiness to the highest level, or better yet, returning to your core, your center, your essence.

To put it simply, over the past five thousand years, some people realized that there are states of being that one can achieve by digging within, going deeper, like peeling the layers of an onion, and finding out that what we are, our essence, it’s spaciousness, at the core of the onion. And there is a feeling associated with this realization, ultimate happiness.

I called this video dimension of happiness because physical happiness gives you pleasure, mental happiness gives you joy, then deeper, true happiness. But if you stay seated in the observer seat, you immediately access a state of inner calm with a cool, zen-like happiness. You are not lost in the movies of your mind anymore, falling victim to short-lived emotions and sensory pleasure.

And that state of being is available right now, it’s just a matter of returning to your original state of being. There is an African word for that called Sankofa, meaning, go back and get it. Hence Jesus saying the kingdom of heaven is within you.

It’s up to you, thank you

 

Holidays Fat Gainzzz

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Holidays Fat Gains

Hello,

In this video, I will speak about holiday fat gains, and how this bad habit of gaining a couple of weight in the winter holiday season can set you on track to no just become overweight or obese, but to suffer greatly when entering old age.

I read yesterday that from the age group of 50 to 64 years old, 75% of the population are using prescription drugs, and they subscribe to 13 different drugs on average…for the age group of 64 to 79, 87% are on prescription drugs, averaging 20 different drugs. That’s staggering. Think about how many of them regret those holidays binging on food, I don’t think many do. It’s the Yolo lifestyle I guess.

It’s ironic that the holiday season leads millions of people to suffer in the long term. And also, we will talk about the mindset people fall into by all the sudden overeating during the holidays, does the winter weather play a role here? I think it does. So let’s get into it.

First thing first, we have to understand that the holiday season, from a business perspective, it’s the money-making month for a lot, a lot of industries.

The fashion industry, the airplane industry, the food industry, the video game industry, the insurance industry, the auto industry, the marketing industry, all these trillion-dollar industries make money, hand over first, during the holiday season, especially Christmas, and you are the ones making it happen. We have been programmed to enter buy/god mode when Jesus’ birth is around the corner. Every commercial has Santa Claus, elves, and some winter decorations to put you in the right temperature to buy. I guess that makes me the Grinch.

If you have the means to buy what you want, go for it, why not? But unleashing your food cravings in this holiday season will hurt you in the short and long term.

Every new year and throughout the month of January, I have friends reaching out to me, with the same old slogan: Karl, I’m sick and tired of being overweight, I got to do something about it, help me, this is the last time.

And all these people are on a clock, I know that by March, I won’t hear from them anymore, the best might last till April, then all the motivation will be gone. When you dig into human emotions, you realize that every positive emotion attracts the opposite emotion, like a pendulum clock. This is a great insight I learned from studying Taoism and Buddhism.

They say in order to become wise, one needs to stay in the middle of the pendulum, become zen-like in any situation, this is what the pimps call staying icy. Having ice in your veins, having control over impulsions is great, but you have to do it the right way, most people look icy outside but inside they are bubbling with emotion like lava.

The player that exemplifies this zen attitude in the NBA is Kawhi Leonard, or coach Bill Belicheck in the NFL, never low or high emotionally. This doesn’t mean you are numb and detached… no, it means you understand that the more you reach out and attach to a good emotion, you are indirectly attracting and becoming more sensitive to the opposite emotion. Like today, people think it’s torture to take cold showers, why? because attaching to hot showers made you extra sensitive to cold showers. Similarly, when it comes to food, it’s the same law, it’s logical that the following months after people binge on food, they suddenly go in the opposite direction with vengeance.

Gym memberships shoot through the roof in January. Every gym on earth, heaven and hell lower their prices for the month of January because they know, these new members are what they nickname Kevin Durant, easy money. They know you won’t last and will quit after two-three months. What I’m really saying here is that for many of you who will suddenly feel the urge, the compulsion to lose weight in January, this doesn’t come from you, you are being controlled by the pendulum swing of your emotion, like Pinocchio the puppet.

But one thing that will last after the new year is the weight you accumulated in the Holiday season, worse, if you reside in a really cold climate, you might enter the new year with a slight depression of your mood, what they call the winter blues.

Couple this with the fact that people wear a lot of layers in the winter, you are less concerned about people seeing you gain weight. So by spring, it’s very common for many people to have gained 10, 20, 30 pounds of weight. From Thanksgiving to April, you can go from a normal BMI to overweight or obese.

And this can create a snowball effect. When people realize that oops, the summer is around the corner, they all a sudden get a jolt of motivation to lose weight again, but it’s too late because if you really wanted to lose weight in order to look good for the summer, you need to start in December.

Now, why do people overeat so much during holiday seasons, well,I can tell you this, it’s not because they love Jesus. There are a lot of reasons, let’s go over some of them:

First, like the pendulum swinging on both sides without your will, the holiday season shows how much societal and peer pressure can affect people. Marketers and big corporations create this spirit, with lights, tons of commercials, the color red, big discounts, that people have the compulsion to consume, by buying stuff and eating more food.

Second, because of family gatherings. This is a huge reason why millions of people gain so much weight during holiday seasons, family gathering means lavish food, infinite desserts and bottomless drinks. I always say that one of the reasons why 70% of the population is overweight is because the majority of people don’t know how much food and calories they should eat to stay at a normal weight. So you can imagine what happens during holiday parties and gatherings. People who don’t know that they already overeat every day, going on multiple days of eating tons of calories and carb-loaded food.

And the third reason why people tend to gain a lot of weight during the winter holiday season is because of their internal mood, this is actually the number one reason. In the book I’m writing about Losing Weight Forever, my thesis is that losing weight and staying fit all year long is 99% mental. The ability of big corporations to influence your behavior, the effect of peer pressure and the holiday spirit, the family gatherings, all these would not affect you one bit if you had total control over your mind and emotion and more importantly, if you have a base happiness, from within, that was constant, without the need of endless sensory pleasure.

This time of the year would not affect you negatively, it might actually help you be more focused and reflective about what lies ahead, about your growth as a human being.

When the end of the year is about to come, we all start to reflect on the whole year, and we want to finish it on a good note, we want to feel good at the end of the year, so we please ourself, with shopping, with traveling, with eating.

One way to get out of this illusion is that time is man-made, it’s an illusion due to our inability to see reality as an infinite string. If Yesterday, today and tomorrow, were divided, can you see and show me where tomorrow is located and separated from today and yesterday, same thing with this year 2020 and next year 2021.

Look at yourself, can you see a sharp line of demarcation every year you celebrate your birthday…IM saying this to help you understand that time is timeless, and second, that you want to reach a mood that is beyond moods…Transcending basic emotions.

Reality is a process, so you too are a process, your current emotional state is the result of your past actions and can predict your future emotional states, your ability to become fit and healthy can start today.

The keyword here is CAN because right now, your present state if the result of your past actions, but with courage and effort, you can right now re-shape your future, it take a lot of mental energy and will to do it, then commitment to go all the way, because you have to stop the momentum of how you have been eating for so long, you have to initiate a new snowball to gather momentum moving forward.

It all starts within, it’s the end of the year, take some time to reflect, do you want to increase your true happiness within, grow emotionally and reach peak wellness or do you want to stay at the level of emotional pleasure and stay in a loop of thirst, from empty to full, full to empty. This is what buddha called being stuck in the realm of samsara until the end of times.

It’s up to you, thank you

 

Thinking in Systems

thinking in systems- nutrition- wellness-karldrogba

Are you thinking in system?

Hello, in today’s video, I will talk about one of the most important subjects I learned in my life so far. In a previous vlog, I talked about the phrase, “survival needs can never satisfy you”, and how that phrase completely changed my understanding of life. In the same manner, learning how system works, thinking in system,and looking at life from the viewpoint of systems, with parts, relationships being those parts, type of connections, transformed my life for the better. This is what I want to share with you today.

Understanding life in terms of systems is extremely relevant to human health, happiness and prosperity. After all, what you call you, it’s not actually a single entity, we have this illusion of self, but if you poke around, you realize that your body and mind is made of different systems layered one on top of each other.

Each with 100+ parts working together. The human body is one of the most complex machines known in the universe. People rave about beautiful complex watches, phones, cars, planes, but realize how your body, no machine can equal its complexity.

A commercial aircraft, plane, is made of 3 to 7 Million parts. Compare that to your body, how many cells are working so you stay alive and healthy? Around 70 trillion parts. When the body operates smoothly, trillions of cells and parts working seamlessly together, give you the illusion of one single entity.

Yet, as soon as you get sick, if some parts of this ecosystem malfunction, connections start to break down. Then you receive a notification, via a pain signal. Pain allows us to find out, something is wrong with the body system, and depending on your level of pain, you have to go to specific doctors who are specialized in one of the many systems in the body and mind.

When I say understanding the science of systems changed my life, it’s because every system obeys to some simple rules, and once you learn those rules to keep a system like the human body healthy, you feel like an emperor, because you now possess some skills to fix complex systems by focusing on key areas in this network, this web of life.

The Human body has 11 major systems. Yet you feel like, NO, I am one single unit, people say to me, Karl, don’t tell me I don’t exist, that this sense of self is an illusion. Sure, believe what you want to believe, but if I remove some aspect of your body, you cease to exist, you are not the same anymore. A small depression and boom, you don’t feel like yourself. Here are the 11 major systems in your body:

  1. The Blood circulation system
  2. The Digestive system
  3. The Endocrine system also called the hormonal system
  4. The Exocrine system…basically skin, hair, nails, and sweat
  5. Then the Immune and Lymphatic system
  6. The Muscular system
  7. The Nervous system
  8. The Renal and Urinary system
  9. The Respiratory system
  10. The Reproductive system and last but not least
  11. The Skeletal system

How amazing is this, these 11 major systems in the human body all function within their dimensions yet communicate with other systems to create a larger system you call YOU, ME, I.

You hear this popular phrase often, there are levels to this game. Meaning, like an onion, things in life have different layers of reality below the surface we see. And you find out that those who understand multiple levels in specific fields of life make more money than those who only understand things at the surface level. Hence we say, knowledge is power, because the right kind of knowledge pays. Emphasis on right kind of knowledge. Knowing all the pokemon in the world, good luck with that.

Compare a very young rapper to someone like Jay Z
Or a young Med student with a Surgeon with 20+ years of experience
Or an NBA rookie with a 10-time all-star.

This applies to the human body or a computer for example. The one who knows how to code softwares or websites will most likely make more than someone who only knows how to turn on a computer, join Facebook, navigate the web, and send emails. In the same manner, students who decide to learn about the human body and diseases become doctors, they spend a lot of time in school and doing fellowships at hospitals to understand the body systems. As the medical field progresses, more experts of specific human systems are needed.

If you have some muscle issue, a doctor who specializes on the digestive system cannot help you much. If you have some respiratory problems, a bone surgeon cannot help you much. Yet, when you are healthy, you feel like a king, you feel like you know how to be yourself, how to operate this complex spaceship. Yet as soon as we get sick, we realize quickly that, oops, we don’t know much about this mansion we claim ownership, people start to look left and right for a manual of operation, let me google and find out the answer now.

You have people eating junk food left and right, drinking alcohol like it’s a game show, and literally abusing their body every day. It’s just a matter of time before the body breaks down…So spend some time learning how your body functions and how to keep it healthy, vibrant, graceful.

Being healthy is when all the systems operating in your body and mind works smoothly without too much friction or failure.

First off, what is the definition of a system? A system is a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or network to accomplish a goal. Systems tend to follow principles and are organized in specific ways for the system to work in an optimal fashion.

Since the science is vast and this video cannot go on for 5 hours, let’s focus on some important aspects for you to understand System dynamics in a broad sense and improve your life right away.
Any system operates within some barriers and boundaries. The 11 systems in humans mentioned earlier are limited to the boundaries of your body. Within these boundaries, they operate following specific rules.

Now the system that follows rules of operation as best as possible, enters a state called homeostasis. A state of balance, which is optimal for performance and longevity. For example, a plane is composed of many systems and parts working together. When everything operates smoothly, the plane is at its best and can be used for 10,20+ years without major alterations.
Same thing with the human body, a computer or even a country. This is how words like balance, stability, or equilibrium are used so much in our daily lives. Because they point toward health. The health of a person, a country, a plane, or the planet earth depends on homeostasis, balance, yin, and yang.

Now, this is where it gets tricky, it’s that ecosystems with parts that are alive tend to have a lot of room for adaptation, for better or worse. A person who eats well and exercises often not only maintains balance and health but over time can increase the strength of the parts within the body and make it more robust to damage. This increased health can also slow down the rate of aging.

In the same fashion, a country, with better health can upgrade and build new roads, improve its healthcare system, have higher living standards, better education and increased overall happiness. These are positive effects from adaptations of biological systems.

But negative adaptation also happens, we need to be hyper-aware and awake to not let systems we care about degrade, from your body to your country. Cancer, Obesity, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, hypertension, chronic back issues, insomnia, depression, anxiety, are symptoms or results of the human body systems degrading and adapting over time.

You eat too much food, your body finds a way to deal with it by storing this extra food in your fat cells, over time, those fat cells get larger and change your appearance, which affects other areas of your body and overall health.

Now, let’s go over FOUR parameters you can tweak, to keep your body and all these systems within, in balance, in a state of homeostasis, which will keep you healthy, vibrant and age with grace.
Systems can be improved for better of worse via:

Positive feedback loop
Negative feedback loop
Goals of the system
And the most important, the Paradigm this system lives by.

Let’s go over each one in terms of importance.

The most important parameters of a lever to control a system it’s the paradigm this system follows. While learning about system dynamics, paradigm and paradigm shift became part of my favorite words to use.

A paradigm is a worldview that affects the core of what a system is about, how it will behave. In order to radically change your lifestyle for the better, the most important parameter is your paradigm when it comes to fitness nutrition and health, your worldview.

The phrase eat to live or live to eat, it’s about two worldviews people choose to live their lives by. People with a healthy lifestyle follow a worldview that impacts how they behave every day, it’s their operating software. Think of paradigm as your operating software. Capitalism, socialism, are paradigms for countries, and why so many people pay a lot of attention to these economical paradigms.

You hear people who made life decisions in split seconds, and from that moment, they started living differently. Then when they look back, they can point exactly to that moment when they had a paradigm shift, when they adopted a different outlook of life. The victim mindset, it’s also a paradigm, under this outlook of the world, you will be under the dictatorship of people around you and your environment. So, out of the four parameters in this video, a paradigm is the most powerful tool to turn around a system, for better or worse.

Next, you have the goal of the system. The body as a system can have various goals, depending on you. A country, a company, a drug cartel, a sport team, all these systems understand the importance of having big goals and smaller goals in order to focus the entire systems made of parts and be able to track performance. Without clear goals, systems tend to fall into chaos. An organization implies an organized system, whereas a crowd, a mob, are not as organized and focused toward clear goals.

This is why you want to set goals when it comes to your health and fitness and make it as detailed as possible. You talk to some people looking to lose weight and you find out their desires, wants and thoughts are not in sync, not organized toward the same goals, where being healthy and fit is the foundation. Ask yourself if your mind is organized like a top corporation or is like a disorganized crowd when it comes to your lifestyle, nutrition and fitness? Next, you want to track your goals daily or weekly.

Then the last two variables that control the behavior of systems: Positive and Negative feedback loops.

A positive feedback loop is when an action performed in a system is rewarded, which will increase the likelihood of repeating this action in the future. A loop is created, a habit. Take a child and give him some McDonald or ice cream, as he performs the act of eating this type of food, he is rewarded in the brain by hormones of pleasure.

The child feels happy which might lead him to perform the same action in the future for the same reward of pleasure. This positive feedback loop applies to people with addictions. They enter positive feedback loops that reinforce their drug habits.

Now, take someone who follows a healthy lifestyle or just committed to losing weight, let’s call her Emily. At the beginning, it’s tough, but if she keeps at it,eating, exercising, Emily will eventually feel better, then a positive feedback loop will slowly start to develop.

Next, she might lose more weight to a point where people around her start to compliment Emily. These compliments are positive rewards that reinforce her healthy behavior, so the positive loop to eat healthy is reinforced. Then maybe 8-9 months, Emily coworkers and friends might ask her for advice to get in shape. This will strengthen her positive feedback loop when it comes to her healthy lifestyle.

In these examples, you see how positive loops are there to make a system continue doing what it’s already doing and even increase this behavior over time.The issue is that positive feedback loops can be bad or good for you.

You need to assess your life and find out what positive feedback loops, what habits you should break and what good ones you want to maintain or start doing. This is why you hear the phrase, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, because of the law of positive feedback loops.

This is why I’m convinced that great public education or access to private education for all is the best way to break the cycle of poverty in families or poor communities.

Now let’s look at negative feedback loops. If a positive feedback loop increases the likelihood of performing the same action in the future, negative feedback loops decrease the likelihood of performing an action in the future. The kid eating ice cream and liking it will most likely behave the same in the future, but the kid who sticks a fork in the electric outlet and is electrocuted won’t try this action again. So the electric shock acts as a negative feedback loop.

A negative feedback loop is something that stops a behavior from continuing. A speeding ticket or a ticket for crossing the red light are negative feedback loops. The goal is to penalize you so this behavior is not repeated.

A society that is well developed like the United States, which is also a system, uses a lot of negative feedback loops to maintain good behavior.

I used to have a lot of negative feedback loops to maintain good health. For example, I would weigh myself every day, and if my weight increased by 5lbs, which rarely happened, I would run 3-5 miles that day. This was a strong negative feedback loop to keep me accountable.

Another funny negative feedback loop to stay in shape is basically giving 100$ to your friend or better yet, to someone you dislike, every time you gain one pound of fat. Another one is fasting the next day if your weight went up by a certain amount.

So you can set up all types of negative feedback loops to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It will help you monitor your lifestyle.

A winter thermostat is a strong negative feedback loop to keep the house warm in the winter. If the temperature falls down to a level you are not comfortable with, the heater will kick in and raise the temperature automatically.

But negative feedback loops can also make you stay overweight or obese, or poor, or addicted to drugs. Because if you are poor, obese or addicted to drugs, what keeps you in those cycle are positive feedback loops.

For example, you love eating junk food and your behavior is always rewarded for the hormones of pleasure in your body after eating. Stopping via a negative feedback loop will be challenging, because it means, going into an uncomfortable situation.

Some poor and underdeveloped countries face this problem, they don’t want to go into austerity and work extremely hard like China or South Korea, in order to be developed in 20-40 years. So they stay stuck in a positive feedback loop that keeps them mediocre. They maintain habits that will keep everything the same.

The goal of this video was to share with you the science of how systems work, and how this can improve your understanding of life and impact your own life for the better. There are many, many ways to affect a system, for better or worse. I broke down 4 tools you can use to improve your body as a system, positive and negative feedback loops, the goals of the systems and the most important, the paradigm, which is the outlook on life that this system has. Now it’s up to you to learn more about system dynamics and use it in your current life, nutrition and fitness.

Needs Cannot Satisfy

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Survival Needs cannot make you happy

Hello, in today’s video, I want to talk to you about one of the most important things I learned the past 30 years or so I have been alive. Have you ever reflected or wrote down what were the best nuggets of advice or even, skills you learned so far in life?

It’s a good exercise to practice and find out how those insights or skills changed you as a person, your outlook on life, or shifted your destiny for the better.

For me, one of those big insights was that NEEDS can never fulfill you, especially survival needs. I read it in a book a few years ago. At first, it didn’t jump out to me when I read it, then upon reflection, the meaning exploded in my head, it was like a revelation.

Let me say it one more time, needs can never fulfill you nor make you happy. Now let’s unpack this super-condensed wisdom and connect it with your nutrition, fitness, and wellness in life.

It’s important to understand this topic because billions of people who suffer from overeating and obesity do so because fundamentally, they believe that food makes them happy. But food is first and foremost a human need for survival, like going to the bathroom or drinking water. Once that is satisfied, more will not give you anything in terms of happiness and satisfaction.

Imagine going to the bathroom to relieve yourself but then, you keep going every hour, thinking you will feel better and better the more you use the bathroom, thinking it will make you happier.

The happiness you get from eating is only there when you are empty, like a phone battery. Nature triggers us to crave food because it’s so important for our survival, and we are rewarded with pleasure hormones when we feel up our battery. But once the battery is fully charged, more energy will not make you happier, worse, your health, physical and mental, will start to suffer.

Once you eat enough to be at a normal healthy weight, you need to shift your focus in life toward higher human needs, which I will talk about later in the video. But instead, many stay stuck in the survival needs dimension, looking to find happiness and pleasure by eating and eating and eating.

In the words of DJ Khaled, congratulations, you just played yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror, don’t you see that consuming more food is negatively impacting your life, your health and disturbing your happiness? That the more you eat past what you need, the worse you will look and feel?

When we talk about human needs, we must go back 50 years to get a broader perspective.
The pyramid of need is well known, developed by one of the father’s of positive psychology, Abraham Maslow in 1943 while writing about human motivation.

Basically, if you google image the pyramid of needs, you find out that Maslow made three large groups of human needs, From the most essential needs we cannot live without to less important needs”, those less important needs could be called strong human desires.

At the bottom of the pyramid, at the base, you have physiological needs, such as food, water, warmth, and rest. Then above that, you have safety needs like safety and security.

The rest of the pyramid at the top covers psychological needs and then self-fulfillment needs, what Maslov calls achieving one’s potential, not in terms of success, more in terms of emotional maturation, another term is blossoming or peak wellness which is the motto of my website.

But for this video, I am focusing on the most important human needs, what we also call survival needs, food, water, shelter, sleep, safety, and security. Now, this is where understanding this special insight that needs cannot make you happy is extremely important.

Notice how, a survival need is something you have to do in order to stay alive, not to be happy.

Sleep, water, shelter, food, safety, and security, once they are met, they will not provide you any more satisfaction in terms of raising your level of happiness.

There are many things in life that the more we do them, the happier we get. For example, learning to play a musical instrument, or improving your skills at work to get promoted, if you are a teacher, helping more students get better and see them do well in life, or an athlete improving his skills over time.

All these things can be called infinite games, meaning, there are so many levels you can climb that will reward your psychologically, in terms of happiness, doing something meaningful to you, and the sense of satisfaction that can come with it. It’s like going from level one to seven to twenty-two and you keep going up and up.

But when it comes to basic survival needs, there are not that many levels and mountains to climb.
Take sleep, it’s something extremely important to our survival, but sleep more than 8-9 hours max, and boom, you start feeling lethargic, your back may start to hurt. Stay in bed longer, like when you are sick or at the hospital and boom, your body starts to decay and muscle waste away. With not enough sleep, your body can start to die, with too much sleep, your body will also decay.

Now, listen carefully, survival needs work in circles, meaning, they go from fully charged to empty, and they trigger or manipulate you to move from these two poles. When you eat enough, you get rewarded, but only momentarily, because your food battery will start to empty out. You basically go from zero to one, back to zero, then to one, your entire life. This is how survival needs like water, food and sex work.

When you are thirsty, at zero, it triggers you to quench your thirst, again momentarily, until you get thirsty again. Take even sex, you have too much of it, it’s a problem, your energy is drained, you don’t have enough or none of it, you feel like you are going to explode. But when you explode, you go back to zero. You move in a circle. This is why some people feel like there is something missing in their lives.

Survival needs cannot fulfill you because they work circles, they get empty right after you satisfy them momentarily. So how can that make you happy long term?

It cannot really fulfill you. If food is your god, in terms of the control it has over you, emotional maturation, blossoming will be difficult to accomplish.

You have to find something in life where you can climb and go further, something you can add to your life to enrich you, physically, mentally, emotionally. More food cannot enrich you, if you try that, you become overweight and obese.

Explore uncharted territory. That reminds me of a quote from Jay Z, where he says, Young Carter, go farther, go further, go harder…Is that not why we came? And if not, why bother?

This is exactly what Jay Z has done his entire life, continue to move the goal post, and find uncharted territories to explore, new mountains to climb. Like millions before him, from Picasso to Beethoven or Einstein. These people are not there saying, I ate enough food, I’m happy but since I want to be happier, let me eat more food. No, once their food and other survival needs are covered, they use this energy to explore life and make it meaningful to them.

One feature about food is that it’s a cheap and easy way to press your pleasure button. So even when we are full, in healthy physical shape, many opt to consume more food because it will bring some joy, some excitement to their life, it becomes a drug. I often ask myself this question, if you remove extra food that makes billions of people overweight or obese, how exciting their day to day life would be.

Over drinking, overeating makes life exciting to some people. My take is that, I don’t want to lie to myself, like going to the same club over and over just because being drunk will make it exciting. Don’t blind yourself by overeating, look at your life sober, and ask yourself, are you satisfied, happy with it, in terms of meaning. Are you exploring an area of your life and going deeper into it?

When you find life goals and skills to develop, you become passionate about them. You hear people putting so much time perfecting their craft or exploring life that they forget to eat. To a point where it can become a problem.

Now, before we finish, it’s also important to know that it’s great to find hobbies and life goals that bring joy, meaning and a sense of fulfillment in your life, that will definitely move your focus away from indulging in food or other basic survival needs. But being fit and healthy is a fundamental human need, it’s a prerequisite to a happy life.

Make sure you allocate time to stay fit and eat healthy. Because we see people who solely focus on their career or hobbies, which fulfill them but their health starts to crumble because of negligence and not taking it seriously. We all need to find an optimal balance where our health and fitness is strong so we can dig into areas in life we are passionate about that bring fulfillment.

Healthy nutrition and fitness is the seed to grow a tree, then your life focus, goals and hobbies are the fertilizers needed to enrich this tree, to make it flourish and blossom.

The topic of this video is that basic survival needs like water and food cannot bring fulfillment and satisfaction in your life. These physiological needs work in circles, you move from one pole of hunger to fullness every day, back and forth. Don’t fall into this trap and become a slave to basic physiological needs like water. Become more alert, aware and reflective of your life.

It’s up to you

Perception & Experiences

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Perception and Experiences

Hello,

Today’s vlog is on perception, how what you “see” affects how you think and behave every day. You might be thinking, what does perception have to do with fitness and nutrition, with staying vibrant as you age…Just tell me what exercises to do and what nutrition to follow.

Well, it has a lot to do because your perception of the world shapes your reality, and as you will uncover in this video, people who eat healthy 24/7, all year long have a perception of the world that is drastically different than someone who eats unhealthy food or overeats every day and suffer because of this. Your life might be a complete nightmare but if you are blind, you might think you are in heaven.

I am firmly convinced that most people, even criminals act based on their perceptions of the world, based on the information they have. If someone acts like 1+1=5, then that’s because deep down, that’s what he knows best.

So in order to help people make better decisions in life, by better I mean, decisions that improve their happiness and reduce suffering, we all need to increase our perception of the world as close as possible to true reality, so we are in sync with existence and act wisely.

As we look at perception, we can agree that making a mistake, like eating unhealthy food because you think it’s good, doesn’t happen by you just looking at food. Perception leads us to having experiences, and it’s acting out those experiences, consuming them, like eating junk food, robbing somebody or insulting someone that leads us to problems in the short or long term.

This is why the title of this video is Perception & Experience. Because your perception of things around you will determine what kind of experience you will have. Your entire life is the sum of all the experiences you had so far, they shaped you, for better or worse.

How many times we hear this phrase, don’t buy things, buy experiences. That to be happy, it’s better to buy amazing experiences than collect things, because we get bored quickly from the things we buy. The initial pleasure fades away quickly. Whereas experiences stay with us forever and shape who we are.

But this is where it gets tricky. You labeling an experience as good or bad depends on your perception prior to having this experience. For example, someone is a lifetime thief, and walking behind this woman, he sees her backpack open and can easily steal what’s inside. Before even going into that experience of robbing this lady, the thief’s perception told him that something good for him will come out of that experience. Yet, if you were in the same situation, seeing the woman’s bag open, you might actually see it as something dangerous, to her and let her know, hey, your backpack is open.

Your behavior and the thief in this scenario is based on what you both saw, his perception of the situation was completely different than yours, and that played a role in the experience you had after.
Now, why I’m I saying all this, to stress the fact that when it comes to eating healthy day in and out, it comes down to what you actually see from food around you.

In order to be fit and healthy for the rest of your life, you need to have a deeper perception of food around you, an x-ray like vision. Because if you only look at food at the surface, you will be easily fooled, and continue to eat unhealthy food and think it’s good because it tastes yummy. The only way out of an unhealthy lifestyle is by increasing your perception of reality, you have to see within the matrix, beyond the curtain.

70% Americans are overweight or obese, that’s more than 100 million people, and the relapse rate is 95% when it comes to fully transition to a healthy lifestyle. So it comes down to knowledge, but really, knowledge is about improving our perception of the world, you have to be willing to improve your vision.

I came up with this topic after talking to someone I was helping lose weight and get in better shape.
I told him that his current perception of junk food had to change, or better yet, go deeper.

We all look at things at different levels, like you might only see the top layer of an onion, whereas your friend next to you might see deeper layers of this same onion.

So I told my friend, when we both look at a burger and fries, we don’t see the same thing, which affects what we will do next. What my friend who was overweight by almost 100 pounds saw when looking at burgers and fries was the sweet bun, the yellow, stretchy cheese, the meaty, juicy burger, the crispy fries, bright yellow, the sour ketchup and so forth.

But I also see the same thing, but more than that. Because I trained my perception to look at food differently. I see all the superficial reality of the burger and fries but also see that the bun is made of wheat and yeast, maybe sugar in it. The wheat might be highly genetically modified, the cheese is very low quality, the oil used for the meat terrible, the meat very low quality, maybe the cow lived his whole life caged in terrible conditions, the fries are also GMO, dense with cheap calories.

Overall, I can SEE how eating this food will impact my body, not at the surface with just the yummy taste, no, deeper than that, how will this affect my digestion, feeling lethargic and bloated, how will that affect my entire system, the bacterias in my gut, my blood sugar, turn into fat and make me gain weight, then I can see in the future, how this food will impact the way I look and my health, I can even go 20 years from now, how eating this type of food will make me look as a parent, as a husband, healthy or sick, and how will this impact my children, how will me as a role model shape their own perception of food and the world and what kind of experiences my children would want to have based on me.

From my perception or my friend’s perception of food, we both have different experiences with these types of food. When people tell me, Karl, I really need to lose weight, I want to be healthier, cool, that’s fantastic, but you have to be committed to reshaping your perception of the world, of food in particular.

You cannot expect to navigate in the dark with no special night goggles, you will be lost. Learn how to look at food deeper, because at that level, big food corporations cannot fool you easily. They spend billions of dollars a year following the shallow perception of food, how the food looks, how the food smells, the mouth taste and texture, that’s where they spend the most money.

Then deep inside, they actually hide all the junk, so they can sugarcoat garbage and make it look like fillet mignon, and you have billions of people who can’t see behind this illusion.

Refining your perception of life goes beyond nutrition and fitness. All scientific innovation that created this modern world came from people who started to look deeper into things and finding out secrets, from this new knowledge they could create new objects, they could change their behavior for the better.

In the corporate world, people with a deeper understanding of their field make more money. When I play basketball, I don’t see what an NBA player sees, and he doesn’t see what Michael Jordan sees, we all have different levels of perception of the same exact situations.

Another area where refining your perception, looking deeper, will help you greatly is in relationships. One of the most important decisions we make in life is who we are going to spend our lives with, romantically.

How many people we know who were or still are in terrible relationships, toxic, and who suffered because of it. Then you talk to them and they say, wow, I didn’t know this person was like that. Because we all tend to look at the surface of people, and this first layer is very easy to manipulate so we can look great, so this outer layer can hide and offset deeper flaws we have within.

Just like Mcdonald is good at hiding junk nutrition by making cosmetic changes at the surface. People are great at doing the same, so we look better at the surface. Hence why we say love is blind, because our senses get caught up, and our emotions stop us when looking deeper into people we meet. Love is truly a drug. That’s why we don’t say rise in love, only fall in love.

Who is to blame, the person or food industry deceiving us or ourselves for not improving our vision.
Who is to blame, the lion from being too strong or the antelope from being too slow. If you are in the position of the antelope, blaming the lion is not going to help you much. You will be eaten.

Instead, you have to increase your perception and understanding of the world, in all aspects, especially about your body, your mind, your emotions, and how to sustain health and emotional balance. If you fail to do it, don’t be shocked when your body crumbles and you start to suffer, don’t blame other people, the government or big corporations, increase your vision, your perception.

The quality of your life depends on the quality of your experiences, and how you choose what experience to have depends on how you perceive the world, the more shallow, superficial your vision of the world is, the more shallow your experience will be, for better or worse. Because you won’t know if the deeper layers of what you see is good or bad.

My curiosity with perception and reality started when I learned about eastern spirituality, from Buddhism to Taoism. Here in the west, we love to talk about what is true and what is not, what is good or bad. But these spiritual schools in the east had different methods.

Buddha said that human suffering comes from ignorance, but Buddha defined ignorance as the gap between how we look at the world and how the world really exists. Reducing our ignorance means reducing the gap between what we see and how things really are, at that level, we have better information and can make wiser decisions in life, thus reducing our suffering.

In order to know what is true, you have to first develop a good perception of the world. A blind person cannot know what the color blue is like. So it’s up to you to refine your perception of food, of life, so you can adopt a healthy lifestyle.. It’s really up to you because you cannot borrow someone else’s eyes. You Need your own X-ray vision. Thank you

How Many Calories?

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How many calories should you eat?

Hello, in this video, I will talk about one of the most powerful weapons to staying healthy, in shape and vibrant as you age. It’s an open secret, but few people use it in their day to day lives, knowing how many calories to eat every day…then along the day, always knowing in the back of your mind, if you are undereating or it’s time to stop for the day.

In today’s complex society, with so much food available, those who can stay fit, all year long, it’s a skill they have mastered, to such a level that it’s second nature. To me, talking about how many calories to eat if you want to gain muscle or lose fat is pretty boring, because I have spent so much time doing it for myself and others.

Yet, it’s important to realize that for the majority of people, here in America and around the world, have no clue how much calories they should consume every day to stay in a healthy weight range or to trigger fat loss.

Hence why 70% of the population is overweight or obese, that’s more than 100 million people in the US. So we must not forget the fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle, and how many calories should you be eating, is where you want to start.

Nutrition can be complex because you can really drill into it and tweak it over and over and over again. You don’t need to have a master in nutrition to be fit and healthy, but you do need to spend some time learning the basics and raising your wellness IQ to a level where you are confident about eating the right thing and that shows in your behavior, how you look and how you feel every day.

There is something amazing about waking up every day and feeling like every part of your body is in mint condition, that you can take your car body to the race track without any issues, and use your brainpower at an optimal level. This is peak wellness.

Now, there are two skills you will learn by the time this video ends. The first one is knowing how many calories you should eat every day. Let’s go over it. In order to know how many calories you need to consume every day, you have to know what is your current weight status. Because if you overweight by 100 pounds, eating enough calories to stay at that weight is no bueno.

Remember, you want to find out how many calories to eat in order to lose weight, or gain muscle, or stay lean if you are already fit.

This past 4th of July, I was invited to eat at my cousin’s place. And I knew they would have some of my favorite food, fried plantain, and other stuff. So I made sure a week before, to make this 4th of July my cheat day of the week. Then, instead of taking the subway back home, I walked 80 blocks to get home after dinner. It was a beautiful walk, walking down Manhattan at 10 pm, seeing fireworks all around Central Park, in the dark, with the full moon out, it was amazing stuff. The next day, I checked my weight and after eating so much food, I was actually down 2 pounds. Because I planned for this day in advance and the overload of food did not affect me at all.

This is how knowing your calories in and out can help you manage your health. First thing first, you need to know for your height, what is a healthy weight. And there is a chart that will help you find out, it’s called the BMI chart, you can google image it. The BMI stands for body mass index, this chart help locate what weight we should be at for our height in order to be in a healthy range. Look at your height and weight and see in what range you are currently.

There are 5 categories you can be in, Underweight, Healthy, Overweight, Obese ad Extremely obese. When I say that 70% of the American population is overweight or obese, it’s by using the standards of the BMI chart.

I am 5’10, so to be in a healthy range, I need to be between 130 to 165 pounds. Below would be underweight and that can be unhealthy. But I can go above 165 pounds without becoming overweight if I add muscles instead of fat. I have actually been around 170 pounds for the past 7 years but this year I decided to go down to 165 pounds, where I’m at today. What the BMI doesn’t calculate is body fat percentage.

But on average, the BMI chart is very good for you to get a sense of where your weight should be in order to be in a healthy range. So right now, look it up and write it down. If you are overweight, calculate how many pounds you need to lose to get back in a healthy range. If you are underweight, see how many pounds you should gain to get into a healthy range.

One thing I noticed with many people I help or just give fitness advice, is that most people have no clue how far they are from a healthy weight. People are walking out there being 20, 30, 50, 100 pounds overweight and don’t realize it.

By saying they don’t realize it, I mean, talking to people, they often think they need to lose a couple of pounds, 10 or 15 pounds in order to get back in shape, but it’s rarely the case. This is why many give up so early, they realize after two-three months that they have a long way to go, there is way more weight to lose than they previously thought.

This is partly due to the fact that as a society, we are used to seeing so many people overweight, to the point that what is considered normal is already overweight.

Now, by knowing how to use this BMI chart, you just found out something important in your journey to a healthy lifestyle. You are aware of your current BMI status, healthy, or overweight, or obese. Next, you need to find out how much weight you need to lose or gain to reach a healthy weight for your height.

Most people looking to gain muscle or lose fat, only know that they need to lose some weight or gain some muscle, but they don’t know the specifics. You want to know exactly how much weight you need to lose, it’s very important to have the final destination of the GPS in your mind, so you can prepare mentally.

Knowing how much weight you need to lose will also help you find out the next step, which is how many calories you need to consume every day to accomplish your goal. Because saying you need to lose 22 pounds is one thing, but knowing how many calories to eat every day is another.

Finding how many calories to eat in order to trigger fat loss and gain muscle is very easy, you will use a nutrition calculator. I actually have one on my website you can use or just google nutrition calculator.

First, you will enter your current weight and target goal, either losing weight or gaining muscle. Some calculators will ask you about your current activity level. I personally don’t like to take that into account if you are looking to lose weight.

But If you want to gain muscle mass, this is needed because weight lifting requires you to eat more than you are burning in order to create muscle growth. If you are looking to lose weight, the calculator will let you know how many calories you should consume every day to trigger fat loss.

Also, when you reach your target weight goal, find out how many calories is needed to stay at that level, and not gain weight. At this stage, you will know, what’s your current weight status with the BMI chart, how much weight you need to lose, and how many calories you should eat a day to trigger fat loss.

Then the last step is a bit tricky but not so much. Back 20, 30 years ago, you would need the help of a professional nutritionist to crunch all these numbers for you. Basically, translating your daily target calories into macro-nutrient. Macro-nutrients are the 4 nutrition groups.

Fats, Carbs, Proteins and Fibers. Because just knowing how much calories you need to eat to trigger fat loss is not enough, you want to know the percentage of your macros, % of fats, % of proteins, % of carbs, % of fibers, and then convert that to grams.

But today, many of those calculators can do this for you. Lookup for marco nutrient calculator online or use the one on my website. This is where you will need to choose a nutrition plan, also called a diet. There are many diets out there, I’m sure you heard of them before.

The keto diet, the meat diet, the south beach diet, the low carb diet, the paleo diet. All those diets play will the variable of macronutrient percentages.

For example, the standard American diet, also called SAD, because it makes so many people overweight, is composed of 50 % carbs or more, then 15% proteins and 35% fats. Couple with this is the fact that, most people in America today overeat. Even if the food you eat is healthy, if you overeat, you are guarantee to gain weight.

In comparison to the Standard American Diet, a low carb diet has less than 20% carbs, and the rest is broken down in healthy fats and proteins. If you are looking to lose weight, I advise you to follow a low-carb diet. I have two low carb diet version I recommend:

60, 20, 20…very easy to remember, for 60% healthy fats, 20% proteins and 20% carbs
Or 50% fats, 30% proteins and 20% carbs. After choosing a diet and finding out your macros in percentages, you want to translate that into grams or just use my fitness pal.

My fitness pal is a great app that will help you input your daily calorie goal and your macronutrient percentages or grams. Then during the day, you can log in what you are eating and track it. Even better, you can plan what food you will eat in advance and make sure you will be within the metrics you learned throughout this video.

Tracking what you eat with my fitness pal is a fantastic way to become more aware of what you eat and develop a deeper relationship between your body, the food you eat, your nutrition, and your well-being.

You learned three important skills today. Finding out where you currently stand on the BMI chart and how much you need to lose in order to reach a healthy body weight. Next, you learned how many calories to eat in order to trigger fat loss and last but not least, translate that in macro- nutrients, how much fats, protein, and carbs you need to eat every day to lose weight.

Now, this is a gigantic step in the direction of a healthy lifestyle. Over time it will become second nature, you will know at all times, in a ballpark, if you are undereating or overeating… and if you need to stop eating for the day.

Now you need to spend time developing another element needed to stay fit and healthy, it’s the X-factor, the missing link, which is the psychology, the mindset needed to follow a healthy lifestyle forever. This is what I focus on the most, your mind, it’s all mental. But it’s up to you, thank you

LSD, Molly, Weed

lsd-molly-weed-happiness-pleasure

LSD, MOLLY,WEED?

Hello,

Today’s video is about pleasure and happiness from drugs. Weed, Molly, LSD, Mushrooms, Cocaine.

Let’s not generalize, but we live in an era where many people opt for shortcuts to peak wellness, reaching high states of happiness, of bliss via cheap drugs. The same way it’s easier to feel good by buying some icecream than working hard and getting a good job or spending time in the gym to reap the benefits, people look for quick ways to feel good, there is really no other way to put this.

I have been in the USA, for now more than 15 years, and I will speak from experience and observing people in all types of scenarios. I went to Arizona State University, one of the top party school in the country, been in vegas a ton of time, and spent a lot of nights in the meatpacking district of New York City.

Politically speaking, I identify as a libertarian, and if you don’t know what they advocate, they are for the decriminalization of all of these drugs, these natural plants. I personally don’t care if anybody, of legal age, freely chooses to ingest any of these drugs. It’s actually debatable that alcohol is more damaging to health than psychedelic drugs are. And legalization will reduce the collateral effect of drug cartels, crime and violence. I’m always cool with friends and people who are into these types of drugs because I don’t see how they are different than coffee or alcohol.

But I’m always thinking, if people taking those drugs can truly reach stable states of bliss, after using these drugs, like lifting weight makes you stronger over time, I would definitely be more eager to use them every day, 24/7, like drinking milk in the morning.

The bottom line is, we all thrive to maximize happiness and reduce suffering, these are human desires we all share, no matter our age, sex, income, or nationality. So if there is a pill out there that can guarantee everyone reach and sustain states of bliss, of happiness for the majority of their lives, then why not take it? Can you imagine all the problems it will solve in the world…How many wars were started by people who were not happy? How many people are hurting society, their families, love ones because they are unhappy within?

But from my observation, experiences, and readings, I came to the conclusion that those happy drugs are very limiting because they lead nowhere, they create addictions in the worst-case scenario and for anybody who uses them, they have to come back to baseline, nothing drastically change.

Worse, the downside increase over time as the body develops tolerance, this is often a recipe for disaster and unhappiness, then you enter a vicious cycle of dependency. I’m looking for true transformation, metamorphosis, not something that gives me the illusion of transformation.

Going to Arizona State in college, I loved going out with friends every weekend, yet 4 years in college, I never drank alcohol, because, when I tried it, first, the taste was terrible, and the rewards weren’t worth it, compared to the downside. So it’s was an easy decision.

I understand people drink to be happy, and I cannot be in their heads to see how they feel sober, but personally, alcohol doesn’t make me feel better than when I’m not drinking. In comparison, playing basketball gave me a level of joy that no alcohol can ever equal.

Now, psychedelic drugs are something else than alcohol. My initial observation about psychedelic drugs, weed, molly, LSD was, can we reach those states of happiness, deep relaxation, of bliss, naturally, and make it more constant. Just like fitness and healthy nutrition, where you gain something, you level up.

So it’s not that I’m against drugs, it’s just that I have higher expectations of happiness, I feel I can reach similar states of bliss, of happiness, naturally… and make it last longer. In the back of my mind, I always wanted to tell people into those drugs that, yo, why not try to reach those states at all time, why not be emotionally ambitious, why be satisfied being in those states for a couple of hours during the weekend, why just taste heaven and come back to earth, sometimes to hell, why not stay up in heaven, if it’s naturally possible.

And this is where my research into psychedelics led me. That in many, many ancient cultures, all around the world, in many religions, these drugs were used to give people a glimpse, a peek into states of happiness, states of bliss they would have never thought were possible. In my opinion, this is the biggest positive aspect of psychedelic drugs, giving people a glimpse of what’s possible.

Humans often realize what’s possible to achieve when other people make it happen. Hence why sports, technology and art keeps getting better, because we see what other are able to do and it motivates us to develop our potential to reach higher levels of expertise. This is the same with emotional maturation, peak wellness.

This might sound crazy, but I wish my mom tried weed, LSD, or Molly because that would give her a glimpse of states of being that she has no idea are possible to reach. I am convinced that ancient cultures and religions provided sober ways, natural ways to develop the body, and then the mind, to reach higher states of happiness.

The meaning of true spirituality is Spiritual Fitness, fitness of the soul. Where one follows specific exercises like meditation to develop mentally, mature emotionally, and reach its highest peak, where one connects with infinity.

The word ecstasy is important here because it means being outside oneself, standing outside oneself…it’s actually a religious word, implying that once we reach our peaks, we dissolve into infinity, into oneness, like a wave collapsing back into the ocean. We dissolve our physical barrier and connect to something higher.

Carl Jung, one of the fathers of psychoanalysis said that the decisive question for man is, is he related to something infinite or not…Look around and see how many people want to belong to something bigger than them, a team, a nation, a religion, a fashion trend, a political group…but all this is nothing compared to peak wellness, to emotional maturation.

Ask anybody that tried psychedelics drugs, they would argue that yes, it’s possible to reach states of ecstasy, where one connects to something bigger. But drugs cannot lead us there, they can only show what’s possible.

Unfortunately, the problem today, even in ancient times with culture using these drugs, was that many people get caught up, instead of getting a glimpse of the mountain peak, of the higher, and then walk the ladder up naturally, millions of people decided that…we could just keep doing these drugs, taking these plants, popping pills, taking molly every weekend, LSD or mushroom every three months instead of climbing the ladder sober because that’s the only way up. And they get trapped. Instead of going higher, they go lower and it’s hard to get out.

If you take psychedelics drugs, does it permanently remove destructive emotions, anger, jealousy, resentment, anxiety, boredom…does it silence the mind for good, where one feels at peace, calm and gets better over time…do these drugs increase your capacity to be more aware, more sensitive, receptive, naturally joyful, focused easily, when sober, at all time? They don’t.

It seems like the usage of psychedelic drugs do more harm than good, because few people take a glimpse at what’s possible and then decide that…you know what, now that I know what’s possible, I will work to get there, organically, step by step. This is why so many religious painting feature ladders, steps, birds flying toward the sun, and saints with circle of light around their heads…caterpillar to butterfly, all these are symbols showing that we can progress toward higher states of mind, of being, blossom, enter states of bliss.

Unless you have a glimpse of bliss, it’s hard if not impossible to understand what the words peak wellness and blossoming mean.

One of my favorite book this year is called Breath, by James Nestor. He breaks down the science of improving how we breathe and documents how ancient cultures, especially in India, developed systems to increase happiness and mental health by breathing techniques. It’s an amazing book with so much research. I knew most of what’s in the book from studying Yoga the past 5 years but now more people can see all the science to back it up.

James Nestor, the author, was on the Joe Rogan Podcast a couple of months ago and at one point, they talked about these amazing yogis that could hold their breath for 20+ mins, be buried underground in coffins for days and stay alive, stop their heart at will and slow down blow flow…Things that medicine up to now said it was impossible to do.

Really amazing stuff, but then Joe Rogan, someone who dab in a lot of psychedelic drugs, said, the crazy thing is that we all want to reap the benefits of what these yogis have accomplished but not spend the time. No one wants to sit in a cave for years.

It’s funny but so true, Joe Rogan, someone with so much discipline, lifting a ton of weight like it’s plastic, saying that he is not willing to spend time reaching states of mind that he reaches when doing drugs like weeds, DMT, mushroom and so forth. That statement points to why is millions of people stay stuck at the drug level to access higher states of happiness.

I mentioned earlier that I wish my mom would try weed, LSD, or molly, just one time to get a glimpse of what’s possible. Because I have been helping her meditate, and advising her to increase the time she spends meditating, but she thinks she feels great, meditation is good, so there is no need to go further. She doesn’t know what she is missing and how much higher she can go, emotionally, and reach higher states of happiness.

I say that because I started meditating 5 years ago, first doing pranayama, the yogic science of breathing to develop the mind and emotions, then I fully switched to pure meditation. Now 5 years later, doing up to two hours of meditation a day, it’s difficult to explain to someone the emotional, the mental improvement I made from meditation, like explaining the color blue to a blind person. I’m eager to see how far, how high I can go.

If psychedelics truly was the answer to human happiness, to emotional maturation, our ancestors would have found it and used it every day. Modern human civilizations began more than 10 thousand years ago, these drugs, plants, psychedelics, have been discovered way back then, and are not true solutions to human happiness.

I hope they all get legalized or at least approved for therapy so everybody can realize that, just like alcohol or cigarette, it will not transform them, then when we have exhausted all psychedelic drugs, people would look at natural, organic ways to climb the ladder and reach peak wellness, blossoming.

But I believe governments don’t believe this, they think people become massively addicted like China during the opium wars and this will destroy society. Let’s see how drug policies unfold and what people behave.

It’s up to you, thank you

 

Veggie Problems

nutrition-veggies-health-karl drogba

Hello,

In today’s video, I will talk about an important subject in nutrition many people don’t know about. I actually call this next level nutrition. The veggie problem is about the fact that many vegetables we all think is good for us have negative side effects that are detrimental to our health.

Before I go into the meat of this video, let me repeat that this is next level nutrition, because many people I help improve their nutrition and fitness, I never talk to them about this subject, it will confuse them. Like you know, people saying, I don’t even know what to eat anymore, so much information out there.

If I’m helping someone lose a lot of weight and completely change their nutrition for the better, I will focus on changing the composition of what they eat, their macros…macros are the four groups of food we eat every day, carbs, protein, fats, and fibers. So the first thing to do if you want to improve your nutrition is to analyze how you currently eat, how does your macro-nutrients look like, in terms of percentage and then, the quantity of food you eat. This is what a nutritionist will help you with.

For example, most Americans… now most people around the world follow diets that are heavy in carbs, it’s now called the SAD diet, sad for Standard American Diet. Funny right, but not so funny, because this standard American diet is the prime factor leading 70% of the population to become obese. That’s more than 100 million people. You think COVID is bad, well, the standard American diet is the number one killer in the United States.

The average American diet is full of carbs, from 40 to 70% carbs. So when I’m helping people improve their nutrition, I will advise them to greatly reduce the number of carbs they consume every day, from 60+ percent down to 20%. This is what people would call a low carb diet.

In the past 10 years, You may have heard of the keto diet, the paleo diet, and now the meat diet. These are all forms of low carbs diets, meaning, they reduce the number of carbs in your diet below 20%. Keto is the most “Extreme” form of low carb diet because you have to eat less than 5% carbs a day. That’s very little, no sugar, no bread, no pasta, no rice, mostly meats, nuts, eggs, cheeses…so protein and healthy fats plus veggies.

So if I’m helping someone lose weight or improve their nutrition, I will not confuse them by saying, eating veggies is also bad for you, I will focus on reducing their carbs intake, increase protein and good fats…then next, reduce the amount of calories they consume every day. Because if you want to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit, eating less than what your body needs currently to trigger fat loss, where your body will have to dig into your fat cells to burn extra energy needed.

Now, let’s get into the next level nutrition this video is all about. One of the best books on nutrition and fitness the past few years is a book by Dr. Gundry called the plant paradox. I put a link in the comment section of his Instagram account and I highly recommend you follow him and check out his book. For me, the plant paradox took my understanding of nutrition to another level.

Dr. Gundry is a successful heart surgeon, he performed more than 10 thousand heart surgeries over 40 years, developed new ways to perform heart surgeries in children and invented numerous medical devices to improve heart surgeries.

He was also a college professor in medicine. Dr.Gundry made a full transition from cardiac surgeon to a nutritionist after realizing that he could save more people’s lives, in the millions, by helping people eat better rather than performing heart surgeries from the damage caused by poor nutrition.

First, he completely changed his nutrition…he was overweight and inflamed, with all kinds of allergies and digestive issues.

While improving his health and fitness, he studied nutrition science and discovered that many plants and veggies we all think are good for us, healthy, have huge negative side effects. From these discoveries, he developed the Dr. Gundry diet and wrote 3 books plus some great cooking books to help people increase their wellness IQs and implement his diet into their lifestyles. So here is what he discovered:

FIRST: lectins…which are plant toxins that can harm us.
SECOND: The effects of plant toxins on the human digestive system and brain.
AND THIRD, the correlation of these plant toxins with allergies, IBS, leaky gut syndrome, systemic inflammation, and all the health problem that comes with inflammation in the body.

Now let’s go over each item so you can see what I meant by next-level nutrition. If you apply this in your life, the way you feel will go to another level. It’s hard to believe until you do it, just like it’s hard for a caterpillar to understand life from the point of view, the perspective of an eagle…high in the sky.

Like pretty Ricky said, Let’s talk about lectins.

The way I explain this to people is that… it’s not the life goal of every plant to be eaten. Imagine being a plant, do you think your life goal is to be cut, hunted, eaten, then cooked, or juiced up?

Plants number one enemies are insects, so over time, plants developed weapons to fight inspects, to fight predators, the same way we human-invented toxic gases for war. Millions of Plants invented toxins that paralyzed, even killed insects attempting to kill them.

Some plants like to be eaten after maturation so they can grow seeds in other areas. These plants, like fruits, will sweeten up so someone can eat them and propagate their seeds.

Now that you understand why plants created a way to protect themselves, you can understand that even though we are bigger in size than insects, some plant toxins can hurt us. Not to the point of killing us right away or paralyzing us, but to the point of messing, of disrupting, our overall health.

Like paper cuts, plants can hurt us to a point where we start thinking, you know what, these plants are not good for me, I don’t feel good and healthy when I eat these types of vegetable. Which is one of the many reason children don’t like veggies, because the amount of toxicity is too high for them, compared to human adults.

Some of the most common forms of food allergies in the world are peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, raw foods, and raw vegetables. This is because of the toxins, the lectin poison in them Dr. Gundry has been writing about.

We all heard about the problems of gluten, leading millions of food items staying gluten-free food on packagings. Because some people are too sensitive to the damage of gluten on their health. Guess what…gluten is a form of plant toxins, it’s a lectin. Different veggies have different toxins in them, and those toxins have been given names like gluten in wheat.

One issue with peanut is that it’s not a nut, it’s a vegetable, hence why so many people have peanut allergies. Still, many can tolerate peanuts, I eat peanut butter, even though I prefer almond butter. But it’s important to know that peanuts, especially raw peanuts have levels of lectin toxins that can disrupt your health.

Another interesting fact to remember from this video is that raw unmatured fruits and raw veggies can hurt you more than they can help. This is why I advise people to be very cautious with all these raw veggies they like to juice up and drink every day.

Listen to this carefully, one of the most important human inventions is ketchup…no, I’m joking, it’s the invention of fire, how to start fire, and how to cook with fire. Cooking food is what allowed us, our species to make a leap in terms of evolution.

Why? Because cooking food, cooking plants helped us destroy a lot of plant toxins in veggies, in legumes, and also parasites in meats. Fire helped us accelerate the break down of food and make it easier for us to absorb all the nutrients.

My point is that eating raw veggies can completely destroy your health because of the level of toxins, those lectins will mess up your gut and digestive systems in many ways. Now, let’s transition to the next point, HERE are 8 WAYS these lectin toxins in vegetables can mess up your health:

Number ONE is the negative impact on the entire digestive system. IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome, millions of people are suffering from it today, it includes belly pain and cramps to diarrhea, constipation, bowel movement issues, bloating, gas, and food intolerance.

Reflect on your life and see how many times a week, a month you have these digestive issues and how much it disrupts your day, your life, your happiness.

Another way Lectins toxins in food can hurt you is by disrupting the health of your gut biome. There a boom in the science of gut bacteria… also called our second brain…you have close to 100 trillion bacteria in your gut, and what you eat, affects them for better or worse.

You can help good bacterias in your gut that will support your health, fitness, and happiness or kill them and develop bad gut bacterias. Some of these toxins in plants can hurt your healthy gut biome. This leads to this other problem, leaky gut.

Leaky gut is a huge, trendy word today in nutrition for good reasons. Because a leaky gut can lead people to develop so many health issues that they might think they have been cursed by God himself.

There is a membrane in your gut in charge of protecting gut bacterias and food that has not been broken down or approved yet from entering your bloodstream. Additionally, this gut wall protects you from diseases that might invade your body via your digestive system.

Some people developed leaky guts where the gaps, the tight walls guarding your bloodstream get loose and hell breaks loose, you have bacteria that shouldn’t be in your blood circulation passing these loose walls and creating inflammation, like a virus-infected your computer and triggering anti-virus software, this is what inflammation does to the body.

So one of the keys to reducing inflammation in your body and stopping it from breaking down is reducing toxins from food in your diet.

A quick point here is that, when your digestive system is disrupted and you feel funny, when your body is under attack, inflamed, it has a massive impact on your mental state.

Feeling lethargic, lazy, tired, we don’t often make the connection with our diet. Your nutrition can either make you feel your best, like people feel on Fridays… or be your worst enemy. Food is medicine or poison.

Now before we finish this video, let’s talk about what you can do right away to reduce toxins from veggies in your nutrition.

First, read and inform yourself about what kinds of food are normally high in lectins, those plants toxins. Here is a quick list:

Legumes are full of lectins. Many legumes like black, red beans have high levels of lectins.
So one thing is that you need to cook your legumes with a high-pressure cooker if possible, if not let them cook for long periods of time on the stove. It eliminates a lot of lectins in food and makes it safer to eat. You will see right away that you are not bloated or have gas if you cook your legumes and other veggies in high-pressure cookers. Ancient traditions use to soak legumes for 24-48 hours before cooking because it’s a clever way to drastically reduce lectins in food. This knowledge has been lost by our current culture.

Also all the plants from the nightshade family, so potato, eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes. This makes a lot of people unhappy when they hear that potatoes and tomatoes have a lot of lectins.

This is where I tell them that not everybody suffers from lectins to the same degree. But as Dr. Gundry says, it’s great to do a 7-10 day cleanse where you remove all type of food with high lectins in your diet and see how your feel, then re-introduce them and monitor your health, this way, you will learn what lectin food you tolerate and remove those that disrupt your health.

This is why I call this next level nutrition because if you are overweight or super unhealthy, you might want to focus first on losing weight, not on these lectins.

Other foods with high lectins is soy, peanuts, pine nuts. As a rule, a lot of seeds in veggies are high in plant toxins, so make sure to remove the seeds in your tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies to reduce the amount of lectin in it, this was a great step in improving my nutrition.

I can’t tell you the number of people who had food allergies, high food sensitivity, brain fogginess, whose daily lives were complete nightmares and by removing lectin toxins food in their diets, recovered their health, almost overnight.

So to finish, go check out Dr. Gundry Instagram’ss page, listen to his great podcast and also check out his blog, subscribe to it so you can learn more about lectins toxins and nutrition. I highly suggest you read his book the plant paradox or listen to the audio version

To finish, this video is about the veggie problem, how some plants we all think are good and healthy have strong negative side effects that can harm us. Remember that these plant toxins might not incapacitate you right away, but like dying of paper cuts, it will slowly damage your heart and break you down over time.

It’s up to you to improve your wellness IQ from these videos and do your own research. Again if your health matters to you, if that’s a priority in your life…Thanks

Peace & True Happiness

peace-happiness-karl drogba-wellness

Hello,

In today’s video, I will talk about peace and true happiness, then connect it with…nutrition, fitness and your overall well-being. It’s cool to know what fitness exercises to do, what nutrition to follow in order to stay healthy and strong, but we must not forget the big picture, why are you actually doing this, it’s not to please society, not to please your parents, or to look good, those are side effects of fitness and healthy nutrition, but the big WHY, it’s about you being at peace and happy, and that’s a huge motivator we should not forget. It’s the bottom line.

It does sound cheesy to look at it this way, to say that being fit and healthy is the foundation of a happy life. We see all kinds of fitness models on Instagram, celebrities being fit, and we forget what’s it’s all about, it’s first and foremost about happiness and peace.

No one is going to the gym and eating healthy to suffer endlessly or to be in pain.
Whether you are currently in shape, eat healthy or not, you should know that true, unconditional happiness is directly correlated with peace. Peace can only be achieved when your life, outside and inside, is in balance, in sync, with not too much disturbance. This is why I love the analogy of planes. No matter how comfortable the plane is, if you are going through turbulence during the entire flight, it’s going to be a bumpy journey to your destination. Same with your life.

Without peace, physical and mental, we humans cannot be happy, truly happy.
Take a look at medicine, what they call homeostasis, is when all systems in your body, muscles, bones, cardiovascular system, hormonal system, are all in balance…this is what being healthy means, the body systems are in balance, they are at peace, so you are healthy.

From this angle, you can understand where peace fits in. If your body is not balanced, healthy, it’s not at peace…which means, true happiness will be hard to reach, like trying to jump and catch the moon.

That reminds me of the joke from David Chappelle about starving children in Africa. How reading the book called the secret, on the law of attraction…and thinking positive is not going to help them make food magically appear …Yet that’s the same thinking millions of people have in developed countries today. We now live in an era where many people think that happiness can be purchased cheaply, without taking care of the pre-requisites, the fundamentals, which are your health and fitness.

We have been led to believe, maybe because we want to believe, some want to live in illusions, that happiness can cheaply be purchased. So instead of making sure we are healthy, at peace, physically and mentally, some people opt for pleasure via food, via endless experience, via drugs, via clothes, via all kinds of material goods.

Pleasure seeking took over a search for true happiness. Marketing from billion-dollar companies is fooling some of us to think that having the latest toy, the latest phone, new trendy clothes, new video games will increase our level of happiness in life…and it’s working, for those corporations, billion-dollar companies, the entertainment industry, Hollywood, fashion brands…but is it really working for people buying those goods. You see, I’m not against big corporations, I am an entrepreneur, if people want to buy anything they desire, they are free to do so, I’m all for capitalism. But here I’m asking the question as a philosopher, an existentialist, are people getting good returns on their investments…because when I look around, I really don’t find many people who are truly happy, first at peace, physically and mentally… then cool, relaxed, and unconditionally happy.

What I see and read is addiction being on the rise, politics becoming a religion, food addiction, 100million plus American overweight or obese, drug addiction, suicide on the rise, child obesity on the rise, porn addiction, social media addiction, people running in the pursuit of the next thrill, the next shiny object. So we are extracting all these precious resources from the ground, from nature, manufacturing all kinds of products and overall, people are not happier.

My take is that if people achieve true happiness, unconditional happiness which is within, they would be less likely to keep seeking material things for pleasure, they would start to enjoy more, the little things, because they would already have what’s most important, blossoming, the peak of emotional maturation.

In order to achieve the peak of emotional maturation, which is true happiness, we need to pass through three-levels, I call it the trinity of peak wellness.
First, environmental peace, Second, physical peace, and Third, mental peace. When these three levels are met, boom, you blossom, you enter a state of true happiness.

Let’s go over these three elements for the rest of this video and see where fitness and healthy nutrition fits in.

Number one is achieving peace in your environment.

If your life is chaotic, super complex and it’s harder and harder to manage it, you can imagine that your mind will not be at peace. If you are in conflict with people around you, relationships at work, or with your family, or in your romantic life…these issues will create a lot of tension, you will be anxious, maybe angry, and all this takes a toll mentally, so you will be far away from being at peace.

It’s like people living in countries during wartime, it’s very hard for these people to be at peace ,within, because there is so much chaos around. You need to simplify your life, remove the roadblocks to peace in your surroundings. Take 30mins or so to do an audit on your current environment and relationships, see what can you improve, or remove, see how can you simplify your life, reduce the level of complexity, make it more manageable.

Life goes fast, take a few moments a week to audit your life. It’s never too late.

Now the second item in the trinity of true happiness is physical peace.

Being sick, overweight, obese, bloated, disturbed with back pain, knees issues, not being able to sleep well at night…you don’t need to be Einstein to understand how these issues will disturb your physical peace, having all your body systems in balance, healthy…what medicine call homeostasis. And this is where fitness and healthy nutrition fits in. Allocating time toward improving your fitness and nutrition helps your body stay healthy, and therefore achieve body peace.

Fitness and healthy nutrition are the building foundations of true happiness. Then last but not least, the last stepping stone toward emotional maturation, toward blossoming is mental peace, reaching a state of ZEN, at all time.

Psychological peace is when your spirit, your soul is centered, in peace. Psyche means spirits.
But the fact is, billions of people are not interested in taking this last step, I kid you not, you think people want to find true happiness, I don’t think so, because very few are allocating time to improve their emotional health, to remove mental, emotional toxins, by de-rooting negative emotions like jealousy, hatred, resentment, envy, anger, stress…people are walking with gigantic reserve of negative emotion within them, larger than oil fields in the middle east, ready to explode with small triggers, and very quick to blame other people.

Achieving this emotional state of peace, of ZEN at all times requires the capacity to quiet your mind, modern human is constantly thinking, ruminating, living in the past, labeling people around, judging people, we have overactive minds because we have been taught in school to think think think, so people are thinking when they shouldn’t be thinking. Thinking while eating, thinking while walking, thinking while having sex, thinking while playing, non-stop, 24/7.

This third stage, mental fitness, is the level I have been spending most of my fitness time developing these past 5 years. Physical fitness doesn’t require me much time anymore, healthy nutrition is automatic, so now the new frontier is my emotional maturation and reaching this state of zen, I call it spaciousness, when your mind is quiet, at peace. It’s like the entire space in the universe is your mind, it’s vast.

Okay, this video was about the correlation between peace and true happiness. I explained that you cannot truly find happiness if you have not developed the trinity of peace. Peace in your environment, peace in your body by being healthy, and the last hurdle, peace of mind, a deep relaxed state of being, by removing mental toxins and destructive emotions, so you can reach peak wellness, a state of blossoming.

Jesus has this saying, take your cross and follow me, meaning walk the path toward liberation, toward emotional maturation, toward peak wellness. It’s really up to you, you have to desire improving your emotional state, maximize your human potential, and finding true happiness. Buying pleasure is cheaper but not sustainable, it doesn’t last, you will be endlessly running after it. It’s up to you.

On Racism

racism-wellness-karl drogba

Hello,

This video is beyond nutrition and fitness but still within the realm of peak wellness, as I will explain in the rest of this video, racism is mental, and improving our mental states is the only way to reduce racism, which I call extreme tribalism, in our society.

One reality we all have to understand is that the potential to be racist is in everybody, it doesn’t stop at skin color, geolocation, or income level. I argue in this video that tribalism, the root of racism, is in our genes because it was an important part of human evolution. Yet, we have the power to transcend tribalism and invite more people to this world village we live in, a better term is an ecosystem, a spider web.

I first wanted to call this video, it’s okay to be racist with an interrogation mark, for the simple reason that I wanted people to really reflect on what are the roots of racism and see that tribalism is an evolutionary mechanism that helped our ancestors survive so we could be here today.

In the midst of the George Floyd death and the bloody history of racism all around the world, the majority of us want to eradicate racism, we want to outlaw and ban it, but realize that you can’t outlaw an emotion. Imagine if tomorrow, we outlaw anger, is this possible? The president goes on tv and says, Anger is outlawed in the United States. Will you be able to follow this new law?

Emotions can be outgrown, but first we have to understand those emotions and what practical exercise we can do in order to get rid of negative emotions within us. Racism is one negative emotion, but notice how anger, jealousy, hatred, did as much if not more damage in the history of mankind than racism, sometimes they actually precede racism.

The first insight is that racism is a terrible word if we want to get rid of this mental sickness. Why, because it doesn’t enable us to diagnose the root emotion, which is tribalism.

From now on, if you really want to understand racism, replace racism with extreme tribalism or extreme xenophobia. The emphasis is on extreme because it’s where tribalism becomes a disease. Now let’s analyze tribalism, the mother of racism aka extreme tribalism.

Genetically speaking, the seeds of tribalism exist in all of us. Racism is not okay but tribalism is okay in many situations. This is where it gets dicey, where does tribalism start and when does it become racism?
If you see tribalism as a spectrum, there is a point where it becomes extreme and that’s dangerous, to us and others, that’s racism.

When I say tribalism is okay, I don’t mean it’s good, just like when I say cancer is natural, doesn’t mean it’s good and we should all have it, I mean they are both part of nature. Actually, unlike cancer, tribalism is good in many situations. Let’s travel back to the dawn of human history. When our ancestors were living the majority of their lives in very small groups, less than 300 people.

At this level, it’s easier to understand where tribalism fits in. it’s the mindset of US vs THEM and all the group behavior attached with this identification with your group, your tribe.

One of the most important human needs is survival, it’s the most basic need because if you cannot fulfill it, you are doomed, soon to be dead.

What makes survival difficult is that the resources we need to stay alive are limited, they are not unlimited, this is the law of scarcity. Food is limited, space is limited. Back in the dawn of humanity, it was harder to find food, space was more available. Today food is easier to obtain in some countries, and real estate is harder. You can also add water, electricity and fire.

Our ancestors back 20, 30K years ago had to protect their land because it’s where they had access to precious resources, food, water, fire, shelter. It wasn’t just necessary for their survival, but also for their brothers, sisters, and children, the next generation.

In this context, you can start to understand the function of tribalism, ingrained in all of us. It helped strengthen the us vs them behavior, our connection to this group we were born into. Tribalism made us cooperate and protect this group, ready to fight for our tribe and our space.

It’s also important to know that many of the people in the tribe of our ancestors shared genetic traits, sisters, brothers, uncles, nephews, or children. Your first tribe is actually your parents, brother and sister. Other things ancestors also shared with their tribes were a culture,same bacterias in the gut, and immunity to the same diseases.

Now imagine your ancestor tribe, 20K years ago, with limited resources, finding one day that a new tribe has entered their territory. How would you think they would react?

What would happen if their first reaction were super friendly, they didn’t know if the other tribe carried foreign diseases if they had friendly intentions if they wanted to steal resources. None of this was known in advance. You couldn’t check their Facebook group and Instagram pictures to see beforehand.

Hence why it made sense evolutionary to be extra cautious, or a bit scared, on high alert when facing a new tribe. Because ancestors that were too friendly right off the bat had higher chances of getting killed, raped, burned, enslaved. The reason why today’s parents say to kids, don’t speak to strangers.

The seed of tribalism is in every single one of us, just like the seeds of anger, sadness, jealousy, hatred, violence, happiness, pleasure, joy, empathy and compassion.

You cannot cancel this extreme tribalism we call racism. Maybe on the surface, you are going to stop some outward behavior of tribalism but you will never be able to erase it by making it a law, you might actually do more damage than good because you are repressing it in some people which can end up building resentment, a dangerous ticking bomb.

Now, before we move on to solutions to help people outgrown extreme tribalism, let me provide more examples of tribalism today:

Close to 50% of people raised in the family of a given political party end up voting for their parent’s political party when they grow up.

People choose to cheer for sports teams based on where they are from, or the team their parents support.

In the world cup, what do you feel so attached to supporting the team and players of your country versus the other, it’s pretty obvious right, you feel a strong emotional attachment to your country because it’s your tribe.

Now here are two super interesting social psychology experiments showing how ingrained tribalism is within us.

Kate Yang at Yale university did this experiment on tribalism where they bring random people in a room and make them toss coins randomly. Next, you divide the group based on who flipped head vs tail and give them two different color shirts.

The next stage of the experiment is doing all kinds of random, individual tasks and having each person judge others. What they find out over and over is that people will favor those with the same color shirt versus others who flipped coins differently. It’s called minimal group paradigm, it shows how the US vs THEM evolutionary software within us doesn’t need much to turn on. Feminists, LGBTQ, Worker Unions, all these groups use some aspect of tribalism to advance their cause.

You can see this play out often in sports, one player leaving your team for the rival team and now hating your team.

Another similar study was done with kids, age 5, 6 years old. This time they don’t even flip the coin themselves, someone flips it in front of them and assigns them a color shirt. Then they are asked to judge each other in terms of intelligence, who is better looking or distribute money or toys, and right away, those tribal biases emerge. They favor the people with the same shirt color they have.

This shows that what people call systemic racism can’t disappear without bringing emotional development in debates and solutions.

Now let’s switch to solutions, how to reduce tribalism in us and make sure the extreme form of tribalism, racism, is burned within us and society at large.

One option some people want to put forward is fighting racism with racism, but this is not a good solution because where will that lead us? As a country and planet? More divided, war perhaps. So understand the consequences in society of what you are encouraging, supporting, and sharing. Facing extreme tribalism with extreme tribalism is not the answer.

Another issue of facing racism is what do you do if you are not racist, if extreme tribalism is not in you but someone else is racist, what do you do?

Racism can lead to segregation, hate, negative discrimination and prejudice, all the way to violence. This led to murder, slavery, raping, to dehumanizing the others. It wasn’t too long ago that Women were deemed lower than Men, it’s still the case in many cultures around the world today. Now, When it comes to being violently attacked, you have to protect yourself, sometimes physically, this is what our ancestors did.

But this is not the world we live in today, most forms of racism today are not the violent ones. Pockets of violence due to racism still happen all over the world, against people of other colors, or countries, or religions or other ethnicities.

The solution to helping others outgrow racism starts with us. It’s counterintuitive, we think racist people need to change, not us, but I’m saying solving this problem starts with us.

I will first explain it with Cesar Millan, known as the dog whisperer. When I first came to the US, he had a tv show and I was blown away by his ability to deal with difficult dogs. I thought he had some kind of superpower. Since then, I read his book and listen to him often. He is an amazing guy in many aspects.

He crossed the border from Mexico to the US at 13 years old with 100$ in his pocket, then was homeless. From the jump, he had the dream of becoming the best dog trainer in the world. Another American Dream story.

Anyway, while listening to him explained how to deal with dogs who have anger and trust issues, who are super defensive when facing strangers, he said something that was very insightful. I faced many scary dogs back in Africa, I thought all dogs were vicious but that wasn’t the case when I came to the States.

Cesar Millan said, dogs who are defensive and trigger a fear response in you will only make them more defensive and worsen the situation. This is how we like to say dogs can smell fear.

So first he said, don’t approach the dog, keep your distance and stay where you are, stand your ground. Generally, a dog needs to come toward you to show that he allows you to be his friend and enter his space.

Next, you have to find a way to make the dog override his fear/defensive mindset and turn it off by helping generate a positive emotion. So help him develop a good emotion to offset the negative emotion whenever he is in contact with you. Then over time, with repetition, this dog can accept you as part of his tribe. This can happen rapidly.

Right there, it’s important to know that the aggression and defensiveness of the dog is not necessarily bad. Just like anger in humans is not always bad, it depends in what context and for what purpose we use it.

What Ceasar Millan does to generate a positive emotion in an aggressive dog is to put horse manure under his shoes. That’s weird right. It does it because this smell overwhelms the dog, it’s so appealing to them that they can’t resist turning off their defensive mindset and come toward you, allowing you to enter their space. This is the first step toward building a friendship with this type of dog. Helping him turn off fear, lower his guard.

The lesson here is that fear matching fear, anger matching anger, hate matching hate rarely solves anything, especially in the long term. The optimal solution is when negative emotions are turned off on both sides.

In practical terms, we have to understand that working together, cooperation outmatches competition in many ways. Survival and competition are fundamental laws of nature, so is cooperation.

Great nations, which are expansions of our ancestors tribes, thrive when people are working together. I come from Africa, in Ivory Coast. With 25 million people, there are close to 60 tribes, tribalism is very pungent back home. Two civil wars in the past 20 years, and the majority of the population today vote based on tribal affinity. We have failed to create a Nation Tribe, we are still stuck at the tribe level of our ancestors.

Because of this, the majority of people in Ivory Coast, even very smart people, choose their president based on tribe. Not because this candidate is the best, that’s not the number one criteria, number one is his tribe. And we are in 2020. As a result, many African countries are 100 if not 200 years behind nations like the United States.

I’m saying this to emphasize that the more we grow our tribe and cooperate with more people, the better off we will be, our country and the world. Covid is a perfect example of this, the world is small today, diseases and viruses are global, we are hyper-connected, like a spider web, we cannot afford to be tribal and racist:

Pollution is a global issue
Nutrition is a global issue
Natural resources is a global issue
Happiness is a global issue
Suffering is a global issue

You might think, what the heck, I can care less about the happiness of someone in Afghanistan, Nicaragua or a starving kid in Ethiopia because you have your own problem here. That’s understandable, but if you want a better world for your children, soon or later you will have to start caring and paying some attention to how other people around the world live and more, see how you can improve their lives. If your tribe is thriving, and the other tribes are starving, what do you think is going to happen? It’s just a matter of time.

Which leads me to this final point, the only way to counter, to uproot racism and reduce tribalism is kindness and compassion. Those two emotions are within us but at the seed level, underdeveloped is the right term because kindness and compassion are not as developed as anger, jealousy, attachment and other emotions associated with tribalism.

It’s crucial we understand that we have to make kindness and compassion flourish in our society, teach it as early as possible, and practice it. Compassion is different from empathy, people misunderstand this, empathy is a tribal emotion because you tend to have more empathy for people who look like you, ironically, having a lot of empathy can make you more racist.

Also, it’s hard to have empathy for millions of people, it’s singularly oriented. Compassion is the expansion of empathy, you are less emotionally attached but you want the best for others, you want to see them do well, improve their happiness and reduce their suffering.

Kindness is how you behave toward others. First, this mindset shifts your perception of other people, which then bleeds in how you interact with them.

In the west, we like to solve our problems with morals, ethics and law. It works in many situations like speeding law, red light, stealing and so forth but you can’t outlaw an emotion, moral can’t fix it, nor intelligence.

What’s missing is human emotional development. Education of the heart. Helping people remove negative emotions and amplify positive emotions.

I learned about developing kindness and compassion through Buddhism. When I started to get serious about meditation, as I did with fitness and nutrition, I dug into books from the best in this area.

Right in the beginning, schools and masters in meditation emphasized the need to amplify kindness and compassion through specific practices, and how that was really important to achieving tangible results in meditation. I was perplexed, what’s the connection between me meditating to be at peace within, relaxed and free of racing thoughts with kindness and compassion?

Well, the link is now clear, because some emotions make the mind shaky, trembling, running in all directions, which triggers the heart and makes us feel uneasy.

Think about it, how do you feel when you are angry versus happy, how do you feel, mentally, when you are anxious versus relaxed. How do you feel when you are jealous, hateful versus happy for someone? The poison of anger or racism is more damaging to the person who carries it then the one who it’s directed toward.

This is very important to understand about racism. A person affected by extreme tribalism can never be at peace within, relaxed. Remember at the beginning of the video I said that tribalism, like anger, are emotions that helped us enter survival mode.

It makes us ready to fight, to defend ourselves. So how can you be at peace if you are constantly preparing for battle, if your nervous system is turned on survival mode, stressed, ready for war? You can understand that better with the word paranoia, it’s a scary, jittery state of mind.

It’s the super extreme form of US vs Them. Imagine if the only tribe you identify with is your family, outside your house you will never feel safe. Your mind will always be on high alert. The less tribal and racist you are, the more peaceful and mentally calm you can be.

The goal of mediation is enlightenment and the end of suffering, and a prerequisite to reaching those states of being is achieving constant equanimity of mind. Equanimity is a mental state of calmness, groundedness, without being swayed emotionally.

In my eyes, I don’t look at someone who is racist as bad, but as someone who has a disease and is not at peace. the same way you don’t feel anger against someone who is depressed.

They once asked the Dalai Lama, the head of Tibet, how meditating over 50+ years helped him, how does he feel now.

Out of all the benefits he could have talked about, he said, when I meet a stranger, it feels normal, like I know him. Right there, he showed the power of developing kindness and compassion. Notice, there is a weird feeling we often feel around strangers when we first meet them, or being in a foreign environment, our mind is racing a bit higher than usual, elevated heart rate, some are anxious.

But you can reach a state where this doesn’t happen anymore, where any new person you meet feels like meeting a family member. This doesn’t mean you will like them as friends. But at least, you are giving them the benefit of the doubt and not have any preconceived, negative bias based on how they look, where they are from or their income level.

I can testify on the benefit of developing compassion and kindness through meditation. I feel at home everywhere, it’s gradually getting better. And this feeling of meeting strangers is completely gone. Which offset a lot of prejudice or ingrained bias I might have had regarding them.

In a state of emotional arousal like anger or hatred triggered via tribalism, you cannot think clearly, your mind is intoxicated with the worst possible scenario, then your reptilian brain, the most ancient part of the brain takes over, this reptilian brain is here for survival, so the worst can happen, you lose control easily.

That’s what happens to that Karen in Central park. She has to develop compassion and kindness in order to inhibit her tribal fears. Putting her in prison or sanctioning her, is it really helping her? And what message is this sending to society at large, did you hear any news media talk about emotional development? No, because media platforms operate on the same polarized tribalism that leads to racism.

Extreme Tribalism in her kicked in and took over her behavior, the US vs THEM software was activated. We have to see the humanity in everybody, in the oppressed and the oppressors.

Everybody who meets the Dalai Lama says the same thing, from neuropsychologists, doctors, biologists, to politicians, they say his welcoming aura is contagious…it’s warm…today we call that vibe, and many of us always love to shout, good vibe only.

If your vibe is good, to a degree you can change the other’s vibe because good vibe is contagious, this is what Cesar Millan is all about, bad vibe cannot counter bad vibe. And it says a lot when your good vibe goes away as soon as you meet someone with a bad vibe. Why? because negative emotions exist as seeds within you, under the right context, temperature, climate, they re-surface.

This was the meaning of Jesus extending his other cheek, of telling God on the cross, pardon these people who crucified me, they are emotionally unwell, fear got Jesus killed. It takes someone with immense compassion, kindness and mental maturation to love his enemies, the meaning of the turn your other cheek parable. It’s about the vibe you project when meeting adversity or someone who doesn’t like or hate you. Make your good vibration shine through the smokescreen of darkness, don’t get contaminated, hence Mrs. Obama saying when they go low, we go high.

Some of you might say, well, it doesn’t help to turn your other cheek, they will keep hurting you. That’s a big fallacy. If you play any type of competitive sports or been in the army, play board or video games, you understand that being emotionally cool, under control, is the best way to outsmart your opponent, to think and strategize. It’s the quarterback mindset.

That’s my biggest reproach with any mass movement in history, they get caught up emotionally, for good reason, I can’t deny that, but this reduces their capacity to think clearly, effectively, and focus on leverage points to apply pressure. Another issue is that running a movement on emotion is doomed to fail because emotions are not sustainable. As soon as your emotion goes away, you lose focus.

The Dalai Lama said this, your enemy is very good in the sense that he reveals who you are within. If your response to hate is hate, you are in the same boat as the other group.

I have met many extreme tribal people over my life,first back in Africa, with people who shared the same skin color as me but were from other religions or tribes or countries.Then I lived in Tunisia, where I faced extreme tribalism from people of different color, then in France, then in the USA. I’m saying this so you understand extreme tribalism exists all around the world. But in each of these countries, the vast majority of people I interacted with were good people.

We cannot fix deep issues in society with shallow solutions and being caught up emotionally. Understand what are the roots of racism, understand the role of tribalism in human evolution, then how to develop kindness and compassion in order to burn any potential in you then radiate that to others around and the world at large. Your individual actions matter because you are part of an ecosystem.

It’s up to you, thank you.

 

 

 

Fat Shaming?

obesity-fat shaming-nutrition-weight loss-fitness

Fat Shaming

Hello,

In today’s vlog, I want to go over a topic that has been trending up for the past 10 years. Fat shaming and the idea that one can be healthy while overweight and obese. Personally,I love the concept of freedom in America. I can’t care less about how people live their lives.

There is not enough time in the day to accomplish all your goals, so why spend the time worrying about how someone else decides to live their lives. Yet when it comes to my close family, I have a different approach. My cousin says I bully my family, I call it tough love.

If you have to massage and beat around the bush with people you really care about, I think telling them the truth at the cost of losing that friendship is worthed it. If you don’t tell someone you really care about what you think about them, what’s obvious about their health or well being in life, who is going to tell them that?

I will address two subjects in this video. First, why as a society we should actually care about how people look, in terms of health, and in the second part of the video, I will speak on how I approach people in my family who are not taking their health seriously.

Maybe you are facing a similar situation. My approach might not be the right one, and im always trying to learn new ways to deliver a message, but just letting them know can ignite a change.

In the beginning of the video, I said that I love the concept of freedom in America, where people, to some extent, within the law can do whatever they want without being bothered by other people. So when it comes to how someone looks, in terms of health, I really don’t care. But as a society, as a member of this great country that is America, I think we should be concerned about other people well being, which includes their health.

And you cannot talk about health without talking about nutrition. You want to talk about inequality, good, so you also have to be concerned about 70% of Americans who are overweight or obese. By concern I mean, reading about it, being an example, helping others, and trying to improve things as you can. Just voting is not enough.

There are a couple of reasons why you should care about the wellbeing of people in America.

The most obvious and selfish one is that, if the life of people around you is going from bad to worse, while you are doing well, it’s just a matter of time before their issues bleed into your life. The feeling of resentment is at the core of every revolution in the history of mankind. People who don’t feel well and who see others who are doing ok, develop resentment, which can lead to violent revolutions.

The second reason why we should care about the well-being of people in this country is a matter of economy, prosperity, and national security. Part of your income goes to other people and is used overall to make the country better. It’s call tax, and it’s the duty of a citizen to know how the government is using that money and if it’s actually making the country better. You should care about it, because right now, billions of dollars are going down the drain, right away. Because people’s health is getting worse and worse and they keep throwing money at it.

Only the pharmaceutical industry is winning here. The real truth no politician wants to say during those foolish debates is that the healthcare problem in the USA is a fitness and nutrition issue. They don’t want to tell you that it’s about individual responsibility because most people don’t like to hear that. So like children, we hoped Obama, we hope Biden, we hope Berny will throw more money in the healthcare system and fix everything. But Hear this out:

The US healthcare expenditure in 2018 was 3.6 Trillion, that’s almost equal to the entire GDP of Germany. Let me repeat it, the United States spends 3.6 trillion a year on healthcare, when the whole country of Germany, a top 10 country in terms of wealth makes 3.9 trillion.

What’s worse is that the health of Germans and many European nations is infinitely better while they spend substantially less money on healthcare. In terms of happiness, who do you think is happier? We work harder than them and enjoy it less.

70% of the US population is overweight or obese, so more than 200 million people. The United States spends nearly 200 billion dollars on health issues related to obesity alone.

The US population is four times bigger than Germany, but per citizen, the US spends double what Germany spends, with a worse outcome. So more money is not the answer here. It’s like trying to pay the devil to enter heaven.

So… should we care about the health of people in America, should you care about fellow Americans who are overweight or obese? I think yes, this is the real pandemic you don’t hear politicians talk to you about because it’s not sexy.

Healthcare for Senior citizens, Healthcare for those who can’t afford private healthcare…then you have food stamps for those who can’t buy food to eat. Yet, with billions and billions, most of these people are not healthier, the obesity trend is increasing, faster than gossip.

So you have 200+ million people who are overweight and obese, which cost trillions of dollars in health expenditure but we can’t talk about it, because of fat-shaming?

Now, here is a very simple way to solve this issue. We need to bring back the laws of mother nature because we have created a superficial country. We have to make people more accountable.

Healthcare is not a human right, the government is not mommy or daddy, under the natural laws of nature, we need to bear the fruits of our actions. If it was up to me, there would be very little healthcare assistance from the government, which would put people right back in the control seat of their lives and health.

Then private insurance would be cheap for those who are healthy, who stay fit year after year, like car insurance who people who are good drivers. People would be free to eat as much as they want, fat-shaming would be gone but you will have to pay directly for any healthcare problems.

You cannot make America great again without making America healthy again, it’s logically impossible. I was just reading last week that 7 out of 10 people in the age of joining the army would be denied because they are out of shape.

To me, this reflects a society that has moved from survival, from the age of the pioneers to a society of excess wealth and opulence. Historians of past civilizations call this era the stage of decadence and decay. What example are we setting for future generations?

You have people who love to talk about how much money the government should spend on education, more money on healthcare, start the universal basic income…but let’s be realistic, money doesn’t grow on trees, and if right now the government is in trillions of debt, money has to come from somewhere to fix other important issues.

Let’s suppose you take some money away from the military, it’s not enough. A simple solution would be reducing the number of Americans who are overweight or obese. 200 million Americans overweight or obese exposed them to all kinds of costly, painful disease. Imagine if this number was reduced to less than 30 million, how much money would be freed for education, for emotional development, to even consider universal basic income in America.

When it comes to politics, people love to point fingers and make someone else fix what needs to be fixed. But we all need to look in the mirror, 200 million Americans overweight, that’s not the fault of the government, that’s not the fault of mc Donalds or coca-cola. They are not forcing you to consume their products. It’s up to you.

They say that the strength of Asian countries is the sense of togetherness that they have, belonging to a family and community, and the behavior that comes with it, less selfish, acting within the framework of a nation.

Saying to someone that they need to take care fo their health and fitness is not fat-shaming, no one is having an opinion about your essence, your spirit, but saying one person is fat and obese and should do something about it is similar to saying to someone who is dead last in class to work better, while offering him advice and help. I hear you, some people say, but I’m trying, I don’t think so.

People want the government to babysit them yet don’t want the government to tell them what to do, which one is it?

Being obese is not healthy, being overweight is not healthy, these are medical fact. The Body Mass Index is a chart doctor and nutritionists use to make basic health assessments. A normal healthy weight means something on the BMI chart. Going over, you can go from being classified as overweight, obese I, obese II, or Obese III which is severely obese.

Now before we finish this video, let’s talk about what to do if someone you care about, someone in your close circle is overweight or obese and not doing anything about it. A few weeks ago, one of my cousins had her 30th birthday. And on that day, she sent me a picture of us way back in Africa when I was 9 years old and she was younger.

She commented that it was when I was really mean to her, making fun of her for being overweight. And I said, well, you should pay me because look how you turned out. She is strong, fit, and eat healthy as a lifestyle. Wakes up at 5 am most days of the week to hit the gym before work.

What people call fat-shaming or bullying today is what we used to call tough love back then. I never had the mindset of a victim, the way I grew up… if someone beats me at anything, it’s my fault, never theirs, I have to rise up, not the opposite. Freedom is not given, it’s taken.

I remember two of my good friends I grew up with, whose dad would not allow them to come back home if they had a fight outside and lost. You can imagine how they are today. If you have someone in your family you really care about that is overweight or obese, you have to intervene before it’s too late.

Rather be get yelled at then not reach out. But before you reach out to them, take some time to think of what you will say, and research online and on amazon, books, and people where you can learn what nutrition approach your loved one could follow. Another idea would be to collect money with your family and offer this person a nutritionist, or personal trainer, or life coach.

We are now down with this video on Fat-shaming, I spoke about the reason why as citizens, everybody should be concern about the health of people in America, about what people eat. Even more so when a person you really care about is having these issues.

Stop asking what the country needs to do, for you, rather ask yourself, what can you do, besides voting, that can directly impact the country at large. Eating healthy and staying fit is one of the greatest contributions you can make to this country, furthers, reaching your emotional peak, peak wellness, is the greatest gift you can give the universe.

It’s up to you

 

The Real Battle is Home

The Real Battle is Home- Wellness

The real battle is home.

When it comes to looking your best, being healthy and in shape, many people are concerned with going to the gym, not buying junk food when they are outside, not falling into peer pressure…
All this is great, but let’s face the fact, the real battle is at home, where you spend the majority of your life.

If you get a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a life coach, that’s amazing but this home battle can only be won by you and only you. So ultimately, you have to become your own personal trainer, mental coach, and nutritionist. Getting help from people in your environment, through books or videos online is wonderful, but you have to integrate that knowledge and make it yours, make it flourish within.

If this is not done, then you will be living a double life, which is what billions of people are doing. Outside, around some people, they talk about health, fitness, nutrition, but at home, when they are alone, by themselves, the other side comes out, ordering unhealthy food left and right, freezer packed with ice cream, pizza, or just plain overeating every day.

The real fight is home. If you truly want to lose weight, get in shape, and make health your flavor, you have to start right at home. Before thinking about joining a gym, what exercises to follow, what’s the best supplement, ask yourself this. What game plan are you going to follow to make sure, when you are home, you are eating healthy, clean, and yummy food 90% of the time. From Monday to Saturday.

Answering this, planning, and executing it is the real game-changer, and no one can help you make it happen for you.

There is a new book out talking about the amount of time we spend indoors in our entire life, it’s 90%. So If you reach 70 years old, you would have spent 63 years of your life indoors, so think about the amount of time you will spend home. Of those 63 years indoors, you might spend a good 40 years at home.

Reflect on this and it’s clear that what you do at home is immensely more important toward your health than going to the gym. That’s why I tell people that they can lose all the weight they want without ever stepping a foot in the gym. To make them aware that the real battle is at home.

If you are looking to gain a lot of muscle, it will be easier to have a gym membership, but to lose weight, be toned and healthy, you can do it at home. Because being in a normal weight for your height, healthy body mass index, having a flat stomach, this is mostly achieved by how you eat. Can you stay within the right amount of calories to trigger fat loss, eat the right food, and maintain a healthy nutrition after you reach your target weight goal?

These are questions that your fitness plan, trainer, coach, motivational videos and insta fitness model can’t answer.

That’s why my effort, with the video programs and all these vlogs, is to change the narrative of how we can be fit, healthy and vibrant, change the paradigm because weight loss or building muscle is mostly about behavior, which is the domain of the mind, psychology is 99% of it.

You don’t need to be a brain scientist to see the connection between eating well at home, winning this battle, and mental control, mindstate management.

When you are outside, around some people who eat healthy and stay fit all the time, it’s easier to speak about looking to get in shape, or eating healthy. But when you are by yourself, that’s when your true self shines, your habits are indicative of your subconscious self, which makes 90% of your personality.

If you really want to see who someone is, one way is by their actions, but some people can fake it, but you will learn a ton by seeing their dream. Because that’s where their truth shines, you can see what drives them most, their fear and desires.

Another simple way is just to peek into their life at home, when they are alone.

One of the first things I do with new clients is finding out what kind of food they have at home. And in many cases, we end up throwing a lot of food away. A lot of junk food. Many times, throwing a lot of junk food away, I thought, maybe I should keep this food and donate it, then I realize, if I’m not going to eat it, and I know it’s not healthy, why would I give that to someone else.

That’s another discussion, but my point is that you first want to audit your house. If you are looking to change your lifestyle for the better and you find it difficult, start by removing all junk food in your house.

Pasta, rice, sugars, from brown sugar to white or honey, everything got to go. Crackers, cookies, snacks, juices, they gotta go. Again, if you want to live a double life, no need to do this, but if you want to be all in, which is the only way to live a healthy lifestyle, remove all the junk food from your vicinity. Make your home a rehab center. People go to rehab then come back to the same environment and start back again.

So home is where you are going to spend the majority of your life, make that your church of health.

Next is making sure you don’t buy and bring unhealthy food at home, because many times, you might find yourself tired at home, angry or anxious, where your mojo is low. These moments are perfect to jump on junk food and binge eat. You can prevent this by not buying unhealthy food and bringing it home.

The act of removing junk and unhealthy food you have at home is a testament to your commitment to be and stat fit, vibrant. If you want to make your house, your crib, a church of health, a sanctuary of wellness, you have to purify it.

If I’m coming to your house to help you get back in shape and eat healthy, if you refuse to throw your junk food away, what does it says about you, and your commitment? you are not all in. So don’t play game with your mind, that will create multiple personalities and make you more fragmented within. Whatever decision you make in life, be total with it.

The next step to win this home battle is to make sure you have plenty of healthy food around you. Snacks like nuts or unsweetened yogurt, you can use Splenda or natural stevia to sweeten your yogurts. Or cheese sticks is another good snack option or some baby carrots.

Even more important is learning some easy and healthy yummy food to cook. Follow Instagram accounts of healthy recipes, from paleo to keto and other low carbs diets.

If your objective is to lose weight, having healthy food at home is good, learning to cook healthy and delicious food is great but you must know how much calories you should stick to in order to create a calorie deficit. Then you can track it with myfitness pal.

In my video program to lose weight forever, I help you find out all the information needed to build a blueprint within the first 3 videos. So within an hour, you have a complete blueprint to start. Then I support you with another 15 hours of video to help you increase your wellness IQ about fitness and nutrition science and boost up your mental control, the missing link.

So again, the real battle, not fight, because you shouldn’t fight with yourself, but the real battle is at home.
If you are losing the battle at home, eating unhealthy when you are alone, going to the gym, or looking for the best nutrition plan is not going to help. Start home first, and deep down, home means your mind, start from your center.

It’s up to you, thank you.

Are you Dying Well?

Are you Dying Well? Wellness-Nutrition

Are you Dying well?

Hello, this video is about Dying, not just big Death, but the process of dying which actually begins the moment we enter this world. From the moment we come in, we start dying. Now, it’s up to each of us to manage how this process will unfold. You have some degrees of freedom to manage the condition of your lifeboat at this end of this trip. By your lifestyle and actions you take every day.

This process can go from good to great or from bad to well, making your life a complete hell. The goal of this video is to help increase your awareness in regard to how your pilot your spacecraft. You have two options.

One is having a trip that is full of turbulence from the moment you take off, your trip is constantly peppered with some problems, thunderstorms, tornados, thick clouds, endless fog. Every now and then something is bothering you in life. A few moments or days ago you were happy, satisfied, then boom, anger, frustration comes back, because those poisonous seeds are within you, ready to sprout at any moment. Maybe because you are unwilling to uproot them, or you think this is who you are or just don’t know-how. So under the right external conditions aka triggers, poisonous emotions come out of you.

Worse, for some of us, we can see that down the line, landing our spacecraft will be rough, because we didn’t do proper maintenance, overweight, unhealthy, hypertension, cancer…some fear so much the landing, facing death, that they are basically closing their eyes to all these problems they could actually fix. This is what Ernest Becker called the denial of death.

A long time ago a wise man told me, every pain and challenge you encounter, face it, and grow from it, if not, it will grow in your shadow and come back to haunt you. Death is one of those monsters we don’t want to think about but it’s affecting how we live every day.

The other choice is having a flight mostly free of turbulence, this requires reaching cruising altitude, it’s airplane lingo that means reaching 40 thousand feet in the air, where there is very little turbulence, you are coasting. This is what peak wellness is all about, the tagline of my website, when you take care of your fitness, nutrition, all the way to improving your mental state…you are centered, and being centered makes you balanced, and balances you are at peace within. You move through life like a river, flowing…hence bruce lee saying, be like water.

But this requires effort and time allocation, sure, more money will help you have a better trip, you can buy more wine and food in your spacecraft, you can buy more movies, more gadgets, browse the internet or social media, or take sleeping pills, smoke weed, but unless you reach cruising altitude…without health, fitness, and peace of mind, how will you enjoy all these things you are purchasing? Can you enjoy a trip in a plane under constant turbulence, think about this.

Boredom is also ready to mess this road trip, so people are constantly running, depression is on the rise, people are anxious, yet America has never been that wealthy.

Are you dying well, is the title of this video, let’s get into it.

Throughout modern history, one of the key insights from scientists and philosophers studying the impact of death on human psychology is that we are unconsciously hunted by the fact that life is finite. And this fact of life influences how we behave every day, our goals and priorities.

Your attitude toward death is an important variable of how you live your life and what meaning you attribute to this life.

Each one of us constructs a sense of self from around four years old, and every time this ego is bruised, it’s a problem. When we get hurt emotionally, feel depressed, or anxious, we look for quick solutions to make us feel good again. Going back to the plane analogy, it’s like feeling turbulence and choosing to buy more food, or watch some movies, or go out and get distracted. In the short term, this might help, but you have to address the root issues, turbulences are negative emotions within us, or fear of death, or boredom, or lack of meaning and satisfaction in our lives.

Obesity, food addiction, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, a lot of people facing those issues were affected by traumatic events in their lives, went or are going through stressful situations, those addictive things were a way to self medicate for many, or move forward.

Now think of the reverse, how would you live the rest of your life if you were fearless of death..shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, if you had no fear of death at all, these emotions would be gone from your mind forever…How much energy will that unleash in you, to make this long flight of life meaningful, joyful?

Being fearless when it comes to death is basically mental, an emotional realization. You first have to become aware of the fact that your life will end one day. Of course, we are all aware of that but I’m talking about reflecting on this, visualizing your last day, even breath, so you embody this reality.

But you don’t even need to become fearless of death for that to have a positive impact on your life, a deep understanding of the process of death, aging and illness will help you greatly.

Ancient stoics in Rome carried a coin with them engraved with the phrase memento morris, which means, remember that you are going to die. They understood that being hyper-aware of death has many therapeutic effects and can help you get a different perspective on your life, one that might be a catalyst for improving your lifestyle.

We all know people, directly or indirectly who after facing situations where they almost died, completely changed their outlook on life for the better. They changed career paths or started living differently. Because they realized that there is no time to waste, every single minute counts, you can make this flight beautiful or constantly be peppered with bad weather, turbulences, and tornados.

A cornerstone of Buddhism philosophy is the insight that life is change. Everything is constantly changing, things arise and die…it’s the rhythm of life. Understanding this, we become less attached to things in life, we can let go of things easily, we can enjoy things without having a strong grip on them.

It’s a tremendous emotional skill because afflictive emotions like anger, pain, dissatisfaction cannot last in us if we are not holding on to them, we know they all come and go, they arise and cease. It’s the rhythm of life.

Applied to nutrition and fitness, understanding the principle of birth and death, that things come and go constantly, will help you muster the will to improve your fitness and nutrition because no matter how unhealthy you might be today, overweight, hurt or obese, it’s not a fixed state, it’s not a prison, because of the principle of change, you can use that to your advantage.

The short pain of training, especially in the beginning month when your body is adapting, or doing your cardio every day to lose fat goes away and you start to take advantage of better fitness, nutrition, and health.

Buddhism has this weird insight that Old people, A dying person and a sick person are messengers from the universe, to remind us how precious being healthy, physically and mentally is, because of what comes with sickness, with the process of aging and with dying.

Take a few moments in your day and Reflect on being sick, we are quick to forget being sick once our health comes back:

Being sick, your body is basically decaying very fast, cells, tissues, bones, liquids, everything is degrading rapidly…also, we lose our zest for life, you can’t enjoy your favorite food, movies, video games, and other hobbies you love.
You also lose your vitality, physically and mentally, it’s a small depression and we feel so weak. Then we have to take medicine, which has side effects, some of us have to get surgeries or cancer therapies.

Then reflect on old age, being young we love to focus on the present, but overseeing older people, which we will become one day, there is a lot we can learn to improve our lives now and for the future:

The body also degrades as we age, slower than when we are sick, and even slower if we are in good physical condition. Our beauty and youth also degrade, our senses, capacity to hear, taste, see, feel, each one of them can be affected drastically with aging.

Reflecting on these processes of dying and the flow of change can help you reassess your current lifestyle for the better, because you can make this long road trip full of joy and pain-free, and thus make the final landing the crescendo of your life, make it a beautiful symphony.

It’s up to you, thank you.

After Rehab

After Food Rehab, Then What?

After rehab, what’s next?

Hello, In this video, I will go over a gigantic problem people looking to lose weight, get fit, and stay vibrant have to face. I call it the after rehab relapse.

Some of us might know friends who went to rehab for different addictions, but most of us have seen it in movies or heard about celebrities going to rehab and how many, and how often people relapsed. But nutrition and fitness rehab is also a thing.

Millions of people would greatly benefit by changing sceneries, leave their environments and go somewhere more conducive to eating healthy, so they can get started and build some solid foundations to sustain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of their lives. This is what the show the biggest loser is about.

But nutrition rehab is very rare, so your rehab center ends up being your house, your home, where you gained weight, where you overeat, where the cookie monster calls home.

Every now and then you hear people saying they are doing a 30-day fitness or nutrition challenge, the summer is around or big event, so they muster the will to commit and go all out. This is a great step, but you need a strategy after rehab, what’s going to happen. Most people will never go to nutrition rehab, it doesn’t exist, so changing habits in their house is the only way toward a healthy lifestyle.

Before designing a strategy for after rehab, you have to first make your home a rehab center or better yet, a sanctuary of health. I recently made a video that deals with making your house your ally toward getting fit and staying vibrant, the video is called the real battle is home.

Now here, I want to focus on the after rehab portion, basically, after you reach your fitness goal. This alone is a huge milestone. Few people reach their target weight goals, many quit after the initial weeks, when the excitement fuel burns out and old eating habits creep back.

If you have trouble starting on this journey to lose weight and get fit, check the video program on my website, where I help you go from A to Z with everything you need to know and do, with a focus on the mental aspect, the psychology of making this lifestyle transition.

OK, so when you do reach your goal, then what. Here are some mistakes people make:
The first one I talked about already is just not having a plan of what to do after rehab.
Imagine a drug addict who goes to rehab and then comes back to the exact same environment where he became addicted, or someone coming out of prison, back in the same environment.

If they don’t drastically change that environment, we cannot be surprised if they relapse, it’s to be expected. The culture we grew up into, our friends, family and hobbies influence how we behave every day, especially when it comes to nutrition and fitness.

The second mistake people make is not having a detailed plan. One of the best pieces of advice I learned from a business advisor is that your business plan needs to be as detailed as possible. He said that generally, building a business will not exactly reflect your plan but a detailed business plan helps you think of the roadblocks or intricacies you haven’t thought of yet. It’s like preparing for war.

You don’t go to war with a half bake strategy, you want to spend time building a strong blueprint for your lifestyle post-rehab. The first time I meet people who are looking for help losing weight, getting fit, or gaining muscle, I always make them aware of the need to build a detailed blueprint for what they will do after.

And the issue is, many people stop looking for advice after they reach their initial fitness goal. If they don’t have a plan post-rehab, the vast majority end up relapsing into the old eating lifestyles. 95% is the relapse rate in nutrition and fitness. 95%

And then the third mistake people make after rehab is not executing the blueprint. If you make a blueprint of how you are going to behave upon your release from prison and then you don’t do it, what are the chances of you relapsing to your previous lifestyle? Pretty high. So execution is crucial here.

Now, let’s go over a broad strategy for your new lifestyle after rehab, after reaching your weight goal.

One is to write down your next goals. People tell me, they want to lose X amount of pounds, gain this amount of muscle, then what. Many don’t have answers after that. It’s very hard for people to reach a weight goal and just coast, maintain, we are either going up or down.

One easy goal is aiming to lose more weight or gain more muscle. So you can keep your target weight but get stronger, leaner. It’s up to you to find out how much stronger you want to get, so it will allow you to focus on getting healthier.

Let me give you some other goals to think about. When I reached my fitness goals of gaining 20 pounds of muscle, my next goal was increasing my overall endurance, I started doing more slow cardio at first to get a good aerobic base and then more high intensity, fast sprints to increase my stamina.

Another goal was starting yoga, this really expanded my wellness lifestyle, because I was getting into uncharted water, back to being a beginner, I had so much to learn. Another goal was starting meditation. So I went from being super skinny to muscular and fit, to doing yoga 2 to 3 times a week, then meditation, from 20 mins to 2 hours a day.

There are so many levels to climb with Yoga and meditation that I don’t need to find new goals, combined with basketball, which has been the center of my life since I was born, all these activities help me stay fit, healthy and improve my peak wellness, my mind.

You can choose to join bike classes or dance classes at your gym, or start a martial art as my cousin did back in Canda. He was getting bored just lifting weight and being fit so he started Brazilian jiu-jitsu and he loves it, because by joining a sport, you are primarily doing it for fun.

The fitness aspect is secondary, in the background. BJJ is very trendy today because of the UFC and that’s awesome. You can choose to start playing soccer, basketball, tennis, it’s really up to you. Or you can stick with YOga, to keep your body flexible and mobile as you age with the added benefit of improving your breathing and relaxing your mind. It’s something you can do at home.

The second element you can add to your strategy post-rehab is reshaping your environment for the better. Since your rebab toward eating healthy and getting fit is at home, you may have already made a lot of positive changes in your house. Stop buying junk food to store it at home and learn how to cook healthy food.

Learning healthy recipes is another important life skill that will help you tremendously. Follow some popular keto or low carb Instagram accounts and buy a few healthy cooking books on amazon, used versions are very cheap.

You don’t need to know 100 recipes but you can make it a challenge to practice a new dish every weekend for a year. Just to get out of your comfort zone and learn some new yummy, healthy recipes.

You can purchase some home fitness equipment, like resistance bands and one or two kettlebells, these two fitness tools don’t take a lot of space and are very useful in case you don’t feel like going to the gym, so you can still get a good workout. And also a yoga mat to exercise on or a pullup bar.

If you have a bigger house, you could spend more money if possible on building a small gym in your garage or backyard, like many of my friends on the west coast did. This is huge when it comes to reshaping your environment. A home gym will help other people in your environment get in better shape, your loved one, your children, you will be setting a great example.

I know some people who bought elliptical, stationary bikes or treadmill to exercise at home, this is another good idea but you need to keep yourself accountable and actually use these machines. Millions of fitness machines are collecting dust. But if you already went to the first stage where you reached your initial fitness goal, a fitness machine will help you keep this momentum going, make it a habit, a part of your daily routine.

The last advice on reshaping your environment is mapping out everything that could potentially make you relapse and coming up with a vaccine against them, whether it’s at home, on your way to work, at work, out with friends, you need to be proactive, prepared in advance.

The third weapon in your strategy for post fitness rehab is a commitment to improving your mental state, your emotional state. To me, this is the most important aspect of staying fit and healthy, it’s the missing link my program is based on.

Don’t think that because you reach your weight goal, the work is over… nope, there is much more work to do mentally, your old eating habits are still raw, they can erupt at any time, so you have to keep building stronger nutrition, fitness habits, fortify your mind, will power, discipline and become more aware of your mental state and relationship between your mood and behavior. More aware, more alert, more conscious.

The fourth element to include in your strategy post nutrition rehab is getting more help. Get closer to some of your friends who are into healthy lifestyles, or make new ones at your gyms or other fitness activities you are doing. We are social beings, and we create meaning by mirroring what people around us find meaningful. So if the people around you have health and fitness in their top priorities, this will bleed into your lifestyle as well.

And last but not least, increase your wellness IQ. You need to learn more about nutrition and fitness science, read on the effect of junk food, of healthy food on your body and mind. There are so many amazing books out there where you can learn about the immune system, hormones, gut health, mental health. You can also subscribe to a healthy podcast and make a commitment to listen to one or two health/fitness podcasts a week. Also, you can check some nutrition documentaries.

That’s it, we are now done with this video on developing a strategy post-rehab, to make sure you sustain a healthy lifestyle forever, where it becomes your second nature, your main ingredient.

It’s up to you. Thank you.

Do you Need Help?

Do you need Help? Wellness-Lose Weight

Hello, In today’s video, I will cover an important topic. As usual it’s mostly focused on nutrition and fitness, being healthy, but this one goes beyond that, it’s about improving your life in every area you can think of. How and why do so many people out there are reluctant, uncomfortable, maybe scared, maybe ashamed to seek help when they need to?

I want to address this topic because I see a lot of people out there that would get help from people around them if they asked and some really need that help but for some reason, they don’t reach out.

Personally, I grew up in Africa, with a passion for playing basketball. And one of the things that me and my basketball friends talk about looking back is the lack of mentors or guidance we didn’t have access to back then…because When I came to the US in high school, I saw right away that the level of coaching and guidance in the basketball ecosystem was on another level. Wherever I would go play, you had people, older or the same age giving you advice left and right, not junk advice, real helpful advice.
It’s still up to you to absorb it and get better.

Then when I started focusing on entrepreneurship in college and really started to get serious about reading and learning this field everyday, I realized how much advice and guidance I was getting from those books. Which led me to the other insight, the lack of mentorship back home in Africa when it comes to education. You have 75% of the 1.2 billion African below 35 year old…and there is an enormous absence of mentorship, no guidance from people who are experts in their fields and can help people with advice and recommendations.

Then, my last experience on this topic of guidance and help is through fitness and nutrition. I realized how so many people might need help, but for some reason, they don’t reach out. It doesn’t have to be reaching out to me, but to anybody that can help you improve your health, nutrition and fitness. And as you will see in the rest of this video, that can be directly done through someone or on the internet, or via books. So you can either seek out help from someone or search and find resources to help you get over problems you are facing. Let’s get into it.

Recently, I was in a zoom video chat with some of my cousins around the country. We talked about the current events and specifically the police brutality, racism and expanded the conversation to inequality in the US and around the world. During these conversations, I said that what frustrates me the most is how one important solution to poverty and inequality in minorities is missing in the current conversation. The fact that people are not being taught how to individually get better, healthier, smarter to a point where they can get out of poverty or unhealthy cycles they might be stuck into.

It’s great to say, let’s change all those external factors, but I argue it’s even better, more realistic, to help individuals, to show them how to navigate through life and get better, improve and prosper. You can help someone who is negatively affected by war by ending it, or you can give him weapons and ammunition to fight. Inequality is a war that has been going on since the dawn of humanity, it’s not about to stop tomorrow.

Life has never been fair nor equal, these are utopian ideas. Nature obeys to the law of Survival, Competition and Cooperation.

My approach to life is very pragmatic, the most important factor in improving your life is yourself. Without a doubt, there are external conditions that can make it harder if not impossible for you to succeed in a specific field. But take health, education and work…across the board, you have the power to improve these three aspects of your life. But the problem is that first, some people don’t know how to get better and second, those who actually know and can help, in majority, are not reaching out to mentor, give advice or just point toward resources that can help those who would benefit from this knowledge.

This is why the title of this video is Do you need help? What area of your life do you need to improve, are those areas important to your well being and overall growth in life? Are you happy where you are right now?

I’m asking this because a person cannot reach out for help without being aware that he needs help.
This is very important, put aside those who can help you improve, if you are not aware that you actually need some help to fix issues in your life, there is nothing more to say, you will stay where you are or struggle to get better. You have to assess yourself, perform a 360 review of your life, put it down on paper.

Recorded human history is about 5000 years old, and we have the luxury to be alive at a time where so many answers to our problems in life have been somewhat addressed by other people, we really don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Why waste your time trying to come up with answers to problems if those answers are already out there? All you need is to find these answers and apply them to improve your life. The energy to execute is crucial, so don’t waste your time reinventing the wheel if answers are out there.

If you are unhealthy, out of shape, emotionally distressed, there are resources out there to help you get better, there is literally no limit to how much better you can get today, financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. But you have to pause and reflect, assess and ask yourself, do I need help here, where do I want to go, what do I need to know.

Unless you are thirsty, you will not seek water to drink.
Now, for people who need help, advice or guidance in a specific area of their lives and are aware of it.
Why are they not seeking help?

This is something I really want to understand myself, because I see it around me. I have a good friend who is overweight, he is around 18 years old and close to 300 pounds, it’s not good.

And this friend of mine never reached out for help, I reached out many times to help him but there was no answer back. So what makes people who need help unwilling to reach out.

Shame, pride, fear,guilt or they just don’t care? Let’s go quickly over each reason why someone is unwilling to ask for help if he needs it, and even better, if someone is offering to help them.

Shame and pride are two sides of the same coin, and one of the reasons people don’t want to reach out for help is that they might feel ashamed or too proud. Some people feel like asking others for help is admitting that they are less, they are not capable of figuring out by themselves.

Two things might cause this. People who could help you might be your peers, friends, so you feel too ashamed or too proud to ask them to help you…Or maybe these people who can help are part of your family, and you want to show that you are your own man, you can stand on your own feet and do it by yourself.

Many people have this mindset but it’s self limiting, check this out…One of the greatest NBA player is Kobe Bryant, who recently passed away, and he is known to have perfected the moves of his idol, Michael Jordan, who is the greatest basketball player of his era. Kobe had a huge ego and supreme confidence, but his ability to listen and seek out people for advice to improve was like someone who knew nothing about basketball.

Do you think Kobe was ashamed of asking MJ for advice, you think he felt bad copying every single move from Jordan? Not a second. Kobe was a fierce competitor, and he wanted to win. MJ had the formula for winning, so Kobe adopted this blueprint. There are few ways to win in life, and millions of ways to lose. If someone has a winning formula, copy it then make arrangements to make it yours. This is even more important if you are losing, if what you are doing is not working. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Also, don’t fear rejection, you miss 100% of the shot you don’t take. Hence Steve Jobs saying good artist copy, great artist steal.

Reading the biography of many successful people across all fields, I discovered that the best are those who can learn from others, who are not afraid to ask for help, who are able to be coached, to be guided.

This is what a lot of people get wrong, they think that the greatest, the most successful people in society are self-made. That they solve every problem from scratch. This is wrong on so many levels. The best are constantly finding what their weaknesses are and seeking those who can help them learn what needs to be learned. They are like sponges, open-minded and mentally pliable, flexible to learn new stuff from others and integrate that into their lives.

Isaac Newton, the father of physics said, I stand on the shoulders of giants, meaning, his success was built upon what scientists did before him and he learned from.

There is no shame in asking other people to help you out. We are all at different moments of our journey, and because someone knows more than you in a given area doesn’t mean you can’t outgrow them, or that you are not better than them in other areas.

Another reason why people are reluctant to ask for help is because of guilt, which is close to feeling ashamed or they don’t want to bother. This can happen for a couple of reasons, one is that you feel that you already asked those people for help and that asking again is too much.

Or that they already helped you get to a certain level and you either relapsed or need help to go higher. If you still need help from them, keep asking, or try to ask someone else who can, but there is really no need to feel guilty, what’s the worst that can happen, you get a NO from them. It’s okay, they might not have the time to help you, but don’t take it personally.

Which leads me to this next point, if you don’t want to reach out to people for help because you think you might bother them, or for all the reasons I mentioned up to this point, but you are aware that you need help, find that help on the internet or via books.

This is the road I took. Back in college, I realized I didn’t know many entrepreneurs. I couldn’t ask for mentorship or help, and didn’t have those people in my family to ask for guidance, I’m a first-generation immigrant from Africa. We don’t have the blueprint to success. So I got my mentorship from Amazon, via books. Paul Bloom, Warren Buffet, Steven Pinker, Buddha…people who are masters in their field rarely have time to mentor us, nor do we have enough money to pay them for their time.

But if you are willing to spend, or better yet, to invest your time reading, you can have the best mentors in the world giving you top advice and recommendation in any field you wish to improve. Nutrition, fitness, emotional and mental development, finance, relationship, parenting, spirituality, or any field in education, you can access the leaders in those fields via books, audio books and now online videos.

This is the era we live in, realize the number of resources out there you can use to improve your life. Everything I know about nutrition and fitness I got from reading books. Everything I know about business, marketing, entrepreneurship, I first learned it from books before applying it and gaining direct experience. 4 years ago, I started doing yoga, and like many, I was a bit shy to go to Yoga Studios. In my mind, it was something for women, not something for a fitness, basketball guy.

But I read that it could take my fitness to another level, so I bought some DVDs and started doing them at home, learning from the best right from my laptop. Now I’m ready to do a 500-hour training to get a Yoga teacher certificate. In the same manner, I learned meditation and how to improve my mind, concentration, emotions and get rid of mental poison like anger, fear, anxiety and attachment via books getting amazing results.

I’m saying all this so you understand that if you are aware that you need, or you must improve some aspect of your life, if people around you cannot help you, take some time and research, find books or videos that will show you what you need to know. Now the next step is applying that and growing.

So to summarize this video, it’s about reaching out for help. First, you need to assess what aspect of your life you want to improve, see if that matters to you and your life goals. Next, seek out where you can find help, directly through someone or indirectly through video courses, books or audio books.

It’s really up to you, we have to pass this message to people around us, that they can get out of situations they are stuck into by their own inner power, hope is not going to help, only through effort.

Thank you

Free Will & Weight Loss

Free Will & Weight Loss

Transcript:

Hello,

Free will and losing weight, what’s the connection? It’s great to know what diet will help you lose weight, what nutrition to follow, how many calories to eat in order to trigger fat loss, what supplement to take, all good, but if you cannot will yourself to eat healthy and follow a winning strategy to restore your health and then thrive physically, all this will be useless.

Some people talk about discipline, but If you have free will, what is the need for discipline, you just do it.

Willing yourself to create a healthy lifestyle means taking over all your nutritional habits and starting from scratch, fresh. This is where free will comes into play. The gist of the video is simple and crisp.

If you believe, 1000% that you have free will, that you are in control of your actions everyday, losing weight and getting in top shape will be easy for you. You can finish watching this video and prove to yourself that you have free will, or at least, you have the capacity, the power to shift control to your side.

With free will, once you decide to lose weight or get in top shape, you can will yourself to learn what you need to learn, find the right information and apply it. You can do it all.

I have always been interested in philosophy and mind science, which lead me to this mental approach to fitness and nutrition. Because it all starts in the mind, that’s step one. Back when I was in college and starting reading books, this idea of free will was exciting to me. I would challenge myself to do things outside my comfort zone, just to prove to myself how much free will I had.

And I keep practicing this muscle. It became a weapon to motivate myself at will. If I want to do something, no need for inspiration anymore, if you think you have free will, what motivation do you need, you just go out there and will yourself to just…do it.

Today, I still do unusual stuff to check my will power, going for 5 miles run at 11 pm, waking myself up at 3 am to meditate for an hour and go back to sleep, taking cold showers. I’m not doing these things just to prove myself I have free will but it does show what degrees of control I have over my mind If I decide to do something.

How much coherence do you have within what you say you are going to do and your ability to will yourself to do it? Some people say they will lose weight, gain muscle, and it’s all talk, fast forward six, eight months, nothing has been done, where is their free will?

So when you start to think and read about free will, from the latest research in neuroscience, behaviorism to philosophy and even religion, you realize the topic of free will is pretty complex than most people think.

At this moment in time, science, especially mind science, points to the fact that we as humans don’t have free will. It’s more complex, the question of free will is about degrees of free will. The belief that some people have full free will is a complete illusion.

Every action you take consciously is made prior to your decision. In other words, the majority of actions we take originate in our subconscious selves, and milliseconds later, we become aware of them at the surface of the mind and act them up. But there is more to it.

From my experience helping people lose weight and get in top shape, I have to agree that the majority of people looking to lose weight and get fit out there are not in control of their actions. Which sounds weird right, you are not in control of your actions, what does it mean, does it mean you are a robot or zombie?

Not having free will means that some of your actions in life are highly influenced by your past actions, habits and genetics, combined with the environment around you. Those four forces can completely annihilate any amount of free will you might have.

As I said earlier, think of free will in degrees, how much power of will do you have over your actions vs these 4 forces, your environment, genetics, habits and previous actions imprinted in your mind?

Some people have the ability to decondition themselves when needed, to shift the direction their lives are heading, once they realize that, you know what, this is not working for me, it’s not making my life better, I need to change my lifestyle or habits or start doing something else.

How many times have you heard this phrase, you are a product of your environment or, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. This highlights the power of your culture, your surroundings and your genetics in influencing your actions every day. If these influences are helping you be better, healthier and happier, wonderful, that’s great, but when it’s not the case, do you have enough will to take over?
We all know countless examples of people who break free and move the GPS of their lives in some other direction.

Now, let’s focus for a moment on the effect of habits on our free will. When it comes to losing weight, going to the gym consistently, staying away from unhealthy food, cooking healthy food, they are all actions we have to take if we want to be fit and healthy…and in the beginning, those actions have to take priority over previous habits many of us might have.

So in order to increase your free will, you have to show that you can deactivate past eating habits and start afresh. You have to start eating and living like you are not used to in order to improve your health, fitness and well being. This is the first big step to increase your degree of free will.

If habits you want to change dominates you, what free will do you have? You are the footprints in a book, and the bulk of the book are your habits, they run your life.

How many people we know who are always looking to get back in shape, but it’s only hope, every time they try it, they fail. This happens partly because they lack the strength to stop unhealthy habits and start afresh. Their degree of free will need to increase.

When I’m coaching people to lose weight, I pay a lot of attention to how they speak, I want them to develop verbal awareness, to see the connection between how they speak and how this affects their capacity to increase free will and will power instead of a victim mindset.

And many times, I hear people talking about losing weight or gaining muscle like it’s a war, a battle. People say, I’m struggling to lose weight, or tomorrow, I will go off in the gym, beast mode, or It’s so hard to lose weight, to fight off urges, temptation.

What these statements are really saying is this…you are in a battle, your will power is fighting off ingrained habits and desire to eat unhealthy and be inactive.

And neuro-science agrees with this. Habits, tendencies, our desires, our inner drives, all these are located into our subconscious and unconscious mind. And very few people have access to those hard drives deep in the mind.

On a daily basis, we are only conscious of what’s going on at the surface of the mind.
So consciously, you can say, I want to lose weight, I need to eat healthy and exercise, but subconsciously, you deeply desire to eat unhealthy food and relax, laying back is more important to you, deep down you may be hating exercising and eating healthy.

So this inner battle is between your conscious self vs your shadow, your subconscious self. And studying about the mind, one learns that the part of our mind we are aware of, is the tip of the iceberg, only 10%. Your subconscious and unconscious self is 90% of your mind.

So this can look like a battle you cannot win. Because habits are automatic, they make us act in a flash, so fast. For instance, you want to really eat healthy but today, you are super hungry, passing by a McDonald’s, you remember the food inside and before you know it, you just ate a big mac and some fries. What just happened is that your subconscious took over, your habits, built over your whole life took the driver seat.

For some people, they feel the urge, the gut feeling, the temptation to eat unhealthy even though they say they want to eat healthy. But when the temptation to eat unhealthy arises, they rationalize with logic and reasoning why they are now eating unhealthy. It’s a way to stay sane, to be in agreement with your subconscious selves. To not admit that your habits and emotions are controlling you.

And I’m not even talking about the power of your generic, which also influences the decisions you make every day. So become fully aware that your capacity to exercise your free will is constantly challenged by genetics, which is evolution, and your habits, which you have built your entire life.

Coupled with this, we are also under the influence of people around us. The environment, our parents, friends and culture want to assert control over our free will too, for better or worse.

We all know a teacher out there who influenced our lives in a major way, or a friend, or a family member, but the reverse is also true, bad influence is all around us, on tv, social media, in our family, friendship and the culture at large.

So putting free will in this context, you get to realize what Buddhism has been saying for thousands of years, life is interdependent.

We arrive in the world through a process of causation, it’s like jumping into a moving train, or better yet, a boat, and we can’t deny the fact that our genetic environment and life around us will influence the trajectory this boat is heading.

Then as we grow up, we become aware that we have the power to decide in what direction our lifeboat is going. Some people are able to gradually, inch by inch change the direction their life is heading. And as they move into a new direction, new habits develop which in turn will influence their actions every day.

It’s a loop. If you make a bad action over and over, after a while, you are most likely to keep doing it…and if you start eating healthy today, and again tomorrow and the next day, your habits will start working in your favor, it will become automatic.

The only way to change your subconscious mind is by stopping actions at the surface, before you do them and send this message back to your subconscious mind to be remembered.

This is very important to understand. Your subconscious mind, where habits and your deep desires are located, is at first like a virgin, untouched wild forest. Actually, it’s not so fresh, because as you come into the world, some trail paths have been laid down by your genetics. This predetermines some actions you will take in life.

Then every action you start to take is like building a new trail path in your mind, from your conscious to subconscious all the way to your DNA. Everything you do, taste, listen, think and read gets memorized and imprinted in this forest of your mind.

So next time you face similar situations in life, your mind will take the same path you may have taken in the past because a trail has been established before, a route in the forest of your mind. This is why it feels so uncomfortable to stop your habits, even when they don’t serve you well.

It’s also uncomfortable to start acting differently because you are setting a new path in the forest of your mind. You are going into an uncharted area. It’s way easier to go down the road you took before.

Which leads us to the biggest mental weapon we humans possess, awareness. There are many tools you can use to take control of your mind and emotions, but awareness is the biggest.

For more than 10,000 years, meditation has been taught in Asian cultures and now all over the world because it’s the practice that helps us develop inner awareness, becoming aware of our thoughts, mood and mental state. It’s like turning on a lamp torch in the darkness of the mind.

You don’t need to practice meditation to develop your power of awareness but it will help greatly if you want to increase your will power.

Neuroscience agrees with this, our desires, motivations and habits are all stored and programs at the subconscious level, where we don’t have access. But when a thought, a desire, bubbles up from the subconscious, up to the surface of the mind, for a few moments, right before we act them out, we have the power to pause and reflect, to pause and think, Is this action good, is saying this the right move, is eating this good for me.

Right there, it’s the moment where you can exert your free will. Awareness, being aware of your mind, alert and watchful is what enables you to do this and increases your free will, to not be under the dictatorship of your emotions, habits, genetics and environment.

This is why you hear the word mindful a lot today, it’s another word for awareness. Because if you are forgetful of your priorities and goals, unhealthy habits can take over at any moment.

Being aware of how your habits, desires and thoughts bubble up to the surface of your mind, you create gaps in your mind that allow you to greenlight your actions, this is what being in the present means, you are living life in manual mode, fully present and alert.

So to finish, free will is not about having complete free will or not having any, it’s a matter of degree because everything we do obey the law of cause and effect. At a macro level, it’s a universe where everything influences everything,

And at a micro level, our genetic, past habits and environment also exert some amount of influence in our action and vice versa…But the great power of awareness, being alert is what helps you increase your degree of free will. Hence some people call it waking up, wake up.

It’s up to you, thank you

Symptoms vs Root Cause

symptoms vs root cause-Fitness-nutrition

Transcript:

Symptoms vs Root Cause

Hello,

In this short video, I want to talk to you about the difference between symptoms vs root cause
And why knowing this will help you pin down where you need to apply your attention if you want to get back in shape, stay fit and make health your main ingredient.

In medicine, symptoms are physical or mental signs that together, point to an underlying issue.
In other words, symptoms point to a root cause, also called disease. Painful symptoms will not be fixed unless the root cause is addressed.

Now, let’s take this understanding and apply it to nutrition and fitness.

Over and over again, I see people who say, I have some back pain, or, my knee is bothering me, or I’m feeling tired and lethargic every day, or I get sick often…And what they do is finding ways to patch those issues and go on with their lives, failing to realize that those signs are pointing to something deeper, they are symptoms of being unhealthy and out of shape.

If you understand back health, you know that just focusing on the area where you are experiencing back pain will not solve the issue, because your pain is often a symptom of your overall fitness level, and other deficient areas in your body can be linked to your back issue. We also can’t forget about nutrition.

The same logic applies to other health issues people have, there are symptoms of the body as a whole not being healthy and fit. You are as strong as your weakest link.

We want quick fixes, we look for a pill or quick solutions to problems we are facing. Like taking Tylenol if you get a headache. Taking it once, okay, but imagine taking it every day to turn off pain. How is that any different than someone taking illegal drugs to feel good.

This is what people are doing with back pain, headaches, digestive issues, lack of sleep, all the way to stress and depression.

Instead of fixing the root cause, they want to patch up issues at the surface.

The truth is, If you fail to dig deeper and understand the root cause of problems you face, they will keep growing in the dark, in your shadow, faster if you decide to numb yourself at the surface. Because physical and mental pain are like phone notifications for us to pause, and take care of our health.

That’s why I always say, nobody gets sick or overweight overnight, nobody gets chronic back pain, chronic sleep issues, diabetes or hypertension overnight…If you pay attention to yourself, you will notice early on signals your body is sending you, you will be able to sense when your body is getting out of sync, out of shape.

Generally, people don’t fall sick because of bad luck, it’s not a magic spell, it’s science. It’s the law of cause and effect. The body you have today, the mental state you have, your fitness, your pains, are all flowers of seeds you planted in the past.

As you might know, the US and the world at large are facing a health crisis. You hear that this country or that country has a terrible healthcare system, some want the government to spend more money, obesity is rising, heart diseases, the leading cause of death is killing young and old, and worse, drug addictions are on the rise, from illegal to prescribed pharmaceuticals. But to me and many in this field, all those issues are symptoms of deeper problems modern society is facing, obesity to cardiovascular issues and the opiate crisis are not diseases, they are symptoms pointing toward mental health and lack of peak wellness.

Diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, if you have total control of your mind, move as a unit and understand the consequence of your lifestyle, your behavior will strengthen a healthy lifestyle.

Craving unhealthy food, overeating, impulse eating, boredom eating, all these triggers are mental and lead billions of people to get out of shape and be exposed to diseases that are preventable.

Debates on fixing the healthcare system continue to stay superficial, failing to address the root cause.

Helping people develop emotional control, mind control, equanimity…you automatically take care of those potential diseases from emerging.

Peak wellness is the highest mental state you can reach, depression is the lowest state. Being normal is in the middle. People in the middle, who are normal and not sick nor depressed assume that they don’t have to work on their mental state, why fix something that is not broken.

But that’s a dicey game because you don’t know how your body and mind will react if stress you experience every day increases by a few inches.

How many people we know to be strong-minded who, facing new challenges in life, completely collapse and let themselves go. Then they become addicted to overeating, get out of shape and start to gain weight, all the way to obesity, or worse, fall into drug addictions or depressions.

I don’t know if you are familiar with Jordan Peterson, whose book, 12 rules for life sold north of 3 million copies in the past two years. Becoming a huge success in the self-help category. Yet, someone as accomplished as Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist, ended up falling into a deep depression and became addicted to an antidepressant.

This is a perfect example of how someone with normal mental health can succumb to mental issues.
What happened to Jordan Peterson and many people we know personally are strong reminders that we each need to be proactive, with our health, physical and mental.

Modern life is very good at helping countries and people increase prosperity and wealth.
But modern society is not equipped to help individuals being fulfilled in life, blossoming.

Being centered, balanced, at ease, that’s mental wealth, prosperity is outside, it’s material wealth.

There is a saying in management that you become what you measure, and in modern society, our focus is on the external, material wealth, GDP and appearances. But have an honest conversation with people and you see how much need there is for mental wealth, inner calm and peace.

But that’s not a conversation you see on the public stage, everyone wants better healthcare, more money. The world is infinitely richer than 40 years ago, but mentally did we make a leap? Addictions are on the rise, depression, lack of fulfillment, there is a strong case that emotionally, humans are going backward, material wealth might be increasing for some, but mental health, in large, is going backward.

People want quick fixes, let’s throw more money at it, let’s blame the pharmaceutical companies,
The big food corporations, we focus on the suppliers but fail to look at the obvious, without demand, there would be no supply. Would Mc Donald survive without people buying it, would the drug cartels survive without demands for drugs? Would people be drawn to it if they were flourishing mentally?

What is our individual responsibility in what’s happening in the world? As buyers, we have tremendous power in deciding what companies stay at the top.

So three things to take away, first, look at the root cause of issues you might have, lack of sleep, back pain here and there, knee issues, take them seriously and fix your overall health and fitness.

Second, going deeper, look at your mental state, what can you do to improve it, and reflect on the connection between your mental health and happiness.

And third, what will be the ripple effects on the world at large if individuals increase their emotional health toward peak wellness.

Health is wealth but It’s up to you, thank you.

I am not Losing Weight, What’s Wrong?

I am not losing weight, what's wrong?

Transcript:

I’m not losing weight, what’s wrong
I’m not gaining muscle, what’s wrong

Hello

From time to time, I hear people I’m helping lose weight or gain muscle or doing it by themselves express how something is wrong because they are not making enough progress, at least as quickly as they think they should. And this leads many people to lose patience, start cheating on their food and slowly relapse in their old nutrition habits.

If I know those people, what I tell them is, think about how many years you have been eating unhealthy and didn’t proactively take care of your body and health, 10, 20, 30 years of bad eating and now, after 2-3 months of changing your nutrition for the better you want to quit, you are tired of it already.

People spend all this time gaining weight but if you tell them, you know what, realistically, it will take you one year or two to get in the best shape of your life, and then almost three years to make this new lifestyle part of your identity, of your flavor, many people hearing this will not sign on, they will have to be super unhealthy to make this shift, or they will postpone it to another time.

But fortunately, you may not be one of those people, because people and others are a generalization, the crowd really doesn’t exist, we are all unique individuals. So just understand that even if you are following a good nutrition plan, doing everything the right way, from eating to exercising to working on your mind,You might hit some roadblocks where it seems like you are not losing weight as fast anymore or gaining lean muscle mass as quickly as you did in the beginning.

But that’s okay, there are many reasons why this can happen, let’s go over them quickly. I go over them in more depth in the video program Lose Weight Forever.

In the first few weeks of following a healthy lifestyle, you might lose more weight because the bulk of it will be water weight. When you stop consuming a lot of carbs and sugar, you are turning off the hormone insulin, which leads the body to retain more sodium, which in turn increases water retention in your cells and tissues. Reduce your carbs and sugar intake and see how less water you feel like drinking. So a lot of weight you lose in the beginning might be amplified by losing water weight.

Next, you might not lose fat as much later on… because your calorie deficit is not low enough. Let’s say you start your weight loss journey with a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day. But then, a couple of months later, you hit a roadblock, try decreasing your calorie by another 200 calories. Some people adopt a calorie deficit of 1000 calories below they Basal Metabolic Rate, which I think is good for many people looking to lose weight. A calorie deficit triggers your body to use your fat cells for energy, hence burning fat for fuel.

Or you might hit a hormonal roadblock, meaning, your body has been used to be overweight for so long that your baseline weight is being overweight. So when you start to lose weight up to a certain level, your hormonal system puts on the break because it thinks you are starving yourself, even though you have all this extra energy in your fat cells to be unlocked.
Your metabolism slows down, so you have to stay patient here, keep eating healthy and exercising and your weight will continue to go down, maybe not as much as in the beginning but you will keep progressing.

For those of you who are looking to gain lean muscle mass, you might hit a roadblock for many reasons.

One can be that you are not paying enough attention to your recovery. As your intensity and the amount of weight you lift increase, optimal recovery is crucial. Are you sleeping enough, are you eating enough, are you allowing enough resting between gym sessions for super-compensation to take place.

Another reason for a roadblock might be that you have to switch your reps, sets and how you are doing some exercises. Hitting your muscles at different angles can help stimulate growth.

Another common reason why some people find it hard to gain more muscle is that they are simply not lifting heavy, or the intensity is not where it should be. And I see that all the time in the gym, people coming and acting like it’s a night club, talking to their friends, taking long breaks between sets, barely sweating, don’t be that guy. You want to maximize your time in the gym or at home training, make it as intense as possible, it’s the best way to stimulate muscle growth.

Or, maybe you are doing too much aerobic cardio, which can slow down your muscle growth.

And last but not least, you might not be eating enough food overall or proteins specifically. This for me was the reason WHY when I started to lift weight in college, I wasn’t seeing good results. The intensity and all other parameters were checked but I realized I wasn’t eating enough. And this is common with people who are naturally skinny, they don’t feel like eating a lot. So I had to push myself to eat, eat and eat. And boom, I started to see amazing results and reached my goals.

In both cases, facing roadblocks losing weight or gaining muscle, look at these elements I mention and see how you can take care of them. What I didn’t talk about, for those of you looking to lose weight is that maybe you are not actually eating healthy. Cheating here and there is one way to make it impossible to lose weight. So take a good look at your nutrition, be honest and see if you can make it better, one cheat day a week and 6 days of clean eating.

And to finish, understand that Incremental progress is the blueprint to success, we are so used to see big body transformation or those total home makeover that as a society, we got used to big changes, but if you look at history, changes happen very slowly…

For example, in the 1960s, scientists and presidents said that by the year 2000, most wealthy countries would run on solar energy, yet today, in 2019, solar energy accounts for less than 5% of energy sources on the planet.

In almost 50 years, solar energy increased by only 2-3%. So reflect on this, change is very very slow. The good thing is that losing weight or gaining muscle is actually way faster in comparison to the example I just gave.

So develop cool patience, not fake patience where you are boiling inside, cool patience is enjoying every step toward a healthier version of yourself, mentally and physically, because inch by inch, if you are mindful, you can see you are feeling better and looking better, stronger every day. This is why I say the mental aspect of losing weight is 99% of it. The missing link.

Enjoy the process that makes you great, the small victories, don’t panic when you hit a wall and stagnate for a few weeks, assess, stay on the road and keep driving.

It’s up to you, Thank you

Change from your center

Change from your center-Lose Weight

Transcript:

From your epicenter.

Hello, this video topic is on one superpower to improve your health, start from your epicenter.
The gist of this video is this, it’s more effective to change from your root, your center than from the surface. Easy to understand but not easy to do. Because there is a difference between the most effective way and the easiest way to do it.

The issue is that people look for an easy way to lose weight or gain muscle, which is the least effective way to do it, hence why 95% of people dieting fail. And the irony is that by failing year after year, it actually looks like people are taking the hardest road by looking for an easy way. Instead of starting from the root and losing weight once and never go back again, you fail again and again and again.

First, ask yourself this question, where should you apply your energy to get the biggest return on your health, fitness, nutrition and overall well being? This is what everyone thinking of getting in top shape should ask themselves in the beginning.

Ultimately, there are two ways to change in life, one is from the surface, and the other is from the center, from within. You will get results with both options but the failure rate is not the same. The failure rate from changing from the surface is 95%. Whereas changing from your center is transforming yourself, like graduating a class, you cannot go back again.

If you look around, observe and listen to people looking to lose weight, gain muscle or stay vibrant as they age, here are questions they are asking:

  • How to lose weight fast
  • What is the best diet to lose weight
  • What is the best fat burner supplement
  • Does drinking warm water help lose fat
  • How to gain muscle quickly
  • How to put on lean mass
  • What is Michael B Jordan workout plan
  • What is the best supplement to gain muscle
  • What is intermittent fasting or Keto

All these questions are valid, but how effective are they, or better yet, does spending your energy finding answers to these questions help you lose weight once and for all, help you stay fit and vibrant?

From experience, I think people, unknowingly, are missing the forest for some trees.

Because the core of changing in life, such as improving your health and fitness is changing behavior.

If you are looking to lose weight, if you are overweight, or trying to gain muscle mass, you are looking to change your behavior, and this is the domain of the psyche, the mind, the missing link. The most important element helping people stay in shape, fit, decades after decades is their behavior, which is controlled by the epicenter, the mind.

I’m not saying knowing which diet will help you lose weight is not important to know, it is, but that’s secondary. A 360 approach to improving your nutrition and fitness has to start with your mind and even deeper, at the core of your emotional center, your heart. Ancient Egyptians called it the intelligence of the heart.

You have to be all in toward a new way of living. Move as a unit, be in the driver seat, manually shifting, not automatic.

That’s step one, step two is turning off unhealthy eating behavior, not outside in your actions, that’s ineffective, you have to do it mentally, where they originate, go to the source. And this requires you to become more aware, alert and mindful of your inner life, your mental life.

You start to see how to react to the environment and how this affects your mental state and your ability to eat well or not. Then you assert control, over your environment. Again, this is not done by saying, this person or that situation is badly influencing me. Nope, it’s all in your mind.

Then once you asserted control over negative influences and thoughts associated with your old lifestyle, you simultaneously start feeding new thoughts, new desires, toward health, toward fitness, toward peak wellness.

One unhealthy thought has the potential to generate more unhealthy thoughts. Healthy thoughts, generate more healthy thoughts, so you then become a gardener, in charge of building a fresh ecosystem, in your mind which your thoughts…and in your heart, with your emotions. This will naturally bleed in your actions and lifestyle.

This is what I mean by changing from your epicenter, in the eye of the storm. This change will have a long-lasting effect on your identity and make it a breeze to exercise, eat healthy, go to the gym on the regular because it becomes who you are.

You see, superficial changes from the surface are like spray painting mango fruits to look like apples. That’s what people looking to lose weight without taking care of the mental part are doing, jumping on all kinds of diets, losing weight, and relapsing. Don’t try to spray paint the mango tree to look like an apple tree, remove the root and plant a real apple tree. Don’t try to look like an athlete, become one, make that part of your lifestyle. From…..your….epicenter.

Think of this, if you want to stop a tree form flowering, if you start by cutting the flowers, cutting the branches, and then leave, they will grow back, more so this time, this is called pruning.

Ancient Greeks understood the importance of changing from your center, from your roots vs the surface. I’m sure you heard or saw the legendary Hydra creature, the mythical animal with 3,4 sometime 6 heads. Worse, every time you cut one head, it grows back.

The only way to conquer hydra is the cut the roots. It’s the same with habits, your nutrition and fitness.
Your body and life is the result of your actions, thoughts, state of mind, emotions up to today.

The new you require a new software or a radical update. You cannot expect a new you with the same old software that made you overweight, unhealthy or out of shape.

This is why Einstein famously said we cannot solve a problem with the same kind of thinking we had when we created this problem. He said it’s the definition of insanity. I wouldn’t go that far, it’s just that we are not used to investigating our mind, emotional state and taught how to develop it. These important skills are not taught in school or by our parents.

So in conclusion, Your outlook on life has to change, and in order to do that you need to:

  1. Increase your level of awareness, become less mechanical, more mindful of your mental state and triggers…
  2. Reevaluate and articulate your goals and priority in life
  3. Clean up your mind and upgrade it, toward peak wellness
  4. Understand your infinite potential to adapt and morph
  5. Increase your wellness IQ, about nutrition and fitness
  6. And remember, Change from your center, not from the surface.

It’s up to you, thank you.

Can Stress Make you Fat?

Can Stress makes you fat?

Can stress make you fat?

Hello, today’s vlog is about stress and gaining weight. Stress is one of the biggest factors why billion of people are overweight, obese, and facing painful diseases. Nobody is immune to this, every man has a breaking point.

Yet, people don’t take this enemy seriously, you hear people look for what’s the best nutrition plan to follow, what’s the best fitness plan, but how about, what are the triggers that make you eat unhealthy and gain weight, how about those triggers.

What is the correlation between stress and unhealthy eating, what is the correlation between stress and your ability to eat healthy every day and stay active by exercising at home or at the gym regularly?

Again, it’s great to learn what diet will help you get back in shape, keto, low carbs, Atkins, carnivore diet, intermittent fasting….wonderful, great…but if you don’t prepare to deal with enemy number uno, stress, you will join the 95% of people who fail at dieting or getting fit. This failure rate is so, so high, that if you are really serious about getting fit and adopting a lifestyle once and for all, make it your flavor, you have to deal with stress right away.

I can’t tell you the number of people I see eager to lose weight but because they are not taking the stress problem seriously, In my head, I know they are already defeated, it’s just a matter of weeks before they throw in the towel.

And this is why I emphasize so much dealing with stress, being proactive with it, because it will increase your will power and allow you to manually take control until new healthy habits set in.

I personally didn’t take stress seriously when I started to prioritize my health, fitness and nutrition. Back then, I was in college and had a lot of free time. Fewer things to worry about, so stress wasn’t on my radar at all.

Then after college, once I started working and then helping people get in shape as a side job, I started to realize how many of them were under a lot of stress from their jobs and life in general. Back then, I was in my early 20s, and most people I was coaching were in the 30s and 40s.

Besides helping them get in better shape, it was a great learning experience for me because I was able to project myself in the future and see what life was like from their viewpoints. This is when I realized the importance of stress in staying in shape and started to learn everything on this topic.

Today, I talk about doing yoga and meditation all the time to my friends, family, and people I’m helping but this started from understanding the impact of stress on human life, physically and mentally. I guarantee you that if you read what I read, you would come up with the same conclusion I had. Which was, wow, I really need to find a way to deal with stress, proactively every day so it doesn’t build up and create problems in my life.

Look at the top 10 leading cause of death in the United State, stress is one of the main factors
Look at the top 10 health reasons why people miss work…stress is one of the main factors
Look at why there is an epidemic of drug addictions in the country, stress is one of the main factors
Look at the mercurial growth of depression and anxiety in America…stress also plays a role
There are literally books and groups out there for Mothers on Xanax, because women are twice more likely to get depressed…stress is one of the main reasons why. And relevant to this vlog, 225 million Americans are overweight or Obese, stress definitely plays a role here.

From experience, I think one of the reasons people don’t want to think about the impact of stress in their lives is that, unconsciously, we believe saying or admitting we are stressed is being soft.

People think that being stressed is just the way it is, it comes with working hard and pushing it in life. At the end of the day, why live if the whole experience of being human is peppered and contaminated with stress all along and you don’t want to take care of it.

One of the motto of the website is being at ease because I think it’s a better term than happiness, but you can never be at ease if stress is bothering you. Are you comfortable being stressed, anxious, and not able to really be at ease, calm, feeling healthy, centered, and balanced?

Now, getting back to losing weight and staying fit, research is conclusive on this connection, stress makes you fat. Let’s get more technical on this.

The body, more specifically, the nervous system has two modes of operation, one is called the sympathetic nervous system, the other is called the parasympathetic nervous system. Think of a car that can either be on resting, relaxing around the city mode or on war, snow, mountain, alien invasion mode…This is the same with our nervous system, which is connected to the brain. actually, the brain is the end of the nervous system, it’s the control center.

You may have heard this term before, fight or flight, or an updated one that is fight, flight or rest and relax. These behaviors are the external effects of what happens to us when one of the two nervous system modes is operating.

The sympathetic nervous system is active when you are fighting or running away from a threat. Back twenty thousand years ago, that might have been a neighboring village attacking your tribe or being chased by a tiger, or hunting.

Today, this system is activated when we are anxious, worrying about our future, or about something at work that we need to get done asap, or worrying about our career, this next job position we want to get…or when we get sick, or when there is a problem in relationships we might be in, or family issues we need to deal with…You get the picture, every time there is something difficult that bothers us and we need to deal with, the nervous system has to switch to sympathetic to help us take care of these problems.

It’s like switching a car system from road to mountain mode, but this is costly.

When the nervous system switches to sympathetic, a whole chain of events happens inside the body.
Heartbeat increases slightly or through the roof, blood pressure increases, stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and dopamine are released in the bloodstream, alerting every cell in the body.

The immune system takes a backseat, meaning it becomes less effective because the immune system is there to help us live another day, whereas stress prioritizes surviving now. The more stressed you are now, the less optimal your immune system will be.

This is crucial to understand if you really want to understand the connection between stress and gaining weight and not let it dominate your life.

Being stressed, we are more likely to reach out for sweets, snacks, carbs and unhealthy foods in general, because these types of food are ways to cool off, to make us feel good right now. Whereas following a healthy diet is about balancing feeling good now and tomorrow, being healthy today and tomorrow.

So a person under mild to intense stress will be more tempted and susceptible to succumb to eating unhealthy food than someone who is not as stressed. Especially if a healthy lifestyle is not part of their identity yet.

Stress also impacts your decision making, it clouds your judgment, not that you cannot think straight but you will rationalize decisions made under stress. Hence people always have very logical excuses as to why they are not able to eat healthy every day.

Now, before I speak about the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the mode when you are relaxing, resting and basically able to plan for the future, there are some few things left about the body under stress you need to know.

Evolutionary wise, the main mode we operate from is the sympathetic nervous system. Lower organisms, which we inherited part of our nervous system form, were built to first and foremost survive.

Which means, the most ancient part of our brain and nervous system is called the reptilian brain, and this bad boy is all about surviving.

One biologist said this, basically, our first mode of being is stressed, survival mode is number one. Look at a baby coming outside the womb, his mindset is to survive, he is not coming out laughing, he is crying all day every day for attention.

But we have the possibility to release the breaks, and switch from surviving mode to relaxing, resting and then striving, flourishing in life. This is basically the history of human evolution, we can come in and build our future.

Getting back to gaining weight and being healthy, you have to understand this. The more stressed you are, the harder it will be to eat healthy and switch to a healthy lifestyle forever.

And I know, there are some people out there always saying, but I don’t feel stressed, I’m good. So why are you overweight, gaining more weight and can’t take care of this?

It’s either, you don’t care about being overweight or obese, which to me sound self-destructive
Or you don’t have the will or knowledge to lose weight.
Or because you fail to prioritize your health and allocate time to improve it.

In all this case, I think stress is part of it because it makes it hard for us to control our behavior. Stress can make something easy as difficult as performing a surgery.

Take some time, sit down and think about this, how difficult is saying, you know what, from today on, I really need to take my health seriously, then spending a total of 20 hours learning basic nutrition and fitness science and then, the most challenging part, adapting your behavior to this resolution.

If you are at ease, centered and balanced, this should not be a problem, I’m not saying it’s not going to be challenging, I’m saying, you faced more difficulties in your life than switching your nutrition so you can look and feel better.

But this can become extremely hard if you don’t reduce your stress levels. I will share with you in another video what I have done to take care of stress in my life. Be proactive with stress, don’t let it build up and destroy you, zap your mojo and capacity to adapt.

It’s up to you. Thank you