Friday, July 29, 2016

Not every opinion is worth listening to

When you have goals, it's important to find others who's beliefs line up with them. Is not it easier to communicate with those in agreement?

Imagine getting fitness advice from someone who doesn't care about fitness.

Don't surround yourself with the wrong people and expect the right results to fall in your lap.

Dumping Friends

Then should you dump friends who don't share you views?

Just because your friend doesn't share your interest in fitness or weight loss doesn't mean you can't share other interests. I know many gamers who don't care about weight loss.

No problem! I still love them and we still frequently hang out.

Of course, if they ever do become interested, they know who to talk to.

Imposing Views

The issue arrives when their goals impose on your goals.

If you struggle with overcoming an addiction to sweet deserts and your friends keeps offering you ice cream, their goals are imposing on your goals.

Listen, it may be a good intention invitation and perhaps you haven't communicated your struggle properly to them.

Before assuming ill intent, clarify your struggles. Let you goals be understood.

But if they consciously persist to impose on your goals, they're being bad company. There's only so many times you can sit with ice creamers before you ice cream yourself.

The analogy works better with smoking

Drawing Circles

I'm not saying to unfriend all your ice creaming friends. I'm not telling you to stop caring for your friends. It's not a you vs them mentality.

I'm talking about limiting their influence on you. Being selective about the people who affect your decision making.

Those with input in your life will shape who you become if you allow it. You need to be aware of this.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Inventorying Your Environment

"You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back?" - W. Clement Stone

Would you hold a weight loss meeting in a donut shop?

How about an Alcoholic Anonymous Meeting at a bar?

How about a smoking cessation class at a cigar lounge?

Environment matters

But environment isn't just location, it's also the people you surround yourself with.

Are the people you surround yourself with helping you reach your goal or are they holding you back?

Maybe it's a good time to take inventory.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Product of Your Environment

I will never fully understand the life of an Iranian in Tehran during the regime change. No matter how many books read, movies watched, nor people interviewed I can never truly be a product of that environment.

But your environment does not define you. It also doesn't have to be static.

Your past doesn't have to dictate your future.

Sure, your past is important, but not nearly as important as your vision for the future

Or rather the way you see your future is more important than what's happened in the past.

But changing your environment takes a conscious decision, it requires conscious effort, and sometime the results are also not immediate.

Circle of Friends

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” - Jim Rohn

The people you spend the most time with have the greatest influence on you. Those are the people you surround yourself with. Your environment. Look at them? Where are they in life compared to you?

Typically most of them will be around the same level as you.

That's great if your goal is to remain the same.

But what if their goals don't align with yours?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Be Ambitious

But not foolish.

It's great wanting to lose 100 pounds in 1 year...

But trying for 2 pounds a week for 25 weeks is hard when you struggle to lose 1 pound a week.

And what do you do when you start hitting your plateaus? Progress isn't linear.

Do you eat less?

If you're already are your minimum viable calorie consumption, you're starving yourself.

Fasting is great, but it's not a long term solution. Starving yourself is a great way to retain water, compromise liver and kidney function, and throw your hormones out of whack.

Consider the alternative.

If you have been gaining weight, first learn to stabilize your weight.

Try a weight stabilization diet for a few weeks and find out what's sustainable for you which also achieves the goals your are looking for.

Once you learn how to maintain your weight, practice losing 1 pound a week.

That about a 500 calorie deficit a day. A combination of dietary habits and increased exercise will get you there easy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Misplaced Blame

On my About Me page I mention how I was depressed without hope and I believed my family was falling apart before my eyes.

Looking back, I realize I was deceiving myself, devouring unhealthy thoughts.

I started to believe my family was against me and began self fulfilling the negative prophecy in my mind.

False Narrative

With the false narrative, I added to my 10 ton bag of lies and began to misplace blame. I started looking for reasons why my family was 'broken'.

Days they didn't have energy to clean, I'd fill my plate with the fruit of resentment thinking. "If only they loved me, they'd help me pick up this house."

What's more, when Anne Marie mentioned how I also forgot to finish a chore, I would be quick to anger, pointing out how it was me always bending over backwards. Busting my butt. Cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids.


But it's not easier to fit a square peg in a round hole by pushing harder.

I was planting orange seeds and expecting apples. Then I'd anger when sickly navels appeared.

Relationships don't work out so well when you keep score. It's not about checking the boxes.

It's about connecting a deeper level. Being more intimate. A relationship is about relating. Go figure.

And that's exactly what I wasn't doing. Relating. Understanding. I was too caught up in my false narratives, I never even bother asking my wife whether they were true.

Looking back, I realize my depression wasn't because of Anne Marie and the kids. They were reasons I fought it. I am forever thankful.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pokemon Go. Greatest Social Game to Date?

My friend Gregory states "Pokemon Go is the greatest social game to date".

That's high praise but he has a point.

For years MMOs kept him, myself, and millions of others in our houses. We were connected in MMOs, but only virtually. Physically we were hidden in dark hideaways double clicking relentlessly at a glowing monitor.

Not a sterling definition of social.

But now millions of people are leaving their house and heading to parks and community centers to catch them all. Millions of people are now outside, walking every single day, meeting others they would have never met otherwise.

There are already reports of Pokemon Go couples. Players who met chasing Pokemon now going on dates. Like I stated in Pokemon Going, it's only a matter of time until Pokemon Go is mentioned in wedding vows.

What's more, savvy businesses owners are capitalizing on the craze. They are intentionally placing Lures at PokeStops near their location to attract potential customers. They also run specials for Pokemon Trainers.

That's genius marketing!

Shoot, in Grand Rapids where Gregory lives, it looks like a perpetual concert downtown. Thousands of people chatting and cheering at Pokemon captures and PokeGym victories line the city.

Power strips provide by random Pokemon Trainers line the avenues with phone chargers of all types so anyone can connect and play without worrying about their battery dying.

Do you think Pokemon Go is the greatest social game to date? If not, what game is? Let me know.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Anne Marie & Psyduck
Photo court Chris & Nataly

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Monday, July 18, 2016

All Mirrors Lie

At work Michael mentioned he uses a mirror to determine his fitness.

I had to ask him, "So what does fit 'look' like anyway?"

What does fit look like?

Lying Mirrors

I realize many people do it. I know I have.

But when we determine our 'health and fitness levels' by looks, we are doing our self a huge disservice, physically and mentally.

The body is a fast fading facade.

Don't slide down that slippery slope.


By the way, mirrors don't lie. It's just the stories we tell ourselves looking in mirrors aren't always accurate.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Nutritionally Repetative

When I suggest batch meal planning, the most common opposition is "I get sick of eating the same thing over and over!"

But aren't you also sick of being unhealthy?

Following my proven plan will save you time, money, and stress at the expense of being nutritionally repetitive.

Following no plan will cost you time, money, and stress. You'll likely also have a harder time tracking nutrition and will probably lose less weight.

So what are you more sick of, being unhealthy, strung out, out of time, and broke?

Or being nutritionally repetitive a few times a week?

While you're thinking about it, let me introduce you a secret weapon I call Mrs. Dash.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


My wife decided this week to rededicate herself to weight loss. She want to lose 50 lbs by years end.

This is an aggressive plan. Losing 2 pounds a week for 25 weeks is not a cake walk. I'd love prayers and well wishes.

One of the way I'll be supporting her is by counting my calories with MyFitnessPal. If you don't use a calorie tracking app and are looking to lose weight, I highly recommend it.

If you do have it, please connect with me. My user name is Hamenopi. I'd love to encourage you on that platform.

What more, I'm continuing my journey to from over 300 lbs to under 200 pounds. Currently I'm at 218.5 lbs. I'd love for you to motivate me past the finish line.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pokemon Going

You might not know Pokemon stop locations originate from Ingress Portals. Since I played Ingress, I knew where the local stops were most cluttered for efficient play. So today at lunch, I had a quick bite and headed over to one so called location. It's name, Fullerton Park.

Fullerton Park was alive with people walking the perimeter! Every so often, the people in turn would look down at their phone, swipe a few times, then keep walking.

Young people, old people, healthy people, and no so healthy people; they all were there. I saw at least 10 people, more than I've ever seen during the heat of the day before.

What more, they were all waving and nodding to each other. From time to time, they'd stop for a quick chat before continuing. I talked to three of them for a bit, walking with them around the lap for some time.

We talked about locations they've been and strategies they used. We talked about teams they're on and other interests we shared. I had a great time and the least of this was actually playing the game. I got to meet some interesting people.

My Thoughts

I think this application has great potential to be a community organizing game. In fact, I see several Pokemon Go community walks and pub crawls already on Facebook Events.

This game is bringing new people together. It won't surprise me to hear about Pokemon GO being were a couple met in the future. Imagine this game mentioned during wedding vows!

All in all, I think this game is great. Not because you are catching Pokemon, but because you might catch a new friend or two in the process. They're not just jobless kids.

There are lawyers and doctors circling those trails too trying to catch them all. How could this not be an excellent marketing tool?

I'm going to try to hit a park once a week and see who all I can meet. I think it would be great networking tool. What do you think?

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pokemon NO?

I think back to when I was a kid. I remember clearly still the original Pokemon. I loved that game! I played that game for MONTHS! So of course my attention diverts when facebook erupts in Pokemon pics and chatter.

Shortly after that, I see walls upon walls of Pokemon GO hate. It alarmed me some of the people with such strong negative opinions about the game. Apparently this game turn people into zombies and idiots!

So I got curious and I installed it to see what the rage was all about. I also wanted to see if I was the very best, the best there ever was.

So far I noticed these interesting things about the game...

  1. The application doesn't run unless you tell it to.
  2. It doesn't force you to stare at the screen.
  3. It doesn't order you to run out into traffic.
  4. It doesn't compel you to capture Pokemon while driving.

In the end, Pokemon GO is just an application. It's the user who applies it.


The application doesn't create anything except an experience. Some people who tend to make bad choices are going to play Pokemon GO and make more bad choices. It's not the game making the decision, it's the person.

On the other hand, there's communities socializing in parks all over this country while catching Pokemon. These communities are already thriving. For some of these people, this is the most exercise they have got in a long time, and they are enjoying it. For that, I am glad.

They are also building friendships with other people sharing common interests. It's pretty amazing, looking at it for that angle.

Just because a subset of a community makes bad choices doesn't make the entire community bad. This goes for Pokemon Go players, Christians, Ethnicities, Cultures. Whatever.

I want to share a positive story I received regarding Pokemon GO.


Michael's Story

... it's fantastic, it's getting me off my lazy butt, that's for sure.

In the last three days I've gone out of my way to take lengthy walks outside and just yesterday my fiancee and I went on a short walk around Hermann Park that ended up being about 4 kilometers, which considering our previous activity level, is very nice!

... it's having a similar effect on other people. We were walking around talking to other people who were out catching pokemon, too, and it was awesome. Half the people at the park, if not more than that, were doing the same thing and so everyone's exchanging tips and telling people where they say this or that pokemon.

That's kind of an amazing thing for a single app to do, it just created this community overnight, or reinvigorated one that has existed for many years.

Nataly's Story

Been playing it with [family] a lot .... We love bumping into other families playing it.

We've had an overall positive experience. Love that it gets us out of the house and encourages us to walk. I've met new people in the community and parks that have been empty for ages are being used.


Last night my wonderful wife and I ran into Nataly and her crew at Boondoggles Pub. Completely unplanned. We talked about Pokemon and a bunch of other things.

About every 5 minutes, we'd peek at Pokemon, tag the Pokestop, and capture available Pokemon. It was a great time.

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