Anorexia the Height of Achievement to Women of Means [and the go-to look for the affluent older men in their lives]

3a44935300000578-3955356-critics_say_celebrities_like_alexa_chung_33_-a-52_1479682994594Alexa Chung, 34.

At my health club, there is a certain go-to look among the women of affluence: “Long, lean, timeless and elegant” is the way its described.

Bulky, curvy and/or overly muscled women are considered low class.

It’s a look relegated to strippers, sugar babies, and prostitutes for the most part.

But it can also include tattoo artists, bartenders, figure models, and “convention” girls hired to showcase things like expensive automobiles.

Thus, an incredibly thin body has become the new way to signal wealth and distinguish oneself from the masses.

“I’m successful, intelligent and at the top of my game…”


Alexa Chung Amal Clooney look so under-developed that, in some cases, critics say they appear pre-pubescent.

Some stars appear to have waists the same sizes as catwalk models, many of whom measure 24in — the same as an eight-year-old child.


Achieving this look suggests an abundance of leisure time, which is also important element in this equation, reinforcing the overall narrative.

One must spend hours honing their physiques at the gym, and “the income to maintain a fantastically expensive diet and exercise regime.”

Of course, pressure from outside sources as well as from their own personal relationships play a part.
Many affluent older men I happen to know personally prefer this look in their women.

They see it as intelligent, sophisticated and timeless…kind of the way they see themselves.

The women, therefore, are reflections of their narcissistic projection.

A businessman wants to introduce a Stepford Wife to his colleagues because of what it conveys.

After all, no one could possibly suggest that she didn’t care about her appearance, or that she was unhappy at home…or depressed.

In fact, quite the opposite.

When a man introduces a woman who is curvy or in any way carrying extra baggage, the take-away is that he is less successful, less powerful.

Further to this is simple physics.

Smaller women are also easier to control in bed, thus reinforcing the man’s power and influence. As men age, they are less agile, which emaciation on the part of the partner mitigates.

And finally, there is the “pre-pubescent” thing.

I hate to dwell here, but in my view, many of these men secretly harbor a fetish for little girls. It’s kind of like statutory rape, only legal.

Seriously, why else would grown men prefer sleeping with someone who resembles a 12-year-old child?

How to Distinguish Steroid Users from Mortals


If you’re a in the 45-65 demographic and spend a lot of your time in the gym, you will have noticed a proliferation of unbelievably shredded, ripped and insanely muscled guys.

There a reason for that, and spending time in the gym is only part of the story.


At 60, I’m smack in the middle of the Baby Boom.

I’m also very athletic, having spent most of my life practicing good nutrition, getting adequate rest, and going to the gym regularly.

But like I said, I’m 60, not 25.

More specifically, my body does not respond to movement and force the way it once did.

Does this mean I can no longer compete in sports, or that I look like crap?


I still hold the USAPL title for the masters dead-lift at this writing.

But things do change.

I have to work harder to keep my belly fat in check. And while I’m still lean and muscular, I’m not shredded and cut.

Then there’s the whole energy thing, as in I don’t have as much of it as I once did.

I need more reset time, more recovery.

So what happens if i decide one day that I want to do triathlons, but still maintain muscle mass and strength? And while I’m at it that I also want a chiseled midsection and striated arms and legs?

Now I’ve got a problem because I no longer have the testosterone levels necessary to achieve all of that at the same time.

So like many men my age [myself excluded], there are scores of “wellness” clinics all over time where men can get prescriptions for “bio-identical” testosterone including a wide array of other “supplements.”.

Now I can run 5 miles a day, swim for an hour and do 3 hours on an exercise bike, while at the same time maintain mass.

See how this works?

You can have everything, be everything.

Of course, that’s not exactly the way it works because life on this highway is a bitch because you have to pay dearly to play.


Without getting into all of the internal side-effects of the drugs, I’ll just focus on the things we can see:

1] The infamous ”big gut” or distended stomach.

bulging-bodybuilderA lot of steroid users look fat in spite of the fact that their bodyfat percentages are surprisingly low.

What causes the big guts is usually a combination of bother steroids and HGH [human growth hormone].

If someone uses HGH and/or insulin, you can be pretty damn sure that person is also on steroids … and god knows what else.

2] Disproportionate development of upper body muscles


A steroid user’s upper body muscles (traps, shoulders, neck, pecs, back and especially lats) are often disproportionately large compared to his lower body musculature.

This is due to the fact that upper body muscles have more androgen receptors than other muscles that respond better to resistance training.

This is also why new steroid users see their shoulder, traps and back explode like atomic bombs in the first few steroid cycles.

Of course, leg and torso muscles grow as well but never as fast.

This is what causes the ”V-shape” in roid users who normally wouldn’t otherwise have the genetics to produce such a wide shoulder/thin waist proportionality.


1] Some of us are born with incredibly good genetics, but there’s a difference between good genes and something preternatural, particularly in older men.

2] Some people only train upper body and never do legs, but again, it never, ever looks like steroids are the culprit. Those of us who are in the gym regularly know the difference, believe me.

3) Gynecomastia or Bitch Tits

What looks like the growth of female breasts in the below picture is due to the exogenous testosterone (from anabolic steroids) entering the body and converting to estrogen, estradiol through a process called aromatization, thanks to the enzyme aromatase.


4) Skin problems caused by steroid use

Levels of hormones such as testosterone play a significant role in sebaceous glands and potentially can cause acne outbursts, especially on the back.

Although many professional pretend to have it all figured out, acne is now well understood yet but it is well accepted that testosterone plays a role.


4a] Stretch marks

stretch-marks-steroid-useStretch marks are not a direct side effect of steroid use.

During the first few steroid cycles and user goes through, diet and sleep staying in check, the user will experience explosive muscle growth.

Thus, the skin may not adapt quickly enough to this change, and therefore, permanent stretch marks will occur.

Normally they appear in the upper lats (on the sides), on the sides of the pectorals and sometimes on biceps.

5] Sudden increase in muscle mass after years of stagnation … or just being a little guy.

If you’ve been going to the same gym for while you get used to the same guys hitting the same machines every day without making any significant gains.

Then all of a sudden they lose all their fat and gain 25 pounds of muscle in 3 months.

On top of that they can train for two hours without getting tired or falling victim to over-training.

Now you know how this happens.


Five good ways to recognize a steroid user :

Big guts or distended stomach;
Preferential development of the upper body muscles, especially lats;
Gynecomastia or bitch tits;
Stretch marks and/or acne;
Unreasonably fast body transformation.

Bottom line:

I don’t care what people do.

You’re not fooling any of us.

Be man enough to admit it.

How Do We [Baby Boomers] Appear to Those Around Us?

jaymodel“Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.”
Oscar Wilde

When I was in my 20’s I knew exactly what I looked like to people around me.

I knew that i was relatively handsome, fit and young.

This was affirmed everywhere I went. I wasn’t deluded, unlike most people I know these days.

Then time passed – a lot of it, actually – and I no longer knew.

People started to see and interact with me differently…or not acknowledge me at all.


Some refer to this as invisibility, but I prefer other words that don’t provoke ego annihilation.

The weird thing about all this is that I still feel young. Or youngish.

My knees ache a little in the mornings, and my joints are tighter than at any time in memory.

But the truth is I don’t remember what 25 felt like, but I have to assume that no matter what it felt like was irrelevant in the scheme of things.

A childhood friend described a moment recently where he was strolling along the beach and a beautiful young woman passed him by without noticing him.

“I though she might at least glance over…”

“It wasn’t that long ago when we would both smile and maybe look back at one another, and everything would be exactly where it belonged.”

But there is no normal any more.

Getting older requires a constant re-acquaintance with oneself.

But this is easier said than done, particularly for people who spent their lives doing exactly what they wanted to do and remaining child-free.

And people wonder why big corporations want their employees married with children.

Confessions of a Recovering Middle-Age Exercise Addict

6c261afc-e516-11e5-9142-f1bda08aded3Yea, I was there.

Thankfully, I lived to tell the tale.

The following is a true story and the world I describe is an accurate portrayal of addiction in motion.


While not a standalone DSM-5 disorder, exercise dependence is closely associated with individuals who struggle with eating disorders, for example.

Many use exercise as a way to compensate for binge eating (bulimia nervosa) by tacking on extra activity to compensate for all the empty calories. It’s not like they’re gorging themselves on chicken breasts and broccoli for God’s sake.

Those with anorexia [extreme caloric limitation] use exercise in a compulsive way to control their weight.

Medical complications from exercise dependence are legion: Cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes, absence of menstration, stress fractures, osteoporosis and other overuse injuries.

While some don’t suffering clinical eating disorders, they may still engage in compulsive exercise, spending excessive time engaged in physical activity in the name of health – or to ward off uncomfortable feelings – clinical depression high up on the list of usual suspects.

Typically, these individuals feel guilty when they miss a workout and experience signs of withdrawal, like irritability, anxiety, or depression when their exercise schedules are compromised.

In my world [successful middle-aged urban men], this is considered normal and healthy.

I’m joking of course.

The following are the most common signatures of exercise addiction among older men:

1] If I don’t work out all the time I’m going to fall apart like everyone else my age.

2] If I skip a day, I feel like crap…both physically and psychologically.

3] Though I’m in denial, existential pain is a bitch, and working out 5 hours a day is healthier than heroin.

4] I want people to be proud of me, respect me, give me something I can no longer find within myself, like youth. 

5] My marriage is falling apart. What do you expect?

6] I may be gay after all…at 40 or 50 or 60 or 70…

7] When people ask me why I’m always at the gym, I tell them “what else do I have to do?” In addiction-speak: My world is devoid of balance.

Okay, you get the point. 

So which exercises are most closely associated with addiction?


As everyone in their right mind knows, strength training in combination with flexibility work, cardiovascular conditioning for no more than an hour at a time, combined with a weekly recovery schedule is the healthy way forward for all aging athletes, not 10k runs in 90 degree heat…week after week after week.

And people wonder why most top athletes drop out of Hell Week of SEAL training – and these people are already top athletes in their early 20’s.

I know. Reality is a bitch.


I used to be one of those people, training 3 hours a day, 7 days a week, and nothing whatsoever to talk about but diet and exercise.

We tend to feed the addiction through camaraderie with other addicts.

In psych circles it’s known as codependency.

But whatever you call it, my little party was about to end.

One week after my 49th birthday, I awoke from a fitful night’s sleep with a raging fever of 102 with extreme inflammation from head to toe.

I knew right away that Tylenol wasn’t going to cut whatever this was,  so I dragged myself to a nearby emergency room where I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis [extreme muscle tissue breakdown that results in the release of a protein (myoglobin) into the blood], which can and will damage the kidneys if not contained.

Fortunately for me, I caught it just in time.

After I was stabilized, my personal physician and I had a heart to heart. he told me in no uncertain terms that I had to stay out of the gym for 30 days, get a personal trainer…and, if necessary, see a psychiatrist before it was too late.

I didn’t ask him to elaborate. I didn’t need to.

After a couple of weeks, the inflammation began to subside, but now depression took it’s place.

I felt like I was climbing out of my skin.

In drug addiction parlance, it’s referred to as the DT’s [drug withdrawal tremors].

While the actual symptoms are different, the downward spiral isn’t.


When I started with my trainer, the first lesson I had to learn was moderation.

This didn’t mean that my training wouldn’t be tough, but that it would take into account every aspect of what it means to be human.

1] I’m no longer 21.

2] Recovery is a critical component of performance. 

3] A balanced life is a life well lived. 

4] I will never be perfect, nor will anyone else. 

5] Life gives and takes, but mostly takes when you don’t respect its boundaries.


How did this happen to me?

It happened to me the same way it happens to everyone else: Over time exercise becomes a reliable escape from existential pain. 

You don’t have to take a pill or go to a therapist or even engage in discussions that lead to that rabbit hole of self awareness.

All you have to do is run, swim, bike, lift…crawl if you have to.

But nothing about extreme athletics is normal for anyone not involved in professional sports; particularly hitting the middle years and beyond.

After pulling through this nightmare myself, while at the same time losing close friends to exercise anorexia, I guess you could say I’m a bit resentful of the denial.



I could go on and on and on and on.

But I’ve known junkies who’ve wanted to kill me over a conversation, so for many, this is an exercise in futility.