Noonday Demon on a Rampage

For those of you who have yet to hit your 60’s, this may fly right over your heads.

For the rest of you, welcome to Purgatory.

“Okay Jay, your life looks great to me. What the problem?”

I hear this whenever I’m willing to share one of my “moments” with a friend.

I could ask the same of any number of older men and women who, for all intents and purposes, have it all.

Celebrities, CEO’s, retired athletes, artists, et al.

But the simple – and honest – answer is very complicated, which is why I rarely delve into it unless I’m paying someone to listen to me.

BACKGROUND

It’s important to give some perspective where these things are concerned if only to clarify frames of reference.

First, I have always been athletic.

I played sports in high school and college and then went on to live my life with athletics a big part of it.

I have always been in shape and rarely sick, other than the common cold, peppered with the occasional bout of anxiety and depression, which athletics tended to check.

The aforementioned is particularly germane to this discussion because I have always battled anxiety and depression.

This is probably why athletics became such a large part of my life. It was an effective, albeit fleeting, way to slay the noonday demon when it awakened from its tenuous sleep.

So far so good: We have a man predisposed to depression with a reliable coping mechanism.

Great.

THEN CAME 60 AND ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE

When you’re young – or younger – you can pretty much handle anything life throws at you.

For me, even my early 50’s felt like Teflon for the most part.

But something shifted when I turned 60, and then 61, which was pretty much the beginning of the end as I saw it.

Little shit started to go wrong. For one thing, I developed arthritis in both thumbs, probably from power lifting.

In the old days it was referred to as tendinitis, which tends to heal over a relatively short period of time.

Now it’s a permanent resident.

Then there was the chronic shoulder pain, foot pain, hamstring pain, nose bleeds from NSAID overuse…and finally, depression that no amount of exercise could slay.

It came on like a fucking tidal wave washing away all reason, crushing my defenses.

I started sleeping longer, getting up later, popping antacids to keep the stomach acids quiet…and wondering when the other shoe was going to drop.

It does, at some point, drop.

No one disputes this, not even therapists who are paid to relieve the suffering.

Do one tends to live in a low-level existential nightmare that burns, but doesn’t exactly kill.

It just sort of drains your energy like leaving the pool light on for a month until it burns out and you have to pay a professional a fortune to change it.

PSYCHOLOGICAL ANTIBODIES

When I go to the gym I train with people half my age because the other half of the population is either dead or in Florida.

This helps.

I am no longer reminded of where I’m headed, but rather, where I am, which is a lot better, believe me.

Kids don’t talk about pocket catheters, hip surgery, arthritis or death.

They talk about the here and now, which is fine with me because anything beyond that is a crap shoot.

So I guess you could say I’m in a state of denial, but in psychiatric parlance – healthy, all things considered.

But while this keeps me psychologically young, the specter of my age is never far off the radar.

Denial is porous at this stage point.

You can pull it off for a while, but it’s rife with reinforcements.

You have to keep fighting, like warding a bedroom from werewolves, or beating back feral hogs in the dead of night.

Lots of older folks take SSRI’s for depression.

Others just settle for anti-inflammatory medications, intense workouts, Netflix marathons, sex with strangers…and gin.

But there’s only so far you can wander from where you are after enough time has passed.

It’s not like you’re happy just hanging out with a bunch of friends at some shitty little apartment with a TV and refrigerator full of beer.

All of us need so much more no matter what people say about how less is more.

Less is only more when it involves all the comforts of life without all the hassles.

STEROIDS

The pressure to supplement your daily vitamin regimen with steroids is overwhelming.

The reason for this is two fold: First, you feel better immediately. Your spirits lift, you libido rises, and you inflammation goes away.

What’s not to love?

And second, you look better. Much better. Preternaturally better. The love handles disappear, muscles sharpen up, veins wrap your arms in what feels like an impenetrable barrier.

So why isn’t everyone on them?

Well, they pretty much are, at least all the men I know who want to stay active – and, in this minds – relevant.

Are there any downsides?

Ummm, yep.

Abuse of testosterone, usually at doses higher than those typically prescribed and usually in conjunction with other AAS, is associated with serious safety risks affecting the heart, brain, liver, mental health and endocrine system.

Serious adverse outcomes include heart attack, heart failure, stroke, depression, hostility, aggression, liver toxicity and male infertility.

Individuals abusing high doses of testosterone have also reported withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, decreased libido and insomnia.

…but who’s counting?

You look better, feel better, have more sex drive…and tomorrow’s another day.

Now you know why the sales are through he roof.

CONCLUSIONS

The conclusion is that we have just a few good years left in us before the whole fucking world comes crashing down on our heads.

Most of life as we want to know it is in the past no matter how many more years we have to live.

And yes, it’s possible to live another 40.

If this makes you feel any better, God bless you.

I’ll just keep trying to deflect the blows while focusing on the tasks at hand.

I’ve gotten used to the fight and know that there are good and bad days that, each playing an integral role in balancing the scales.

In conclusion, the thing that really chaps me is how much you have to accomplish to get here, and after you are [here], you spend the rest of your life trying to be somewhere else.

The Fitness Lifestyle is a Group Effort

fit-couple-after-50Getting – and staying – in shape is not something most of us do alone.

In fact, left to our own devices, we’d be dead by 40, either from a heart attack, a diabetic coma … or drug overdose.

Why?

Because we’re social beings that require back-up from others of our species.

Notice that women who are married to fat men tend to be fat themselves.

But when one or the other gets in shape, an affair ends the relationship.

When in-shape couples marry it is implicit in their vows that they remain as close as possible to the people they were the day they said “I do.”

See, “I do” denotes certain guidelines that don’t usually appear in the marriage contracts

They are as follows:

1] “I do” agree to stay in great shape as I know the reason my husband chose to be with me is, in large part, because of my appearance, and furthermore, the fatter I get the more he feels disrespected – and resentful. Thus, we both agree that neither of us will be disrespectful of the other. The only exceptions involve illness or pregnancy.

2] Everyone knows that the moment divorce papers are filed, both parties will be back in the gym in a heartbeat in order to attract the best candidate available. This alone speaks volumes. 

3] No matter what, women, in particular, are objects first, as they are well aware. They must maintain their appearance to within a stone’s throw of their original form or face the consequences, which also applies to men in some cases.

4] Fitness-minded people tend to spend the lion’s share of their time in the company of others like them. When they don’t, the results are, at the very least, suggestive. 

5] Never believe that love trumps fat. It doesn’t. In fact, excessive fat is the leading cause of divorce, not money – though it’s close. 

Surrealism Reins in the Gym

grid-cell-24048-1424205844-5I have to tell you people how ridiculous, not to mention surreal, this world of mine has become.

Most 60-year-old guys are not replicas of what they were at 25 no matter how in-shape they are … unless of course, they’re on pharmaceutical steroids.

The fact that an astonishing number of them are [on steroids] has changed the dynamic of gym life these days.

Now, working hard is no longer a necessity in order to bleed body-fat and gain lean muscle mass.

You’re a simple injection away from eating whatever you want and spending a fraction of the time in the gym.

Of course, getting most men to admit to taking steroids is another matter altogether because no one wants to feel dismissed for cheating.

Yes, it’s true, most older men can’t put on all that mass and drop precipitous amounts of body fat by the grace of God.

No, it’s actually the grace of Big Pharma.

It took a while for the gay community to come out of the closet, and this is no different.

How to Combat Aging: Real World Strategies

how-to-slow-aging-process-1

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-krauss-whitbourne/combat-ageism_b_9720708.html

Coming from someone who has handled the aging process about as well as a chicken about to be thrown into a jet turbine to test its ability to vaporize it without stalling, you will disintegrate to one degree or another no matter how much you spend, how much you do, or how much genetics are in your camp.

Live the perfect stress-free life, visit Aspen every 5 minutes, get daily massages, mud packs, holistic body treatments, facial fillers, Botox injections, face lifts, collagen, but no matter what you do, you can’t beat the shit out of time.

The best you can do is look better than your neighbors, which is something you can always count on at HOA meetings no matter how depressed you are about everything else.

Aside from the aforementioned obvious, there is a deeply psychological consequence of aging in we men that involves our primal role as protectors.

In short [because I know you don’t want to read a psych lecture], when men begin to feel physically challenged, their self-esteem hits the floor. And even when we are in exemplary condition for our age, we are always and forever looking back at where we once were. It’s inevitable. We all do it. And we all feel like crap about it no matter how much we are still able to do.

But there are a few things we can do to put an end to the misery, or, at least, hold it in abeyance while we get back into therapy.

Here they are:

1] Try to feel optimistic about aging.

Yea, right. There is nothing to look forward to about aging. Nothing. You’re just here. The best you can do is make the most of what’s left. So no, I’m not a fan of being older.

Is there any good news?

There is some:

      a] You get into fewer fistfights because younger men don’t consider you an equal match anymore than they do women.

      b] You have more money, so you can buy women who would not otherwise date you.

      c] People hold the door for you unlike the old days when they let it slam you in the face.

     d] There are planned communities filled with people your age, and with beach views.

      e] You get prescription drug discounts.

     f] People tell you how great you look when it’s not true.

      g] Young people look at you like you’re completely insane when you talk to them, but they still allow you to do it because they’re no longer afraid of you.

     h] The first person police question are the young adults. 

      i] Nobody expects much of you in the gym, so when you are reasonably competitive you get more kudos than you can count.

      j] Forgetting your own phone number is considered normal, and therefore, will not affect you job prospects since you’re not applying.

2] Avoid “senior moment” traps at all cost.

Never discuss your minor health issues to anyone but your physician or personal trainer. No one else your age wants to be reminded of where they are, and younger people dismiss you as irrelevant. It’s their way of squashing what they consider to be an existential threat, mainly because it is.

Instead, allude to what you’ve accomplished in your life and what your next adventure will be.

3] Have your affairs in order, but don’t bring this up in casual conversation under any circumstances, including all of them. 

One guy in my gym started talking about his living will and suddenly he had no one to talk to. Still doesn’t.

4] Understand and embrace technology.

Frankly, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t understand technology other than people in their 80’s. This is an even greater reason to make sure you are still of this world.

5] Ignore people will call you out on your age.

You’re going to get this at some point or another — the ribbing about where you are versus where you once were. Ignore it. Move on.

Getting upset about it will validate everything they just said.

Their time is coming.

6] There’s a “fountain of youth” clinic on every street corner [you best avoid]. 

You’re vulnerable, too hopeful for your own good. And for every soft target there are predators waiting to pounce on your insecurities.

My advice is to find a great Internist, stay in the best shape of your life, and keep your expectations in check.

If you check too many boxes you’ll start experiencing life through the eyes of a once great athlete who thinks he has another season in him, even if no one else thinks so, including his coaches and physicians.

~~~

when i allow it to be
there’s no control over me
i have my fears
but they do not have me

Peter Gabriel, Darkness

The “Gala”

11208572_961573263894048_1576230664_nThere was a time not long ago when I loved being the center of attention.

“Flatter flatter flatter!”

I was struggling through an endless series of speed bumps to nowhere that I medicated into oblivion through fleeting relationships and, still people clapped.

Of course, I was young and handsome and well spoken, and therefore, “in demand” as such things go.

These assets alone eclipsed whatever was absent everywhere else, as evidenced in the hostess-CEO paradigm.

So like others of my kind, I let the endorphin rushes fuel fantasies of where my new encounters might lead…night after night after night.

But as time passed and my career grew, I found that I needed more tangible affirmation in order to maintain self-esteem.

I was getting older and youth was no longer the hook. So what was?

It had to come from within, but how? as the need for external affirmation felt like an addiction to painkillers?

Where was that now lost screw that kept the joints rattling?

I was becoming unhinged.

Then, in my mid 50’s, I started coming out of it.

I was one of the lucky ones, as others around me lost everything to time, desperate moves and bad luck.

As cliché as it sounds, I began to find meaning in sharing my life with someone else, and everything else started to fade.

I started to find that going back to the social till bled a little more of me, leaving me empty and unfulfilled.

While I still appreciated public acknowledgement of my work, I saw it all very differently, as simple self-expression, a way of working through issues in my life, rather than a veiled quest for self-aggrandizement.

I know that for the most part, praise is just posturing, something people feel compelled to express in a particular social context.

But what really mattered to them was money and power.

Even when they are genuinely impressed with an artist’s work, their feelings are ephemeral, fleeting and largely meaningless.

They will move on to the next cocktail function, cherry-pick another item of interest, and on it will go, forever.

In the end, no one really cares unless they receive something of equal measure.

For most it’s the public acknowledgement that they are of powerful social standing, transcendent of art.

In their minds, they are the bedrock, the unassailable…oligarchs of an otherwise trivial world.

Of course, challenges do arise [to my great amusement], particularly when such people are in the company of the equally rich and very famous.

I love all the fraying at the edges of vanity as they maneuver themselves back into the ring.

We all find our niches in the world, places that affirm us, reflect our standings and values, that don’t obliterate our self-esteem.

I live in a neighborhood of my peers, and spend time socializing with people who, for the most part, share my values, beliefs and social standing.

I no longer need or want anything from anyone else.

I’m not here to take, but to share.

I have already paid my dues many times over and no longer walk into a situation with my hands out.

If people like what they see, if it has some meaning for them, great.

Either way, I am no longer willing to sell myself for anyone’s approval.

Socialites do what they do for personal gain.

Whether it’s Look at me, how wealthy I am, how extravagant my clothing, how elite my connections…or…How the hell do I get into this club so I can move out of my apartment, it’s a game I’m no longer willing to play.

For those of you who wish to gain access to the right parties, hosted by the right people with an eye on their bank accounts, you know where to go and what to do.

Bullet Points of Interest:

1] People tend to do what they do for personal gain, even when they are the ones “giving.”

2] Nothing is ever free, even when people are throwing something at you. 

3] Life is about checks and balances, usually literally.

4] People you like are usually those you’ve vetted over time, not people you meet at cocktail functions.

5] Fund raisers are usually a subtle dance around who’s got the biggest “dick,” both men and women.

6] Hanger’s on are like sous-chefs waiting for the big dog to fall into a vat of boiling grease.

7] Art is worth nothing to most people unless Christie’s auctions it.

8] Opportunism is gaining access to something you can’t find within yourself.

9] Everyone uses everyone for everything on some level, even if it’s a good laugh. So it’s all about levels.

10] While socialites serve a useful purpose in society, nobody cares who they are if they’re not raining money.

Venting is cathartic. It’s why I write and shoot pictures.

10 Alternatives to Steroids That Boost Testosterone

7-smart-ways-to-boost-your-testosterone_graphics_pharmafreak-monounsaturated-fats

 

DISCLAIMER: I am neither nutritionist nor food guru. The comments below are based upon my own personal experiences and are not meant to replace a visit to your internist or psychiatrist.

We all know by now that Hollywood celebrities hold the key to preternatural youth.

Okay. That was complete bullshit.

Let me rephrase it: We all know by now that Adobe’s Photoshop program is largely responsible for what appears to be preternatural youth in celebrities.

Just meet one of them in person and watch the media’s version of reality crumble.

See #urbandystrophy, the book, on Media vs Reality.

Okay, so any of you interested in avoiding the “wellness clinic” trap of endless pharmaceuticals, here are a few alternatives that might save your actual life.

1] Eat fat!

I know you anorexics equate fat with devil worship, but bear with me.

Dietary fat is actually one of the most critical players when it comes to optimizing natural testosterone production. Long gone are the days when we associate fat with heart disease and elevated cholesterol levels. Now it’s now recognized as a sure way to increase testosterone levels.

In fact, a study published in the “Journal of Applied Physiology” found that diets with higher amounts of monounsaturated and saturated fats have been shown to increase testosterone levels.

In another study, men who switched from a high-fat diet (13 percent saturated fat) to a low-fat diet (5 percent saturated fat) experienced significantly lower testosterone production rates, and lower circulating androgen levels.

“Keep in mind that when it comes to dietary fat, it’s not just the amount of fat you eat, but also the type of fat,” says Don Gauvreau, MSc, co-founder PharmaFreak .

Examples of quality monounsaturated fats:
Olive oil, almonds, avocados, peanut butter
Examples of quality saturated fats:
Red meat, coconut oil, egg yolks, dark chocolate, cheese

2] Don’t avoid cholesterol!

Seriously.

Testosterone is derived from cholesterol, so if your diet is lacking in cholesterol, you’re also shortchanging yourself when it comes to the muscle-building hormone.

For example, incorporating whole eggs into a moderately carbohydrate-restricted diet was shown to improve the lipoprotein profile (increased HDL cholesterol) and reduce insulin resistance in individuals with metabolic syndrome, a constellation of health issues that includes hypertension, abnormally high blood glucose, and other risk factors for heart disease.

The best choices are red meat, egg yolks, and seafood such as shrimp, squid, and lobster.

Whole eggs are a staple in my diet. I usually have one or two with another 4 eggwhites each morning.

Oh, and it tastes better as you already know but continue to deny for the sake of your health.

3] Consume testosterone-boosting ingredients

First, get a blood test.

When the results are in, your Internist will tell you whether or not your testosterone levels are low.

If so, he or she may prescribe testosterone.

As for “actual testosterone-boosting ingredients,” there aren’t any.

Having said this, “natural” bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts the world over will talk you blue in the face about Testofen [Fenugreek Extract], Zinc, D-Aspartic Acid [DAA], Vitamin D, and Diindolylmethane [DIM], among others.

Again, first the blood test, second the discussion with said Internist.

4] High-intensity interval training [HIIT]

Excessive aerobic endurance activities like marathon running, hours in the pool and 6 hours a day of biking will decrease testosterone levels, increase cortisol production, weaken the immune system, and handicap strength gains. No wonder these three are the anorexic’s drugs of choice.

With this in mind, I suggest you consider HIIT, a training concept in which low to moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high intensity intervals.

In research, HIIT has been shown to burn adipose tissue far more effectively than low-intensity exercise – up to 50% more efficiently, and has also been shown to speed up your metabolism which helps burn more calories throughout the day.

It also boosts testosterone and HGH levels in your body, according to study after study. 

If you’re still confused, ask a qualified personal trainer to explain it.

5] Limit your training session to an hour

If you’re regularly engaging in lengthy, drawn-out workouts with long rest periods or excessive endurance exercise, your testosterone levels will take a hit!

More specifically, workouts lasting longer than about an hour begin to spike cortisol levels and subsequently decrease testosterone.

Additionally, research has demonstrated that a shorter rest period between sets (one minute versus three minutes) elicited higher acute hormonal responses following a bout of resistance training.

In order for you to maximize your testosterone response, keep your rest periods short and total workout time to 60 minutes or fewer.

6] If you don’t get enough rest, you’re screwed

Especially for you older guys, a lack of quality sleep will dramatically diminish the amount of testosterone your body produces, thereby reducing muscle growth and fat loss!

Research continue to demonstrate that the amount of sleep you get is associated with morning testosterone levels.

Researchers at the University of Chicago recorded the sleeping patterns of healthy men and found that participants’ testosterone levels increased the longer they slept.

I need at least 8 hours of sleep each night, with 9 being optimal. Anything less and I’m useless.

7] Keep stress to a minimum

The connection between stress and increased cortisol production are well documented.

But stress is also quite deadly. It’s side-effects are legion: Heart disease, digestive problems, sleep disorder, depression, weight problems, auto immune problems, skin conditions, like eczema…and on and on and on…

8] Eat healthy

All food groups, always, but avoid simple sugar.

It can damage your heart, promote belly fat, may be linked to cancer production – and cancer survival, has toxic effects on the liver, saps your brain power, and shortens your life.

So, like I said, avoid it like the plague.

9] Keep your daily drinking down to one or two glasses of wine

Requires no elaboration.

Of course, if your have the genetics of Keith Richards, it may in fact improve the quality and duration of your life.

10] Find a good lover

Just like any physical activity, sex is good for your heart.

Several studies have found that your risk of dying from a heart disease event, such as stroke or heart attack, goes down as the frequency of good orgasms increase.

Some of you will wonder what a bad orgasm is, but once you’ve had a good one you’ll appreciate the distinction.

I might also add, sex offers the same soothing effects of sugary comfort foods when it comes to reducing stress without killing you in the process.

Then there’s the better sleep, lower stress hormones, better moods, better complexion…even cancer prevention.

As for its testosterone boosting properties, both testosterone and estrogen levels experience a boost through regular sexual activity.

I dunno. It kinda’ sells itself…

Postscript

And now for something completely different, here’s a Facebook link to “Fit Guys Over 50,” featuring ridiculously shredded men who are obvious testosterone users. Though they may be disciplined in their workouts, eating and recovery, they re just as disciplined in their injections.

Time to get real.

You’re only hearing half the story.

https://www.facebook.com/fitguysover50/?fref=nf

 

 

How to Maintain a Fit, Lean and Strong Physique Without Pharmaceutical Testosterone

crossfit-as-a-master

I know I know…no one can possibly stay in top shape without drugs. Blah blah blah. I’ve heard it a million times … and then some.

Obviously, I’ve heard a lot of bullshit in my life.

With this as background noise, I train at a health club filled with educated and successful older men and women who are in complete denial about anything involving aging.

Their motto is “If I can afford to avoid it, I’m all in.”

What they’re referring to is pharmaceutical grade testosterone, dispensed by a circle of multimillionaire physicians in Houston who know their clientele better than they know themselves, which is not saying much, but whatever. Life’s a food chain and somebody always loses even when they think they’re winning.

These physicians know that vanity is what drives this train, and by pandering to this affliction they acquire “lifers” who are patients until the day they die, which is usually sooner than later.

Death notwithstanding, it’s still a good business decision.

REASONS TO USE

The most common reasons people take these drugs are to acquire [and/or maintain] lean mass, build strength and acquire stamina – without having to beat the living crap out of themselves in the gym. If these are your goals, and side-effects are irrelevant given the fact that you’re only in it for the here and now, drugs are the way to go.

But what happens when a middle-aged man opts out of testosterone supplementation?

Does he fall apart?

Does his sex life automatically fail?

Does depression stomp him to oblivion?

Actually, none of the above.

Note: Some men do suffer from a medical condition known as hypogonadism, which requires treatment, including testosterone supplementation. Conditions known to cause hypogonadism are obesity, diabetes [type 2], liver or kidney disease, hormonal disorders or infections. In such patients, testosterone therapy is recommended. For everyone else, it’s recommended when they have the ability to pay for it.

If you want to stay fit, lean and strong without drugs, you will have to do the following without fail, which includes adjusting your expectations.

Step One:

Medical Evaluation

Have your blood drawn to determine your testosterone levels [Note: You may have to have the test run a couple of times to get a solid baseline].

After the results are in, your physician [if he’s reputable] will tell you whether or not you fall into the “normal” range. If so, he will NOT prescribe testosterone.

This particular step is bypassed altogether by less than scrupulous physicians who simply ask you how you feel.

If you say something along the lines of “I’ve been feeling a bit lethargic lately, or “My sex drive isn’t what it was at 17,” you get a scrip and designer syringe pouch.

Step two:

Hire a personal trainer.

If you’re not a veteran gym rat, you’ll need help getting started. Even if you’ve spent the better part of your life under the iron, you’ll need someone to keep an eye on your form and to motivate you when you get down on yourself for not performing the way you did 30 years ago.

This is what you pay the big bucks for and why it’s worth it no matter how much it is.

Then tell your trainer exactly what your goals are so that he or she can tell you whether or not you’re out of your mind.

This is a crucial first step in any successful relationship as any psychiatrist will corroborate.

My regimen is 5 days on, two off.

Monday-Wednesday-Friday: Strength training weights and cross fit style movements.

I train – with my trainer – for an hour. Then I do stretching, rolling and abs on my own for another 30 minutes.

Tuesday-Thursday: Mixed cardio, stretching, and foam rolling for an hour, total.

Saturday-Sunday: Rest.

So we’re talking about 6 1/2 to 7 hours a week of training. No big deal. Really.

Step Three:

Nutrition.

Eating healthy is a pain in the ass, but the way it makes you look and feel more than make up for what it’s become: Fuel and nothing more. You can allow yourself a few indulgences here and there, but understand that whatever you take in you have to kick out.

Step Four:

Rest and Recovery

As most of us know too well, days off are usually depressing. The reason for this is simple: We don’t feel the highs.

In the absence of endorphin, our bodies feel sluggish.

Some describe it as blood like molasses.

This is normal, but over time you will be able to conquer your withdrawal symptoms, though I’ve yet to do it.

Understand that addiction is what it is for a reason.

Step Five:

Balance

This is one of the most difficult hurdles for anyone in the fitness game because it’s so nebulous.

In layman’s terms, balance means having a life outside of the gym.

Weird, right?

It may involve spending time with family and friends, going to a museum, taking in a sporting event –– anything that doesn’t involve the gym or working out, including discussions about the gym or working out.

Note: Workout addicts find themselves unable to discuss anything that doesn’t involve working out because it’s their only frame of reference, and because discussing it while not actually doing it is better than nothing at all.

SUMMARY

You will never look the way you did at 25, drugs or no drugs. Aging is a natural part of life. While many people think that we should all age backwards, I’ve yet to see anyone accomplish this.

The best we can do is find peace through the combination of acceptance and challenge.

As a Baby Boomer, I have to get real about where I am in life no matter how far outside the two standard deviations I may be.

I am still mortal, and no drugs are going to change it.

I could be leaner, veins spread out like a squid across my fat-depleted arms, abs and chest.

Some have described the look as something out of a Marvel Comic, which is where culture [and reality, in general] is headed within a certain demographic.

Postscript

Some have postulated that Hollywood actors who appear to put on massive amounts of muscle for their movies in a very short amount of time are able to accomplish this through extreme diet and lighting. But i can absolutely, positively assure you that for anyone over the age of 50, putting on that much lean mass while losing weight is impossible without help from your local pharmacy.

Alpha Woman Blues

angry-womanExcerpt from #urbandystrophy, the book:

Some unpleasant facts:

“[Successful] Men do not give a crap how successful a woman is. This is why you see very successful men marrying bartenders, flight attendants, and spin class instructors. What do we call the very tiny percentage of men who do care? Gold-diggers.

Women do care how successful a man is. This does not make them gold-diggers, unlike men who feel the same way.

These two basics mean this: (1) The more successful a man becomes, the greater his choices are when it comes to women, since he can date any level of successful woman, and (2) the more successful a woman becomes, the lesser her choices are when it comes to men, since she wants to date a man at least close to her in success.

A successful man can choose from you and a billion other women, and as a successful woman, you can only choose from less than 1% of men.

Men love very feminine women, and often equate successful women’s “power” with masculine energy, much as most men see female bodybuilders as having the same. Is this fair? I don’t say. All is fair in love and war to the victor, and none to the vanquished. This is why you don’t find so many single “caregivers”—nurses, waitresses, child care workers, and so on.

How does a woman get around this? She marries in grad school or newly-minted. At that point, a man still sees her as feminine. They have kids, and bind/bond together. Some of these relationships last even when the woman develops that same powerful masculine energy, and some do not. Finding a non-gold-digging man, after developing this masculine energy, is almost impossible.

You need to understand that men are not “intimidated” by you and your friends. They are simply not attracted to you.

Finally, your comment that your single, successful male friends were “having too much fun” to marry says it all—even though I managed to “date” (read “sleep with”) plenty of beautiful girls and women, I was beyond thrilled to meet a woman my own age at 34—who I married—and find a best friend I respect to spend my life with. My life went from “having fun” to living life. We are childless by choice—”child-free”—and continue to travel on our voyage of creative projects and leisure.

You made choices, and you should accept them. Blaming men for being “intimidated” is bullshit. You have simply become someone that men don’t particularly want to hook up with, compared to a nurturing, feminine waitress.

Hope this helped and that you can accept a nice gold-digger into your life—there is NOTHING wrong with that. Men do it all the time, and find happiness.” Anonymous

~~~

To be fair, older men in the absence of money are in the same boat.

We both need something to sell.

Again, it’s all in Urban Dystrophy.

The Cure for Existential Angst, Guaranteed.

Three years ago my trainer stitched this together this little as a reminder to me that aging doesn’t always follow a predictable path, that it is possible to slow it all down — including the fading relevance older men often feel when they can no longer throw a baseball without looking like an ex-president during one of those ceremonial first pitches.

Life only wins when you fade, not when you die. j.r.

Psychopathology of the Pot Belly

beer-belly-holding-beers

Allow me preface this discussion with the following: I do not personally know anyone my age who looks like the individual in the above photograph.

~~~

Yesterday I was standing in the meats section of a grocery store when I noticed a man in his mid-50’s sporting what is commonly referred to as a “pot belly.”

In the upper thresholds of obesity, it most closely resembles that of a pregnant woman at full term, which is 39 weeks to 40 weeks and 6 days.

Like women in such a condition, the protuberance is surprisingly hard, and as round as a basketball at 4 times regulation size, but similar pressure.

As I stood there waiting for him to finish ordering his 22 pounds of heavily marbled red bloody meat, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if the butcher hacked it all off in one fell swoop.

Would the man thank him?

See, if it weren’t for the Volvo-sized anomaly situated at his midsection, the balance of his anatomy would appear completely normal.

This is why people think these things.

Kids do it all the time with Legos, so stop judging.

Without formal medical analysis, I feel comfortable speculating that he and men like him suffer type-2 diabetes, impotence, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression, the later of which having paved the way for the aforementioned 4.

~~~

With this in mind, some people eat when they’re depressed.

Why they do this is beyond me.

When I was depressed I would run, swim, bike, and lift weights – sometimes all day – and often, night – until the demons went back to bed.

Not only was this a successful ritual, but I came out of it looking and feeling better.

Of course, this has been my ritual for the better part of my life, including all of it.

So what the hell happened to the guy next to me?

Medical Realities

After age 40, the natural reduction in testosterone means excess calories are often stored as visceral fat. We also naturally lose muscle mass as we age, the key word here being ‘naturally,’ because if you do nothing we will lose everything. This also applies to money, if this helps.

If we exercise, however, we can pretty much check that one off the list.

Unfortunately, most men don’t exercise regularly, so they lose muscle mass, and their metabolisms stop burning at a solid rate. When you lose muscle — about 1 pound per year after age 30 — your metabolism declines, and it becomes easier to gain fat, which often goes straight to the belly in men.

The Psychopathology

With these facts in mind, if a man were largely [no puns] inactive his entire life, and at age 40 his testosterone levels started to slip, he’d get hit like a bag of bricks.

Not only would he have no lean muscle mass to keep pace with the hormonal attrition, but the necessary adjustments to his lifestyle would be as tough as substituting heroin for treadmills in the mind of a junkie.

I do know a couple of large men who are big enough overall to pull it off without completely embarrassing themselves.

One of them, in particular, was a collegiate athlete with a commanding presence.

He, like Chris Christie, is an achiever with an otherwise full life.

This is rare. But in spite of their relatively healthy self-esteems, health still takes a hit. A big one.

I once heard a Bariatric surgeon say that fat is genetic, and therefore, men who are obese can’t help themselves without lap-band surgery.

At this writing he is anorexic after beating his own fat addiction.

I assume genetic includes psychiatric predispositions.

Solutions

1] Contrary to popular opinion, the first order of business is to seek guidance from a psychiatrist.

2] The second order of business is to find a good Internist who will run complete blood analysis followed by a stress EKG and heart scan.

3] Third order of business is to go back to the psychiatrist and give him or her the results. You will start from a low baseline from which you will rebuild what has been lost since childhood.

4] Your spouse will not understand any of this and in many cases pay a hit man to kill you if any of this starts to work and you rethink your living will [and marriage]. Understand that part of your therapy will involve your life choices, including your choice in mates. It’s all tied together.

5] Once you get a handle [no puns] on who you are – and as a result, what happened along the way – you will realize that while your genetics played a role in all of it, your mental health sealed the deal.