Category Archives: Fitness and Health

THE PRECISION-ENGINEERED BREAKFAST

(From my Facebook Fitness page – https://www.facebook.com/ByronLeePT)

Good morning all.

This is my standard breakfast, and my favourite meal of the day (I like to wake up and be excited to have breakfast):
Oats, psyllium husk, peanut butter (full fat), greek yoghurt (full fat), honey, blueberries.

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Black coffee is optional (depending on your opinion on the benefits of coffee, timing of coffee during the day etc.)
I would also suggest adding a glass of water.

This breakfast should theoretically provide:
– high energy with low GI
– balanced macronutrient profile (carbs, natural fats, natural protein)
– satiety to keep you full through the morning
– micronutrients
– antioxidants
– fibre, probiotics

*As a fitness trainer and former medical practitioner with no formal dietary education, I am required to inform you that these ideas represent my opinion only, and for definitive dietary advice you should seek the services of a professional registered dietician.

Doing The RIGHT Thing For Yourself And Your Life

I saw this picture and felt the need to write something.
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3 years ago, after many years of confusion, contemplation, and depression, I finally took action, sold my house, got rid of most of my things, and I left my mindless, miserable job. I moved overseas for 6 months, saw America, completed my business masters, saw Europe for the first time in my life, got off my fat slob ass and trained like I’ve never trained before to get in fighting shape, starting with visiting and training in Thailand for the first time in my life, and fought in the ring a few times. I finally got the specialized help I needed to fix my decade of complicated back problems, which included completing a personal training course in 3 months, stopped binge drinking, and fixed my diet. I ditched my old, selfish, asshole friends, figured out who my real friends were, gave 4 months 24/7 of my life to bail out my dad’s business, got shafted, and moved to a new city and permanently out of one I never belonged in (after spending over half my life there). I reconnected with as much extended family as possible here and overseas, made new, quality friends, started hammering again through more psychotherapy and personal development courses to deal with my longstanding psychological issues, and started a business. I generally started seeing new things, trying new things and getting out of my very small comfort zone, finally reconnected with doing the things that I love and enjoy, and am finally on my way to finding genuine purpose in my life.

I don’t know if that sounds like much, but I thought it was fairly difficult, having allowed external environmental influences to shape me from an early age to become a coward, a loser, a misfit, an outcast. Such forfeiture of personal dignity is truly unacceptable in a first world paradise where we have every opportunity to become almost anything we desire. I was someone who took the easy route of sitting at home mindlessly memorising a book to get a safe, miserable, secure job, to win meaningless academic accolades and earn some oddly coveted piece of paper, rather than going outside, breaking the mould, living true to my self, and taking grasp of my dreams. For what?

I now cannot lay blame to my parents, my environment, my asshole friends, my isolation, my genetics, though all of these may have created significant external pressures; no, there are no bullshit excuses; I alone am in charge of my life and my destiny. And perhaps everything you ever wanted IS that difficult and complex in your own mind to achieve. Perhaps the difficulty IS finding what you want! But for me, everything I thought was difficult was worth doing and yes, it was the right thing to do. And though I might have started my life a coward, I aim to not end it as one. I’m working on it.

Though ideally we should find and follow our purpose early in life to find optimal spiritual fulfillment, as change in adulthood is much more difficult, it is never too late to instigate change. Enjoy and trust in the process, be happy in the moment, and don’t become too attached to goals and outcomes, because it may take a while to get there! I’m just getting started. I hope to one day know that I have found myself again.

And if you can relate to any of that, then perhaps you might want to take a minute to consider if you need to make changes in your life. Take the first small step, and embrace the challenge of conquering your personal mountain. And when you reach the summit, maybe you will realise that it wasn’t that hard after all. Because it was, and always had been, the RIGHT thing to do.

MENTAL HEALTH: A WORD ON DEPRESSION AND MENTAL ILLNESS

In the wake of Robin Williams recent suicide, many questions have come to mind regarding the veracity of the current public understanding of what depression and mental illness is about.

I just want to say a few things in regards to my own experience and how I have dealt with it. It isn’t really about the issues themselves, but more about how one might deal with them if they arise.

It’s difficult to understand mental illness if you don’t know the depth and incredible complexity of the human mind… for example, it has only been through many hours, over many years, of psychoanalysis and psychology counselling have I begun to understand the depth and root cause of my own issues, which might manifest, via convoluted mental pathways, into unusual or awkward behaviors and thought patterns. The deeper I probe, the more complex I realise things are, and how justifiable it is to put in as much effort as I do to understand them.

If it’s difficult for me to understand, with quite a high level of personal insight and a fairly high level of education in and exposure to health and psychology, can you imagine how much more difficult it might be with someone who hasn’t had the benefit of that additional perspective?

So, based what I have learned from my own experiences with limiting psychological issues (and really, these principles can apply to life in general) I would suggest the following ideas as things to consider for a healthier mental state:

1) Seek the Right Environment
Be around the right people, influences, and things you want to see and do. I realise, having moved cities and away from communities I was previously involved in and tied to (personally or professionally) that a LOT of my negative views of the world were very strongly influenced by the experiences I had from being surrounded by (for want of a better term) complete assholes. Now that I have made better decisions to whom I associate with, I am much happier, more positive, leading a much more fulfilling existence, and am not depressed.

2) Seek Self-efficacy
People tend to remain in their default, socially engineered state, for better or worse, if they do not actively seek to change their path. Change must first be desired; the first change that needs to happen is to make the change to want to change. There needs to be some level of self recognition or insight in order to effect progress away from a negative mindset. Self education and playing an active role in disciplining your mind and altering your thought patterns, makes a major difference in the likelihood of changing for the better.

3) Seek the Right Assistance
As much as self-efficacy is a golden goose of progress, there are some things that we can achieve much better insight into through broadening our limited perspectives to include the perspectives of others. These are people who will take the time to listen, understand and offer objective opinions without judgement; perhaps leading to an epiphany of personal understanding that you alone could not grasp. For many, you may have family or friends to reach out to; for others, there are government initatives and organisations such as beyondblue, headspace; for those who can afford it, there are health professionals.

4) Seek the Right Path Early in Life
Once again, however, I would emphasise the importance of creating the best possible environments and influences for our vulnerable and impressionable youth. They are the future of the world, and are an empty canvas painted with the brush of whatever paradigm of reality they are presented with. It is our responsibility to help these younger generations become better than we are, rather than perpetuating any questionable habits out of failure to account for and consider the merit (or lack thereof) our own habits.

For the older the mind, the greater the struggle to change, if precedents created in childhood have set us on a journey to destruction.

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More “Healthcare” Industry Tunnel Vision

See the link here regarding Statins.

I’m getting tired of medicos blindly worshipping their “Scientific Method” and “Evidence based Medicine” like some faultless, omnipotent deity, and smugly saying, like a broken record “but is there a double-blinded randomised controlled trial on it? Where’s the EVIDENCE?”

And then of course we see ridiculous and illogical things based on the “scientific method” happening like the war on fat, and allowing drugs with serious side effects to become widespread (and marketed as totally safe) like certain NSAIDS, and now statins.¬†

The healthcare industry needs to escape it’s tunnel vision, bloated, gigantic egos, political bickering and power grabbing, and get a lot smarter, a lot quicker, if it is to be of any real benefit to the advancement of humanity beyond acute/emergency care. Because clearly there are massive holes in their knowledge and self-awareness, especially in the areas of preventive health and chronic disease management.

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SOME THOUGHTS ON MARTIAL ARTS/COMBAT SPORTS

Just heard on a tv promo “Will learning violent contact sports make life safer on the streets?” while showing a clip of some thugs fighting on the street and then a BJJ gym. #stupidquestions

Obviously #combatsports and #martialarts are healthy way to discipline and control #naturalaggression and learn #respect but these days everyone wants a scientific study before they believe anything.

Of course there are always the few bad eggs who will not benefit as much, and this is probably because other aspects of their persona have not been dealt with adequately, but that is not to say that martial arts training has not helped them from being worse than they would have been.

For the majority the benefits of martial arts in strengthening and controlling mind/body/soul are immense. It’s time the public became more educated and aware about what #martialarts and combat sports are really about, instead of marginalising it as simple “violence”… #violence is for untrained neanderthals.

In the end we are all just a few millimetres of cerebral cortex away from being a hairless monkey, and without harnessing our human capacity for imagination and self awareness, that additional cortical matter isn’t worth a whole lot.

Martial arts are just that… “arts”… they connect your human imagination to your animal soul, control it, and channel that natural animal aggression into it something beautiful, flowing and precise. It can crash into destructive force, it can bend the opponent to submit to your will, but the skilled practitioner knows and learns how and when and to what degree it is required.

That is the difference between the depth of an “art”, and the indiscriminate, mindless chaos of “violence”.

It does not promise mastery or victory, but it does demand the discipline, respect, skill, determination and pure hard work required to achieve it. These are the attributes and habits that one will be driven to cultivate, if they are not already possessed to some degree.

It may be true that there are some who will never be able to fully embody these characteristics, no matter how much they train, but this is nonetheless this is the potential for empowerment and greatness that martial arts will offer you.

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(From Adrien Grenier’s Facebook)