The following is not health or nutrition advice, but my own thoughts toward the medical world/industry
There has been a frustration inside me, as it relates to the medical world. Even as one who has practically grew up in that setting, having cerebral palsy, numerous surgeries, seizures and even Asthma. Now, to a fair degree there is a great thankfulness to the doctors that helped me as a child, more so from helping to get the reality of seizures under control in my life. And even now as an adult, having muscle relaxers to keep very painful spasms at bay, is a Godsend. The frustration that has risen inside me, is because my eyes have discovered how broken the system actual is. And the question that must be asked is, are we becoming our healthiest selves? Or are we floating along only believing that we are healthy? The average doctor that I’ve seen over the last few years, they have quite the belly on them while trying to tell others how to be healthy. And to a degree it can be easily understood, think of the number of people that they see daily, they barely have the time to take care of themselves. And more than likely, when they get a chance to eat, its probably the quickest bite to eat that they can consume. My biggest problem is that the medical world seems to want to keep people dependent upon them and the medication provided. For instance, diabetes is said to be managed and not reversed. When there have been people that have reversed it, and the changes that had to be made in their lives had little to do with medication. A lot of it had to do with changes within the human diet and exercising every day. Also, the issue of high blood pleasure, doctors have some people on a handful of medications. Which for men, can have horrible side-effects, that, and high cholesterol pills. Again, when you change your diet, good things can happen in a person’s life. One time, I tried to express these concerns with my own doctor, and in his response, he said, “these medications are a necessary evil”. Something about his response did not sit well with me, and still does. In my estimation, if a medication is making you sicker and not healthier, there’s a problem. Beyond this, is the nutritional aspect. Doctors appear to be hell bent on getting people to eat more vegetables, and much less or no red meat. Because red meat is so terrible and deadly. To support this reality, there are commercials that have food companies fill your fried full of food, but you know what’s not in the fridge in said commercial? Meat! It’s all vegan friendly foods. Now, I have no issue with getting one’s daily greens, however, in my opinion is not only one of the most nutrient filled foods but the reality of more protein within the human diet, can not only change one’s body composition. But can help that stabilize blood sugar levels as well, to add to that it will keep one fuller and you’ll stop craving the foods you don’t need as much. Not one time have I personally heard a doctor or dietitian say this. Even politically speaking, the more progressive want to eradicate red meat from the world, or so it seems. Pharmaceutical companies seem to be bent toward the same direction. To me, it seems that if the medical world wanted to keep others healthier, it would start with the hope of keeping people out of their office, rather than dependent on them. It would also consist of having a fair understand of nutrition, and dispelling of myths that stem from the 70’s. Again, even though I’ve expressed some deep frustration with medical industry, my words are used to be an agent for change.
When it comes to our health, people usually start out with the best intentions, they get all excited and think “Ok! I’m going to get this goal accomplished! Whatever the goal may be, losing weight, gaining muscle or whatever goal you have in your mind. Most of us do good for a very small window, and then fall back into the same old slump. Losing motivation and maybe even believing that the goal can never be accomplished.
Here is one big reason why this happens, ready?
What? Our emotions Brandon? Yes, think about it, we let our emotions get us all hyped up and when things get difficult, and the emotion isn’t there anymore we’re left with nothing. We need something more than emotion, notice that I did not say to rid yourself of them but rather regulate them and have some deeper to drive us.
That is, having a purpose to drive our actions. Why do you want to be healthy? Who do you want to be and why?? Find the deeper reason and allow to burn itself into your very being. Let that purpose be the driving force! When the emotions show up, say okay and notice them but then reinforce them with a more sustained outlook.
As a health coach, I’ve seen many lives change, so I know yours can too! If you need someone to keep you accountable, simply reach out!
Imagine a world where all the power of change, in regards to our health actually existed… Guess what!? It does exist- and we as humans have every tool that we need to change. That might be a shock to some, but it is true none the less. We have the power to change. We have the ability to think, learn new skills and adapt to our surroundings. It sounds simple enough.
But even I wasn’t always that way, especially when it came to my doctor. Especially when I was a kid, whatever my doctor said- was gospel. The thought of questioning my doctor in any way never ever crossed my mind. After all, they went to medical school and have a degree-or two. So the thought of questioning anything is almost sacrilegious.
In modern times , since becoming a health coach and obtaining a few other certs. As I’ve not only coached, but watched society. It seems as though that society has all but given up on their health. As though to say, we have given the power that we had and given it over to another. Now I realize that what I’m saying is scandalous and I honestly don’t mean it to be that way.
I’m not even saying be an ass or combat your doctor of everything, what I am saying is that, you have what it takes to be healthy. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do so. With moderate exercise and adequate nutrition, we can start to take back our health. If you are an over weight person, you don’t have to go crazy in the gym. Just start taking 3-20 minute walks every day, eat protein, eat some leafy greens and some berries, drink water and cut out the processed junk. Bingo! Obviously, change takes time, but if you start the journey now, you will see results. The same goes for anyone, regardless of their goals. If you’re one that maybe has fear about going to the gym, that’s okay too and it’s not the end of the world. Your home or anywhere that you are at can become your gym. You can do body weight exercises, use a kettle bell, resistance bands and so on. You can build muscle, fortify your immune system, attack body fat and become the healthiest person you can be.
That should be everyone’s goal. The goal should be to keep you out of the doctors office. (not because all doctors are evil) The goal should be to change life style, not medicine-medicine-medicine. Guess what!? We can do all of that today. We can take the power back!
Nutrition is an extremely vital role to our health, and dare I say the most important. Even more so than fitness. For many of my clients that have cerebral palsy and are not as mobile as someone like myself. Nutrition becomes a huge part of their journey, why? Because what we find our bodies determines not only what we see in a physical sense, but also how we feel in our minds. Some people don’t even think about that, because the food they consume (for them) becomes about feeling good in the moment.
We can see this time in again, in shows such as my 600 pound life. Food is a drug to help them cope with trauma. And so not only do that need to be taught how to eat properly, but they need a new relationship with food. The problem is, the nutrition world has become as divisive as anything else in this world. There’s the low carb community- keto, carnivore etc., then we have the vegans and vegetarians, and so much. And they all believe that their way of eating is the best.
All the various groups can sometimes get very nasty with one another, and all the more it becomes very confusing. When I was doing carnivore for 2 years, my body and mind felt amazing. My body was lean, joint pain was almost zero and mental clarity was at an all time high. My perception though, of carbs and plants was honestly rather skewed, my thinking was that they were both bad one hundred percent of the time.
And while it’s true that not all carbs are not created equal, in the same vein of thinking not all plants are as healthy. On the carb spectrum, when people think about carbs what do we normally think of? Breads, pastas etc. First we have to be honest about what bread and pasta actually do. For many, bread and pasta are quick spark of energy and even release a lot of the feel good chemicals in our brains. Thus, we keep coming back to them as a means to stay in a elevated state. The same can be said about all types of candy as well, for some people that quick surge of energy might be good. Say for example if a person is a distance runner or one that has a long workout ahead of them. I like to think about these types of carbs like that of a wave in the ocean, it goes up quickly and crashes all the same. And while these types of carbs might be okay once and awhile or even in smaller portions. What I believe is most important, is consuming carb sources that promote a sustained energy. One that doesn’t come with such a heavy crash.
These can range from:
And… many of these are high in protein too! As you can see, I don’t think that carbs are the most evil food source in the universe. However, I believe it’s the type and amount of which we consume them.
In regards to consuming protein on a daily basis, it is no secret that I’m a big advocate of eating meat. This is not a knock on people who choose to being plant based, but only to say that if a person wants a great source of protein every day, its going to come from meat, especially steak. Now in saying that, the most normal reaction is going to be: “But it causes cancer!” But wait.. does it really? Or have we been led to believe all this time a rather big lie? Consider this response by Kris Kresser: https://chriskresser.com/red-meat-cancer-again-will-it-ever-stop/ in this article he says “ the association between red meat and cancer is not strong (i.e. comparing bacon to cigarettes is absurd), and in fact is often not distinguishable from chance. If red meat really did cause cancer, you’d expect to see a linear (continuous) increase in cancer rates as red meat consumption increased. But that’s not what we see in many cases. In fact, in some studies you actually see a decrease in cancer rates in the people who ate the most red meat”.
As I said above, I firmly believe that we have been lied to for so long about the realities of eating meat. Obviously, if a person doesn’t desire to consume it then they shouldn’t have to. But we have to understand that consuming red meat is not this wickedly evil source of food. In all actuality it could very well be seen as a super food. It can have up to 26 grams of protein and 7.6 grams of fat (which is good for your brain). Now, does a person have to consume it every day? No, not unless you actual try and carnivore approach. A person could do very well consuming eggs, fish and so one. Once again, however, red meat should not be seen as the enemy to health. The nutrition world needs to stop demonizing various elements of food and nutrition and more importantly each other.
Depression sucks, especially the kind of been experiencing the past three days. It’s like something dark, just came and busted out a lawn chair and began to relax while it indulged in it’s favorite beverage and snack. Then I think to myself, “Hey, I didn’t invite you here” Then this dark creature replies “oh, but you forget I show up every year.. When you least expect it.” That you do, but it doesn’t mean this depression is welcome.
So I’m going to express and share about what I’ve been feeling without giving power to loathing and deprecation of the self. Which I have been prone to do. However it will be a goal of mine within the new year to really fight against feeling sorry for myself and speaking negatively about myself. Depression is interesting in the sense that, it can feel your mind with lies that you know aren’t true. And yet, because its so heavy it feels true all the more.
The depression will say that I’m a fraud, no woman would ever want to be with me again, I’ve made to many mistakes and that my life is as good as it could possibly get. Meaning I’m stuck and life as I know it. Is over.
Again, I know it’s not true, but as I said the depression makes it seem all the more real and powerful. I’ve been on different medications for depression, and been to various counselors and I’ve had bad experiences with both. Medications only seemed to make feel worse, physically and mentally and most counselors I’ve seen have cooking cutter responses to my pain. So I said screw it both.
For me I believe that nutrition and fitness are big parts of fighting it, but you can do all that and still grapple with depression, however short the duration. For me, I’d rather have short durations, than to be where I once was, where I was having a couple panic attacks a week, puking before classes in college and so on.
This year hasn’t helped, though I’m thankful because here, in small Nebraska were not that restricted by Covid. But it doesn’t help, hearing about it every day, having a never ending political battle. Moreover, having cerebral palsy doesn’t help at all. It’s not like I can just leave the house whenever my heart desires. It’s also difficult when you don’t have any friends who can readily come pick you up or hang out with you because of their own circumstances.
Which is why I’ve tried a lot to be happy with myself and my own company, this is not just my battle but for many with cerebral palsy. Depression doesn’t make you weak, I just choose to lower my head and keep moving forward, to keep taking the shots. I’m not directly apposed to seeking help- I’m more open to talk therapy than anything. I’d only like to find a decent fit.
In the midst of the depression and the powerful blows that it deals myself and others, I’ve learn to channel a deep warrior strength inside me. One that knows that this darkness will pass, I’m learning to notice the pain and darkness within, and yet not be over ran by it. I’m learning to not let the depression over ride the duration of my day.
I still manage to workout, eat healthy, workout etc in spite of the depression that faces me. One might say that that’s not healthy. But to me, I say that that’s making war against the depression. It’s me fighting, going down swinging no matter what.
My greatest anchor through all of this is my relationship with God, prayer and reading my Bible. That’s what’s bigger than any darkness in my life.
Every man has testicles, but not every man has balls – George Bruno (Man in blog image)
I know that the above quote might be a bit bold and even provocative, but the words of Mr. Bruno truly resonate with me. As someone that frequents his YouTube channel, he as an older man has a ton of great things to younger men like myself. Young men and men in general need someone older and wise to speak into their lives and help them to develop into strong, confident and know how to conduct themselves in life.
When I heard the above quote, my first reaction was shock, as in there was no way he just said that. But after the quote circulated through my mind, the more his words rang truer as time went on. A lot of men have testicles, in the sense that they know how to have sex with countless women, or watch countless hours of porn and not know how or have any desire to commit to one woman.
Whereas a man with balls knows and learns how to control his urges, he learns to master himself and ultimately is able to give himself to a woman that he deems worthy. Men with just testicles are riddled with fear when it comes to facing the harsh realities and challenges of life. While men with balls are willing to be brave and figure out a way to overcome the adversity.
I’m sure that there are many more examples that could be given, the more important question to ask though, is how does a man become a man with not just testicles-but balls? That’s a great question to ask ourselves as men. As mentioned about, learning to control our sexual urges is a great start. Life is not simply where the penis goes, but learning to be a man that a deeper sense of self to him. Learning to control our urges is one of the best missions a man can embark on. It truly is worth it as time goes on. Another way a man can learn to live with balls, is to conquer his health. Stop eating the crappy foods, eat more steak and greens, do some sort of resistance training whatever that is. Build lean muscles, melt the body fat and learn to fast even if it’s for sixteen-eighteen hours a day. Your confidence will rise because of it.
Next, a man with balls learns to be alone. Not depending on women to fill his cup. A man with balls is at peace with himself and doesn’t need anything else to make him happy or have a sense of purpose and worth. This can take some time to master as well, but when as men we realize that we can be happy in ourselves, we are able to handle darkness far better when it comes hunting for us.
Men also- with balls are at peace with God. They are in right standing with the king of the cosmos and find all they are in him. I know that some of my readers don’t believe in God. But for me, being in right standing with God leaves a man knowing who he truly is and where his happiness truly resides.
Lastly, a man should know how to fight to some degree or another. He should have some skills in boxing or jiujitsu. Both sills together are an amazing combo, imagine hitting like Mike Tyson and having the ability to calmly restrain someone even using the most basic of BJJ skills. A man with these skillsets is calm and knows only to use physical violence as a last resort. He doesn’t go around puffing his chest out showing how tough he is. These are only the tip of the ice berg, of how a man with testicles can become a man with balls. The purpose of this blog, is to get men to become the best men they can be. Not settling for mediocrity but conquering themselves and the vices that stand in their way.
Human beings are amazing, we can do so much with our bodies and minds every single day of our lives. My own existence is something that I simply do not thank God for on a regular. Rather I piss-moan and groan about how much my life sucks. Anyone who knows anything about my own story, knows that the deck was stacked against me. And yet, by the grace of God I have gone onto obtain multiple degrees and certifications. Even though doctors told me I would always be dependent on others, and even though educational professionals told me I didn’t have what it took to attend university. We human beings have forgotten how beautiful our own existence is, we have lost sight of the fact that we can all be bad asses in our own right. So what are a few tips to become that person?
Finding Your Mental Resolve: We don’t like to hear this, but the only way we truly find our resolve, the only we become mentally and emotionally tougher is through hardship and challenges. Some of us have had very tough and painful lives, and because of that, it’s easy to feel defeated and buried under the ashes of life. Yet, we have forgotten that we can rise from those ashes. I am not always a believer of pulling up oneself by their boot straps. Though, at times in life, you will have to do that. Much more I am a believer of being shaped and allowing yourself to be molded and mentored by other people who truly care about you. I am eternally grateful that God gave me parents who not only told me I was strong, but showed me I was. I am also thankful that God let me experience all the suffering in my life. I’m thankful that he led me through the valley of death. Because it made me who I am today. Find the good in your life, face the darkness in your own life, try more and more every day, to not listen to the lies in your mind any longer. Suffering comes for us all, in different ways throughout our lives. As such, we should always have our armor ready when the fight comes, in the name of not being blindsided by an attack. Some of us are so comfortable with our own comfort, that the slightest bit of adversity sends us packing. Learn to be steady and calm and adversity, because the storm always passes.
Enjoy Solitude: This is art form, I have been working on more and more in my life. I have come to love solitude, by myself and without distraction. Some of us are afraid to be alone with our own thoughts, have to always be doing something. But there’s really happiness and healing, in being able to be still, and see what resonates inside us. It’s in the stillness of the night, that we can discover who we are, what we have to work on and where we want to go. It was in the solitude of my heart, that I discovered that the creator of the heavens and earth was drawing me to himself, he was making me a new creation, a strong soldier and a seeker of how he sees me. Get comfortable being your own company, interact with the thoughts in your own mind, no matter how dark and uncomfortable they may be. Get a journey, write things down, it could be a method of healing from trauma, holding yourself accountable for goals. Our biggest problem in society, is that we are constantly seeking information outward and we are not spending enough time discovering who we are and how bad ass we can be. Start seeking solitude today, even if you’re a parent, find time early in the morning, or even for a few minutes before bed. Take stock of your life. You will be better because of it.
Listen To Others: I’ve always been more of a listener than talker, and I honestly like it that way. Listening to others should be pretty self-explanatory, but some of us talk so much and we don’t listen enough. When we do that, we miss out on being teachable. We miss out on exercising empathy and compassion for others, who might be in a time of darkness. With utilizing our ability to listen, rather than speak. We have a better chance at showing others a light covered path to hope.
Become The Healthiest You: This will look different for each person, because we all have different abilities. But we all could be a bit, or even a lot more healthier in our lives. As a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I haven’t worked with a lot of people with different abilities. The reoccurring theme, with working with a wide variety of clients, is that if you commit to the process of getting better each day, with proper nutrition and exercise you will see results. Yes, things take time, but that’s the beauty of it, in that we get to embrace the process and see the small changes gradually. The instant gratification that we crave with our health and the rest of our lives isn’t real. Nutrition and fitness are two categories of life that have been made overall complicated. As a whole, I feel that quite a few us could do much better, by saying no to a lot of processed foods, and yes to more water, protein, and some fruits and vegetables if you like them. (I’m not convinced that we need them and function fully). In terms of fitness, you don’t always have to have a gym membership. Nor do you have to go balls to wall for hours on end. I did CrossFit for a number of years, and as much as I love it. Not all your workouts have to be that intense to get a good workout in. If you’re new to the world of fitness, I suggest taking a few 10 minute walks every day, (gradually work your way to a jog) while starting to master the push up (even if it’s on your knees) along with other variations and challenges to pushups as you go along. And mastering a good squat form- in different variations, weighted and single legged squats. Because we all do it every day. Just with those exercises alone, you can do a lot with those daily movements and habits. Next, get yourself a pull up bar or some rings, you really can build a lean strong body with these two pieces of equipment. With rings, you can utilize harder variations of push- ups, dips, planks and bridges to build the core- etc. Kettle Bells are great too, especially the swing, because it’s a total body movement that even throws in cardio at the same time.
When I was attending my first bible college, we were discussing the every quoted verse in 1 Corinthians 6:19. Which reads “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” Interestingly enough, there are all kinds of interpretations to this verse, anything from drugs, tattoos, suicide, sex and even health. Most of us, in our chapel discussion agreed that in had to do with our health and honoring God with our lives.
I spoke up about how I thought, that I strongly believe that as Christians we ought to be doing our best to take care of our bodies. In all all aspects: mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Not always in that order.
I’ll never forget it, when a rather loud black woman piped up and said “I don’t need to take care of my health, I’m dying anyway and in Heaven I’m gonna get a new body.” My first thought in that moment and even now is, that can’t be right or true. Yes, I do affirm that on the other side of life, Christians will have glorified bodies that are free from sin and decay.
But to assume that we can just let ourselves go, and let illness and death simply take us over. Is frankly sinful and a smack in the face to God, because he blessed us with life. It is then our response to honor him back. In my years of Christ, I have seen so many people walk through the church doors. Including pastors.
It’s sad that we have readily accepted this reality. I don’t think it is enough as believers, to simply ready ourselves for death. No, we still have much purpose and mission in this life. And as such our bodies need to be ready for the tasks at hand. This could mean, preparing your body and mind, for a time of raising children up. Working a job that requires heaving lifting etc.
Even if you have a desk job, guess what? you still need to honor God with your body. This could be a simple, as saying no to fast food and choosing healthier options. It could very well mean preparing food the night before. The point is, Christians need to think more broadly about how we honor God with the temples we inhabit.
It’s both the inside and the out.
Its my personal belief that Jesus Christ himself, was a fairly in shape person. After all, he walked almost everywhere and worked with his body. Who are we to be any different. We truly are without excuse.
I don’t believe that having a disability is a means to completely stop a person, from leading a great life. Be it mentally, physically or spiritually. I don’t. Sharing my story is something I do all the time. And if you know anything about me, you will know that I have had the deck stacked against me since day one.
Perhaps it’s because I had parents that pushed me in the direction that I am now, I’ve been at the bottom. For awhile I listened to all the negative crap that people spoke into my life. I let the words of people barrie me deep- in a pit of nonsense.
Again, if it wasn’t for my family pushing me to be more. I’m positive in knowing that I would still be in the hopeless place. I feel as though its my mission in life to tell people (especially those with disabilities). That they can be more, they don’t always have to listen to doctors, teachers or feel entrapped by their own disability.
For years, I hated my body, I didn’t think that my mind or body could improve. Yes, I will always have CP, but no it will not keep me from being the strongest and healthiest that I possibly can be. Yes, I still may have bouts with depression and anxiety but I will always rise.
Make the most of what you have. Work with what you got.
If you can only lift a certain about of weight, with one side of your body. That’s fine. If one side of your body is stronger, I can deal with that. If you don’t have much mobility in your lower body, there are ways to adapt to the context in which you find yourself. But staying in a mindset in which there is no growth: Mentally, physically or spiritually is equal to death.
Because if we do not choose to allow ourselves to grow, every single day. We will die without every really knowing who we are. We adapt. Or we die.