How about a work in?

All the gyms are desperate these days. They want you back. The only ones who benefit from a gym membership is them.

I worked for LA Fitness when I first moved out here. It’s MLM on steroids.

They hook you in January when you are feeling fat, guilty and full of resolve, then they don’t care if they see your face until the following January.

You feel good because you put the money down.

You’ve taken action.

Then you forget about it.

They know you will fall off the program, in fact they’re counting on it. They know once you sign up, life happens.

You gotta drive over there, you gotta change, you gotta wait for a machine, and then you have to go home and cook dinner.

It doesn’t work and they know it. (Oh, do they ever know it)

Yeah, you got a few random muscle heads smelling up the joint all day but that’s not the norm.

And you not being there is less wear and tear on their equipment. (Duh?)

With Covid, the machines will be placed so far apart you might as well be alone.

Here’s the way I see it:

Your body is your responsibility, not theirs. Walking, running, dancing, push ups, air squats, jumping jacks and stomach crunches cost exactly, ZIPPO!

Walking to work, taking the stairs and dancing with headphones on will tighten up any flabby ass. (Get a goddam Fitbit)

And let us not forget the stuffing of the face with reckless abandon. (Burp)

You can get yourself in amazing shape without all that ditzy, falsetto music blasting your head off.

Yeah, the big box gyms are fishing, but don’t take the bait.

This year, put on some sweats and turn up the stereo. It’s called personal responsibility.

I’m sure God would agree. 🙂

 

 

What makes fitness YouTubers dangerous:

 

If you aren’t buying their programs or their merchandise, or their outlandish approaches to six pack abs and 5% body fat, then they have no other choice than to get YouTube, a.k.a. Google, to pay them for subscribers and views.

Uh, that would be you.

If they can hold you to the mandatory ten minute viewing time algorithm, YouTube will start paying them per view. Some of these guys are making huge money.

The longer they hold you on line, the better. The longer you’re on, the more advertising you will get pummeled with. That’s fine, this is America.

What gets smelly is these muscle heads run out of information (quickly) and they have to resort to click bait, misinformation and character assassination. (Each other)

They will even take previous, correct and useful information and get cute with it.

Some will even kill their own babies and change course completely.

This is sad to watch. But money is money. And views are views.

This where you need your hip boots. The information they’re putting out might not only be incorrect, but dangerous.

This is not going away any time soon and will most likely get worse.

My advice: Watch with a jaundiced eye and keep a clothespin handy.

Caveat Empty.  🙂

TRT Testing My Limits

When I pulled into Phoenix three years ago, I had a year of sobriety, a year out of detox, and a year of lifting weights under my belt.

My first two orders of business upon arrival was one: to join a gym and two: to get my aging ass on TRT, testosterone replacement therapy.

I joined LA Fitness that day and started asking around for doctor referrals immediately thereafter.

My thinking at the time was there is no way a 71 year old, fat, drunken, drug abuser whose best days were behind him, didn’t need a little help from his friends.

Friends meaning the pharmaceutical industry. We have a looooong history.

Yeah, I had put on some muscle in the year since my release, but I had done some homework on testosterone and knew I could add even more muscle and maybe even get my body fat levels pretty low.

I got a lot of anecdotal reviews from friends and acquaintances, all of which were positive. That was three years and forty five pounds ago.

But that was then.

My body fat levels today are at 15% and headed even lower.

I am, at 74 years old, lean and muscular. My blood work is spectacular. My endurance is that of a teenager.

My fasting glucose levels are 87, down from 130.

My blood pressure is 116 over 70.

And of course, my weight. On August 14, 2016, the day I entered detox, I tipped the scales at 230 pounds. I lost a small person.

So, was it the TRT? No, I couldn’t afford it. It was way out my financial reach then and I’m glad I never got on it, because once you do, you can’t get off of it.

My success came from good old fashioned smart eating, plenty of cardio and taking my iron pills. (Lifting weights)

My financial situation forced me into a Spartan lifestyle that not only saved my life, but also gave me a new body and a new outlook.

I have absolutely no testosterone related issues whatsoever. I have plenty of stamina and drive and can give anyone fifty years my junior a literal run for their money.

And as far as that libido thing goes, ladies, you are not off the hook….yet.  🙂

 

The Lie

The body at rest is a liar. The body at rest doesn’t want to be disturbed. The body at rest will tell you that everything is fine and there’s no need to get all sweaty.

Things are good just the way they are.

The body at rest will tell you the couch you are currently warming is where you should be after a long day of more sitting…in your car, at the office or at the bar.

What are asses for if you can’t sit on them, right?

After you stop working the body for a while, it stops asking to be worked. The muscles no longer need to feel some pain at the pump.

It stops being restless and settles in for those long periods of inactivity and waits patiently for the inevitable scale shock, pants don’t fit, prediabetic moment, erectile dysfunction or bad diagnosis.

Oh, the misery.

Your body at rest will even tell you to ask your wife to get you another beer while you watch other grown men get some exercise on TV.

You’re being lied to.

You need to move it or lose it. What are you waiting for, an invitation?

From a liar?

You just got it, fatboy.

 

 

Your Dumpy Doppelgänger

A doppelgänger is a biologically unrelated look-alike, or a double, of a living person. In fiction and mythology, a doppelgänger is often portrayed as a ghostly or paranormal phenomenon and usually seen as a harbinger of bad luck. Tradition equates a doppelgänger with an evil twin.

Your doppelgänger. You hate him. He’s everything you despise about yourself. He’s fat, silly, lazy, foolish and wildly out of shape.

He couldn’t get laid in a women’s prison with a fist full of pardons.

Yet he lives within you. He is you. He’s the reason you suck your ponderous gut in every time some babe walks by. Any babe.

Then he helps you do that “sour grapes” thing so you won’t have to get depressed and go suck on a gun barrel.

Like a good friend he orders you another cheeseburger so the saturated fat can course through your veins and dull your senses. Again.

He’s there in the mirror to remind you that maybe you’re not all that you could be. He even helps you look for your quickly disappearing manhood in the morning.

He tells you that having bigger boobs than your girlfriend is starting to become a trend. He’s not lying, either.

Yes, we all have our doppelgängers. The side of us that is a constant reminder that somehow we are inferior. That we’re not putting the work in. That we’re not being true to ourselves.

But doppelgängers go away when we lace up our running shoes, or grab a metal bar, or feed ourselves correctly.

Life is hard hard enough without feeling unhealthy and inferior about ourselves. Very hard.

My doppelgänger just up and vanished one day, and you know, I forgot to tell the police he went missing.  🙂

Look out below!

I can usually tell within the first five minutes of a prospective client call whether this person has “bottomed.” When they are truly sick and tired of being sick and tired.

You see, I know something about bottoms. As a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, (you never truly recover) I know when the bargaining starts and when the bullshit begins.

I know when the victim starts laying out the parameters of their own rescue that the conversation, at least for me, is over.

I will change the subject and move on to generalities. There is no use, they’re not ready.

I will not attach myself to someone merely for money because the drag on the process will outweigh the benefits.

Saving a drowning person can be risky. Likewise, saving drunks from themselves can have dire consequences.

As I will tell anyone inquiring of my services, you have to be ready. You have to be genuinely open to changing how you feel about your body and your health.

You need to be willing to change for the better. Mentally and physically.

Or else you will spend the rest of your life confused and unhappy like my friend here.

You need to hit your bottom. When you do, call me.

Bottoms up!

You Took The Bait

So, you took the bait. Move more, eat less, wasn’t workin’ for ya, was it? Calories in, calories out, the Law of Thermodynamics and “push away from the table” wasn’t interesting enough for your intricate and complex way of thinking.

There just has to be more to it, right?

You listened to the dingbats who have a dog in the hunt, who sell supplements, meal plans and programs, about how you should lose weight and get in shape.

You would rather hear about your hormones, insulin resistance, family history and your fraught relationship with food.

You exclude entire food groups, sign up for Weight Watchers and listen to Marie Osmond instead of your own body.

Worse, you give up all autonomy and have your meals prepped and shipped to you. We both know how that’s gonna end, don’t we?

Now we have Keto, Paleo, Carnivore, Vegan and Intermittent fasting et al, to choose from and your still confused. And still fat.

There are no bad foods. There are only bad habits. You forgot calories only measure the energy values of food. Again, way too simple.

So how is someone going to make a buck off of that? They’re not, so they will nuance the simple truth to death. On your dime.

Fitness is a head game. Get your mind right and your body will follow. You are making it too complicated. Food is fuel.

Eat less, move more.

Moving your body does more than burn calories, it settles the mind and keep all the moving parts….moving.

But in the end it was just too simple and you took the bait. You listened, and now your off on another weight loss excursion hoping to arrive at a better destination.

Yup, you took it, hook, line and sinker.

And I have only one question, “want fries with that?”

 

 

The Elder Athlete

 

 

Four years ago “The Elder Athlete” was merely a concept. Today, it is reality.

After surviving detox at the age of seventy, then learning how to train and feed myself properly and learning how the body works by getting certified as a fitness professional, I would challenge any teenager to try and keep up in one of my normal days.

I rise (every) midnight to run five miles, then I ride a bike back and forth to work. (70 minutes in the saddle)

The work can be physically demanding, and there are lots of miles to cover inside this home improvement behemoth.

I never end a day with under 25,000 steps on my Fitbit.

When I get home, I lift weights, write, produce videos, run out to shop, and prepare my meals for the next day.

In four years, I have not had one sniffle, tickle or headache. Nada.

I lost 65 pounds, own a 30 inch waist, and I have yet see a mirror I can pull myself away from. 🙂

I put this out there to remind us that society and the medical community tells us to expect the wheels to start coming off when we get up into our mid-seventies.

“Elder athlete” may seem like an oxymoron, but nothing is further from the truth. We have so much untapped potential left. These are the “good old” days.

This is an energy game. Energy begets enthusiasm, enthusiasm begets success. Isn’t that what we’re here for?

The world will tell us to get ready to retire the sides and ease into that long good night.

My friends, I’m here to tell ya……they’re lyin’. 🙂

Welcome to the jungle

I learned a very valuable lesson over the last five years. That if your body goes, everything goes. Mine went.

You can’t fight, you can’t fuck and you can’t feed yourself.

By not training your body and readying yourself for later years, you are inviting catastrophe.

You will become attached to things like walkers, wheelchairs, oxygen bottles and IV drips.

You open the door to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dependence and early death.

You will become a problem not only to yourself, but everyone around you. You are now a burden. You burden your family, your friends and the healthcare system.

You lose the freedom to remove yourself from desperate situations and possibly become a ward of the state.

In most cases, you will be tucked away and forgotten until your estate runs out of money. Seen it, first hand.

You will become mediocre. You have a body nobody notices, respects or lusts after. And it will cost you money you don’t have just to keep it running. Resulting in inferior treatment.

Your internal med doc, your chiropractor, your podiatrist and your cardiologist all have a vested interest in keeping you barely afloat. Because barely is better.

You want your golden years? You have to train for them. You need strong muscles, tendons and ligaments that can support your aging frame and to keep you upright.

You need to be able to subsist on your own in case you lose everything. Been there, too.

If you have to re-enter the workforce, you will need to be resilient and marketable.

I call it being re-marketable. Re-Marketable.

You will need to be an elder athlete to remain relevant and independent , unless you like bagging groceries.

As an elder athlete you may gain greater immunity from a flu shot than people who are less active.

People who work out often an moderately tend to catch fewer colds and other viruses than sedentary people.

You catchin’ my drift here?

It’s not about longevity, it’s about quality. It’s about self respect and going out without a whimper.

I want them to find me on a desert trail at sunrise…..with my running shoes on.

As Bette Davis says, “Aging ain’t for sissies.” And this current pandemic is culling the herd of the most vulnerable among us. Could that be you?

Your body is the engine of your survival, take care of it and it will take care of you.

Welcome to the jungle

 

There’s no school for that..

If corporate America was the military, it could be said that I became an officer as an enlisted man. Up through the ranks. I got into sales and marketing via the Dupont loading dock. That’s not the norm, though. Officers usually get picked to go to OCS, officer candidate school. Sales people usually came out of college.

After eight years of humping radioactive packages onto 30 foot trailers, someone thought it might be a good idea to put a fast talking street kid into a sales territory. (It was not a unanimous decision) The VP of Sales would wonder out loud, “Whose idea was this, anyway?”

So in 1990, I stepped on to an America West airplane headed west to live, or die, by my own hand. I lived..and very well, thank you.

In my career, I had occasion to travel with all the best and brightest. Some rolled out of IVY League schools and the rest were usually business majors.

When you spend hour upon hour in cars, planes and airports with these folks, it becomes abundantly clear that they were studying while I was doing time, doing drugs, getting my ass kicked or laying down a base of fire in a jungle with an M-16 rifle.

The Tucson to Phoenix trip is a straight two hour shot with no lights and no turns. This is where most of the beans got spilled.

The hopes, the dreams, the fears and the paranoid fantasies of these corporate ladder climbers would get projectile vomited onto my dashboard.

It was stunning how ill-equipped these studious little buggers were for the road ahead in life. Naive beyond comprehension.

Now I see them on social media like LinkedIn, in desperation mode. They are now surely over qualified for anything that would put some food on the table. They can’t hustle because they don’t know how to.

They can’t hustle because there’s no business plan.

They can’t hustle because someone changed the game.

They’re helpless because they’re all doing what they’ve always done but they’re not getting what they’ve always got.

Times have changed.

There’s not even a box to think outside of.

I feel for these people. I used to think the “Peter Principle” would get me and I would be exposed and sent back to the hot, nasty kitchens I came from. Didn’t happen.

In the years since I left the corporate world I have been rode hard and put up wet. I lost everything in the struggle. My business, my marriage, my money and my sobriety.

I was arrested, audited by the IRS and had to be detoxed off of drugs and alcohol at the ripe old age of seventy.

I survived all that and I am flourishing because of street smarts. Plain and simple. Emotional intelligence. Which I did not acquire in college.

I am often reminded of just how important street smarts are when, after a rewarding career in Big Pharma, someone asks me “What year did you graduate high school?”

I don’t have an answer, because, I didn’t.

When I do get asked how much formal education I have, I usually respond with, “Not enough to hurt me.”  🙂

 

 

Throwing shade at the fitness industry.

Fitness is a money maker. And everyone with a certification or a YouTube channel wants a piece of the uh, pie. Some will fire hose you with misinformation and regurgitated nonsense in hopes you are so disgusted with your pudgy self, you’ll buy in.

And you usually do.

Let’s face it “eat less and move more” is too short and makes way too much sense, so why not grind it into the dirt? How do you market common sense? Duh, fitness.

Every diet works in the beginning. Because you’ve made a change. Change is what your body doesn’t understand. At least in the beginning. But once it catches on, the party’s over and so is your dream of joining the Bolshoi.

But these fitness influencers have to make a living, so they have to go back to the grave yard, dig it up, dust it off and nuance it.

The models, the Photoshopped images, (ugh) the supplements (huge) and even the apparel lines (garish) are all designed to separate you from your wallet.

Hey, I bet there’s a few pounds right there.

There is no FDA and no ethics panels being convened anywhere in this country. We have other problems at the moment.

Some of these Adonis types are on the juice, (performance enhancing drugs) and selling you on the shady proposition that they can get you there.

Don’t believe your lying eyes.

This is rampant in the industry.

You are the boss of you.

You don’t need some smarmy gym rat in a man bun trying to squeeze one more rep out of you, or sell you a meal plan he downloaded from the internet.

Desperation and frustration lead to manipulation.

If you read the manual (educate yourself) and take action on your own, you will lose the weight, change your body composition and gain the critical knowledge you need to keep your human movement systems moving. I did.

Your self image and and confidence will soar. Mine did.

You can’t put a price tag on that. I couldn’t.

I say, it’s your vehicle. Time to grab the wheel.

K.I.S.S.

You’re welcome.

The Importance Of Struggle:

I have struggled mightily over these last four years. Struggled to stay sober, struggled to put a roof over my head, struggled to put food in my mouth and I’m still struggling to pay my deceased dog’s vet bills.

I struggle to stay in shape so I won’t have to take the VA up on their generous offer to assign me a long term, dead end hospital bed. (Yes, Vietnam had an upside.)

The upside of all that struggle was that I wasn’t navel gazing. I wasn’t in some existential funk about where I came from or where I’m going. There was no time.

I fell asleep at the kitchen table wiped out from double shifts and long hours. But I was driven, not distracted.

I might have been dead tired but I was more alive than ever. It was full tilt boogie 16 hours a day.

We are meant to struggle.

We struggle from our first breath. We’re not built for comfort, we’re built for speed.

That’s why we have strong muscles and hard heads. Those muscles grow when we struggle them. When we overload them.

When muscle breaks down, it overcompensates so it can meet the next challenge. In fitness parlance, this is called muscular hypertrophy.

We are meant to go onto battle with our demons. Struggle is what gives us life.

And as we all know, there are no Medals of Honor in peace time.

Struggle ye so that ye might live.

No secrets, no shame, no filter.

This post pulled me from a sound sleep.

When I share parts of my life with someone, I can see the terror register in their eyes. Partly because it happened, and partly because I’m actually sharing it.

I look at my life as a travelogue. Nothing is sacred, only….interesting.

I will freely discuss bed wetting, excessive masturbation and even the rash Carol (your name here) gave me. It’s all up for scrutiny.

When my ex-wife brutally screwed me in a blatant, financially driven, ambush divorce, I went to press.

I even produced a video titled “News For Youse” and another video showing the softer side of the relationship called “My Guardian Angel”.

My predilection for self exposure is legendary in my social circles.

My drug and alcohol problems, my financial nightmares, my poor taste in women (I have been known to jump the bones of a fatty or two at closing time) my rollicking sex life and my many falls from grace.

To me, it’s all good and all newsworthy.

And why not? If this is life is one big adventure, then I’m getting my money’s worth. Yeah, you won’t hear me screaming like a little girl when the lights go out.

Go ahead, throw the fucking dirt on me, I’m ready.

It’s all been one big laugh and now you’re all in on the joke.

It’s been a wild and wicked ride but I’m sure of one thing…..my mother would be proud.  🙂

 

I’m still standing: (Rough outline)

As I am starting to write my book, I thought I should put a bucket list together of my life events. It’s just a rough list of reminders to keep me on track. Not edited or been given much thought and I’m sure I’ve left a lot out. All of a sudden I feel like I need a nap.  🙂

Large family
Oldest of 10 kids
Bedwetter
Violent father
Catholic school – expelled
Jail: One year Division of Youth Services: Breaking and entering
Sexually abused while incarcerated- State cop- Marvin Pratt
21 Drunk arrests
Army- 2 years, Vietnam, 1 year, Tet Offensive
Alcoholism – Drug addiction
Chef’s training Institute – Northeastern
Fantasia restaurant 15 years total – Never drew a sober breath
Musician – Guitar – Keyboards – Berklee, bands, drugs, alcohol
Skidder Munroe Band More drugs, more alcohol + cocaine + unintentional heroin
AA + Jesus + Fasting + New me
Fitness – running + weights + interest in nutrition
Dupont/Bristol Myers Squibb – Distribution, Customer service, Sales, Marketing, video production.
Company relocation to Arizona
Marriage (First time, 55 years old)
Move back to Boston
Double O Video, Double O Creative
Second home in Arizona
Cars, horses, travel
Ambien, Lunesta, Soma, Tramadol, Zoloft, Xanax
Back to alcohol
VA Detox: I was 230 pounds and combining Xanax and alcohol. (Stroke recipe)
Detox: Barracks living, drunks, addicts, psychos, constant screaming and suicide watch
Mutual marital separation
I sell my $600,000 home and give her half of the proceeds. $100,000
Close to declaring Bankruptcy. Need her to help with bills.
Credit card companies tell me she’s not culpable on our marital debt.
Wife files restraining order ????
Move back to Arizona with my two little dogs
I get numerous certifications in insurance and personal training. Selling insurance is a joke.
Wife divorces me ex-parte saying she doesn’t know where I am. Empties our joint bank accounts then closes them.
My two little dogs die.
I have nothing now.
I start seriously training to get healthy and help me sleep without medication.
IRS comes after me. They do not fuck around.
Every job I get is a fucking nightmare. I was escorted off a Verizon site by security after a blow up with a manager.
For two years I live hand-to- mouth
January 2020, I get a job at Lowe’s and I am seeing more than daylight.
From August 14, 2016, to August 2020, I lose 65 pounds
I am now writing this book
One thiing is sure, it’s been a wild ride.
And more importantly……
I’m still standing.

The Fork N’ Fitbit Approach

 

Disclaimer: I’m not selling anything. No books, no time, no gear, no merch, no memberships, no subscriptions, no affiliates, no paid advice, no sign ups and no baloney!

I don’t want to have your baby.

So….

Are you turning pale at the scale? Have you weighted long enough to get back into that size 6?

Do you readily admit in front of these millions of people that you don’t know what the hell you’re doing when it comes to losing fat (notice I didn’t say weight?) and getting in your best shape ever?

You’ve been going round and round for years. You hear all the same malarkey, “Eat this and you will burn fat, eat this and you will get fat.

Truth is, it doesn’t matter what you eat if you’re eating too much of it.

If you put too much fuel in the tank, you’re gonna get a big fuel tank.

I eat just before bed every night and I eat as soon as I get up every morning. On both occasions I eat until I’m satisfied. Because…wait for it…I know what’s coming in and I know what’s going out of my pie hole.

Simple. Do you?

If you have never taken the time to add up your total daily intake with your total daily output you will continue to tread water and hope for the best.

There are plenty of tools out there to help us manage our health and fitness. I use Calorie King, MyFitnessPal and a Fitbit to ensure I am not flailing around.

We don’t have to go out and buy lab coats to manage our magnificent human movement systems. (Notice the use of the word movement?)

But we should at least look at the manual.

In conclusion, we need to keep our fitness levels high these days and we can’t be wandering around in the dark.

Start tracking what you put in your body by whatever means you find the most interesting and informative.

Get a fitness tracker so you will become more aware of how much you’re moving every day.

It will also act as a reminder to walk more, run more, and for God’s sake, take the stairs. 🙂

Start using a calorie tracker to remind you when to drop the fork.

* It takes 20 minutes for your belly to tell your brain it’s full, OK?

We have the tools, we just need to use them.

You once were blind but now you see.

See?

 

Killing The Golden Goose

Your body is like a golden goose. A golden goose is something that is a very good source of money, business health and longevity.

Your body is your golden goose.

And your goose lays golden eggs.

And a goose that lays the golden eggs, sometimes rendered as the goose that laid the golden egg, refers to someone or something that is a valuable source of money, power or other advantages.

The goose that lays the golden eggs is a reference to a tale told in an Aesop fable.

So why are you slowly strangling the life out of it?

You feed it horribly, you deprive it of exercise, sleep and balance. You medicate it with anything your ill equipped doctor tethers you to.

You blame your aching back on heredity or a slipped disk. You spell relief, A-D-V-I-L.

In truth, most of you have no idea what’s going on with your body, uh, your goose.

When you finally find out you’re prediabetic, have dangerously high cholesterol and are morbidly obese, you blame your parents.

Your goose is your ticket. No goose, you get no health and no wealth.

So get off your honkin’ butt and give Enlightened Rogue Fitness a gander.

Just giving you a little goose. 🙂

The Accidental Video Producer

I fell into video production more than 20 years ago. I say fell, because I never had any intentions of producing corporate video for the next two decades.

But that’s what happened.

In 1999, I was a territory sales manager for Dupont Radiopharmaceuticals. My territory was Arizona, New Mexico and Las Vegas.

For a guy with a music degree from Berklee and the attention span of a dead gnat, I was, to my surprise, killin’ it.

I didn’t go out every day and make perfunctory sales calls and go home to the wife and kids like my contemporaries. No, I was out all night and every weekend hiking with customers, hosting dinners at my home, teaching kids how to play guitar and escorting crestfallen female technologists to divorce court when the occasion required it.

I didn’t believe in wasting energy, so I would wait for the right opportunities and strike. In other words, I slept with one eye open.

One particular day, a hiking buddy who was also a chief tech, gave me a tip on a new heart hospital that would open in a few months in Mesa, Arizona.

After my involuntary drooling ceased, I was sitting in front of the new hospital CEO offering Cardiolite, my nuclear cardiac agent, and promising the world.

Which I could, of course, deliver.

Because like all good sales people, I solve problems. And she had one, a big one.

My damsel in distress was losing sleep over the fact that she couldn’t get any referring docs to do a tour of her new facility because, dang it, they were just too busy.

No docs = no referrals.

And like most Type A personalities, it takes a few minutes for my brain to catch up with my mouth and I exploded with, “No problem, we’ll just videotape a tour and send them a CD. ( I had just learned how to make and mass produce those archaic disks that are now used as coasters)

When the look of relief flashed in her eyes, I knew one problem was going away and another would soon present itself. I knew nothing about video. I wasn’t even sure which end of a camera to point at someone.

Long story short, I pulled it off. I not only got that business, but it started my business, Double O Creative, and got me a nice in-house studio gig in the home office.

There I produced a viral, e-mail newsletter entitled “Outbreak,” (I know, I know) implemented digital signage and came to produce national sales meetings for not only my company but some of the biggest biotech companies in Boston.

In the subsequent years I have had to learn some hard lessons. Lessons about content creation, owning a business, pulling performances out of reluctant talent, people, marketing, fickle economies, producing value, generating profitable ideas and money. The last one damned near killed me.

I may be considered old school in these wild and woolly days of social media, where you can pick up a camera and slap yourself online without a second thought, but I fear some folks are showing up to this foot shooting party with an AK-47.

The framing is inebriated, the audio desperately needs subtitling, the messaging is strictly stream of consciousness and the locations are telling. OK, jump cuts are in, I get it, but five jumps in one sentence?

Do we need to be reminded about first impressions? Do you like to shower with the curtain open?

To me, video isn’t about depth of field, editing software, color correction and fancy lenses. It is the ultimate communication tool. If used wisely, it can make you look like a genius or a damned fool.

These days, every one of us could use more time in the editing bay so we don’t look like a gang of paparazzi.

Think about what you will be saying to the world, the whole world, before you hit that red button.

I live by “Plan the shoot, shoot the plan.”

Remember: It’s not what you shoot, it’s what you show.

Retail Fail

Remember, back in the day, those fuzzy little corporate ride alongs you would have with your sales manager, where he or she would ask you questions about work life balance, your stress levels and your career trajectory? (Yes, that really happened)

Then you would have to have a long uncomfortable dinner with them that night in hopes you might reveal one of your many character flaws, so they could work on it with you. The real goal.

I thought it was a little creepy and invasive at times, depending on who was riding shotgun, but I appreciated the charade.

Interestingly, I never had a real, bona fide, sales star for a manager. It was usually some guy at the back of room at sales meetings. If you could sell, you never got out of the field. (Funny how that works.)

The ones who could type, fill out a spreadsheet and load up a fax machine would usually receive the nod.

And I will be merciful to the manager who gave me my annual review totally shitfaced. Overnight, he blacked it out and gave it to me again at breakfast. Mercifully, I never let on. Sorry, Eric. 🙂

That was corporate sales, and now I find myself in retail. Being managed. (Sorta)

Retail management is like New England weather, if you don’t like your current jerk-off, wait a few minutes. Think: Musical chairs.

In retail, organizational announcements usually come in the form of gossip until the new meat shows up to yell at you for something.

In retail, they don’t teach you new skills, they spring them on you. (This is why yelling is so important)

In retail, they are called department managers, they manage departments, not people. People are just collateral, things to yell at when things go wrong.

If you want one to totally disappear, tell them you have a discrepancy in your pay check.

In retail, if you reach a certain level of incompetence and they want to get you out of the lunch room, they give you a department to keep you busy. For a few weeks anyway.

My last female manager made Roseanne Barr look like Emily Post. No finesse, no tact and I honestly believe she has never experienced foreplay. Nor would she require it.

After my most recent retail experiences, I would enjoy a ride along with Jack the Ripper.

So would you. 🙂

Here’s Where the Talkin’ Ends

I am 5″11, 169 pounds. I take no medications save for a low prophylactic dose of BP med.

I live like a Spartan and I run five miles every night while most of you are sleeping.

A bicycle is my principle mode of transportation and I use heavy resistance weight training throughout the week.

At 74, I am sporting a 30 inch waist, wide shoulders and a hard body.

I also frame my blood work.

Four years ago, I was sitting in a rehab induction room at the VA in Bedford Ma. I was highly intoxicated from a combination of alcohol, Xanax, muscle relaxers and Ambien.

When they removed my shoes and belt and helped me on to a scale, I tipped it at 229 pounds.

My video production business was dead in the water, my marriage was over, I was heavily in debt and I was just crossing over into stroke territory. .

I had a fork sticking out of me.

That was 60 pounds and 15 body fat percentage points ago. I was just turning 70 years old.

These days, I am totally immersed in fitness. For two reasons: It interests me and it feels good.

As you can imagine, I have had to endure all the misinformation and the “bro science” from those of my gender who have never had a weight problem or a drug problem.

Those, fifty years my junior, who have never experienced their manhood, their money and their sobriety disappearing.

Men who have never had their wife tell them when they were at their weakest and most vulnerable, “you’re not the man I married.”

Been there, done that.

This is to everyone who is sticking to the script their doctors, society and conventional wisdom has written for them. You can not only get healthy, robust, athletic and more productive in your senior years, you can blow the actuarial tables out of the water.

Been there and done that, too. (So far)

So it’s time for the talking to end and the action to begin.

I’m not looking for your money or your attention. I don’t need you to call me, sign up with me, subscribe to me, fatten my blog counts, visit my web page, buy my affiliated products or carry my child.

I’m only hoping that you get the message about how much potential we, as humans, have in our later years.

That’s what I hope.

Now, go get ’em.

 

Overcoming Objections

It’s 1:00 am, my body is aching from a brutal, physically challenging day at work yesterday.

I should be on the road by now pumping out my customary five miles. My body says “no” but my OCD says “go.”

My allergies are flaring, my head is full and my balance is “iffy.” Running today is against my better judgement. Or, my inner weenie.

Then I remember my military training. The times where a twelve mile forced march was scheduled and the heavens would open up to thwart us.

Where the South Carolina heat and humidity could drown you where you stood. Still, nothing changed the objective.

Or, helicopter assault training in the Rockies while prepping for Vietnam when it started snowing. I thought, “My God, they can’t be serious?”

In the military it was always business as usual. None of these conditions made a difference. Nothing changed the objective.

Troops have to move. Once a decision is made, it needs to be acted on. Wars don’t get rained out, snowed out, or cancelled because of the heat index.

I learned that nothing should get in the way of your objectives.

In video production you plan the shoot, then you shoot the plan.

That lesson was burned into my soul on a frigid Pike’s Peak, a flooded tent and a steaming, unforgiving jungle.

Conditions might change but the objective shouldn’t.

Objections are meant to be overcome. Objectives must be carried out.

Yes, my body is objecting at the moment but nothing changes the objective.

And so it goes.

And so I go.

 

Here’s The Story

People tell me I have a great story:

I overcame alcohol and drug addiction at 70 years old.

Lost 60 pounds over four years, 38 pounds recently.

Completely changed my physical appearance.

I am a war veteran, a musician, a stand up comedian, a writer and a professional chef.

I was incarcerated for a year at 16 years old and developed into an upstanding citizen.

I became a fitness professional, specializing in nutrition, weight loss and senior fitness.

I studied music at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

Crawled out of financial disaster.

Rose to the top in radiopharmaceutical sales, brandishing only a G.E.D. (Long story.)

Created my own multimedia position in Big pharma.

I have been a video producer for more than 20 years.

Implemented e-mail marketing in Bristol Myers-Squibb. (In 2003)

Had entrepreneurial success with my own multimedia business, Double O Creative.

Worked with large biotech companies all over the Boston area.

This blog, “The Enlightened Rogue” has more than a million hits.

I have been running 5 miles every night for the past 31 months. (But who’s counting?)

Started “Enlightened Rogue Fitness” to help seniors like myself, get, and stay healthy.

I agree that I have a good story, but people don’t care about my story.

People only care about how my story impacts their story.

I get that, and that’s another story.  🙂

 

 

Leading From The Middle

Above you are the incompetents, the climbers, the narcissists and the would-be leaders. Below you are the grumblers, the complainers, the constantly tardy and the followers.

They wait. They wait for change. They wait for seniority-based promotions, unearned opportunity and another stimulus package from the government.

You… have other ideas. You show up every day and you bring it.

You bring your smile, your attitude and your willingness to learn. You show up hoping to bring a little joy to everyone around you.

You leave negativity at the door.

You greet everyone within six feet of you like you are delighted to see them and you call them the sweetest thing they’ve ever heard…their name. Whether it’s returned or not.

When someone asks how you’re doing, you say “Terrific, thanks, and you?”

You set the tone. You create the atmosphere. You don’t hope for a good day, you make one. Your bravery, your kindness, your empathy and your thoughtfulness makes you the leader you have become today.

You are bigger than life in a world that can be small and tedious.

Because you are leading from the middle.

Thank you.

Backwash!

Ever meet anyone who wasn’t desirous of losing weight? Me, neither.

Whether it’s a shedding a few pounds, or the equivalent of another human being, everyone will pay at least some attention to anyone manning a flip chart, wearing a sleeveless jersey, and using the term “macronutrients.”

To say that the people who regurgitate incorrect nutritional misinformation are dangerous, is an understatement.

My obnoxious personality has cursed me with the type of curiosity that has led me down a path of confusion, despair and at least an extra twenty pounds.

I’ve tried everything, folks.

With disastrous results.

In four years I’ve lost 60 pounds but gained tons of experience. I’ve been rode hard and put up wet.

Because I was desperate and easily impressed. Don’t be like me.

I watch in horror as these “entrepreneurs” take the digital stage uneducated, uninformed and unabated. They pass on remnants of what they pick up from YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Sometimes, what they leave out, is just as dangerous as what they put in. Oy!

But they know where the money is. In your wallet.

Coming from a comedic background, the only positive thing I can say is, they’re pulling it off with a straight face.

The mispronunciations themselves can induce gales of laughter.

But it’s a dangerous game they’re playing with your health and your money.

Caveat Empty.

Tabula Rasa

Tabula rasa is Latin for blank slate. Each day, when I wake up in such incredible health and good fortune, I pinch myself black and blue. I remind myself that we are all dying by the minute.

And every day is a blank canvas for me to doodle on. And I do, with reckless abandon.

Being a student of life, I believe that all my recent troubles have focused me. Benefited me. I have been deceived, divorced, detoxed and double crossed. No doubt.

But I am active and engaged in this life and not fretting or planning for either damnation or paradise in the next. There is too much to do here.

On my journey I seek to find some meaning in an otherwise meaningless existence. Not truth, not justice, not God. Just meaning.

I strive every day in all my activities, to never be considered harmless or irrelevant. Because I’m not. I will not be tread upon.

I live in a controlled, violent and ready state. Ready for anything. My upbringing was tough but loving.

I came from good stock. I have been in war, in jail and in government custody. I have been on my high horse, and I have been on my knees. I have had everything and  then…nothing.

For all that, I was prepared by my circumstances. And I have loved every minute.

I start every day like it’s brand new. Because it is. Yesterday is a toilet flush. I live in stoical acceptance of this life and will give as good as I get.

Tomorrow, I will again pick up my palette and make my big, broad strokes on the sprawling empty canvas that has been provided me.

I hope you will too.

Bonjour.

 

 

 

Sustainability:

Yeah, I’m pretty happy with myself lately. On March 1, I tipped the scales at 208 lbs. I was not unhappy at that weight.

I was carrying a lot of muscle, my clothes were tight in the right places and I was hitting my cardiovascular peak.

My blood pressure (116 over 68) and blood work, was spot on.

I felt powerful.

But I had had a pair of 33 inch pants in the closet that were calling my name. And who doesn’t want to see their abs?

You might think at almost 75 years old, abs might be an impossibility, but you would be wrong. 🙂

I just stepped off the scale at a lean, mean, 175 lbs. Haven’t seen that number since my cocaine days.

Here’s the take away: I didn’t diet. I didn’t suffer. I didn’t deprive. I didn’t weigh myself every ten minutes. I didn’t get neurotic.

I simply found great tasting, low calorie and healthy  alternatives to what was putting weight on me in the first place.

I had a plan. I took my time. I was good to myself. You need to be good to yourself, because you’re all you got.

Deprivation causes relapse and failure. Don’t ask me how I know.

If you don’t educate yourself about your own body and what it takes to live optimally,  none of your weight loss efforts will be sustainable. Sustainability is key. Fitness is a long game.

You in?

Step right into our Junior Moose department:

I had a friend who I met 40 years ago. He was in such good shape he forced me to buy a pair of sneakers. Just by being the hunk that he was. Woman went mental over him.

Besides being a chick magnet, he was also a track star at the time. You know, the kind you love to hate.

As years went by, he let himself go. He gained about sixty pounds in fits and starts. As in, nothing fit, once he started eating.

A girl he was actually engaged to once didn’t even recognize him at a mall. Like two years later.

One day my friend goes to the doctor because he can’t seem to get out of his own way. He had a beauty in his hot tub late one night and he couldn’t pull his own uh, weight. (Cough)

So he panics and ends up in the waiting room the next day. Wouldn’t you?

His doc gets a look at his testosterone levels and tells him maybe he should stop by the dress shop on his way home. The doc tells my friend that his wife has more testosterone than he does.

They put him on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and it ain’t helping. Because now he’s obese. He looks like he should be strumming a ukulele at a luau.

He’s so fat you can’t tell if his eyes are open and the back of his neck looks like a pack of Fenway Franks. If you bring up sex, he changes the subject.

I said all that to say this: fat causes an increase in estrogen, which causes a reduction in testosterone. That ain’t good fellas. We lose enough just getting older.

And as you know, life don’t get no easier.

So you have two options: either start training to lose weight and add some muscle, or go get your nails done.

It’s your call, sweetie. 🙂

I Provide Solutions

I never felt totally comfortable after I passed this personal training certification exam more than two years ago. The one right here, the one that I refuse to re-certify.

Sure, I was happy I passed it after nine months of banging my head on a computer screen and humping a forty pound book around, but I remember sitting in my car that day thinking, “Now, what am I gonna do?”

Because for two years I watched “would be” fitness coaches staring at the TV while their marks pushed through their halfhearted paces.

There was plenty of improper exercise form and absolutely never a word about diet or nutrition.

I watched trainers standing around all day waiting for clients who never showed, clients who never paid, and results that never materialized.

I would see these rest room attendants shooting the shit ad nauseam about politics, the little league and last night’s sitcoms. No thank you. I don’t have the time for that. I don’t have the patience for that.

What I do have is knowledge. What I do have is experience. What I do have is results.

Four years ago I had to surrender my 230 pound, nearly dead body to the Veteran’s Administration Rehab Facility to wean me off alcohol and prescription medications.

I lost everything: my business, my home, my marriage and even my will to live. I was 70 years old.

In insurance parlance, I was totaled.

So I had to start my fitness journey in a deficit. At less than zero. I had screaming high blood pressure, a hot liver and a cold chance in hell at survival.

There was nowhere to go but up….or straight down.

Every day I set my mind to getting stronger. To learning more about how to live without orange bottles. To learning how to feed myself correctly so I could lose fat and retain whatever muscle tissue was still clinging to my battered frame.

I’m down 55 pounds since that fateful day at rehab. I’m clean, sober and strong. I am now what I call an elder athlete. I can give as good as I get in any situation.

I rebuilt myself from the ground up and I can help you do the same. I teach resistance training, nutrition, weight loss and senior fitness. I also know a lot about addiction and depression. First hand.

These are my hot button, high passion issues.

But remember, I’m not your valet, I’m your advisor. I provide solutions. I have answers. I have a plan. I can get you out of your situation because I’ve been there. I’ve suffered, recovered and learned.

I know how to do this. I’ve been training since Vietnam. I can give you the tools to change your body and your life.

To succeed in these later years, you need to be effective, to be effective you need to be healthy and strong.

For you to be healthy and strong, we need to talk.

So lets.

Phytness: My Recipe For Health

I have written about everything but my bowel habits (but I wouldn’t rule it out.) As someone who has always had a large collection of orange prescription bottles within arm’s length, I find it almost incredible that I have been illness and symptom free for almost four years.

I haven’t had as much as a stuffy nose, a scratchy throat, an upset stomach or a headache. Headache intensity used to be how I gauged my day.

In this time, amazingly, I haven’t come down with any type of stress related illness. And if you think the threat of jail, homelessness, bad credit, detox, divorce and the IRS aren’t stress inducers, I beg you to reconsider.

Some of my meals depended solely on my ability to find change in my couch cushions. I couldn’t even afford to feed my dog. Any one of these life changing events could provide a cancer diagnosis.

Still….I thrive.

Lack of sleep will make you sick also. I used to groan myself awake to go for a run just to quell the demons. Little did I know how healthy I was making my poor, beleaguered self.  I lifted weights, rode a bike for 22 miles every morning and ate sparingly…because I had no food or money.

Turns out I was on the right path. Whether I knew it or not.

Exercise begets fitness, fitness begets health. No other way to say it. When you’re walking around with extra weight, live a sedentary lifestyle, (as I did) and let your musculature atrophy, you are opening yourself up to a whole gamut of illness and disease.

If you are retirement age and looking forward to “the good years” I will tell you this, youth is wasted on the young.

You heard that right, “youth is wasted on the young.”

When we are young and dumb, everything works but we don’t know how to use it. Now that we have gained all this worldly wisdom and know how to use it, things start falling apart because of age and all the troubles that come with it.

Your health is failing, your ability to move independently disappears, your doctor is counting on you to get his kids through college and you just started on Zoloft.

I will tell you from first hand experience, it doesn’t have to be this way. Eat less, move more and progressively overload your muscles and watch the head fog disappear.

You will sleep better, feel better and enjoy the years you have worked so hard for.

Now, about my bowel habits…..  🙂

Metabolic Sprinkling

Trying to carve out an hour or so of your busy day to exercise your body can seem futile at times. Especially when you have two jobs like me. Here’s what I do: I sprinkle. I sprinkle running, walking, squatting, lifting and stretching all through my day. Wherever I can fit it in. Because, in the end, it’s all cumulative. It doesn’t matter whether I do it in one hour or 24, as long as I do it.

There’s also N.E.A.T. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting.

Even trivial physical activities increase metabolic rate substantially and it is the cumulative impact of a multitude of exothermic (heat) actions that culminate in an individual’s daily NEAT. Get a fitness tracker and increase your awareness of how much ground you cover in your normal day.

You’ll be surprised at how much you’re moving.

In short, it all adds up in your TDEE, Total Daily Energy Expenditure and will go a long way in keeping you fit and lean.

Sprinkling will also remind you to walk more, take the stairs and shake that thang. 🙂

My advice, do more sprinkling and keep it NEAT.

Blind Dieting

Let’s face it, most of us have no idea what we’re doing when we go on a diet to lose weight. Even if you hire a trainer or coach, it will be hit or miss until they can figure out what is, or isn’t, working.

And you will be coughing up the do-re-mi until they do.

Most of us know more about our cars than we do about our bodies. We don’t know what our BMR (basal metabolic rate) is, which is what it takes to keep you breathing.

We don’t have any idea what our TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) is, and we certainly have no clue what our maintenance calories are.

This is why it’s worth taking a week or so out of your life to track your calories to see what is required to keep you lean and healthy and to maintain homeostasis.

For instance, I weigh 180 pounds, work out regularly and run every night. My BMR is 1602 and my maintenance calories are 2736.

If I eat above that number consistently, I gain weight. Below that number, I lose weight.

I know that because for 6 months last year, I tracked everything I ate and all my activities. Then I divided up my macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) into an optimal plan for what I wanted to achieve. It was a revelation.

I could see clearly where I was headed. For once.

As a coach, I should know how to do this so I can help my clients. It helps.

Below is a Calorie Intake Calculator to help you figure out where you are as far as maintenance calories. Once you see where you are, you can act accordingly.

Start reading labels, weighing portions (it’s not as bad as you think) and tracking your activities using a Fitbit or Apple Watch.

For once, you will know what a serving is (or isn’t). You will know what 4 ounces looks like and what a cup looks like. Your eyes will be opened.

This could change your life by getting the results that have always eluded you.

Scroll down and enter your stats and when it comes to activity levels, be as accurate as possible.

I hope this will give you a good idea of where you should be as far as daily calorie intake and how to achieve a caloric deficit.

Then you can take your blinders off.  🙂

Calorie Intake Calculator