I’ve not posted here again for a while, but I’ve not been idle. Workouts are good, nutrition is on point, and I continue to make progress. I’ve been writing too, but mostly for my new Facebook group: Uncommon Sense Physique. With this post, for your reading pleasure, I am re-posting the Facebook note that started that venture.
Verbatim, from the inaugural Facebook post:
Many of you know me as that guy into fitness (actually, I’m not “fit”, but we’ll get to that), and you often see me posting things here on Facebook, as well as Instagram and Twitter. I even have blog (doesn’t everyone?) that has some interesting and relevant content at times. You’ll also probably know that just like the rest of you, I still have a full-time job, and that means everything health and fitness related for me is a combination of life-style and hobby.
In time, I still like to believe I’ll transition my health and fitness hobby into the day job, but we’re not there yet. That’ll have to happen as part of a larger lifestyle change, moving out of the San Francisco area to somewhere more affordable, significantly reducing expenses and thus, dramatically lowering my earnings.
You know what they say, right? That you have to follow your passion, love what you do, and success will follow. That you can’t chase the money.
And I am learning–slowly–like the rest of you, that this is undoubtedly true.
I mean, I have more money and things than I know what to do with, and the means to buy more things if I want to. And yes, I am less happy now than was when I was working hard for very little and chasing something I was passionate about.
But finding our passion is not always easy. If it were, we’d all be passionately successful and eternally wealthy from eating donuts or some such. And of course, even when we find our passion, it’s often either fleeting or significantly challenging to move it from hobby to source-of-income, let alone your only source of income.
None the less, the passion needs to be there. You need to feel deeply on your chosen subject. Head and heart. Something visceral.
It should be a topic that instantly animates you, brings you back to the foreground, pulls you out of your autonomic slumber. It should feel like home.
For me, that’s bodybuilding and physique transformation.
For three decades this has been my passion. Sure, we argue, scream and shout at each other from time to time. But the make-up sex is always great and I’m unhappy without it in my life. In my journeys to date, I’ve been as light as 148lbs with 7% body fat, and a hulking [relatively speaking] 210lbs. I’ve added tens-of-pounds of muscle and shredded twice as much fat. In fact, I’ve made it sufficiently easy that I mostly now do it for fun, just to exercise control over my thoughts, and thus, my body.
In conversations with my therapist (don’t worry, I’m reasonably stable), physique transformation is the subject that brings me to life. A conversation here has me animated, assertive, confident, excited and yes, passionate. Contrast that to a discussion about “the day job” and I’m quickly in need of resuscitation.
So what to do in the mean time? How do you begin to invest in your passion while planning a a longer-term change of career?
By starting a Facebook group, of course!
I know, I know. Another Facebook group is the last thing we need in our lives. We are all in them, and often many of them, each adding clutter and noise to the diatribe of nonsense we already have to endure. That said, to meet people, you have to go to where the people are. And you’re all on Facebook — so I blame you.
Seriously though, if you are going to start an online experience and attempt to change people’s lives, your choices are limited.
Facebook IS where you are (yes, even you, pops), and it IS geared-up to make group interaction fun, free and fimple (you find an f-word for simple, then).
EDIT: That word just came to me; “fucking-simple”.
Will it be successful? No idea at all. None whatsoever.
Will it die on the vine, like ninety-nine percent of the other facebook groups we all started or joined? Maybe.
But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? And frankly, if the group fails, it’ll be down to you guys. You guys for not joining, and if you do join, you guys for not making it fun and engaging. So I’m good. I can’t lose either way. It’s all on you.
But seriously, why would you join this group? What am I planning here? What is “the scope”?
Again, I’m not entirely certain; these things have a way of evolving over time. But none the less, my group’s going to struggle if I can’t paint a picture of what to expect.
So here’s what I’ve been thinking.
Here’s the things I’d want to cover, and most importantly, the way I’d want to cover them. There’s also some won’ts and will-nots in here too — might as well be clear on those from the start.
The landscape will be physique transformation, with an emphasis on bodybuilding and the psychology involved. You see, the majority of the “science” behind physique transformation is mostly common sense. Sure, there’s some counter-intuitive principles and protocols out there, but changing your body is simple.
The challenge comes in that it’s not remotely easy.
Transformation will require you to know what you want and have the discipline to make difficult (unappealing, unenjoyable, generally lacking in fun) decisions, repeatedly, over an extended period of time.
It will require you to be honest with yourself about your lack of focus, low discipline, impatience or misaligned values.
Sounds like a LOT of fun so far, doesn’t it! Bet you can’t wait to sign-up!!!
But seriously, if I do this, it won’t be all sunshine and roses. No there, there and it will all be okay. Empathy? Absolutely.
Support? In spades? Instruction, insights, tips and learning? In copious amounts.
But I will not have time for slackers, idlers and fops.
Why? Because it’s my group. That’s the advantage of starting and owning a group. I get to set the rules, make the plays. If you want “IIFYM and sure, have another donut, pudhums”, create your own group. Or join one of the many other groups that will give you an unhealthy and unrealistic view of the world and convince you that the joy is in the journey. (Yes, yes … there needs to be joy in the journey, but you also want results, right?)
But in my group, you’ll be held accountable, by me, and other like-minded souls that sign-up and expound the values of this approach.
There’ll likely be swearing. Why? Because I am English and swearing comes naturally and sounds much like any other word coming out of my mouth. Of course I’ll try to refrain from anything my mum might notice and call out as “too much”, and dad doesn’t like the c-word (Hmm … I do use that a lot, especially when driving).
But if you know me in real life (gasp!), while inappropriate shit falls from my mouth quite frequently, I am genuine and your typical “salt of the earth” type of guy. I am ladies first, respect for your elders, please and thank-you. I’ll buy your coffee if your card doesn’t work, and I’ll stop and help you change your tire, even in the pouring rain. I can not abide abuse or bullying of any description, and in my book, asshole trumps everything. So I don’t care if you are black, white, fat, thin, straight or gay. If you’re an asshole, you’re out. If you hate on anyone, you’re out. If you bully or abuse anyone or make shit personal, you’re out.
And that doesn’t mean you can’t be honest or tell it like it is. In fact, in this group, we want the authentic you. It just means that there must always be a baseline of respect.
Oh, and if you have a chip on your shoulder or otherwise feel like the world owes you something, perhaps don’t join. Or at least be prepared to have that chip filled-in real quick. If you’re on Facebook and have the option of joining, you are already more privileged than 80% of the Earth’s population. So no whiners or whingers.
So far, I’ve painted a pretty bleak picture. A place where you can come to be “helped” with a good dose of honest and frank advice, likely punctuated with swearing.
So let’s shift the focus to what you will get. What’s the upside?
- I can help you with your diet and general approach to eating.
- I can help you lose weight.
- I can help you build muscle.
- I can give you abs.
- I can make you stronger.
- I can make you happy and content with your life.
Ok, the last one is a fabrication–you have to watch out for charlatans–but I absolutely promise to give it a shot. Okay?
For the record, I have no credentials other than lots of personal experience, a brain and a willingness to try. And frankly, that’s all I need. I can find science to back 99% of what I’ll tell you, but realistically, that doesn’t matter a jot if it doesn’t actually work for you.
Physique transformation is almost entirely a mental game. The physical practices and protocols are simple, and often mindbogglingly simple. But applying them is not. It can be hard; very hard. And this is where you’ll need the guidance and support of myself and the group.
And let’s face it, what do you have to lose?
If you are already making a fuck-ton of progress toward your physique goals, then you likely don’t need to join. Of course you could, you know, to share your experiences and help people, but you certainly don’t need to. But if you are struggling to achieve your goals and don’t know what to do or where to turn, then why not join and see if we can’t get you making progress.
And bottom line, if I can’t help you myself, I have built a personal network of relationships with first-class coaches and trainers, all of whom can offer you a variety of in-person or online diet and training services, each with a niche expertise that I can match to your particular needs. Of course, they’ll need paying, just like I will should I offer in-person or personalized services. But I’ve done the hard-work for you and can at least hook you up someone that really knows their shit.
So what to call this fledgling group? How to capture the joy and excitement that awaits us all?
Frankly, I’m struggling on that one. Which is, in part, why my blog is called Visceral Shift. Names are hard.
Maybe I’ll let the first ten members name the group. You know, as long as it isn’t “Paul is a TWAT”, or some such.
So if you’re be up for some highly effective, no-frills, well-intentioned, warts ‘n’ all advice on achieving your body transformation goals, leave me some encouraging words (fine, and questions) in the comments and we’ll make it happen!
If you made it here, I both thank and applaud you.
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard this all before, I am sure. But as it happens, the group is growing, and even thriving. In fact, we have nearly 50 members as things stand today.
And I want you there too.
I can help you. And you can undoubtedly help me, and help others.
So sign-up. Let’s do this!
Like I said above, what have you got to lose?