Fitness Diary #1 Escaping Shadows

I am currently on my #Unrelenting100 day journey back to a healthy, fit and happy lifestyle that started on July 31st 2017 and will be complete by November 7th 2017. My goal is to open up about my challenges (chronic illness, weight gain etc.) and hopefully inspire you to climb your own summits. I’m committed to this, grateful for you, and support and cheer you to champion across your own journey, as well as mine. From the Ground Up. Find Daily Updates on My Instagram: Nervebullet

Weekly Fitness Diary (Posted Every Sunday) Day 1-20

Since this is my first diary post. I will be covering the events of the last three weeks! I spent almost a year in the shadows, with nothing but a handful of cryptic images on my social media feeds. However Ill reserve the dramatic story driven writing for the weekly Thursday blog posts. (Tune in Thursday Kids! Epic Open Ended Touchy Feely Adventures, only on NERVEBULLET) *cuts to laundry detergent ad* ..

What? I could only afford a 30 second slot Advert!

Upon returning from my extremely unsuccessful medical travel in early July, the concoction of disappointment and jet lag were enough to render me athletically useless and mentally shattered. Still reeling from lab-rat like experimentations, I returned home feeling far worse then before my attempt to seek professional medical assistance. Nothing helped. Everything done to me made it worse.

MO: HOLD ON, I THOUGHT YOU SAID NO DRAMATIC STORY DRIVEN NARRATIVE UNTIL THURSDAY POSTS?

ALSO MO: CALM DOWN, JUST LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS OF WHAT GOT ME HERE YEAH?

MO: FINE, CARRY ON.

OK, before I was rudely interrupted by myself, I spoke about returning with the feeling of despair. I was well on my way to losing weight in April (Safely lost 10kgs) and enjoyed my return to the gym. After doctors interfered with my progress, I suffered massive flare ups, some confining me to a wheelchair. My inability to train surfaced feelings that suggested my active career has come its end.

I remember forcing myself to at least visit the gym. Even if it was to walk for a few minutes and lift a 1KG dumb bell whilst sitting. I was conflicted with feelings of both being within and out of my element. On one end I was in my zone of comfort, and on the other I felt like a stranger to my own craft and tools.

I slowly worked myself towards a routine visit to the gym, adjusted my food and found that I had gained enough ground to muster the will power to achieve something I’ve been yearning for in years. My Goal : to return to the Mohammed I was back on July 2012, before all this mess. For the first time in five years. I felt like I could finally do so.

I knew the ground rules. I needed to elevate my heart rate to reach anaerobic state, however excessive knee bending and loading/off loading would flare up my symptoms. I was inspired by Jim Stoppani’s program Shortcut to Shred in which he recommends doing 1 minute cardio moves between each set. I knew I was unable to preform his workout routine (both weights and the recommended cardio routines) so I improvised.

Trials and tribulations has forced me to become more aware of what my body can and cannot do, and I was desperate to come out of this and see results. Eventually I stopped caring about what others around me might think (Oh 1 kg – wussy weights, Oh why is he throwing a medicine ball on the ground, man he’ll never get fit – Has-been.) – The gym after all is not immune to societal judgements (Thanks Obama).

I just put on my headphones and I got on with these tiny steps that I built for myself. Funny enough. This last Friday someone walked over to me and said – “Good on you smacking the ball, man!”. After informing them it was only 1kg, they responded “yes, but look at your* repetitions, you’re* sweating, what you are* doing is probably more important then the rest who just throw around the iron.” – Man that lit me up! 20 days into my workout and someone tells me that. I was on fire for the entire weekend leading up to today. Shame it was my rest day!

*Calm down Grammar Police, My Your/You’re game is strong Kay?

My workout routine took form based on one week of trial, and two weeks of execution and adjustments

So far…..

Sunday – Chest, Triceps, Flabby Abs.

Monday Shoulder, Legs.

Tuesday Back, Biceps.

Wednesday Active Rest

Thursday Chest, Triceps, Flabby Abs.

Friday Back, Biceps. ( Week 3 started Bonus: Legs)

Saturday Active Rest.

Trial Week 1 :  15 Reps / Active Cardio between every set (air punches, medicine ball smash, silent karaoke)

Week 2 : 15 Reps / Active Cardio between every set

Week 3 : Micro-cycle 1 (sun-tue 6-11 Reps)  Micro-cycle 2 (Thu-Fri 16-20 Reps) Active Cardio between sets on some days.  20 Minutes of Bonus Brisk Walk Cardio on some days.

I hope to discuss my nutrition plan, food intake and Week 4 workouts, next week. My goal is to tighten up my food schedule with time, and eventually add other exercises (swimming, biking etc.)

As promised, this is a transparent display of my mental and physical state. I will openly discuss what worked and didn’t work for me. My hope is for you to use my experience as a springboard to experiment and adjust towards what will work for you (hey it might not even be fitness related). Fitness, Nutrition and Life is never one size fits all. Apply, Adapt and Attain. 

Until Next Week…

From The Ground Up,

Nervebullet


Thank YOU for reading this. I understand your time is precious and I respect that. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read my work. Please do reach out to me and engage in my content (leave a comment below, on any of my social media feeds or email). Let me cheer you on your personal journey. Let me know what content you would like to see from me. With Love.


Nervebullet is….

  • currently reading : The Dark Tower by Steven King
  • currently playing : Mass Effect Andromeda on Xbox One
  • currently listening to : Linkin Park – One More Light
  • currently a: magical unicorn

Email : nervebullet@gmail.com

Stalk me on…

Instagram/Twitter/Xbox Live Gamer tag /Discord/Myspace (JK NOT Myspace) : NERVEBULLET

Click Here for My weekly 1 minute recap videos on Facebook!

 

 

 

 

Unrelenting : My 100 Day Fitness Challenge

Today marks 100 days before the release of the coveted Xbox One X – the most powerful console in the world! I’ve always aspired to share my fitness lifestyle in a transparent manner, however I’ve struggled due to a plethora of medical issued that has plagued me over the past five years. I aim to document my battle with my chronic illnesses and regain my health conscious lifestyle.

I will document various aspects of my daily life on my Instagram (Workouts, Nutrition etc.). I also hope to post on my blog twice a week, once as a fitness diary summary and the other post being open to any topic that I am passionate about the moment (could be fitness, gaming, music or anything really).

20170814_141423

The Ultimatum : On August 1st 2018 (My 31st Birthday) I will announce my return or retirement from semi-professional tennis. I will give myself one year to try to overcome my medical issues and return to the sport that means the world to me. At least I am confident enough to create a better quality of life for myself and loved ones, and hopefully inspire you to scale your personal summits.

I admit that I have struggled to be consistent with my blog posts. At this rate I’ve rebooted as many times as Spider-Man, maybe this time I can bring it home? (there he goes with his first pun). My entrepreneurial period between 2013 and 2016 was extremely demanding, alongside health flare ups that also affected me psychologically. In a rapidly paced world and ever-changing field my ailments made me feel obsolete and irrelevant as a fitness enthusiast and tennis player. This only amplified after spending the past two months in a medical labyrinth overseas, only worsening my conditions and causing crippling flare ups that resorted me bedridden and even requiring a wheelchair for certain periods.

I want to be very transparent in my journey, in hopes of gaining your trust and support, and also motivating you to face your own trials and tribulations.

I am also very honored to announce that I will be writing for the Xone Bros : Positive Gaming Community – a podcast very worthy of your time if you are casual or avid gamer. I have submitted two articles previously this year, however could not continue due to going dark during my medical examinations and (failed) treatments. I will link my two latest articles once they go live.

I would like to take this time to welcome all Xone Bros. readers to my blog, and thank you for taking the time to read and support my cause. You might be reading my blogs for the first time and I would like to extend the warmest of welcomes. To those of you that have been with me over the years, I thank you for hanging on with me and I hope to honor you and provide consistent content this time around.

I respect the preciousness of your time and hope for mutual engagements throughout the next 100 days and beyond!

My Fitness Diary will be posted on Sundays

The Open Article will be posted on Thursdays

I hope to evolve this blog with time involving improved design and sections to enable easier access to archived articles.

I would love for you to engage with my content, comment below or on any of my social media feeds to let me know about your own goals, or what you’d like me to discuss on my blog. You Inspire Me, and I would love to cheer you on your very own goals!

Here’s to the next 100 Days & Celebrating with the release of the Xbox One X!

With love & baked fries, 
Nervebullet

20170622_122240
Can’t Wipe the Smile off my Face! When the One X was first announced I was expecting something huge, maybe even as big as the original Xbox back from 2001, however I was surprised just how tiny this thing is especially with all the power inside! Can’t wait to push through the next 100 days and celebrate with Xbox One X!

Daily Posts on my Instagram @nervebullet

Gamertag / Twitter / Discord / Myspace Jk No Myspace : Nervebullet

Email : nervebullet@gmail.com

My Facebook


Life through the Gears: Baby T-rex and the Wife with 260 Gamerscore

Disclaimer: I appreciate video games as an art form, and admire the time and effort developers take to bring these experiences to life. Unfortunately gaming journalism today has taken an overcritical approach. Therefore I do not wish to incorporate any grading system in my blog and instead offer a ‘story driven’ review of the game experience and how it applies to me. Positive vibes all the way 🙂 

Gears of War 4

I’m trying to ignore the fact that the original Gears came out over a decade ago, but it didn’t stop me from sending a message to my best friend Semo who has moved to Canada since. It’s one of our earliest memories together. We will never forget the Blind Berserker attacking us based on the sound we made moving around the room. Semo still makes fun of me for what happened later that night. We gamed late enough that he decided to stay over and suddenly woke up from a picture frame slipping off the nail and crashing onto the attic floorboard. My reaction to what sounded like a sniper shot? Half asleep I got up, wrapped myself in my blanket and made a Breserker shriek sound and went back to sleep. Semo witnessed this and still calls me Baby T-rex sometimes.

 

Last year the original Gears of War was remastered for Xbox One, which is essentially the original game with revamped graphics. The latest iteration, Gears of War 4 is finally here and it isn’t just the fresh coat of paint that makes this game shine. Having played the new campaign mode I can’t commend The Coalition Games for the efforts they have put into making this experience one of the best. I tend to shy away from online reviews but it is safe to say that the game has scored highly across the critics, bar one whom I won’t mention. I can understand different points of view but to call this campaign lackluster is blatant click bait, unless they played a different game that I’m not aware of. This comes at the timely comments of Philip Spencer (Head of Xbox) regarding negative reviews used for click bait, which I absolutely agree with.

 

In a nutshell this game delivers on all fronts. It continues the Gears Saga in adequate fashion, introduces new, relevant and relatable characters, humorous script, insane environments, and creative weaponry and enemies.

 

Forza Horizon 3 isn’t the only new release flaunting its lifelike weather effects, Its apparent from the get-go with Gears 4 and its not merely there to look pretty. The environment plays an important role in the story. Turn your Air-Conditioner on high and you can almost feel the storm pass through your living room without the need of VR. Having a rad sound system helps but you get what I’m after.

I want to keep this post spoiler free so I will summarize my experience without hitting major plot points or discussing the surprises included in the campaign. The script is engaging and includes adequate humor to help you navigate through the grim situation. The game grabs you from start to finish and continues the story continues to pummel you through till the credits. I’m extremely satisfied and grateful for the experience, in fact the sound of gunfire, enemy shrieks and the Lancer Chainsaw are still ringing in my ear. Environment and color palettes are more pleasing to the eye. Lush environments break away from the previous generations Quake-esque shades of brown darkness. The introduction reminded me of one of my all time favorite games Enslaved (Xbox 360), and I love the unique approach taken with certain in game situations and introduction of awesome new enemies that interact in unique ways. I won’t give it away, but there are certain parts of the game where I know the developers could read our thought process and taunting us to do something we knew we shouldn’t do but are completely tempted to try. My hat tipped to you ‘Coalition Games’.

Initially I was a bummed out that the story mode would not allow 4 player co-op, as my Xbox inner circle had a blast completing the Halo 5 campaign together, however having gone through the story I understand why they decided to go with the 2 player approach.

I would have loved to play Gears of War 4 with my Semo however time could not permit so I looked to make new memories with my wife (round of applause she has 260 Gamerscore). My wife is a culinary genius, however when given a controller the crosshairs immediately post towards the sky. I should be careful with what I write as she is really good with knives. Maybe I should she would have faired better with the recently released ‘overcooked’ (No Crosshairs involved right?) but we play video games to get away from work right? (Thankfully we don’t work for COG.) Unfortunately my wife could only get past the prologue with me, although one of my proudest moments was seeing her use one of the series most prolific weapons the hammer of dawn, taking out one of the biggest enemies on the onset all by herself.

When Halo 5 was released last year, I enjoyed the epically scaled battlefields however there was a somewhat anti-climatic part of the campaign that was a bit underwhelming. Gears of War 4 might not be as scaled, however it was an extremely satisfying and tailor-fit experience. Although previous Gears characters are iconic they were firmly rooted in their Alpha male-esque. Trop. I guess it comes with the territory and story, however the new set of Gears characters are more relatable, likable and will honor the early Gear fans and welcome and attract new fans alike. Think Star Wars 7 with the new cast.

I can’t wait to experience the Horde Mode and Online Multiplayer Maps with friends, both providing greater value for money and continuing the Gears franchise. With regards to the campaign, I can safely say its one of my favorite gaming experiences so far.

Gears of War comes out tomorrow Tuesday 11th October 2016. I played the Ultimate Edition on Xbox One. Digital versions allow crossplay on your PC.

How I Lost 10kgs! 

Towards the end of January I set out a 28-day challenge to carry me through the upcoming month. (Click here to read about the challenge and rules I set myself). I was so happy with the results I extended it into March. By the first week of March was a total of 10KG down!

In retrospect I would like to outline the things that worked, and what I had to adjust to maintain the momentum throughout the month.

Due to strict (yet enjoyable) eating and consistent training I comfortably and safely lost 1kg per week. Reducing carbs meant I sometimes turn on autopilot by the time its 7pm but it was manageable. I’ve spent the last two years eating at sporadic timing and running on unnecessary carbs (combine that with minimal training and disaster writes itself). With that being said, it is reasonable for my mind and body to retaliate, and I just had to let fatigue take its course. My friends who visit Bossy Kitchen for dinner would tease me for being so quiet sometimes, but with time I regained my footing and my body managed to run efficiently with what I was fueling it with.

Secondly, my taste pallet changed for the better. I enjoyed more relaxed flavors and was happy just fueling my body with basic lean proteins and simple carbs like rice. Fortunately I live in a household and operate in an industry that allows me to experiment and spice things up without the need to add calories, therefore flavor and the satisfaction of crunch never had to be sacrificed. I honestly enjoyed my food baked, and if needed, crumbed in gluten free ingredients (even with quinoa).

With my physical condition, training becomes tricky, and what I originally set out to do was hindered by shoulder and knee flare ups (although the knee behaved rather well throughout). I had to cut out many training sessions that involved lifting (2 weeks in between, and the final week). I was able to surpass this by remaining consistent with my low impact cardio. I made sure I continually burned calories by power walking regardless of how busy my schedule was or any body alignments. Just because my shoulder was flared up, doesn’t mean that I cant sweat it out on the treadmill right?

After this program, I have decided to live a mostly gluten free and dairy free lifestyle. I miss bread sometimes, but the GF options are satisfactory, and surprisingly I don’t miss dairy at all!

Here are my 5 tips that I learned from this process

  • No need to sacrifice flavor. There are simple and clean alterations you can make to basic dishes that will enhance the experience so you don’t have the need to even go for a cheat meal or even worse binge in retaliation later.
  • Don’t let injury or workload be an excuse. This was a big issue for me and I had to learn that just because I couldn’t train at 7am, doesn’t mean that I cant sneak in a quick power walk before lunch, and just because my shoulder hurts, doesn’t mean I cant go for cardio instead of scraping the entire workout for the day or even coming days. Don’t fall into that lethargic trap!
  • Go through the motions. Your mind and body will retaliate. Heck people around you will do too! They will push dishes without you that you aren’t supposed to be eating during your weight loss period. If you have spent years accumulating bad habits don’t expect a single detox or kale salad to undo everything. You aren’t going to feel fresh out of a Gilette Ad on day one, so buckle up and let it run its course.
  • Understand your mind and body. Don’t go jump into crossfit just because its whats in. Once you lose your joint cartilage it ain’t coming back. I am living proof of the daily pain felt even at a young age, when you don’t carefully understand the biomechanics of your body. Go see a physiotherapist, do blood work.
  • You and only you are responsible for the outcome of your eating habits and training. Stop blaming your friends outings, or not being able to ‘afford’ a healthy lifestyle or gym membership. My mother always used to tell me “During electrical outages, some people would take their books and study under a street light if they had to.” It’s all about perspective. You can’t buy a 2bd salad, but you would gladly spend 2 bd on a supersized coke at the cinema, or an expensive latte with your name misspelled on it.  

Just Cause 3 – The Art of Destruction

Video games have evolved from 8-bit dotted pixels to movie-like realism, forcing your eyes to question the difference between the virtual realm and our very own reality. We can no longer deny its current state as both a work of art and a source of escapism to millions spanning the globe. Behind the gamer scores lies layers of provocative storylines and emotional relevance to several areas we find applicable to our lives (See Halo, The Last of Us, Bioshock, heck even the story mode of Call of Duty). – and if you think gamers are a bunch of nerds, just look at the 6 digit paychecks offered to E-Sport Gamers, and you might justify that look that someone just relived themselves in your coffee mug.

Due to my busy schedule I’ve skipped many open world adventures (Sorry Skyrim) and opt for linear games for the majority of the time. At times, I’ve forced myself to make time for stellar experiences such as The Mass Effect Trilogy (let’s not discuss the ending), however while juggling my business, fitness and personal responsibilities I don’t have the luxury to traverse the vast digital landscapes that demand I dedicate my time and soul to reap its benefits (Open World Fatigue Dude?).
Behind my fitness and entrepreneurship drive, lies a sincere admiration towards all art forms from poetry, music, film production to, yes…video games. To push and broaden the spectrum of my writing I would love to discuss other ventures and topics from time to time. A disclaimer though, my aim is not to review media or give a numbered score. In my opinion each experience is different, and I admire all developers and artists that dedicate their years and life to create products we enjoy and are inspired from*. Therefore when I discuss anything, I would like to keep it story-driven similar to my fitness articles, and how I’ve applied the given art medium towards my life.
With that said, I’d love to discuss my experience with Just Cause 3. Don’t worry I haven’t applied arson to my life, however it is an open world experience (reader awkwardly stares at Mo).

*Kanye West is not included in this statement.

Summary:
Having played Just Cause 2 previously on the Xbox 360 (although I skipped the original iteration of the series) I knew what to expect from the game. Chaos. You can grapple into anything imaginable. Human, Cow, Plane. Imagine ejecting from an exploding plane, latching on to an enemy airplane with the option to take it over, latch it on to a neighbouirng pilot watching them spin towards each other before gracing your way down to earth and falling perfectly on a bike to make a get away. Think 80’s/90’s movie action casting you as the director.

The story revolves around your character Rico who is a rebel determined to liberate both his homeland and his peeps from the hands of an evil-yet-hilarious dictator. The dialogue is perpisouly cheesy to match the over-the-top action.

Although some missions were repetative (even the dialogue makes fun of a recurring ‘Follow the pipes’ mission, it didnt stop me from enjoying the game. As I mentioned earlier I don’t have time to pledge alligance to a given open world realm ( yeah they remember, especially after you contradicted yourself a paragraph later and decided to talk about this open world game) – fair enough, but this game was seperated into 3 Acts with 8 missions making up each one. I allowed myself to play a mission a day on the days where I had 40 minutes or so to spare (6am before the gym and work). Between certain missions you are asked to liberate certain areas to access the next part of the story. When I was short on time I was annoyed that I had to side track and free a city to proceed however as I got into the high octane action I starter enjoying this part of the game even more then the missions.

Favorite Achievement: …without bullets! 

Destroy every Chaos Object in a Military Base without weapons, grenades, or planted explosives.

I enjoyed this one because I had to liberate an entire army base without using a single bullet or vehicle. By the time I looked up achievements to do, I had already liberated the easy camps. Trying to latch on to vital base facilities and pull them apart without the help of ammo, while being gunned down by army personnel, tanks and copters is a hell of a story to tell the kids. (What do you mean my kids arn’t going to be gamers) #forevernerdy

Win a Free Island!:

Another cool thing about this game is you can enter to win a real life Free Island!! The person with the highest Chaos Score on the leaderboard three months after the games release takes home the prize! However the studio warns that they dont offer transport to the island or insure its habitability! Nice one Square Enix, come back to me when you can offer a date with Lara Croft – I’ll be first on that leaderboard, and probably end up sleeping on the couch as a result.
@nervebullet

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Im trying to push my writing to cover my life spectrum and the things that move me, from fitness, entrepreneurship to all forms of creativity (including gaming, music, filming and poetry/writing).

Feel free to write me on nervebullet@gmail.com / or stalk me on my social media feeds

Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat: @nervebullet

Xbox Live Gamertag: Nervebullet

Click Here for my Facebook!

Tales From The Treadmill: My Fitness Diary #2

This diary entry covers week 2 & 3 from my February  Challange (February 8-21).

If you’ve kept up to date with my blog or instagram/facebook fitness feed you’ll know I strained my shoulder towards the end of the first week whilst doing ‘Seated Decline Chest Press’. The machine I was using doesn’t have a release leaver to push the handles forward, so even before doing the manuver my entire shoulder is already under akward and uncesssaery strain. Mr.Ironman himself, Ahmed Jamsheer told me later on that in the absence of a release lever we should push the handles out before sitting down to do the press. I was over ambitious with my rep count for this program, and at this time swallowed my pride and dropped the exercise when I felt what my gut telling m as a ‘bad kind of burn’. Lucky for me the next two days were Active rest so I only had to do Cardio. I figured my shoulder would chillax during that time and I’d be back for more gym murder on Monday right? WRONG! My shoulder felt worse with time, and panic coarsed its way across my entire body. 

“I just got back into the groove of trainint and now THIS?”

“What if my body is fragile due to my premature birth and now my shoulder cartlidge has the same fate as my knee?”

To make matters worse, my Physiotherapist was out of Bahrain (funny enough at shoulder surgery in Paris, probably enjoying croissants afterwards).  

I didn’t let this stop me. I continued with Cardio for the second week and after seeing Dr.Malhota for my final Knee shot, he confirmed a strain and told me to only do bicep workouts for now. I decided to skip weights for the whole week (including biceps) to prevent any risk of further injury.

Week 3 saw me upping Cardio, and slowly introducing weights (Biceps) mid week. During the weekend I targeted each muscle to warm up my entire body back into lifting, in hopes of permently reintroducing weights into my training by week 4 (at the time of writing this I’m lifting again so YAY!) < dude!! Spoiler alert! 

Here are highlights from my eating habits, best moments and cravings during Week 2 & 3

Clean Cheats (technically not supposed to have these, but did to keep my sanity).

  • 1 x Pad Thai: kind of let it pass because it was rice noodles
  • 1 x Coke Zero: I had it once, only steep to this soda when Im super stressed. It also has to be in a plastic bottle for some reason. (Weirdo).
  • 2x Popcorn: End of week reward, put some sodium free herbs on it for flavour and shared my portions. This felt like such a treat
  • 1x Chicken Tikka: This is bad because its takeout so added oil for sure. I was starving after work on Thursday and the Protien shake wasnt enough! Bonus points for eating it plain with greens and no bread (oh Gluten how I miss thee)

Cravings (kept as cravings havn’t had them yet)

  • Bread
  • Bread
  • Burgers (No Cheese)
  • Baked White Potato Fries
  • Strawberry Shortcake/Vanilla Bean Ice cream with crushed Grahm Crackers. 
  • Chocolate, any chocolate (Kinder maybe?)

Weight Update 

During the 2nd week I feel as though I gained 1kg due to eating some carbs later on the day (and I stopped counting the grams although portions were small). During the 3rd week I killed the cardio sessions and regained momentum losing the Kilo I gained and then some! 

Total Weight Lost: 7.8kg

Highlight Moment 

I was emotinally affected during week 2 and skipped some cardio sessions, however I really enjoyed the feeling of regaining momentum in Week 3 with successful cardio sessions and hitting the weights again. My knee feels like its on my side for once! 

Changes?

Yes. Due to a pressing work schedule I can no longer split cardio into AM and PM sessions, so I’ve changed my cardio to a longer AM session instead. 

From the Ground up…

Nervebullet 

PS: want to join my weightloss journey? Contact me through my social media feeds or email nervebullet@gmail.com

Thank you as always for supporting my humble little fitness feed. I hope I motivate you as much as you motivate me. 

  

You are the Preworkout

You are the Pre workout: finding your resilience when betrayed by the comforting lie of instant-gratification.

When faced with a calamity, its natural for negating words to ricochet across the vessel of our thoughts. This is evident when scaling trying business environments through testing relationships, fighting medical ailments or dietary trauma arraying from obesity to anorexia.

Regardless of the degree of how vocal we may be towards our own coming of age, sooner or later we all look inwards and are forced to critique ourselves, be it against society’s measuring stick or our own (Unless your a Disney pop star gone rouge, Miley whats good?). Nobody is immune to this, and evidently so it becomes more and more difficult to duck away from the gunfire of doubt. Our beloved parents might try to clothe us with bullet proof vests in our young age, however with time, the material will eventually allow something through.

The evolution of communication and social media has shifted the provision of content from air-mail and telegraphs, to same day shipping and instant snapchats of where and what anybody is doing at a given second. We now expect and demand instant gratification when our business is tanking or when we suddenly realize we are carrying more weight than we should, either from witnessing the diminishing of our selves or through the glorification of business moguls and six pack abs, maybe both at the same time.

There is nothing wrong with the ‘instant’ processes. Many situations require immediate attention. However we have become so accustomed to this that we expect it to be relevant towards every whim as soon as it flickers on our mind.

When Im working on getting applications approved for work, the new e-government facilities have spoiled me. 80% of the process can be completed from the comfort of my office. It’s all groovy until a bored inspector rejects it 8 times (even though your no stranger to the process and understand the process), however that’s besides the point. Viewing my work through this lens is enough to make me walk around with a silver spoon towards any situation, expecting things like my weight to drop just as fast.

The process of opening Bossy Kitchen was completely new to both my wife and myself. We both had business and financial backgrounds, and a cumulative eight-year corporate experience, however the approval process from the ministry of health to municipality to civil defense departments let alone constructing the facility from scratch took us a grueling night months. No degree, work experience or feasibility study would ever be enough armor for our entrepreneurial ascendency.

The process tested our mettle and humbled us along the way. The same rang true for my Genu Valgum (Bone Deformity). I realized how fragile my own mind and body can be (good luck getting a Leo to admit such thing). I am extremely fortunate to grow up in a household that loves me and supported my academic career above and beyond what I can imagine. However I was not babied around or patted on the back for any jobs well done (don’t confuse this to be lack of emotional support, I received plenty, and its vital in my opinion). After any shattering achievement (in my eyes), my beloved father would always say to me “Whats next?”. His own athleticism and unrelenting work ethic has kept him healthy and hungry to this day. While I pursued rigorous training from running my own boot-camps, to 6am tennis court drills that justified my 6-month shoe insole warranty, my father would swim come rain, shine or freezing weather and fish during season (all before getting dressed and arriving at his office by 6:30am). My mother nurtured me from premature birth and remained beside me to pick up the pieces whenever I fell apart. My own sister coached me towards eventually securing two championships and a 7-month win streak until my surgery. My wife took a broken man both emotionally and physically and inspired me to amplify my life and dreams when my previous work environment and physical health took me to the brink of self-disbelief and crippling doubt. There is no way I would be where I am without my family and friends who show up at my humble matches, and support my initiatives time and time again.

Slogans such as “Get a beach body by summer” or “Own the car or your dreams Today!” can take advantage of our vulnerable situation and mind set. Heck after all my research in fitness I still do a double take at the counter when I see “Green Tea Weight Loss” or the “Hey look I’m Gluten Free, Vegan and loaded with Protein” bar. The FDA laws require that ingredients be written starting with the greatest quantity. Both of the above products have Sugar as #1. The Green Tea and other miracle components hide behind the protected “proprietary blend” writing, so you could be getting 0.000001 green tea and the rest is just sugar! – Dr.Jim Stoppani’s supplements shook the fitness world when he listed the exact quantity of each ingredient instead of hiding behind the proprietary blend label and exposing filler ingredients others use. – For this I completely commend the guy.

Way too often many put unbelievable dependency on supplements and max out their credit card on supplies even before setting foot in the gym. The Amino acids your ingesting aren’t going to lift the weights for you or justify the 300 BD investment you threw away at the gym, only to visit it once a month. Oh well Mohammed, the protein sure tastes good here on the sofa.

A support system is necessary; don’t give me this lone wolf facade. This by no mean negates the hard work you need to put in using your own two hands. Supplements are not compulsory. The effort you put in is the basis of your results. Nothing you drink or take will bring you towards your greatness. During your career, within your relationships or in training, you are – and will remain to be mother-natures pre workout. Whether you don’t say it or believe it. You are resilient, and have resilience within you. It is within our humanity to be resilient. You can’t learn it, and it may not be apparent. A given situation may appear to break you, however if you look within yourself you will experience your breakthrough and find your own resilience. No lack of knee cartilage or rejected applications should never stop you. From the ground up…

image2

 

Tales from the Treadmill: My Fitness Diary 1

Welcome to my weekly fitness update! I will discuss my food and workout routine (What worked/What didn’t) alongside my mental/physical/emotional state, in full transparency in hopes to motivate and inspire you as well as myself. Enjoy!

February 1st marked the first day of my intense 28 day food and fitness routine. I aimed to reduce carbs every passing week, and introduce high rep drop sets into my workouts. I would dedicate four days to lifting and three to active rest days involving cardio almost every single day. This is not something I plan on doing for the long run (you will understand once you see the restricted food intake), however I felt it was necessary to help kick myself back to former glory. Outside other blog posts, I will have a dedicated weekly write up to my fitness progress summarizing what worked, what didn’t, and any alterations I am planning on making to the plan.

My planned workout schedule

  • Monday: Back/Biceps/Cardio
  • Tuesday: Delts/Triceps/Cardio
  • Wednesday: Active Rest (Cardio)
  • Thursday: Legs/Cardio
  • Friday: Chest/Calves/Cardio
  • Saturday: Active Rest (Cardio)
  • Sunday: Active Rest (Cardio)

 

My dietary restrictions (don’t shoot)

  • No Fats
  • Lean Proteins Only (Grilled Chicken, Prawn, Egg Whites, Fish)
  • No Beef
  • No Dairy
  • No Soda
  • No Gluten, No Wheat (Pasta,Bread, White rice are all No)
  • No Ketchup
  • Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Quinioa, Sweet Potato are allowed
  • Basically Complex Carbs only, and mostly all by lunch time.
  • Supplements include Whey/Casein Protein Mix , Fish Oil, Vitamins
  • Turmeric Powder, Ginger, Cayenne and Black Pepper for anti-inflamatory properties.
  • Green, Oolong, Lapsang Teas

IMG_6227

A screenshot from my snapchat, where I share my food intake during the day and before and after my training sessions. Hopefully a source to give you ideas on what to eat to get or stay healthy. 

Week 1 update (Feb 1- Feb 7)

Weight loss tracker 

(2kg’s Down. Total Kg’s lost so far in 2016 = 7kg).

What Worked

My work schedule this week was so packed I actually never had the chance to stop and think how my stomach felt! I was going from one thing to another, driving all over Bahrain (Seef, Manama, Jau, Riffa) rinse and repeat for almost the entire week that I never realized the reduced intake. The only day I felt tired and craving carbs (bread specifically) was on the 5th day (Friday) at night. However after drinking my shake I felt satisfied. The feeling of triumph amplified when I weighed myself on the next Monday and noticed two kilos off the number.

What Didn’t Work

During my Chest and Calves day, I felt like the Rep count and drop set routine was over kill. I tried to adapt this from Chris Gethin’s * recommended technique. I normally wouldn’t follow his programs because the guy focuses on gaining mass and lifting super heavy, but I took the recommended high rep/drop sets to torch some serious calories. Specifically with the decline chest press (on a seated machine) I felt some serious burn on my right shoulder blade, and not the good kind. Luckily Saturday and Sunday marked active rest days where I have to do cardio sessions, so I didn’t really need my ailing shoulder. I didn’t let ego get the better of me, and reduced the weights and rep count, but at the time of typing this I still feel dull aches. Part of me is concerned that I may have irritated my scar tissue from tearing my sub-scapulares during one of  the best matches of my tennis career in 2013. Moving forward I will mostly only do 3 Sets with a rep count that will not exceed 15-20.

*dude has a funny name, especially if you google and see how big this guy actually is. Dude probably can eat my entire restaurant for his post-workout meal. 

 

Highlight of the Week: I got my 2nd Knee shot on Wednesday, and felt able to do my Leg workouts by Thursday. Although I’m limited with what I can do on Leg day (Abductors, Leg Press mostly) I left the gym so pumped that I was able to continue with my schedule regardless of having taken my shot! Lots of ice, and my knee behaved for the entire week thankfully!

If you would like to join my workout journey I will be more then happy to share my entire schedule for both my workouts and food intake via email.  Remember that I am not a nutritionist or instructor, so what I am doing might not work for you but it’s basic enough for anybody to get to (depending on how strict you are willing to be). You are more then welcome to email me on nervebullet@gmail.com

I hope this post was beneficial and motivational to you. More blog posts coming up, and a weekly update similar to this God-willing.

 

From the Ground Up (I’m taking you with me)

 

Mohammed

PS: This is are my social media links and what I use them for

My website: www.nervebullet.com for detailed blog posts regarding my health and fitness journey and other things I am passionate about including entrepreneurship, video games, music and poetry.

My instagram: Daily posts from the gym at work and everything in between. A brief look at my life as a fitness enthusist and an entrepreneur

My Snapchat: @nervebullet I mostly post my food intake on this, so you can see what I am eating during the day, and before and after my training sessions. Live accountability!

snapcode

My Twitter: @nervebullet My live thoughts mostly before and after workouts to pump you and myself up! I also post music from my playlist to share the tunes that fire me up before and after my workout. Expect anything from Heavy Metal to Pop (Sevendust, Bury Tomorrow, Lupe fiasco, Tori Kelly (WTH BRO DO YOU EVEN LIFT?).

My Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/nervebullet Updated more then my twitter, and also more detailed status updates on health and fitness. A great place to get links to my latest blog posts as soon as they publish.

 

Late Night Shift-ing

The first year or operating a full fledged restaruant (having no prior expertise in such thing) has been the most exeushiating and exilirating experience I’ve ever experince (ohh look a juxtapusition, cliche much?). Hey will you let me get on with my blog please?! (Okay fine, you may proceed). Thank you Brackets Mo. ( Your welcome buddy). 
Okay now that we have finally discussed the elephant in the room (Brackets Mo) we may continue this article after a word from our sponsers. 
“Jason Durulo” – Jason Durolo 
(Thats actually two words, and we arn’t sponsored by Mr.Durulo in any shape or form). 
Okay unecessary tangent aside, I focused so much on my entreprunerial side, I completely neglected my personal health and fitness (Blasphamy! You founded and work at a Health Urban Eatery! For shame you contradicting beard man you!) 
I used my business and Monica Belucci right knee as an excuse. (Reference to anatomic age, and NOT having hairless lady legs) (also a call back to my previous article for my previois readers – at least I know I have one from New York *shout out to COSMOS*).
During the starting months of operation, my Wife and I (even to this day sometimes) would jointly run every aspect or Bossy Kitchen. Breads first thing in oven when we wake up, Administrative side (emails, visits and meetings to government entities spanning Bahrain – Ministry of Health, EWA, LMRA, XYZ corp, Barbra Stresand), visiting the butcher, farm and all markets personally, meeting the staff, arranging the daily menu, posting on our social media feeds, turning the Xbox on for a software update then switching it off), Consolidating our accounting, prepping the food and drinks from scratch (Whatever we make from cold pressed drinks, hand rolled gnoochi, salads, mains, desserts etc. are all made to be served on the same day – whatever is not sold is shared amongst staff or given to the poor). By the time 6pm rolls over we open our doors and personally attend to and happily serve each customer with a smile on our face. Some customers stay late, and we wait for the entire store and kitchen to take its nightly shower. By this time its well passed midnight and after being unable to eat since noon sometimes even longer, Id gauge on whatever I can find! Two big mistakes here
– even though most of our foods are healthy, the time that I am eating it and the amount is certently not, especially that Ill KO the moment I reach home. Repeat this for a year and you can see the viscious cycle turn into this drastic weight gain. 
Another issue was I kept trying to fit my workouts in lik e a square where my life became a circle. By this I mean that during my fitness prime I would be at the gym in the US by 5am and in Bahrain id hit the gym or tennis court as early as 6am. Even with a corporate job in 2010/2013 I still worked out. Conference in Dubai or Chicago? Still hit the circuit before suiting up. No time zone or comittment got in my way from keeping my body impenetrable, until my Genu Valgum, Plica Syndrome and Stage 3 Chondromalacia flipped my world upside down. 
The knee deformity crippled me physically and mentally. Add the weight of the entire restaurnt on my shoulder and you wouldn’t blame my meniscus (menisci?) packing their bags and leaving me for a richer body with a Bentley made of Type 1 Cartlidge. 
I felt inadeqate to motivate which may explain my lacadasical posting rythem (lets leave this for anoter post). Its important to understand the reasons behind the nature of yor weight gain. Im not excusing myself for puttint on 25kgs (half of which might be beard weight?) but I dont fully regret dedicating my time for my business to flourish. Im now at a vital point in my life where I need to rebalance my life and reclaim my athleticism before I age with weak muscles such as my quads that are vital for comensating for the lack of cartlidge and bone deformity. I dont like to say something can ever be too late, but I am aware in my case it might actually be true.
With time and after successfully delegating and sharing responsibilities Ive happily reached at a point where I can comfortably dedicate an hour of workout in the morning and schedule my food well in advance. This may explain the consistent posting (2 blogs days apart, and daily instagram/facebook updates). This is a totally different journey then my 2008 weight loss, however I seem to have conquered the crippling mental fear of permenent injury, and also beliving that I can attain my fitness goals, and continue to motivate everybody around me.
I can say it again with confidence, from the ground up, Im taking you with me.

  

Palette Pending

When I got bronchitis in late December all I could eat was soft bread. I hardly ate, but over-carbing and some binging at the end caused a 5kg weight gain. Im down 5kg now and enjoying serious momentum. Ive been craving Pad Thai like crazy (either the one from Banana Leaf or the one we made at Bossy during Thai Nights). Ive been consistent with cutting carbs for dinner (sans Veggies, Leafy Greens). However the pings for Pad Thai was real strong. I even looked up the numbers for take out, because we didnt have any rice noodles in the kitchen to make my own. However I quickly heated left over lunches twice and enjoyed lean protein, a shake, and greens repeatedly. In the end I felt that I have control over my cravings again, felt fully satisfied with what I ate, and adequately fueled towards regaining my athleticism. Might reward myself with Pad Thai during tomorrows Brunch, but I feel strong enough to opt for a cleaner carb source. 

Don’t expect your palette to change overnight. Especially if you’ve spoilt your tastebuds rotten with unnecessary fats and sugar and salt. I know its hard. Ive gone through weight loss before, Ive experienced a spectrum of emotional eating and abstinence throughout my life (obesity,anorexia etc). You need to condition your mind more then your stomach or your muscle. There is no short cut. My biggest issue has been crippling fear ever since I had surgery and discovered my bone deformity (amongst other issues since being born three months premature) back in 2012. 

2016 will InshAllah/God-willing be the year of further reform and change within myself.