Sevendust ‘All I See Is War’

Sevendust – All I See Is War comes out May 11th 2018 on Rise Records

It is a rarity for any band to mark 20+ years in the music industry, release close to a dozen records and yet are able to maintain their fire power of ferocious melody through out.

When the rough terrain of the music business causes bands to fall out, change line ups or fizzle out, Sevendust remain forever united. LJ,Morgan, John, Clint & Vinnie are still together after all these years.

The band has had a very unique career; by keeping it in house with their own record Company (7 Bros. Records) after the early years with TVT and Winedark Records, having self produced since 2010, and no official music videos for the past 8 years!. Unorthodox journey aside, as such many reviews, interviews and online articles will  echo the following sentiments; The band has long paid their dues, their energetic live shows will destroy you (in a good way), and as much as they are Metal Titans, they remain humble towards fans that they treat as friends. What I respect most about the bands, is they are all family men, and always display a clear understanding of their values, faith and still promote unity at such volatile times.

In all honesty, as much as the band is dear to me personally, a few factors going in to the new album got me worried. John Connolly had just released a very ambitious Double Album (Projected – Ignite My Insanity) so I was worried of him being creatively burned out. Second, Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette was producing. I was egger for a fresh set of ears to take on a Sevendust Record, however I was not keen with the mixing of the last Alter Bridge album (Although I loved his previous producing efforts with Alter Bridge, Tremonti, and Trivium to name a few). The band remained silent during the recording process. Hardly any teasers, no making of videos on youtube. The band hasn’t failed me for 11 studio albums (If you include Time Travelers & Bonfires), would they hit it out of the park again on ‘All I See is War’?

Fast Forward and Sevendust debut the Single Dirty alongside a wickedly futuristic music video, slapping me hard in the face and destroying the shred of worry I had inside me. As the camera pans around the band, they shred and harmonize together (Every band member was singing too). Don’t ask me, The 2 million + youtube viewers and endless positive comments should be evident on how much drive this song contains. In such short time ‘Dirty’ hit the summit as my #1 most played on my apple music. The intro still sends chills down my spine because I know what I’ve gotten myself into! Although LJ’s vocals remain a centerpiece, I have deeply enjoyed John’s development as a vocalist and the man is sonic both on this record and live.

With a surprise announcement being signed to Rise Records, new interviews show every band member reinvigorated, as if the cycle is starting over again and we are rediscovering the band for the very first time. Each record for me contains so many memories over the past 20+ years with every life event and milestone I have crossed. This band has been there for me during both bitter and sweet times.

What has changed now? for starters Rise Records. Two Music Videos, three singles, and the album isn’t even out yet! With the backing of an ultimate new label, the band has finally issued Merch Bundles and Vinyls too! With the new signing I rememeber Clint tweeting something along the lines of ‘I feel that its a little different this time like we have something to prove’. That sentence stuck with me for almost five months until the single was officially released.

I was fortunate to get the album early, however I still kept half of the record for the official release date. Based on what I’ve heard so far, I am excited to see that this has shaped up to be somewhat of a concept album. Although the references to the issues we face today as a global society are dark and unsettling, the lyrical content and harmonies still interplay to provide cathartic hope, alongside the brutally tight drumming, weight bearing distortion and crushing solos of course.

Both Singles ‘Not Original’ and ‘Medicated’ bring the hooks like calculated boxer pouncing at just the right time. This is a very consistent album so far, however the catchiness of the track ‘Sickness’ is on another level. If their 2015 single ‘Thank You’ deservingly got them their first Grammy Nomination for Metal Song of the Year, the tracks ‘Sickness’, ‘Life Deceives you’ or ‘Dirty’ should get them both a 2018 Nomination and a Grammy WIN.

I think ‘Life Deceives you’  just might dethrone ‘Trust’ for me as the best song they have ever written. Lyrically it speaks to me as a spiritual successor to the track ‘Damaged’ from 2001’s Ultimate Album ‘Animosity’. The song affected me emotionally and to my very core. I could not find it in me to shake it away and carried the feeling with me long after repeated lessons. The contemplative nature of the lyrics, the juxtaposition of Morgan & LJ, the inclusion of Piano speaks volumes to my soul. The ending harmonization is icing on the cake for me. I didn’t think the band could take ‘Letters’ from their 2015 Album ‘Kill the Flaw’ and throttle the emotions even more.

Parts of the song ‘Moment’s reminds me of Clint & Morgan’s Side Project ‘Call me No One’ (2012).

Thoughts on the remaining tracks of the Album that I haven’t listened to yet (I’m keeping until Friday): Other reviews suggest that Risen, Cheers and a few other tracks are on the heavier side, so I am looking forward to taking them with me into the gym this Friday to celebrate the official album release. Part of me wonders if album closer ‘The Truth’ will be a brutal finish like ‘Face to Face’ and ‘Alpha’ were to previous early records perhaps? I would love to see a long track similar to ‘Burn’ from Alpha.

So far I don’t mind that it isn’t as heavy (yet), as the trademark Sing-A-Long with Sevendust is still intact for me.Hey, if you want to call Sevendust, the backstreet boys of metal, or Disney anthems for adults go right ahead, the band brings the hooks like nothing else. You will Sing your lungs out to this record!

Six Tracks in so far this is Sevendust’s Mangum Opus. 10/10 material  and i’m only half way through.

I dont like ranking albums but melodically speaking this is giving Animosity/Seasons (2001/2003) a run for their money.

LJ, Morgan, John, Clint & Vinnie, thanks for treating me like family for all these years. . Congratulations on the new signing, new record and tour. Hope to see you guys again in 2019.

Update: I’ve spent almost a week with the new album. 10/10. Might be the most consistent and mature record of their career. Harmonious Anthems from start to finish. My Favorite Tracks: Descend, Life Deceives You, Sickness, Risen.. if i dont stop ill end up listening the entire album. 

Click Here for Sevendust’s Official Website

Click Here for Sevendust’s Facebook Page

Sevendust-All-I-See-Is-War-11-May-2018

Nervebullet: A Journey of Fitness, Gratitude & Recovery

Thanks for reading, and if you would like to follow my Instagram for Daily Stories documenting my journey @nervebullet.  

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LINEAGE (2008-2017)

The disastrous summer of 2017 was spent hospitalized, handing over the final shred of hope to doctors that only ended up to exasperate the problem. I returned home feeling wounded, damaged and for the first time ever, completely depleted of any faith in returning to a fitness lifestyle and tennis in any form whatsoever. For some reason I decided to come forward and publicly display my vulnerable condition, and challenge myself to at least restore a basic workout routine and overcome what I could within 100 days. Did I achieve this. You bet your sweet ass I did.

2018 brings forth a new era of fitness for me personally and before I move forward I would like to briefly dissect two periods of my fitness life.

2008-2012

During high school I went through a period of Mild Anorexia, which transformed into overeating and becoming overweight. During my sophomore year at college I remember the exact moment I reached out to one of my professors who set a meeting with the head of the university gym. I knew nothing about muscle group, workouts etc. (THE SHOCK AND HORROR! NB DO WE EVEN REALLY KNOW YOU?!). The Head Coach kindly spent 30 minutes taking me through a basic workout routine and gave me a sheet of paper to track my progress. My best friend, and I ended up buying mountain bikes during the spring and discovered trekking areas we attempted bright and early after morning prayers, hours before class would even start. One day we ended up playing tennis right by the forest entrance to mix things up. Again, I knew nothing about scoring or what a backhand was etc. (NB…. WHO ARE YOU?). That Summer, The Head Coach saw my progress and awarded me Lehigh Athlete of the Week. My prize was a t-shirt, but boy did I feel like a million bucks. After a Bike and Tennis session with my friend, we headed home to get our weekend Pizza treat and turned on the TV to find the US Tennis Open with a bald athlete with a headband and sleeveless tennis shirt on. The commentator mentioned the calamities that this player had to defy to even make it into basic high school tennis, and after a freak accident he is now back on tour again. His name is James Blake, and anyone knows any information about my Tennis, know how he was pivotal in me pushing myself towards Semi-Professional Tennis Competition.

I continued to challenge my body by getting deeper into Strength Training, Boot Camp Work, Competitive Tennis, Mountain Biking, Road Biking. Long before the P90X Craze, Ironman Triathlons and the Opportunities that Social Media presented for Fitness Individuals I drove towards 14% Body Fat, and secured Two Championships in an undefeated run from December 2011 towards June 2012 where I became the first JC’s Academy League Champion. This was not an overnight success, as I endured crushing loses in the 2009 and 2010 Lehigh Finals in the United States, and FCTG 2010 Final. (Ask my sister and motivational coach, who had to deal with my tears!). In the Summer of 2012 I hit my prime, and was about to break out towards competing in Queens, England and Dubai. This was also the moment, where EVERYTHING CHANGED.

2012-2017

Career-wise I was reaping the rewards of a surging Fiber Optics/ Data Management company that spanned across the Arabian Gulf, alongside establishing an award-winning entrepreneurship endeavor, and taking on various Real Estate Construction Projects. I was also revoked my bachelor status (Sorry Ladies, She’s really good with knives.). Physically? I was misdiagnosed and we now know that a surgical mishap occurred which gave me Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. (Pain all the time, Root Cause untraceable, If it flares up I can’t use the stairs, drive, you get the picture).

Chronic Pain is a cancerous feeling that infected me mentally, beyond the crippling physical agony that I endured on a daily basis. Four months of continuous effort and adjustments were made to rediscover my body bio-mechanically and finally being in the rightful hands of a genuine physiotherapist that understands my condition. I went through the motions with various dieting routines, carb cycling, intermittent fasting, binge eating etc. My main priority shifted from wanting to lose weight to truly becoming functional again. Full disclosure I did gain weight during this time period, but after 5 years of agony, Hot Dang, I became functional again! (if you see me in person ask nicely and i’ll let you touch my Glutes of Steel).

I never thought I would be able to comfortably squat, dead lift or perform demanding exercises or even come back to tennis ever again. Here I am making Kim Kardashian proud (MALE GLUTES MATTER). During the four months my narrative changed. I stopped talking about flare ups (even though they still do occur), but focused on Gratitude & Recovery. Guess what. It freakin’ works!

2018

I deleted every post from my Instagram to start this new Era. Please understand that I hope to provide Positive Content that can be applicable to anyone that wants to stay driven and make beneficial changes towards scaling their own personal summit. I may not know you, but I am seriously rooting for you with all my lungs! GO YOU.

I’ve written some really awesome goals for this year. I’d list them, but Id much rather show you. Write some yourself, and don’t let anybody discourage or sway you from your dreams. GO YOU.

Im grateful for you, and I hope that I can drive you to push yourself in whatever your heart of hearts desires.

Nervebullet Powered by Kind Words & Protein Pancakes.

Follow my Daily Fitness + Positive Posts on Instagram: @nervebullet 

Part 1: I AM THE WAKE

The reverse conclusion to my three part I AM series. Enjoy. 

Previous posts…

Part 3: I am The End

Part 2: I am the threat

Welcome to Part 1: I Am the Wake. 

I wonder if they will tell my story backwards?

Will they tear out a page from my book and use it out of context?

We will keep your tongue, but will break your knees.

You only have your mouth to run with, but you won’t get very far. 

One page will suffice for the masses to trample on.

Your words will mix with the dirt off their boots and fade in the chaos. 

Timed Capsule Release : Feel Relief despair within 10 Minutes

Will you claim no priors to my name?

Will you drain me of my heritage, and shade me into your perfect mannequin?

Please have a seat, we won’t take too long. 10 minutes shall suffice. 

Generational Bruising from falling on deaf ears.

Kindly, Tie your laces so you don’t trip.

Lace your ties, the black venomous honey gently drips

Will you keep what remains and burn the nest

Will you disrupt the wake, and curb the rest

My hands may be tied, but it is yours that are broken

Contort me into a villain with words I’ve never spoken

Inject me with ill intent, Shade in the grey sheep into a dark wolf.

They will know you. I am the crow to the left of a murder.

You are merely a crow. We are merely bound by feathers.

They will…

 

Part 3: I am The End

I AM TRILOGY. Part 3: I am the End (Released September 24th 2017 7:35pm)**

Part 2: I am the ****** (To be Released October 1st 2017 7:34pm) 

Part 1: I am the ************* (To be Released October 8th 2017 7:33pm)

Some Assembly Required*

*Batteries Not Included

**Prior Knowledge of Reverse Engineering Recommended for first time users.

The following piece is a form of fiction. or at least you want it to be. The abstract nature can appeal to either wolf. Lack of appeal can be an indicator of which wolf the reader is, or perceives themselves to be. 

Warning: The following excerpt contains Graphic Nature and my not be suitable for some readers. Not recommended to those that suffer from Ignorance. Please proceed with caution.

His Lips were caked.

Mr. Nerve. You have 10 minutes. No drugs will be administered during this session. We will make sure you feel every neuron firing within you. Please speak clearly. For your sake. 

Toxicology report shows positive traces of Gabapentin, ingested to control heart palpitations. Subject is male, early thirties, and of middle eastern decent. No prior history of heart issues.

“Have you heard about the analogy of the two wolves.”

“Server Error 082712 Rebooting”

“…. of which the outcome is determined by which of them you feed”

“Mr.Nerve Please do not waste my time”

His Lips were caked with saliva,(part of the text is missing)

As you wish. Can someone kindly bring in a wet pen. Mr.Nerve enough requests and begin writing. You have 8 minutes remaining.

“Doubt entered the room. Well dressed and eloquent you have (excuse the pun) no reason to doubt it. Enough manners to make the glass on your dinner table shine for weeks, and with the backing of every financial institution, governmental entity and corporate and marketing firm, you have no choice but to spend all the money you don’t have on the immortal recipe of ignorantly fortefied fear, after all. It now comes in gluten free and vegan options. ”

“Which of the two wolves do you consider yourself, Mr.Nerve”

The patient / victim (patient victim) was pronounced dead on the scene (DNR records appear in his file. Wounds do not appear to be self-inflected.) Bruising is present on his left arm. No signs of entry (forced) or struggle (the s is silent). 

His Lips were caked with saliva,blood (his own), (part of the text is missing)

“Fear, the abandoned father. *spits out blood (his own)*
You see. those reading this are so accustomed to visual and instant gratification. They need to see the wolf, to know which one I am. They need to witness with their very own eyes.

“Do not take me for an imbecile,Get to the point Mr.Nerve”

As I was saying. Fear is the gun held against my head from the very first sentence. The abandoned father doesn’t say much. However, the five sentences you hear over the course of thirty years carry with it a lifetime supply of pain and suffering that you can relive in your mind for the remainder of your life, regardless of which wolf you choose.

“Mr Nerve, you have three minutes. You are testing my patience”

He was going to hurt me no matter what I said, no matter which wolf I choose. The inevitable is coming. My muscles will retract. Adrenaline will attempt to slight the odds. But I will feel it. Every single fraction of it.

He didn’t need enough momentum to puncture through my skin. In fact, he didn’t just puncture it. Enough pressure was used to slowly dig into my lower thigh. He raised his arm three times. 

I was awake. Every second of it. I didn’t pass out. Every time he raised his hands, the crowbar drew redder. I’ve only seen my cartilage on medical scans prior, but there it was now on public display, latched on to that very crowbar. The crowbar that didn’t stop digging until it reached bone. The second drop was enough to break my femur. On the third the crowbar skidded towards my patella.

Audience  Highlight <<<

More we want more.

We paid to be gratified instantly, 

not this budget attempt at instant gratification. 

Viewership (can you watch words?) dropped

Mr.Nerve Highlight <<<<

You wouldn’t know you barely watch your own (sic) words. 

 

His Lips were caked with saliva, blood (his own) and dirt…

A concoction that would make masochistic perfumist swoon. This paled in comparison to the impaled disaster below.

a) Faith and Science are not the two wolves. 

 

 

 

 

 

They are not binary terms. Grey Matter is present. 

 

 

 

 

 

b) Doubt and Fear are not the two wolves.

Can’t you see somethings changed?

What a joke.

Fear is commonplace.

Desensitization is no longer an anomaly.

We are not impressed with the low budget grotesque attempt to generate appeal.

We hate you,

we are afraid of you.

But watching you suffer wasn’t good enough.

(are you holier then thou or too rich for my blood?)

Congratulations! your sacrifice is accepted, Submission is now complete!

Messenger 3.0 is no longer live. Please reformat and update file to continue.

No revision necessary.

No purchase necessary.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance

This does not answer my question.

One of our operators will be with you. Please hold (current wait time 58 Minutes. You are 76th in line)

This does not answer my question.

Thank you for contacting us. Please rate our services from 1-10. (Ascending or Descending order of happiness. Choice is yours)

Heart palpitating

Palpitating Heart

One of our representatives will be with you shortly.

He overcame it. He overcame it. You don’t understand, he actually over came it. 

Who needs the devil when you’ve got the details.

THE DEVIL  <<< HIGHLIGHT FOR DETAILS!!

Skin & Atmosphere

Mind the gap / Gap the Mind.  (Please answer true or false)

I AM THE END. DOUBT.

I AM THE END. FEAR.

I AM THE END. FAITH.

I AM THE END. SCIENCE.

I AM THE END. DETAILS.

Again, are you holier then thou or too rich for my blood?

Victimized opportunity, or opportunistic victim. 

The wounds are too profound to lick. Amputation is necessary to save the patient‘s wolf’s life.

Grey Matter is present. God willing. (No/Vital Signs)

Update Coming Spring 2018.*

Time of Death / Still Breathing.**

c) How fortunate are we, the Human Spirit is not made of skin or bone.

 

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!

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. 

   

Reboot

I’ll attempt to reintroduce my blog without using any references to Adele’s latest single. (But you just did by mentioning that you won’t use it (and there you go again using brackets to let people know you’re talking to yourself (dude this is too much inception in one blog post))). My first blog post came out towards the tail end of 2012, and I had originally hoped that I would have started back in 2008 to document my first genuine journey towards weight loss. Well be careful what you wish for Mo, because congratulations its 2015 and you’ve gained 20 kilos.

When I started posting back in 2012 I planned to be committed to providing worthy content for fitness and health enthusiasts to read however what I had hoped to be a weekly fitness ‘dramady’ update branched out to becoming BBC’s Sherlock, providing you with three episodes a year, and leaving you with a cliff hanger and a fist at the screen.

As I attempt to pull a Lara-Croft-esque reboot on my blog I will discuss why I stopped writing, why I’m starting again, and what’s different this time around. After all its 2015, and Ms.Croft looks rather dashing. (And we both thought I’d never use the D word).

Why I Stopped Writing?

Honestly speaking, my Chondromalacia flare-ups frightened me to my core. I always felt like I was one move away from being unable to continue pursuing fitness. My worst flare up since surgery took place last September, and left me unable to drive for over a month and a half. The first time I got in the passenger seat mid-October I felt like I just got my license.

I am a firm believer in the ‘no excuses’ way of living, where you do the best you can with the cards you are dealt with, and if you there is something you really want, you focus on it until it becomes a reality (or you learn from the situation, tweak your ideas and keep growing as an individual). Well I spent my time focused on the risk of quieting my stable job and setting up my own business with my wife. My emphasis on my entrepreneurial career sacrificed my ability to push hard at the gym (especially when I have to be twice as careful to avoid knee flare ups, not to mention the extra care it takes to build and maintain the area around my near cartilage-less knee). Now I know what your thinking, balance dude balance! Well as much as I love to think of myself as a fitness machine (or was one previously) my life changed way too much, and I tried to keep injecting fitness sessions here and there but it fell apart, evident by the rapid weight gain. Responsibilities were over the roof as there was hardly any room or budget for delegation as a start up. My previous job was taxing, and including weekend work and traveling, however it never hindered my morning workout routine. However after quitting, and even before officially opening Bossy Kitchen, the task of researching, negotiating, hiring, training, purchasing, budgeting, designing, building, cooking, tasting, pricing, selling, servicing, marketing and hosting made its mark on me. Previously I would have my gym clothes folded and ready before I go to sleep by 9:30pm NO MATTER WHAT. Now I would be lucky if I was home from work before midnight.

I am not promoting weight gain in what I am about to say, but usually you hear people complaining when they stop working out, and the ill effects of being overweight. But its more then just that. I am totally aware of what I did wrong, but other parts of my life flourished due to my dedication at work. Being able to truly communicate with the community on a personal level daily, and working with my very own team made it all worth awhile. I’m not going to tell you its okay to keep gaining weight, especially with my knee condition, but I accepted and understood the situation and plan to move forward. Its been an intimidating year, however I took my drive from tennis and training and applied it in the business world. I now feel that I am ready to put some of my focus into working out and re-balancing my life again. Hence why I feel comfortable towards committing to my blog again.

Why I’m starting again.

With all the weight gain and injuries I do feel like It is a true reboot to my fitness life, and although I am treading on familiar ground, it has been almost eight years since my initial weight loss. My life is different, my body is different, Im still in my twenties but I’ve aged (my knee is probably the same age as Monica Bellucci right now (Hi Monica!)) . – Totally makes you think I’ve recently watched 007:Spectre. Answer is yes. I did.

The inherit need to motivate you lot is still inside me, and I feel it’s the perfect time to showcase my unfiltered fitness journey. Way too much vanity involved in social media, so I would love to input something a bit more realistic. I’m not out to carve serious abs and do handstand push-ups inside the Kitchen*.

*Ministry of Health if you are reading this, I swear no such thing takes place at work**

**if it did, I promise I use gloves.

I’ll be honest about what I do and what I don’t do. If I mess up you’ll see it. If I manage to balance myself and lose weight you’ll see it. I am not a fitness expert, but I’m a fitness enthusiast at heart. It’s changed my life in the past, and I hope I can use it to do so again. I am going to do my best to enjoy my workouts, my food and everything in between. I hope you stay with me during the process, and I’ll do my best to share as much as I can from this experience, and hope to benefit you as well as myself. I will not push a certain ideology (gluten free, crossfit etc.), as I love to experiment. For example although my diet is mostly Pescataerian based, I am not that vocal about it, because its something that works for me but won’t necessarily work for everybody. And just because I have a certain regiment doesn’t mean it is the one and only way. I appreciate and support the amazing abundance of workout varieties and dietary lifestyles and choices people make spanning the globe. If I attempt any, I will be sure to include it in my fitness diary, however that doesn’t mean that I will endorse any form over the other adamantly.

What’s Different?

There’s another reason why I stopped writing *plot twist*. Whenever I write something that I feel truly took a lot out of me in the past to do so, especially when I pour my heart out. Local readership has been somewhat scarce. Now I know I don’t have the best duck face or get my name misspelled at Starbucks to post on my instagram, however my stats show that most of my readers come out of Bahrain (US,UK, shout out to Brazil and Spain too!). In the past this would get me upset and discourage me to keep writing, as I felt that my efforts were not being encouraged. I’ve struggled in a similar way with my business life (attempting to take on business giants in one of the world’s most demanding and punishing industries), so as I close out the first year of being an entrepreneur its left me with greater understanding and thicker skin (I wish it gave me more cartilage though). I feel like I can finally write freely,

 

In     any     form

 

That

 

I

Want.

 

See what I mean? I no longer feel shackled to fit in a box. Some have told me to write shorter posts (something about attention span), however I feel that It won’t get my point across if I did so. I told myself I would do three paragraphes with this article and then just post it, and look at how it ended up all Lord-of-the-Rings on you. (side note: never read the books or watched the movie, please don’t plot my murder Thanks. (oh while we are on the honest train, I havn’t seen most of the Star Wars films or any The God Father). (Nervebullet Boycott in 3… 2….1.)

Now, in case you are still reading (congratulations, most readers have not made it past my Adele joke back in the first paragraph), I really hope to push my writing as much as I do my fitness. I feel in order to do so, I’d also like to write about other things I am passionate about. I wont keep this solely for fitness. I’d love to share my poems, or thoughts on other things like music and video games. Im all about the melodies that touch your soul, and/or shake your spine (from Um Kalthoom, or Tracy Chapman to Bury Tomorrow and Sevendust. Oh and speaking of Video games, it has certainly turned into an interactive art form (I’m big on Tomb Raider, Bioshock and Last of Us.) so expect me throw in discussions about the current video game culture amidst other things!

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Look out for my next post October 2016 (jk jk, see you next week!)

Try to visit my blog like you do Friday family lunch. and Heres hoping you visit your family once a week.

From the ground up,

Mohammed

For daily posts check out my instagram @nervebullet.

Currently (NOT) Listening to: Hello by Adelle

Currently Playing: Need for Speed (2015)

Sevendust Part 1: Discovering the Field of Solitude

Introduction

To celebrate Sevendust’s 10th electric record ‘Kill the Flaw’ (releasing this Friday October 2nd 2015), I am penning a three part blog series, encompassing my discovery of the band back in 2001, my relationship with their music, meeting them through a series of interactions that have spanned 15 years of brutal melody and honest lyrics.

Discovering the Field of Solitude 

Remember those CRT computer monitors. Strong enough to poke your eye out, but you were on it everyday. Back in high school you were on the computer right after school, chatting with your friends on msn or aol, slaving through an essay with only your music to keep you company. During my avid ‘study breaks’ I’d jump online looking for new music to add to my collection. I don’t remember which band I was looking up (or maybe I do but I’m to embarrassed to disclose) and as I was hovering across the ‘similar artist’ section a picture of a pale kid with a green apple on his head catches my attention. The only song you could sample was ‘Trust’ and it was lasted a mere 15 seconds but it was enough to put Lajon’s vocals front and center

“When I hold my head down to the ground and I wish you were here with me”

That was enough. That was all I needed (pun intended if you know the song). I franticly rushed on to Amazon to order Animosity. Back in the day kids, we didn’t have iTunes, and since I live on the tiny island of Bahrain, it was an antagonizing wait for the album to be shipped from the UK or US. The album stayed in my Portable CD Player for the most part until Seasons came out in 2003. Looking back I love each of their albums in their own way, but nothing will ever shake me the way Animosity did.

Every crevice on that record is etched into my mind for various reasons. Live Again was my anthem, Angel’s son was dear to both my sister and me, ever since we lost our grandmother a year later, T.O.A.B. ignited my love for double bass.  The album was so diverse and ahead of its time. If I play it today 14 years later, I still get chills.

Being a fanatic was an understatement. My email ID became sevendust95@hotmail.com (the year they formed), I wouldn’t stop talking about the band until my friends cemented it in the year book in the ’10 years later’ section. It was something about taking them around the world until they became number one. If that wasn’t enough I traversed online stores until I collected every version of every album they’ve released (Japanese, UK Imports you name it.). Seasons had a Japan exclusive track ‘Number One The Ballad’ which to me is also one of their greatest tracks so tracking these down was worth it. Now its click and it’s yours in an instant. Back in the early 2000’s you were waiting for it as bad as Eid or Christmas. There was a record store I would frequent in downtown Manama that imported new CDs (unfortunately its closed now). I remember a bunch of CD’s including Chimaira’s album arriving at the same time as Seasons, but was kept in their wrapping for a while as Seasons ran its course (enough Puns man). I remember sending a CD to DJ Krazy Kevin on our local radio station highlighting the songs with explicits so he wouldn’t play them. On one fine morning he played ‘Broken Down’ on my way to school. When I arrived I heard many kids talking about it, some loving it, but what I remember most was two girls complaining  ‘God they played Sevendust today, it was so loud’. I laughed as it was one of their most melodic singles, if only they heard something off Home!

Listening to them through headphones will always be something I hold dear to me. All of this was about to change after I found out I was going to see them live for the first time.

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60 Days of Bossy Kitchen!

Nervebullet: Listen I can explain, please don’t hang up on me.

Blog Reader: Who is she, and why haven’t you been answering (posting) for the past year.

Nervebullet: Listen baby, I can change. First off, she’s my wife, and we were both determined to take Bossy Kitchen from a home based business to a full fledged restaurant, so I needed some time to focus on that. But now its all you I promise. It’s always been you.

Blog Reader: Wait a minute, did you just call me baby? I could be a guy for all you know.

Nervebullet: Um… lets get back to blogging shall we?

I’ll make a post explaining my absence and going through the highlights of the life changing 2014 but for now lets start dust this website off and get back to business eh?

For the next 60 Days I will be eating strictly healthy home cooked meals from Bossy Kitchen. It could be anything from the current menu available to the public, or prototype dishes that could be served in the future. I’ve taken my weight, full body measurements and body fat %age, caliper measurements. They are safely stored in my office drawer and I will compare them with my new results in 60 days.

As I write this I am currently on day 3 and things are going great so far! I will be posting regular updates of my eating habits and workouts on instagram @nervebullet . Also feel free to follow me on my fitness pal were I tag EVERY SINGLE thing that goes into my body and EVERY SINGLE workout for the next 60 days! If I cheat you will see it. I will provide a weekly summery on my blog to share how things are going.

The house rules are listed below:

  • No Dairy
  • No Red meat
  • No Refined carbs
  • No Soda
  • Clean carbs during breakfast and less during lunch
  • No fruits after lunch
  • Dinner: Leans & Greens only
  • Supplements: Fish Oil, Turmeric
  • WATER WATER WATER
  • STRETCH STRETCH STRETCH
  • Workouts + Phsyio NO MATTER WHAT
  • One rest day a week
  • Cheat meal once every 10 days.
  • NO EXCEPTIONS
  • NO EXCUSES
  • NOW OR NEVER!

I want to keep this post brief, so I will go through these rules, alongside insight behind my actions and decisions in form of daily updates on instagram.

Here goes nothing!

Mohammed

PS: Feel free to reach out to me via email, instagram, twitter to the comments box below and let me know which areas you areas interest you more during the 60 days (food, workout, supplements etc.) and share your thoughts and ideas! I need you to communicate with me throughout all this so I can provide you with meaningful feedback and useful posts!

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