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. 

  

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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…

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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!

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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. 

   

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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How To Overcome Fitness Excuses and Pitfalls

Fitness and well-being seems to be a big deal. If it wasn’t this site wouldn’t exist and females wouldn’t be spewing the words Kale and Quinoa like they invented said vegetable and grain. Now before half the world’s gender start spamming the comments and unfollow button I also use those words. If you don’t believe me just check the @bossykitchen account. Plot twist! I write her posts! *Gasp* and you thought my wife was funny.

Ok so with cross fit, protein shakes and eye-sore leggings spreading like the plague, why do many aspiring fitness enthusiasts fall off the proverbial bandwagon? I’ll split these into three categories (Time, Money, Patience) and attempt to tackle them with honesty and applicable solutions. So to all the newbies this is finally your chance to chant Qunioa through to 2015.

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Ezio doesn’t like it when people tell him they don’t have time to workout

“I don’t have the TIME to workout”

The Problem: Life is all about priorities; just ask these new years revolutionists who are currently hogging the gym floor like it was a black Friday sale (great now I can’t use this metaphor for a future post).Towards New Years Eve we tend to reflect on the fleeting year as if a new line will be crossed on midnight. One of the most common thoughts are ‘Man, I really need to get into better shape’, unless your Ryan Gosling, then you seriously need to eat a Cheese Cake Ryan. If you can feel this strongly about your fitness on New Years Eve then you can work on doing so during the year. I understand life is very demanding (family, work, children who need a diaper change and bosses who need a diaper), but if you keep telling me your busy like the president of an ant farm, then I’ve got 22 CEOS that right here get their workouts before 6AM.

Quick fix: Look at your day as 23 hours long. I am sure you can get your sleep, work and other commitments done within those 23 hours. Cement that 24th hour for your workout and your golden.

The solution: The solution here is applying more time management skills to your routine. Do your best to sleep the same time everyday so you can iron out your daily schedule without erratic changes due to oversleeping or sleep deprivation. Find classes that work with your work timings (either first thing in the morning or after office hours). Instead of ramping up the calories by going out with friends why not make fitness a social activity by teaming up with a partner at a gym or meeting new friends at a fitness class. Working in teams or meeting like minded fitness enthusiasts keeps you committed and more willing to etch these workouts into your schedule.

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A friend admitting to Ezio regarding his lack of Florians to join the local gymnasium

“I can’t AFFORD to workout”

The Problem: One of  the most common responses I get is that eating healthy is too expensive and that it puts them off. I believe the issue here is that its often very easy to fall into gimmicks and diet myths that may lead you towards products or training sessions that might seem too costly. I must admit it is certainly scary to walk by the segregated ORGANIC section at the local supermarket. Some of those prices are so high that I’m expecting that aisle to be paved with gold soon enough.

The Reader’s perceived solution

Reader: oh great, he is probably going to say something cheese like ‘if you don’t make time for health you will be forced to pay with sickness’

Nervebullet: No not really *double plot twist** (Nervebullet is the M Night Shyamalan of fitness!)

Reader: Hey I’m the reader you can poke fun of yourself but not me!

Nervebullet: I’m sorry here is a picture of some uncooked Quinoa to make up for it.

The Solution: Now I do have quite a few points to cover with this issue however I want to also tie in the matter of perception again but at a different angle. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, since I’m actually quite upset that the guard killed mine in Assassins Creed Brotherhood so no joking about horses. I must point out that I find it ironic that it’s easy for many to claim that eating healthy is expensive however they are more then willing then to shell out a premium for fizzy drinks at any restaurant and do so on a regular basis.

  • If gym membership is too expensive, or too far or maybe you don’t enjoy the gym environment look into working out at home with a dvd. These have developed over the years so you no longer have to worry about staring at Richard Simmons in spandex if that’s not your thing. I’ve tried a variety over the years and my personal favorite is P90X. There won’t be a trainer to check on your form however Tony Horton really breaks down each maneuver to leave no room for mistakes as long as you concentrate and he even has modifications for those with injuries. One of his team members has a prosthetic leg so no excuses! Also the great thing with these workouts is that you don’t need to have expensive equipment for your home gym. Just a few dumbbells, a pull up bar that you can put up on your door or resistance bands, yoga mats and a towel to wipe your sweat. I will be covering the various products currently available in the market at a later post so hang tight! The beauty of these workouts is that they can last from 25 minutes to an hour depending on which product you go with and that time includes stretching and warm up. Some of these are great especially for people that have demanding jobs that require you to travel.
  • The healthy foods section probably requires a dissertation to cover so for now I’ll give you simple tips and will continue to tackle this with upcoming posts. Many of these so called healthy foods are expensive due to importing costs and advertising, and most are deceiving with the exact amount of nutrients that they include, amongst other marketing traps. To keep both you and your wallet healthy I strongly encourage a visit to your local farmers market. The price difference in comparison to store brought may shock you! Once I discovered the vegetable jackpot I hardly spend any money on fresh produce at the supermarket anymore.

Quick Fix: Go for a walk. I know it sounds simple and may seem unintuitive but if you do this six times a week you end the year having walked 9630 minutes. Now other then proving that I still have some math skills intact from high school *minimizes calculator app*, small steps like these will take you a long way, even if you end up just walking around your neighborhood. My awesome mother, whom I gain my inspiration and determination from has insane knee issues but still manages to go for a morning walk even though its indoors so regardless of the weather she is still committed. Little workout is better then none.

My horse before he was killed by the guard. I should have stuck with Barbie Horseriding...
My horse before he was killed by the Borgia guard. I should have stuck with Barbie Horseriding…

“OK so I put down the time and the money, Where is my six pack?!”

The Problem:

  • Your lack of patience
  • Your perception of a healthy body
  • Your understanding towards your dietary requirements and metabolism.

The Solution:

  • Putting on that blubber didn’t happen over night so don’t go feeling up your stomach for abs after one sit up (cc:Rthompson94) and one brown sandwich. When friends with personal fitness goals approach me, many surprise me at how little time they are giving their bodies to change ‘I want to lose 10 kilos by X date’. Their X date happens to be their wedding. And their wedding happens to be next month. You need to give your body time to adapt to the changes both at the gym and on the dinner table. Imagine if you stuck with this since January 1st 2013, how different would you be today?
  • If you commit to your workouts for long enough you begin to realize that it is not just the physical aspects that change. Endorphins and dopamine start whizzing around your body and you didn’t even have to resort to drugs*. Your energy levels spike up, you are more productive at work and you are more attentive in preventing guards from killing your virtual horse.      One of my inspirations is Rick Wyckoff, who runs the instagram account @can_rick . Rick battled extreme overweight issues and although he currently has loose skin, he openly describes the mental and emotional benefits after eliminating the excess weight and acknowledges that his current condition will always triumph what he once was. 

*Nervebullet discourages the use of drugs. Unless said drug is made of Qunioa*

**Nervebullet regains the following of the females that unfollowed him previously for mocking their love for Qunioa

  • Have you ever starved yourself only to eventually binge and gain the weight you lost and then some? Or have you decided to jump on the gluten free fad, only to overeat gluten free substitutes that are high in calorie,sodium and fat? These actions hold your metabolism at gunpoint due to the extremities of either choice. This does not just apply to fitness newbies. There are many bodybuilders (especially those that enter competitions) who destroy their metabolic rate by insanely decreasing their calorie intake and end up suffering in the long run. If you have a variety of fitness accounts on your social feed you will see many former ‘clean eaters’ who struggle with unexpected weight gain during the off season due to a stint in their metabolic rate. Spend more time understanding nutrition and don’t rely on fads or quick fixes on your way to a healthier you. The ideal diet would be the one, which we don’t end up feeling that we are on a diet.

The recurring theme through all of these pitfalls seems to be a matter of perception, and if tackled with more persistence and equipped with greater knowledge of how nutrition affects your body you can raise your fitness and health levels to new heights. It’s a shame that some may never get to see how much their body is truly capable of accomplishing. Learn to enjoy the process, as it is a very telling and humbling journey, one that solidifies the test of the human spirit. Being healthy, fit and happy requires you to remind yourself of your capabilities by accepting yourself as you grow and forgiving yourself when you fall short, and that this lifestyle is not reserved solely for athletes.

Do you have your own fitness pitfalls that you would like to share? If so comment box below, or tweet me on @nervebullet and I will do my best to push you through it! 🙂

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This is probably one of the hardest articles I’ve had to sit down and write, one that required immense reflection and complete honesty.

Weight loss is a battle and health will always be something that you fight for, be it trying to fend off the unnecessary cravings or pushing yourself trough a new routine especially when the rest lure you in with the sentence “Come on Mo, its just one bite!”. Looking at the earlier stages of my weight loss journey, one would think that the struggle would be trying to eliminate 25 kilos. However I’ve discovered with career threatening injuries and to some extent disability, its no longer just a battle against lethargy, but trying to prevent weight gain and reclaim your physique against the limitations stopping you from sweating it off.

My journey began in 2007 during my sophomore year of college. I still remember my first semester where I used to have Chinese food for lunch from the university hall and pizza for dinner. Although I was in an English school for most of my life, I still had trouble adjusting being on the other end of the world, away from my parents and my sister (my best friend). I remember driving home every evening and after finishing my studies I’d engulf an entire pizza while watching an episode of friends. I think I reached the 6th season towards the end of the semester before meeting locals who today are my closest friends in the world. No spoilers please I still don’t know if Phoebe ends up with Joey.

During the second semester I enrolled in the local gym however didn’t really know what I was doing. It was a process of trial and error as I began to tweak my food and seek assistance with the types of exercises that would help me attain my goal. During spring I remember driving past ‘Bike Line’ after class and called up my friend Semo saying, “Bro, we should get mountain bikes!”. This paired up with a tennis racket and I was on the road to newfound strength and unearthing undiscovered passions.Fitness became a staple of my life so much that I built everything around it. I researched every nutrient possible and delved into as many training techniques possible from gyms to boot camps, from muddy terrain to tennis courts.

My dedication to fitness was tested in 2012 when I suffered a serious injury that threatened my tennis career and the ability to pursue a healthy life style. Experiencing people pass you by at normal speed as you try to maneuver in a wheelchair seemed spirit breaking at first, however ended up being a lesson in humility. I remember holding on to my physiotherapists shoulder, fixing my gauge and learning how to walk again. The injuries piled up as I forced other parts of my body to compensate for the damaged areas. My wrist and elbow flare up especially during the winter months. I began to doubt the ability to reclaim my place in the tennis circuit and fitness world.

I fought hard and made it back for a short stint on the tennis tour this past winter, however my body paid the price. I suffered a shoulder tear during an epic three-hour battle at the semi finals. My training was again limited to swimming however a recent large cut in my feet meant that I couldn’t swim. Bit by bit I watched doctors eliminate activates from my list and the winter just made it more inviting to wrap myself up in a blanket and eat anything that was in front of me.

Since my surgery my weight fluctuated however I managed to reduce it back down in September just before tennis season. I struggled from the first round, and with the clear bulls eye aimed at my knee, opponents had no trouble in aggravating it with drop shots forcing me to move back and forth from the baseline and net. Since then I’ve gained 6 kilos, each equal to 4kg of added pressure on my fragile knees.

For the first time in five years I returned to emotional eating, ordering pizza frequently. I became everything I spent years fighting against. I am writing this because I want those who seek a healthy lifestyle to see all forms of struggle with trying to get in shape be it weight, injury, disability or whatever the case may be. I share my physical, mental and emotional state because I am discouraged by the fitness accounts that show you nothing but six packs and one-liners that lack advice and serve nothing but ego boosting. I am by no means playing a victim, and I assure you that I am not clumsy with the injuries that befall me (although I’ll take credit for the drum stool falling my foot, I could have been more careful with that). My goal is to show you BOTH the up’s and down’s of the pursuit of fitness. I remain candid in my accounts and although the terrain has changed for me this year, I hold on to the spirit that has been building since my journey began in 2008. The cut in my foot has healed meaning that I can get in the water, and I am just waiting for the fibers in my shoulder to hug it out, and although I have missing cartilage and deformed bones I’ll keep the pursuit alive.  Raw energy from the ground up, I’m taking you with me.

An exaggerated reenactment of my relapse
An exaggerated reenactment of my relapse