The Shit They Don’t Tell You: 12 Things New Parents Need to Know

This article is written by NF Rebel Correspondent, Dan.

New parent? Thinking of having kids? Thinking of not having kids?

Today we’re going to bring you some hard truths.

I‘ve just had my third child because I am a crazy person I love being a dad so much, and there are still things that happen each day where I think ‘huh, never knew that!’ Even though I’ve been a parent educator for years, I still get shocked about how little I know.

I’ve spoken to hundreds of expectant mothers and fathers in ante-natal classes, giving them the general rundown on pregnancy, birthing, raising kids, child development and parenting. Today you are getting the real scoop: the stuff I don’t even cover there.

The decision to go for completion of the “parenting quest” is not to be made lightly. We’re going to arm you with the knowledge of traps, bosses, and challenges that lie ahead.

Being prepared is key, so let’s stock our inventory with some rarely passed on knowledge.

Simple and Delicious: How to Cook Fajitas

What’s up all you party people! It’s that time of the month. (No, not that time of the month). It’s time to learn how to cook something new.

This time we’re going back to basics with our recipes with an easy peasy, Level One fajita recipe. With less than 10 ingredients, you’ll be done in 30 minutes. If you’re feelin’ hungry, and want to try something new and simple for dinner, you’ve come to the right place.

When you haven’t cooked in a while or you’re new to cooking, sometimes just one simple, delicious recipe can get you in the game. You start to cook that, maybe a few times within a couple of weeks, and then you find a more adventurous recipe. The effect keeps snowballing, and before you know, you’re regularly cooking a few times a week and have an array of recipes in your arsenal.

Fajitas were that door-opening recipe for me. They were one of the first things that I learned how to cook when I was beginning to fend for myself in the kitchen, and they still make an appearance in my regular dinner rotation. They’re delicious, they make great left-overs, plus they look fairly impressive if you’re having people over. Just look at those colors!

So today you’re going to learn the basics of this classic, go-to recipe for entertaining friends on movie night, game night, or whatever it is you crazy kids do for fun.

Enough chatter.

Get Fit with Pokemon GO!

This is a post from Master of the Fitness Universe, Jim.

So what exactly is this hype about catching ’em all?

I don’t know about you, but walking to work, around my neighborhood, or running errands doesn’t elicit much excitement. Pokémon Go has turned walking around our communities into a half scavenger hunt, half RPG game that is incredibly engaging.

In less than a week, Pokémon Go has become the number one mobile game with over 7 million downloads (you can download it for your iPhone or Droid).

Players use their phones to hunt and search for digital creatures (Pokémon). The rub is that you actually have to physically get out and walk around to find these creatures. Think of it like virtual birdwatching, and you’re halfway there. Whereas most video games keep us inside and sedentary, Pokémon Go integrates a physical and social dynamic.

Just trying to find all the different Pokémon in the game will take you quite some time (there are 151), and players are rewarded for exploring new areas of their town or city, as different Pokémon appear in different locations.

It’s this sense of exploration and wonder that has caught (pun intended) a lot of people’s interest. Don’t scoff at this game because you think it’s for kids – we could all use a little more child-like fun, activity, and imagination in our lives.

Pokémon Go is a great reminder that exercise can be enjoyable and automatic, fueled by fun instead of by that nagging feeling in our heads.

The Deadpool Guide to Self-Love

This is a guest post from Camp Nerd Fitness Headmaster Amy Clover SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Deadpool, for the love of gawd go watch it already, then get your ass back here. 

We can all resonate with Deadpool at least a little bit.

For whatever reasons, we run around hiding our faces because we’re convinced — if someone sees who we really are — they’ll run in the other direction.

My whole life, I’ve hidden who I am because I thought I was “supposed” to be different: changing my body, my interests, the way I talked, the way my brain worked, who I was, in order to be worthy.

After every breakup, I’d run to the gym to cardio myself to death because *obviously* it was my body’s fault he didn’t stick around. I realize now how incredibly effed that is. I just thought that was what I needed to do to be liked and loved.

Note from Steve: For some, this can manifest itself in the belief that being bigger and stronger or more ripped will solve all of our confidence/happiness problems. In short, it’s the feeling of being “forever small.”

The idea that we need to be a certain way in order to be validated is a story we tell ourselves. One that gets us nowhere and nothing. Mine was about my body, but maybe yours has to do with needing to be seen as the “funny friend” or “smart one” – maybe you feel the need to achieve certain milestones to establish your worth (wealth, the status of a certain job, or the respect that comes with having a family or partner).

Without validation from others, I was worthless. It was only when someone else loved me that I thought I was worth anything at all. And I was always surprised when I couldn’t keep my mask on all the time (doing and being all those things that weren’t really me).

Just like Deadpool, we’ve gotta make peace with who’s under that mask.

My wish is that you get to the end of this post confident in your next steps to finally taste the Daffodil Daydream of your own being… that came out wrong… or did it?
Ready to turn your horror movie into a love story? Here’s the Deadpool guide to loving yourself. Not literally, though.

Step 1: Investigate “You”

Question-400x600

You’ve probably heard the term “authentic self.” While it may make you want to gag from even uttering mouthful of such new age woo-dom, it’s something most of us should pay more attention to.

When Wade Wilson wakes up deformed after all the tests Ajax has done on him, he’s crushed. Though he had no control over what happened to him, he determines he’s no longer lovable because of how he turns out. His self-worth is instantly reduced to zero.

Deadpool’s experience is just like any trauma that’s happened to us, be it bullying, abuse, ultra-painful rejection or simply living a life to meet the expectations of others. Instead of seeing and accepting the way we really are, we react with fear, anger, or a sense of defeat.

These experiences shape the beliefs we have about ourselves, some of the most common being that we have to look a certain way to be worthy, we’re not enough, we’re a burden, we have nothing important to say, we’re worthless, and a whole bunch of other horrible things we’d never ever say to anyone else. We start to believe we have to know the perfect thing to say and do in every situation, instead of just being ourselves. Are you you? Or the “you” you think the world wants?

Maybe you were made fun of for being skinny, so now you feel you have to be buff to be worthy of positive attention, or you lost someone way before their time and now you’re afraid everyone will leave you without warning, so you cling to people. Maybe something horrible happened to you, and now you’re constantly on the lookout for danger, anticipating it in situations where there isn’t a threat (which can keep you from true intimacy). These beliefs are strong; they feel like the truth. But they’re not.

Here’s the truth: These experiences happen to us, but they are not who we are.

The real you – the person you are right here and right now – is pure f***ing worth. Every single person on this earth, exactly as they are, no matter how “deformed,” is worthy of happiness.
While it’s easy to read that and understand it logically, it’s a whole other beast to start believing it.

Make peace with your “Deformities”

The first step to embracing your “deformities” – the stuff you think needs changing – is to truly face what they are. You have a few options; pick your poison:

Deadpool-cover

1) Write it out

If you’ve ever gone to Strong Inside Out, you’ll know I’m a biiiiiiig fan of journaling. It’s helped me work through my own “deformities.” Here’s how to start:

  1. Open a Google Doc.
  2. Write down whatever’s bothering you for 5 minutes.

Not the most intricate of tools, but incredibly helpful for processing what happened, how you feel, and tearing apart the beliefs fear has instilled in you. You never have to share your notes with another soul if you don’t want to.

Those of us who are really proud might not be able to bring ourselves to write down the things that bother us. It’s easier to throw our hands up and say “this is all nonsense” than admit we don’t feel like we’re enough.

When we refuse to face things that bring us pain, we give them more power. The terror increases because we’re sure if we look at it, it will destroy us.

I’ve got some news for you, friend: you are not some fragile little flower. You are ALIVE, and here to level up your life.

Heroes don’t shy away from their problems, they face them. You can’t deal with what you refuse to face. Seeing your fears and beliefs out on paper makes them less ambiguous and can help you see them for what they really are; it helps to take away some of their power over you.

You need to get it out so you can look it in the eyes like the badass you are. This is the only way to deal with the issue in the long run – turning to a diet or whatever other fear-based shortcut you come up with (getting a pump before you go out), just won’t work in the long run.

2) Physical attributes don’t define your self-worth

…no matter what David Beckham sounds like when he talks, or how Ryan Reynolds got so far in the acting world.

A lot of us hide who we really are because we think we’re supposed to look different. We feel shame about not looking like the 5% of people depicted as beautiful in the media, and society ain’t helping.

You’ll read a lot of propaganda on the interwebs about why you should look different than you do (often so they can make money) and how to do it by totally wrecking your health (Steve recently wrote about this). When you aim for physical goals aligned with love for who you truly are and the healthiest version of you — rather than needing to look different to be worthy — it can be a truly positive experience. When it’s based in needing to be good enough, however, it almost always leads to disastrous ends.

Whether you’re looking to achieve big physical changes, or going after some status in your career, you cannot shame yourself into positive changes. The energy doesn’t add up. You’ve gotta embrace what you’ve got, even if you plan to change it (in a healthy way).

To do this, explore the real reason you think you need to change. In the case of your body – explore your “need to look perfect”:

Is it because you think perfect people have their shit together? They don’t. That’s their own particular mask to fool the world.

Is it because you think your problems will disappear when you become “perfect?” First of all, there is no “perfect.” Second of all, they might… and new troubles will come in to take their place.

Is it because you’ve always been taught you need to look that way to be attractive? That this is how you achieve acceptance and status?

A great exercise to break through this mindset is to actively focus for one full day on finding beauty in real people around you. Not just superficial beauty, but real, heart-expanding beauty inside and out.

Ugh I just set off my own gag reflex. What I mean to say is go out and find something that gives your heart a hard on… or heart on???

Deadpool

Jot down what you find throughout the day. I bet you’ll be surprised just how many forms beauty can take.

Remember what Vanessa said, “It’s just a face” (or a body). Your worth runs so much deeper.

3. Stop one-upping your pain

When I was really struggling, I knew no one had it as bad as me. I held all the pain inside, refusing to talk about it because I knew no one would understand. Whenever anyone said they had it hard, I always had my own version of “ball gags, brownie mix and clown porn” to argue back with.

Whatever we focus on becomes our reality. I fought for my own pain, which made me live in it every single day. What I didn’t realize was that just like Deadpool, I could fight for something else. When I chose to fight for healing instead, my reality shifted.

There’s a certain sick satisfaction we get by thinking we’re alone and in more pain than those around us. It feeds our egos and fears, giving us a sense of “terminal uniqueness”; we think we’re so different that we’re beyond help and incapable of change.

While I believe you are indeed a complex, distinct snowflake-of-a-being, you are never so broken that you’re beyond help and change. To tell yourself that is to give up on any purposeful happiness you might create.

Talk It Out

talkitout

The reason we hide from who we really are is that we are ashamed of it. Our old (false) beliefs are so strong, they’ve made our truth revolting to us.

Every single superhero-in-training (X-Men especially) deals with this. It’s the natural outcome of our society. Maybe you’re scared you’ll never have the job you want. Maybe something happened in the past you’ve never fully processed, or maybe you just don’t know how to talk about the thoughts that go through your head that you think you’re ‘not supposed’ to think.

Talking to someone who’s got your best interests in mind is probably the most healing thing you could ever do. If you read my last post here, you know how big a fan of therapy I am. While I know that’s not the most welcome option for everyone, it’s been the single most helpful aspect of my personal recovery (and many others’ whom I’ve helped along the way).

That said, if it’s not your thing, there are other options with less stigma attached to them. For instance, online chat platforms are available for free or for very little and they can be a great way to get comfortable with talking about your stuff before you talk about it with someone in person. You can talk with trained listeners or real therapists online 24/7. A few examples are 7 Cups, Talkspace or BlahTherapy. Please keep in mind that non-therapist listeners won’t always have the answers you crave, but their hearts are usually in the right place.

Still iffy about therapy even if it’s online? Find your Weasel.

Weasel is the only person Deadpool really opens up to because he’s a good listener and he’s got his back no matter what. Usually, you’ll know when you’ve found your Weasel, but if you’re still on the lookout, here’s the ad to post in your brain’s classifieds:

  • Is a good listener: Doesn’t constantly interrupt, tell you you’re wrong or judge you, actually hears what you’re saying (instead of “Uh-huh”-ing you to death).
  • Can put ego aside: Lots of us are fixers, but sometimes we just need to talk stuff out so we can better understand it. You should feel comfortable saying, “Do you mind just listening to me for a few minutes? I need to talk through this,” and know this person will.
  • Keeps things private: Trust this person enough to keep things between you quiet.
  • Wants the best for you: When Ajax came into the bar and snagged the pic of Vanessa, Weasel told Wade right away. You want someone who’s going to look out for you, even if that means they lovingly call you out when nasty stuff like fear is threatening to ransack your life.

When Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead come to your aid, let them help. I know it’s scary, trust me. But the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Four or Five Moments

sideways deadpool

Let’s just put this out there: change is HARD. If it was easy, you’d be all sunshine and rainbows by now.

The recommendations I’m making here require you to get down and dirty with stuff you may not have looked at in a long time. Scary stuff. Here’s where I’m going to defer to Colossus…

Four or five moments is all it takes to become the hero of your own life.

Those moments might be extremely uncomfortable at first, but you have to stay with them — to sit with whatever demands to be felt — in order to move past them for good.
Most people don’t push through these moments. They avoid them, looking for quick-fix solutions that are more comfortable than dealing with the real stuff. And to their surprise, they always land back in this state of defeat. This is why they feel like they’re incapable of change. We need to focus on the real, root cause:

Diet plans focus on the symptom of overeating, but not on the reasons why we use food to escape life.

Some personal development rhetoric focuses on positive affirmations that completely contradict what you feel about yourself, ringing untrue and actually working you deeper into dark thoughts.

When we try to change our lives with these methods, we come to believe we are failures because they don’t work. But it’s the programs that fail us.

We have to deal with what’s real; we have to commit to the suckage of it until it stops sucking so hard.

Let me lay some truth down on you: You can handle anything that comes your way. Anything. You just won’t know that’s the truth until you have those four or five moments and come out the other side. You may be a different person after; we all know Deadpool came out the other side looking like a totally different hero. And that’s the point.

Give it your maximum effort and you will come out the other side.

Take off the mask, make peace with what you’ve been labeling “deformities,” and find an ally along the way to help you see your own false narrative.

If you’re taking the plunge, comment with “MAXIMUM EFFORT!!!” below this post so I can send you spirit fingers vibes from afar!

-Amy

P.S. From Steve: Amy is one of our amazing headmasters coming to Camp Nerd Fitness this year, a life-changing retreat in the mountains of Georgia. Head on over and learn more.

Amy Clover is a fitness personality, speaker and the force behind Strong Inside Out, a site that helps people “become stronger than their struggle” through fitness and positive action. In addition to being one of our beloved Headmasters, she’s a yellow belt in Taekwondo and was president of anime club in high school. Nerd alert!

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Choose Your Own Adventure

Whether it’s getting in shape, finally quitting our job, making new friends, or trying that new class we’ve had our eye on, sometimes making the right choice puts us in an uncomfortable situation. Sometimes it puts us in uncomfortable situations over and over again.

Sometimes this takes the form of social pressure: so often we hear from those who are trying to get healthy are regularly pressured by friends to eat or drink a certain way because they “earned it” or because they should “live a little.”

And it’s not just social pressure: starting an exercise habit isn’t easy. Stepping into the gym for the first time can be incredibly intimidating. Being new and returning day after day takes some grit. Sometimes we need 20 seconds of courage to make the leap. Sometimes we need a bigger push out the door.

For hundreds of people, that’s Camp Nerd Fitness.

As most of you know, Camp Nerd Fitness takes place this September in the mountains of North Georgia. We’re bringing together hundreds of the Rebellion’s finest (that’s you) along with 17 of our most trusted and inspiring instructors (affectionately known as Headmasters), to spend a couple of days together learning crazy new skills like sword fighting, parkour, and weight lifting. From mental health to meal prep to confidence and everything in between, this is a dedicated space to level up.

We are down to the wire: sales will end July 22, or until our last 25 tickets are spoken for. Camp is a week out of the year where you are allowed and encouraged to choose yourself first. In normal life, that choice isn’t so easy, but at Camp, you create your own path to level up in a way that energizes and motivates you, and unbuttons the potential buried inside all of us.

Regular life tells us that jobs and spouses and kids and dozens of other things are more important than choosing yourself. Today we want to prove that when you’re in charge of your own destiny, great adventure and growth awaits.

The choices are yours and yours alone. Are you ready?

How to Hire a Good Personal Trainer

Globo Gym employs a highly-trained, quasi-cultural staff of personal alteration specialists. And with our competitively-priced on-site cosmetic surgery, we can turn that Frankenstein you see in the mirror every morning into a Franken-fine!

Of course you’ll still be you in a legal sense, but think of it as a thinner, more attractive, better you than you could ever become without us.

-White Goodman, Dodgeball: The Movie

There are some REALLY bad personal trainers out there. Conversely, there are some AMAZING trainers out there, and they can be the missing link between you and sustainable, consistent progress (or even an elite level of athletic performance).

Back in 2002, I thought I knew everything there was to know about working out (I had been training in a gym for 6 years by then).

Back in 2002, I was also an idiot.

But when I joined a gym that gave me some free personal trainer sessions, my world suddenly got a lot larger. After talking to the trainer and being handed a complete workout and nutrition strategy that was drastically different from what I had been doing for the 6 years prior – and having more success in a month than I had ever had before – I had an epiphany: “I am an ignoramus and a doofus, and I have a lot to learn.”

As I transformed personally and started formulating the ideas that became Nerd Fitness years later, I took a weekend-long personal trainer certification class as required by my local gym, and saw first hand all these soon to be “trainers” that were about to get certified. The range of experience, education, enthusiasm, and professionalism varied DRASTICALLY from person to person.

I came to realize that this particular certification (as with many others) was more of a “start your fitness professional journey” rather than a test of actually qualifying whether you knew your stuff. In short, many certifications are just the tip of the iceberg when determining if your trainer is worth a damn.

A good trainer is worth every penny they charge. (I know my current virtual coach is the best money I spend each month!)

A bad trainer is not only a waste of your time and money, but can set you back months or even years in your training. You’ll get no results, and waste valuable time/money in the process.

Unfortunately, many trainers just don’t give a damn; they’re going through the motions, not providing a program that provides lasting results.

Today, I want to talk about how you can avoid the bad trainers and find the good ones. They’re not cheap, but the amount of money you spend doesn’t always determine their quality.

If you’re going to hire a trainer, here’s how to find a good one.

Cardio vs HIIT vs Weights: Rebooting Our Research

This is an article from NF Rebel Researcher, Sara.

In this age of superhero and fantasy franchises, it’s fair to say that not every reboot has improved upon the original. I’m looking at you, Man of Steel and Amazing Spider-Man!

While Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy is a bona fide hat trick, more recent attempts to translate great stories into cinema have run the gamut from pretty fantastic, like Game of Thrones, to… not so good. (That would be you, Warcraft.)

Seven lucky years into Nerd Fitness, we’re getting into reboots ourselves, digging into the nitty gritty on some subjects we haven’t touched on in years!

Last month we wrote about the importance of keeping an open mind and being persuadable in light of new evidence or more experience.

Today, we’re tackling a major fitness doctrine: the benefits of HIIT (high intensity interval training like sprints) and weight training over steady-state or continuous cardio (like running or hopping on a bike).

To quote Samuel L. Jackson, “hold on to your butts!”

The Official Strategy Guide to the Game of L.I.F.E.

Welcome to the greatest game ever created.

Like other successful games like World of Warcraft, Destiny, or Everquest, this game is always online. But it’s always offline, too.

At any point in time, there are over 7+ BILLION people playing.

Often applauded for its realism, known for its punishing but rewarding skill system, and regularly accused of being unfair, it’s the best selling game of all time.

In this game, L.I.F.E. (kind of an unoriginal title), you’re forced into a random starting character and have to complete a period of mandatory leveling up. After that though, you are free to choose your profession, develop your skill trees, and pick the quests YOU want to do.

I’m no expert at this game – In fact, there’s quite a bit about it I don’t know yet – but I wanted to put together a guide on the basics to make sure you’re enjoying it too. Fully understanding a few of the game’s mechanisms could make playing a WHOLE lot more fun.

Date Night: 25 Kickass, Nerdy, and Fit Date Ideas

Date night!

Maybe you used 20 seconds of courage and talked to a stranger. Maybe you got introduced to a friend of a friend and you’re ready to hang out with them. Or maybe somebody is babysitting the kids and you got a night alone with your wife/husband/self aware operating system.

Awesome!

After all, many people are here on Nerd Fitness because they want to look better and feel better about themselves, and hopefully find that special someone.

I love it.

Regardless of whether it’s your FIRST date, or the 1,000th date with your spouse of 20+ years, here are some options for fun dates that don’t involve drinking and dinner, or sitting on your ass in a movie theater. Of course, there is a time and place for those dates as well, but at Nerd Fitness we felt our role was to give you nerdy and fit date ideas so everybody wins. Or, in Michael Scott’s opinion: win win win.

Here are 25 kickass date ideas that are nerdy, fit, and sure to introduce something different into your life. We’ve ranked each date idea on a scale from 1-3 on nerdiness, fit factor, and cost.

The more $, the more expensive.
The more ▲, the nerdier.
The more ♥, the more the activity contributes to your fitness and health.

A Nerd’s Introduction to Mental Health

This is an article from NF Rebel Family Correspondent and Mental Health Professional Dan. 

A quick note from Steve: Today we’re going to be discussing some issues that may be difficult for some going through a tough time. If you (or someone you know) aren’t coping so well, PLEASE see the links at the bottom of this article with some resources from all around the world.

Obviously, we recommend discussing this information with your health professional – none of this is a diagnosis, but rather a starting point for discussion. Here’s Dan!

Most of us have been impacted by mental health problems.

We’ve been so anxious sometimes that we make up excuses not to see friends, we know our neighbor just stayed in bed for weeks after her divorce, our niece stopped eating for days at a time, our grandfather still lies awake at night thinking about the war, or our friend could barely cope after having her second child.

These are common issues which likely apply to many of us right now. But what’s not so common, is talking about them.

When we don’t talk about things, we all run around with a wrong ideas of how things are. Myth and stigmas develop. People may start to feel isolated and ashamed. All because we don’t talk about this stuff! Just like some people don’t like asking for directions when they’re lost, or ashamed to ask for help in the gym if they are struggling with a move, others can be afraid or feel embarrassed that they are having not-great thoughts.

In my work within the mental health sector, I’ve seen the huge benefits people gain by simply talking about their problems, and also, a whole lot of misconceptions people still have.

So today we’re going to bust some myths (without blowing up a cement truck, sorry) surrounding our mental health and make sure we’re all taking care of ourselves!

How To Be Better Than The Biggest Losers and Create a Lasting Change

Yesterday, we talked about why participants on the show The Biggest Loser aren’t exactly role models or inspiring figures for our own efforts. Actually, they might be examples of how NOT to go about getting healthy permanently.

Many contestants regained the weight immediately after the show, and these strategies that were held up on the show as shining examples of health were nothing more than a house of cards – theatre to trick us, entertain us, and unfortunately set unrealistic expectations that cause us to look poorly at our own situation!

According to the show’s doctor, the recommendation for show contestants is to exercise at least 9 hours per week to maintain their weight loss. That is a tremendous amount of time to exercise for somebody who is also trying to live a normal life and do regular people things.

I read that number and made this face:

Steve Frog Face

Why The Biggest Loser is Turning Us Into Losers.

The Biggest Loser is an inspiring hour of television in which severely overweight people shed their extra pounds in a very short amount of time. The idea is that we think: “Hey, if they can lose that much weight, maybe I can too!”

But the New York Times dug into what happens to many contestants from the show after filming ends.

The results weren’t… good:

“Out of 14 contestants he studied, 13 have regained weight. Four contestants are heavier today than they were before the competition began.”

When we combine this with another recent study that showed, “The chance of returning to a normal weight after becoming obese is only one in 210 for men and one in 124 for women over a year” – things look a bit gloomy.

Why are these people struggling to maintain their lost weight, or even gaining back more weight than they lost in the first place?

Is there a solution that works? Or are we… essentially screwed?

Here’s why the Biggest Loser is churning out losers, and how we can win instead.

How Larry Beat Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Got Strong as Hell

Larry’s story put a MASSIVE smile on my face and I knew I had to share his story here with the whole Rebellion.

A year and a half ago, he woke up with such intense pain that he could barely get out of bed.

“The pain came on overnight and it was explosive and everywhere, I thought to myself that this was something that was probably serious and I should find out what is going on.”

6 months of doctors and insurance questions later, and Larry learned he had Rheumatoid Arthritis.

“Drugs ensued and changes happened to my body because of the disease and the medications that I was being prescribed. With the drugs the disease became manageable and I could start living in a world that was not consisting solely of pain and the feeling that I was made of glass and would break with the merest touch.”

This was Larry’s starting point, a point many can relate to: a health problem being the source of a rude awakening. Other than remodeling his house, Larry was living a practically sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle.

But – spoiler alert – things changed. Larry retook control; he lost an enormous amount of body fat and regained that weight as muscle. His body transformed over the course of the year, and eventually he defeated the very disease that served as his signal flare that something needed to change.

Here’s how he did it:

Turn Fitness Into a Game: New workouts, Fun Quests, and Epic Boss Battles


Today is a really cool day for me and Team Nerd Fitness, as I get to make two massive announcements.

This first announcement is about our flagship program, the Nerd Fitness Academy. 

For those who don’t know, The Academy is an online, self-paced course and fitness “quest” tracking system with over 20,000 students from every corner of the globe. We’re proud of it!

For the past six months, we’ve been diligently working on our 3rd massive Nerd Fitness Academy overhaul, and I’m fired up to tell you all about it. Our previous update brought a questing system (so you can level up by completing fitness missions) and an uber supportive private community.

This new update is even bigger! Here are some of the recent things people have said:

Academy Testimonial 11
Academy Testimonial 2

Academy Testimonial 3
The new updates were a lot of energy and effort – but these posts make it all worth it! We’re excited to see current members digging in and using the updates to get results.

How to Read a Recipe and Not Want to Punch a Hole in the Wall

This is a recipe from NF Rebel Chef Noel.

I don’t know about you, but I have never liked reading the instructions for board games. The tutorials at the beginnings of video games bore me to death. When I play a game, I go basic. No fancy moves, no secret codes, and no strategy guides. I figure it out as I go.

I suppose you could say that this is why I’m also not very good at games.

But something has recently begun to change my mind. I attended a game night at a friend’s house, and they told me to go read the instructions for the game we were about to play. They wouldn’t tell me the rules, no, they made me read (the horror!). And when we played, I still didn’t win, but I was far better than I usually was. I could even see how I would be a force to be reckoned with if we played again.

I imagine a lot of you are like me and games when it comes to cooking. It’s not fun. You don’t enjoy it. You tried it once or twice, but you’ve lost interest.

The instructions for a game feel tedious to me, and I wouldn’t blame you if recipes feel tedious for you.

The recipe for a dish is not only the basic instructions, but it’s also a sheet of cheat codes for the cook. So today, we’re going to learn how to use a recipe to your advantage.

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