The Deadpool Guide To Health, Happiness, and Love

If Deadpool was a real person, he would be a card-carrying member of the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.

In fact, I would go as far to say that Deadpool is the most realistic superhero movie created to date, and the most useful hero to consider when trying to live better lives.

Allow me to explain.

In case you’re one of a handful of people who haven’t seen the recently released Deadpool movie, starring a resurgent Ryan Reynolds (making up for all past superhero cinema sins), get your ass to a movie theater and check it out.

Don’t worry, only minor plot spoilers in this article! Even if you have no clue who Deadpool is, this article will still help you live a better life and move down a healthier path.

You can start with the trailer:

Let’s take a look at how this ninja mercenary with super human healing powers, a crazy amount of pop-culture knowledge, and unusually high self-awareness can help us live better lives.

Life is messy

deadpool sombrero

Wade Wilson, former US Special Forces who has been dishonorably discharged from the military, makes his living taking on contracts as a mercenary. 

Like many superhero origin stories, something goes wrong that kickstarts Wade’s journey. He discovers he has aggressive terminal cancer, and under shady circumstances he’s told by a company that he can be cured and turned into a superhero.

So far, we’re still in typical superhero plot land. It’s here that things take a drastic turn: he’s cured of his cancer and develops superpowers, but at the expense of turning his ridiculously good looks into somebody that now resembles Pizza the Hut from Spaceballs. Throw in some mental anguish and torture, and our protagonist becomes a bit… unhinged.

Most superhero pictures paint pretty photos of what happens once the person becomes a superhero. They get bigger, stronger, and better looking, and have to deal with being more awesome.

Wade, on the other hand, has to deal with a complete loss of identity, and the messy reality that comes along with a drastically altered appearance.

Unsurprisingly, things are messy for Deadpool – he’s foul-mouthed, says the wrong thing at the wrong time, and ends up in some pretty shitty situations.

From this perspective, Deadpool is the most realistic Superhero Movie ever created. In fact, Deadpool might just be more instructive for us Rebels. Real life is not always a fantasy hero’s journey; in fact, more often than not it’s messy, awkward, and R-Rated:

  • You might have a kid unexpectedly. Oops.
  • You might get dumped when you were prepared to propose. #$@%!
  • You might get cheated on.
  • You get might get injured or sick.

In real life, our workouts aren’t the infomercials and ads you see on TV to sell products. They are boring, disappointing, or we’re just tired.

All of us live lives that are messy. Every success story. It’s how we react to this messiness that matters.

Have you met Anthony?

anthony before after

He’s one of my favorite success stories at Nerd Fitness because he presents a realistic picture for somebody who drastically transformed his life and lost 200+ pounds, and handled it with grace.

As a result of him transforming, he has a lot of excess skin, and he was proud to share these photos with our community to show what happens. Look at that freakin smile on his face! Yup, the loose skin chafes. Yup, he wishes his skin was tighter and hopes it will continue to tighten up over the years.

He knows loose skin is a small price to pay for saving his own life and adding years to his story. It’s a badge of honor. 

Embrace the imperfect. Life is messy.

As Deadpool says, “Destiny doesn’t care that I’ve made sacrifices to get here.That I’ve said my prayers and brushed after meals. Destiny wants a garbage man… and I’m always it.”

Things are not always black and white

deadpool face
Wade Wilson is The Merc with the Mouth: he has a conscience, but he also has a checkered past. He tries to do right, but he often gets in his own way by saying the wrong things at the wrong time.

In fact, it seems like his life would have been a whole lot easier in many instances if he just shut up! However, that would have made for a boring movie, and it’s the “foot-in-mouth” comments and actions that make Deadpool who he is.

Welcome to life!

We all make mistakes. I can think of plenty of moments where I’ve woken up the day after a night out or immediately following a decision, and I can’t help but say to myself “What the F*** was I thinking!? How could I be so stupid? I’m so embarrassed.”

Sure, it would be great if we were all like Captain America (he’s my hero, after all), pure through and through, always saying the right thing and doing the right thing.

Unfortunately, we’re human.

We say stupid stuff! We do stupid things sometimes. We make decisions that completely sabotage our efforts to be better people. Whenever these things happen, we have two choices:

  • Build a time machine, undo our mistakes, and threaten to destroy the space time continuum.
  • Learn from our decision and try to be better next time.

This is something I’ve come to terms with: regretting things I did in the past is a waste of brainpower.

We are who we are today because of EVERY SINGLE THING we’ve done. EVERY decision is part of our path and our current wisdom, good or bad.

Changing the past is impossible. Beating yourself up over what you’ve done is useless. Instead, all we can say is the following: “Okay, I’m here now. What’s the next step?”

When Deadpool wakes up in a dumpster, sure he might go “I’m so stupid!” but more importantly, he says “okay, what’s next?”

You don’t have to go it alone

deadpool wolverine

Unsurprisingly, Deadpool, once transformed into a superhero (but scarred) version of himself, doesn’t think very highly of his appearance or himself.

Wade is a character who seems to instinctual flee his problems to try to go it alone. In fact, one of the funniest scenes in the whole movie comes from our buddy Deadpool refusing to combine forces with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (the two X-Men in this movie).

Unsurprisingly, each of these decisions to try and go “lone wolf” come back to bite him in the ass – only after he finally relents and joins forces with others does he start to make progress.

As we’ve said here on NF in the past, you don’t have to be “the only one.

We all have flaws, we all have things we’re working through, but you are the average of your allies. Surround yourself with other mutants who are also trying to live better, and you’re going to have people to lean on when things go wrong.

We are ALL mutants. We have flaws, we have things that make us weird to the outside world. And that’s pretty awesome.

Learn from Deadpool – even the mightiest of us need friends and allies.

Your real friends will accept you for who you are.


Deadpool refuses to accept that anybody will like the new version of him. Sure, he’s got super powers, but also his looks have drastically changed. I have to imagine for somebody who has placed a lot of self-worth on his outward appearance, this was a kick in the crotch.

So, he finds a blind roommate to live with. A blind roommate who loves cocaine and building IKEA furniture. But a blind roommate who accepts him for who he is, warts and all.

His best friend is a local bartender. Sure this bartender gives him some guff for his changed appearance, and even comes up with some inappropriate terms for his new ‘look,’ most of which don’t make any sense:

But his friends also help him out when he needs it. The X-Men put up with his nonsense because they know you can’t just take part of somebody; you sign up for the whole thing.

Your true friends (and a healthy partner in a relationship), will accept all of you (even if they sometimes poke fun at you).

You are the average of your allies. Choose wisely.


deadpool bracelet

My favorite part of the Deadpool comic and movie is the character’s ability to break the 4th wall and talk directly to the audience.

The movie never takes itself too seriously, pokes fun at those that do, and is incredibly self-aware of the ridiculousness of the present situation.

Coincidentally, this is my favorite part of Nerd Fitness and the community here… we don’t take ourselves too seriously either:

  • When people email us saying “I don’t believe in the Paleo diet because I read this one time on a site about this thing,” we say “Great! Don’t do it!”
  • When people tell us “I read about a diet where a guy only ate Twinkies and lost weight,” we say “Great! Let us know how it turns out!”
  • When people email me to tell me why I’m wrong for recommending strength training for this reason or that reason, and why they’re right, I say “Congrats! You cracked the code!”

I don’t have all the answers. Our results might not work for everybody. So, we do the best we can to help the greatest number of people possible. And we also know that life can be absurd and we’re all figuring it out TOGETHER.

Instagram is full of beautiful people with perfectly sculpted abs telling you that you can be perfect like them if you just follow their super secret program. They’re selling you on the hopes and dreams of being pouty and serious, always without clothes on. Just subscribe to their monthly program or join their special group and you too can have perfect success and a body you love… and also find real happiness.

Or, if you just take their supplement you can have success like this instagram model:


At Nerd Fitness we try to show you the truth. You’re going to have loose skin, you might be pregnant, or you might think you’re too old to start. Your success won’t happen overnight, and it definitely won’t be easy. You have to make real, permanent changes. You may get derailed a few times and might sabotage yourself before finally breaking through.

Welcome to the Rebellion – home of the misfits and underdogs and loud mouths and stubborn idiots and mercenaries in red spandex who are trying to figure out how to navigate our brief few years on the planet with as much fun, growth, and purpose as possible.

Thanks for being here with us.

In the comments below tell me one messy thing going in on your life right now. Here’s mine:

For the past week, my sleep schedule has been JACKED UP. No matter what time I go to bed, I’ve been waking up 30 minutes earlier every day (6:00AM, 5:30AM, 5:00AM, 4:30AM, 4:00AM). Not because I set an alarm, not because I had gone to bed earlier. But because my body has decided that it wanted to be an ass. My workouts have also been sluggish, my mornings are ruined, and it’s made the rest of my day more useless too.

Let’s own it together.



photo source: Sergio Quesado: Deadpool with Sombrero, Mark Leichiliter: Deadpool head, Tim Deering: Deadpool and Wolverine, Miguel Discart: Deadpool Bracelet, Sergio Quesado: Deadpool Lego

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  • The 15 mistakes you don’t want to make.
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  • Beren

    Keep your head up, Anthony. Work can be a drag. We’ve all been there. It helps to try and focus on the good things and the small victories. “This too shall pass” as the old saying goes 🙂

  • Beren

    You are an inspiration. Doing what it takes to provide for your little one is incredible, even though you have to make sacrifices. I hope things will get easier for you soon. Best wishes.

  • Beren

    Keep it up Steven! 🙂

  • Beren

    I can relate. Setbacks happen to all of us, and it seems like they happen too often. Being sick sucks, for sure. You just gotta get back on the horse whenever you can and make it happen. Hope you feel better soon 🙂

  • Beren

    Balancing family obligations and your own personal needs is hard, for sure. Try not to get down on yourself too much. It sounds like you’re doing your best. Just gotta do what you can, when you can. 🙂

  • Amy Poole

    Thank you. I don’t feel I’m an inspiration, but if some people can learn what not to do (education first, then kid) I feel I’ve done a decent life 🙂

  • Amy Poole

    You can do it! Keep on truckin’!

  • Beren

    That’s tough. Probably best to spend time with your new BF at his place and work on finding a better living situation as soon as you can. If he’s really a good guy and cares about you, he’ll understand. Best of luck.

  • Beren

    So sorry for your loss. Losing someone you love hits incredibly hard. I can relate. Just remember you have friends and family who care about you and want you to be happy. Take it one day at a time. Maybe try to look at your workouts as an escape. When I really put everything I have into a workout, it usually makes everything else fade into the background for a short time. Best wishes.

  • ’15

    One of my coworkers had a birthday, and for that the rest of my coworkers decided to get her – hands down – the best dessert in the city, a banoffee pie. My. World. Was. Rocked. I was tempted :'( I got one for home. Now I feel like I have to finish it. It was an expensive pie. So that’s my messy thing. Hahaha.

  • Spencer

    Thanks for all the helpful info. My doctor prescribed me a vit D pill of 10,000 units once weekly.

    After a ultrasound they found my Liver and Spleen are swolen, I have to go back for more testing and maybe a biopsy.

    They also sent me to a neurological doctor because they thought my weakness and leg pain might be caused by my neurofibromatosis, after a nerve and muscle test they now want me to do a spinal cord mri.

    Fun times for me.

  • bn


  • Heidi

    A serious and lingering respiratory infection has left me on steroids, so as well as limited stamina from a lung perspective, I also have to fight the weight gain from the meds. I also still need a butt load of caffeine to keep my airways open as I’m allergic to other asthma medications. Still, I am going to get to a (medically) “normal” weight.

  • Pingback: How Ben Stark Lost Over 200 Lbs While Playing Life On Hard | Nerd Fitness()

  • JB

    Before I met my wife, I went through a similar situation with my ex-fiance. Been together for 6 years, and 2 deployments (Iraq and Afghanistan) to find out she has been cheating on me the whole time. Taking that time for yourself is definitely important, just don’t lose track of your goals, and by the sounds of it you are finding yourself again, so that is excellent!! 🙂

  • JB

    Hope you are making progress!! Doing band exercises helps the muscles too if you don’t want to put on too much pressure for it. I had to do this with my shoulder for a while after screwing it up in Iraq. Doing 90 pull ups a day on top of 3 missions daily will definitely cause some issues 🙂 Just keep it slow and do what you’re comfortable with. Get a good quality elastic band and use a door handle to keep it in place. This should help gradually toughen it up. Slow process, but definitely worth it IMO.

  • JB

    Comfort food is great to have occasionally though 🙂 Don’t beat yourself up over it, as long as it doesn’t become a daily thing!

  • JB

    Hope your classes are going better, and thank you for your service!! There are plenty of us out there willing to help (Just not with Calc – I suck at anything math!!) Coming from military to college also provides it’s own challenges, but also great rewards. Don’t worry though, you’ll get through this and continue on!! 🙂 If there is one thing the military is great at teaching it is the ability to adapt and overcome at all costs.

  • JB

    Hope everything is getting better! Things always get better. I believe nothing is beyond what we can handle! Just gotta keep your head up high and have trust it will all work out!

  • trillie

    Thank you!!

  • Slaughter (Dan Falconer)

    I know I have to eat less, but lately I’ve been eating more. I think to myself, “no, I’m not really hungry,” and then go plow down some more food. I think, “naw, I don’t need a beer,” and then drink three or four of them. Guess it’s time to reset my hunger meter (or something).

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  • Joshua Bonéy

    Well I’m not sure if this qualifies for messy….you know what, it might. Anyway, I’ve always been a runner, err, fast paced jogger. I signed up to my job’s running team, and I am supposed to be in a race next month. Normally I run about 2.5 miles on track every other day, with a break in between. Last week, I felt a little amped, so I broke my record and made it to 3 miles, non-stop, off the track, on my birthday no less! My right knee has not been the same since. So now, I have to see my doctor to make sure the sharp pain that has turned my smooth walk to hop-scotch limp is nothing, and also ask for a doctor’s note so that my team can approve my participation in the race. The irony is not lost on me.

  • Tourennatrix

    It was picking up in November /december, but since the new year I’ve been slammed with depression which has shattered my willpower to fix my diet and continue my training outside of scheduled class. Seems like every time I start seeing the light again, life says “HA!” And throws a curveball at me and shoves me right back down (like when my boss got hospitalized after a major stroke? Still having fun with that one). I’m taking baby steps to get back on track but sometimes it feels like I’ve just taken so many steps *back* these last few months, it’s hard to look forward.

  • LiveHels

    Thanks for the advice! I’ll definitely try band exercise… 🙂

  • Vix BeeBee

    I have three kids, aged four and under and a teenage son. The youngest is 8 months old and I am still nursing him including several night feeds. My husband works shifts so the rest is up to me. Time is a premium.
    Mornings aren’t awesome and I am usually dashing about to get them dressed for school so in an attempt to combat the sleep deprivation and save time I have gotten into the habbit of running on full fat, all milk coffee as a liquid meal in the morning. This worked well at first so I increased my intake to several full fat, all milk coffees. Skip along a good few months down the line; I was neither asleep nor awake at any point in the day. Add to that the calories and lack of nutrition (having to share it in my milk too) and I seem to have misplaced myself. I would love to say it’s the prgnancies but it is the choices I made with diet and sedantry lifestyle. Cuddles on the sofa with a baby may be a treat but four years later and I kind of look like a sofa now too.
    So how do I juggle my kids and husband and housework and level up my life (without liturally juggling them because that would be one hell of a workout!)
    Time to sign up and see…

  • Vix BeeBee

    That sucks man. Hope you’re finding your way through these days.

  • Oz

    Ok, so I tried the beginner workout here and have cut everything but home cooked meals out of my diet. On the fifth day of this awesome lifestyle, my roommates dog takes a chunk out of the tail of my kitten (6 months). 1 cone of shame, 4 hours, and 600 dollars later she’s home safe and I have done my third day of workouts. I think if I didn’t use this as a reason not to get out of exercising, I’m gonna be alright. It’s not quite the same as cancer induced super powers but I used to use every thing as a reason not to improve myself, and this time I didn’t.