How to Level Up Your Wardrobe: A Primer on First Impressions

Today’s post might be one of the more important articles we’ve ever posted on Nerd Fitness.  Last week’s article on body image was incredibly well received, and today we’re going to take a look at the stuff we wear OVER our bodies, something I ignored for far too long but didn’t know where to find help.  A few years back, I met Barron of EffortlessGent.com through the blogosphere and we have become good friends since then.

Last fall I decided it was time to level up other parts of my life and stop dressing like a mismatched college kid.  So I emailed Barron: “Here’s a small budget.  Can you help me not dress like an idiot?”  He helped me pick out a few key items, and almost overnight, I was transformed…into a sharply dressed idiot!  

Because I had started taking pride in my appearance, I felt better about myself and thus exuded more confidence.  I immediately noticed a change in how I was treated: from the stranger at the airport counter, to the cashier at the grocery store, to the cute girl at the coffee shop.  Seriously, I couldn’t believe how my clothing changed how I felt about myself and how others perceived me.

At a conference this past summer, with lots of friends who only see me once a year, I couldn’t go more than five minutes without getting complimented on my appearance.  My physique honestly hadn’t changed much – it was just that I finally started wearing the right kind of clothes for my body type!

I figure I can’t be the only one who is clueless, but didn’t know where to turn or how to get started.  I can help you level up your life; Barron is going to help you level up your armor.

Note: this article is mostly beneficial for the guys in the audience, though quite a bit will be applicable to ladies as well.  Sometimes we’ll have articles that are more beneficial for guys (like this one), while others we have published (like this and this) will be more helpful to women.  We’ll end up doing a similar article helping out ladies soon!

Take it away Barron.

Your body is a complicated tool, an intricate system.  The moment you are mindful of its well-being, changes start to occur.

If you’ve committed to improving your body, whether you’re already a modern-day Leonidas or simply a work in progress, today I invite you to also level up the way you present yourself.

After all, why work hard leveling up everything else in your system, only to neglect the very last and easiest upgrade: your clothes.

Think of it this way: In every role-playing game you spend time leveling up, gaining skills, spells, and new attacks to defeat your enemies. But you also have to suit up with armor, either for protection, to enhance your overall strength, or to simply strike fear into the hearts of your enemies.

Today we’re going to learn how to treat your clothing the same way!

Suit up let your clothes enhance your already awesome self, helping you put your best foot forward in completing the quest at hand.

How to Build The Perfect Body: A Discussion on Body Image

This is a collective effort article, lead by NF Team Member Staci.

We get a ton of emails from people asking how to change.  How they can lose weight, change their body shape, get those elusive abs, etc.

This is not surprising.  Studies have shown that up to 97% of women and 80% of men are unhappy with their bodies and overall appearance.

One of the big concerns we hear from people is that they are so uncomfortable about their appearance that they are afraid to even step foot in the gym.

The “ideal” body is thrust upon us at every turn – from the doctor’s office, to movies, to magazines.  It brings up a lot of questions:

Should we be comparing ourselves to a particular image?  

Is there anything wrong with having goals that are purely physical? 

Is there anything to this idea that we should all be comparing ourselves to a collective image?

If not, what CAN we use? 

Let’s find out!

Why Your Workout Plan Is Failing You

This is a post from NF Team Member Taylor.

“Just start Starting Strength!”

“This 14 week workout plan is all you need!”

“Bro, get on this sick 5-day split!”

When we hear from newbies who feel completely overwhelmed, this is often the advice they’ve been told: “start this plan and don’t look back!”  Or worse, they’re told “start this plan” by 10 different people from 10 different sites with 10 different plans.

We get a lot of “I’m so freaking confused! HALP!” emails.  

Don’t feel bad.

We’ve all been there.

It’s just like playing a brand new video game:  We run through the tutorial levels, get out of the newbie zone, and only THEN do we venture off into the world and grind to level 50.

Fitness is no different: If you’re a fitness newbie, you probably have no idea what you need to do or where you need to begin.  So, rather than following the strategies employed by level 10s, level 20s, or level 50s, we need to understand the mechanics of the game first, and put the right strategies in place that work for us at OUR LEVEL.

Here’s how to stop worrying about what plan to begin, and how to START having success and see positive changes from day 1 of “I’m going to get Healthy.”

Nerd Fitness Academy! Loud Noises!

I feel like Brick Tamland right now.

There are so many exciting things to announce that I have to yell them as I type them.  Seriously, I yelled while typing today’s title.

On January 1st, we’ll be OFFICIALLY launching the future of Nerd Fitness: The Nerd Fitness Academy!  A few months back we launched a beta version of the program to just Rebel Women, but on January 1st we’ll be launch to men, women, robots, aliens, zombies, and whoever else is interested.

[insert trumpets and fireworks and confetti here]

Oh, and we announced this little thing called Camp Nerd Fitness!

Let’s get to the good stuff.

How to Avoid Holiday Confrontation While Living Healthy

This is an article from NF Team Member Staci.

Mom: “What flavor ice cream with your pie?”

Me: “Oh, none for me, thanks!”

Mom: “What do you mean? You love pie! You love ice cream! What flavor do you want?”

Me: “No, see, I’m doing this thing called the Paleo diet, and I don’t eat pie or ice cream.”

Uncle Fred: “Paleo? Like Paleontology? What are you trying to be, a dinosaur?”

Me: “No, not Paleontology. Paleolithic.”

Aunt Sally: “Is that that new fad where you eat raw meat with your hands while hanging upside down from trees?”

Me: “No, it’s a diet where you try to eat like our ancient ancestors…just eat mostly vegetables, some meat, fruit, nuts and seeds. No grains or sugars. It makes me feel good and I love it.”

Grandpa: “Well I’m your ancient ancestor and I eat pie! If you don’t want it, give it to me!”

Does this seem all too familiar?

You’ve probably heard a million different “tips” to stay healthy during the holidays, from filling up half your plate with vegetables first, using a smaller plate, to taking a walk after your meal.

But let’s be honest, the hardest part isn’t always combatting the massive amounts of food that is available to you, for a lot of us it’s the peer pressure from your friends and family, who mean well but don’t understand that they are destroying all of the hard work you’ve built up.

While we’re all for making the conscious decision to eat non-healthy options every once in a while (and drink within reason), you may have finally built healthy eating habits and are psyched to stay on track this year. Or maybe you’re like me, and eating poorly will actually cause some major health implications that not everyone understands.

Today we’re going to take a look at all the tricks our loved ones use during the holidays, and then give you a bunch of tools and tactics to battle them (including some full scripts so you know exactly what to say).

Announcing…Camp Nerd Fitness!

Holy crap, it’s actually happening.

On September 18th, 2014, hundreds of Nerd Fitness Rebels will descend upon the mountains in the north of Georgia for the first annual Camp Nerd Fitness: a long weekend of adventure, education, nerdiness, and an opportunity for Rebels to interact IRL (in real life, for the non-nerds) with all of the folks they talk to every day online.

This is a dream I’ve had for years, and we’re finally at the point where we can bring it to life.

Are You Making These Mistakes With Your Sleep?

Sleep.

Something we all need more of, but never seem to get. (If only we had more time, right?)

If you told me a year ago that I would be getting my work done during the daytime hours and getting plenty of sleep, waking up early without feeling like grumplestiltskin, and actually being uber-productive before noon, I would have called you an idiot.

Sorry for calling you an idiot.

I finally feel like I have a grip on my life thanks to an improved sleep strategy and today we’re going to cover how you can do the same. Don’t worry, I won’t go too deeply into the science behind why getting enough sleep is important; you’re probably well aware that you function much better when you are well rested.

However, as we’ve learned from Morpheus in The Matrix: “Sooner or later you’re going to realize, just as I did, that there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.”

Let’s take a trip to Dreamland, shall we?

How the Mighty Ducks Will Make You a Better Person

“Quack quack quack, Mr. Ducksworth!”

If you were growing up in or around the 90′s, you probably loved The Mighty Ducks. Sure, it was poorly acted, full of ridiculous plot points and implausible scenarios, but I bet you have fond memories of this hockey team.

Let’s set aside the fact that a guy who gets convicted of a DUI is put in charge of a children’s hockey team, and instead focus on the fact that this bum of a coach managed to change the lives of the lives of the mighty ducks, and my life as well.

Today we’re going to learn from Coach Gordon Bombay (EMILIO!!) Charlie Conway (spazz!), Adam Banks (cake-eater!), Folton Reed, GOLDBERG!, and the rest of the Mighty Ducks about leveling up ourselves and our lives.

Shall we?

When Was The Last Time You Did Something Spontaneous?

I want you to think about life “back in the day”:

Remember those nights where you were supposed to be studying but instead decided to drive to the next state just for your favorite ice cream?

Or when one of your friends excitedly ran in the room saying “do you want to…” and you said “HELL YEAH LET’S GO” before they even get a chance to finish their sentence?

When we’re younger, “spontaneity” is the name of the game. We live for those last minute moments where anything can happen, where there are no plans, no thoughts of “but how will this work,” no regrets.

Now that you’re older, when was the last time you’ve done something completely spontaneous?  Something that wasn’t planned, that didn’t fit into your five year plan, that took you outside of your comfort zone…just because.

Last week, I had an opportunity to do something ridiculous, and initially decided against it.  I then thought to myself that I had grown too comfortable, complacent, and safe…so I changed my mind last minute and said yes.

It resulted in 24 of the most exciting hours of my life.

From Sloth to Super-Dad: How Ben Lost 100 lbs

Meet Ben, a 44-year-old fundraising and software consultant and father of two!

Just earlier this year, Ben was living a sedentary life. At 280 lbs, classified as “morbidly obese,” Ben found he was unhappy with his current track, out of energy, and in need of a change. As someone who worked out of a home office, he spent much of his day at home on his computer, and very little time moving more and eating better.  He was lost, and looking for a home to help with his weight loss journey.

Ben decided he wanted to get healthy, found Nerd Fitness, and over the next 10 months lost over 100 lbs. He started strength training, ran a half marathon, and more.

How did he do it?

Let’s find out.

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