Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Considerations for developing personal code of ethics

Pre-requisite goofy dog picture

 The following blog is part of my effort to make myself write more on a daily bases.  This venue forces me to keep a deadline and allows me to practice articulating complex ideas that will be later used for research papers.  The post below is dealing with the concept of context and how the context of human judgement effects decision-making.
      The context of human judgement significantly impacts a person’s ethical behavior.  In humans, judgement has been one of the key factors to the survival of the species.  The primary function of human judgement is to ensure the species survival and successful replication of its genetic makeup.  Judgement fulfills its purpose or function by providing timely and beneficial assessments.  Humans genetically inherit instincts or judgements in the form of drives, desires and fears that have been successful in ensuring the survival of the species.  We are mostly unconscious of these instincts and in the modern environment if left unchecked these instincts can create significant ethical conflicts and challenges.  Another function of human judgement can be seen in the manifestation and formation of heuristics, rules of thumb and habits.  These algorithm’s give humans an advantage in uncertain environments.  The advantage is mainly gained from a rapid decision-making process.  The process is rapid since the decisions are pre-determined and recent research has shown that the human decision-making process is so rapid that it happens before the person is even consciously aware of the decision being made.  This does not imply that humans do not possess a free will, but it does suggest that our decision-making process has evolved with a complexity that is attempting to match the complexity of an ever changing environment.  A human’s ability to consciously make a choice is path dependent, but it also enables a persons to deliberately develop heuristics and habits that better match the contemporary environment. 

The formation of human judgement is also a context that must be understood for developing a personal code of ethics.  Human judgement is formed, shaped and influenced by both unconscious and conscious means.   The unconscious means are factors that are generally considered outside the persons control or at best only partially within the person’s control.  The factors completely outside the persons control are the drives, desires and fears that are instilled into their genetic make-up and are often referred to as our natural instincts.  Natural instincts are generally understood from an individual perspective and include our reproductive drive, nourishment drive (hunger and thirst), threat aversion (fear of snakes and loud noise) and those things that naturally disgust humans (such as incest and smells that suggest something is rotten or dangerous to consume).  Recent research by E.O. Wilson, suggest that humans also are genetically wired to be a part of a tribe.  According to Wilson, we are not only wired to be a part of a tribe, but experience a sense of fulfillment and meaning when our behavior supports the efforts of our tribe.  His research suggest that being what one would call virtuous, has a sense of fulfillment for humans from both a learned perspective and a genetic perspective.  Furthermore, his research and Joshua Greene's research suggest that humans have a genetic propensity to be virtuous and are very responsive to training.  Nearly a century ago American Pragmatist such as James, Dewey, and Peirce recognized this phenomena of human nature and made it the backbone of Pragmatic ethics. According to the Pragmatist, habits and deliberate development of those habits is critical in the development of consistent ethical behavior.  Modern Psychologist from Baumeister, to Ainsle have conducted extensive research that suggest the Pragmatist were offering prudent advice.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

CrossFit 007 opens in Lillington

When you walk into my office you will see a graphic my wife did for me with the phrase Novissimo Die.  When translated from Latin literally means Last Day.  Last Day is an old Stoic practice and something me and Kris attempt to live by.  It puts all those normal nuisances of life in perspective.  Hard to stay angry with the ones you love when you treat each day and each moment like your last opportunity to let them know just how much they mean to you.  When Kris had her little fling with cancer, it didn’t take away the pain and fear, but it did ensure we stay focused on what was of real value.  To be honest I think Kris is going through a relapse and we should know something in the next week.  If my suspicions turn out right, then we’ll do what we did last time, get out the can of whoop ass, and commence to …..  and make fun of our little opponent along the way. 

Under Novissimo Die, is an aphorism from the spirit of some old dead Ranger SGM “The two greatest threats to freedom:  Comfort & Security.”  My desk faces that wall to remind of me of my obligations to my family, friends, my comrades in arms and last but not least my country, that still expects me ‘to move further, faster and fight harder than any other Soldier.’  I believe our country would be better off if everyone….no excuses accepted, everyone…. strove to meet that expectation.

 The little town I live in (Lillington, NC), just opened a new Crossfit and they don’t know it, but they may be one of the more important enterprises in our little town.  I’ve been doing Crossfit since 2002 and the physical benefits I have derived from it have been tremendous.  But the real benefit of Crossfit, if done right, is the spiritual benefits.  It’s a nice microcosm of life, some random event that requires a certain amount of fortitude, exposes you to both your physical and mental weaknesses, but at the same time it makes you little tougher and a little harder.  Our country desperately needs a good dose of hardness to face the challenges we have created for ourselves by always choosing the soft and comfortable.

My 80 year old daddy does his ‘Crossfit’ ever morning, actually looks more like a redneck version of Tai Chi, but he’s moving and pushing himself.  His practice has yielded a tough old man that still rides his four wheeler, climbs trees, cleans and butchers his own deer, and mocks and pokes fun at time and the ravages it has placed on his body.  He has the humor and spirit of the ‘Black Knight’, ‘tis but a scratch, a mere flesh wound’.   He doesn’t expect his government or anybody else to take care of him, he’s old school American, self-sufficient and the epitome of dignity. Below is a picture of Daddy prepping for class, he's always teaching the 'young people' how to take care of themselves.

Crossfit 007, I know your mission is to improve the fitness and health of our community.  But really you are part Coach Glassman’s crusade to return Americans back to who we were - a tough, proud people that not only revels in the adversities of life, but thrives on these adversities.  Many years ago, Coach Glassman was very generous to me and my brethren.  He has many critics and some them I count as friends, but I know from the many conversations I've had with him over the years, this movement is much more than health and fitness.  I think you are part of a movement that longs for their fellow countrymen to cherish their freedom, but freedom comes with a price and it’s more than just the blood of my comrades.  It’s that spirit of taking responsibility for oneself and ones actions.  To acquire this spirit requires hardship.  So Crossfit 007, bring it………If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.  ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Who would have guessed it my little Boog Woman of the Year

I want to send out a well deserved congratulations to my wife Kristen who was just named Woman of the Year by the Lillington Chamber of Commerce.  Me and the boys and of course the Grand Old Dame Cessie couldn't be more proud.  Way to go moma, we all aspire to emulate your wonderful example!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Swing and hop

Matt, The video provides a demonstration for the challenge.

Pyramid from 1-20 in less than 20 minutes with the following two exercises (demonstrated in the video).
Russian KB swing
Nuri Hop (Nuri is one my bootcampers and she actually completed the workout to standard)

Pyramid sequence should look like this

1 swing and 1 hop then, 2 swings and 2 hops then, 3 swings and 3 hops, continue the sequence to 20.

For those wondering what the video is referencing, I challenged my friend Matt with this workout and if he completes it within the time standard with a 35lb KB I will buy him a 53lb KB.  Matt has been training with KBs for about a month and is making incredible progress with both his fitness and his health.  You can follow his progress at  and you will be amazed at what he is doing with his self-discipline and how it is enabling him to follow a very paleo diet with a daily dose of intermittent fasting.  Best of luck Matt, I'm sure you will accomplish this challenge in the near future.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Office

WOD 16 Feb 21014
The Office
20 rounds
30 sec row
Power Clean x 3 (95/95, 105/105,115/115,125/125,135/135,145/145,155/155,165/165,185/185,185/185)

Entire WOD completed within my office.  One of those days where I was willing to do damn near anything to get out of studying.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tender Feet,

Animals whose hoofs are hardened on rough ground can travel any road...Seneca

We talk a pretty good game, but most of us don't really prepare for the worst.  We think we are going to live forever and we'll never lose the ones we love.  I guess its just human nature to not want to think about the less pleasant experiences in life.  Our desire for ease and comfort never ceases to amaze me.  Tonight, my old dog Whiskey Pete reminded me what it means to be hard.  He decided that he needed to get out and visit the neighbors tonight and chose to ignore the freezing rain and 7 inches of snow.  Pete's the most independent being I know and he is definitely not a fair weather neighbor.  He was convinced Ms Donna wanted to see him and the weather could go f*#k it self.  Of course his moma would have none of that, so I had to go out and bring him back home.  The little adventure made me think of something I read by Seneca from his Letter 51.  The irony of this letter is that Seneca was as rich as Bill Gates, but was always writing about ways to toughen his soul to withstand the fickle vicissitudes of fate.      
9.I have set freedom before my eyes; and I am striving for that reward. And what is freedom, you ask? It means not being a slave to any circumstance, to any constraint, to any chance; it means compelling Fortune to enter the lists on equal terms. And on the day when I know that I have the upper hand, her power will be naught. When I have death in my own control, shall I take orders from her?
10 Therefore, a man occupied with such reflections should choose an austere and pure dwelling-place. The spirit is weakened by surroundings that are too pleasant, and without a doubt one's place of residence can contribute towards impairing its vigour. Animals whose hoofs are hardened on rough ground can travel any road; but when they are fattened on soft marshy meadows their hoofs are soon worn out. The bravest soldier comes from rock-ribbed regions; but the town-bred and the home-bred are sluggish in action. The hand which turns from the plough to the sword never objects to toil; but your sleek and well-dressed dandy quails at the first cloud of dust.
11 Being trained in a rugged country strengthens the character and fits it for great undertakings.

Pete and Me from 8 years ago, if you look closely he's trying to break free.  The boy hates to be told what to do and I have no idea where he learned that from.

WOD today
3 rounds of 
KB Squats with 2 x 70 KBs  x 5 reps
5 rounds
KB Cleans with 2 x 70 KB x 5 reps

10 presses with 35lb KB x 3 sets x 10 reps

Then 10 Rounds
30 seconds Airdyne at 80 watts
10 pullups
30 second rest

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Mysterious Spider Monkey

Most likely thing this monkey just said, "I've never seen one that big before" or perhaps "did anybody hear that"

Today's WOD
10 rounds Start 1 rep and progress to 10
Jumping Shrugs with 2 x 70lb KB

7 Rounds
500 meter row
Deadlift 2 x 70lb KB from 7 inch blocks

Saturday, February 8, 2014

08 Feb 2014

Friday WOD
5 intervals with
400 meter run
20 KB American Swings
20 Pullups
Work/Rest: 1:1

Saturday WOD
Ascended from 1-20
KB Swings Russian 70lbs
Jumping Squats
Push ups

20 Rounds of
10 x KB Swings Russian 70lbs
10 x Jumping Squats
10 x Push ups

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

05 Feb 2014

Boot Camp update:

The 6 am class got introduced to a little running, KB swinging and some real ugly knee to elbows this morning.  All appeared to survive, but there was a significant amount of grumblings about leg soreness.  So tomorrow morning we'll shift gears and give the legs a break.  The 6 pm class went very well and I suspect these ladies are going to be eating steel and spitting nails in a few weeks.  The 6 pm class will get some strength training tomorrow evening and we'll finish their week off with an interesting circuit.

My WOD today:
10 rounds of 30 seconds on the Airdyne followed by a
5 x Power clean, 5 x Push Press and 5x Front squat complex
45 lbs, 65 lbs, 95 lbs, 115 lbs, 6 rounds with 135 lbs

Monday, February 3, 2014

Day 1 of HAWC Bootcamp

We started the HAWC Bootcamp today and had 8 people participate.  A couple of folks that were scheduled to attend had other obligations or were under the weather.  We conducted a class this morning at 6am and again at 6pm.  We did some basic skill training with a KB and then followed it up with a nice 10 minute KB circuit.  Tomorrow we put the KBs away and do some bodyweight work.  Both classes were quick learners so I expect we will get to some fun stuff before the month is over.

Here's an interesting video about Sugar and the impact it has on your body.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Here come da Judge!

Yesterday, I talked about how to structure your environment to overcome temptation. Taking control of your environment is helpful because it reduces the amount of decisions that you have to make. Research by Roy Baumeister out of Florida State suggest that the difference between people who have strong self-control or willpower and people who don’t is really an illusion. (Baumeister & Tierney, 2011) The people with a strong willpower simply structure their world in such a way that they save their willpower for those really tough times. (Baumeister & Tierney, 2011) Apparently, the human willpower is not infinite and it is one of the primary reasons humans create mental shortcuts (heuristics) to reduce the amount of conscious decisions one has to make. (Baumeister & Tierney, 2011) (Kahneman, 2011) According to Baumeister the reason you tend to binge at the end of the day is because you have been using your willpower to resist temptations all day long. (Baumeister & Tierney, 2011)  (McGonigal, 2012)  The best strategies for dealing with this dilemma is to structure your environment in such a manner that there is nothing to resist or revamp your judgement about what is good and bad. (Baumeister & Tierney, 2011)  (McGonigal, 2012) (Jowett, 2008)

The first part of the strategy is rather simple and straightforward, but the second part has some special challenges. The success of our species has been the direct result of numerous genetic propensities that have evolved over time. (Wilson, 2012) (Saplosky, 2004) The reason incest is repulsive to 99% of us is because it was detrimental to the perpetuation of a strong species. (Wilson, 2012) For the majority of our species history our next meal was never guaranteed, so Mother Nature developed a hormonal system that thrived in an environment where the next meal was tenuous at best. (Wilson, 2012) (Saplosky, 2004) (De Vany, 2011) That’s why the dopamine hose in our head goes crazy when we encounter sugar. First, to set off the insulin system to quickly as possible turn this sugar into fat while the getting’ is good. And, some have theorized that we derived a sensitivity to sweetness because in nature sweet things tend to be non-poisonous.  Kind of ironic how that has changed with the advent of processed sugar. Yes I’m claiming that sugar is poisonous and if you don’t believe me ask the people who are suffering from Diabetes II/III (III is a reference to the latest findings regarding insulin sensitivity and dementia, see Luckily for us Mother Nature has given us a mechanism for countering the pull of sugar and you have complete control over it. It’s called perception, opinion, but I prefer Judgement. (Gazzangia, 2011)

So how can you shape your Judgement in such a manner that you start making choices that overcome the natural love affair we have with such things as sugar. Since at least the time of Socrates man has recognized that humans will choose what they believe or judge to be good for them. (Jowett, 2008) The premise being that it is irrational for a man/woman to do something that they judge to be bad for them. (Jowett, 2008) (Johnson, 2014) (Stephenson, 2007) So at the end of the day you’re actions reveal your true beliefs. As Grandma Willie (just about the greatest woman in history) used to say ‘your actions speak louder than your words.’ Epictetus said that if you want to know a man’s philosophy examine how he behaves. (Johnson, 2014) (Wilson, 2012) (Arrian, 2008) Most of us would be considered orthodox hedonist driven by the avoidance of pain and the never ending quest for pleasure. (Irvine, 2006) To overcome our orthodox hedonism is simple, stop acting like a hedonist and start acting like someone who has an ounce of willpower. Aristotle articulated it this way ‘You become brave by performing acts of bravery’ and this line of thought has matriculated through the ages from Epictetus “if you wish to acquire a habit for anything, do the thing; if you do not wish to acquire the habit, abstain from doing it” (Arrian, 2008, p. 121) to William James idea of ‘act as if’ (James, 1897) to Existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘existence precedes essence’ (Barrett, 1990, p. 248) and finally to modern willpower expert Kelly McGonigal ‘fake it till you make it’ (McGonigal, 2012). It’s a rather straightforward idea, simply repeatedly perform the behavior or in this case judgement over and over and over. 

I have a little brother who has mastered this better than anybody I know. His nickname growing up was ‘Bubba’ and you don’t earn a nickname like Bubba with a hatred of donuts and ice cream. No Bubba was an accomplished chow hound and before he was a teenager he had become quite the little pork chop. But he eventually left his Bubbaness behind, by changing his judgement about what was good and bad and he did this through his actions. It’s been a 30 year process and I can assure you that you don’t want to be around my brother and put some garbage in your mouth. He is infamous for his candor, but more importantly his actions over time developed his judgement into making choices that benefit rather than harm his health. It is no coincidence that of the 5 kids in our family only 2 of them are not struggling with obesity and diabetes. In future post I’ll discuss how to put this into action, but in the meantime you might want to start figuring out just who the hell you are. Most of us have no clue, I was certified Hedonist for a long time and I didn't figure that out until I took an honest look at my actions.

“The intelligent want self-control; children want candy” Rumi (McGonigal, 2012, p. 1)


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Distraction Strategies or what to do when you are starving to death!

Taking Charge of ones life.......
I posted a couple days ago that I would talk about distraction strategies for fasting, but this could also be applied to eating habits in general.

There is nothing real original here and really this should be used as just guide of how to develop your own rules and distractors.

First:  Rid your house of all temptation and if your like a little squirrel I know that's currently masquerading as my wife, that would include your vehicle.

Second:  Keep multiple zero calorie options available to put in your cake hole whenever you need to keep yourself from eating.  My favorites are gum, water, coffee, and sometimes I use zero calorie flavored carbonated water.  In the past I drank diet pepsi like it was going out of style, but I finally weened myself off of them.  At the end of the day you will just have to test different options, but the key is to have numerous options and always have them available.

Third and last:  Create your own go to hell rules and treat these rules as sacred.  For instance, I recently started noticing my weight creep up towards 165 and could not put my finger on the cause.  Finally, I realized that I can't eat a sweet potato every day and so I came up with a rule. I'm only allowed a sweet
potato if my weight is below 160 lbs.

Usually people want distractors or techniques that will totally eliminate any form of discomfort and I've only found one that truly works.  Learn to like discomfort.  It's weird, but somehow I reached this point a number of years ago and I actually prefer the feeling of hunger to the feeling one gets from a full stomach.  Weird I know, but that's why the family keeps me in the attic.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Do this…Don’t do this…Fasting for mortals

Everyone's favorite Uncle

As noted in previous blogs I’m one ‘those’ people that regularly fast.  For a long-time I kept this weirdness to myself, but after having damn near knock down dragouts with family and friends I finally came clean.  Now everybody, for the most part, just ignores my eccentricities and treats me like the kooky Uncle every family has stowed away in the attic.  But every now then there are people who become interested in fasting practices and they give it a whirl.  Surprisingly, it is seldom ever a pleasant experience for them and part of the problem stems from me. 

I forget to explain to them that it took me years to get to the point where being hungry felt more normal than satiated.  More importantly, I didn’t just jump right in the deep end of the pool, I gradually tested the water and had as many miserable days as good days.  I wouldn’t change the experience even if I could because the misery taught me a lot about myself and how to handle…..well misery.  My fasting has progressed from merely skipping breakfast to daily fasting 19-21 hours (5 days of the week) and fasting for 48 hours the other 2 days of the week.  Over the years I have created all kinds of strategies for distracting myself, building my hunger tolerance and in the end making self-control or self-discipline my number one character trait.  Over the next few days I’ll post some strategies for distracting the hunger, increasing hunger tolerance and how to have the self-discipline of Diogenes ‘the mad Socrates’ of antiquity. 

Today's WOD 
EMOM for 5 minutes
Clean, Front Squat and Jerk complex: Clean 185, Front Squat x 2, Jerk x 1
30 Pullups
30 Sec L-sit hold
20 x 500 meter C2 Concept Rower

Self-discipline training--To face the winds of fortune 'we must undergo winter training' Epictetus
Fasted 20 hours
Weight: 161.8
Read: 5 hours
Wrote: 5 hours
Cold Shower

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Epictetus Role Theory II

 Diogenes of Sinope one of Epictetus favorite examples of excellence.  This photo depicts Diogenes telling Alexander the Great to go pound sand and to please quit blocking the sun.  It's easy to see why 'E' held Diogenes in such high esteem.

The discussion with the CPT's went surprisingly well and I received excellent feedback from both the students and the instructors.  Before I explain how the day went, I need to give you my 25 cent version of ERT.  For those of you who are not philosophy nerds, Epictetus was a Roman Stoic Philosopher and his teachings have greatly influenced everyone from Roman Emperors to forming the bases of modern day cognitive behavioral therapy.  According to Brian Johnson (the modern author who has proposed this notion of Role Theory Ethics), “Epictetus largely set aside the traditional Graeco-Roman talk of virtues such as moderation, justice, courage and wisdom”  (Johnson, 2014, p. 52) and created an ethical system centered around roles.  Johnson notes, "Epictetus makes these roles provide the bedrock justification for ethical action." (Johnson, 2014, p. 52)  Of course to live these roles in an excellent manner requires moderation, justice, courage and wisdom or correct judgement regarding externals and there use.  (Long, 2002) (Stephenson, 2007)  The discourses of Epictetus are filled with numerous ante-dotes of how people succeed or fail in meeting the obligations of their roles.  (Johnson, 2014) (Long, 2002)  Usually resulting from poor judgement or the failure to act in the appropriate virtuous manner, ie., decisions based on fear or placing value on something outside their volition.  (Stephenson, 2007)  According to Long, Epictetus considered the volition or will as the ‘self’ and that we are responsible for the self we create through the actions we take to fulfill our roles.  (Long, 2002, p. 34)  Epictetus considers us all as actors in the Great Poet's play, we don't decide our parts, but we do decide how well we play the part.  (Johnson, 2014) (Stephenson, 2007)  Based upon the work of Johnson, Stephenson, Long and of course Epictetus I had the students attempt to discover all of their roles and the subsequent obligations for fulfilling those roles in an excellent manner.

The students were required to break up into three groups and within those groups determine all of the roles they play in life and the subsequent obligations from those roles.  I did the exercise prior to the class and found the exercise to be extremely difficult.  I never realized how many different roles we play in life and all of the subsequent obligations that come with those roles.  I found that if I really took an honest look at my fulfillment of those roles, I'm less than excellent to say the least.  The students had similar observations and our discussion speculated it was from a lack of awareness.  In other words, unless you actively track meeting these obligations, most of them will fall through the cracks of daily life.  Granted, most if not all of these obligations are self-imposed or imposed by social convention, but it was easy to see how a person could lead a less than an ethical life without some behavior awareness.  The view we took of ethics in this context was excellence.  In other words, what would be the obligation for someone to be an excellent Special Forces Officer or father or sister etc...  The instructors want to continue developing the course and next time provide the students with some read ahead about Epictetus Role Theory and to come class with a list of roles and the obligations for those roles.  The class discussion would center on how the students identified both their roles and the subsequent obligations.  Once we determine that the students have a good grasp of their roles we will then advance to how they will daily track those obligations.  Daily self-monitoring was an important aspect of ERT and after doing this exercise I now see why.  (Long, 2002)  The other part of the discussion will be centered on the conflict between a person's roles and developing techniques to discovering those conflicts.

I'm still not sure how I will conduct my research regarding ERT (for those not aware I’m a Doctoral student and I’m interested in how to develop the ethics of young leaders), but judging from the response of the student there is something there worth exploring.  In future post I will provide some examples of roles, their subsequent obligations and how one could track and create habits that ensure you are fulfilling your role with arête.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Epictetus Role Theory

24 Jan 2014
People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.

Today I had the opportunity to spend some time with some young Special Operations CPTs and discuss Epictetus Role Theory.  I recently read a book by Brian Johnson entitled Epictetus Role Theory and I found Mr. Johnson's ideas about Epictetus and Roles to be very thought provoking.  So I took the opportunity to speak with these CPTs about Mr. Johnson's ideas and was surprised by both how his ideas resonated with the audience and at the same time quite humbled to realize how little I have reflected on the roles I play in my life.  I will have a follow up post this with more details about the class and Mr. Johnson's theory.

5 Rounds
500 meter row
20 KB Swings with 70lb KB
10 1/2 burpees

Weight: 162.4
Fasted: I'm at the halfway point of a 48 hour fast.

Read: 5 hours
Wrote: 5 hours
Cold Shower
French: 30 minutes

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Commandments

Yesterday’s blog post discussed commitment devices and how to use them for getting things done and for creating habits.  Today, I’ll discuss some ways commitment devices and ‘go to hell’ rules can be used for diet.  The premise is fairly simple, but the challenge for most people lies in the execution of the premise.

Simple doesn't mean Easy  
 Several years ago I decided to help a friend of mine stick to a diet and I agreed to follow whatever rules we put forth.  Are rules were fairly straightforward: 
1. Eat only meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts
2. Fast a minimum of 19 hours every day
3. Sleep at least 6 hours
4. Weigh yourself every day:  This step of course violates everything the experts say, but I view that as more of motivator than a deterrent (my little wife will attest to the fact that nothing gives me greater pleasure than acts of defiance).  This is also directly related to the next step. 
5. ‘Keep it between the ditches’:  I keep my weight between 155 and 165 and if I notice that my weight starts creeping towards 165, then I’m required to make some adjustment to my diet.  Most of the time that means I have to forgo or reduce my consumption of sweet potatoes, almonds or cheese.  Additionally, this rule requires that I go to bed somewhat ‘hungry’ (I usually only eat between 5 and 10 pm).  My friend used this method to lose over 60 pounds.  He created a 10 pound window that he monitored daily, made adjustments according to what he weighed and shifted the window to the left by two pound every week. Example: week 1 window 260 to 250, week 2 window 258 to 248 etc…  This technique has been the most effective method I have found for maintaining my weight.  It seems tedious, but the few times I have been in the position in which I couldn't daily weigh myself, my weight always increases by at least 5 pounds.  Although it’s quite embarrassing for my wife, I don’t travel anywhere without my scales.  And yes, I do derive some pleasure from causing her undue embarrassment.
6.  Designate ‘poison days’ to ensure that your system can still survive on processed food, but more importantly so I can have my wife’s carrot cake at least a few times a year. 
7.  ‘Poison days’ require a 48 hour fast prior to consumption.  Like I said, simple, but not necessarily easy.  Easy is for suckers.
8.  Treat the rules as ‘holy’.  Frankly, I’m convinced I will go to hell if I violate my rules. 

 Will this work for you, I have no idea, but it has worked for me.  I have less body fat now than when I graduated high school in 1980, back when Lincoln and Davis were still debating and Jimmy C. was giving away the canal.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

No Way Out

Odysseus may be the oldest example in literature of what modern psychologist call commitment devices.  (Baumeister & Tierney, 2011) (Arrian, 2008) (Ainsle, 2001) (McGonigal, 2012)  The several publications referenced in the preceding sentence are great place to start to learn more about commitment devices.  All of these references in some fashion recommend the technique of Odysseus for assisting one with their self-control or self-discipline challenges.  For those of you not familiar with the Odysseus and the Sirens myth,
“A siren call means something that is alluring. It is dangerous and potentially deadly. Even if you know better, the siren call is hard to resist. In Greek mythology, the sirens who allured were sea nymphs beguiling enough to begin with, but with even more enticing voices.
In Odyssey Book XII Circe warns Odysseus about the dangers he will face at sea. One of these is the Sirens. In the adventure of the Argonauts, Jason and his men faced the danger of the Sirens with the help of the singing of Orpheus. Odysseus has no Orpheus to drown out the lovely voices, so he orders his men to stuff their ears with wax and tie him to a mast so he can't escape, but can still hear them singing. This painting shows the sirens as beautiful women-birds who fly to their prey instead of luring them from afar.”  (the quote is from the following website;

Of course this technique can be used for more than warding off tempting Sirens.  Over the last several years I have used this concept to overcome all kinds of unproductive habits and I have also used it to make myself stay on task.  Like most of you, I’m easily distracted and without some kind of commitment device, I will go down all sorts of Black Holes searching for the proverbial rabbit.  To prevent these unproductive rabbit hole searches I have created my own ‘commandments’ or ‘go to hell’ rules.  I treat my rules as sacred and a make it a matter of personal integrity that I abide by them.  For instance, I’m currently in a Doctorate program that requires that I read and write a substantial amount.  I really don’t have the luxury to wait around for inspiration for either activity, so I require myself to spend at least 5 hours each day on each activity.  My rule is simple and it was stolen from Stephen Pressfield (The War of Art), when I’m writing I’m allowed only two options; write or do nothing.  That means no phone calls, facebook, email, etc…  It suits my personality very well, because I can’t just sit there do nothing and eventually I just start writing to overcome the boredom.  I also personally track and record it every day in my little ‘judgment’ (as in standing before God type of judgment) book to ensure that I’m maintaining my integrity.  I apply the same principles to a host of activities from what and when I eat, to physical exercise.  The combination of a commitment device and keep a daily ‘judgment’ book of how well I kept the commitment has significantly impacted my ability to develop useful habits and raise myself to just above the level of a useful idiot.  In my next post I’ll discuss my ‘go to hell’ rules for diet.
From todays ‘Book of Judgment’
Weight: 163
Fasted: 19 hours
Read: 6 hours
Wrote: 5 hours


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

21 Jan 2014

5 rounds EMOM
5 x Front Squat x 165lbs
10 x Pullups
1x Front Squat x 185lbs

30 rounds EMOM
11 KB Swing 70lb KB
11 Jumping Squats

Weight: 163.8
Fasted: 20 hours
Professor Tim Noakes on the Decarb lifestyle

Advice is rather simple; meat, vegetable, little fruit and some nuts.  Unfortunately simply does not always equal easy, but daily tracking kept help keep you honest.  In future post we will discuss some tricks of the trade.  One easy way to track is keep tabs on what you should avoid i.e., sugar and grains.

20 Jan 2014

5 x 1000 meter Rows
300 Pushups
20 Rockers

Weight: 163.8
Fasted: 24 hours

Saturday, January 18, 2014

18 Jan 2104


8 x 500 meter rows on C2 Concept

Weight: 158.8
Fast: Completed 48 hour fast

Friday, January 17, 2014

17 Jan 2014

Moved in 5lb increments from 95lbs to 230lbs and just barely missed 235.
Followed by pull-ups
Did from 20 down to 1 in pull-ups and each set with a 200 meter sprint (sets 20 thru 11) and 100 meter sprints (for sets 10 through 1) total pull-ups 210

Weight: 163.2
Fasting: halfway through 48 hour fast

Will post update on Lucky Dog Bootcamp tomorrow

Thursday, January 16, 2014

16 Jan 2014

It's a conspiracy!!!

Weight: 161.8
Fasted 20 hours:  Begin 48 hour fast tonight

30 min EMOM
10 KB Russian Swings with 70lb KB
10 Jumping Squats

Total: 300 Swings and 300 Jumping Squats

Easy Day

Deacon sporting his new haircut, while Ollie and Gus register their complaints concerning the quality treats they've been receiving lately.  Rumor on the street has it that Deacon actually bit some kid.  I asked him about it and he said "show me the poof" (that's not a misspelling, the boy has a bit of a lisp). He somehow has it in his mind that the rumor was started by some cat person.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lucky Dog Bootcamp

For those interested I will start running a boot-camp 03 Feb 2014.  The proceeds from the camp will be donated to HAWC (Harnett Animal Welfare Coalition).  I hear the President is pretty cute and I'm not above bribery to get my way with her.  So this is really a twoofer, help more than one old dog get lucky.  Speaking of lucky don't forget Friday night is Lucky Dog Bingo!!!

Boot-camp Class will run Monday-Friday for one hour
Class Dates 03 Feb - 28 Feb 2014
Cost: $50 dollar donation for four week class
Time: 0600-0700 OR 6pm - 7pm
Place:  Lillington Park  307 S 1st St, Lillington, NC 
Sign-up in the comment section of this post
What to wear? Really!!! You may have to pick up something, so if you have tender little hands I would bring gloves.

Instructor Credentials:
Undergraduate Degree in Health Promotion from the University of Louisville
Served as Crossfit Instructor and primary programmer for East Coast Crossfit in Southern Pines (this class however will not be a Crossfit class, but will involve bodyweight circuit training)
Former Special Forces Selection Commander responsible for assessing and selecting future Special Forces Soldiers, as well as preparing 18X (recruits from civilian sources) for the rigors of Special Forces selection.
Generally considered a barrel chested, steely-eyed Freedom Fighter by my children.

Ollie provides a demonstration of possible class activities.

Primary Instructor: Coach Whiskey Pete
Something worth dying for, my two favorite things about HAWC

Join the cause to piss off all of HAWC's naysayers and join me on Monday.  I can't help it I'm a Revolutionist by trade.

15 Jan 2014

15 Jan 2014

Weight: 162.8
Fasted 19 hours: restricted carbs to broccoli medley and sweet potato
Starting 48 hour fast tonight.

20 rounds EMOM
10 Russian KB Swings with 70lb KB
10 Push ups with 20lb vest

Total: 200 swings and 200 pushups

Followed by
10 Rounds of
30 seconds on AirDyne Bike above 80 rpm
3 Power Cleans (progressed in weight with each round in the following manner:
45lbs, 65lbs, 95lbs, 115lbs, 135lbs, 145lbs,155lbs, 165lbs, 175lbs, 185lbs)
Total time 19:33

Are Alzheimer's and diabetes the same disease?
Interesting article on the links between diabetes II and dementia.  Apparently if you eat enough sugar and processed food you naturally forget all your troubles.  If that's your hope you have never watched someone suffer through the torments of Alzheimer's.  Sadly, I had to watch both my Grandmother and Mother suffer from this condition.   In some ways though, I think the toll it took on my father was equal.  Given the limited resources we have in the world and the mounting evidence regarding sugar and disease; what we put in our mouth is now as much of a moral problem as it is a health problem.  But we want simple quick fixes from our government to take care of our inability to exercise self-control.  Jean-Paul Sartre once proclaimed that France was more free during the German occupation than afterwards.  The occupation was a conscious reminder to the French people that we ultimately have no excuses for our actions, as human beings we are condemned to be free.  Of course, I guess you could keep sniveling about how you can't live without X or Y food, but I hope you have more dignity than that.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

14 Jan 2014

Weight: 163.8
Fasted 19 hours: Carb restriction tonight less than 75grams

5 x 1000 meter row work/rest = 1:1

Power Snatch: 12 Singles with 135 in 6 min

10 Rounds EMOM
11 Pullups and 10 Jumping squats
Total 110 Pullups and 100 Jumping squats

Monday, January 13, 2014

13 Jan 2014

15 min EMOM
10 Kettlebell American Swings (53)
15 Pushups

20 minutes
1 squat clean, 4 front squats and 1 Jerk
45lbs, 65lbs, 95lbs, 115lbs, 135lbs, 145lbs, 155lbs, 165lbs, 175lbs (missed jerk),
then 3 sets of 1 clean, 1 jerk, and 4 front squats at 185

10 Minutes on the Airdyne
30 seconds hard/30 seconds rest
Kept Watts above 82

Fasted 19 hours
Weight 163.2

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Living Dangerously

"Living Dangerously"  Friedrich Nietzsche
12 Jan 2014

I've had several request to re-start the blog by a number of people.  The blog will serve as a vehicle for people to improve their self-discipline.  I'm currently enrolled in a Doctorate of Executive Leadership and the focus of my research is developing techniques and practices for developing both individual and organizational self-discipline.  The premise being that person's and organizations with high levels of self-discipline will live a much more engaging and fruitful life.  One of the most effective techniques for improving self-discipline is to simply track several areas of your life, such as, matters that deal with health and wellness.  Over the course of the next few weeks I will start providing the readers of the blog with several ideas of how I have used self-discipline to improve multiple areas within my life.  At a minimum I will provide my workout program and my peculiar dieting practices.
Today: Completed 10 x 500 meter C2 Concept row intervals with a 1:1 work/rest ratio.  I fasted for 20 hours and avoided the use of almond butter and almonds.  For those not familiar with my eating practices, I attempt to keep my weight between 155 and 165 and determine my food restriction based upon how much I weigh each morning.  This morning I weighed 162; anytime I weigh more than 160 I restrict the intake of nuts, cheese and almond butter.  I generally speaking eat meat, vegetables, nuts, and limited amounts of fruit.  My normal pattern of eating is a daily fast of 19 to 21 hours 5 days a week and 48 hour fast that always begins on Thursday night and ends on Saturday night.  Reader should not take this as dietary advice.  This practice is as much about developing my self-discipline and self-control as it is about my health.  I have been practicing intermittent fasting for over 8 years and my practice has evolved over the years. For those interested in intermittent fasting, I recommend a much more conservative approach and in future post I will provide strategies for the practice.  The practice of fasting has taught me many valuable tools for developing habits, but more importantly it has taught me how to rid myself of bad habits.

Feel free to post what you are tracking because going public is a great commitment device.  I stay busy, but will attempt to answer any inquiries as fast as I can.

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." Kurt Vonnegut

"Existence precedes essence" Jean-Paul Sartre

Sunday, November 27, 2011

28 Nov 2011

225 pound Deadlift, 21 reps
Handstand walk 21 meters
225 pound Deadlift, 15 reps
Handstand walk 15 meters
225 pound Deadlift, 9 reps
Handstand walk 9 meters

Thursday, November 24, 2011

24 Nov 2011

Clean and Jerk x 5 reps
Burpee x 10

Starting weight for clean and jerk 95 lbs increase by 10 per round end at 185

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

23 Nov 2011

6 x 400 meter run 10mph 90 sec rest

100 pull ups to a bar 1 ft from reach

Monday, November 21, 2011

21 Nov 2011

Yesterdays WOD
Thruster 135 lbs
Pullups with 35 lbs

Today's WOD
For time:
10 Handstand push-ups
250 pound Deadlift, 15 reps
25 Box jumps, 30 inch box
50 Pull-ups
100 Wallball shots, 20 pounds, 10'
200 Double-unders
Run 400 meters with a 45lb plate

Saturday, November 19, 2011

19 November WOD

Double under

95, 105, 115 x 5

For time three rounds
800 meter run
50 KB swings (1.5 pood swing to chest height)
50 Situps

Friday, November 18, 2011

18 Nov WOD

Snatch Balance practice

245, 275, 308 x 5

6 x 400 meter run 10mph pace with 1:30 rest between runs