How To Find A Fitness Guru – Part One

Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer or nutritionist. The posts I share on weight-loss come from personal experience. Please consult a doctor before starting any diet or exercise plan. 

In 2006, I was a 5’7 sixteen-year-old boy who weighed 180lbs. I wanted to lose weight but felt insecure in the gym. Buff dudes in gold tank tops curled 50lb weights. Women in spandex practiced their splits before spending the next half hour on an elliptical. Meanwhile, I struggled to run on the treadmill for fifteen minutes. Why? Because nothing motivated me to move my body. 

In “How I Motivated Myself To Exercise When It Felt Impossible” Rita Templeton made a list of tools that inspired her to keep active. Walking led to dancing led to taking a Zumba class with a friend. Her choices became hobbies that promoted a healthier lifestyle. However, those hobbies still presented a challenge. 

“On the days when I feel like doing absolutely nothing, I make myself get up and walk around for a while — because once you’re in motion, staying in motion becomes much, much easier,” Templeton said. This advice resonated with my search for a fitness program in the summer of ’06.

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Gilad Janklowicz

My journey led me to Gilad’s Bodies in Motion on Fit Tv. Gilad Janklowicz, a fitness television personality, utilized aerobic techniques to promote constant movement from viewers. I followed every instruction because not one exercise felt too difficult to try.

“Once again, if you’re having a hard time in any portion of this workout you come back to this jog or walk in place. But you never sit down. Never sit!” Gilad said to me through the television screen.

I jumped from side-to-side in my parent’s bedroom. This space became a gym where self-confidence flourished. Gilad encouraged me to try kicking boxing techniques during workout sessions.  These moves kept me off the sofa and on the floor. I wanted to prove to myself that this body could keep up with the people on television. Eventually, I felt confident enough to join a gym and carry on my fitness adventure.

Looking back twelve years later, I realized that a good Fitness Guru should promote a healthy lifestyle over the use of a product. Gilad promoted activity and endurance over weight loss. I lost 20lbs that summer but the daily habit of going back to the television program installed self-confidence and determination.

As always, thank you for reading my blog! In Part 2 I will discuss modern day guru’s that help me stay active. If you liked reading this post then please leave a thoughtful comment below and let’s start a conversation. 

All the best,

Benjamin Gallagher

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Rereading “What If It’s Us” by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

Kitsch Reads

Hello Friends,

This week, I’m rereading “What If It’s Us” by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera for my book review coming out next month! Until then, here is a thought about the novel:

I identified with Arthur’s expectations of a “good” boyfriend. Those ideas highlighted the character’s disappointment when certain fantasies failed to come true. He wanted the “perfect” lover because that’s what he envisioned Ben to be.

I knew this of myself at age 18. I fell in love with the idea of someone rather than the person themselves. This led to a breakup and a re-evaluation of what I needed from myself in a relationship: the truth.

Arthur learned this of himself towards the end of the book. He learned to let go of pride after alienating himself in New York City. As in all Rom-Com’s, trauma misplaced preconceptions about the love he shared with Ben. The cool guy in a Dream & Bean shirt wrote fiction, played Sims, and went to summer school. These characteristics enhanced Arthur’s ideal boyfriend more than contradicted which led to True Love.

He accepted Ben for who he was. 

I loved The End of this book. It gave the characters time to grow from their relationship. Expect a full in-depth review next month on my blog! Keep reading and keep writing!
Love,
BoyKitsch
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P.S. Thank you Orange County Library for delivering this book right to my door! No need to put down the coffee.

P.S.S. Are you reading this book too? Are you more of a Ben or Arthur? Share your thoughts in a comment. I’m also looking for book recommendations.

Boy Perfectionsim

In “Bird By Bird” by Anne Lamott, the author talks about the nature of Perfectionism. Before reading this book, I expected every piece of writing to become a masterpiece. Novels, short stories, flash fiction, and everything else seemed so far out of reach. Why? Because the product mattered more than the act of creation.

“Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend.” Anne Lamott

I wanted to call myself a Novelist before writing a single word. But a dreamer should never start at the end. They needed to get lost in the paint, the letters, the sounds of their voice to become an artist.

So, are you a dreamer or an artist? Can you let go of perfectionism? Have you read “Bird By Bird” By Anne Lamott? Leave a comment below. Let others know how you overcome artist challenges like idealism.

All the best,

BoyKitsch

P.S. Sorry for the late post. I will resume regular Monday posts next week.

Check out my Instagram to find more posts like this!

📸BoyKitsch

Establish a New Eating Habit – Counting Calories with the MyFitnessPal App

Disclaimer: I am not a certified trainer or nutritionist. The posts I share on weight-loss come from personal experience. Please consult a doctor before starting any diet plan. 

I lost 20lbs and plan to maintain my weight. Counting calories helps me plan everything from meals to gym routines. But this habit comes with patience and the ability to look past the shame of eating a surplus of calories some days.

I want to help you get started on your journey. Friday is the perfect time to practice a new eating habit. Download the MyFitnessPal App on your phone and then come back to this page.

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Congratulations! You just crossed the starting line and are on your way to losing weight. Set the “Weekly Goal” meter to “Lose 0.5 lbs per week”. Why? Because starting a new lifestyle requires patience.

What is the difference between practicing a Diet and a Healthier Lifestyle? 

A diet delays weight gain.

A lifestyle change will help you lose weight by choosing healthier eating habits. By setting the meter to “Lose 0.5 lbs per week” you give yourself time to understand food choices.

I incorporate chocolate into every meal because it makes me happy. Chocolate protein shakes and Lenny & Larry’s Double Chocolate Cookies help maintain my daily calorie count. Rewarding myself with something sweet at the end of each meal keeps me motivated to stay on track!

On Monday you’ll review your food choices. Which ones made you happy? Which ones did you eat out of convenience over preference? The answers will help you create a meal plan specifically designed for your appetite. If that doesn’t sound bougie I don’t know what does!

Practicing New Food Behavior

In 2018 Forbes republished an article from Quora called “The Science Behind Adopting New Habits (And Making Them Stick).”  By Monday you will have completed Steps 1-4 of the 5-step process for creating any habit.

You will have established a small goal, built a foundation, and repeated the process more than twice. Great job! Reward yourself with something just as valuable as the time spent logging in each meal. It can be watching your favorite movie, going for a walk, or even food shopping. Because what matters here isn’t losing weight yet although that will happen. What matters is that you’re creating a relationship with food through the app. 

I remember starting and quitting the app several times over the past four years. Yes, it took me four years to create this habit. Why? Because no one told me that losing weight was about starting a new lifestyle. No one said the app would help me acknowledge food behavior and the shame that came along with it in the beginning.

I am here to help you get past some of the shame by saying it’s okay if you ate a surplus of calories over the weekend. Consider each meal a lap around the block. Soon you’ll be ready to run the marathon. As soon as you build the habit of logging in your food you’ll then learn how to balance your macros.

What are Macronutrients?

“Macronutrients are the three categories nutrients you eat most and provide you with most of your energy: protein, carbohydrates and fats. What is not a macronutrient? The other aspects of your foods—micronutrients—are the vitamins and minerals your body needs in smaller amounts,” says Elena Donovan Mauer in “What Is the Macro Diet—And Can It Help Me Lose Weight?” of Cooking Light.

I suggest you track macronutrients after getting into the habit of counting calories. Until then, keep this article in mind. Tracking macronutrients will equip you with the knowledge to start working out effectively. I will discuss my journey in finding fitness gurus both on and offline in my next blog post.

Summary

I hope this post helps you set a small goal of losing “o.5 lbs per week” when using the MyFitnessPal App. Remember it’s okay to eat a surplus of calories the first few times you use the app. I still eat a surplus every now and again. But that encourages me to stay active.

If you found this post helpful or if you have any questions please leave a thoughtful comment below. 

All the best,

Benjamin Gallagher

Boy Anima

Boys, unravel your misconceptions about beauty. I’m 29 and still learning about the Anima spirit. Why? Because feminine energy helps me create art.

Make up words with the sound of colors. Your perception will challenge the status quo. Soon the world will know about the power of your imagination.

This picture acknowledges the change I want to see in myself. Make up empowers me to keep writing short stories. What kind of art do you create? Do you also channel the Anima?

🚨Check back this Friday evening for a blog post 🚨

Find more pics like this on my instagram

📸BoyKitsch

“Boy Swamp”

Writing requires a journey to the sinkhole. Words and water flow easily enough in the Orlando heat. But it took time to grow these flowers for you. Where do you find inspiration? I would love to know.

Don’t forget to leave a comment ♥️

@anthonyemancuso for taking this awesome pic!

You can find this pic and more on my Instagram

📸 @boykitsch

3 Tools I Used to Lose 20lbs

In November 2018 I decided to drop 20 lbs. Although healthy for a 5’8 man, I felt uncomfortable standing in front of the mirror. “You can do this,” I said to myself. On April 1st I weighed 131 lbs and felt satisfied with the results. But which tools did I use to accomplish this goal?

Weight Guru – Bluetooth Body Composition Scale inspired me to lose Body Fat. The scale measured pounds, body mass index, muscle mass, water weight, and body fat percentage. I felt lighter and leaner each day because I knew the components of my body. Here were my percentages on 12/3/18 and 3/31/19:

Of course, these results came from using both the scale and Fitness Pal Mobile App. The app tracked my macronutrients daily. Every meal added calories to the goal set in the top right corner. The numbers intimidated me at times, like after eating too many cookies or not enough protein. However, I still recorded every consumed food and beverage.

The shame of a surplus happened weekly. I wanted to lose weight and savor the taste of chocolate. This led me to new recipes like Chocolate Pea Protein Powder mixed with berries for dessert. I learned how to navigate through food craving which felt inspiring. But before gratitude came forgiveness.

Forgiveness became my third and most essential tool for losing weight. I needed to acknowledge the effort made every day, every hour, every minute to feel motivated.

“You are doing the best you can and that’s enough. Everything important will get done. Everything that matters will get done.”

This manta built a foundation for self-confidence to grow. Yes, my physical appearance changed. I never imagined standing in front of a dressing room mirror with six-pack abs.  This reality reminded me of the journey taken. The weekly twenty-eight-hour gym sessions and food tracking led up this moment. Every tool used helped me achieve this goal.

I needed to appreciate this moment by snapping a selfie. I wanted to share this moment by writing about it. Have you lost weight? Which tools did you use? Do you want to lose weight and don’t know where to start? Leave a comment below.

April

“April”

This month I completed a variety of projects. Each one taught me about the creative process which involved many hours of editing drafts and eating cookies. Still, this Spring an imaginative season started in Orlando. Thank you On Writing Well for all the great advice.

Every other Monday I post something related to writing on my Instagram. Follow to keep updated. 📸 BoyKitsch

🚨 Check out my blog this Friday evening🚨

Advice from “Leave Your Mark” by Aliza Licht

aliza
Great advice to advance your career in Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht!

I love self-help books, especially ones by female entrepreneurs. Aliza Licht speaks to my truth about not having a five-year plan. Any person can succeed in their career if they focus on the task at hand. Mom gives me similar advice (thank you) but not with the same delivery as Licht.

Licht says, “Forget the long-term career goal. Nail what is in front of you and your next step will become crystal clear.” Her tone floats across the page and into my kitchen/writing studio. I sweep the breadcrumbs off the counter, set up the computer, and rewrite a story draft. For the next three weeks, this process becomes a habit that inspires me to keep going.

I see myself as a writer and content creator because of my mistakes. Dreamers bear no scars. I know my potential because of the typos and half-baked characters. Licht reflects on her decision to first become a doctor and then a fashion PR Girl. She says, “To me, it’s way more important to get your foot in a door that shows promise and give 200 percent to whatever that is. If you succeed and make an impression, another door is bound to open.” Success is about impressing yourself. Take small steps towards your goal every day.

Which projects are you working on? What is the next step you need to take to feel successful? Leave a comment below.

All the best,

Benjamin Gallagher