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Here’s what I learned from the biggest mistake of my life.

I cheated on my husband at my bachelorette party, and it was the biggest mistake of my life.

That night, I felt anxious before my girlfriends and I had even arrived at the bar.

Once we were seated, I didn’t sip my drink. Instead, I gulped down cocktail after cocktail to take the edge off my mounting unease.

“Last night out before you’re a missus!” My friend Jaz, who knew me as a party animal, whooped as I downed yet another strawberry daiquiri. She winked and gestured to the barman for a refill. “We’re only just getting started!”

To the cheering friends around me, my eagerness to get plastered made it look like I was in the mood to revel. But I wasn’t drinking to celebrate my imminent marriage.

Instead, I was drinking to escape the voice in my head that warned: “Angie! You’re not ready to commit!”

I was getting cold feet

An hour into the drinking session, I excused myself to go to the restroom. My legs wobbled beneath me when I stood up.

In the quiet cubicle, I took my time. I needed to be alone. I didn’t understand why, but I felt overcome by a powerful mix of anger and grief. My friends were too rambunctious with happiness, too excited on my behalf.

Deep down, I felt jealous of their carefree lives. Why were they so keen to celebrate the end of my freedom? I wanted nothing more than to go to bed in a stupor, away from their banter and laughter and high hopes for my future.

Instead, I loitered by the hand dryer, delaying my return to the bar. I took deep breaths to try to ease the tightness in my chest. What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I happy?

I felt certain I loved my husband-to-be, Jayden. At the same time, a part of me resented him for wanting to tie me down.

After our wedding, we planned to move back to his hometown. I pictured myself, decade after decade, supporting his hobbies, prioritizing his career, having sex the way he liked it.

Had my future been decided? Would that be my life?

Not that Jayden was selfish — he wasn’t telepathic, that’s all. A perpetual people-pleaser since childhood, I’d never learned to pipe up and ask him for what I wanted.

(Unlike him, I didn’t even know what I wanted!)

But I understood that unless I got the hang of expressing my needs soon, we’d run into serious problems.

I made an awful, drunken mistake

I’d started making my way back to the bar when a dark-haired stranger approached me. He was clean-shaven, his shirt was crisply ironed, and he smelt of sandalwood cologne.

“Have I seen you somewhere before?” he asked.

I knew he hadn’t; it was nothing more than a chat-up line. I felt a wave of anger and grief wash over me again.

But I wasn’t angry at the stranger, whose interest was mildly flattering. I was angry at myself, at Jayden, and at my oblivious friends who couldn’t see I wasn’t ready for marriage.

“Have I seen you somewhere before?” the stranger repeated.

“Yes,” I replied, unsteady on my feet. Then, in a senseless moment of drunken self-sabotage, I lurched forward and kissed him.

We ended up back in the grimy restroom cubicle. He unzipped the back of my dress while I unbuttoned his jeans.

The sex was soulless and unsatisfying, and it was over within a few minutes.

Why I went through with the wedding

I walked down the aisle on my wedding day feeling sick to my stomach. I knew that with every step I took, time was running out. I had to save my fiancé from myself before it was too late.

Halfway down the aisle, I wanted to turn back and run.

I wanted to sob and to scream, to crush the white roses in my bouquet, to tear up the tulle skirt of my wedding dress.

My heart blazed with shame. My conscience shrieked: “Abort!”

But all eyes were on me. I couldn’t do it.

Then I reached the altar and looked up at my husband-to-be, who had no idea how I’d betrayed him. I saw his eyes shining with pride and adoration where there should have been disgust.

I’d never been big on strength, resolve or courage, but at that moment, every trace of those qualities left me.

As he took my trembling hands in his, I convinced myself I had a duty to protect him from the trauma of learning what I’d done.

I didn’t deserve to marry Jayden, but neither did he deserve to have his heart broken.

You’ll destroy him if you tell the truth, Angie. That’s how I justified my silence. Why burden a good man with so much pain?

So I vowed to be faithful to him, forsaking all others. My voice shook but gave nothing away. I wept when we shared our first kiss as husband and wife.

“I’m crying happy tears!” I insisted when he cradled my face. He trusted me, so he believed that lie — just as he believed all the others that would come after.

At the reception, I drank too much Merlot and ended up dry-heaving over the toilet, head spinning.

“What’s the matter, Angie?” My best friend and bridesmaid, Nina, knelt beside me, rubbing my back.

“I’m hormonal.” I rattled off every excuse I could think of. “Getting married is one big emotional whirlwind. I’m not good with crowds and being in the limelight is freaking intense.”

All those statements were accurate to an extent. But the principal reason for my anguish? I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone, not even Nina.

Instead, I reassured her that nothing was wrong and forced a smile for the rest of the night.

How my husband found out

Ultimately, it was Nina who plucked the truth out of me a couple years later. She’d noticed I’d been growing more and more unhappy.

One Friday evening, she invited me around for dinner. I showed up with plenty to drink, as usual, and proceeded to drown my sorrows.

A few hours later, I woke up on the couch wearing her nightgown. I learned she’d showered and changed me after I got blackout drunk and vomited over myself.

“I can tell you’re in pain, Angie.” She hugged me as I cried into her shoulder. “I know you! I see the signs. You smoke a lot more than you used to. You eat way more takeout. And these days, you never attend a social event without drinking yourself stupid. What the heck is going on, girl? What’s wrong?”

Under her expectant gaze, my defenses broke down. I was so tired of suffering. I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed someone to hear me out, to absolve me.

Begging Nina not to hate me, I admitted what had happened at the bachelorette party. I explained how, through two years of marriage, I’d continued keeping the truth from Jayden.

Her body froze. She pulled away from me. Her next words made my blood run cold. “Angie. Either you tell him, or I will.”

“What?” I couldn’t breathe. I’d never felt so close to a panic attack. “But he’s innocent, Nina! He doesn’t deserve to go through hell because of me. I don’t want to ruin his life because of my stupid mistake.”

“You think you’re doing him a favor by lying? Are you delusional? You’re keeping the truth from him. That’s wrong! You’re manipulating him into believing he lives in a different reality.”

Bawling, I buried my head in my hands. Nina grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me.

“Listen, Angie! You don’t want to hurt him. I get it. But the fact that you cheated on him shows you guys have problems. If you refuse to be honest, you have no hope in hell of repairing your relationship.” She closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. “Like I said. Either you tell him, or I will.”

I wish I could say I had the guts to fix my own marriage. But I couldn’t bear the thought of facing Jayden. So I chose the cowardly option — just as I’d done for the past two years.

“You tell him,” I whimpered.

Nina tutted, shook her head, and picked up the phone.

What I learned

A week after Nina’s phone call, Jayden filed for divorce. I do not blame him in the slightest. I agreed to divorce him, feeling a mixture of devastation and relief.

It’s now been several years since I came clean to Nina, and I’ve come to believe she was right to push for honesty.

I thought I was protecting Jayden by keeping my transgression a secret. In reality, I was robbing him of the right to choose whether he wanted to be with me.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I’d confessed my fling earlier. Would Jayden have forgiven me? Would he have worked through our relationship issues?

Maybe, but that’s pointless speculation about a hypothetical situation. By lying throughout our brief marriage, I irreversibly damaged his trust in me.

Currently, I’m in therapy, and I expect I will be for a long time.

I’m working on reducing my alcohol consumption, as I drink far too much to self-medicate.

I’ve also started addressing my people-pleasing issues. I struggle to identify and express my own wishes in relationships. I’ve realized I need to get better at asking for what I want, otherwise, I end up feeling resentful.

At the bachelorette party, my resentment manifested as cheating. I wanted to regain a sense of control in my relationship with Jayden, and I went about it in the most immature way possible.

So if I’ve learned anything from my mistake, it’s the importance of not burying your feelings. Repressed feelings can burst out of you unexpectedly in the form of hurtful, thoughtless actions.

Jayden didn’t need me to cheat; he needed me to face him and have an honest conversation.

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is speak up and say how you feel.

Source : Medium

It’s how you get what you want.

In hostage negotiation we always had a saying “What’s it going to take to get the hostage taker to come out? He’ll tell you.” But you have to learn to do more than just listen passively or try to talk them into anything. You have to work with what you get out of them to make a deal.

My company now teaches this tactical negotiation approach in business.


Here’s how an employee used listening to get a salary offer 41% higher than expected:

Bob (not his real name) is interviewing within his company for a promotion. He knows what the market salaries are for equally qualified candidates. He’s recently been promoted within his company for exemplary work. The company typically contracts out this aspect of their human resources (HR) process so it will be unbiased and impartial. The company values loyalty. Offers generally come with very little room to negotiate.

The negotiation between Bob and the HR professional took place over the phone. It starts by pleasantly getting right down to business.

The HR professional starts right off by telling Bob he seems ideal and is highly recommended by management. Bob thanks him but then asks, “What reasons lead management to say so?” to get this into the conversation.

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The HR professional answers and says he has some questions of his own.

HR: “Are you looking for other offers either within or without the company?”

BOB: “Yes, both. It seems to be a great time to do so. It appears companies, including ours, are really trying to capture high quality talent.” (This is a great pivot and becomes an important element to work from, but it also has to be confirmed and brought into the conversation by the counterpart.)

HR: “That’s right. We are actually looking to move pretty quickly on this Bob. If we made you the right offer would you accept?”

BOB: “If I was given the right offer, I would accept. It seems that you already have a number in mind.” (This is another great pivot and the dance of who will name price first has begun.)

HR: “Actually, we factor in a lot of things. The number can change A LOT.”

BOB: “The number can change a lot? What are the parameters that impact it?”

HR: “That’s right. All sorts of things in the job market, but mostly how well you fit. There are numbers such as market penetration and your level’s salary that all play into it. We want you to have a competitive salary comparatively. So what number would do it for you?”

BOB: “Well, as you may be able to see from my file, I have accepted two lateral promotions in the past, which was great for my career, but didn’t offer any increase in pay. It seems from talking with other folks in the company, management will often let talent slip out because of this. You have indicated that we would like to close this quickly and that the job market really does seem to support this. I would like to know that my salary is competitive, but more so, demonstrates that our management really would like to retain me and values me highly. You also indicated that there are a lot of factors that can cause an offer to fluctuate in order to reflect this.”

HR: “That’s right.”

BOB: “That’s good, I would like the number to reflect what I summarized. How does what I stated impact the offer?” (Bang — right back on the counterpart, but in a completely respectful and even deferential way.)

HR: “It means that I can go work this and put a number in front of you that will make this an easy decision for you. As I said, we want to move quickly. Let me get on this and get this to you as fast as I can.”

Five days later the company tenders an offer that is 41% higher than what Bob assessed might have been offered based on a number of other internal factors.


To sum up what happened:

  1. Neither side tried to “rig” the negotiations with a series of yes-oriented questions.
  2. Bob teased out and confirmed some things he thought were true, but had to confirm his hypotheses in an open manner designed to elicit information without trying to lay a trap. He did it fairly, giving his counterpart opportunity to add or subtract information.
  3. At the final dreaded “he/she who names price first loses” moment, Bob responded with a summary and then an effective pause. Meaning he shut up and respectfully waited for a response. There is only one response to a proper summary — “that’s right”.
  4. Once confirmed, he respectfully shifted the next move back to his counterpart, leaving him feeling in control. The secret to gaining the upper hand in a negotiation is giving the other side the illusion of control.

Five days later. Rain.

Make it rain!

Source : Medium

30-Days Sex Challenge

The life is full of various challenges. Sometimes, waking up in the morning is a daily challenge too. But social media influencers set new trials nearly daily. 30-days beach body challenge, 30-days workout challenge, 30-days avocado challenge, etc. Men mostly hate those struggling to live with comfort while their partners try hard to complete the race. But this time we can offer something special for guys – 30-days sex challenge.

Who doesn’t like making love? Especially when you have no long standing partner and can afford going out with new girls daily. The next month can give you a valid reason to make your girlfriend (or girlfriends) tsleep with you once a day with no excuses. So, here is the deal:

Basic rules

This challenge is as simple as it could be – all you need is having sex once a day. You can make it twice, but no credits follow. It can work only for your own appreciation of your male power. You can’t miss the next day or skip sex time on the previous one.

Sex types

All types of lovemaking are allowed. When there is an interaction – the day is counted as a valid one. Some guys prefer more oral sex than regular frictions and that still works. So, basically you are free to choose from the types of pleasure you want.

Time for action

There is no need to launch a timer as you two (or three, or even more) jump into the bed. The challenge is called to improve your sex life, so just relax and enjoy the show. It doesn’t matter if you like it quick or prefer long lovemaking – it still counts.

Location choice

Do not stay in bed. That’s good and you know the poses that work best for you there, but 30-days sex challenge is the time to explore. Any surface in your house fits – go and try it. It happens that couples discover new spots to give them double pleasure and they have never thought about making love there. Create a schedule where you list all rooms and surfaces to try for your sex games – we guarantee you a wonderful adventure.

Sex toys

Those men who have one partner for a long time admit that their sex life is not as passionate as it was in the beginning of their relations. This challenge is a wonderful opportunity to spice up their intimacy and try some new approaches. This is why buying some sex toys is a wise thing to do.

Rough days

There are days when partners hate to see each other. One tiny misunderstanding leads to huge fights and couples split for a whole night sleeping in separate rooms. That is not the reason you should break challenge rules. But who makes love when there are blocks between you two? First of all find ways to make peace as soon as possible. Then use some of your sexiest moves and poses to attract your partner and only after that complete your challenge. Couples, who went through all 30 days say it helped their relationship a lot and they are now more caring and understanding to each other.

 

Version 2.0 of myself was an incredible upgrade

I was recently reading in a study by Stanford University that in a 7 to 10 year period, every cell within the human body will have completely replaced itself.

In essence, the physiological version of yourself that is reading this story is an entirely different creature than the version of yourself that existed a decade ago, but that your memories are the thing that persist and they in turn help inform and drive your present and future behavior.

If you think of it that way, it’s like you save everything to the cloud and then you replace your computer and upgrade your software, but the data remains the same.

I was having lunch with a client yesterday and they run a company here in Sydney that’s working on artificial intelligence when this topic came up. This young man said that they are constantly adding new and better hardware to their “stack”. Their engineers spend weeks tweaking and writing new code to drive better results for their algorithms.

But at the end of the day, the quality of everything they do is predicated on how well they ingest and interpret the historical data that their software “learns” from to inform their AI.

It was like one of those epiphany moments that you have in life.

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, often refers to humans as “moist robots”.

This conversation made me realize just how apt that comment was. I sat there listening to this young man talk about the technical and mathematical wizardry that he and his colleagues were using, but my mind was off and racing thinking about my own existence.

As I sat quietly pondering my own existence, lunch came to an end and I decided to go to the gym. Tuesday is usually the day where I punish my legs and ass with squat lifts, but on this day, I hit the pool and then sat naked under my towel in the steam room for a while just thinking.

In a sublime moment of humility, I realized that I’m just like a computer that’s had its programming changed and is taking advantage of its hardware more effectively.

I’m like Beth 2.0 now.

I Was Like A Stepford Wife

I was asleep in a lot of ways.

Jamie is lovely, gentle, and one of the most caring, kind men you’ll ever have the privilege of meeting. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t look at him and say a little word of thanks for stumbling across him back at uni.

But in many ways, his accommodating nature and how little he demands of me allowed me to live a large part of my life in a state of perpetual relaxation.

We’re both lawyers, so we have never really had any financial stress. He’s really placid and non-confrontational, so we never have huge fights. His libido has always been below average and his sexual requirements have been “pedestrian” so I’ve never had to do anything sexually to please him.

I just had to go to work, share in the housework, push out a couple of babies, and be the person who coordinates the groceries while he makes sure the bills are paid on time. Decisions would be made by mutual consent and in the event of a disagreement, we’d rationally talk it out and find a middle ground.

So to be fair, if I was like a Stepford Wife, then he was like my Stepford Husband — we were blissfully going through life as stress-free as possible.

I think I need to be careful about the use of the Stepford Wife analogy because it wasn’t like I was some kind of “wife slave” or he was my “manservant”. We both had roles in our relationship that we enjoyed playing, but that didn’t require us to work harder or think more.

We were cruising through life, fucking once a week, making sure our kids were at all of their activities on time, and that everyone thought we were normal and happy.

And we were happy. We still are.

But happiness is a scale.

Within the context of my life’s experience before Jamie’s accident, I would have said my life was an 8 out of 10 in terms of happiness. Oddly enough, one of my biggest “complaints” was that I would have enjoyed sex a bit more, even though it was mediocre, I felt that “we” could do better.

Note: I didn’t think we could have “better sex”, I felt that we as a couple could have more sex to get to some kind of twice per week average like “normal” couples. That sums up where my head was.

Upgrading To Beth 2.0

The night of the accident was like the beginning of my upgrade process.

It became quickly apparent that our lives were going to be different when the doctors told me he was lucky to be alive but that there were no guarantees that he’d ever walk again or even be able to feed and clean himself.

I’d like to talk about how I was grateful just that he was alive and how I knew that we’d get through whatever challenges were in front of him, but that would frankly just be bullshit.

My first thought when hearing that Jamie could potentially be quadriplegic and need 24-hour care for the rest of his life was something along the lines of, “Fuck… What am I going to do now?”

Sticking with the computer analogy, my operating system crashed. I took a programming class at a local TAFE one time for fun (because I’m a giant loser) and I would describe my state of mind as a Kernal Panic. My brain was confronting an error it was not able to recover quickly.

For the next couple of days, I just wandered to and from the hospital in a state of shock. The doctors were saying the right things, but if I was listening, I wasn’t really paying much attention.

After a week when Jamie was conscious and he could feel his hands and toes, the cloud kind of lifted. By the end of the third week, he was starting to move his limbs and I felt a bit of relief.

I went home that night, put the girls to bed, poured the biggest glass of red wine that I could find, and crawled into the bathtub to try and let the tension soak out of me. Surrounded by candles, listening to Brahms on Spotify, and taking gulps of wine, I reached down under the water and rubbed my clitoris until I lay shuddering in the water.

And then I did it again.

I crawled out of the tub, blew out the candles, dragged the bottle of wine, and my naked body into my bed, and I spent the next two hours fingering myself and rubbing my clit. I would stop to drink or refill my glass, then go back to wanking myself.

I passed out covered in a light sweat and woke up to the baby monitor as 6:30am, naked, with the bedsheets strewn off the end of the bed. I was hungover and my whole body ached in a good way. It was like the weight of the world had momentarily been lifted from me.

I walked into the baby’s room and picked her up and my older daughter came in, finding me naked holding her sister. We went downstairs, I fed my youngest, made toast for my oldest, and got myself a cup of coffee. My daughter said to me, “Mummy, are you going to put on clothes today?”

It was like the bath the night before was a reboot and the masturbation was an operating system upgrade because I woke up in the same body but feeling incredibly different.

Before that night, I’d maybe masturbated two or three times in ten years.

After that night for the next few months, I regularly fell asleep from the sheer exhaustion of pleasuring myself at the end of the day. It was stress relief, it was enjoyable, it was me discovering that I was a sexual being.

It was the new Beth 2.0 user interface tour — I was getting used to the new me.

CTRL-ALT-Delete and Replace The User

We have an IT guy in our office here at work and whenever you have a problem with your computer, he will use the same joke when you ask him how to fix the issue, “Have you tried replacing the user?”

The problem with my sex life was, sadly, operator error.

Before the accident and his subsequent erectile issues, Jamie was a very mediocre lover. I enjoyed sex with him because it was with him. Feeling him enter me and the weight of his body on top of me felt brilliant, but sexually, it was like being stabbed with his penis for a minute or two and then leaking for a couple of hours while I slept.

And I have to take some responsibility here too. I wasn’t experienced or confident enough to tell him how to pleasure me or make sex better for me, so he didn’t know what I liked.

I remember one evening before our daughters came along, we were in our living room watching cricket and I decided that I needed to give him oral sex. I don’t know why or how the urge came about, but I needed to feel his cock in my mouth, so I bent over and pulled him out to suck him off.

He looked at me with bemusement as I started and then, like most times when I would orally pleasure him, he would cum within a minute or two. I made sure that I didn’t leave any behind and cleaned him up properly with my mouth.

He said that he’d like to return the favor, which was pretty rare, he was never someone who spent much time giving me oral sex and I had never really enjoyed it, so it never featured much in our sex life.

I pulled down my shorts and laid back on the couch to let him do his thing. After a couple of minutes of him licking my pussy like it was soft-serve ice cream, I gave him some directions, but it never got any better. I eventually worried that his tongue would get sore, faked an orgasm, told him it was great, and we went back to watching cricket.

Now, fast forward to a time about two years after Jamie’s accident and I was in the early stages of exploring sex with other men outside my marriage.

I met this one guy randomly at a bar after work, ended up renting a hotel room with him so that we could have sex, and before we could even get our clothes off, he was on his knees, under my skirt, tugging my panties down, and sucking my pussy while I stood there in front of him.

The waves of orgasms came quickly and hard. As this random bar guy tongued me to completion standing up, my knees buckled. He pushed me back onto the bed and as I pulled my skirt up over my waist and he pulled my panties off entirely, he crawled between my legs and spent the next twenty minutes just pleasuring me with his mouth and his fingers.

In subsequent encounters with various men, I met guys who could make me cum in a variety of ways and positions. Sure, I hooked up with guys who were terrible sexually, but I barely remember them. I do remember the guys who blew my mind though.

And part of the situation that changed was not only did I replace the user, in the form of my husband, but I also became more familiar and comfortable explaining my own user interface. When I was with a man who seemed keen or comfortable, I would give him subtle directions on how he could pleasure me and most men seemed entirely willing, if not downright excited, to go get the “What’s New” tour to my hardware platform.

These computer analogies are getting a bit tiresome, yeah?

Becoming A Power User

Over the last three and a half years, my life has blossomed — it was like upgrading from Windows Vista to MacOS.

Ok, no more lame computer jokes, I promise.

Seriously though, everything about my life is better now because I’m not just meandering through life being mediocre anymore.

It’s so cliche, but life just seems brighter, more colorful and vibrant now. I do everything with more purpose and intent.

I eat better, I work out more regularly and harder, I throw myself into work more, I am more present with my daughters and husband, and yes, when I decide that I’m going to fuck someone, I get after it with full intensity.

Life tastes better and I enjoy every day so much more.

I was having lunch with my mother a few weeks back after seeing her speak to some young female law students. I told her how inspiring it was to see her up there, encouraging young women to grab life by the balls, and telling them that they can have it all — health, career, family, and love.

She smiled at me, “Betty, you inspire me too. I see how much you’ve come out of your shell the last few years and to me, you’re everything. You are everything that I dreamed you’d grow up to become and more.”

Aside from bringing a tear to my eye that just reaffirmed everything that I was thinking about myself over the past little while.

A Brief Guide For Diet Periodization For Long Term Fat Loss: If you’ve been struggling with fat loss for awhile, assuming you don’t have any underlying medical conditions that’s keeping you from naturally losing weight, this might be your solution.

Before this pandemic, many of us, including myself, took our health for granted. Now we see people stepping up to the plate, gathering information and doing their best to apply it to their daily lives for better health.

We see stats that mention rigorous exercise is essential to battling disease. We also see that people who have conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, etc are all at higher risk for complications.

With that being said, at this point in time it’s fertile ground for pushing information that will benefit people seeking reliable health and fitness guidance.

It’s this very reason why I decided to finally do a write up of the importance of “Diet Periodization.”

The fitness industry, for the most part, is superficial. The allure of six pack abs, low body fat all year round and the hype of supplements are too much to ignore.

Instagram is full of people who post booty and ab shots then include a link in their bio of their “Guide To 6 pack Abs In 30 Days Or Less.”

Then we have the “personal trainers” that have individuals do copious amounts of cardio, quarter squats as well as consume cookie cutter “meal plans.”

Diet Periodization is one of those key components that remain a mystery.

Trainers are getting use to the fact that counting calories by way of macronutrients are essential for reaching their clients weight loss goals.

They’re getting use to promoting the concept of calories in vs calories out(CICO). But the problem is that while many people understand how CICO can be manipulated to lose weight, they’re still left in the dark when it comes to keeping the weight off.

A Brief Review Of The Basics

Before we go into the nitty gritty of diet periodization, let’s rewind and address the basics of nutrition with regard to weight loss and weight gain.

When it comes to setting any goals with respect to our fitness goals, there is a hierarchy that has to be considered.

The best way to visualize this hierarchy is by looking at Dr. Eric Helms Muscle and Strength Nutrition Pyramid below.

Behavior & Lifestyle

The first thing we need to look at is the psychological factor involved which our whole fitness journey is predicated on. Needless to say, if you’re screwed up here, you’re bound to fail.

Behavior and lifestyle are going to have a huge impact on our ability to implement diet periodization because it takes a certain amount of discipline to begin and sustain the prescribed diet breaks at their maintenance levels via macronutrient breakdowns.

The psychological implications behind behavior and lifestyle also dictates our ability to effectively deploy will power against the menus that come our way at family cookouts and restaurants during bodybuilding prep(if you’re into that kind of stuff).

Another thing that isn’t talked about enough is sleep. We need adequate amounts of sleep or this whole pyramid is obsolete. Not getting enough sleep screws up our metabolism.

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Energy Balance

Next, our base, our foundation for all of our fitness goals is energy balance. This is the most fundamental quantitative aspect of this whole thing. If you’re not getting your energy balance or CICO, in order from jump street, you can forget the whole thing. Everyday will collapse under the weight of the above structures.

In other words, if your energy balance is not in order relative to your goals, you can forget your macronutrient breakdown, then you can forget your micronutrient requirements, nutrient timing and supplements.

I also want to quickly note that the further away from energy balance we move, the less important these aspects are.

For example, worrying about supplementation before energy balance is simply “putting the cart before the horse.”

Many of us in the early days of the fitness craze absolutely loved our supplements. We loved our protein powders, creatine and anything else that truly didn’t matter.

Macronutrients

Next, we have our macronutrients. Once we’ve dialed in our caloric intake, we breakdown our intake via macronutrients. This is what will dictate our body composition.

What do I mean by body composition? Quite simply, I mean our muscle to fat ratio.

We care about our macronutrient breakdown because we want to achieve our goal physique at our preferred body mass index or more accurately, our fat free mass index.

Lets take a deeper look at why this is appealing to us.

A man who is 5’11” 200 pounds with a body fat percent of 13% is going to look different than a man who is 5’11” 200 pounds with a body fat percent of 21%.

This is a product of diet, exercise and macro nutrient profile or breakdown.

Many people ignore macronutrient breakdown while getting the caloric intake via CICO correct relative to their weight loos goals. This is how people end up looking like deflated balloons aka skinny fat when they aren’t focusing on setting up their macronutrient profile.

So, when cutting weight, it is advisable to have a higher protein intake than when on a “bulk” as you want to preserve muscle tissue. You’ll end up looking better and feeling better about yourself when you follow the proper protocols for dialing in macros.

Micronutrients

Next up we have micronutrients. These are you water and fat soluble vitamins and minerals.

I won’t spend too much time here either because I’m not too crazy about them unless you are cutting weight.

When you’re cutting weight, you’re restricting calories, when you restrict calories you also restrict nutrients. This is where supplementation with multi vitamins comes in.

But if you’re on a “bulk” you don’t need to worry as much because if you’re getting 80% of your calories from nutritious whole foods, you’ll be good to go.

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Nutrient Timing

Next we have nutrient timing. Now if you had ask me if I believed in nutrient timing at all a few years ago, I would have told you that it’s all rubbish. I’m one of those people who don’t think that nutrient timing is all that important with the exception of protein powder intake.

I heard from “Thomas Delauer” that protein powder intake before training has some benefits.

Other than that, I’m not too crazy about it nutrient timing.

Consume your meals how you see fit(no pun intended) just so long as you’re hitting your macros. That is unless you’re prepping for a show. That’s another story and my articles aren’t for the aspiring competitive body builders.

I also want to add that when you’re cutting, it’s advisable to break your calories up into 3–5 meals per day. This way you’ll “trick” yourself into thinking you’re consuming more meals/calories than you really are.

Supplementation

Supplementation is at the tippy top of the pyramid. It is the least important aspect of nutrition.

If nutrition was a house, energy balance and macronutrients would be the foundation. Micronutrients would be the interior design, plumbing, electricity and the supplementation would be the paint of the exterior portion of the house.

The house is fine and serves its purpose without paint. You’re fine without supplements just so long as you’re getting your macros in.

When you’re cutting you might need a protein powder supplement to hit your protein requirements but that’s about it. And I wouldn’t even count protein as a supplement. It’s more like food in my eyes.

Supplements like creatine and caffeine are great for performance maintenance if you’ve just come off a long shift and need a boost.

All the other crap don’t waste your money on!

Adherence

I want to cap this section off by further emphasizing the psychological aspect, behavior and lifestyle.

If you want all of these concepts to gel properly, you need to be finding ways to maximize your ADHERENCE.

Adherence is important because it is the very thing that will keep you on track. Your ability to adhere to your meal plans, macro breakdown, etc will directly influence your results and therefore your motivation.

People ask me about motivation all the time. But what they fail to realize is that motivation is easily self generated by STICKING TO THE PLAN.

There’s nothing more motivating than being consistent and seeing results. When you adhere, you stay consistent, when you stay consistent you see results, when you see results you get motivated and then you adhere some more; the cycle continues!

What Is Diet Periodization?

Now! Let’s talk about diet periodization, shall we?

As I mentioned before this is the key ingredient that dictates sustainable fat loss. It is also a mystery to the masses because it is not so obvious. It’s also counter intuitive in some areas.

The mystery is instigated by occurrences in lack of weight loss progress that seem like they shouldn’t be. They spawn questions such as:

“Why would we need to take a diet break when we haven’t reached our goal weight yet?”

Or

“Why am I not losing weight when I’m not eating much?”

Or

“Why am I gaining weight despite barely eating throughout the day?”

Diet periodization is the process of taking prescribed “diet breaks” during your cutting phase in order to offset metabolic adaptations and encourage sustained fat loss.

I said a mouthful there. Let’s break the definition down. And we will do this by asking ourselves:

“Why do we need diet periodization?”

We need diet periodization for a few reasons:

  • To offset metabolic adaptions-Metabolic adaptations(within the scope of caloric restriction) is the body’s way to keep you alive during times of perceived famine. When we restrict calories for an extended period of time, our body goes into starvation mode. The body slows down the metabolism, we then, by definition end up in a caloric surplus, then we end up gaining weight. The body does this by slowing down or eliminating certain functions that require energy in order to conserve energy. This in turn causes us to store that energy as fat. For example, we see this with the former contestants on “The Biggest Loser.” On the show “The Biggest Loser,” the contestants restrict calories, sometimes in extreme, abrupt ways, for extended periods of time. They ended up losing the weight but after the show ended they would gain the weight back and then some! This is what happens when we restrict calories without diet periodization. When we take diet breaks, we re-assure our bodies that we aren’t starving. We are then able to continue sustained fat loss progress.
  • To Avoid Diet Fatigue-Once again i emphasis the psychological aspect of dieting. When we restrict calories for long periods of time we have to be careful as to not succumb to diet fatigue. This is where our will power depreciates the further into dieting we go. A great way to offset this is with a diet break of some sort. It doesn’t even have to be that long. It can be a short re-feed which we will get into in the coming sections.

How To Implement Diet Periodization?

Now that we know what diet periodization is and why we use it, let’s talk about how to deploy diet periodization.

Once you’ve had your caloric intake via macro nutrient break down accounted for, as well as the other details of micro nutrients, supplementation, etc, you want to track your weight loss progress for the next 4–6 weeks.

If all is well, you’ll be steadily losing weight week after week. You’ll be keeping track of how many weeks go by until you hit the 4–6 week mark.

You can use your body fat percentage as a cue to set your rate of weight loss. So if you’re at a high body fat percentage, you can afford to cut weight at a quicker rate.

If your body fat percentage is getting on the low side, you should probably slow it down a bit and be a little more lenient with your rate of weight loss via caloric restriction.

Now it’s time to take a diet break for the next WEEK(5–7 days or so).

Taking a diet break is simple. All you have to do is consume at caloric maintenance. This means that if you choose to take a diet break at week 6 and you weigh 176 pounds and stand at 5’9″, you’ll be consuming 2,780 calories for the week of your diet break.

You’ll also be dialing back your cardio by about 50%.

The whole point being it will give your body as break. You’ll probably gain 1 or 2 pounds during this week but that’s ok. It’s all for the greater good.

You’ll be offsetting or avoiding any metabolic adaptations. In the coming weeks you’ll be able to successfully sustain fat loss.

You can also do smaller diet breaks called “refeeds” that last about 1–2 days. You eat at maintenance and reduce physical activity so that your body and your mind can recover from extend caloric restriction.

My personal preference is to diet for 4–6 weeks then take a break rather than do small refeeds because knowing me, I’d probably make a habit out of those refeed days.

I address a specific scenario in which someone was having trouble losing weight.

Diet Periodization For Hardgainers?

Personally, I’ve taken diet breaks while bulking. I’m not sure if that’s a thing that people do within the fitness community as hardgainers but I did it for the express reason that I was tired of eating.

As a hardgainer, you have to be driving food constantly. If you don’t, you won’t grow. Simple as that.

When I was bulking up, I would take a week or so off from counting calories and just let my appetite do the work.

I didn’t really have to track my calories because my consumption was always at or just below maintenance, nothing that would zap my “gains.”

Summary

Alright so that’s pretty much it. Let’s recap.

“What is diet periodization?”

Diet periodization is the process of taking prescribed “diet breaks” during your cutting phase in order to offset metabolic adaptations and encourage sustained fat loss.

“Why do we utilize diet periodization?”

To avoid metabolic adaptations and to avoid diet fatigue.

“How long do diet breaks last?”

You can take a 5–7 days diet break or a 1–2 day re-feed at caloric maintenance.

That pretty much sums it up.

Remember the basics, first and foremost or none of this will have any context.

If you have been struggling with fat loss for awhile, assuming you don’t have any underlying medical conditions that’s keeping you from naturally losing weight, this might be your solution.

Source : Youngsters

Millions of people around the world eat garlic every day, but not many of them know that it actually has very strong medicinal properties. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians, and Chinese knew about the health benefits of garlic and used it extensively. It is also a potent remedy to various illnesses and conditions according to Ayurveda in India, although it is mentioned it has some side effects as well. So, you can continue using garlic in your pizzas and pastas, but you can also use it as an actual medicine when you get sick. Here are 7 reasons to use garlic for your health.

Cold and flu

Garlic is a powerful immunity booster and will help your body deal with cold or flu in no time due to the sulphur compounds that form when you crush, cut, or chew a fresh garlic clove. This means that you can reap the most benefits from consuming raw garlic. To battle the seasonal flu take a few raw cloves of garlic or make a garlic tea with addition of some ginger and honey to make the taste more bearable. This will boost your immunity and relieve cold symptoms.

Nutrients

Garlic is chock-full of vitamins and minerals that are essential for your overall well-being. It has high levels of Vitamin C, copper, iron, selenium, magnesium and vitamin B6. The latter two are known to be responsible for cognitive functions, brain health, and good mood. Garlic is low on calories, which makes it a perfect food supplement to boost your health.

Anti-parasitic

For thousands of years our predecessors have been using garlic to fight various infections, ward off parasites, and flush out toxins. You can also say good-bye to bad bacteria and yeast infections. A mouth wash made from garlic will clear all the cavity-causing bacteria from your mouth, although it’s not the most freshening remedy. Prolonged intake of garlic and certain herbal mixes will free your body from all kinds of parasites.

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Normalize blood pressure

High blood pressure is the cause of various heart diseases. Not only does garlic help regulate blood pressure, it also balances out cholesterol levels and lowers blood sugar. All this happens to the sulphuric compound Allicin that is present in freshly cut, crushed, or pressed garlic. This means that you will get the most benefits by consuming un-cooked garlic as it loses most of its medicinal properties once you add it as an ingredient to your meals.

Youthful skin

One of the main reasons our skin looks tired and old is the lack of collagen, which happens due to inappropriate diet, inadequate sleep cycle, and stress. All these factors lead to more wrinkles, making you look older than you care. Garlic helps retain collagen and it can also be used topically to treat various skin conditions and fungal infections.

 

Healthy hair

You might have heard that onion can somewhat restore your damaged hair – well, garlic can also provide some beautifying effect. If you have thin bristle hair and you feel that you’re losing too much of it, take some garlic extract (from raw crushed garlic) and rub it gently into your scalp. As you probably know, all hair problems lead either to your diet or to your scalp. You need to keep them both healthy! You can also try some garlic-infused oils and massage your head at least once a week. Your hair will become much stronger.

How to use it

Now that you know that garlic is pretty amazing, especially when consumed raw, you might want to include it into your diet. Make a tangy salad dressing by crushing a clove of garlic and mixing it with some olive or sunflower oil. You can also make a healthy, although a bit smelly, spread for a toast – just mash one garlic clove and mix it with some ghee for a better taste. If raw garlic isn’t for you, just use it to spice up your veggies, soups, and smoothies. There are also supplements you can take that have no odour whatsoever!

There is much to learn about the novel corona-virus that causes corona-virus disease. Based on what is currently known about the virus, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts.

This blog provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of hotel rooms so hoteliers can ensure the safety of their guests.

Personal Protective Equipment and Hand Hygiene

Cleaning staff should wear disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.

Gloves and gowns should be compatible with the disinfectant products being used. Gloves and gowns should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Be sure to clean hands after removing gloves.

Looking for hotel gloves? Shop now at D-ZEE Textiles LLC. They provide wholesale pricing for bulk disposable poly gloves used by hotels and motels in janitorial services. Click here.

latex-rubber-gloves-500x500

 

How to Clean and Disinfect

Routine cleaning and disinfection of the health facility using hospital grade
cleaners. If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Shop for Soap and Detergents here.

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Floors and baseboards are free of stains, visible dust, spills and streaks. Walls, ceilings and doors are free of visible dust, gross soil, streaks, and hand-prints.

All horizontal surfaces are free of visible dust or streaks (including furniture, window ledges, overhead lights, phones, picture frames, and carpets)

Bathroom fixtures including toilets, sinks, tubs and showers are free of
streaks, soil, stains and soap scum. Mirrors and windows are free of dust and streaks.

Dispensers are free of dust, soiling and residue and replaced/restocked
when empty. Appliances are free of dust, soiling and stains. Waste is disposed of appropriately. Items that are broken, torn, cracked or malfunctioning are replaced.

Influenza Outbreak

Staffing supplies and equipment to maintain the level of cleaning standards
during routine conditions as well as enhanced cleaning needs during outbreaks
e.g. influenza outbreak.

We hope this blog was useful. For more housekeeping and cleaning products, you can always visit www.dzeeusa.com or call 1-800-505-0038

This is part three in my series on Modern Software Development Practices. In the series, I plan to cover multiple ways in which software engineers can improve their software by improving their processes and practices, all of which I have learned and lived through my time as a Software Consultant at ThoughtWorks and experiences at my current job at a large retail company in Germany.

As someone who likes to advocate for things which I believe to be very beneficial to the efficiency of a Software Development Team, I have spent a lot of time dealing with push-back on some of the practices I believe in.

One of my absolute favorite topics is Trunk Based Development (TBD). Coincidentally, that topic also receives the most backlash from other Software Developers.

I love this topic because I do not like stereotypes, and Trunk Based Development directly combats a lot of stereotypes that Software Developers fall victim to.

When people outside of our industry hear the phrase “Software Developer”, they think of the mythos of a Software Engineer. Almost like a mythical creature, this is someone who puts on headphones, works with 3 or 4 monitors, and green characters on black screens. Someone who receives a task and then goes away into their cave-like work environment until they have completed their task a short time later.

A perfect example of this, is the creator of the 2048 game. Rumor has it a 19 year old built the game in one weekend, and 2.5 weeks after releasing the game, the game had 100 million plays

That is the Software Developer stereotype perfectly personified. While sometimes cool, I believe that this has a negative impact when developing software as a team.

Trunk Based Development is a form of development which literally can not be done while the stereotype developer exists in the team.

Trunk Based Development requires teamwork, empathy, and openness. All of which are best achieved as a team, and not as an individual.

What is Trunk Based Development?

Trunk Based Development, also known as TBD, is a software development process which is defined by trunkbaseddevelopment.com (a great source for all things TBD) as:

“A source-control branching model, where developers collaborate on code in a single branch called ‘trunk’ *, resist any pressure to create other long-lived development branches by employing documented techniques. They therefore avoid merge hell, do not break the build, and live happily ever after.”

The idea is, instead of creating a feature branch on which a developer develops code, and then merges into the master branch, the feature is developed in small chunks, each of which are directly pushed onto master when finished.

In other words… the team develops without using any branches.

Now… I know that most developers who have been in the industry for a while are instantly turned off to the idea of TBD when they see “pushed onto master”… but hear me out and I’ll try to address the concerns I hear the most throughout this article.

Why’s it important?

Once again I go back to the Four Key Metrics as defined in Accelerate and their importance. A direct quote from the book:

“our research highlights practices that are essential to successful technology transformations. These include the use of version control, deployment automation, continuous integration, trunk based development, and a loosely coupled architecture.”

Practices which are not just important.. but essential. Meaning absolutely necessary. I wrote about Continuous Integration a few posts ago and Trunk Based Development is in that list as well.

Apart from the fact that small code changes in a Trunk Based Development format results in much less merge conflicts (which means happier developers), Trunk Based Development helps teams improve in a number of areas:

Deployment Frequency and Mean Time to Recovery

TBD paired with a CI/CD pipeline results in every “green” commit (i.e. the complete code functionality has been checked via tests) being deployed to production. Pushing every change to the master branch means lots of integration and potentially deployment. I have been in teams where we deployed 30–40 times in one day to production. An increased deployment frequency is the second of the four key metrics.

I can remember a situation in that very same team where we had deployed something to a front-end application which was something along the lines of “display the list of items with their respective attributes” and we had forgotten to check for null or undefined values. This caused the front end to have an error.

Of course this is something that could happen to any team regardless of what processes they use… but what was amazing was that we noticed it right away, and were able to write a test and fix for the issue which was committed and deployed to production in less than 5 minutes. A low Mean Time to Recovery is the third of the four key metrics.

This ability to deploy changes quickly via Trunk Based Development and CI/CD also allows the team to “roll-forward” when problems are discovered, rather than “rolling-back”.

Code Quality and Knowledge Sharing

The biggest fear teams usually have when considering TBD is that the quality of code in the code base will suffer when doing Trunk Based Development and the potential for errors will go up. I, however, have exactly the opposite opinion and believe that TBD results in much more resilient and higher quality code.

Most teams who use feature branches, use the pull request method, where other developers in the team will look at, and comment on, code that a developer has worked on over X amount of time.

With TBD, since there are no feature branches, that also means no pull requests. Insert worried Senior Dev here. This does not have to be an issue. Most teams just want a “4 Eye Principle” which says that at least 2 developers should have looked at and approved all code that is merged into the master branch.

My team does the “4 Eye Principle” as well, but we do it via Pair Programming (article coming soon). Since there are no pull requests in TBD, Pair Programming becomes extremely necessary.

Two developers working together to solve the same problem is quite often better than one developer working alone. All developers have varying levels of experience and familiarity with the tech stack and/or system the team is developing. Pairing with each other provides the opportunity to learn from teammates at an accelerated rate.

Imagine how quickly a junior engineer or new hire levels up when pairing with a senior engineer in the team. Team coding guidelines are instantly learned and met, design decisions are made before the work is done rather than as feedback in a pull request, and code is written together resulting in both developers having knowledge of how it works (i.e. less knowledge silos).

Teamwork

Pair Programming is obviously a form of teamwork as well, but TBD improves teamwork in the team due to the way it requires empathy from all members.

It can be challenging as a senior developer who has worked on a system for many years to feel comfortable with new or less experienced team members committing to the code base without the senior seeing it. But the empathy required to be ok with this is generally a very positive quality to have as a teammate. Believing that one’s teammates are capable at doing their jobs and not needing to be the master branch gate-keeper is very important to the confidence and trust within the team.

Senior engineers are smart and have good experience most of the time, but the people in their teams are smart too. If the senior would like to see the code written by a junior, they can pair together, and sooner than they know it, the junior will be writing code that the senior would be proud of.

Potential Challenges:

Unfinished features

Nobody wants to push unfinished features, such as a button with no functionality, to customers on production. To get around this, teams can implement feature toggles behind which unfinished features are hidden. When a feature is not done, the feature toggle is turned off, and when the final piece is done and ready to be released, the feature flag can be toggled on (or removed completely). With feature toggles, teams can even do A/B testing or Canary Releases.

Tests and monitoring

Trunk Based Development requires that a team has a strong test suite and good monitoring in order to catch errors as soon as possible. The quicker the feedback loop, the better. A broken pipeline becomes the number one priority for the team members who broke the pipeline, to prevent any others from pulling broken code.

This can be easily prevented by implementing very small changes, having a development environment which is as similar as possible to your testing and production environments, and by running pipeline tasks locally before pushing (ex. using git hooks).


I know many teams who have implemented Trunk Based Development as described in this article, and none of them have switched back to the more common Pull Request model.

Some teams even switch to Trunk Based Development for other reasons, such as they want to do more pair programming, so they switched to TBD in order to make pair programming a bit more of a requirement.

I think the important part to remember is that like all things in software, and in life, the same thing doesn’t work for everybody. It is important that teams look at what works best for them. An example would be a team I knew who had an odd number of developers, meaning they did not have the ability to pair on all tasks, and were sometimes burned out from pairing so frequently. In this situation they had feature branches which were created and merged on the very same day, which surprisingly enough, counts as TBD.

Next steps: try out Trunk Based Development, adapt it to the team’s needs, profit.

Modern day innovations and social media may have changed the advertisement into a new level of digital world. The hotel trade shows remain an exceptionally imperative tool for advancing your hospitality products.

Myrtle Beach Hotel Trade Show provides exhibitors the perfect venue to showcase their products and services to the Southeastern Hospitality Industry.

This hospitality trade show is one of the fabulous exhibitions of services and products for the hotel industry. It is an extremely popular event in the USA that’s held at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

The next event is scheduled to be held on January 28-30, 2020. This hotel restaurant supply show has been providing hospitality professionals with information about food supplies and new things in the industry from the past 4 decades.

Hotel Suppliers Show in 2019

For over four decades, 8000 plus Industry Leaders have annually journeyed to the show to Connect, Discover, and Prosper.

Attendees

Independent Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Chains, FF&E Companies, Purchasing Companies, Healthcare Lodging, Foodservice, Country Clubs, Design Firms, Resorts, Bed and Breakfast, Catering Companies, Nightclubs, Bars, Hospitals and Property Management Companies

Marketplace Offerings

Furnishings and Fixtures, Linens, Uniforms, Bedding, Floor Covering, Designers, Construction and Building Prospects, Fitness Equipment, Cleaning Supplies and Maintenance, Guest Amenities, Laundry Equipment and Supplies, Ad Supplies, Food and Beverage Equipment and Supplies, HVAC Systems, Energy Management Equipment and Supplies, Signage and Graphics, Technology, Window Treatments, Green Hospitality Options, Vehicle Carts, Insurance, Real Estate, Financial Institutions, Franchises, Bar supplies, and so much more!

D-ZEE Textiles LLC

Booth #212 & 231

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/dzeetextilesllc

Website: www.dzeeusa.com

D-ZEE distributes an extensive range of essential, elegant and durable Luxury Towels, Linens and Hospitality Products. With over 19 years of experience, we understand the needs of our customers. When you choose D-ZEE, you get an exceptional experience differentiated by best service, best quality and highly competitive prices.

Hershey’s Ice Cream

Facebook Link: www.facebook.com/hersheysic

Website: www.hersheyicecream.com

Hershey’s Ice Cream has been around since 1894. We take pride in our products and customer service. If you stop by, we will prove to you why Hershey’s Ice Cream is the best!

Consolidated Laundry Equipment

Facebook Link: www.facebook.com/Consolidated-Laundry-Equipment-Inc-144051169076765/

Consolidated Laundry Equipment offers the best laundry equipment in the business and will be offering Hotel, Motel & Restaurant show specials. They have the most informed representatives in the business to assist you.

They will have, as in past years, special pricing on multiple items offered only during the show and for a limited time afterwards.