The Measure of All

The measure of many, lies not with a penny,
The measure of a boy, lies not with his latest toy,
The measure of a girl, lies not with her largest pearl,
The measure of a teen, lies, in their dream.

The measure of a debutante, lies not with becoming pregnant,
The measure of a youth, need not mean uncouth,
The measure of most, lies with their post,
The measure of all, lies with who is there when friends do not call.

For everyone is different, no group will love the same,
One must find pleasure in themselves, and that they must remain,
The measure of a man lies not with where he began,
The measure of a man, lies, with his plan.

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Awakening

Without exploring other languages, one never does learn how to thank someone beautifully. Without self-expression, no individual can blossom completely. Without others, oneself remains undiscovered.

Learning languages is absolutely fascinating.
It allows for so many additional layers of communication, and I do not mean simply through crossing the language barrier alone. Other languages and cultures offer words and phrases to describe things that the average UK resident has never even considered saying. Your eyes are opened to the world around you, as you see your surroundings in a new light.

Creating music is nothing short of liberating.
Not a day goes by where I don’t regret giving up guitar and piano. Having just this weekend decided to sit down and play at a piano again, my love for producing music has been rekindled. There’s no feeling like it, and so I am going to pick up my guitar and teach myself to play again.

Surrounding yourself with wonderful people is key to living a wondrous life.
I’ve just returned home from the best long weekend I’ve had for as long as I can remember, and it was made so by the kind, the interesting, the awe inspiring, and the downright wonderful people I had the pleasure of spending it with. This blog post is nothing more than a few creative endeavours I have embarked upon, and a thank you, but I hope it’s appreciated by those involved in making me feel well and truly alive once again.

If there’s something you want to do, do it. Make time. The opposite is also true in many cases. If you’re not enjoying something, think long and hard about why you’re sticking with it.

To my dearest friends,
Danke schön.

Pareto’s Law

Vilfredo Pareto’s ‘law’, otherwise known as the 80/20 principle, originally stated that 80% of wealth was owned by 20% of the population. It was used to show the poor distribution of wealth throughout the country, but can be applied to much more.

I’ve been reading a book called ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ recently. I’m getting through it very slowly now that I’ve got uni work to do on top (before lectures started, my days consisted of working, eating, gyming, reading, and learning German. Why does life have to get in the way?!), but an interesting concept was introduced a fair few chapters ago, this being Pareto’s law.
In short, 80% of your problems/negative things come from 20% of people/things that take up your time/things you’re thinking about etc., you get the idea. So, you only need to remove 20% of whatever causes you problems, and you can remove 80% of your problems… Hurrah! It does work. Think about what’s causing you stress/worry/unhappiness, and you’ll see that it’s usually only a few things in total, remove those, and you’re appreciably happier!

The only time I think you should hold out on it, is when you’re doing something in order to reach a goal. Say, you’re doing a training course and you hate it, but you need the qualification to do whatever it is that you really want to do. Suck it up and get on with it. People on the other hand? If they make you unhappy, don’t wait around for them to improve, it doesn’t happen. If someone is making you unhappy, just cut them out of your life. If something is causing you stress that doesn’t need to be doing so, don’t do it. If there’s no point to it, why are you letting it bother you? You can’t please everyone, and you don’t need to try and do everything, just do what’s important and love the people that love you. The people or things that you need, or genuinely want in your life, will find their way into your lives. The people won’t give up on you, even if for them, you’re 80% of their problems, because you’re also the goal.

It’s improved my mindset greatly, I’m a lot happier at the moment, and seem to have pissed more people off. Don’t let people walk all over you. Harding – out. X

Being Proud of Who You Are

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_FbBNsVcGI&list=UUgBc9iNvvjWDInV6fBeTGXQ

All of the this.^^^

I actually meant to watch this video ages ago. I remember seeing it come up on the My Subscriptions page and thinking that I’d watch that when I had my earphones on me – I forgot, and here I am a month later…

I love Dana Linn Bailey. I don’t know what it is specifically, but I just really like her attitude towards everything, her personality, her company (Flag Nor Fail), the way she pulls off her physique, just everything. For those that don’t know her, she’s a women’s physique competitor (and current Miss. Olympia – the most prestigious title within the sport). If you watch the video, and aren’t overly into the fitness world, your first reaction may well be something similar to what you’ll see in the comments at the start. Now, I realise that many women do not want to look like that, which is OK, because you probably never will. Unless you buy yourself some big boy sweeties and go massively out of your way to train (and eat!) to look like that, in which case, you will probably still never look like her. So, let this be your last chance to moan about how you don’t think she’s attractive.

If you haven’t watched the video, do so now. I rushed my dinner in order to write this blog, as I think this is the best response to any confidence related question I’ve ever seen. The main point that she makes is that everyone, regardless of age or gender, will have some sort of body-related confidence issue at some point in their life, whether that be they feel too fat, too thin, not muscular enough, too muscular, whatever it may be, you will probably have felt uncomfortable in your own skin at some point during your life. Some people may have a harder time with this than others, some people may have found that confidence with themselves that Dana talks about, and some people may be in the midst of a crippling bout of self loathing. Whichever point you’re at, you’ll be able to relate to what’s said in the video.

I am sat at my desk. I never sit at my desk to write blogs. I just really feel like writing about this, and yes, I’ve mentioned body image issues before, but this is going to be better, deeper, and more detailed. I hope to one day find the confidence that DLB mentions. I do wish she could bottle it up and give it to people, but I guess the result is a product of the journey. It just takes time to come to terms with yourself. It’s an ongoing thing, I’ve come a long way. Personal experience time…

I’ve never had much confidence, body image wise. I’ve only recently started wearing any colour shirt besides black, and only recently felt comfortable enough to take my shirt off when I go swimming and what not, but I remember one comment in particular that gave me the slightest bit. Now, I hope he doesn’t mind me naming names, but I remember a friend of mine, Callum Brown, saying that he wished he had my shoulders. At the time, my initial reaction was “Why would anyone want anything that’s on me?”, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that someone genuinely found a feature of mine desirable, and if I’m honest, that was a breakthrough moment for me. I realised that a) no one was entirely comfortable with themselves, it wasn’t just me, and b) although I’m by no means perfect, I do have some features that people are envious of. Cheers Callum.

This isn’t to say that you should just settle with however you look, if you’re fat and moan about it, you probably don’t like being fat, and so you should do something about it. You can change things like your body composition, it’s in your hands. If you’re unhappy with how you look, change it (this is where taking it too far sometimes comes in, and you could end up anorexic, bulimic etc., so I admit, it’s a fine line, but you’ve just got to do what makes you happy and gives you confidence). DLB often says that she trains in a way that she loves, and it just so happens that the physique category suits her body. Yes, I’d like to be a little bit bigger, and a little bit leaner, and I don’t think I’ll ever be entirely satisfied, but I know that I’m no longer fat. That to me is a milestone. I’ve achieved that, so what’s next? Being lean, lifting heavy weight, and looking good doing it. It’s a lifestyle, this is a lifelong process.

To wrap this all up then, whatever your ideal body composition may be, strive towards it and then be confident in your own skin. Don’t expect it to happen overnight, expect some people to put you down, and appreciate compliments when given, just don’t lose focus of what you want to achieve.

Lost

My dad’s been there for me a lot recently. I’ve never had a particularly close relationship with my parents, but it’s definitely improving as I grow older. I talk to my mum about a lot more than I used to, and as I said, papa Harding has been helping me out with a lot over the last week or so.
I just feel closer with my family, and I think that our recent holiday to Provence is the reason. We’re rarely all together nowadays, and I think being together for almost 3 weeks whilst holidaying has made me really appreciate them. I’ve felt properly home sick more over the last few days than I did for the whole of last year. It could be the fact I’ve been on my own a lot recently, the fact I’ve started a new job, the fact my PT exam/qualification is creeping ever closer, or it could simply be that I have grown used to having them around. Whatever it is, I am really looking forward to the next time we’re all together. This may also be when I’m next competing – at StrongBox 2014!

Anyway, the name of the blog. As is usually the case with my deep blog names, there are several meanings behind this. Firstly, I’m lost in the sense that I’m not quite sure what I want to do when I’m older. I want to own a gym, but I don’t know any gym owners whose income comes from their gym alone. This is one of the things that my dad has been talking to me about, he’s always stressed that you should “be paid for who you are, not what you do”, and I believe in that 100%. Sadly, there are very few jobs titled “Sarcastic prick”.

Secondly, I want to get lost. Or rather, go on an adventure. Well, many adventures. This is the only reason I wanted a job really, my savings can take care of the basics, but I want more. Even squats can’t give you another life, so I better make the most of this one. I have a very long list of places I want to visit, and I’d like to start ticking them off ASAP. If anyone wants to come on any of these adventures with me, feel free. 🙂

Thirdly, I’m a bit lost within my own head. I’m going to go on a bit of a psychological adventure at some point this coming week, take from that what you will.

Finally, I still have 3 series of Lost left to watch!!

Seriously though, my PT course is coming up, then it’s straight into my second year of uni. I need to step up the work, whilst still making time for training and whatever job I have during term time. This year is going to be hectic and I’d love to make it even more so but sticking a few adventures in the midst of it. I guess the excitement is in the not knowing, but let’s hope it turns out well.

Along with all that, I’m also learning German. It’s been great fun so far, and I’m really keen to keep it up. Oh yeah, and I’m also going swimming regularly. My holiday made me realise how much I had missed it, so I’ve started again. Just a km or two of breast stroke here and there, but still, it’s a nice way of relaxing, and keeping at least some level of fitness. I think that’s it for now, I just missed blogging so I thought I’d do a little update. Y’all come back now, y’hear?

The All New Battle Oats – Review.

http://www.iconnutrition.co.uk/products/battle-oats Go forth and place orders. Message me and I’ll get you a further 10% discount. These things are brilliant.

Now that that’s done, here are some specifics…
-Crumbly, biscuity like texture. They (especially the chocolate chip one) reminded me a bit of those Digestive bars you used to get… Not sure if you can still get them. You may know the sort. Amazing.
-Brilliant nutritional profile. Click on the link and check out the pictures, each flavour varies slightly. (15.4g of protein is consistent.)
-Filling. One of these lasted me 4 hours of walking around IKEA before I felt hungry again, and I always feel hungry. The bar is 70g, and is really quite dense. Very good for those that feel like they need to eat constantly.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BwEVWZPCAAAJbXw.jpg Check this out. They’re healthy, filling, and taste excellent. I wanted this to be a really long, detailed review, but you just have to try them. I know one or two people have described them as dry, but personally I think they’re brilliant. They’re more of a biscuit than your average protein bar, but I prefer them. 100% recommend to anyone looking to buy protein bars, or just bars for on-the-go snacking!

Coming Home Again

I am on holiday. This has meant that I haven’t been able to train. Any serious lifter will know the feeling you get after a week or so off… You feel anxious, restless, permanently annoyed with people. You just want to go and pick some heavy shit up, and then maybe put it back down again (then I was thinking that I might pick it up again, y’know, after a couple of minutes sitting down). If you’re not into lifting, this will seem odd to you, and that’s OK.

Anyway, I’ve had a stressful time recently. Depending on my timetable, I should be representing an equipment company (Raze) on their stand at the NEC between September and October, I am really looking forward to this, both for the lifting and for the fact that I get to see my Birmingham Uni homies. After this, the British Classic (5th of October), in Dover, is scheduled. I qualified for the British in February and have been very excited to compete at a national level ever since. However, train tickets, hotels, entrance fees etc. combined, I’m looking at £220-250, and so this year is not looking hopeful. At first this did annoy me, however, I then thought that I am only 19, I’ll be competing in powerlifting and/or weightlifting for as long as I am able, and so I have many more nationals to compete at (and win, eventually). This also means that I can focus on getting my PT qualification (exciting times), getting a job and placement sorted, and sorting my life out a bit. Along with just having some fun! I’ve had a few knocks to my confidence, a few things that have scared me, and a number of situations that have left me feeling very alone. However, I’m sorting all of these things out, and these clouds most definitely have a silver lining.

So, coming home. Again. This snippet of the blog is where the name came from… No prizes for whoever guessed that. This is a bit of a double entendre in the sense that I am returning back to my old self, and will soon be returning home for a day, before going back to home home, Lufbra. Also, just in case this paragraph hadn’t included the word ‘home’ enough, I am moving into my new home when I go back to Luf! I’ve moved in most of my stuff already, just clothes and all left to come. We’ve had many problems with the estate agent, and so I now see why they’re not popular with anyone, but all things considered, I love our house and can’t wait to make it a home. It just so happens that Lufs has PowerBase too, and if that doesn’t make you happy, nothing will.

Right, what else is there… Friends. Friends are good. Real friends are the best. I’ve been on a journey of discovery recently and have found, and re-found, my closest friends, and the ones who truly have my best wishes at heart. It’s a nice feeling being cared about, well done friends for making people feel good.

My brother and father are cycling up Mt. Ventoux tomorrow, I am going to sit by the pool and eat some ice cream. Actually, scrap the ice cream. I’m getting fat. Either way, I’m trying to work on my tan so that when I work on my jackedness, I can be jacked and tanned. That’s important.
On a slightly fatness/ice cream related note, I will be starting my food posts on Instagram again once I get back to uni. I was considering posting a few of them on here, with a macronutrient breakdown, and an explanation of what I’m doing and why. I’m asked about this quite regularly, so hopefully that’ll clear up any questions to do with my diet.
I will be changing things up this year, I’m going to give counting my macros a go. Thought it’d be good to build up an idea of both the caloric and macronutrient profile of foods, so I thought this’d be the best way. Plus, it’s good fun trying different things. Seeing what happens.

Anyway, I want to go to bed, so I will leave you with this: The new Battle Oats bars review is coming soon. Stay tuned, those interested. Thanks for reading, goodnight.