beauty, masculinity, men

GROOMING AND APPEARANCE

If you wear spectacles, look at getting frames which suit the shape of your face. Contact lens or laser eye surgery will give you a new look. With thicker prescriptions, contact lenses avoid the fish bowl look of magnified lenses.
With bad skin, see your doctor. Later, as we go into diet, there are changes which will result when you make improvements but otherwise look at using a non allergenic soap, adopt a light moisturising routine (coconut oil is good) and drinking water. Acne is a condition which people make jokes about and spread a lot of misconceptions around.

Your teeth look like an abandoned graveyard. Use baking soda or a good whitening toothpaste for thirty seconds with a good toothbrush. An electric one is a good investment. Floss after meals. Drink a lot of water. Use a tongue scraper if your breath can exorcise demons.

There aren’t reasons only excuses not to invest in some time taking care of yourself. It is not about getting into a cosmetics race with anyone, but to make the most of what you have and build upon it. Men who are overweight, unattractive can attract beautiful women but their status and ability to provide comes into play. If you don’t have those things, good health and the appearance of someone who might have those things rewarded to them stands you in better stead with women.

Clothes

We apply principles here.

Clothes are important. You’re not a child so I won’t explain it to you but if you’re striking out with women, then you should look at how you dress. I talk in terms of principles because I don’t want to project my personal prejudices onto your choices.

No slogan or logo t-shirts.

Plain t-shirts and vests in different colours, but if you go black or white, then you won’t go wrong.

Clothes which fit.

Good shoes suitable for formal events and casual and athletic footwear. You can spend a great deal of money on shoes, which is not an alien concept but have a variety.

A suit. Multiple suits if it is part of your look, but at least one good one. Two, as you can have one for formal events and another for work. You can buy off the peg, but if money allows, get one made by a tailor. It will be perfect to your measurements, hide your sins of physique and amplify your better traits.

If it isn’t possible, then at least it will be hard wearing and comfortable.

A leather jacket. a biker one.

These lend you an air of adventure. Think of it like armour if you like. It is important to wear something in line with your overall look and also authentic in its expression.

A denim jacket.

A good, smart sweater. As expensive a material as you can afford. Cashmere. Wool. They can give a smart, educated look when worn over the shoulders or draped around the waist.

Good jeans. Again, another area you should put money into. Indigo or dark jeans, although if it is authentic to your look, a lighter denim can work. If you insist on wearing jeans with the denim jacket, then make sure they are different shades or styles of denim. Having the same material makes you look ridiculous and retro.

Good sunglasses. Nothing extreme sports related. Aviators or Wayfarers.

A good bag or satchel. Go for classic leather or canvas. If you work or enjoy tech, then a solid, black and grey design offers great possibilities. Decaying backpacks with metal badges and stencils will portray you as immature. Look good and smart, to have money or the capacity to make it in large amounts.

Belts. Match the colour of the shoes. Do not clash.

If these details seem odd, then here is another lesson. Women pay attention, testing you and if your lack of grooming is obvious, then it becomes a reason to discount you.

A well-groomed, considered look is good. Women pay attention to everything so we must ensure we carry our authentic masculine identities like medals.

What if you suck?

So, no, don’t ‘just be yourself’. It is a lazy cop out and if it got you women in the past, then you wouldn’t be here reading this, would you?

No, as men, we should work on being the best version of ourselves. It is unnecessary to set impossible goals, but the higher you reach, the better place you will land if you don’t quite reach it.

Give yourself someone to aspire to.

You.

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masculinity, men, taste, wisdom, writing

Diet

Most of what we buy and eat is crap.

It is killing us, to exercise the choice of a world’s worth of processed cuisine. All of it available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There will never be a fat acceptance movement for men.

There are people out there who are proud they cannot cook.

If you can’t see your genitals when you stand up for a piss, if you get out of breath climbing a flight of stairs then how are you supposed to defend yourself?

Defend someone else?

Roll on them.

I’ve been fat. It was easy to get into and I knew what I was eating, dealt with the implications of having a 40 inch waist, and wearing a uniform which required belt and braces. I had stomach issues which were painful and embarrassing. A litany of excuses kept me eating and uncomfortable.

This is where I talk about some embarrassing or life-threatening experience which prompted me to change.

It got too much to live as a fat person.

There was no reason to stay fat. It impacted my health because of my weight, not the other way around and I needed to do something about it.

I don’t have a six-pack but I can take my shirt off and feel good about myself. Food is fuel but with it, an appreciation for taste and texture which makes for interesting experiences and adventures because there is life beyond burgers.

We don’t teach nutrition. I’m not a nutritionist, but much like everything else in this book, we work with principles.

There is a massive amount of misinformation about food.

News reports are scaremongering.

The internet is like drinking from a fire hose in terms of what you should eat.

You should eat according to your goals.

Basic

How often do you eat?

What do you eat?

Do you eat because you’re hungry?

Ask yourself these questions. Apply the answers to your problem.

If you are overweight, then it is a question of where you want to get to to lose fat.

Not weight. If it is all you have as a measurement, then it is fine but your approach should be to lose fat and/or build muscle.

In terms of fat loss, here are the things you can do. Keep to them for thirty days.

Keep it simple.

Meat and vegetables. Find the things you like, learn to cook them. Have a few staples which you return to when it is just you.

Beef

Pork

Lamb

Chicken/Turkey

Venison/Game Meats.

Fish/shellfish

Cabbage

Spinach/kale

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Pulses

Legumes

Root vegetables.

No fruit. Yes, no fruit. It has natural sugars in it, which taste great but get turned into fat by the liver. Fruit is not essential so just lose it as a regular part of your diet. It isn’t in mine.

No calories in drinks. Alcohol has lots of calories, so look at whether the buzz is worth waddling around with a massive belly. Drink water, black tea or coffee. Diet drinks will derail your fat loss above 500mls of aspartame, so you’re better off without them.

Good fats.

Conventional wisdom has it fat is a bad thing. Most dietary advice contained this idea.

There are good and bad fats. You want more of the former and less of the latter.

Fatty cuts of meat. The fat in meat provides flavour which is important because changing how you eat and your body looks is not a chore. Take pleasure where you can and see this as changing your approach to food.

Water.

It quenches your thirst. It has no calories and you are composed of it.

Drink more water than anything else. Rehydration resolves a lot of temporary signals from the brain which get misconstrued as hunger. It keeps your thought processes clear, makes your skin clearer and fuels your body. Ignore drinks with added flavours, as it adds to the amount of hidden sugars in your diet, which will derail any progress you make with changing your habits and physique.

You should weigh yourself and aim for a gram of protein per lb of weight. These proteins should come from whole foods, meat and fish are ideal sources of protein but for my preference, meat is best.

Steak has value. It is easy to prepare and serve, tastes good with little to no additions and is a good meal.

There are carnivore diets available. It is austere, riddled with points and counterpoints but there are lots of people who share their subjective experience and the benefits. Again, as I am not a dietician, it is important to share you must eat and consider your own body. What you respond to, in terms of food, are not the same things my body will.

Eat for Testosterone.

There is a trend with men having low levels of testosterone compared to the previous generation. Testosterone Replacement Therapy is available, but attention paid to your diet and lifestyle can offset this depletion.

Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli offer vegetable sources of male-friendly hormones. Eat these alongside a good steak and it is a good, clean meal which will make you feel better and stronger for eating it.

Intermittent Fasting.

How do you eat?

Are you grazing on high sugar and carb snacks throughout the day?

Are you eating because you are hungry?

Genuine hunger is rare in the lives of most people, in the west. Seeking it out might be an affectation but there is a strong case for the health benefits of fasting and eating within a window of time.

I practice this as a way to keep things in check. I don’t eat through the day, aside from coffee with a dash of coconut oil as a source of energy. I wait and have one large meal – high protein and fats, such as steak and eggs in the evening. There is no suffering involved once pat the initial response to sustained fasting.

Much like any outlier, there is a lot of information available about the health benefits and practices involved.

Rather than set yourself up to fail, take a day off each week where you indulge all the temptations which crept into your consciousness during the week. The chocolate, pizza and ice cream orgy is a once a week event. It will spike your metabolism so you don’t hit a plateau and also keep you motivated.

One thing I’ve found is that by the end of the day off, I am craving whole foods again. Detach yourself to see the flaws in your diet, and when you experience the sluggishness of a high-sugar diet, you will remain motivated to pursue your goals even harder.

As with any dietary information, do your homework. Seek medical advice where appropriate, but also understand you know your body and lifestyle better than anyone else. Go with whatever works for you and your goals. Take responsibility for yourself.

I do not base these practices on the conventional wisdom of the crowd. If you become an advocate for something unusual because it works for you, expect criticism from those who are unable or unwilling to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.

Let them. You are not in competition with anyone but the person you were yesterday. He didn’t have the knowledge you have now, so beating him should be easy and he’s a good sport.

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Day and date

Each day is a date

As much as a struggle

Not to ravish you against the

Counter

To lap at you

As a wave laps against the shore

A crown of foam raised

Then swallowed back

But the world demands

My participation.

My attention

But you stand there

I breathe you in

Inhale you until you shiver

Then go about my day

But I carry you with me

Equally distraction

And inspiration

Until such time as high tide

Returns

Made uncivil by appetite

And pin down

This beast within me

A man, nothing more

But also everything

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a season

Signs of warmer weather ahead

A summer here

Not in episodes

But a season

found a rhythm

And composing music to add to it

Daily

The words come

But saved for larger ambitions

How can we be bored in a world

As magnificent as this

Sometimes I have moments of 

Self confidence

I tear up,

because there were points 

I fucking crawled through

Wire

I had left in place

But still

A season

glorious chance of sunshine

And still all of it made sweeter

By knowing what winter feels like

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love, masculinity, poetry

Bibliographic satori

Among the cases
Equal parts silencd
And discourse

Bubbling like simmering water

If you’ve eyes to see it

there is grief and pain

Amidst the warm beauty

In my heart

Still in love with the world

And my fellow travellers

Even the rawest blues is a communication

Celebration

Finding small measures 

Of joy and sadness

But apart from them,

Detached to better understand

Bear the burdens of being a man

With grace and determination

Break down but get up

Realise how much I

Have done

To do

Hoping someone else thinks me a good man

But still warned by who

Trust to an intrinsic sense of value

Check out my books

Elevated by a single moment

I will drift downstairs

Outside and back to adventure time

Wild animal monarch

Again

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Walk Home

Awake but tired

Inured to rejection

Resigned to a tempo

Of life which doesn’t seem to slow down

But dancing anyway

Well, stood there and sweating,

Because I’m a man goddamnit

And if I dance at all

It is the restrained shuffle

Where my inhibitions

Have fled to finish their drinks

And left me boyish and playful

Otherwise I have

Stripped away

The thin layer of bullshit

And feel the truth on my skin

A king again

And the crown is heavy

The throne makes my ass numb

If sat too long

But look outside

Should you miss me

Tell the sunlight to send word

And I will send patronage

In as few words as possible

Mostly how fine you are

And then mock you a bit

With love,

Because

We are all just

Walking one another home

King

Man

Lover

Friend

Father

Even if we have to make

The return in the dark

Alone

I saw you safe

And I always have

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Witnesses

There are those

Who you no longer see

But feel

Not ghosts nor enemies

Pieces

Unresolved questions

Made into a smile

A light which is with me

Always

And those who wish

Malign influence

Are denied it

For I have been walking

Living

To witness only

My own events and learn

As much as celebrate

I feel the well wishes

The disdain

But bear them lightly

As their wisdom left marks

As guides to better states

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