Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

How to Increase Testosterone Accelerating Your Weight Loss and Increasing Your Cognitive Edge

60 pounds and 8 inches.

That's how much weight and girth around my waist I have shed in the last 15 months. I have gone from a 42-inch waist back down to a 34" waist and I have gone from 265 lbs down to just under 205 today -- while adding a significant amount of muscle mass. And I did so with a fairly relaxed workout routine.

I had gotten fat and what was worse (for me) was that my mental edge and sharpness, as well as my motivation, were dulled and muted. All of that has changed radically in the last 14 - 16 months.

How did I do it? What was the major or primary shift? There were certain things that helped: I eliminated sugars and all grain-based carbohydrates except for the ever-famous "cheat day" once a week. That certainly helped. Ten months ago I chose to stop consuming alcohol -- choosing clarity over self-indulgence. Yes, that has assisted in the process.

But the primary component? Testosterone. Testosterone manages a lot of things: libido and aggression get all the press, but did you know it also impacts drive and motivation, cognitive edge/sharpness, and fat metabolism/retention?

And mood.

Oh, mood.

And even more sadly (no pun intended) many men are being misdiagnosed with clinical depression when they really just have low testosterone levels.

Most people don't realize it, but if you have low testosterone levels you will retain fat--and it will increase your estrogen levels, which then, in turn, has you retain even more fat, which in turn lowers your testosterone even further -- it becomes a hormonal downward spiral.

And here is the kicker: a medical practitioner will often tell a man with very low testosterone that it is "normal" if it is still in the normal range. The range being between 200 and 1100. 

200 might be "normal" but it is certainly not optimal.

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer, nutritionist, a medical Dr, or a practitioner of any kind of medicine nor do I hold myself out as such. I am simply a guy who has done a lot of research on my own and experimented with certain supplements and herbs and gotten my blood tested 4 times in the last year at regular intervals--and I am reporting my findings here for those who want to do their own research.

Let's discuss testosterone, free testosterone, levels, dietary adjustments, and most important of all, supplementation. Henceforth, testosterone will be simply referred to as "T" and free testosterone as "Free T".

Distinctions, Levels, and Ranges

Total T is what most people get measured with the blood tests that are out there--and if your Dr is not a specialist, this is the test they will give you unless you request both Total T and Free T to be tested.

Total T is just what it sounds like: your total levels in your blood. Free T is a test to see how much is bio-available; how much of your T is floating around available to be put to use at any given moment.

What is a "normal" range? Depends on which lab you ask, but there is some overlap. Some labs will say that a "normal" Total T level is between 200 and 1,300 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter). Others say it is between 300 and 1300. The normal range for Free  T is murkier because of the different tests that different laboratories use. Here is a set of ranges from a forum I was involved in for a while:

 

Consequently, if your doctor tests your free testosterone, be sure you know the analytical method used. If your test results have a reference range as follows, you have probably been tested with one of the other test methods:

 

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Is Your Relationship To God Wrecking Your Relationship With God? (Part 2)

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Be sure that you've read Part 1 » here «.

[Note to the reader: "God" is used throughout as a signifier to point to wherever you put your worship. It could be conventional religions as I will mainly address, but you could just as easily replace it with Gaia if you "put your worship" there--if the environment is your ultimate concern. or you could replace it with polytheistic beliefs such as Hinduism. Or maybe you put your worship in the Universe, consciousness, or Community. Consider that whatever your ultimate concern is, the concepts in this article can apply to that thing as "God" for you. Doing this will allow you to get the most from this article. -Jason D McClain]

 

As I asked in Part 1:


"...was Jesus really born of the Virgin Mary? Was Lao Tzu really born as a 900 year-old man? Is the earth really resting on the head of a giant serpent (or the shell of a giant tortoise)? And of course, the subject of great debate most recently it seems: is the Earth really only 6,000 years old? Are these facts—with belief in them required to enter into the afterlife? Or are they gorgeous and useful poetic metaphors pointing to a greater truth in a way that people at the time could accept, pointing to Divine power?"

These metaphors are a testament to the belief in stunningly powerful, mystical, and magical forces embodied in "Spirit". Stories told to the good common folk of those eras. Metaphors they could relate to. This was useful and good—in fact, it could have been no other way at the time. However, the vast majority that count themselves among the world’s religions have lost touch with this simple wisdom: that metaphors of their spiritual traditions do indeed hold tremendous aesthetic value and inspirational mythopoetic beauty, however, they are not the Truths themselves.

Nor should they really matter when discussing spiritual merit. Would we say someone was not a good person if they acted with love, grace and charity all of their life, dedicated to the service of others, but rejected the idea of the Virgin Birth? Of course not.

Sadly, focusing on the details of the metaphoric stories as a basis for “faith” rather than the individual relationship with the Universal Truths results in losing access to Divinity and Spirit. Ending up, in turn, hopelessly (and endlessly) arguing over details of form and presentation-details of stories told long ago so that simple people could easily have access to God. These arguments aren’t just friendly disagreements or intellectual debates engaged in among scholars; they have split families and divided congregations--and sent nations to war on too many occasions for us to want to list here.

The fact that this is so, and that is springs from traditions that were and are meant to free the spirit, spread love, and acceptance, and give hope to the hopeless, is no less than tragic.

So that we can attempt to avoid the same pitfalls, let us set aside what is “true” or “false” about these mythopoetic themes and focus instead on the more personal and individual experience. This is what is relevant for our discussion that is focused on the context of personal evolution.

For that, we need to address not the truth, but the utility of our relationship to the Divine--"to" vs. "with." This “to vs with” business is not just fun with prepositions. It has a very practical impact on our internal life and emotional experience.

The manner in which we relate to anything determines its meaning and importance in our lives. Whether that thing is a significant other, a new career opportunity, a rainy day, traffic on the highway, and/or yes, even “God”. Perhaps we should even say In fact, especially God—not because that is accurate, but simply because of the impact that our personal relationship with God has on our real-life happiness.

Let’s take traffic.

We have all experienced traffic on a highway. How do you relate to it? What is your interpretation of it? Do you view it as a waste of time? A hassle? An increase in vehicular pollution? Or perhaps you see it as a welcome break and use it to unwind on your way home listening to relaxing music or an opportunity to listen to a favorite book on audio? The obvious point is that how you “hold” this experience we call “traffic” in your subjective world will give rise to a specific and tangible emotional experience around it, or what we will call an “atmosphere”.

 “It is never the thing itself, but rather your relationship to it”.

Knowing that let’s take it out another level: it is not just how you relate “to” traffic that will determine your experience. While this is true, we could take one more step and realize that we are not just in traffic--if you are in your car in the middle of traffic, you are the traffic. You are at the very least a component part of it as a whole.

Think about that the next time you are cursing the traffic you are in.

You can see what we have done there, and you are likely already familiar with the importance of and the ability to “frame” your experience described in the above paragraphs. This is nothing new. Most of the wisdom traditions teach that how you interpret an event will determine your emotional experience around it—and with regular practice, you can discipline your mind to interpret your experience in a way that leads you to have the emotional experience of life that you desire. Simple. Not easy, but simple.

And yet, when we get to the context of God—we go all whacky. As if it somehow no longer applies.

Just as we examined if your relationship to traffic serves you, we will examine the same of your relationship to God.

I was with a client and we chased the source of his "issue" to a particular construction he has of God—and God and spirituality is very important to him.

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Your Success Equation | Thoughts Action Will | Part 1: Thoughts

Thoughts + Action + Will = Your Dream or Vision Becoming a Reality

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There is much discussion about what it takes to be successful—and what it takes to be an entrepreneur. What it takes to succeed at owning your own business. Or stated differently, what it takes to “manifest” your vision in the world.

And while many people try to emulate personalities, rather than systems—which is a sure-fire way to fail—and there are certainly tangible, unique characteristics that have a Steve Jobs or a Barak Obama, or a _________________  succeed, there are those that want to sum it up to “luck” or “chance” or “connections”. Or “timing”. Or, “that is just them”.

While there is a certain amount of all of those that will aid one in bringing their vision into the world—they only help.

Even without those additional “helpers” we have a huge amount of latitude and control over the degree of our success—and even whether we succeed—or not; and to what degree. And often the successful management of the following aspects can assist those helpers in appearing and happening as if by “magic”. 

There are three components or ingredients to having your vision become a reality

1. Thoughts  2. Action  3. Will [The Will to Carry It Through]

Thoughts 

So many people reduce this to the Law of Attraction only, and worse, want to have you believe you have already earned your success somehow—before you have actually produced anything or taken any action. Essentially before you have produced anything of value to others in the world.

I reject that wholeheartedly.

While the Law of Attraction is critical—and demystifying it equally so—so that you understand not only that it does work, but also why and how—it is not the only way to manage your mind that is critical. There are others seldom talked about.

Because I cover this at length in my Outcome Inevitability audio and I provide my clients and those who are members on the coaches site have access to—and also on the free Evolutionary Sales podcasts on iTunes—and others have done so as well…

Because of that, we will leave that in this writing and go to the meatier subjects :::

Thoughts: The inspired IDEA

You must have an idea. It does not have to be original. However, it must be at the right place in the “curve”. In other words, it has to either be a proven business model but not yet saturated in the market—or it can be new, but the technology and the market must be there to support the idea. AND it must not be on the sloping end of the curve—an idea that is making a lot of money now, but whose course has nearly run out or is about to end.

One of the greatest skills an entrepreneur must have is the ability to accurately perceive where the market is headed. There is no replacement for this skill. It means the difference between great success, failure, or middling success—and likewise great profits, or great losses. And while an entrepreneur knows that “failures” can be the sharpest learning opportunities, they can be costly, and well, let’s face it—less fun 

Thoughts: Deeper Meaning | Purpose

Additionally you must be able to tie it to deeper meaning. You’re not just creating a cool product or service—you are improving the lives of others—and ultimately making the world a better place somehow. You are serving humanity itself in some deep, meaningful way. Even with a small piece of software. Or a coaching offering. Or a new convenience appliance.

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Motivation | Style, Structure, and Tasty Bite-Sized Morsels

One of the main challenges that small business people face—particularly solo practitioners or “solo-preneurs” in general--is the problem and the art of motivating oneself.

You are your own boss. If you have employees, then the game may be a little different for you as you have people depending on you.  However, if it is just you, there are often no external forces telling you that you must do any particular “thing”.  There are certainly exceptions to this—client deliverables, purchases that have been made, the general inertia of your business pulling you along at some point, but really, especially at first, it is an uphill battle for many on their own.

There are so many aspects to this problem of motivation that some never figure it out—or worse, they find solutions that compound the problem in the long-term because the “solutions” are ill-suited approaches. Ill-suited to them as individuals.

To really add fuel to the fire [or baking soda to the lack thereof] we have distractions, overwhelm, time management, prioritization, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

What works for one person in terms of motivation may or may not—and often does not—work for another. So it is with time management, goals, and the like. There is no one-size-fits-all or even a one-size-fits-most solution. Particularly for those who are more sensitive both emotionally and kinesthetically/energetically, many of the “take massive action” or “get present to the consequences if you do not” approaches create more internal dissonance, and if the tasks or milestones the individual is accountable for are not accomplished, this can lead to a build-up of that same internal dissonance, or worse, feelings of guilt or worse still, even shame, and with the principle of compound interest on the “debt” you have with yourself…well, we can see where it may and often does lead: overwhelm rather than accomplishment.

Even if it does not lead there for you, these levels of intense urgent styles of motivational techniques can cause a lack of balance at best, and at worst, hardcore burnout.

What is the solution? Custom design your own motivational strategy using a few basic principles and approaches.

 

Step 1: Discover Your Style

Find out what works for you at a base level. Since at least Aristotle was writing in the  300s B.C. we have known that humans are generally motivated in two basic ways or “directions” ::: away from pain or toward pleasure. Or both.

Stated in the context of goals and deliverables: away from consequences or toward a vision.

You will notice one creates leverage [and often contraction and internal dissonance] in your body—it pushes you. Compels you. Often uncomfortably. The other pulls you forward. It is expansive. It opens you and draws you toward it.

The danger is to judge one or the other. Urgency/away from/consequence driven motivation could be “bad” because it creates tension and dissonance. Vision is “good” because it is expansive. Or the reverse; vision/toward is “bad” because it does not create massive intense action, necessarily. Urgency/away from is “good” because it creates more instant [in some] results.

An additional component is style is how you like to be supported. 

This is also a critical component. While I am not an "accountability coach" per se, and never have been, quite often, clients ask me to support them in getting stuff done. Before I even begin such an aspect of our relationship, and since I can assume almost any style of coaching to serve them at this point, I ask them ::: how do you like to be supported.

No this before asking for external help--or be prepared to explore that inquiry with your friend, guide, coach, or accountability partner.

The truth is, whichever style works for you, as you become more aware, even now, at how you have created results in the past for yourself—when you found yourself simply motivated to accomplish what you wanted to accomplish—is the “good” style for you.

If an “away from” strategy works best for you, then create externally supported consequences to propel you forward. Engage a coach professionally, who coaches in that style. Or have a friend be your accountability partner—and someone willing to enforce uncomfortable consequences for/on you.

If this kind of approach has you feel overwhelmed, or has you feel like running from your entire support system [missing phone calls, not emailing them when you said you would, unaccomplished tasks building up, etc.], then consider the other approach: an approach that has you moving toward a larger vision. Toward a future you are creating. An approach that has you stay constantly present to the deeper meaning in the work you are doing; what your purpose of mission is, so you stay in the game. Plainly put ::: remember why you are committed to doing what you are supposed to do, in the grand scheme of things.  

As an example: you’re not simply “having a client session”. You are doing far more than that—you are helping someone have the life they have always dreamed of. And even greater or larger, you are contributing to the evolution of humanity itself—to a global vision of the Greater Good.

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Your Success Equation | Thoughts Action Will | Part 2 ::: Action

Part 1 can be found HERE.   Part 3 Can be found HERE.

 

Part II ::: Action

 

We covered the first variable in your equation for success ::: thoughts. And the third ::: Will.

 In this post we will cover the 2nd variable in your equation for success ::: Action.

 

Deliberate. Consistent. Action.

 

Many talk about the need to take “massive action”.  While this is useful, I disagree.  AND I disagree not because that approach is ineffective, but rather because it is harmful to the system ::: it is un-ecological.

Taking massive action can burn one out and then they must stop and take a breather. Then they go into massive action again. And they get burned out. And so it goes, the cycle infinite, ad nauseum. There is a fundamental lack of balance. Over time, this will lead to resistance to projects, significant health issues—a lack of lack of healthy being-ness with families, spouses, children, life partners, and lovers, who are lacking engagement from you—feeling a love deficit.

AND at worst, addictions—be they food or drugs or alcohol or relationships—so that people can detach and become disembodied.  So they can stop feeling how bad this approach feels in their body.

 

While those who advocate this approach are coming from a positive place, to be sure, I have only 1 question ::: “do we want to be advocating an approach that leads to the above pathologies?

Of course not.

 

This lack of balance and consistency pervades our culture to no good end—long term.

 

However, there is a more whole-istic [taking your whole system into account with a long term view added as an additional dimension] way of approaching action…

Think of your business—and your action around your business—like an extension of your body. Would you go to the gym for the first time and automatically try to spend 2 hours on the stair master? Of course not. Would you go to the gym for the first time ever and expect to bench press 300 pounds? Of course not. Even if you were actually able, somehow, to physically complete those “goals” you would be so wiped out the following day—and so sore—that you may or may not return.

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