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6’0” 196lbs > 176lbs = 20lbs 

1RM:

Squat: 354 lbs

Bench: 186 lbs

Press: 107 lbs

Deadlift: 354 lbs

Rows: 180 lbs

Looking at myself in the mirror was and still is the hardest thing for me to do. People calling me fat has been a major issue to my self esteem since elementary school all the way to high school graduation, and I believe it somewhat still affects how I view myself in other areas besides physical appearance. When I entered high school, I decided to make a change by lifting weights. However, I was completely lost in the gym and diet was a completely different issue that I didn’t want to deal with. In the end I just followed what everyone else was telling me, and I had no clear direction since many times people would claim conflicting advice. I finally made some progress when I did some serious research online and devoted myself to a strength training program called Stronglifts 5x5. Furthermore, I cleaned up my diet by Intermittent Fasting and eating paleo (I try to at least). After a year of dedication I’ve lost 20 lbs with 14% body fat, and I’m very pleased with my results. There are a few important lessons I’ve learned through all this:

1. There is no clear consensus among professionals from the diet and fitness industry, and you have to reach your own conclusions about what works for you by trial and error.

2. In order to achieve success, you must set a goal everyday to perform a little bit better than before and follow through with it. You must also always have a clear direction of where you want to go. Good things take time.

3. A lot of people are very judgmental (especially on physical appearance), but you must ignore them when you’re trying to improve yourself otherwise you’ll be stuck in the same position you were always in.

4. My mom cooks really good food.

5. If I were to suddenly lose all my gains over the year, I am confident that I can start over and come out even stronger.

6. Even though I’ve learned a lot, I know there is still a lot of information that I can learn and apply which I will have to do for the rest of my life. I will find an answer as long as I keep searching for it.

7. Practical Programming for Strength Training is an awesome book.

My fitness goals are now to move on from SL 5x5 to the Texas Method and stick to a normal sleep schedule. Lately I’ve also realized that not only was I physically unhealthy in my youth, I was mentally and spiritually as well which I’ve ignored until recently last year. Therefore, for this year I’m focusing most of my efforts on developing my work ethic, EQ, conversational skills, and expressiveness; being mindful and appreciating others; and ridding myself of any sources of negativity or limiting beliefs that I hold about myself. I’ll post another picture of myself a year from now, but I doubt most of my change will be actually visible.

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Do you know yourself?

When we think of ourselves we get confused, don’t we?
But we have a clear picture of others, so why is it?
Aren’t we the one closest to ourselves, than why this confusion.

Now to answer these questions lets explore how we know each other:
Arent we someone with respect to someone or something. This context is very essential to our being, our existence. We know either people like us, hate us, ignore us or behave with us in certain manner which is unique to our interaction with those people. 
Hence every time we think of ourselves, we put ourselves in shoes of someone else and than think, now either we get positive or negative about our own self depending on the person you chose to see yourself from. Than we switch the people and think again, taking the context of situation and person we wish to see ourselves from.
So we keep doing this till we are convinced that we know ourselves while what we have done actually is that we collected good number of opinions ourselves and hence got much more confused. 
The important thing here is to remember that we are also someone in absolute, though we were developed and shaped by the environment around us still there are few core values and instinctive behavior which does not change with the context and hence remain the same always. 

So when you sit down next time to think of your self, take a step back, get an empty room, sit there for sometime alone, and identify those basic instincts that you have which have always been there and which always remain same no matter whom you are talking with, where you are or how that person influences you. 
Once you know that, you know self

http://www.ted.com/conversations/13782/we_are_nothing_but_projections.html

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"I have this theory that your body goes through puberty in its teens, and the mind goes through puberty in your twenties. [Andrew] is dealing with issues that you are going through all the time going into your thirties. He’s lost and lonesome, which is something I definitely felt in my twenties."

— Zach Braff

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"Another aspect of the emotional pain that is an intrinsic part of the egoic mind is a deep-seated sense of lack or incompleteness, of not being whole. In some people, this is conscious, in others unconscious. If it is conscious, it manifests as the unsettling and constant feeling of not being worthy or good enough. If it is unconscious, it will only be felt indirectly as an intense craving, wanting and needing. In either case, people will often enter into a compulsive pursuit of ego- gratification and things to identify with in order to fill this hole they feel within. So they strive after possessions, money, success, power, recognition, or a special relationship, basically so that they can feel better about themselves, feel more complete. But even when they attain all these things, they soon find that the hole is still there, that it is bottomless. Then they are really in trouble, because they cannot delude themselves anymore. Well, they can and do, but it gets more difficult. As long as the egoic mind is running your life, you cannot truly be at ease; you cannot be at peace or fulfilled except for brief intervals when you obtained what you wanted, when a craving has just been fulfilled. Since the ego is a derived sense of self, it needs to identify with external things. It needs to be both defended and fed constantly. The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you. Do you find this frightening? Or is it a relief to know this? All of these things you will have to relinquish sooner or later. Perhaps you find it as yet hard to believe, and I am certainly not asking you to believe that your identity cannot be found in any of those things. You will know the truth of it for yourself. You will know it at the latest when you feel death approaching. Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to “die before you die” - and find that there is no death."

— The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle

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This kid’s trying to teach me something that I should have done more often years ago.

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"Daughter: Daddy, why don’t you use the other three-quarters of your brain?
Father: Oh, yes—that—you see the trouble is that I had school-teachers too. And they filled up about a quarter of my brain with fog. And then I read newspapers and listened to what other people said, and that filled up another quarter with fog.
D: And the other quarter, Daddy?
F: Oh—that’s fog that I made for myself when I was trying to think."

— Ecology of Mind

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An inventory of those relationships about which we feel most discomfort will reveal to us the true nature of our world as we have constructed it. It is predicated on a simple idea. Protesting that something is wrong or unfair still leaves us with needing to explain satisfactorily why that something is wrong or unfair. “Because I say so,” is a fine and reasonable answer only if you are Master of the Universe, and you’re not, so we have a bit of a problem.

If we begin this undertaking willingly and honestly, then this review will be a profound, moving and transformational experience. It will go some way to resolving the injuries we have suffered, because they have been mostly self-inflicted. It should bring a measure of acceptance and resolution, for we will see that we have not been unwilling victims of the world, but unwitting participants in it. The wonderful paradox in this – for wonderful to discover it is – is that we are not powerless in a cruel and unmanageable world. It is a world of our own making, and therefore changing the nature and character of that world is as simple as changing our view of it.

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http://nicholasmarinelli.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/master-of-the-universe/

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(Source: ooojenns)