Helpful Ways to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

We’ve all made promises to lose some weight. Unfortunately, promises are easier made than kept. It is possible that you’ve tried but failed and you are about to give up. Hopefully, this article will save you. Don’t give up yet. It is still very possible that you will lose weight and keep it from coming back.

The reason why most people have been unable to lose weight is simply because they are doing it all wrong. Today, there are various ways you can use weight. But then, the weight industry is becoming very profitable every day. Thus, many people choose to buy a “wonder pill” that claims they can lose weight within 2 months without any effort. Interestingly, you don’t even need any pill to lose weight. The diet you eat or even the way you eat may be the reason why you are finding it difficult to lose weight.

Your lifestyle choices also play a huge role in whether you will lose weight or not. Today, you will learn various ways you can lose weight and keep it off. Keep on reading to learn more.

Top Ways To Lose Weight and Keep it Off

1. Reduce Your Starch and Sugar Intake

You must have heard this millions of times before. Unfortunately, if you want to lose weight, you seriously need to cut back on your sugars as well as starches intake. These two have high calories which do nothing but sit on your belly region. Besides, they cause bloating. When you cut your starch and sugar intake, you can lose up to 10 pounds within your first few weeks.

2. Cut Fats From Your Diet

Are you taking more fat than your money need? Unfortunately, fat is a mainstay of many diets. You can literally see millions of packaged meals, dairy, and reduced-fat snacks that are full of fats on any supermarket you walk into. Eating too many fats cause your body to store them. Please note that not all fats are bad. Fats from soy milk, seeds, avocados, nuts, and tofu are good for you and may even help you lose weight.

3. Eat Your Food Slowly

Studies have shown that people who eat fast usually gain more weight over time. Avoid eating fast. Instead, eat the same amount of food very slowly. This will make your body to feel more full and even help to boost weight-reducing hormones.

4. Avoid Stress

People who experience stress daily are more likely to gain weight or even suffer from obesity. Find ways to avoid stress. Your body will look younger, healthier, and better when you sleep well and relax well. Do things on time so you avoid rushing them later. You can also try some relaxing exercises like yoga.

5. Drink Water Regularly

Drinking water regularly can help you burn calories faster and even help you to avoid overeating.  In fact, researchers have shown that drinking water just 30 minutes before you eat can increase weight loss by 44% over 3 months. Get a water bottle and make sure you go everywhere with it so you never lack water.

6. Hit the Gym

When it comes to losing weight and achieving the perfect body, you certainly need to exercise your body. Whether you are a man or woman, it is recommended that you exercise at least 3 times per week and lift weights. To stay motivated, it is recommended that you join a group.

Final Words

To lose weight, it is important you stay motivated. You also need to have tools to measure your result. One of the tools you need when you want to lose weight and keep it off is a calorie calculator for weight loss. This way, you will know whether your efforts are paying off or whether you need to change your strategy for an improved result.

This content is sponsored by Gajura Constantin.

Photo: Shutterstock

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from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2TYlvBb

Are You an Alpha Dog, Back Seat Beta or Co-Creator?

There are 3 types of men in relationships. Those who like to control, those who don’t, and those who create and co-create.

Type A – Alpha
Are you a man who likes to control the way a relationship plays out? You call the shots, you direct traffic, you are in the driver’s seat. No-one else really gets a say. It’s your way or the highway, and often, sadly it ends up being the highway to hell. You’re the alpha dog. There’s a lot to like about you, but there’s a lot still to develop. Undeveloped alphas grow up to be the classic man-child.

Type B – Beta
Are you a man who sits back and lets things happen? You essentially ride ‘shotgun’. But the thing is, you don’t carry a shotgun and you’re not warding off danger, which is where the phrase ‘riding shotgun’ originates from. These days it’s used in a very different context.

You might be in the front seat, but you’re not at the wheel. You ride alongside, pointing things out, but you don’t do anything to change them or go in a different direction. You’re not an active participant.

A variation on this is the man who plays along, not rocking the boat too much, passively hoping things will just work out. This is the backseat driver. These are the worst kind. Observing but never taking action.

At least the second guy is up-front, contributing something. But from the back seat you can’t even see properly. You’re looking sideways most of the time. You don’t really care where you are going as long as the driver gets you there. You criticise if the trip gets too bumpy, but you don’t do anything to improve it.

Type C – Co-creator
You are the type of man who co-creates with your partner? You both co-create the type of life you both want to experience? You contribute to life on a daily basis. You discuss what’s going on. You help create an environment that is safe, focused, and directed.

If you’re the man who co-creates, you don’t need to call all the shots, though you may at times. You take responsibility for your own stuff. You trust and believe in your partner enough, to take care of her own stuff. You don’t grab at the wheel trying to steer the way you want to go, but together you map out the direction and work to get there.

I’ve sat in all of these positions. I’ve been in the passenger seat, handing out advice, criticising the driver but not driving myself. I’ve sat down back, being lazy and letting someone else do the work. I’ve sat in the driver’s seat, not letting anyone else steer, taking the car where I think it should go.

But by far the best position of all, is when I am co-creating, contributing, taking responsibility, listening, sharing the ride, whilst co-creating a life and a direction that works for everyone in the car. Whilst a co-creator may still have his hands on the wheel, it is a shared responsibility, a joint venture, a collaboration.

If you are hellbent on being in the driver’s seat controlling the show, or passively riding in the back seat, your relationship is headed for the wall.

The key is co-creation. This doesn’t mean you can’t lead. Too many men think that leading means being ‘in control’, calling the shots, being the ‘alpha’ dog. Leading is a responsibility, not a title.

Neither does it mean that you are both the same. Couples who co-create, bring something of unique worth and value to the relationship. They compliment, not complete each other.

How to co-create

Co-creation comes down to respect and willingness, taking responsibility for yourself.

Co-creation is also the antidote to codependency. If you’re codependent, man or woman, your worth and value is wrapped up too much in the other person. We’ll get to this in other blogs as being codependent is a whole other topic of its own. All you need to know is, when you co-create, you bring your own complete worth and value to a relationship.

As a co-creator, you understand that your partner is different from you, and that’s totally ok. You accept her differences, and commit to the bigger picture of building a life together.

Backseat driver’s don’t co-create, they sit back and mostly criticise. Controllers don’t co-create, they take over and think that they know best. Co-creators respect themselves and their partners enough to understand that Aristotle was onto something when he said; ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’.

Co-creators are equal but they are not the same. When you co-create, you trust and encourage your partner to contribute, shape, add value and bring their own gifts and personality to the relationship. In fact, you want them to.

To co-create also means to loosen the grip on your own agenda. It’s not always all about you, and this is where alpha males often get it wrong. You might have a clear idea about how things should be, you might consider yourself as strong, confident and in control, but to co-create means you add a little kindness into the mix. You don’t ‘need’ to be top dog. Remember, the co-creator relationship is a joint venture.

A creative force to be reckoned with
The co-creator male is the man who can tap into his own energy, gifts and unique offering. He doesn’t need the status of alpha. Neither does he hold back and take the easy way out.

The co-creator is a man who respects women. He is a man who respects himself. He faces challenges, and creates a way forward.

The co-creator is a creator of himself. He is a man who believes in what he brings to the world and to his relationships. He is a man who goes about his life with a calm confidence. He is the co-creator of life and of love.

And together, with his co-creator partner, they are a creative force to be reckoned with.

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Extrapolating Offense


I remember sitting in a theater watching Dances With Wolves. During the scene where Wind In His Hair steals John Dunbar’s horse and shouts at him–“Do you see I am not afraid!?”–while staring down the barrel of a gun, the patron sitting behind me said in an incredibly fearful voice, “Oh my God, shoot him! Shoot him!!” I was dumbfounded.

Really? Shoot someone who was yelling at you, because your primary form of reaction is fear? What a different movie that would have been.

The person behind me had a knee-jerk reaction. Instead of letting a moment play out, a swift (and wrong-minded) response was wished for. Back then, knee-jerk reactions weren’t considered responsible. Today they’re the norm. Especially when it comes to being offended. In modern society, people are reacting faster, less thoughtfully, and cherry-picking whatever information they need to justify being offended. Because today, we wear being offended as a badge of honor. Instead of examining the entirety of a position, people grab a fraction of the whole and use it to demonize anything and everything they don’t like. Paragraphs are reduced to soundbites, which removes any and all context or meaning.

Following that, the entirety of a position (or article or book or movie) is labeled. Once you attach a label, you can dismiss something; you no longer have to look at nuance. If you throw “misogynistic” on Mötley Crüe’s The Dirt, you don’t have to watch it. If you call Huckleberry Finn “racist,” you don’t have to examine it for deeper meaning.

Once something is labeled and dismissed, you don’t have to examine your own shortcomings or faults. Overreacting is an unhealthy way to live, and it makes no sense. Denouncing the whole picture because of a few puzzle pieces creates a purity test no one could pass. It’s like saying, “I hate rainbows” because you hate the color green, or, “The musical Hamilton is filthy” because a couple of the songs have swear words in them.

Unfortunately, it’s easier to overreact and label than it is to take the time and effort to discern deeper meaning. Which is probably why quick reactions and quicker dismissing takes place more and more today. We live in a world of immediacy, and if something can’t be understood in the blink of an eye, why bother? This is bad enough on a personal level, but what’s frightening is the fact that people who subscribe to the “I’m offended” way of life are starting to achieve positions of power.

What happens when they become critics, bosses, editors, and politicians? We will no longer have conversations, we will have shouting matches and pointed fingers. We no longer examine problems, we silence those who disagree with us. We no longer try to better ourselves, we make sure that we believe we’re better than the other person, the person we’re judging. Because as long as we’re judging others, we don’t have to look in the mirror. At the end of Dances With Wolves, the person behind me was weeping. I don’t know if they consciously took the mental journey necessary to examine their transition from “Shoot him!” to “This is so tragic,” but hopefully they did.

Hopefully they took with them the lesson that knee-jerk reactions can be wrong. Hopefully the rest of us can discover that in many cases, instead of condemning something, self-examination might be what’s necessary.

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How to Unlock Your Spiritual Energy for Prosperity

When a human embraces the process of spiritual self discovery, it can become confusing to understand what spiritual energy actually is. While this confusion does play a role in one’s knowledge through trial and error, people often get blinded by the real truth behind the spiritual journey.

The reason this is crucial for success and prosperity is because you will be more aware of your thoughts and decision making on a daily basis. That is the key to success. It’s not based on emotion, it’s based on facts and logic. Staying calm and grounded in stressful situations is the difference between succeeding and making costly mistakes.

This can alter your life if done in a way where you embrace the energy that feels right to you. Regardless, be open to everything and all possibilities.

Spiritual Energy and Its Significance

There are different forms of spiritual energy that are done through ancient exercises such as Chi Gong or Tai Chi Chuan. Some embrace it externally to then be focused within for deep levels of meditation through yoga, mindfulness, and self-awareness.

Activities such as karate, boxing, and jiu jitsu use physical movements to process energy through alignment of the human body to achieve potential abilities and power. Spiritual energy is a very complex topic, as the relation to it isn’t through the physical, but through the mental and intuitive.

The word “spiritual” means  “A sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience—something that touches us all. People may describe a spiritual experience as sacred or transcendent or simply a deep sense of aliveness and interconnectedness.”

Letting Go

There is no connection more special than the individual connection to your inner divine higher-self. This connection is the untold story behind creating a difference and impact in the world that you experience.

There are many ways to practice letting go right now. We can let go when there is a fury of angry emotions such as when we are cut off by vehicles while driving or by someone budging in line. Let go of the negative emotion when someone receives a promotion or raise instead of you.

Let go of the limited belief that we are not good enough to wake up or experience the realness of who we really are. We can let go of mantras about ourselves, about others, and even about our past lives. Create new positive energy, be yourself, and stop seeking validation. This is the way to wealth and success.

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” – Herman Hesse

Emotional Mechanisms

Instead of reacting and being involved in external situations, you have to build the inner ability to observe the situation from an outside perspective. This is challenging because you’ll have to watch your responses and avoid being reactive. A negative based reaction makes us go back to the familiar thinking or emotional patterns, which is not ideal for you and others around you.

It’s important you’re aware of explosive emotional reactions such as ignorant or aggressive behavior, denial, over-eating, drinking, smoking or any other fear based mechanism. This will not lead to success if those patterns start to take over your emotions and behavior.

Positive, spiritual energy helps create a vision of our highest divine self and greater purpose. It provides the audacity to increase our energy frequency, while dropping the ego and moving towards your inner truth. This is how you create a great team for business and success. People will start to understand your purpose and vision, because it’s authentic and real.

The first step towards spiritual growth is to get in touch with your highest self, through meditation and yoga. It’s realizing you’re not your thought. You’re separate from them.

Thoughts = Action = Result.

Here are a list of questions that will give you clarity on it. Try to answer these questions  without over-thinking. Clear your headspace, and spend a few moments in silence. Be truthful with your answers.

1. Right now, what do you want for yourself?

2. What is your biggest fear or what is holding you back?

3. What makes you feel happy daily?

4. What is the meaning of higher purpose in your world?

5. What are you truly grateful for?

After answering the above questions, spend some time in a calm state and reflect. The spiritual journey is about authenticity, wisdom and enlightenment. It can help you locate your highest intelligence through answering your own truthful questions.

“What you think you become.” – Buddha

It Starts With You

The moment to awaken to your most fulfilled life is right now. These present moments that you have in front of you will never return because time can never be brought back. Make sure to live your dreams, goals, and evolve the world in a powerful way.

The only way to do this is by taking action and succeeding. Work smart with ethics and you can have anything. Model success, and reverse engineer it.

Self-education and ambition is what drives your mind to the greatness that is within you. The time has arrived for you to embrace yourself with fearless champions, spend your days around success, and learn new skills. To do this you’ll have to learn to be unstoppable, persistent, and laser-focused on taking yourself to the next level where you never thought possible.

Everyone comes into this world with their own unique talents that can impact the world and make a real difference. Locate your greatness that is within you and move forward.

What part of unlocking your spiritual energy for positivity resonated most with you and why? Let us know below!

source https://addicted2success.com/life/how-to-unlock-your-spiritual-energy-for-prosperity/

On Butterscotch, Obits, and Math [Podcast]

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Here’s more about The Kvetching Professor Podcast by Mark Sherman.

An emeritus professor of psychology shares his wit and wisdom in these short and pithy episodes.

Mark Sherman has written seriously on gender issues, especially about his concern for how boys and young men are doing in our country. But he is also a humorist, whose funny songs have entertained many and whose humor column has run for more than 30 years in his local award-winning newspaper, the New Paltz Times.

For the past 13 plus years he has read some of his top columns to enthusiastic audiences from all over the world at the Mohonk Mountain House, a historic and very popular resort hotel situated on beautiful grounds on the nearby Shawangunk mountain ridge.

Encouraged by the response to his readings, in the spring of 2018 Mark began recording a podcast, in which each episode features one of his funniest columns. His podcast is titled “The Kvetching Professor” (“kvetch” means to complain); since he actually did teach psychology for well over 25 years, it will enlighten as well as amuse listeners.

The Kvetching Professor is a weekly podcast combining humor and hints for living a better life, hosted by Prof. Mark Sherman.

See a directory of past episodes here

Enjoy The Kvetching Professor on Libsyn.

Subscribe to The Kvetching Professor podcast in iTunes.

Follow Mark on Twitter: @profmarksherman.

You can write him at mark@profmarksherman.com.

 

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Money, Mothers and Marriage: A Messy Mix?

Dear Chelsea,

My boyfriend and I have been together for about 6 years. I love him and feel that he’s perfect for me in every way except for one thing. His mother. He’s an extreme mama’s boy. They have a family dynamic unlike any I’ve ever seen. The roles are reversed. It’s like he’s the parent and she’s the child. Also, she’s married, but she treats her husband like a child and acts more as if my boyfriend is her husband. My boyfriend goes to work, does ALL of the cooking, and has to pick the stepdad up from work. He’s even been taking ALL of her online classes these past couple of years. His mom and stepdad are financially irresponsible and are both in their early-mid 40s. They are always in a bind, but they never stress or make adjustments, because my bf puts the entire load on his shoulders. His mom doesn’t work (by choice), and the stepdad works at a bowling alley, yet they have a 4 bedroom home they can’t afford without my bf’s income. The whole situation was annoying before, but it wasn’t unbearable. I was always at their house before, so it wasn’t really a problem. Now that I have moved into my own apartment, it’s a struggle to get him to come over. He never has time for me, because he’s either working or taking care of his mother’s many needs. I went from just being annoyed to often pissed off. We’re both 28 now, and I’m scared because I want to settle down and build a life with this man. He’s told me that he knows that he wants to marry me, but he wants to be financially stable. I just don’t see how he’d be able to save money to be stable when damn near all of his money and time goes to her. I know for a fact his mother can’t afford her lifestyle without him, and I don’t see him leaving her to fend for herself. What should I do?

Sincerely,

In Love With A Mama’s Boy

 

Dear In Love With A Mama’s Boy,

Do you want to build a life with this man because you’re 28 and scared? Or, are you marrying him because it’s him and you (and maybe even his mama) to the end?

If you’re going to marry him, I think you’ve got to be, first and foremost, the kind of woman who doesn’t overlook his mama’s boy tendencies nor waits for proof that he’s outgrown them but, rather, has put those tendencies into perspective.

Let me explain.

Heading into marriage with financial stability may make you both breathe easier but it’s not going to kiddy proof your marriage from crashing and burning. I mean, let’s fast forward the tape for a second and play around with some hypotheticals: Your boyfriend’s mom and stepdad become financially responsible overnight. Perfect. Now, your boyfriend can save his money for you and him. Tomorrow you’re getting married. However, just because his parents can now afford their 4 bedroom home without his income doesn’t mean they can afford to live without their son’s constant presence inside their home. Are you going to feel any more comfortable—or stable—having a husband who saves his money for you but isn’t able to save his time?

See, what just happened? What started as an issue about money now becomes an issue about time. Suddenly, it’s not his money that you’re urging him to hold onto but it’s his hours. The reality is, it will always be about something else, until you finally admit, that what you’re really asking him to hold onto is you.

The problem in your relationship is not that your boyfriend’s parents are financially irresponsible or that he is financially spread thin. The problem is, your boyfriend is emotionally unavailable.

When this happens, we tend to emphasize the drama happening around our relationship because the drama distracts us from the emptiness we are experiencing and the gravity of having to address what’s gone amiss within ourselves. Making our problems about others becomes just a quick fix solution. All we have to do is point fingers and go reaching for evidence that X is the distraction and getting rid of Y and resolving Z is the answer. It’s reductive thinking, and it’s seductive too. Making our relationship problems about the people—in this case, the family—who are in the way, frees us from having to claim our own emotional baggage and talk straight from our heart.

Who can blame you? After six years together, it’s more calming to think the only problem with my boyfriend is his needy mother versus my boyfriend is perfect for me in every way except for one thing, I feel really alone.

So, how do actually solve what this is actually about?

You stop making it about—or letting it be about—his parents and their collective finances, and make it about you. You tell him what you told me, that is, that he acts more like the husband to his mother than the boyfriend to you. Cringeworthy, I know, but you’ve got to get to the heart of this.

Tell him that, after six years together, you’d feel like he’d prioritize your relationship but, the simple fact that it’s a struggle to get him to come over makes you feel like you’re being phased out. Or, maybe even own your feelings a bit more. Say, that while you don’t want to, you’re catching yourself phasing out of this relationship because you’re not together enough. Say that wanting to marry you doesn’t satisfy you in the short-term for two reasons, (1) if he makes it all about being financially stable, you’re afraid he’ll never be ready and (2) that the experience of wanting you has begun to feel passive. Tell him, that to see him in your future, you need to see more of him now—you need to reconnect.

At the same time, you’ll need to put your boyfriend being a mama’s boy into perspective. This is a game changer. Either he’s an enabler, that keeps his mom and stepdad dependent upon him by continually recusing them, or he’s the backbone of that family.

If you see him as an enabler, you’re going to look down upon the three of them. You’ll pity them. And, in full disclosure, I already hear a bit of that tone in your letter. But these are the facts: Your

boyfriend cooks and cleans for his family. His mother does not have a degree or a job. His stepdad works at a bowling alley. They live beyond their means. Now, they could grow beyond this but the reality that they have been this—that this is a part of their story—cannot be reversed. Can you handle that? Because when you marry into a family, that story becomes an extension of your own.

On the other side, if you see him as the backbone of the family, you may be able to not only accept his family dynamic but gaze upon him with pride. Because these are also the facts: Your boyfriend cooks and cleans for his family. He holds down a job, is a part-time student (in place of his mother), and runs a carpool service. Basically, your boyfriend is the kind of guy that will do whatever it takes to make sure his family doesn’t fall under the weight of themselves. And, you know what this might give you a glimpse into? The kind of man he will be for a family of his own. Maybe he will bust his ass for his children. Maybe he will prioritize their education. Maybe he will drop the kids off at school. Maybe he will cook the dinner and pack the lunches. Who knows. But it’s possible. And it’s possible for you to put such mama’s boy tendencies into perspective so they not only shine a more favorable light on his behavior today but his past and his future—maybe even your future together.

If you want to save your relationship, you’ll need to stop saving face and just come out with it. You’re losing faith in your boyfriend and your future; you’re slipping out of love—not because you don’t want to love him, and not because he doesn’t want to love you, but because he’s too busy for you and you’ve begun to feel like an outsider, looking in on her boyfriend and his family, and that makes you feel second best and alone. Just tell him and then ask, what can we do—not once there’s more money—but right now, with what we have?

Love,

Chelsea

 ID: 1090333913

The post Money, Mothers and Marriage: A Messy Mix? appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2CYz2mU

The Christian Church’s Mental Health Crisis

(Warning: May be triggering to people with depression, anxiety, and other mental illness.)

There are millions of people who are hiding right now.

They’re right next to you on Sunday, and you can’t see them.

They live half in darkness, always carefully crafting the public persona that will allow them to blend-in seamlessly; continually weighing their words and managing perception with every conversation—and ultimately withdrawing into the shadows of silence and solitude when it all gets to be too much.

They’re in your church, your small group, on your ministry team, and in your social gatherings. There are faithful, prayerful, devoted followers of Jesus who are in the life-choking grip of severe depression—and they’re terrified to tell you.

This is not their failure, it is the Church’s.
Organized Christianity has a full-blown mental health crisis that it has created and needs to reckon with.
We are letting people die on our watch.

The American Church has been force-fed a feel good, pray-it-all-way, Jesus-fixes-everything Prosperity Gospel cocktail, that makes it all but impossible for us to admit in the Church when we are internally fractured; to confess that despite all the reasons for the contrary and every effort to avoid it—we still feel hopeless and sad and dead inside. To do so feels like spiritual rebellion.

Modern church social media feeds now drip with gooey self-help seminar slogans, promising financial security, physical health—and yes, emotional stability—with the proper faith in Jesus. This dangerous and irresponsible simplification of mental health, only serves to add a crushing layer of guilt and a near lethal dose of inadequacy to the chemical imbalances, negative self-talk, and internal wiring already there.

You don’t just feel bad—you end up feeling bad for feeling bad.

The message isn’t always stated clearly, but it is almost always clearly received: If you’re depressed or despondent or contemplating ending your life, you need to pray harder or read the Bible more or give more money or do something—because all sad people need to not be sad, is Jesus.

“You aren’t physically ill, you have a demon that needs exorcising.”
“This isn’t a medical condition, it’s spiritual warfare.”
“You don’t have a chemical imbalance—you have unrepentant sin.”
“Ask God to free you from this.”

These are things church people actually say, or at least it is what they believe and how they make you feel.

For nearly two decades I have pastored thousands of people, many of whom have crippling anxiety and paralyzing pain. These are devoted men and women of faith who are finding it almost impossible to move or to live or to care. They’ve spent years, sometimes decades looking for just the right prayer plan or the perfect Scripture passage to magically remove whatever it is that has assailed them inside their heads. And if that all fails, (as it often does); when they’ve all prayed and read and worshipped and prayed some more and they still feel hopeless—the Church has nothing for them but guilt, and they have nowhere to go but into hiding.

In the same way much of Church culture has awkwardly declared war on Science, it has done so with Medicine. We have made seeking help from doctors or drugs or therapists a sign of weakness or admission of spiritual defeat. Christians have over-spiritualized religion and under-spiritualized everything else; restricting “God’s work” to only the pulpit and prayer room—never entertaining the idea that God can do miracles in medical laboratories or therapist offices or hospital rooms too.

But ultimately this is not about whether prayer or prescriptions are preferable ways of managing mental health. There can and should be a holistic approach that tends to body and mind, to external practices and internal patterns. We should use every weapon at our disposal needs to be wielded in managing this illness: exercise and meditation and diet and medication and therapy and creativity and prayer if these are helpful.

This is about our churches giving people permission to feel pain, even as they praise. The Bible is filled with real, raw emotion, and much of it sounds like the terrifying stuff we feel, but don’t get to admit.

You may be a Christian struggling with deep hurt and feelings of hopelessness, and even self-harm and suicidal ideation, and you’ve been told (and perhaps even begun to believe) that such things shouldn’t be present if you simply trusted God.

That is simply not the truth.

We’ve been taught that depression and faith are incompatible (by those who’ve apparently never read the stories of Moses, the prophets, David, or the disciples, the Apostle Paul—or even Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane). Yes, Jesus heals a man the Bible describes as being “possessed by demon,” but the Gospel writer John illustrates people who believe a man’s blindness is an issue of belief. We need to allow the past two thousand years of study and learning to inform our reading of the Bible.

As a pastor, one who not only cares for and ministers to those struggling with depression and anxiety, but who has personally battled it for decades (and is still in the thick of the fight), I can promise you that it is possible to have a deep and abiding faith and yet struggle to find hope some days.

The greatest gift the Church can give people is the space to be unwell.
We need to let mentally ill people step out of the darkness and speak their full, unvarnished truth.
We need to treat depression with the same sensitivity, compassion, and lack of moralizing that we give to people with lung cancer or heart disease.
We need to see those suffering in silence right next to us, and tell them they aren’t alone.
We need to see spiritual practices as part of a comprehensive plan to help people navigate their dark places—not the only options.
We need use every resource at our disposal to treat these illness as illness, not as spiritual failures or messages from God.

Let’s stop making people hide themselves in the name of Jesus.

Originally Published on JohnPavlovitz.com

better world

Photo: iStock

The post The Christian Church’s Mental Health Crisis appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2YUVhU0

Lady Death


If you’ve read even a couple of these weekly columns, you know I’m a big supporter of my local mom and pop comic book shop. This piece is because of my local shop, Comic Force in Branson, MO.

I went in Wednesday to grab my new comics from my pull box (they pull the new issues of the too-many series that I subscribe to and they’re waiting for me on Wednesdays.

From time to time Gale, one of the owners slips something extra in there for me to check out. This week it was Lady Death Apocalyptic Abyss; a two-issue series from Lady Death Creator Brian Pulido.

This is Pulido’s silver anniversary and he’s traipsing the con’s to meet the fans. As usual, I digress.

So Lady Death is appropriately from Pulido’s Coffin Comics. In fact, Lady Death is the ONLY character at Coffin Comics, so this Lady has her own brand and line. Not too shabby.

Gale, as usual, was right and I loved the two-issue series and absolutely added Lady Death to my pull list so I can get anything new from Pulido and his leading Lady.

Lady Death is damned to hell but leads attacks against the Dark Lord himself and eventually topples him.

Over fifteen million people on seven languages have purchased Lady Death comics. That’s a crazy number for a little guy writing a great book and telling a great story.

You see, that’s why Gale showed it to me. She knows I enjoy the fantasy aspect of it, but she knows I like really good writing and this is well-written stuff.

If you have no idea who Lady Death is, go to her website. Once you’ve figured that out, get over to your local comic shop and grab an issue or four.

Tell ‘em J.R. sent you and don’t be surprised when they ask, “Who?”

If you’ll excuse me, I’m headed to Comic Force to pick up more Lady Death.

 

 

 

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Photos courtesy Brian Pulido.

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The Ridiculous Comedy ‘Holmes and Watson’ is Coming to DVD

The unfunny comedy ‘Holes and Watson’ is coming to DVD

I am familiar with the characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. They have shown up in many ways on TV and in movies. The two Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law were a bit different but I thoroughly enjoyed them. When I heard about Holmes and Watson I had a feeling it was going to be bad. Yet I decided to give it a chance. Here is what I thought of this movie.

You can read the plot for Holmes and Watson here:

The stars of Step Brothers are reunited – this time playing the world’s greatest detective and his loyal sidekick & biographer – as Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly star as HOLMES & WATSON. Together they join forces to solve a murder at Buckingham Palace. They soon realize that they only have 5,760 minutes to solve the case, or the Queen will be next.

Holmes and Watson was a pretty bad film. I don’t think I laughed once. Which is a shame because both of these actors are quite talented. It is unclear to me why they agreed to make this movie, or why anyone thought it was a good idea. As the story progressed things only got weirder. There was a moment towards the end that had some characters breaking out in song, and it was truly hard to watch. If you like these characters I would recommend avoiding this movie. Yet I guess some people might enjoy it.

Holmes and Watson arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD April 9th. You can follow this film on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The post The Ridiculous Comedy ‘Holmes and Watson’ is Coming to DVD appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2YUVS8c

My First Time in a Psychiatric Unit

The sheer powerlessness you feel when you’re admitted to a psychiatric unit for the first time is terrifying.

Let me begin by saying, I have been diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I work with, and have been working with therapists and clinicians for years regarding my mental illness. I live a full life and have recovered from this first hospitalization.

It started when I was 23 years old. I was a loner and spent most of my time in my room at my parent’s apartment online. I began hearing voices (auditory Hallucinations) during this time and had many paranoid delusions because of it. I didn’t know up from down concerning mental illness at the time. I didn’t tell anyone about the voices because I thought I was being bullied by people in town. My paranoia led me to believe that the neighbors at my parents’ apartment complex were after me, and the voices emanated from their mouths. This, in itself, was incredibly scary at the time. I finally reached out after two weeks of this, but I did it in a way that got me in trouble. I broke a window, screaming for the voices to shut up. I was arrested and taken to the local E.R. where I was told that my mind was playing tricks on me. I was suspicious but went along with the program.

I was given several sedatives but eventually had to have an injection administered into my right hip because no one was giving me any explanation of why I was being kept there. I didn’t notice the sign on the wall, which said, “You are being held here because you have been deemed as either a threat to yourself or someone else. You are free from the use of electroshock therapy.”

I woke up with what I’ve been told was a day later and given breakfast. I was in a room with a bed, blankets, and a steel door. Like in my room, I didn’t know up from down, but I didn’t hear a single voice. Looking back now, I can see that the medications they gave me were working. I exited the room, still lightheaded and dizzy from the new medication. There were about 5 other people in the room, one frail elderly woman with a patch on her arm said hello to me. There were 7 steel doors in total, and a central, “Station” where 4 plainclothes nurses and 1 doctor in a white coat resided. They were enclosed in a shatter-proof window. There were two doors on either side of them, both of them locked. I didn’t say much and just sat down at one of the tables, scratching my head and talking with the other patients. I asked one person how they got there; she replied, “From the local Jail.” (At this point I didn’t know what to think, and I was getting scared.) One of the nurses finally came and sat by me and told me that I was in a Psychiatric Unit. I was given a white leaflet of paper with meal choices on them. I checked some boxes with a rubber pencil they had let me borrow.

I stayed in my room mostly and heard fighting amongst the others quite a bit. It turned out that I wasn’t the only person who didn’t want to be there. I met several people and learned their names. As the day passed and meals were situated, the room became friendlier as we began playing board games. I discovered that there was even a television we could watch at certain times.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was in what they would name, the “Secure Unit” part of the Psychiatric Unit. I now know that it is for people who are still not stable enough to be trusted around pencils or anything that you can potentially hurt yourself or another with.

As several days went by, I made several friends while in the secure unit. We played Boggle (One of my favorite games) and watched movies. There were several shouting matches between patients and staff, but for the most part, it stayed low-key. Every day I would stand at the door, looking through the sliver of see-through window, at what I didn’t know at the time, was the “Open Unit.”

In this unit, people had visitors, could go to group classes, and even be trusted around the fish tank.

I made it to the Open Unit several days later and was placed in two person room with a nice fellow.

I had injections administered during this time, new medications, which helped (and still help) a lot.

There are things to do in a psychiatric unit, such as exercise, eat, some places even have books. Socializing is also a good thing to do if you can find someone you like.

I was diagnosed by two different psychiatrists, which is what it takes in the State of Oregon to be deemed as having a mental illness. I never could track down the doctor I was assigned to because he was always busy. The one thing you want in a psychiatric unit is to know when you are getting out. And when you’re on hold, there are only rough estimates.

I was startled by this realization, that I had a mental illness. I thought for sure, at that moment, that all my dreams and goals were over for me. I was dead wrong.

Fast-forward 4 years later, and I am a small business owner, a college graduate, an internationally published poet, author, and proud patient of an outpatient facility. I’ve had several more hospitalizations since then, but none nearly as haunting.

What I want you to know is, just because you’ve been given a stone to carry, does not mean it will crush you.  If you ever find yourself in the position I was in, please have faith. Having a mental illness is not the end, nor is it a reason to give up. You can be given amazing opportunities to meet wonderful people, connect with local groups, and learn more about yourself. My heartfelt advice is to reach out if you feel like you’re having problems. All of the stigma surrounding reaching out is unsettling, yes. You worry about what your friends, family, co-workers, etc. think about it. But trust me, as someone with years of first-hand experience, that they will love and accept you anyway. It’s worth it.

First Time in a Psychiatric Unit Poem

The line sits at the pseudo-God’s feet, as he sits behind a reinforced window, ready to hand out medications

My insides begin breaking rapture with a primal scream only I can hear

Fear is the casket which lies within

I sit idly, scratching the barcode strapped around my wrist

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

the only 3 things to look forward to

when you’re on hold in a psychiatric unit

Back to the line,

We stand as orderly as twin towers, waiting to swallow our next round of medication

I learned that the blue pills

give you the best high,

whereas the white pills make you itch

Medication is different for everyone, and I was learning the best

mix for me

Fear is the casket which lies within

The alphabet on the calendar sitting on the wall seems to scream

at me, yelling, “Get out of here when you can.”

I look away from it, and continue pacing around the 30×30 common room

Another inpatient is rattling his head off about the government being after him.

He literally yells all day long, for hours about the same thing.

In any other setting, he’d be terrifying, he’d be looked at as something less

In here, he was safe, in here, he had a name.

Fear is the casket which lies within

To the line again,

One of the patients I hadn’t caught the name of suddenly punches the wall

and demands that he talk to his lawyer. He then runs to his 10×10 room, equipped with metal door

and begins flipping over his mattress.

If there was a Jesus on this tiny secluded island of sterile floors and reinforced steel,

it would be him

He then continues to berate the orderlies while kicking the wall next to my room

The orderlies act fast, and scream to one another,

“Grab the injectable, we need him settled down”

Lockdown means how it sounds.

It means you cannot leave

What they don’t tell you is that you can’t really stay either

It takes a certain amount of dissociation to be able

to live under the tight, freezing cold conditions

Fear is the casket which lies within

I guess that’s why those who don’t know,

and those who think they know, but don’t really know

Look at us as C|r|a|z|y

Not because we’re weak, or dangerous (Though some of us are)

But because they can see us deal with what they consider insurmountable odds

and rise from our inner caskets, like a sort of Lazarus who eats and waits in line just to pass the time

Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.

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The post My First Time in a Psychiatric Unit appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project http://bit.ly/2TXkxW5