Personal Experiment: Sexual Abstinence For How Long?

Let’s Talk About Sexual Abstinence, Shall We?

 

Sexual abstinence isn’t a popular subject. Especially since the world revolves so much around sex nowadays. It certainly isn’t an easy thing to admit you’re committing to either, as going without sex today could actually be met with more question than respect. With apps out like Tinder and POF (these are old, I know!), it’s so easy to get sex that there are almost zero excuses for someone who’s still seeking it to be a virgin.

But the key phrase here is “seeking it.” Why is it that so much of what we consider a “good night” involves hooking up with someone? Sure, I get the thrill of getting hit on by a 9/10, then going so far as to get the number, but after you get lucky, what next? For some, this is the life. I sort of answered the question myself; it’s the thrill of sex (and for men, the chase) that keeps us hooked. From the ages of about 20-23, I was all about my numbers. Especially after I turned 22 after a messy little break-up. Once I caught on to the rhythm of the dating game and the numbers were coming in, I was hooked.

Sexual Abstinence Can Be Liberating. . . Say Whaaat?

So I totally get the thrill of sex; chasing it, the act itself, all that good stuff. But what if you hit a snag in your game and now you have to go without sex for an extended period of time? Maybe you had some kind of surgery that requires bed rest and sexual abstinence for a few months. Or maybe you moved to a new town and the crowd just isn’t worked the same way as the crowd from the other place (happens all the time for us military folk). Whatever the reason, you’re now in a dry spell. But is it the end of the world?

For about 7 months now I’ve been doing a personal growth experiment as part of my journey as a Holistic Health Coach. The last time I had sex was in February of this year (2017). The reason for it is a little of everything; healing from a failed long-term relationship, finances, and focus. And what I mean by focus is that during this 7-month stretch, my priorities shifted, and I had to change focus. I went from focusing on a toxic 3-year relationship with amazing sex regularly to focusing on re-discovering who I am again. This meant separating myself from the idea that I need sex to define my masculinity and who I am as an individual. As cliche as this may sound, this shift in focus has had profound positive effects in my life. Allow me to explain.

You’ll Find A Form Of Freedom

Believe me when I say that I used to laugh at the idea of sexual abstinence. But in life, you’ll see that personal growth can happen at any stage. Right now I’m trying out an idea for my Holistic Health Coaching services that includes local cheap traveling, touring, and exploring. Basically, on my spare time, I grab my travel backpack (my buddies in the Air Force referred to it as my “Life Bag”), start walking, maybe take a bus, maybe take a bike, but I just go. I go to cafe’s, restaurants, bars, sometimes clubs, parks, lakes. You name it, I’m there.

What if I told you more self-growth can come from sexual abstinence?
What if I told you more self-growth can come from booty abstinence?

When about 10pm hits and the nightlife in Tacoma starts buzzing, I hit the bars. But here’s the kicker: I go by myself, with my nerdy purple backpack (just got a new blue one though!), my hair grown out in what can best be described as fro-twists, and my beard shaggy. Sometimes I go home, brush the teeth and wash up the vitals, and go straight out in my work clothes. Impressing nobody.

Although my appearance and gear don’t scream, “take me now,” women still approach me and chat. However, most of the time, I’m just enjoying my drink to myself, listening to the music, and enjoying being immersed in the social scene. My focus isn’t on getting laid, but rather discovering my true self in social scenes without the heavy burden of chasing sex.

So What Has Sexual Abstinence Given Me?

What have I learned from this 7-month experiment thus far? Well aside from bracing from the flack I’ll be getting from my friends, it’s a lot like trying a new diet for the first time: Initially, it’s a little rough, as the temptation doesn’t just go away just because you decided to try something different. But once you’re about a month into it, you feel liberated and see no reason to look back. I mean, why fix what isn’t broken right? I’m so focused on improving myself that I have no desire for sexual satisfaction at the moment.

The biggest blessing that’s come out of my sexual abstinence experiment is that I am literally me at all times. There’s no hidden desire to impress anybody. There’s no fear of saying the wrong thing and risk not getting laid that night. There’s no worrying about my breath (although I still always carry Orbit), my unpopped collar, or whether or not the drink I have in my hand is perceived as “manly enough” for the beautiful but drunken lady across the stool from me. Nope. None of that. It’s just me speaking the way I speak, looking the way I look and acting the way I act. I am literally free and doing me in every way, and there is ZERO pressure to impress and please nobody else but myself. Through 27 years of life, I’ve never felt this kind of freedom.

You’ll also see that you gain respect for yourself for not giving in to desires. It shows you have willpower, restraint, discipline, and focus. It’s a rewarding feeling when you discover such powerful traits completely on your own.

Battling The Urge Is Worth The Personal Reward

Sexual abstinence isn’t for everyone, and in no way was this article meant to judge singles who have sex regularly. As one who’s previously pursued and partook in that lifestyle for a couple of years, I can personally vouch for the thrill of it. It’s not just about the sex; it’s about the crazy night, the people, and the memories, ON TOP of the icing on the cake if one got lucky that night. So I completely get that world. In fact, talking about it still gets me excited. Honestly, I plan to keep this going for at least another year. I feel like there is so much more I can discover about myself without the distraction of chasing tail. For those looking to take that next step in self-growth and discovery, you may want to explore sexual abstinence. Man or woman, there’s no greater pleasure in the world than the pleasure being one 100% true and real to yourself. When you’re focused on that, the right people flock into your life. And who knows, when that starts happening, maybe your sex life will pick up again with the Right One?

As a Holistic Health Coach, my field of scope includes the relationships and making sure you’re getting what you need from them, including the relationship with yourself. For coaching services regarding relationship and self-discovery, please feel free to email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com or ask any questions you may have in the comments!

I do not the featured image.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

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3 Lower-Ab Workouts To Do From Home

Lower-Ab Workouts You Heard Of, But Have You Tried Them?

Most of us are well aware of how to get stronger, sleek-looking abs by now. We know that sculpting the core takes calculated effort and motions that you can only get from certain workouts. Unfortunately, that means machines and equipment you may only have access to in a gym. If you’re like me, once there’s been a long period of absence from the gym (about a week), it’s tough to get back in there full throttle. Sometimes it’s just easier to start from home with a couple of simple workouts first to at least get a little volume (and thus a little motivation) back. This is why I’ve slowly constructed home workouts, as I’ve fallen off the wagon to a point where I’ll be staying fit from home more often than not. Here, I’m going to discuss and show demonstrations of three home lower-ab workouts that will produce results without even setting foot in a gym.

Flutter Kicks

The flutter kicks exercise is one of my favorite lower-ab workouts to do at home for two reasons. The first reason is that you feel these bad boys when they’re done properly. The amount of energy it takes to lift the lower half of your body and move in a controlled, flutter-like motion for an extended period of time is enough to have you tap out for the day. Of course once they’re done regularly you start to get used to the burn, but believe me when I say you’ll always somewhat feel it. The second reason is that you can compound this with horizontal scissor kicks, which I will go more in detail in the next workout.

To properly perform this exercise, lie flat on the ground with your hands underneath your buttocks. Next, lift your legs about six inches above the ground. Lift your head so you can see the motion using only your neck and not your trunk. From this position, alternate kicking (or fluttering) your legs in a controlled up and downward motion. The cadence should go something along the lines of, “1, 2, 3, ONE! 1, 2, 3, TWO!” with the reps usually ranging from 10-15. Here is a YouTube video demonstration of a properly executed flutter kick:

Horizontal Scissor Kicks

The second lower-ab workout from home you’ll really feel, and thus see quick results from is the horizontal scissor kicks exercise. This one is similar to flutter kicks in that the starting positions are basically identical. The only difference is in the motion of the workout. With scissor kicks, you simultaneously kick your feet outward and back in with a controlled motion, whereas flutter kicks are upward kicks. As I mentioned earlier, this workout can be compounded with flutter kicks. Usually, after I’ve done about 10-12 reps of flutter kicks, I stop and hold my legs six inches above the ground for about five seconds, then I switch to scissor kicks. I try and do at least 5 reps with the exact same cadence as I use with flutter kicks, but of course, go for more when I feel I can do more.

To properly execute horizontal scissor kicks, begin in the same position as you would with flutter kicks. Next, spread out your legs simultaneously (1-count), then back in (2-count), then back out (3-count), then back closed (ONE!). Repeat this motion for about 9-14 more reps, or compound them with either flutter kicks or this next lower-ab workout…

Leg Raises

Another lower-ab workout that is so simple it’s almost mind-numbing, yet at the same time just as effective as the first two is the leg raise exercise. Like the other two, you begin lying down with your hands underneath your buttocks with your feet six inches above the ground. From here, you simultaneously lift your legs up, toes pointed, directly upward to the 12 o’clock position, then slowly lower your legs back down in a controlled motion. Unlike the other two lower-ab workouts, this one is a one-count cadence. For this reason, I like to compound it with both flutter kicks and scissor kicks. First I do my set of 10-12 reps of flutter kicks. Then I actually do a combination of the latter two workouts by doing one leg raise rep, then lowering my legs down to the six-inch position and spreading them out in the horizontal scissor kick motion. After I close my legs, that’s one full rep of the combo workout. I repeat this for about 5-8 reps.

This YouTube video demonstrates in detail the proper way to do leg raises:

These Lower-Ab Workouts Will Start Bringing Out The ‘V’ In No Time

No Gym needed for these three home workouts. All it takes is some dedication, focus, and a few minutes out of your 24 hour day to make these lower-ab workouts a regular part of your daily routine. When all you have to do is wake up, do your morning routine (I like to meditate for 10 minutes), knock out the exercises, then have your cup of coffee before work, there’s literally nothing to lose and everything to gain trying them!

For questions regarding my Integrative Health Coaching services please feel free to contact me at anthonyjrichard@gmail.com. Otherwise view more tips on lower-ab workouts from home as well as other fitness tips on my other blogs here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own any pictures or videos used in this blog.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

Strengthen Your Core Without Setting Foot In A Gym

No Gym Needed

Strengthening the core is a very popular thing to do, particularly during this time of the year. Everyone wants to have a solid six-pack when they hit the pools and beaches, or at least be a little firmer around the waist. While many aim to strengthen their cores for vanity (nothing wrong with that. . .guilty!), others target it for health and safety reasons. That’s right, it’s actually healthy to have a strong core. A powerful midsection leads to increased performance and strength in other areas of your body. It also protects the spine from injury assuming good form in everything you do is always practiced. For these reasons, this is why strengthing your core is so important and why I often stress it in many of my blog posts, such as this one I wrote a few months back. Of course, the list of home workouts below aren’t the only methods to get the best results, but here are a few that will definitely get the core cracking.

1) Planks

Image result for planks

This workout focuses on stabilizing your core for a long period of time. Planks are one of my favorite workouts for strengthening my core because it’s a clear mental challenge. It’s difficult to stay in a plank position for long periods of time not only because you’re feeling the burn in your core, but also because you’re basically stuck with focusing on the task at hand. This makes the countdown extremely grueling. A clear advantage of planks for strengthening your core is that you can literally do them anywhere. When I worked my office job I used to use my 15-minute breaks to go outside near my car and plank for about 45 seconds to a minute. Literally anywhere at anytime!

2) Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks are an excellent way to strengthen your core, particularly your lower abs and pelvic muscles. What many don’t realize is that our muscles are an intricate network. Not only do we hit our lower obliques when properly executing flutter kicks, but we also strengthen the muscles in our hips and upper thighs. Tightening these areas will give you that ‘V’ in the lower abdomen area, knocking out two birds with one stone (stronger core, partial beach bod)!

To properly execute this exercise, lay down flat on your back. Place your hands underneath your glutes to cushion your back bone from rolling around the ground. I’ve noticed that this is actually optional, as some find having their hands by their side rather than underneath them more comfortable. Make sure your head is slightly elevated, using your neck and not your trunk to lift your head. Next, lift your feet about six inches above the ground. Once in this position, begin alternating your legs up and down, limiting your motion to six inches with each up and down motion. Your count cadence should go something like, “1-2-3, ONE, 1-2-3, TWO,” as you do sets of about 10-12 reps. The video in this link demonstrates the proper technique for flutter kicks. What I like to do to add intensity to my core workout is hold my feet at the six-inch position after I’ve completed my reps, then spread and close them in a scissor motion. Of course, my abs are absolutely pulverized at this point in the workout, so I usually only make it to about five reps of those.

3) Perfect Push-ups

As lame as this one may sound, never underestimate the power of well-executed push-ups. When done the way they’re supposed to be done, this simple workout can tighten the abs in the way that planks do. Too many times you’ll see people incorrectly doing push-ups, focusing on quantity rather than quality. I experienced this firsthand in the military, as our goal in PT tests was to do as many push-ups as we could do in a minute and a half without doing the worm. If the focus is placed on your push-up count rather than form, you begin to compromise your straight plank form, leading to fewer core muscles used.

I’m not going to get into how to properly do a proper push-up as that would seem like quite an insult to anyone much less someone who already knows their way around a gym, but for demonstration purposes, here is a video of how a proper core-strengthening push-up is executed.

Don’t Stress, Strengthening Your Core At Home Is As Easy As A Few Push-Ups

It doesn’t always have to be all sit-ups and crunches to have a strong core. Now if you’re looking more for the Gerard Butler 300-style abs, sure some crunches may help along with a stringent diet and torturous hours on the treadmill. But if you’re just wanting a solid, powerful midsection mostly geared toward the purpose of health, safety, and gains in other areas of your body, the workouts mentioned above are excellent choices to start with at home.

If you have any questions regarding my Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching services, please feel free to email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. Otherwise look for more tips on strengthening your core and other fitness tips here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

 

I do not own any photos in this blog.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

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What Prayer Means To This Soul

What Prayer Means To This Soul

Prayer is an amazing thing. First thing’s first, I’m not a religious man. After a series of events in life, I decided that I will never pray for myself again. I felt that no matter what happened in life, no matter how much you prayed, it was going to happen anyway. All of the negativity, the violence, the injustice, personal life crap, no matter how much I prayed, I realized it was only going to continue to happen as if I didn’t pray at all.

When I first stopped praying for myself, I’ll admit, that it was out of selfishness and resentment; I was tired of being let down. As I started to internalize this, I realized how selfish I was being; who the hell am I to think the Creator is just going to stop working life and the universe just soothe my problems, my bitching and my complaints? My goodness, what a victim. This was when I began to realize that the Creator’s purpose is not to answer my prayers the way that I want him to and cater to me, but to keep the energy and the flow of life going. I can either contribute positive energy and flow into the world or wallow in pity and let the negative energy of the world consume me rather than BE the positive, the light, that I was praying for.
For this reason, I never pray for myself. I only pray for others.

Life is about energy, not personal needs.
Life is about energy, not personal needs.

At the times you need something, anything, during times of stress or despair, is when the Spirit seems to lift you. Someone sending prayers your way, no matter your spirituality, sends such good vibes and energy towards you; it reassures you that you aren’t alone and that other souls care. Even when you’ve given up, the Spirit speaks to you through the prayer of others.

No matter what my situation is, no matter how much danger I’m in, distress, or if I’m just being selfish and wanting something I don’t need, I never pray for it. Ever. If I want it, I’ll plan, envision, then get my ass out there and get it rather than praying for it, then point bitterness towards the wrong entities when I don’t get my way. That’s not how the Creator operates. If I’m in a stressful or dangerous situation, I know that others are always praying for me, so there’s no need to ask for it. FAITH I do believe that is called.

The more I internalized my prayer and made it about me, no matter if I needed it or not, the more selfish I realized that was. When that prayer is received from others, sent outwardly, it carries a different meaning. It’s your Spirit, no matter what you may believe, giving you what you need. When that prayer comes in abundance or at the most unexpected times, when you needed it most, it shows you that you are not alone in your struggles in life. I’m not a religious man, but prayer takes on a whole new meaning to me.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

Defining Physical Fitness: A Broader Explanation

So What Is Physical Fitness Exactly?

You can describe physical fitness in many ways. It doesn’t have to be intense, strenuous two-hour workouts, but the activity should raise your heart rate. Physical fitness is described as a state of overall healthy well-being, both physically and mentally. Although that’s the technical definition, it can be anything to each of us. We can make being physically fit unique to who we are and what we enjoy. For example, if you’ve never had the lungs to run but you enjoy a good lifting session, make that activity your physical activity of choice!

Physical Fitness That Fits Everything You

Many people get discouraged when working towards their exercise goals. One of the reasons for this is because they try a new workout that doesn’t fit their natural compatibility. For instance, your goal may be to lose 10 lbs in four weeks, so you look up popular and effective workout routines that will help you achieve this. As you delve more into the program, you realize that these workouts are brutal and relentless. On top of that, there are many workouts in the program you either are not good at or despise (like a lot of running). Now it’s gotten to a point where you dread those days in the gym, with these often being the days you skip.

This is why it’s so important to develop a physical fitness regimen that fits you to a tee! Like everything else in life, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re not going to have the will to continue to do it. What this translates to in the fitness world is find the workouts and activities you enjoy doing to increase your likelihood of following through with your goals.

Kinds Of Physical Fitness

Physical fitness includes such a broad variety of exercises and activities it’s really impossible to define what constitutes a bonafide physical activity. It can include any of the following types of activity:

  1. Light Physical Activity- This is where you’re doing enough to not be considered sedentary. Exercises often considered light physical fitness activity are brisk walking, yoga, and golf.
  2. Moderate Physical Activity- Exercises and activities considered moderate activities would ones that demand more oxygen through your blood as a result of an increase in either volume of work, intensity, or both. Think of jogging, jumping jacks, and bicycling as good examples of moderate physical activity.
  3. Heavy physical activity- Heavy activity involves an increase in work volume, intensity, and time spent on the activity. They’re normally considered strenuous workouts and are not advised if you’re either somewhat new to the active lifestyle or are re-acclimating yourself to it again. Workouts considered heavy physical activity include various forms of martial arts, physical sports like football, basketball, and wrestling, sprinting, and circuit training weight lifting.

Finding The Right Physical Fitness Routines For Y.O.U.

As stated in the beginning of the article, there really is no accurate way to pinpoint what constitutes as physical fitness. Think of it this way; if you’re not stationary and it gets your heart rate going quicker than in your sedentary state, you’re physically active. Sure, the pictures of summer bodies in blogs with their exact routine posted can be enticing, but if you’re not enjoying it, you’re not going to keep it up. I often liken it to the workforce; one of the primary reasons people quit good paying jobs is because they don’t enjoy it. When it’s all said and done, it’s really up to you how you define your own version of physical fitness. Just make sure it’s something you can see yourself doing regularly, like looking forward to doing. But most importantly, make sure it’s safe.

The photos used in this blog post do not belong to me.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

 

3 Proven Guidelines To Treating Alcoholism and Preventing Relapse

There are various explanations for why people avoid treating alcoholism and why preventing relapse is so difficult. If you’re one who consistently drinks for the sole purpose of getting drunk, you’ve got to stop kidding yourself and look further into your behavior. Yes, I know that’s curt, but it could offer a really good insight into yourself and possibly save your life. The good news is there are proven methods for treating alcoholism, and no one way is more efficient than another.

Alcoholism isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of issue and requires an individualistic approach. One person may be able to quit drinking cold turkey while another may take several months, or in some cases years, to quit. Several methods are available for producing acceptable results, however, and whichever method you decide on can have its pros and cons.

For that reason, it is a necessity to understand yourself and your current situation, assess what would be the best method for you to quit drinking, devise a plan and surround yourself with a good support system to stay sober.

Here then, is a brief list of three solid guidelines to  treating alcoholism:

#1: Admit You’re An Alcoholic

As cliche as this sounds,  the first step to treating alcoholism is admitting you’re an alcoholic. No matter what way you try and spin it, if you’re drinking at an event or in a situation where it isn’t warranted, evaluate yourself. Ownership is one of the most important concepts of life. On thing’s for certain: it sure goes a long way with issues like alcoholism.

#2: Find the Method of Quitting That Works Best for You

You may have done some research on treating alcoholism already and come across “sure-fire” methods to quitting. Sure, these methods may have worked for some, but understand the concept of bio-individuality: what works for one person may not work for another.

Do extensive research on the different approaches to quitting. Be sure to make a decision based on what you feel your chances of success will be and not what is trending.

#3: Seek a Close Support System

I’m sure you’d like to think your close friend and family will understand your decision to quit drinking. Of course, by now you probably realize that’s not always the case. Friends may be the greatest company in the world in a social setting. They’re great “party friends,” but they’re not ones that will help you grow.

It doesn’t mean stop hanging out with everyone who drinks, but it does mean practice awareness. Be aware of who encourages the behavior. A major factor in preventing relapse is the support system around you. If your old circle continues to pressure you, remove temptation by limiting your activities with them.

You’re As Strong As Those You Surround Yourself With

The most important point to take from this guideline, however,  is to seek people who are going through the same thing you are. As mentioned earlier, a good support system is critical in treating alcoholism. It’s also important for preventing relapse.

Make an effort to seek out others going through what you’re going through. Develop connections. Nothing is more therapeutic and encouraging than those who understand what you’re going through. It has been proven time and again that people who surround themselves with other like-minded people are far likelier to achieve their goals.

Nothing is more therapeutic and encouraging than those who understand what you’re going through. It has been proven time and again that people who surround themselves with other like-minded people are far likelier to achieve their goals.

This is, of course, no means a comprehensive list. However, many who have or are currently treating alcoholism will vouch that these methods are simple, yet critical to success. All of them work in conjunction with one another.

With this in mind, it’s  important to understand that your goal to quit and your personal growth will be halted if one or all 3 of these guidelines aren’t met. It’s up to you to decide how serious you are about giving yourself assistance. You are your biggest obstacle in treating alcoholism. It’s up to you to take ownership of your situation and get out of your own way!

Find out how you can treat alcoholism and other issues that may be hindering your personal growth by coming here to my Holistic Health blog site at anthonyjrichard.com. http://anthonyjrichard.com”>HolisticHealth  blog site at http://anthonyjrichard.com”>anthonyjrichard.com;.

I do not own the photos used in this article.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthony J. Richard, All Rights Reserved

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Anthony J. Richard: A Little Bit About Myself

Hello and thank you for checking out my Lifestyle, Recreation, and Product blog site!

I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to check out what I have to share, so let me introduce a little bit about myself and my background.

Live. Love. Laugh. Learn. Leisure. That’s the motto I live by.

I was born in Del Rio, Texas, grew up as a military brat to an Army mother, and was mostly raised in the beautiful state of Arizona. I joined the military myself fresh out of high school at age 18, only choosing the Air Force over the Army. I served four years Active Duty and three years in the California National Guard. Once I got out of Active Duty in 2012, I went to school for Nutrition at Pasadena City College. I continued my pursuit of a degree in Nutrition at Arizona State University until a previous co-worker from the Air Force introduced me to a holistic health program called the Institute For Integrative Nutrition.

While taking this course, I rediscovered my passion for writing and expressing myself. Though the IIN program makes me a Certified Health Coach (woohoo!!), my heart lies in writing and blogging about everything related to Holistic Health, Fitness, Traveling, and Writing. My passion for travel was also rediscovered through this amazing program. With the health and business knowledge attained from IIN combined with my previous knowledge from my courses at PCC and ASU, I plan to share my knowledge and experiences as well as meet new people and potential business partners and clients. I also enjoy expanding my knowledge in the SEO Web Content Writing field, having successfully published over 50 articles, 15 of them for paying clients (exciting stuff!).

Through my life experiences, I’ve been blessed to experience and try out many products, tools, and tips to help me get the absolute best out of living. I’ve combined the appreciation of these things along with my passion for writing to share some of them. As an Amazon Associate, I also write articles specifically geared to the attention of these items, sharing pros, cons, and how they’ve helped me throughout my travel, fitness, health, and overall lifeystle/recreational experience.

I would like to once again thank you for visiting my lifestyle blog site! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at my email at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com.

Welcome to the Anthonyjrichard Universe!

Anthony J. Richard

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