Fitness isn't just about what you do - it's how you think. Here's some gym-spiration to supercharge your workout.

Why I’m A Gay Man Who Doesn’t Drink Alcohol.

bartender_161951Being gay and drinking alcohol go together like Mary Kate and Ashley. Or so most people think.

I’m a gay man and I’ve never had a drink. When I was a young boy, my father gave me a sip of his beer. But that’s it.

And when I share this information, other gay people are usually dumbfounded. And that’s because so much of gay culture – from brunch (which everyone knows is the gayest meal of the week) to pride and parties – centers around the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol has become a backbone of our community. In fact, the modern gay rights movement even started in a bar!

Of course, straight people drink, too. But gays out-drink our straight counterparts by some 16%.

And I get it. It’s easy to see how growing up in a homophobic or traumatic environment could increase the likelihood that someone might seek to reduce their stress through alcohol consumption or even alcohol abuse. The dots are easy to connect. But instead of being an opportunity for introspection and self growth, the conversation around alcohol consumption is often reserved for punchlines and jokes.

When I was around 14, my grandfather made me promise him that I wouldn’t drink. It had nothing to do with me being gay. Instead, it was because his father was alcoholic – and my grandfather didn’t want me to follow in his footsteps. Considering that genes are responsible for about half the risk of alcoholism, I understand my grandfather’s motivation. And for me, the decision not to drink was a simple as keeping a promise to someone that I love.

Many sober prides and festivities later, I’ve kept my promise. And though it was never my intent, I’ve stumbled into enjoying the benefits of sobriety. With the average American spending 1% of their income on alcohol, my wallet has benefited.  With alcohol hindering muscle growth and function, my body has benefited. And with excessive alcohol consumption leading to a whole slew of problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, colon cancer and many more, my health has benefited.

I know the benefits of sobriety because I live them. But from the outside looking in, I can see how the occasional drink during dinner might be nice. But I also can’t help but wonder if alcohol is really deserving of the throne we’ve placed it on? What has it really done for us as a community or as individuals? And are those benefits really worth the price we have paid (and continue to pay) for making it so central to our culture?

I don’t have those answers. But maybe you do. In the comments below, let me know.



How To Look Good Naked.

if-real-men-modelled-underwear_5The other day, I was walking down the street and saw a gym advertisement proclaiming: “Look good naked.”

As someone who has a line of fitness programs, I spend a lot of time thinking about messaging – and how I want to market my programs. I’ve made the personal decision not to pedal my programs based on fears or insecurities. Even my “six pack program” is positioned on the benefits of a strong core rather than aesthetics. All of us have enough insecurities; I don’t need to market my products in a way that feeds them.

Perhaps for these reasons, the concept of looking good naked stuck with me. What does looking good naked even mean?

I look good naked. And it’s not because my body is shaped a certain way, because I have a narrow waist or large pecs. I look good naked because we all do.

In a world that tells us otherwise, remember that each of us has the power to define what looking good or being beautiful really means. Discovering your own definition of beauty means taking cues not from the society around us but the heart within you. Looking good naked isn’t about a flat belly or a tight ass. It’s about recognizing your own value and honoring all that you bring to the table. And, as it turns out, you bring a lot to the table. We all do.

You don’t need a gym membership to look good naked. You don’t need to be a certain size or to lose weight. You are beautiful because it’s your birthright. And if you could – even for a moment – see yourself the way the universe, God, or your soul (or whatever label you use) sees you, you’d absolutely agree.

You look good naked.

Gay Men & Aging: A Different Approach!

HIV-and-aging-717445-300x155On my 26th birthday, people around me started reminding me that I’m in my late 20s. Apparently, this is a bad thing. Because then you’re 30, and then 40 and then 50 and so on. It’s basically, “Happy 26th Birthday. You’re dead.”

I know that a lot of us (and gay men, in particular) fear getting old. In a society and culture that worships youth and wrinkle-free skin, the inevitable effects of aging can challenge us and make us feel less desirable. Sometimes even invisible.

But I think we have it all wrong. Growing old isn’t a disease to be fought. It’s not a plague or a poison.

On the contrary, growing old is a gift. And it’s a gift that too many people in our community haven’t been able to experience. I think back to the AIDS epidemic of the 80s and 90s, and how many gay men lost their battles so early in life. I think about the fact that gay, lesbian and bisexual youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide and that nearly 50% of transgender people have seriously complemented suicide.

In this way, growing old is something to honor and celebrate. Sure, we might get grey hairs and saggy tits, but we’re here goddamn it.

Of course, this isn’t an excuse to stop taking care of ourselves. On the contrary, staying healthy and active helps keep these bodies in working condition. As we age, let’s do so with energy, good health and minimized risk for chronic disease and ailments. Let’s make sure we get the most out of our years.

Anyway, here’s to becoming a bunch of old farts.

What’s Your Fitness IQ?

I was reading a recent poll that suggested most Americans are vastly ignorant about health and fitness. The truth is, it really comes as no surprise as marketers are often louder than science. But how does your fitness IQ measure up? Do you have more fitness smarts than the average American?

  1. Questionpietro-boselli-sexy-teacher: About how many calories are in one pound of fat?
    a.) 1,500
    b.) 2,500
    c.) 3,500

    Answer: Though estimates range from 2,800 to 3,800, you’ll commonly that one pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories.

  2. Question: Eggs are a good source of
    a.) vitamin c
    b.) protein
    c.) fiber

    Answer: Eggs contain no fiber and no vitamin c, but do contain about 6 grams of protein each. Depending on your protein needs, that’s probably about 12% of your daily requirement.

  3. What makes you overweight?
    a.) Eating too many calories
    b.) Not exercising

    Answer: Both or either. Weight gain occurs when we consume more calories than we burn, so increasing calorie consumption and/or decreasing calorie expenditure can results in a calorie surplus.

  4. Question: How many grams of sugar are in one teaspoon?
    a.) 4
    b.) 8
    c.) 12

    Answer: Disgusting as it is, one teaspoon of sugar is equivalent to 4 grams. Since a tablespoon of ketchup has 4 grams of sugar, we know that ketchup is approximately 33% sugar. Gross.

  5. Question: What is the daily salt recommendation?
    a.) one teaspoon
    b.) two teaspoons
    c.) three teaspoons

    Answer: Most organizations recommend that we limit daily sodium intake to 1500 – 2300 mg. But those numbers are abstract and hard for most people to understand. These recommendations translate to about a single teaspoon of salt. Considering the processed foods that most people eat, a teaspoon of salt doesn’t go far.

  6. Question: Which food has the most calories?
    a.) One medium baked potato with a teaspoon of butter
    b.) One 16-ounce cup of soda
    c.) 32 pieces of candy corn
    d.) Four ounces of roasted skinless chicken breast

    Answer: With 207 calories, the answer is candy corn.

  7. Question: What is the primary fuel for sport or workout activity?
    a.) Dietary carbohydrates
    b.) Dietary fats
    c.) Protein supplementation
    d.) Dietary vitamins and minerals

    Answer: Your workouts and sports activities are powered by carbohydrates. If you go on a low carb diet, expect to get less bang for your workout buck; you’ll sell your gym results short because you’ll like the energy needed to push yourself. Your body needs carbohydrates. But instead of consuming simple carbohydrates, opt for complex carbs.

So… how did you score? If you answered any of these questions correctly, you know more than the average American. And I’m not making that up… 75% of Americans didn’t know how many calories were in a pound of fat and 65% didn’t know that eggs are a good source of protein. Let me know your score in the comments below.

P.S. And if you’re interested in taking your workout to the next level, download Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout for an exercise and nutrition plan that’s designed to give you real results.

Gay Pride For Your Body!

gaypridebodyJust last week, I had the pleasure of attending Vancouver Pride for a video about drag queens that I’m filming. Next week, I’m off to Montreal Pride where I’ll be interviewing members of the bear community. As such, it only seems fitting to talk about pride.

As someone who has created more than a few LGBT pride-themed videos, I’m always surprised by the number of comments asking for straight pride. “If gay people have pride,” they often write, “then straight people should have a pride, too. After all, equal is equal.” And therein is where these (hopefully) well-intentioned individuals miss the point.

Of course, straight people don’t need pride. When children get bullied for being straight, then we can have a straight pride. When family members get disowned for their straightness, then we can have a straight pride. When people kill themselves for being straight, I will be the first to march in a straight pride parade. Until then, shut up and sit down. Because, as it turns out, every day is straight pride.

In a nutshell, it’s worth honoring and celebrating the victories and histories of marginalized groups like the LGBT community.

And in extending that circle outward (but also inward), our bodies are deserving of celebration, too. Though in a very different way and capacity, our bodies are also often the recipients of shaming, repression and mistreatment. Many of us have wrestled with body image issues and eating disorders; for some the struggle continues. But whether it’s our own personal journey or, in the larger sense, the arc of society in overcoming stigma or stereotyping, every step is worth celebrating.

Our bodies and our sexual orientation are two different things. The history and struggle is different. But regardless of the form it takes, pride is a powerful thing. Celebrating the journey makes the challenges softer and the victories stronger. It creates community. It builds us up. And it pushes us forward, even when the road ahead isn’t easy.

There might not be a pride parade for your body (though maybe there ought to be one). There aren’t flags to wave or parties to attend. But there is a history to honor and victories to celebrate. So in the spirit of pride, happy body pride.