Lifestyles/ Travel

Win a Free Travel Mug by Submitting a Post!

Since I began this site in early April the response has been amazing. We recently celebrated our 20,000th page view, registered 11,561 unique new viewers and have well over 100 direct subscribers!

It is time to turn it up a notch. We want more of YOUR stories, and are willing to bribe you:)

Beginning now thru September 9th, submit a POST and we will send you a Second Starters® travel coffee mug!

To submit a POST, simply choose a topic that is fitting to the categories we feature and send your completed POST to I will email you back with any edits and/ or suggestions, or simply post your story under your username in the appropriate category.  Be sure to include your mailing address and the username you would like to be set up under in our system in your email!

Soon after you will receive a branded Second Starters® travel coffee mug in the mail in addition to your unique username/ password for future submissions!

These travel mugs are a $15 value, and are in limited supply – so if you would like one please send your story soon! We will post notification on the site when all the mugs are gone.

Thank you, and I am excited to hear your stories!


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Is Your Belly Fat Killing You?

The answer, according to recent conclusive research is YES – if it is visceral fat.

Where your body stores fat indeed matters, and those who store visceral fat around their waistlines are faced with greater risk of the following; heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colon cancer, rectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, endometrial cancer and postmenopausal cancer. As if these weren’t enough, visceral fat is also linked to poor brain health. Smokers beware – studies show that smoking enhances the body’s likelihood to store fat on your waistlines to an even greater extent than non-smokers.

Now the bad news followed by the good. 50% of men and 70% of women between ages 50 and 79 have waists that fit the definition of “abdominal obesity”, which will certainly include visceral fat. That is of course the bad news. The good news – visceral fat is the first fat you are likely to lose once you begin an exercise/ diet lifestyle change.

A common misconception to clear up on exercise – especially ab-related ones such as crunches – they do not reduce belly fat. They simply build muscle under the fat. A low carb diet, or any other diet emphasizing fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains and reducing sugars and junk foods will do along with a regular exercise regimen. Whatever diet and exercise program you can follow as a life-style change is the one you should adopt.

What is visceral fat? What it’s not is the fat that you can pinch around your waistline. That is called sub-cutaneous fat. This kind of fat isn’t nearly as dangerous. When you see it around your thighs, arms and legs you may not be happy, but the good news is it is unlikely to cause your […]

By |July 24th, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|0 Comments

Age is NOT Something That Matters, Unless You Are Cheese

The man was handcuffed, shackled and thrown into California’s Long Beach Harbor. He was next attached to a floating cable, which in turn was attached to 70 boats – each carrying one person.

Battling strong winds, and even stronger currents, the man then swam towing all 70 boats behind him at a speed of 1.5 miles per hour.

The man was Jack LaLanne, and this was his way of celebrating his 70th birthday.

Many of us, just over half his age, could not (or would not) pull even one boat in such a manner. That needs to change.

We are genetically wired to think on the move. Homo Sapiens did not sit in cubicles postulating where their next meal would come from. They were on the move – as many as 12 to 25 miles per day. In our modern agricultural society, being on the move equates to keeping a strong and regular exercise regimen.

If you want to improve your cognitive skills you have but one choice – start moving. Exercise is genetically connected to improved brain function. This is unequivocally proven.

You are never, ever too old to start. And today is a great day to begin.

By |July 16th, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|0 Comments

Trying to Lose Weight? Simple – Cut Carbs

As we progress thru our 40’s and 50’s our bodies change. Sarcopenia, the gradual loss of muscle mass and strength, begins at 40 and accelerates without exercise intervention. Sarcopenia most affects the Fast Twitch muscles, therefore high intensity aerobic/ anaerobic exercise does well to combat its effects. This makes Tapout XT a smart choice for the over 40 crowd.

I have always maintained a strong resistive training regimen knowing the above. What I wasn’t prepared for however was the significant decline in metabolism that I encountered – almost on cue when I turned 50. Throughout my 40’s I was blessed with the ability to virtually shed weight at will. Regardless of how poor my diet was, two weeks of eating according to an eating plan (Adkins, Weight Watchers, etc) and I was back to lean fighting weight. I was more than surprised when I lost this ability shortly after turning 50. I tried several different approaches, but remained 12 – 15 pounds above my ideal weight.

I was lamenting this at lunch with my dear friends SN and LK, when LK explained her secret to maintaining her weight over the years. It was a simple approach with a name that I had never heard. Ketosis – a state where your body ceases burning carbs for energy and begins to burn fat, and weight loss occurs. A simple approach that worked wonders – cut carbs out of my diet and burn fat.  Easy to remember, easy to do on business trips and most important – it works almost immediately. Be prepared for a dip in energy levels the first few days. The good news is that the days to follow find you more energetic, and yes – slimmer.

There […]

By |July 2nd, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel, Tapout XT/ Xtreme Exercise|6 Comments

How to Re-Create Yourself – Pt. 1

Turning 50 brought with it many self-realizations. The biggest of them was that I have just a few less years in life than I did during my 40’s. As I approached 50 I decided that it was time to do the things I’d wanted to, and become the person I wanted to be.

In the past 9 months I have; ended an 18 year relationship with pain medications, maintained an exercise 5+ days per week regimen, lost 10.2 pounds, paid down more than 1/2 of my total debt, secured two Trademarks and (of course) launched this website. To my surprise, each and every accomplishment came easily and naturally. Here’s the secret sauce of self re-creation;

1) Know what you want to keep, change and improve. Create a list of the following;

– The Best – There are things about you that make you unique and special. What are the things that positively define you, what are the things about you that you cherish and never want to change?

– The Bad – What would you like to correct? What things make you feel lesser about yourself? If they are within your control to change, list them here.

– The Good – What are the traits you see developing in yourself that you would like to nurture? What about you is beginning to blossom, and with more care and attention could flower?

Make your list, and look at it every morning and before bed every night.

2) Think about yourself holistically – Just as our work life intertwines with our personal life, our mind, body and spirit all weave together to create the “us” that the world sees. The mind, body and spirit define who and what we are, and each must be nurtured and […]

By |June 22nd, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel, Starters® Stories|0 Comments

When Pain Leads to Addiction – Part I – The Three Danger Signs

Just because a doctor prescribes it, it doesn’t make the drug a healthy thing for you to take. I saw this first hand when a seizure drug was prescribed to a family member that left them couch-ridden for years, unable to do much more than sleep. One month off the drug, their life came back to them – they were vibrant, active and no longer couch bound. With another, they laid in a hospital bed making motions that one would make while deep-sea fishing and reeling in the ‘big one’. When taken off the drug the hallucinations immediately ceased.

I saw this in my own life, when last September I ended my eighteen year relationship with pain medications.

I was operating a table saw when the accident happened. Carelessly I would add. I remember the rest in flashes – the first flash of the sound the saw made at the moment of impact, the next of holding my mauled hand under water and the last flash of the life-flight to San Diego.

After 18 hours of micro-surgery and several blood transfusions I awakened in a hospital bed, where I would stay for the next week. They saved one of the two fingers I had amputated. I lost the other. This began my relationship with pain medications.

Calling them pain ‘medications’ is a benign way of referring to them. Let’s call them what they are – narcotics.

From the day of my accident until 9/1/11 I needed narcotics to get through the day. By 9/15/11 I realized that most of the need I felt was psychological. On 9/1 I locked myself away with a stack of X-Box games and a refrigerator full of food – in full expectation of experiencing the […]

By |June 8th, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel|0 Comments

Happy Bleeping Monday

I am not a fan of Mondays. In fact, I do everything I can to avoid them – including staying up late Sunday night in denial that the weekend is ending and starting as late as possible Monday morning. If you call me too early I am other grumpy or a space cadet. Researchers now think they know why.

According to studies, it s now believed that Monday blahs are caused by weekend indulgences. Not the ones you may think either. According to recent findings, sleeping in on weekends is disruptive to your circadian rhythm. Sleep in just enough on Saturday and Sunday morning, and you apparently throw your body-clock into adjustment mode. When Monday morning arrives, what you mistakenly consider to be the Monday blahs is actually fatigue caused by the disruption.

I haven’t decided whether I am willing to sacrifice my weekend slumber in order to have more productive Mondays. While I tele-commute, those of you who report to an office on Monday morning may consider getting up just a little earlier on the weekends. Here’s why – apparently researchers have also stated that on any given Monday, employees in office settings; smile for the first time after 11:15 am, report to work late more than 50% of the time, and average 3 1/2 hours of actual productive work.

Maybe The Boomtown Rats were late weekend sleepers too?

By |April 10th, 2012|Blog, Lifestyles/ Travel|2 Comments