Let’s Talk About Summer Sleep Issues

Today Michael V. Moore aka MicVinny talks about his current issue with falling asleep during the summer time.

Do you have the suffer from the same problem?

How are you handling it?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Why America Needs To Be United Instead of Divided

Hello my name is Michael V. Moore, and I won’t be talking about fitness today.

I’m an American who happens to be Black. I support the Black Lives Matter movement AND I support honest hard-working police officers that make our communities safer.

Does supporting Black Lives Matter mean that I’m a 6’ 3” black terrorist who’s plotting to take over the United States government?

Does supporting cops mean that I think the cops that took the lives of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, & Freddie Gray were just doing their job and deserve no jail time because they have a hard job?

Why do you feel that you have to be on one side or the other?

Due to what’s been going on these past weeks and years in America, I wanted to take the time to talk about what’s been in my mind.

I feel like I’m watching America’s dark ugly history of hatred repeat itself. It sickens me to my core. I know I’m all about traveling fitness, but I feel it would be irresponsible if I didn’t talk about these massive issues in our country.

One of the main reasons for the issues is that people are afraid of addressing it. Several folks, who read the second sentence, got put off as soon as I put the word “Black” in it. It terrifies folks when that world pops up in sentences.

It signifies even more emotions when the phrase Black Lives Matter comes into play. One of the instant responses to the slogan has been “All Lives Matter”. Automatically people who are afraid of having a constructive dialogue found a way to contradict that message.

I think any decent human being understands that All Lives Matter! I don’t think my life is no more privileged then the next. I think in this world no life deserves to be treated unfairly and unjustly. I’m VERY aware of the Syrian Civil War crisis going on.

Syrian Refugees in Greece

How come I don’t hear that slogan for those refugees? Aren’t they a part of the “ALL” part?

I could go on and on the Syrian topic (ESPECIALLY people’s ignorance on Muslims) but my point in this post is to allow you to see that there are more than just two choices.

There are some messed up things going on in this world and country. If you don’t fully understand the frustrations, than maybe it’s time you looked through the viewpoint of someone else’s eyes. Let me stroll you through my American experience as a black man who grew up in the suburbs.

Black or White and Something In-Between

I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but raised in Northern Virginia. In Cincinnati, most of my family lived in predominately black neighborhoods. My cousins who were like brothers to me went to 97% black schools.

Meanwhile in Virginia, I lived in a predominately white neighborhood, with a mixture of minorities. As a child, I had no idea just how diverse the minority population was. It turns out that I had good friends that were Filipino, Korean, Chinese, Turkish, Pakistani, Mexican, Ecuadorean, African (actual from Africa), etc. My innocent eyes never saw color or race as a youngster so I played with everyone.

As the years went on, it became interesting to go visit my cousins in Cincinnati. I started realizing that when they came to Virginia they sometimes were shell shocked because they were not use to seeing black folks as the minority. Additionally, they said my brother and I talked funny when compared to the other Cincinnati kids. Jokingly, our Cincinnati friends and family would say we sounded “white” because we talked very properly.

When at school in Virginia, it became obvious to me over time that I was different. Normally, white students made up 80% of my classes while minority students made up 20%.Group of happy multiracial school children reading books. Isolated on white background.

If you’ve never been the in the minority at school, you’re probably not aware that you than become a minority within the minority. You would be lucky if you would find two other students with the same racial background as you.

I started feeling disconnected. I made friends with anyone but a lot of the times; my classmates truly didn’t get my struggles. They did not know how the world treated me on a daily basis.

They didn’t understand when I heard something that just didn’t feel right. It became hard to relate to a lot of the white majority classmates issues because I didn’t think they were as significant as the issues I experienced everyday. Nobody really cared about my issues, but I always helped out with their concerns.

Growing up as the minority made it hard to go to Cincinnati and identify with blacks that were use to being the majority. I could not relate to a lot of the issues that my cousins and their black friends were having.

I had a serious identity crisis. I couldn’t fully identify with most of my white classmates in my advanced classes; AND I was not black enough for my black friends & family living in the hood. I became stuck in this no man’s land.

College & Working Years

In 1999, I decided to go to Temple University. Temple was a school in which every race got a good representation. Most outsiders at the time assumed Temple was a historically black college due to the large number of black students you saw on campus. The reality at that time was black students made up 35-40% of the campus. That statistic made me feel good to be at such a diverse campus.

As an electrical engineer undergraduate, I saw the number of minority faces start to dwindle as the years moved on. It’s the nature of pursuing math and science degrees. White males overwhelmingly dominate engineering professions in America.

After graduating, my 9 to 5 hours became just like my childhood school hours. I was always one of a few black males at my company. Socially, it didn’t bother me because I was use to it as a child.

In my life, all I have ever cared about was what was true in your heart. All I ever asked is that you treat others like you want to be treated. No matter what racial background you have, treat others with respect and you were (and are) good with me!

My Daily Reality

I‘ve experienced my fair share of prejudices and racism in the work place. It’s sad because a lot of my work colleagues were in complete denial that it exists. I can see why it’s hard for my white colleagues to not see it when it happens. If you had not grown up being the minority, you don’t know the signs of it because you didn’t have to live it on a daily basis.

Outside of the work place I’ve seen people try to lump me into the negative stereotypical black man. I lost count the hundreds of times car doors locked as soon as I walked by.  The clutches of purses as I walk by.

The uneasy feeling of me walking in a mall, parking lot or public area whenever there’s a white woman in front of me. Me always going out of my way to make sure I pass her so she doesn’t feel threatened by the black guy behind her. The times I’ve been pulled over by cops seeking to find just something  I could be arrested for.

But I don’t want to keep talking about me, because as a black man living in America, I know it happens.   I’m not here to convince my personal case. I want to focus on the larger issues.

Stop Ignoring The Problem

Tamir Rice
Do You Even Know My Name and Why I Was Shot?

Not seeing and just ignoring systematic police racial profiling is what really hits me hard. It’s sad that there had to be video proof of Philando Castille being murdered for a black woman’s story to be believed. The fact that an American told you what happened was not good enough.

This US citizen had to create a live Facebook stream of her beloved dying to actually get the public to believe.

That hurts.

Really really badly.

If you’re a human with feelings and that didn’t sadden you, I don’t understand why not?

When Paris was under attack by a terrorist act, I saw Americans use their Facebook page with France flag color signs to signify their unity.

When I’ve been seeing these unnecessary black American deaths on the news, I don’t see the same unity. I feel that it’s treated as if it’s a TV advertisement for bird food. A person without a bird ignores the commercial because it’s not something they need in their life. Majority of folks don’t have birds so that commercial will be ignored over and over again.

This is a SERIOUS American problem that can’t be ignored anymore!

When Dallas cops were protecting Americans freedom to peacefully protest, did they deserve to be gunned down by ONE lunatic?

It really angered me when the media was feeding lies that the lunatic was a member of Black Lives Matter. Instead of getting actually facts, it was pinned on a peaceful movement.

That’s why you have to really do your research!

Knowing the facts would make you aware of the reality of these issues. If you don’t live in it, you must do your research.

You can’t let the news dedicate your world! You can’t let Fox News tell you how to feel. You can’t just watch CNN to tell you how to feel.

You can’t just go with whatever a Republican says because you’re a Republican.

You can’t agree with everything a Democrat says just because you’re a Democrat.

I hate that it’s an either/or society!

You don’t have to be Team Edward or Team Jacob.

Jacob and Edward from Twilight
An Autobot or Decepticon.

Megatron and Optimus Prime aka Decepticon and Autobot

This is the real world. If you’re an American you’re fortunate enough to have options. You can actually think for yourself! I really wish people would actually talk to one another.

If I didn’t share my background with you, would you assume I hate all white people just because Black Lives Matter?

Who forced that false impression into your mind?

Would you believe me if I told I’ve been pulled over 10 times due to driving while black?

Would you believe me even though I don’t have a video of each instance?

Does that mean I’m against cops?

Stop making everything in the world based on two decisions. Don’t be scared to self-educate and get to the truth. That’s the only way problems are going to be solved if we start acknowledging the problem to begin with.

I just pray by the time this article is released not another senseless act of violence takes place.

Let’s Unite and Not Divide!Richmond California Police Chief Chris Magnus

Who’s Winning Your Dark Internal Battles?

In today’s post, I want to help you overcome that nagging voice inside your head. You know the one……….

NOOOOO!

NO you don’t….

Get out of here

It’s my TURN!!!…

I won’t let you

Ahhhh!

This is so much better!

There’s been a change in plans people! I’m here to interrupt your normally blah blah positive MicVinny blog to tell you the truth.

You see..I’ve been watching Mike closely every day since 2016 kicked off. I know all his dirty secrets.

He’s not as wise as you think he is. He’s just a little weak man that thinks he can get rid of people like myself!

Every month he has several ups and downs. And when that boy is down, that’s when I come in to steal his positivity!

You see I’m the beast Mike’s been trying to run from for all his life. You can say I’m his out of shape alternate ego.

I’m like Gollum to Mike’s Smeagol.

Call me Bubba The Beast.

Our Early Life Together

chubby kid reaching for potato chips

You see I first arrived in Mike’s life back in the eighties.

Back then Mike was nothing but a lazy coach potato and life was good. It was easy to gain access to sugary treats, processed nuggets and other fried snack foods! It brings tears to my eyes when thinking about those glory years.

I made sure we stayed our butts glued to the couch. There were no long bike rides in the park or daily interactions with the other neighborhood kids. The lazier we were, the more power I had in Mike’s life.

I was Mike’s best friend. All the kid needed was me plus a supersize bag of chips and a TV. What a perfect partnership. From elementary through middle school, we were BFFs.

Teenage Years

Once high school stated, Mike tried to join the high school’s football team. Did that coach potato think he could actually be athletic?

How dare he!

I ended up having the last laugh. Mike got a dose of reality two weeks into practice. My years of sabotaging his body paid off because he injured both his knees. I put that idiot in so much pain that he never attempted another team sport while in high school.

Life got even better once that magically new invention called “the Internet” made it’s way into our house in the form of AOL. That led to late night video game and online chat room sessions. Mike had no need to venture out of the house! All his needs were meet. If only I could take care of that annoying thing called school, then I would have had all the power!

Enter College Years

Different World cast

Eventually Mike decided to be all smart and go to college. I didn’t know how to handle it. He was going to be exposed to stuff outside of his comfort zone, which meant he was going to go away from me.

In less than one semester he started to abandon his dependence on me. He started watching less TV and actually socialized.

Blasphemy!

Every now and then I got him to binge on some good old-fashioned sweets but it seemed he discovered this awful place called ”the gym”.

He flirted with the gym in his late high school years, but something lit a spark in him. I’m not sure if it was his track star roommate, or his sport loving college friends.

SOMETHING made Mike want to start working out more often.

That’s when I realized my life was in jeopardy!

You Can’t Abandon Me!

19 years together and he wanted to change the game! I was always there for him and now he was abandoning me. All those years of feeling overweight, who was there for him?

Me that’s who! I was always there to help him get over it by making sure he knew about the latest flavor of Doritos.

It was ME who was there when he was heart broken and told him to put that cheese on those fries!

We could have been living the dream while living in Philadelphia for college. Every corner had a sandwich shop. How dare we not binge on cheesesteaks, buffalo wings and pretzels every day!

Philly cheesesteak

To stay in greater shape this guy walked everywhere in that city. His two feet helped him burn tons of calories outside of the gym. He even got a job lifting heavy boxes so he could burn extra calories.

What the…Who was this guy??!!

I remember seeing his 185-pound 6’ 3” frame in the mirror and being disgusted. This wasn’t part of the plan. Mike was changing the pain by being so thin and in shape. That’s when I packed my bags, and walked out of his life.

Guess Who’s Back!

Sometime in 2008, Mike got a new job. That job required him to travel often. What Mike didn’t realize was that I was secretly getting him back under my control.

You see the genius thought he knew everything there was about getting into shape. He had been reading the best fitness articles for almost a full decade. He thought he would know how to handle his new environment.

I remember during the first weeks of his new job, he was talking nutrition to some colleagues. They gave him a look like “what do you know?”

He was flabbergasted.

It wasn’t until that night that he did a double take in the mirror. That’s when our eyes made contact again!

That’s when I was back baby!

Those years of hiding were over. I was able to get him from that 185-pound frame back into a 250 lb. behemoth.

HAHAHAHAHAHaahaha

I finally figured out what to do. All I had to do was make Mike think he was becoming muscular.

What an idiot! He didn’t notice the love handles I had strategically placed.

 

Oh it felt good to be back!

I wasn’t going anywhere this time. For years he kept talking all this healthy eating mumbo jumbo. With all that talk, here I was back and bigger than ever.

Release The Beast

But like in the early 2000’s, Mike decided to try to get rid of me again. It took some years, but that goodie two shoes put me back in the closet by the time he got married.

Michael V. Moore walking down the aisle on his wedding day
September 2010

That smug son of a gun even wrote a book about me called Release The Beast: Conquer Mental, Physical & Diet Challenges To Unleash The Champion Inside.

He was so confident with that book that he decided to spend seven weeks to lose 15 pounds during the holiday season.  He thought the fatloss journey was going to be a breeze.

LOL, I guess I showed him.

In case you didn’t know, it did not take seven weeks. It took him 27 weeks!

LOL, what a loser!  I made his life miserable!

I showed the boy during those weeks that I was not done with him just yet!

As a matter of fact, now that the summer is here, I think it’s a perfect time to interrupt his perfect plans again.

He has a long-term plan of transforming his body over the next couple of years. My goal is to make that as hard as possible. I can guarantee you that I will force DOZENS of setbacks!

He won’t have an easy time. I will challenge him every step of the way!

The Battle Within

I’ve been around his entire life! There’s no way I’m magically disappearing! Every ounce of muscle gained and centimeter of fat gone may have been a lost battle for me…but I’m here for the war!

You think Mike’s ready for the war?

How’s your own war going along?

Your little 10-day diet plans crack me up. You think you’re just going to get rid of people like me that fast?

I’m here for L-I-F-E!

You better come prepared if you think you can handle me!

I’ve had enough time trying to educate a loser like yourself. I see some ice cream sandwiches in the freezer that needs my attention.

MicVinny will be back next time to do one of his typical fitness garbage posts. He’s stronger than he use to be, so he has control over our body more than I like to admit.

He thinks you actually care about his posts. But I know the truth…you want to join me in eating some ice cream sandwiches…. Don’t ya?

ice cream sandwiches

 

You and I know you’re not strong. You may try to resist me now, but sooner or later you’re gong to crack.

When that time comes, I’ll be the person looking at you in the mirror with a big ole smile on my face!

Bubba out!

Why Do You Eat What You Eat? Part II

In Part I, I explored the topic of why do you eat what you eat. I would like to continue this topic in today’s Part II.

Let’s take a moment and think about nature in general. I think we all can agree that humans are mammals. If not, go back to school and revisit a science book.

It’s been scientific proven that humans are a part of nature. We may have more intelligence than other species according to scientific research but what about when it comes towards what we eat?

Compare humans to our mammal brothers and sisters. Those creatures keep their day-to-day lives simple. They don’t stress about:

1) Providing a decent amount of income for their families.
2) Paying the mortgage.
3) Putting together that PowerPoint presentation for the big meeting tomorrow
4) Buying a new mattress

Other mammals are just trying to survive one day at a time. They understand all they have to do is eat, sleep and avoid predators.

To be such an advanced specious we overlook the basics. If a cow grows up to be healthy just by eating the same grass every day, why can’t we do the same with our healthy foods?

By having such a sophisticated palette, we tend to get bored easily. As a kid, how often did you actually like those vegetables on your plate? You most likely gravitated towards candies, desserts and other colorful boxes. If you embraced those colorful boxes growing up, you most likely stayed in your comfort zone by continuing to eat from those boxes for decades.

Ronald’s Hamburger Trap

Happy Meal
Who didn’t eat McDonald’s Happy Meals as a child? Getting a “free” toy made you want that meal even more. It had nothing to do with the hamburger and fries. It was all about the special bag or box it came in along with the toy.

At that young age, you associated fun playful things with McDonalds. That led to your first fast food relationship. Over the years you developed a taste for what they were providing and kept it up.

You could not fandom a hamburger without those golden fries. You probably never got great at actually ordering the actually individual food items. It’s no coincidence that fast food joint menus have combinations by the numbers.

Why?

Because you’ve been groomed to follow that procedure without even putting much thought into it. Fast food joints are just making it easier to keep you doing what you’ve always been trained to do.

Desserts

As a child did you always have dessert after every dinner? Was dessert a rare treat? In my household I looked at it as that special something I got if I ate whatever was on my plate.

If I knew I could get dessert by eating spaghetti, you better well believe that 10 years down the road, I probably grew a liking for spaghetti and desserts. The reason I really like spaghetti is simply the reward factor of getting dessert.

Take a moment and think about that.

How often do you have special desserts? Do you always serve the same desserts during the holidays? There’s a reason why you only think of that food as seasonal.

Eating At School

chocolate milk
The first memory I always have of 1st grade is snack time. During snack time, we would be allowed to have some type of treat with milk. To participate you had to pay about a quarter. It was during snack time that I had my first school chocolate milk. From the young age of 6 until sixteen, I was a chocolate milk fiend.

There was never a school lunch in which I did not drink chocolate milk with it. Eventually as I got in my later teenage years, I realized how sweet it was and just got plain milk. But for a good 10 year run, I was all about the cocoa powdered infused milk!

It’s amazing at how many unnecessary calories I ingested by one simple snack choice as a youngster. Do you have a food from your school days that have carried over to you into adulthood?

Living Environment

Our food choices come from our living environment as a whole. There’s a difference in perspective if you live in the middle of a metropolis vs. out in the deep country. In the city, you are limited to what is easy to get into your apartment. If you were raised in this type of environment, mega grocery stores are not something you encounter on a daily basis. You most likely are use to the small grocery stores with limited supplies. With the limited options come limited choices in what food choices you selected.

If there are convenient cheap fast food restaurants on every corner, you’re going to eat differently than the person out in the countryside with fresh vegetables in their backyard.

South Carolina peaches in a tree

Those who grow up in farms way out in the country are going to be use to seeing open green land. The green landscape has a calming affect, and they see food in its natural habitat. They understand that apples have to be physically picked from a tree. They’ve seen potatoes scooped from the soil and washed off. They’ve seen fresh eggs plucked from chickens. They will have a closer relationship to their food sources.

For those who only experience food sources in grocery stores, there’s going to be a HUGE disconnect in what you eat. It’s easier to not put a face on that animal if all you see is packaged foods with cute names like “bacon”, “nuggets”,“hamburger” or “milk”.

Food is food to those who are disconnected. It’s just a simple process. If it’s just a process to you, doesn’t that explain why you eat what you currently do doesn’t it? There’s no real relationship. You just heat and serve before popping it into your mouth.

You Have A Decision To Make

A little boy choosing between a cupcake and apple...looks like the cupcake is the winner.

Each day you make choices on what you eat. You naturally will do what’s easy which is what you’ve always done. If grounded with unhealthy disciplines to begin with (Part I), you’re going to keep that up. As the days turn into weeks which turn into months which turns into years…that’s what you see when you look at your dinner plate tonight.

That dinner is just one of thousands that have led to the way you currently look in the mirror. Those food decisions did not just happen overnight. It’s been developing for a long period of time.

If it took you this long to develop your current eating habits, do you really think you’re going to instantly get better with some type of “30 Day or less Fat loss” diet?

Stop falling for the traps!

The real change happens when you understand what got you were you are now. If you are trying to improve your eating habits, understanding these basics is a good place to start building your new eating habits.

Get started today! Check out Release The Beast if you need help in making your decisions!

Why Do You Eat What You Eat? Part I

In today’s fast paced society it’s rare to take time to think about how you got to be were you are today. When wanting to lose a ton of weight we automatically search for 6-12 week workout programs. Those programs go hand to hand with a super fast diet plan.

We all know that healthy eating is the best thing to do to stay in shape. The truth is 80-85% of a successful healthy lifestyle comes from the foods you eat.  Sadly, we still don’t understand one simple concept. No matter what a diet plan tells you what you should be eating, YOU will be the one ultimately deciding what goes into your mouth.

Have you ever really thought about why you even eat the foods you eat?

If your desire is to be ripped and thin, what does your waist currently tell you?

Does it look like a waist of a person who has consistently made the right decisions day after day?

Your waist reflects years of food decisions. Each inch tells the story of what foods you settled on during your past meals. Unless you had a gun pointed at your head, you decided to eat those foods.

Whether it was due to being tired or lack of time to find something nutritious…. in the end it was still YOUR choice to put those foods into your mouth.

Let’s get to the exact reason why you eat the foods you eat. Let this be an awakening moment for those that struggle with diet plans.

Baby

Baby bottle with milk

When you were a baby, you had very little control over what you could eat. You had no idea how the world worked and was dependent on your parents to provide the proper nutrition you needed to grow up healthy and strong. Those first weeks of your life started a trend that left an imprint into your eating habits for the rest of your life.

As infants, our first healthy choice of food is breast milk. Every mammal on this planet starts off by feeding on breast milk. It’s natural and nutritious.

Parents First Influence

That first food that parents choose after the breast milk phase starts the development of what you will be eating for years. Most mammals naturally make good food selections because their food source is naturally occurring (due to them being in…. nature). Humans eat based on convenience.

When stressed out and sleep deprived, a parent will feed their child whatever baby food product they can easily find. Organic or not, it’s fast and convenient. Unfortunately most of the items contain lots of sugar. That’s when babies start to get their first taste of sweetness. Those innocent mashed bananas, sweet peas and carrots give babies their first sugar rush!

Gerber Baby food on a shelf

Not Great But Cheap

As you grow up, your parents have more tough decisions to make. Those decisions lead to good or bad habits being passed down to you. Some households are unable to cook nutritious meals and depend on fast food joints to get by. Others can only afford generic food brands at cheaper rates. The cheaper the food, the poorer quality of nutrients it will contain. Left with little options, lots of families gravitate towards those foods.

Cakes, cookies and other sugary sweets are easy ways to make kids instantly happy. We don’t physically see the affect of those goodies until years down the road.  Since we can’t see it immediately with our own eyes, we avoid it because we think it’s ok.

It’s just one snack.

That one snack turns into thousands of snacks by the time kids become teenagers.

From Generation to Generation

Mom and dads are only repeating the same habits that was passed down to them by their parents. Being a new parent is scary and adventurous. It’s up to their parents to help lead their ways.

If grandparents have healthy habits, those habits would be passed down to their kids, which hopefully could get passed down to the grandkids. As generations move on, it get’s harder and harder to imitate past healthy lifestyles.

Modern conveniences make it much easier to avoid cooking healthy home cook meals. Ten minute or less meals have become the normal because it’s faster.

I remember eating weekly hamburger helper meals. Not because my mom didn’t love us but because it was convenient and tasted good. That food became a staple of my childhood.

cheeseburger macaroni hamburger helper

Do You Cook

If you’re a person that loves to cook, how did you get that trait?

Was it from watching a relative cook?

Was it from watching a TV show.

Statistics show that those who cook for themselves are more likely to live healthy lives when compared to those who don’t cook. If you’re cooking for yourself you’re obviously eating what you cook.

Have you ever really thought about how those recipes came into play?

Why do you bake cakes?

Or fry chicken?

Why do you have to have turkey on Thanksgiving?

Why do you eat the foods you eat?

Before you take that first bite of dinner tonight, take a step back and let this article sink in. Check back in few days as I continue with Part 2!