Category Archives: Uncategorized

My TRT Journey – 1 year in

January 2015. I’m in my early 40’s but feeling that I’m missing that “oomph” that I had. I make an appoint with my regular primary care to have labs run, specifically for T levels. At first he was reluctant, claiming that the ads I see and hear in the media are causing psychosomatic symptoms… I tell him it’s my bloodwork and I want to see where I am so he orders the labs.

A few days later I get a call from the nurse who tells me “the Dr says your levels are ridiculously high for someone your age” – at early 40’s my level was 655…while not horrible I felt I could be much better and of course my primary care was of the thought that diminishing T-levels are a normal part of aging. Of course he won’t write me an RX for TRT so I go on with my life for the time being.

Fast forward to February 2016… my dog, best buddy and running partner passes. I spiral downwards into a very dark place in my life. This  darkness enveloped my life until the summer of 2016 when I finally decided “ENOUGH” and made an appointment to see a naturopathic doctor. He was more receptive to my wanting to improve my life and ordered labs to get a baseline of where we were starting from. My T-levels had dropped a staggering 50+ %… to 332. The passing of my dog and how far down my life had gone down really took its toll on me

My initial RX was for 1cc 200mcg test cypionate and 1mg anastrozole (an aromatase inhibitor). I remained on this for 2 months at which point my RX was re-written dialing back the TRT to .75 since my levels had increased significantly to 1440.

We come to April 2017.. my birthday is in April so I decide to run my own bloodwork and order the Male Deluxe Anti-Aging Panel  from PrivateMDLabs.com

My T-level was a very healthy 1156, HOWEVER my estradiol level was an exceedingly high 39!!

pre pct estradiol

I was very concerned so I ordered Red PCT from  Red Supplements. Maintaining my same RX dosages the only change I made was taking 3 Red PCT per day over the course of a month. At the end of the month (90 pills / 3 per day) I ran labs… again from PrivateMDLAbs.com.. this time testing just estradiol

The results were nothing short of ASTOUNDING!!! Again, no changes to my RX, just adding Red PCT  my estradiol level dropped to <5

post pct estradiol level

I’ll take a month off, per recommendation on Red Supplements site and cycle a month on / off to maintain my levels.

For anyone concerned about their estradiol levels I cannot recommend Red PCT more… a fantastic product with PROVEN results!

 

 

 

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Running, Lifting & My T Level

I’ll admit it, I enjoy running. I always have. In the military for the APFT the run was never a problem for me. In fact I would sometimes purposely throw my run time and APFT score just to help pace a soldier who struggled to help ensure they would at least pass (I was a platoon leader during AIT so I did have a responsibility to look out for my soldiers).

While I’ve always enjoyed running it wasn’t until September 2014 that I actually participated in an organized run – a 9/11 remembrance 5k run. I loved it. I loved the adrenaline of everyone around and chasing some nice tight ass in yoga pants – the proverbial carrot on a stick. I quickly signed up for the Rock n Roll marathon in Vegas doing both the Sat night 5k followed by Sun 10k. It was an absolute blast. Seeing the strip get shut down for the runners was something. Walking through the casino/hotel to get to the starting corral wearing my runners bib had a similar effect as being in suit with pocket square. People would look on with admiration and/or jealousy.

After Vegas I did another Rock n Roll series here in Phoenix, again doing the Sat 5k and Sun 10k. It was after this that I had planned on working up to a half marathon. But after P.D. Mangans “Best Supplements For Men’s Health”. The final chapter in the book covered exercise. I learned quite a bit about running and some of the negatives that a distance runner can experience. This got me to rethink my longer distance running plans. My max will be a 10k…I won’t give up running all together.

Lifting weights is something I am starting to focus more on. I am working hard to really develop my body in time for Vegas pool season!  I just started Creatine so I should start to see some marked improvement in my performance and development. Since I am throttling back on my running some of the time that I would’ve spent on the treadmill can now be spent on lifting. Goal is to be defined and toned but not huge – think Jason Statham.

I never it checked but knew it was time to find out where I was…my T-Levels. Again, while I have wanted to have them checked it was after reading PD Mangan’s book that I was inspired enough to follow through and make an appointment with my doctor. I was really surprised at how much resistance he gave me to getting tested. He kept asking over and over “do I have any symptoms”, “am I experiencing….” Etc. etc. I finally told him that it is for my own curiosity so I know where I stand and he which he relented to and said that “is a reasonable request”.

A couple of days after the blood draw I got the callback with my results. The nurse said “the doctor told me to tell you that your numbers are ridiculous. You just need to keep doing what you are doing”. So, for 42 year old my total testosterone was 655. While I haven’t reviewed what average levels are per age bracket I was ok with 655. While I want it to be higher I am feeling ok about that number. I know that my doctor won’t do a thing with me since he already thinks my number is “ridiculous” I may try to find another doctor and to see if he will write me an RX for an Aromatase inhibitor (Anastrozole or Exemestane). Before I do that though I will pick up Pill Scout’s “Testosterone Black Book”  and try implementing the recommendations there.

As far as what I am doing already that my doctor wants me to continue:

Supplements: fish oil/omega 3, Vitamin D3, B, Zinc and Magnesium  Citrate

Lifting: while I had been lifting already I am shifting some time that had been used running to lifting

Running: capping that at 60min max – 7 miles.

After implementing strategies outlined in Pill Scout’s book I will gauge how I feel and may go in for another blood workup in another 6-9 months, but will probably need to go to a private clinic at that point. I was really surprised at the resistance my doctor gave just to get tested to begin with.

Volunteering For Dog Rescue Good For Self Development

Volunteering for a dog rescue is probably one of the best things I have done along with spearheading a Toastmasters group. Both Toastmasters and dog rescue offer so many opportunities to develop oneself.

I love to talk and have always enjoyed public speaking. I never really experienced fear when I would have to make a presentation. I always felt it more as a high. While I haven’t been as active in Toastmasters lately there was a time where I built a group from scratch. I couldn’t find any existing groups that had a convenient schedule/location for me so I took it upon myself to start a group at my workplace. This was a great experience. I had to coordinate with upper levels of management to get the OK (this was a fortune 500 company on a campus with probably close to 1000 staff). After that I had to start advertising and making people aware and create interest. After that I had to manage the initial inventory of user materials, collect payments from people who became members, etc. That was a really fun time that exposed me to a microcosm of starting a business.

Now I have been spending more time volunteering with a dog rescue. While I don’t get the business exposure I did when I was starting the Toastmasters it still exposes a person to self-development. First, you really do need to develop alpha behaviors when dealing with the dogs. If you are fearful of dogs, or show signs of timidity they may misbehave and you can get injured. You need to establish your dominance from the get go. Developing that self-assuredness will have a ripple effect into all areas of your life.

When volunteering you also have to develop discipline and responsibility. Just because it isn’t a job that you clock into and out of others in the group do depend on you to show up when you have scheduled yourself. More importantly the dogs are absolutely relying on you to be there. They don’t have the capabilities to adjust on the fly and take of themselves. They need you. As with self-assuredness having discipline will be a great value to you in all areas of your life.

Along the same lines as developing your self-assuredness with the dogs you also have to develop confidence in speaking with complete strangers. Typically you will have to initiate the conversation. When we are setup with our dogs in their pens people will come by and look in at the dogs, maybe offer their hand for the dog to sniff and pet the dog but they will rarely if ever approach us and start a conversation or ask a question about a dog; we have to be the ones that start the conversation. Granted the opener is already a given but after that you have to be able to maintain the conversation and think on your feet. There may be times also where you will need to assert yourself and tell someone no if you get the feeling that the dog and person would just not be a good match. That is another skill you develop and that is learning to trust your gut & read people.

I have never used the rescue to meet girls but it does give you the opportunity to talk to a lot of people, including attractive girls. Getting over the anxiety of talking to not only attractive girls but strangers in general is a good trait to have that will be helpful in a lot of areas of your life.

I appreciate Toastmasters for helping develop public speaking, research and writing skills as you compose your presentation. The table topics portion of the meeting helps you develop your impromptu speaking skills.

I do feel though that volunteering with the dog rescue offers more benefit for self-development. With Toastmasters you are exposed to mostly the same people week in and week out. Outside of table topics, which you may not be called on for either, your speaking is already scripted and rehearsed. And, you don’t have to develop alpha type behaviors either.

If you have the time both will benefit you. However if your time is limited I would go with volunteering with a dog rescue. Not only are you developing yourself you are benefiting the community and dogs that are unable to help themselves. I will offer this disclaimer though…it can be brutally bittersweet to volunteer with dog rescue. Some dogs you may find yourself become very attached to and it is hard to see them go – you’re so happy for the family and the dog while at the same time you feel really down knowing that you won’t be seeing your little buddy anymore. Sadly, there will always be another rescue that you can become attached to.

Maca – Nature’s Answer To The Little Blue Pill

If you could use a supplement that has been called a “natural Viagra”…of course with a price tag much lower than the blue pill (is it ironic that Viagra is referred to as “blue pill”?) Would you try it?  I don’t recall what first drew my attention to Maca but have just recently purchased some and have enjoyed my response to it.

Maca, this hearty, resistant plant, a member of the cruciferous family, is grown in extreme conditions of the high elevations of the Andes Mountains.Going as far back as the Incan empire ithas been documented that Maca would help boost libido, help increase endurance and stamina and enhance moods.  Maca can be found in pill, liquid and powder forms.

I bought mine in powder form and found it most reasonably priced, surprisingly, at Whole Foods.  While the size is not shown in the picture this container is 16oz and was about $20. My experience has been that it does not mix very well. It can tend to clump up, even when used in shaker with wire ball. Maybe that is this particular brand and that it was cheaper (not by much though) than other brands.

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When it is time to buy more I will blow a little more coin and get another brand and see if that mixes any better, or get the liquid version. I have not tried blending it, only using shaker bottle so that may be part of the issue as well. The recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon a day. I tend to go over that a bit. Typically I will put some on my cereal in the AM if that is what I am having for breakfast. I also put some in my protein shake that I drink after the gym. And then sometimes I will also sprinkle some on my ice cream at night. I have tried mixing some in my coffee but that didn’t turn out very well… clumping issue.

Another spice that I have started using is Cardamom. This also offers widespread benefits from digestion problems to IBS to bronchitis/cough/colds to urinary tract issues. It is believed to contain anti-depressant properties and is used in aromatherapy…I will attest to the pleasant aroma and sense of well-being that one experiences when sniffing Cardamom.  However, one that I wanted to check out was that it possessed aphrodisiac properties and is also used as a cure for impotency, erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation. I found Cardamom most reasonably priced at Sprouts Market. This jar was $5. Checking at any other grocery store…Wal-Mart included, you will pay at least twice that.

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I will sprinkle some Cardamom on my cereal or oatmeal in the morning as well as adding some to my coffee which adds a nice flavor to it as well as adding some in my protein shake and of course adding some to ice cream.

Since starting to use Maca and Cardamom I have noticed an uptick in my sexual appetite. I have been able to hit the gym harder and my sleep schedule has improved. Also, a lady friend of mine made mention that I was in a much better mood…hmmm.  Based on my results so far I will continue to use Maca & Cardamom. It is still early in my using of this and will report any additional benefits, or detriments that I may experience. One note…Maca does not have a pleasant flavor like Cardamom does. While it is not nasty or intolerable it is a taste that you may need to acquire.

The Next Fraud – Divorce Fraud

I am curious if this will become an unintended consequence of the current political/economic policies. There are numerous types of frauds someone can commit and it got me wondering if at some point there will be something that could be considered “divorce fraud”.

I previously wrote on the how the improving economy is being blamed for the increasing divorce rate and touched briefly on the economic benefits of staying single. I have a suspicion that not only will marriage rates probably fall, the rising divorce rate may not be due to irreconcilable differences or affairs, or any of the other typical catalysts for divorce. Nor will it be due to the improving economy. Rather, a couple that still love each other will decide to legally divorce yet maintain their relationship and living arrangements. They will continue to live in the same house and have relations just like they had while they were married but they will reap the economic benefits of each being viewed as a single by the government.

What scares me about this thought is that at some point, if this trend does take off, is that the government and the courts will begin to take a much close look at divorce filings. Perhaps, creating some type of litmus test to qualify for divorce…think means test for bankruptcy with the intention to identify those who are divorcing for “fraudulent reasons… an ominous thought to consider.

Improving Economy Really To Blame For Increasing Divorce Rate?

Is the improving economy really to blame for the rising divorce rate? Some experts will say “yes” and point to the increased divorce rate that occurred after the great depression…yet, statistics had shown that divorce rates fell after the WWII economic boom – while I would hardly call this a boom it seems ironic that experts now use the improving economy as a catalyst for the increased divorce rate.

I am taking a look at this as the Freakonomics guys would. My take is that it is current political policy is to blame. Policies really benefit the single person while penalizing the married couple. Consider that two people that live together as singles rather than get married enjoy more financial benefits:

  •  “two recipients married to each other receive a benefit that is one-quarter less than if they simply lived together but not as husband and wife.”
  • “members of the opposite sex who cohabitate and do not marry (or are not found to be representing themselves as husband and wife) are each guaranteed an income level equal to 100 percent of the federal benefit rate and generally fare better financially than SSI married couples.”

Another consideration is the eligibility for subsidies available from the Affordable Care Act. People are otherwise happily married are considering divorce just because of the financial penalties that hit married couples so hard. It is hard to comprehend that a married couple that earns $62040 would not be eligible for any subsidies, yet that same couple unmarried could together earn up to $91920 and still be eligible for subsidies.

Here is a table that lays it out nicely…perhaps this table should be posted at every city/county/state office that produces marriage licenses.

In addition to not getting married (or getting divorced but continuing to live together as a couple) it may be time to throttle back on ambition and wanting to earn a decent income – Go Galt! Make a minimum economic impact and Enjoy The Decline

Reconciling Disdain For My Job

How does one reconcile the disdain they have for a job while still trying to appreciate it. Given consideration of today’s economy and job market I do not want to sound unappreciative…but my job is slowly syphoning my life and soul. The difficult part of it is the fact that I make really good $$ for the job that I do. I earn above the median income levels…not that that is a goal to shoot towards, but does serve as a benchmark. The problem with the job is it is lacking challenge. I have been at this job just over  5 years, which is the longest I’ve held a job. Usually around the 2-3 year mark I hit my shelf live. The job has become routine and is mindless. I also have issue with the politics of the organization. It is a non-profit so they are very egalitarian. There are some who I work with that routinely do about 2/3 less work, can spend multiple hours away from their desk and yet nothing comes of it. While I could just sit back and behave in the same manner something inside of me holds me back and pushes me forward to continue to work hard…all the while developing a seething resentment. It would be nice if I could take the mindset of doing just enough to get by because my pay will be the same regardless…there isn’t a reward for going above and beyond. Looking out at the job market today though, I would probably have trouble finding a job with similar pay that also offers an environment of not pushing oneself. Basically, it is easy money. And, I don’t believe I necessarily want to find another job. I would rather spend my time developing my own hustles….freelance and whatnot that allow me more time freedom, location freedom, etc. Also, my current job affords me the opportunity (if I exploit it…which I haven’t been) to develop my own hustles while still maintaining my income. I don’t want to face the difficulties of having no or much lowered income. I look at my step Dad (biological will have his own post) as well. He’s worked many years in construction and carpentry and is very skilled…however he’s experienced numerous layoffs and work slowdowns. His skills have allowed him to always find side jobs and word of mouth spreads, so he has been able to keep himself afloat through a patchwork of gigs. My Mom however pushed him to find a “40 week normal job”….in the trades those were difficult to come by. He did finally however land a job, but took a $10 per hour cut! Shit….he could have maintained his side gigs and worked half the time and still end up making the same if not more. I always tried to explain to my Mom how my Dad was better of working for himself, she just couldn’t come to grips with that and wanted the “security” of a 40 hour week job…even with significantly less $$ coming in. I just don’t get it? I don’t want to start applying to jobs and pretending to be a rockstar. Applying for another job wouldn’t be moving towards what I want, just moving away from…or more likely laterally to something just as unappealing.

I need to come to terms with this…I need to learn to let go of my frustrations with the job (realizing frustrations over having less $$ would be much worse) and really go balls to the walls and develop side hustles. I need to not lose respect for myself and realize I am doing what is necessary to move on with my life and not go backwards. Captain Capitalism recently posted a couple of YouTube videos that were like a shot of epinephrine for my psyche. In one he takes out my concerns about my frustrations I felt (yes, felt, past tense after I watching) towards coworkers and management over those that seemed to slack while the go getters made up for the deficit. While this one speaks specifically to military I was able to apply the same principles to help me reconcile the dichotomy I had been feeling towards my job.