The Unpredictability of Life Requires A Flexible Fitness Mindset (by BEAR WILLIAMS)

 

For many people, fitness means keeping a strict diet and workout routine. But as Guest Correspondent Bear Williams discusses today, it’s important to build a level of flexibility into your routine. If you’re overly committed to your plan and you haven’t incorporated room for changes, you might end up feeling frustrated. Instead, it’s better to be open-minded and free.

As many of you remember, Bear was stranded on the Thai island of Koh Phangan during Storm Pabuk. He was forced into incorporating flexibility into his diet and fitness routine. Below he shares some inspiration on how to stay on your game even after being knocked off your game.

The Unpredictability of Life Requires A Flexible Fitness Mindset (by BEAR WILLIAMS)

Bear Williams Guest Correspondent Be Free My Sheeple

“With my target being only to explore and adapt, the last two months of maintaining and improving a healthy lifestyle built specifically for me, have been interesting and wildly challenging.

I spent the month of December on an island. I was unable to eat many of my staple foods, and could not cook for myself (something I will remedy immediately if I return to same or similar situation). Training was light the entire month.

While on the island, I made lesser evil food choices and used carbonated sugar beverages often to fill gaps in calories needed for energy. In hindsight, I was a carb-burning monster and actually got leaner drinking 3-5 Coca Cola a day. I think the healthier option for me and more conducive to island-living will be a ketogenic + low fruit approach. The sugar withdrawal from soda was fucking terrible.

Bear Williams Guest Correspondent Be Free My Sheeple Island Life 2

While leaving the island and returning to Bangkok, my girl and I both got sick with a bad sinus infection and cough. Mine due to lack of sleep, bad food, minor stress, and possibly made worse by the Bangkok pollution.

I opted not to take antibiotics, and use Advil and nasal decongestant, along with lowering my total target food volume by 30%. While sick, I cooked all my food, mostly different soups with pork, beef, egg, shrimp, vegetables, and rice. Heavy amounts of turmeric, ginger, lemon/lime, honey, and water were consumed everyday.

Training was reduced to 1-2 days per week in preference of bed rest and sleep. My work schedule was maintained.

I lost about 5-6 kg when normally I would be growing slowly. This is a bummer, but I was able to weather 8 weeks filled with the inconsistencies of island life and beat an awful and debilitating cold while still keeping my body together.

…having “goals” is great, but too many people are married to the goal or outcome and quit because it doesn’t come quickly, or predictably, or easily.

Anyway, the point I want to make is that having “goals” is great, but too many people are married to the goal or outcome and quit because it doesn’t come quickly, or predictably, or easily.

Sure. I have a “goal” and it’s to build muscle. I just don’t think about it every moment because it’s set on a 5 year timeline.

I focus on everyday habits and the understanding that life is unpredictable. Many times the path to a goal requires going backwards methodically, and never giving up.”

Bear Williams Guest Correspondent Be Free My Sheeple Island Life
Perfectly balanced as all things should be.

 

How do you handle changes to your workout routine or diet?  Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

My First Time Trying A Fish Spa Pedicure in Thailand (SO WEIRD)

I only did 15 minutes because like the fish, I was hungry. Ironically, I ate a mango catfish salad afterwards. Fish eat human, human eat fish. The circle of life.

Hey guys! Have you ever tried a fish spa pedicure? Read about my first time trying a fish spa pedicure in Thailand.

I’m a huge fan of pedicures and spa treatments. It’s the ultimate me-time. If you’re a gentleman and you haven’t gotten a pedicure before,  DO IT. It’s one of the most relaxing, cleansing experiences. And trust me – nobody wants to see some crusty ass feet.  I also love spas and massages so much that it’s partially why I moved to Thailand … 1-hour massages here are only 200 baht (roughly $6 USD).

When I hear the word “spa” I think of a relaxing, serene experience surrounded by candles and lemongrass or lavender aromas. I do not think of tiny little fish nibbling at dead skin cells, bacteria and fungus. But that’s exactly what a fish spa pedicure is.

I don’t know what compelled me try it today. After all, I have seen fish spa pedicures offered around the world from Mexico to the Caribbean but I’ve always politely declined the opportunity.

Perhaps it was because I remember reading an article that went viral about a woman who got a fish spa pedicure, and then her toenails fell off a few months later. Allegedly, this was caused by “onychomadesis, a condition that causes the nails to separate from the skin of your fingers or toes and ultimately fall off.” Sounds pretty gross but YOLO! One reason this happens is because many establishments do not properly clean the fish tanks. This potentially exposes you to contagious bacteria that other customers may have had. I confirmed with the owner that she regularly cleans her fish tanks daily.

Hua hin Thailand fish spa owner
Aora, the wonderful owner of the Hua Hin Fish Spa.

I was anxious about putting my feet in the water because I had no idea what hundreds of nibbling fish would feel like. But it’s exactly what you’d think it would feel like : an army of tiny creatures deliberately and delicately biting your skin. The closest sensation I could compare it to would be a ticklish vibration. After a few minutes, your body adapts.

These fish, called Garra Rufa (“doctor fish”) do not have teeth so they can’t bite you, just nibble at the dead skin cells that you don’t want anyway. The owner told me that 30 minutes is the recommended time for a full treatment. I only did 15 minutes because like the fish, I was hungry. Ironically, I ate a mango catfish salad afterwards. Fish eat human, human eat fish. The circle of life.

I was shocked at how quickly the fishies attacked my dying skin cells. Like moths to a flame, they quickly encapsulated and ensnared my entire leg. My leg was like smokeshow walking into a bar at 2am.

It’s been a few hours since my fish spa pedicure and my feet feel super smooth. And yes I still have all of my toenails.

Overall it was a great experience and I would totally do it again.

Watch the video below to see the full experience!

Would you try a fish spa pedicure? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

If you’d like to check out the spa I visited, you can visit BangkokDrFishSpa99.com

Be Free My Sheeple!

@BearWilliams Survives Storm Pabuk in Koh Phangan, Thailand

 

One of the best parts about not having a 9-5 job is being wherever you want to be in the world. And sometimes that means being caught on a tiny, isolated island while a massive tropical storm is coming.

This week, Thailand was hit by Tropical Storm Pabuk. BeFreeMySheeple Correspondent Bear Williams was on the scene in Koh Phangan during the storm. You might recognize him from PUBG’s latest commercial. Not only does he act like a tough guy on TV, but he actually is a tough guy too.

Were you caught in Storm Pabuk too? Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Also follow guest correspondent @bearwilliams.

Be Free My Sheeple!

How To Create More Time

 

Let’s talk about TIME and how to create more of it.

Unless you’re Dr. Strange, time travel as we typically think of it is not possible. However, creating more time for yourself every day is very possible. This article is going to give everyone the power of the Time Stone.

Quick disclaimer: This article is meant to help people who are not happy with their jobs or wish they had more personal time. If you truly love your job or you already have a career that gives you immense satisfaction, then you can skip this article. You’ve already hit the jackpot.

Before we get started, here’s some woke comments I found on YouTube.

“Time Off”

The average American employee (sheeple) gets 2 weeks of vacation a year. If you’re lucky and you’ve shown loyalty to your company, you might get 3 weeks. Somebody with this type of limitation can realistically only take 1 or 2 actual vacations a year (outside of quick, weekend getaways). Many people will not even leave the country during their extended vacations because they not only appreciate the downtime at home, but they need it to take care of personal chores and responsibilities uninterrupted. There’s even a cute name for it : staycations. The desire to stay at home during a vacation is completely understandable when you’re always working, but this is truly a waste of your valuable vacation days (otherwise known as your “time off.”) Interestingly, the opposite of “time off” is “time on” which means your time is only considered on when you’re at work.

There is no such thing as turning time on or off, there is only optimizing how you choose to spend the time that make you happiest.

time off vs time on

How many of us try to think of the best ways to maximize our limited vacation days? Do we use all of our days at once to get a super-long weekend? Or do we try to use them during national holidays to try to make those feel as long as possible? It’s a sick game of trying to juggle a finite resource that is limited even further by your job.

Most corporate workers might aim to visit 1-2 new countries a year (which is all they have time for) which translates to 10-20 countries over a 10 year period (I do this annually). And because of the limited vacation days, their trips are usually jam-packed and activities are usually forced into a tight schedule. This, from my experience, is not an optimal way to explore a new country (but it’s better than nothing I guess). No wonder people are exhausted after a vacation and feel the need to “take a vacation after a vacation.”

5 Categories of Time

I like to break time down into 5 major categories:

Me-Time: the time you’re awake and doing whatever you want to be doing

Sleep: the time you’re sleeping

Wake Up, Commute, Work: the time you spend earning your income

Exercise: depending on how much you like exercising, this could fall under me-time. I’m making it a separate category since there are some people who exercise only because they feel like they have to or should

Chores:  the time you spend doing things you don’t really want to be doing (i.e. laundry, cleaning the home)

An increase in me-time (such as taking vacations) is correlated to an increase in happiness. This article from Time backs me up.

Sheeple’s Daily Routine Breakdown (M-F)

There’s 120 total hours during the weekdays. The typical work schedule is Monday – Friday, 9-5 daily. Most people have some sort of commute, and some like to wake up an hour before work to mentally prepare.

Here’s how the math breaks out during the workweek:
Sheeple's Daily Routine Breakdown
This gives you a grand total of 3.5 hours (or 14.6%) of me-time each day. That’s not a lot of time. Throw in happy hours, dates, mandatory after-work events and you can see how quickly your entire week disappears. Add in hangovers and it makes the following day even more brutal. And I know many people in advertising who often work until midnight…just no.  This drops me-time down to 0 and completely removes exercise. It’s a sick cycle of wake up, commute, work, sleep.

Sheeple’s Daily Routine Breakdown (Weekend)

Yay the weekend! There’s a reason we say TGIF on Friday and say on Monday “we have the Monday blues.”
Here’s how the math breaks out during the weekends:
Sheeple's daily routine breakdown weekend
We love the weekend because we get to spend more time doing the things we want. Mostly. In lieu of work, we use this time to handle our personal responsibilities and chores like laundry, or cleaning the apartment. If you’re into bottomless brunches on Saturday, then you’ll likely have a hangover to deal with on Sunday (which means you’ll wake up late, skip the gym) and then you’re spending half the day Sunday dreading Monday. It’s an awful cycle. This is not how human beings were meant to live. It isn’t healthy. And quite frankly, outside of a few specific careers, it isn’t necessary. Not when we have the power of a computer in our pocket. We can and should be empowered to work from anywhere we want. We should be paid for our productivity, not because we show up for some  arbitrary set of fixed hours (9-5). Surprisingly I’ve never read the 4-hour Work Week but through my own personal experiences I’ve arrived at the same conclusion. Speaking of productivity…

Why the 40 Hour Workweek Doesn’t Make Sense

When you have a 9-5 job, you are generally paid for your time and not for your productivity. A corporation is literally trading people’s limited time in exchange for money. Guess which is more valuable?
By escaping the rat race (which trades money for some arbitrary fixed set of working hours), you can re-balance the scales and find or create a career that pays you based on productivity instead. Let your iPhone and laptop become your mobile office. This also can reduce your commute time down to 0. And if you want to push it even further, you can move to a country like Thailand where you can earn US-based income remotely against a significantly lower cost of living. Work less, get more. My friend told me she’s getting a 1-hour massage in New York City this week and it’s going to cost her $110. That’s the same price of ten 1-hour massages in Thailand. With tip!

How I Spend My Day

I feel happiest when I am free (me-time). According to my Daily Routine Breakdown chart below, I am free for 11.5 hours a day, every day of the year. Over 365 days, that means I spend 4,197.5 hours in freedom. This comes out to 174 days, or 48% of the year. If we remove sleeping time, then I am enjoying freedom 72% of the time.

Adam Francisco's Daily Routine

Compared to sheeple, they are free for 3.5 hours a day during the weekdays, and 12.5 hours a day during the weekend. Over 365 days, sheeple have 2,210 hours of freedom. This comes out to 25% of the year. If we remove sleeping time, then sheeple are free 37% of the time.

As you can see, I have found a way to almost double my freedom and thus, I’ve created more time. Factor this out across 10 years and you can essentially live 20 years in 10!

The top 5 deathbed regrets are:

1.  I wish I’d have the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2.  I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3.  I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.  
4.  I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5.  I wish that I had let myself be happier. 🙂

We should learn from our elders.

So How Do You Create More Time?

As you can see, you don’t need a Time Stone or Dr. Strange’s powers to create more time. You just need some creativity, be willing to take a risk, and an open mind.
  • Think about what your current company is paying you to do. And then think if your skillset can translate to a career off of your phone or laptop. Some of you might have jobs that require you to be on-location such as a doctor or nurse. But if traveling more is something you wanted, there’s always jobs like traveling nurses (this is a huge industry). There’s always a way to improve or obtain whatever it is that you think is lacking in your life, regardless of your career.
  • Always respect yourself. If your company is taking advantage of you or not paying you what you feel you deserve, do not show them loyalty. If the company was struggling, they would have no hesitation in laying you off. I’ve seen it happen to close friends and good people.
  • Consider living in a more affordable country while earning income remotely. Work less, get more.
  • If you’re in the rat race for the foreseeable future, make as much money as you possibly can, as quickly as you can and invest. Do not buy a Prada bag or the new Jordans if you do not yet have a healthy portfolio or real estate investments. Only spend your money on things that will grow your money. “Make your money move.” Your money can literally quadruple in 10 years.
  • If money is limited and you feel like splurging, I recommend splurging on experiences over appearances. Invest in a trip, not an expensive clothing item. The clothing item will surely go down in value but your experiences will never be forgotten.
To end this article,  I want to leave you with 2 things. A beautifully-said post by my friend Tara Atwood and one of my favorite shorts, Rat Race.
Tara Atwood 75 years

How are you going to create more time?  Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple!

Celebrating a 35th Birthday in Bangkok, Thailand

One of my best friends (also named Adam), landed in Bangkok on December 9th, which happened to be his 35th birthday. We thought about driving to Pattaya to party.  But after a 24 hour flight from New York City to Bangkok, he didn’t want to add any additional travel time. Here’s how we celebrated his 35th birthday in Bangkok, Thailand.

Khao San Road, Bangkok

A great place to pre-game in Bangkok is Khao San Road.  You can get delicious street food here like pad Thai, meat skewers, spring rolls & smoothies. After a long 24 hour flight of eating only airplane food, Adam jumped on the first food cart he saw (spring rolls). The hot sauce was too spicy for him, but not me because I’m Mexican.

After filling up on spring rolls, there’s no better way to digest than a foot massage (along with a vodka soda bucket). I also showed Adam my newest magic trick (appearing beer).

Before we left, I had a fresh mango & banana smoothie and it paired perfectly with my lukewarm vodka soda bucket.

Riding a Tuk Tuk in Bangkok

The most efficient way to travel around Bangkok is a motorbike because they can weave around traffic. The most fun way to travel around Bangkok, especially if you’re with your friend, is a tuk tuk. And from my experience, almost all tuk tuk drivers speak at least a little English.

The only negative is that there’s no meter so you’ll need to negotiate a little bit on the pricing. The first driver we asked to take us from Khao San Road to Patpong Night Market (a 20 minute ride) wanted 500 baht ($15 uSD). The second driver we asked wanted a more reasonable 300 baht ($9 USD). In the US, a difference of $6 during a night out is almost irrelevant (I used to spend $200-300 every Friday/Saturday night in New York City), but here in Thailand, that’s the cost of a 1-hour massage.

Patpong Night Market, Bangkok

After Khao San Road, we headed to Patpong Night Market, a fun place to shop for clothes, electronics, souvenirs, etc. Lining the streets along the market are bars (some with go-go dancers), live music, restaurants, massages and the infamous ping pong shows.

Now I’ve been living in Thailand for almost 3 months and I never really had any interest in checking out a ping pong show. For those of you who don’t know what a ping pong show is, you can read more about it here. You’ll understand why this form of entertainment isn’t high on my list of priorities.

We got to Patpong Night Market a little too early as many of the bars were empty. We asked one of the bar managers if there was a busier bar. She led us to a staircase leading to a bar upstairs and I told her that we did not want to go to a ping pong show. She confirmed that this was not a ping pong show (“no ping pong show”) but of course as soon as we sat down, it was a ping pong show. A good rule of thumb when you’re at Patpong Night Market is if the bar is on the 2nd floor, it’s probably a ping pong show.

Looking back we should have immediately left. Instead we figured that since we were already there, we might as well have a quick drink. Adam got a beer and I ordered a vodka soda. I told him to drink as quickly as possible and not to engage or stare at the performers as if this would prevent us from being scammed (as I read these places tend to do online). The performers ignored us as we sat in the corner trying to quickly chug our drinks and GTFOH.

Ping Pong Show Scam

The bar was advertised as “no cover charge” with drinks being 100 baht ($3 USD).  What they failed to mention is that there isn’t a cover charge for entering, but there certainly is a cover charge for leaving. This is referred to as a “looking fee.” The looking fee (the fee for looking at the performers) at this fine establishment was 1,500 baht per person ($48 USD). There was also a 1,200 baht “service fee” per person ($37 USD). Our bill for 2 drinks (which we finished in under 10 minutes) … 6,000 baht!!! Roughly $180 USD. LOL.

We explained to the cashier that there was a misunderstanding :  we were told by the bar manager that this wasn’t a ping pong show (which is why we were leaving after 10 minutes). We settled on paying 1,000 baht ($32 USD). Still too much, but not on the scale of 6,000 baht. Had we engaged with the performers at all, we would have understood the charges. Our experience was consistent with many others that I’ve read about online here.

Soi Cowboy, Bangkok

After avoiding being fully scammed at a ping pong show, we went to the legendary and iconic Soi Cowboy. Like Khao San Road, Soi Cowboy was named in my article The Craziest Party Streets I’ve Been to in the World!

Soi Cowboy is a great place to have a few birthday drinks while looking at bikini-clad bartenders and hostesses. There’s also live music and restaurants so you can eat between drinks.

Pretty soon after we got there, I stopped vlogging. In keeping consistent with my vlog, I’ll end the article here. Let’s just say it was a wild and memorable night.

Bangkok is a great place to celebrate a birthday or bachelor party. I wish we had time to hit up a rooftop bar or RCA, but there’s always next time!

Have you celebrated a birthday in Bangkok?  Leave a comment or you can e-mail me adam@befreemysheeple.com. If you enjoyed reading/watching this, you can follow me on Instagram, @adamfrancisco & @befreemysheeple.

Be Free My Sheeple.