I’m Getting A Sandbag!

Heavy-Hitter---400lb

Brute Force Heavy Hitter I sandbag (image courtesy of Brute Force).

I’m going to partake on a new challenge later this year (around summer). I’m going to get myself a sandbag for my birthday and start doing dedicated strength training and bodybuilding using sandbag training. This is something that I’ve been meaning to do forever now but haven’t had the chance to because of lack of proper equipment and because I didn’t have my diet dialed-in yet. The diet thing I’ve got under control (I’m finally fully-Primal/Paleo!) but I still have yet to get the proper equipment and that’s finally going to happen soon with the sandbag. I live in an apartment so that means I don’t have room (or money, for that matter) for traditional weights or anything like that (you know, traditional gym equipment).

A sandbag is the perfect solution to this problem – its inexpensive and its portable, so that means I can also take it with me anywhere and doesn’t take up much room. Through research, I found out that sandbag training is in a lot of ways more superior to conventional training. Sandbags help with stimulating several muscle groups at once, something that traditional weights cannot do. Its also more challenging than using traditional weights because the contents of the bag (the sand, in this case) shift around a lot and that also means that you have to use different grips – which also means a more intense workout (which is what I’m looking for). This type of workout simulates lifting heavy things in real-life, which are also variable, unlike traditional weights which are much more rigid. Sandbag training also happens to be one of the oldest (if not the oldest) form of training – before gyms and weights came along, we trained with sand.

The primary reason that I’m doing this is to build more muscle mass, and then of course, the second reason I’m doing this is to build more strength. I’ve always been a ‘smaller’ guy and I’ve always hated it. I’ve always felt insecure about it and it just doesn’t reflect my personality very well. I still have yet to fill out my shirts, in fact, I often try to avoid wearing certain types of shirts (like t-shirts) because they make me look skinnier. I’m very much looking forward to changing that. I have engaged in strength training/bodybuilding before, however, I’ve never engaged in it to this degree. The last time I did it, I used bodyweight exercises to do it. But over time, I’ve found out that they don’t really challenge me to the degree that I want. I thrive on short, intense exercises (I even have more energy afterwards) and bodyweight just doesn’t cut it. I’ve also never engaged in a dedicated long-term strength training and bodybuilding program before and so this will be my first time doing it and are also very much looking forward to making this a regular routine (I’ve done something like this but with bodyweight exercises once, but that was only for a brief amount of time).

Overall, I’m really excited to start this new challenge and build my dream body. Gaining muscle isn’t easy, it takes a lot of work (its much easier to lose weight than to gain it, especially when we’re talking about building muscle). I’ve finally got my diet dialed in, now its time to get that sandbag and get to work! I can already see myself having a great summer! (I’ll also be posting updates on my progress when I start.)

If anyone’s interested, this is the sandbag I’ll be getting. Here’s an article detailing some of the benefits of sandbag training.

Blog Update For 2/27/2017

Hey everyone, I’m back!

If you’ve been a long-time subscriber/follower of this blog, you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting very much as of late. I’ve posted some stuff last year, but last year (and the year before that) was probably my least (or at least one of my least) active year(s) on this blog. The reason for this is simple and straight-forward: I’ve been busy with my music project/career and I’ve been struggling with what direction to go with this blog…until now, that is.

Lately, I’ve been really feeling in the mood to write some more. Writing has always been one of my favorite hobbies and something that I keep getting better and better at with time. I feel like I’m writing some of my best work in recent times and I’m really enjoying it. I really, really enjoy giving my opinion on stuff on the side. One of the things I want to do this year is to write more (and yes, that also includes more music, lol).

I was planning on becoming a little more active on my personal YouTube channel and do my opinion pieces there but the lack of resources (a proper mic, space, etc.) is keeping me down, plus I’m focusing more on my music channel right now since that needs my attention more and I’m having more fun working on my music channel. Additionally, making the type of videos I want for my personal channel takes up a lot of my time since they take a lot of work to make – I spend way more time editing and recording those videos than I do with the videos for my music channel. Not to mention that YouTube seems to want to censor certain opinions on the grounds that its not “advertiser friendly” (which in my opinion is bullshit because these same advertisers place their ads on sites that report about murders, bombings, etc., for example), and then there’s the whole “YouTube Heroes” nonsense, their broken flagging system, and a few other things. With all this in mind, I figured that blogging about that stuff would be a much better idea instead, since it gives me more freedom and allows me to publish stuff much quicker.

With that said, I’m planning on starting to write more commentaries on politics & society/culture as well as technology, along with occasional life/personal updates, and a few random things every now and then. For the commentaries, I plan on doing responses, op:eds, and the like. My main motivation for the commentaries is to debunk stupidity. This stuff right here is what’s interesting me the most at the moment (besides music, obviously) and this blog has always been about writing about what’s interesting me the most at the moment, since its my personal blog – and a sort of experimental blog as well.

So this is the direction I’m planning on taking this blog on. I’m not sure where this is all going to take me. All I know is this is something I want to do to blow off steam and keep myself level-headed (especially with this shitty Trump Administration in power), but regardless of all this, I’m really excited to do this! I’m not sure how often I’m going to be doing this but I’ll try update this blog as much as I can!

9/30/2015 Update

Hey everyone! I just wanted to give you all a little update on what’s been happening with me as of recently and the direction I’m going to be heading with this blog, my personal YouTube channel, and my career.

Monday was a pretty rough day for me. As some of you might know, I had a dispute with David Pakman on Twitter when I tried to tell him that his story about Lenovo spying on its customers was false and that he needed to backtrack it. I seemed to have failed at it and it really took a toll on me. I seem to be recovering from all that nicely, but I definitely felt very burned out earlier in the week. I just felt this sense of defeat and it was unbearable.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I came to the realization that maybe being a YouTube commentator full-time is not for me (at least right now). I made the decision to do this full time during the summer but things have changed now. My ordeal with Pakman made me realize this as well as a video that Mr. Repzion made earlier in the week callled “Time is Valuable“. I realized that there are simply too many stupid people on the internet these days (but particularly on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook) for me and its difficult to educate them properly on stuff, debate them, ignore/dismiss them, etc. (something that Mr. Repzion mentioned in his video). Not only that but, it made me realize that music is where truly belong at (full time, of course). I see myself working in music for life (its always been that way), and I feel like I haven’t been paying enough attention to that lately (despite my new schedule). Plus, even though there are stupid people who comment on your music, its much easier to debate, ignore & dismiss them. Overall, the culture in music is more laid-back & more positive and I like that (especially when we’re talking about EDM).

My little ordeal is similar to the one that pro motocrosser Chad Reed went through recently: after realizing that he couldn’t handle being both a team owner full time and a rider full time, he made the hard decision to close down his team and is returning to being only a full time rider for another team (at this time, he is either still searching for a team, or he has found one but can’t reveal the details just yet). I, on the other hand, came to the realization that I couldn’t be a music producer/audio engineer/DJ/songwriter/recording artist full time and be a YouTube commentator full time. PROJEKT61 is still in its infancy, I have huge plans for it, and it needs all the attention it can get (especially since I’m either at a place or almost at a place where I can finally keep up with the heavyweights – something that I’ve been working on for 5 years). If I want to become a highly respected, highly sought-after artist, then I need to focus more on that as I still have a long way to go (just like Chad Reed wants to try to win another championship and therefore has to focus on that as much as possible).

I love commenting on stuff – I’m highly opinionated – but I just can’t do it as a full time job (at least not at this time) because I have other things to tend to. People seem to expect a channel to be focused on one type of thing – they don’t want it to be scattered. The expectations that come from being that type of YouTuber are just too much for me to handle (long time YouTubers like Mr. Repzion and Dave from Boyinaband.com seem to be feeling burnt out from that). Sorry to burst your bubble but that’s not my thing (and it doesn’t seem to be Mr. Repzion’s thing either). I originally created this channel to be experimental (just like this blog) and therefore its going to be scattered, and its going to stay that way (it is my personal channel, after all). If you want more focus and consistency, then go over to the PROJEKT61 channel since that’s only focused one thing and that is music. So if you love music, EDM, and bass music go over to that channel (I haven’t uploaded much over there but expect more from there soon).

So with that said, my personal YouTube channel will become my side-project again – it will become my hobby and part-time gig again, where I will post whenever I have time or whenever I feel like it – while the PROJEKT61 channel will become my main channel. I will be working on growing that channel more, and growing the brand as a whole (again, I have big plans for it). Obviously, I’m still a YouTuber, but with different priorities now. I’m still planing to go to VidCon but mostly for PROJEKT61 (I want to meet up with other musicians on YouTube & get some more networking and business tips). Overall, its full-steam ahead for PROJEKT61. I can change my plans/mind at anytime but that’s my plan for now. I need to do what feels right for me and I need to do what makes me really happy. In fact, ever since I made this decision, I’ve seen a big improvement in my happiness.

I’ve learned a lot from being a YouTube commentator (including learning more about myself) and I have really improved my skills in regards to commentating on stuff. Obviously, I’m still going to do commentaries on YouTube but its not going to be a full time thing. I know I haven’t been putting out a lot of fully written content on this blog and that’s because I felt quite a bit of writer’s block and I just didn’t know what was I going to do with this blog next (I have an easier time saying things as they come as opposed to just sitting down and writing them). But I think that making videos has helped me re-ignite that fire. I seem to feel motivated to write again. So with that said, expect me to publish more blogs in here again very soon! (Which is great because I have so much to say at time but don’t always have room around here to record.) Its obviously going to be a part-time/hobby sort of thing (like with my personal YT), which means that I’m only going to post when I have time and/or whenever I feel like it, but I’m going to do it. I might even be turning select posts in here into vlogs/podcasts so you can listen to them on-the-go, or while doing something else in general. They’re going to be sort of like audiobooks except that they’ll sound more ‘natural’.

I’ll catch you all tomorrow with a post about my Twitter scuffle with David Pakman, and ethics in journalism!

The TRT Diaries: 1 Year on T

Its been a year since I started Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and I’ve seen plenty of changes since then. I can happily say that things have really turned around for the better for me since last summer, when I was truly suffering from those Low Testosterone (Low T) symptoms. In this video, I go over some of the most prominent changes while on T – all from an intersex guy’s perspective.

Click here to catch up or get a re-cap on all my other ‘TRT diaries’ entries!

[Vlog] My package got lost in the mail! (Thanks USPS!)

Here’s a vlog were I discuss my recent bad experience with USPS. If you’ve been following my Tumblr closely as of late, then you’ll know that its about the lost package that contained my FreeToM prosthetic.

P.S. There was actually no pun intended when I came up with the title, even though it seems like it…it just happened to come out that way :D. Feel free to laugh if you want!

P.P.S. I recently decided to do YouTube full-time (so it will be my full-time job along with music from now on), so expect to see content more frequently! (I’ll do my best with the space constraints I have right now.)

I’m 25!

Well, its my birthday today. Supposedly, I’m 25 now. But the thing is that I don’t feel 25. I feel more like I’m 18. I don’t exactly look 25, I look more 18 or so. I find it hard to believe I’m 25 now.

I’ve had to get started on life much later than everyone else due to me not really knowing what to do even though I thought I did (I had the “too many gifts” dilemma, so common with people with a lot of passions. Its where you don’t really know what to do with all your passions). Plus, I’ve had to deal with a gender transition (legal & social) due to me not knowing I was born biologically male but intersex and being misassigned female at birth as a consequence (a gender which I’ve never identified with in the first place). I had to deal with confusion surrounding my sexuality for the first 21 years of my life. Additionally, I’ve had to deal with hypogonadism (Low Testosterone, Testoterone Deficiency, etc.), which lead to a reduced puberty (hence why I look very young). So I’m definitely a late-bloomer.

I just wish more people understood this – especially those closest to me. Its not easy being born intersex, going through a gender transition, dealing with a hormone deficiency, not knowing what to do with all your gifts (especially when everyone around you treats starting a life as a competition, and are under constant pressure to do what they want you to do at the expense of your own happiness and well-being), and its especially not easy taking an unconventional career and life path. Everyones experiences are different and everyone deals with them differently. There’s no one “ideal” or “right” way to deal with these things. So to anyone who has an issue on how I’ve dealt with this: that’s your problem, not mine. Deal with it.

But I’ve figured everything out. I’m on TRT and no longer are hypogonadal, I’ve (almost) made the legal transition to male, I’m now living as my true self, I now know what and who I really am, I’m advocating for my favorite computer/technology brand (Lenovo) and I’m being backed by them, I’ve met a lot of great people and made great new friends just by doing this, and I’m finally pursuing the career and life path I’ve always wanted (something I’ve been doing since 2012 – and not without drawbacks). I feel like I’ve really grown up these last few to several years. Life is good and its only going to get better.

I look forward to the future and everything it has to offer. I look forward to growing the PROJEKT61 and Eli Turner brands, showcasing my music, designs, art, and ideas to the world, and engaging in additional business ventures (among other things) and being an entrepreneur, as well as meeting new people and making new friends. There are so many things I want to do and I’m very much looking forward to that. These are not short-term, get-rich-quick type of goals, but rather they are long-term, get-rich-slowly goals, so don’t expect me to accomplish these goals overnight.

Thanks to everyone who has been so patient with me and who have been with me through all of this. I feel so lucky to have such great, supportive people around me.

P.S. I originally posted this on my personal Facebook and thought I would share this with you guys. I have also shared this on my personal Tumblr.

The TRT Diaries – 4 months on T

TRT method:
AndroGel 1.62% – 2 pump actuations daily (40.5 mg)

Blood test results, taken on December 19, 2014:
Hormonal profile:
Testosterone (T), Total: 1145 ng/dL (higher end of normal; excellent!)
Blood profile:
Hematocrit: 40.7 (fair)
Hemoglobin: 13.0 (low end of normal)
Blood sugar profile:
Glucose: 122 (normal for someone who’s not fasting at the time of a blood draw)
Kidney profile:
BUN: 11 (just about right)
Creatinine: 0.60 (a bit below normal)
eGFR: 141 (normal)
Metabolic profile – minerals, kidney, liver:
Sodium: 138 (normal)
Potassium: 3.8 (normal)
Chloride: 102 (normal)
CO2: 27 (higher end of normal)
Calcium: 9.3 (normal)
Protein, total: 7.7 (normal)
Albumin: 4.8 (normal)
Globulin: 2.9 (normal)
A/G Ratio: 1.7 (normal)
Bilirubin, total: 0.4 (normal)
Bilirubin, direct: 0.1 (lower end of normal)
Alk Phosph, S: 68 (normal)
AST: 32 (normal)
ALT: 60 (a bit above normal)

I’ve been on T for 4 months now and quite a bit has happened. I went to see my Endocrinologist on the 13th, and found out that my T levels have gone up a bit from the last time I had my blood drawn (which was in September). My T levels went up from 1043 to 1145. Additionally, my liver enzymes are 5 points above normal (they went up from the last time). The good news is that they’re not so high as to be concerned about my liver, but I do hope it doesn’t get really, really high and that they start to come down in the next few to several months (this is probably just my body adjusting to the TRT). If  does get to the point where they get out of control, then I will probably need to lower my dose a bit (my biggest fear is going off TRT).

My endo thought that my dosage was probably a little too strong and at one point was actually thinking about lowering the dose a bit. But I told him that I felt great, I felt fine, and that I didn’t want to lower the dose, so he didn’t. However, we will need to keep a close eye on my liver enzymes. I have my next appointment with him in mid-April and my next blood draw in either late March or the first week of April and so we’ll see what happens then.

Now, on to the other changes:

Sexual Function
Some changes have happened in the downstairs area since my last update. I can actually see my whole glans now. The foreskin on my penis can fully retract now, whereas before it only used to retract up to the mid-point of the glans. I never thought I would see this happen. I always thought that not having a cis male-looking glans – and a small glans – was something I was always going to have just because I was intersex. But 4 months on T and I now have a glans that looks just like a cis male’s. Furthermore, my sexual performance has really improved, my confidence has gone up, and my sex drive is more frequent and is very consistent. I really like what’s happening in this department. One more thing: It seems like I have gotten some minor testicular shrinkage (I noticed it earlier in the month). Shrinkage is normal for men on TRT and is only minor – it just means that your body has stopped producing LH (which is what makes the testes grow – at least most of the time).

Voice
My voice has deepened since my 1.5 month update – it really sounds significantly different from before I start T. I’m really starting to love my voice and my social confidence is increasing due to it. I’m becoming less self-conscious about it but I still have some way to go.

Facial/body hair
My facial and body hair is becoming thicker and darker, slowly over time. I’m starting to see thicker hairs on my face. I can’t wait until I’m able to grow a full beard!

Physical Profile
My weight has gone up from 97 ibs to 100 ibs! This is the first time in my life that I’ve cracked 100, I’ve never been able to do that no matter how hard I tried. My biceps and triceps seem to have grown more recently. I can see my six pack a little better now – and without putting very much effort. I either seemed to have shedded a little more fat or my abdominal muscles grew a little (it could go either way). All I know is that they need to grow some more to make them look like they really pop out. Also, I have seen a significant increase in strength since my last update (which I’m very happy about!). From the looks of it, I can go back to working out full time, but I think I’m going to wait an additional 2-3 months before I do so. I’m very happy to see that I’m finally going to be able to get the body I’ve always wanted.

Energy/mood
My energy and mood have really improved. I feel really motivated to do stuff now.

Cognition
I have seen great improvements in my cognition since my 1.5 month update. My word aphaxia has greatly improved. Doing intellectually-demanding stuff is much easier now. I no longer have to struggle with that type of work – I have more patience doing it now. Making music, designs, and other things are much funner now than before T. Learning new things is much easier now – I’m now better able to grasp material that I learn. And lastly, my social confidence keeps going up. Things are going great in this area.

Other
I have seen a modest increase in acne. I get it on my face, neck, back, chest, and upper arms – but mostly on my face.

I really love what’s happening with my body. I’m very excited to see what’s going to be happening 2 months from now (on my 6th month).

I guess that’s all for now. I’ll provide my next update probably in April (after I go see my Endocrinologist). I’m still working on my video blog version of my TRT updates. Not sure when I’ll get it completed (things are a bit hectic around here) but I’ll let you all know when I make it.

See you all next time!