“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”   Franklin D. Roosevelt

40 Fat and Frustrated is the accumulated awareness and realization that the frustration you feel is a product of your creation. It is the acceptance that there are things in your life like your age, who your parents are, and your past that cannot be changed. It’s about becoming aware of your situation and focusing on the things that you can change. Regardless of age, sex, your past, or financial status, 40 Fat and Frustrated is both a destination and a journey. It signifies the beginning of a new way of thinking and provides the tools to help you redefine your life the way you want it to be. 

What makes you frustrated? If you separate the emotional response to frustration and get past the feelings of anger and annoyance, you will notice that frustration originates from a handful of sources. Most of these sources can be broken down into these categories:

  • Age
  • Economic
  • Weight and Body Image
  • Family
  • Psychological
  • Political

You may notice that these categories intertwine with one another. For example, some of you might encounter feelings of frustration with the inability to pursue certain goals. Or being held back from achieving something because of family obligations or age. Age in itself brings about many frustrations, the perceived “midlife crisis” being the biggest one. And for many, the ability to lose weight and create an ideal body image has strong ties to one’s psychological responses, as well as links to family, and age. 

Regardless of the reason, you will encounter some degree of frustration in life. The most important thing to understand is the response and how you manage it. Cutaway the emotional response and peel back the associated feelings and you get down to two underlying factors. Things that you can change, and the things that you can’t. Once you identify all the things that you absolutely have no control over you can start to target the things that you can. 

It all begins with Awareness and Accountability.

40 Fat and Frustrated is about taking stock of your life and drawing a line in the sand. It’s about building awareness around your emotional state and recognizing the triggers that set you off. It’s about becoming 100% accountable for everything in your life and taking responsibility for the shit show it’s become. 

40 Fat and Frustrated is for all you beautiful people who are looking for help with:

  • Losing weight and keeping it off.
  • Finding direction and meaning in life. 
  • Suffering from anxiety and depression.
  • Feeling of hopelessness.
  • Finding meaning in this crazy chaotic world.
  • And the sensation of being frustrated.

The first thing you should understand is that you are not alone.  It’s ok to feel this way, I feel many of the same things that you’re going through. Through trial and error, I applied specific tools and tactics to help manage my own frustrations. And as I applied what worked, my life significantly improved. What I realized as time went on was that there is no quick path to success, fortune or fame. It is a daily grind, a self-relenting bitch to burden. Every day when you wake up and the fucking rent is due, your success or failure is how you navigate through it. 

  • I’m here for you and I want to hear your story. As this platform grows I want you and your story to become part of an online community to help keep you and others accountable.
  • I’ve implemented these strategies with scalability in mind. Whether or not you’re starting from zero or if you’ve been working at it for a while.
  • Massive change begins with accountability for every aspect of your life.

Every morning when you wake up you get a clean slate in which you get to redefine your life. Yesterday does not matter. It is in those few minutes of waking up that you set the intention for the day. That you take ownership of the day and start stacking success in your favor. Don’t you want to wake up and live your best day ever? What if you could repeat that the following day and the next? It’s possible but only you have the choice, only you decide which way you go. How bad do you want it?

Highlights you will Encounter

  • How to identify what your triggers and negative feedback loops are. How to become more aware of them and the thought process associated with them.
  • Identify resistance and how it manifests. Awareness – You can’t transform without first becoming aware that there is a problem.
  • Identify the categories of common frustrations, and how to successfully navigate through them. Learning how to disregard what you can’t change and owning the things that you can.
  • Define the life you want and identify the one you don’t. Determine which one you want to work towards. 
  • Learn how to redefine success and establish new daily routines. Routines establish habits, habits define goals, goals are achieved. 
  • Scalability of action in each step.
  • Learn how simple 30-day challenges can help stack these improvements into measurable results.
  • Help build a massive online community to help support one another in becoming more accountable and create the best version of yourself. 
  • It’s about the journey not the destination. It’s about finding happiness with what you have now and enjoying it, knowing that your success in life is coming, but being happy with the process. It’s slow, but you’re right where you need to be at this moment. 

About Me

Hey, I’m James, 40 Fat and Frustrated came out of my own frustrations in life. I’m 41, married with 4 kids. My daughter who’s 21, and 3 little hell-raising boys ages 12, 6, and 4. I work full time, I have a mortgage, car payments and plenty of bills. My wife works nights, which means I’m a single parent for the majority of the week. If I can implement these strategies and benefit from them, then I know you can too. My story begins out of a very dark moment in my life. One in which I haven’t discussed openly, until starting this project.

“Was this all there is?” I thought as my life silently slipped unceremoniously from its final days of my perceived youth into full-blown adulthood. Had the passage of time defined my current reality as nothing more than stagnant mediocrity? I was indeed no longer in my youth, the greying of my hair signaled that departure.  As well as a daily reminder of all my old injuries, aches, and pains. Had I by some cruel mistake received this life as a sentence to carry out my final years in hopeless desperation? Neither half dead nor half alive but firmly stuck in the middle of a life of my own creation. 

Plagued by an over-accumulation of frustration and disappointment further fueled by a life-long affliction with ADD, alcohol, and drugs, I had reached the tipping point.

Before I had a chance to look back 10 years had passed by. Now facing a sobering present reality that my youth had been squandered, replaced by an unsettling anxiety that I had settled for a middle-age steeped in mediocrity. Feeling that the opportunities and potential manifested by the restlessness and brilliance of youth had forever been silenced. 

Goals undefined and the passage of time laid waste to a decade without momentum. As if getting on a bus as a passenger and falling asleep only to wake up ten years later, and realize the baggage I obtained, the bus, the journey, and the destination were all my creations. Worse still was that I had become acutely aware that it had been me driving the bus this entire time. 

How are we to define ourselves through the perceived notion that we are neither half-dead or half-alive? For one is bleak and void of hope and the other is full of sunshine and fucking rainbows. How do we pull ourselves from the self-imposed chasm of our minds which have manifested the reality of our life?

What if there was another way? 

In my darkest hour with cold steel pressed against my head, I contemplated death. I forced myself to think of how my death would affect my wife and kids, my family and friends. No one but me knew how depressed I had become. On the outside, I hid it well, but on the inside, I was dying. The sobering reality was that no one was coming to help me. 

To compound my frustrations I’ve had at least 10 different careers over the last 41 years. I’ve attended at least 5 different colleges some more than once and each time I’ve pursued a different major. I’ve spent time in the military, fire school, and the police academy. I’ve got numerous academic certificates of completion in a plethora of different fields. I have a shit ton of education and none of it allowed me to identify what to do with my life or increase my ability to earn a better income. Out of all these educational opportunities, not one led to a degree. Unless you consider an associate’s degree from an online for-profit college in Information Technology a real degree? 

Here’s a quick list of some of the things I’ve done over the past 41 years.

  • Photogrammetrist
  • Line Cook
  • Navy Veteran and Hospital Corpsman 
  • Surgical Technician 
  • Masseuse 
  • Optician 
  • Telemarketer 
  • Personal Trainer 
  • Fire Fighter 
  • Police Officer

On top of all the various careers I’ve tried, I attended school for Culinary Arts and I once talked myself into a master’s degree program for Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine without having any college experience at the time. A year and a half later I had $40,000 worth of student loan debt with credits that wouldn’t transfer. It was not a successful adventure, sure it was fun, I met some amazing people and got to travel and study in China. Only none of it made me content.

Through all my career pursuits I gained first-hand experience in counseling, therapy, meditation, crisis management, combat medicine, surgery, diet and nutrition, personal training and much more. Despite all these various career paths and learning opportunities, I was still miserable and frustrated.

I’d left being a police officer to return to work as a cardiovascular surgical tech because it allowed me more flexibility with my hours and offered better pay. But I still craved that one career pursuit that I could give all my creativity and ambition too. Yet I had no idea what the hell I wanted to do with my life. The problem now was that I was rapidly approaching 40, had a mortgage, kids to take care of and many more responsibilities. 

On the exterior, it looked like I had it all figured out. The family and the house, a steady job. But on the inside, I was suffering from bouts of anxiety and depression. I wasn’t happy, I worked in a toxic work environment, my marriage was on the rocks, my kids were growing up without me being present. Here I was with a lifetime of experience in multiple different fields and I couldn’t use any of it. 

For years I went on like this, not being present, and allowing the anxiety to manifest. It got to the point that to silence the anxiety I would drink every evening to “unwind”. It started with just a few beers then turned into a six-pack or a bottle of wine at a time. That went on almost every day for years. I would try and exercise and eat healthily, but I’d quickly fall off the wagon. If I had a bad day at work or home life got me stressed out, I’d make an excuse to pick up something to drink. As a result, I was quickly getting fatter and quickly out of shape. This routine then had reciprocating effects as the following day became that much harder, further escalating the downward spiral.

From contemplating my death to pulling myself up by the boot laces I managed to pull myself out of the dark. Once I took accountability for just how fucked up my life was, I could start fixing myself. I quickly realized that absolutely no one was coming to help, and I had to figure out how to fix myself through education, grit, and tenacity. I laid out the framework to start defining who I wanted to be and not who I was. I started looking forward instead of relying on the past. In many ways, 40 Fat and Frustrated has become my therapy.

Giving Back

The tipping point for me was shortly after my contemplation with death that I experienced a life-changing event that allowed me to put everything into perspective. My wife, four kids and I took a month-long vacation shortly after I turned 40. I couldn’t afford it but I thought “how often do you turn 40?” We flew into LA and then with a rental car we drove into Baja Mexico for a week, then drove back across the border into California and then up the coast and into Oregon. 

The entire trip I had one repeating thought which was “how can I continue this trip indefinitely?”. How could I separate myself from the daily grind of investing my time for an hourly wage? How could I create a life in which I invested in my family instead? You see, for years I had been making these really shitty investments. I was investing my time into a corporation that could give two shits about me, my family, or my ambitions. On that trip, I set the intention that I would work my ass off to find the way.

We invest the best part of our lives into getting up and going to work each day. The prime of our life, when we are the most creative, healthiest and mobile. To slug it out for a salary or hourly wage. During that time our kids grow up, they eventually figure things out and grow up with us being largely not present. Then they go off to college or get jobs and start lives of their own. Eventually, they get to a point when you as the parents aren’t needed and they get busy with their own lives. And if you’re lucky to retire one day you’ll realize that your best and most mobile years are long gone. And now that you have the time, it’s too late and your kids are all grown up, they have their own lives, jobs, and families to deal with.

What if you could change that? What if you could spend the best years of your life and put that time into going on adventures and experiencing life with your kids and family? What if you could develop true meaningful relationships with them? What if you could give them a world class education as you both experience the world together? You see never was there a time when that was more possible then today in this modern technological age. 

I don’t have the answers as to what you should do with your life. But, I do know that if you invest a small part of your time daily into creating success. Working on goals, creating new habits and routines, that the answer will come. Spend the first part of each day investing in bettering your life, exercising, reading or learning something and you can build leverage and momentum. So that when an opportunity comes knocking you will have a better ability to take advantage of it. 

Out of that life-changing experience of our month-long family vacation, I returned a different person. I dived into taking steps to bring meaning and bettering my life. I found out how to better manage my anxiety and depression, I got control of my alcohol consumption. I started employing different tactics, which for many are still rather taboo. Things like micro-dosing with psychedelics, sensory deprivation, off label use of different medications, yogic breathing practices, and cold water immersion. I got ahold of my nutrition and started testing different diets like vegan, vegetarian, carnivore, ketogenic and intermittent fasting. I analyzed time management techniques and then applied them tweaking it along the way. I made exercise, meditation, and diet a daily staple. 

I realized that to redefine myself I needed to establish a new daily routine in which there was a group of core activities that I needed to achieve daily without question regardless of the day or situation. Every day that I knocked out these core activities I viewed as a success. And what I noticed was that just a subtle change in activity and behavior had significant improvement in my transformation and growth. As if pruning a plant, the fruits of my labor paid off, and my life started to improve drastically. Physically I felt better and had more energy, mentally my confidence improved and my anxiety subsided. I started thinking more clearly and made better decisions. 

Everything was going well and over a period of a few months, my life has definitely improved and then something remarkable happened. I was challenged to try 30 days of no alcohol. Admittedly the first 2 weeks were a lot more difficult than I thought they would be. Even though I wasn’t drinking every day when I started, I still found that a drink in the evening decreased my anxiety. At the end of the 30 days, I had lost almost 10 pounds and every marker in my life improved. Sleep quality increased, pain decreased, my diet improved, I could pay attention longer, and my workouts kicked ass. I also had a lot more free time in the evenings and was getting more things accomplished. So much more free time in fact that I sat down and contemplated how I could share all this amazing stuff that I was learning. 

And then the light bulb went off.

Since there was no one to come help me when I needed it the most. What if I could be that help and provide assistance to others who might be in a similar situation?

Look, I get it, there are some things that can’t be fixed. And you certainly are not going to fix anyone else or get them to change. How many arguments in your life have been centered around others not living up to your expectations? I was a full-time single parent most evenings on top of working full time. I was responsible for the grocery shopping, cooking dinner, dropping off and picking kids up from soccer, and getting the kids washed and into bed. How the hell was I going to pursue any of my goals when I had zero time to do it? I started to blame others, my family, my job, my ADD. I was pointing all these fingers and becoming resentful of the people closest to me. If I came home from work and the house was a mess or the kitchen sink was full of dirty dishes I would lose my damn mind. I would yell at my wife and kids, I would get so angry that my mantra became “fuck my life!” #FML – And that’s what happened, my life became fucked! 

Taking that family vacation was so much more than just a vacation, it was as if by some miracle I could see other ways of navigating through all the shit in my life to find a better way of doing things. My biggest moment of clarity was realizing that I had no one to blame for anything in my life except Me. If the kitchen was a mess, it was my fault, if the house was a mess, it was my fault, if the kids didn’t have clean school clothes or soccer uniforms then, it was my fault. If dinner wasn’t ready on time, Yup you guessed it, it was my fault. I had to take responsibility for every damn aspect of my life.

I know what your thinking, that it doesn’t seem fair, that it’s too much hard work? Why should you have to pick up other people’s messes, why should you have to do the dishes especially if you didn’t make them dirty? But that’s it, that is the answer! You get up and you just do. You put no thought into it, no thought of fairness, no thought or resentment. It’s about trying to get a zen-like mindset to navigate through it. But how?

Prior to that fateful trip, I would blame everyone else for the shit show my life had become. I lived in resentment and negativity. The anxiety and depression I felt was my body telling me that something wasn’t right. Alcohol is a wonderful drug because it works. It reduces pain and anxiety. So every evening I’d have a few drinks in order to mitigate the anxiety and pain of my life. Which then had reciprocating effects.

I would wake up the next morning sluggish and slow. My body ached and the thought of working out before work was just not going to happen. And so I needed stimulants, as time went on I needed more. I was taking Adderall with an energy drink just to face the day. Not only was my life becoming more toxic so was my body. I was living on fake energy, which further fueled my decline and depression. And since I couldn’t get the things done that I wanted to I would try in the evenings after work which would only lead to more frustration. As I was then in direct opposition with my wife and kids and the things that needed to get done. But I didn’t have the time for any of it, let alone try and do the things I wanted to do. Or so I thought. 

I just don’t have the time.

Oh but you do! You make the time. And I’ll show you how. 40 Fat and Frustrated is about becoming accountable and learning how to become the best version of you. This transformation requires sacrifice and discipline. Which means doing things that make you uncomfortable. It’s a slow process but every day that you stick with it, you stack all these little victories together and massive change is created. True growth is created in that discomfort.

I believe in you and the inherent abilities we were all born with. Isn’t it time that you tap into your true potential and live the life you want? Tell me why you can’t so I can tell you that you’re full of shit. You just don’t want it that bad. So if you’re tired of quitting and giving up, tired of getting up in the same ol’ rut in the same ol’ gear, then follow me. Let’s see what we can create together.

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