5 Things I Did That Finally Worked With Weight Loss

I’ve punished my body. I know I have. 40+ years of shoving god knows what in my mouth hole was certainly going to catch up with me at some point right? Weight loss was never an issue for me. Growing up I was pretty much a skinny kid with a mutant metabolism. I literally would burn more calories then I would consume just from the motion of eating. But just like anything with old age, that changes quickly when you get north of 40. Even then, I was never really that motivated to change my diet. Why should I? Sure my belly might look like I was a few months pregnant, but only in side view (note: don’t ever allow yourself to be photographed that way). Aside from that, you would never look at me and think “that dude is overweight”. So my shitty eating habits continued. I figured…hey…I’ll clean it up when my body gives me a reason to clean it up.

A few weeks ago my body gave me a reason to clean it up. Pre-diabetic. That wasn’t officially the diagnosis during my initial yearly check up, but the warning signs were fired. And that’s all I needed to finally get serious about cleaning things up. It’s one thing to not qualify for the cover of Men’s Health, it’s another thing altogether to be told you’re on the path to disease.

So I knew I had to do something, but I also knew about every failed attempt in my life previously at this sort of thing. I figured this was different though…my health was at stake, and I had to figure out a manageable way to deal with this.

I’ve never believed in fad diets. They’re all BS. Sure, you may lose weight, but in most cases you’ll never keep it off because none of them are sustainable. My plan was to just stick to the basics and understand that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. That it’s not about quick results and short term plans, but a way to make changes in my diet that I could live with the rest of my life.

It’s been a little over 2 weeks and I’m down roughly 10 lbs. and 3 inches on my gut…and that’s without any regular exercise (yet). Here’s the top 5 things I’ve done that have made it happen in my opinion.

  1. No more sugar. This was the big one. It’s my kryptonite. Always has been. I was easily drinking 4-5000 calories a week in sugary drinks alone. This has been tough, but I would bet that the majority of my weight loss results are probably just by cutting sugar out. I’ve had a few small treats here and there and some fruit, but that’s it. This is the #1 thing you can do to lose weight in my opinion. Our bodies do not need refined sugar period. It’s still a work in progress, but I believe this is the biggest thing I can do to be more healthy and reduce my health risks.
  2. Cut carbs by 75%. Carbs turn into sugar in your body, so it’s only natural that I needed to cut here too, but not completely. The key is to avoid carbs at dinner. You don’t need them then. I’m not crazy in this area…if I’m on the road, and I need to eat quick, I’ll eat a burrito or a cheeseburger. But I’m moving away from the carb heavy diet I’ve been accustomed to and trying to keep them earlier in the day so my body uses it as fuel vs. storing it.
  3. Eat less. Every study and research piece tells you that you need to eat breakfast every morning, and/or eat more often to boost your metabolism and trigger weight loss. Here’s the thing…it’s simple math. Eat less calories then your body burns and you lose weight…period. My appetite has inherently gone down since all of this, and I simply listen to my body. Often times I’ll only eat 2 meals a day, but more importantly, portion sizes are much smaller. I eat until I’m no longer hungry. I don’t eat until I’m full. That’s a huge difference in the way you think about food. Between cutting sugar and my calorie intake, it’s no wonder I’m able to lose consistently even without having worked exercise in yet.
  4. Do not drink calories. I can’t believe how many calories I was consuming just in liquid alone. Just cutting that is probably enough to get me to a better place. Lots of research about how artificial sweeteners are going to kill us. There’s no proof. Sure, maybe 30-40 years from now we learn it does, but shit…you can’t live your life with what ifs. And if using Splenda in my Iced Tea helps me lose weight, lower my diabetes risk, I’ll take that trade. It’s all about moderation. And lots of water.
  5. Don’t eat after 9pm. I just picture eating food late at night then going to bed and how it just sits there turning into fat. Sure, your body actually burns quite a bit during sleep, but there’s no nutritional need to eat late at night, so I don’t. If I get hungry, I just go to bed.

I know as guy it’s easier when it comes to weight loss, which certainly isn’t fair. I also know that week 1 losses are usually the most and can involve water weight loss. But regardless, I can tell how quickly and drastically the changes are taking place. My goal was to focus just on the diet part first, not overwhelm myself with too much change. Exercise is certainly next, but it’s about finding active things I enjoy doing that are sustainable, so that whatever I’m doing lasts.

What’s worked for you?

BenQ 27″ Monitor PD2710QC Review

Over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to work with the BenQ 27″ Designer Monitor PD2710QC in conjunction with my 15″ Macbook Pro (late 2016 model). I’ve been looking for a somewhat higher end larger monitor that had simple connectivity and lo and behold BenQ coincidentally reached out to me to test and review the model. The following is my unbiased and thorough review of what I loved, liked and didn’t like in my time testing out the monitor.

For those not in the know, here is the lowdown on this particular monitor:

  • 27-inch, 16:9, QHD 2560 x 1440 IPS 4-sided edge to edge panel
  • 8-bit, 100% sRGB & Rec.709
  • USB-CDocking Station:
  • USB Power Delivery 61W
  • Supports 2K QHD video display
  • Four USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A Ports (USB hub)
  • Ethernet RJ45 port
  • Darkroom mode, CAD/CAM mode, Animation mode
  • I/O terminals include (head): HDMI, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, DisplayPort out (MST)

The BenQ 27″ Designer Monitor PD2710QC is a higher end monitor intended for creative professionals, but for those looking for something a little more high end feature wise, a good alternative to entry level offerings. The monitor offers a 2560 x 1440 resolution with support for 100 percent sRGB color accuracy and specific modes for use with CAD and animation software.

The display itself, is a 27-inch IPS panel mounted on a plastic base that has an overall attractive look and feel. The back tapers and is neutral and thin on the sides and a thick back. An arm with a large whole for cord management attaches to the dock. Although the entire build is made primarily of plastic, it does not look or feel cheap in any way.

What I Love

Connectivity Options – The PD2710QC comes with a slew of connection options, but most importantly, the simplicity of  the USB Type-C connection which has become the standard. What really sets this monitor apart is the built in docking station that comes along with the monitor. By plugging in a laptop with USB Type-C, you in essence turn the PD2710QC docking station into an extension of your computer so that you can connect everything you need directly into the monitor vs. the laptop. This basically gives you the flexibility of a laptop solution with a desktop setup at home.

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Build Quality – The overall look and feel of this monitor is solid. While not at the level of any sort of finished metal similar to Apple, for the price, this feels like a solid monitor. I like the ease of being able to move the monitor in multiple directions while it still feeling sturdy. In addition you can easily shift the screen orientation from landscape to portrait. While I don’t see myself using this particular feature, for designers and engineers I would imagine this is a nice feature to have.

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Picture Quality – A lot of times this can be subjective for people on a variety of levels, but at the end of the day, all I can report back on is what I’ve experienced and for my use, the picture quality looks great. I’ve tested multiple applications (Adobe suite, video, picture, casual browsing) and everything looks very good clarity and color wise…no complaints.

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What I Don’t Love

Size of Dock – While I love the functionality of the dock, clearly the tradeoff is the larger base which takes up a bit of desk real estate. If you have a small desk or limited work area, this could be problematic. You could certainly place your laptop on the based, but only in closed mode.

Speakers – Normally you wouldn’t depend on the speakers in your monitor for quality listening, and you can’t with these…they’re unusable. I’ve found the speakers on Macbooks and Imacs to be quite good on most occasions, but if you want a true desktop solution, I’d either simply use the speakers from your laptop or an alternative set to hook up to the docking station.

61w Power – Unfortunately I’m unable to charge my 15″ Macbook Pro through the single USB-C connector due to the lower power put out by this monitor. It adds another cable/power adapter to the mix.

All in all, the BenQ 27″ Designer Monitor PD2710QC is a good monitor but certainly not elite. If you can’t fork over the $1k+ it would take for a true 4 or 5k monitor, the PD2710QC is a good alternative at about 60% of the price. It’s an ideal fit for the smaller Macbook Pros, but if you have a Macbook Pro 15″ you’ll have to decide if you can deal with having to use a separate power cord.

More info and purchase options can be found here: https://www.benqdirect.com/monitors/cad-cam-monitors/pd2710qc.html

Top 5 Misconceptions Of An Introvert

My name is Jason Yormark and I’m an introvert. There…I said it. I’m not ashamed. Why should I be? If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, is that being successful in life and business as an introvert isn’t any more or less challenging than if I were the opposite. But the perceptions I and those I’ve worked with don’t go unnoticed so I feel compelled to set the record straight. Let it begin!

  1. We don’t like to be around other people. Hey, I dig my me time. Cozying up on the couch to watch re-runs of Three’s Company, or just relax without having to deal with other people is good times. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy being around others. Especially those in my inner circle…friends, family, co-workers…I need those interactions as well. I’m just not the guy that’s naturally great at sparking conversation in small intimate settings. However if you engage with me in one, I can be a great conversationalist.
  2. We don’t make good public speakers. Quite the contrary. While being an introvert, I love speaking opportunities. Love getting up in front of large groups of people to talk about things I’m passionate about. Ironically I’m great at this sort of thing, but not so much in small settings like networking events. Unfortunately I’m not smart enough to give you any sort of scientific reason for this sort of thing. So you’ll just have to go with me being an example. You’re welcome.
  3. We don’t make good leaders. Just because I’m not the life of the party doesn’t mean I’m incapable of leading others. My introverted nature usually has me praising others and putting them on the spot vs. putting the attention on me. It’s served me well in management roles, and being the kind of person that listens and digests information before speaking, it’s allowed me to make good decisions despite not coming off as the boisterous cheerleader.
  4. We don’t care. Often times introverts can come off as aloof, or uncaring. It’s simply not true. In most cases we’re listening intently…thinking, strategizing in our head the information we’re receiving to make thoughtful, efficient responses. Oh…we care. We’re plotting to take over the world.
  5. We need to strive to be less introverted. Being an introvert isn’t some sort of disease or condition. It’s not something that needs to be worked on or fixed…any more then someone who is extroverted needs to change their ways. Good managers, leaders, friends for that matter can recognize how people are wired, and work with them to develop relationships and work environments that embrace each person’s ways. Like anything in life, it’s about balance and meeting in the middle. I enjoy being around extroverts as much as I do introverts, and would never want to live in a world where everyone was wired the same way.

Now leave me alone so I can go back to my show. Mr. Roper is about to do his thing.

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5 Things I’ve Learned About Being A Great Manager

Do you know what one of the biggest mistakes companies make when it comes to hiring a manager or promoting those into management positions? Assuming they’ll be great at managing and leading people based solely on their previous job performances. I’ve seen it time and time again people being hired or promoted into roles that put them in a position of being responsible for other people, and they are not wired, nor fit to do so…and in many cases, don’t want to be except for the benefits that come with the title. In many cases, the best managers are by nature, nurturers. People that naturally are fulfilled by taking care of others, and take more pride in their accomplishments over their own. I’ve had the fortunes of being able to be in management roles over the past 15 years, and have had some amazing teams, but more importantly, have learned quite a few lessons along the way.

  1. Authentically give a shit. In most cases, you spend more time with the people you work with than your own families. Taking an interest in the lives of the people you manage goes a long way in building strong relationships, trust, and bonds that lend themselves to incredible team dynamics. It makes everything easier along the way when you hit work related roadblocks and challenges.
  2. Hire/Enable great people and get out of the way. I’m a firm believer in hiring people that are better than you are. Surround yourself with great people and get out of their way. Let them be great. Your job is to enable people to do great work and mentor along the way. NOBODY likes a micro-manager yet the world is chock full of them.
  3. Celebrate. Whether it’s birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, life events or work related accomplishments, celebrate and elevate those on your team when they happen. I currently have a team of 3 which obviously makes this more manageable, but I love surprising my team with gifts or decorations on their desks. Bonus Manager Hack: have everyone you manage on your team fill out a list of their favorite things their first week and tuck it away when needed. By the time you use it, they’ll forget you even did that and be shocked at your ability to gift some of their fave things.
  4. It’s about them, not you. I rarely ever point out my own achievements…perhaps to a fault sometimes. When it comes to leadership meetings or getting credit for team performance, I always point to the members on my team and their accomplishments. It’s my job to advocate for them, help them learn, grow, and evolve their careers. I need to be their biggest cheerleaders, and always have their back.
  5. Let them fail. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes. Encourage risk taking, it’s where the majority of learning and career development happen. It’s critical to create an environment where employees feel like they can take chances and make some mistakes. It’s all about “failing up”. Making sure that when things don’t go as planned, learning from them and course correcting.

There’s certainly much more to being a great manager, but these are some of the biggest reasons I’ve been able to have the level of success as a manager that I’ve had, and some incredible working relationships along the way.

When Getting Older Gets Stressful

Things that happen when you get into your 40s:

  • You literally can forget how old you are
  • Getting drunk requires a day after strategy
  • The # of people you like or can tolerate decreases over time
  • Doing nothing is everything
  • You start losing your childhood movie and rock stars AND IT SUCKS
  • For those that have lost a parent too soon, you start wondering if you’ll make it past their age

That last one is a doozy. I lost my mom in her mid 50s way too soon, and every year I get closer it’s what I think about. Will I make it past the age she lived? What choices do I have to make to ensure I do?

It sucks. It’s stupid. You shouldn’t live your life worrying about those sorts of things, but for those that have lost a parent too soon, you know what I’m talking about. For whatever reason, your 40s are where you start thinking about getting older and it’s a constant struggle.

I want to go out more…my wife and I both do. But it’s hard god damn work! You know how much easier and better it usually sounds to wear sweat pants and just lay on the couch eating things dipped in cheese? Way easier. But I want to still go out. I want to still feel young. And sometimes we do…it’s just harder.

You get in your 40s and it’s like you become your own agent. You have to strategize…make plans…think ahead. You want to play in that baseball or basketball tournament over the weekend? Sure, no problem. Better free up your Monday so your bones can heal.

Oh, you want to head out on St. Patty’s day and have a “few” drinks into the wee hours? Okay…do I have to get up before 12 tomorrow so I can recover from rolling around in my own sick all night?

I can’t even watch a damn movie without going into shock and awe about how it’s 10 or 20 years old already but feels like it just came out a few years ago.

The one that gets me every time? 30 years ago was 1987. In 1987, 30 years ago was 1957. WTF?! Is that math right?! How can that be? My brain can’t compute with that.

It seems like it was just yesterday I was some dumb kid trying to figure it all out. Now I’m a dumb 43 year old still trying to figure it out. Do we ever?

So what’s the morale to this seemingly dumb blog article? (hey, if you’ve gotten this far, it’s on you)

Worry about the things in life that you CAN control. That’s been my motto that I’m trying to live by these days. Once you’re able to do that, stress becomes more manageable..time seems to slow down a bit.

Things dipped in cheese helps too.