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@Cetasaurus:

Can you tell me more? I know that physical fitness has like a bajillion mental health benefits. Would you say that’s the most key factor (in your experience)?


Yes, both in the sense that my cardiovascular health increased, allowing me to think clearer and have more energy to do things and in the sense that finding out that I can do really hard things and how good it feels to push myself to the edge leads me to try that in more contexts than the physical.

I used to have a skinnyfat nothingbody, like a lot of the guys that you see asking if they should just become crossdressers. I picked the opposite option, however, because I understand that no-one starts off looking good and being fit, making the question "should I try even though I don't have the body for it" ridiculous. No-one has the body for it. A fit body and the power contained therein is the product of the work, not the other way around.

The idea that some people are just given certain boons that are unreachable by others, even among similar starting physical health, is self-abasing fatalism that ignores all of the opportunity given to you. It may not be the cause of the plague of depression that the current generation is known for, but it is a component. And it can be destroyed through literal, physical action. You can rewire yourself to recognize and actualize your own potential by the ritual of iron. When you exercise yourself, your body structure changes, your brain chemistry changes, your psychology changes. Your mind starts learning new patterns, possibly overwriting old ones.

Learning this through physical training gave me the visceral counterpart to the intellectual encouragement that we may remember as words but not as action. It is one thing to be told that no-one is good at drawing or writing or what have you at first, but it is quite another to be a living power that embodies that concept. You begin to realize that there are things that you can do now that you couldn't before. With that pattern established, your mind begins to fill in the future, to project the continued ascension. You begin to visualize a brighter future, at least in one facet. You start to do things not just because you think they will give you strength, but because you realize that you have strength and that the practice of enforcing your will onto physical reality is a fundamentally satisfying thing.

The snake swallows its tail, becoming a perfect circle.

Make of your body a weapon, a thunder-chariot for the will and intellect. In the doing of this task, your Will shall continuously be forged and re-forged, the dross and slag driven from it, hardening alongside your muscle, bad habits cast aside, poor excuses left to bleed out in the dust.

You will Become whatever it is you Desire, and this is the Great Work.


This is what is known as "the ironpill".

Fertile is the mind tilled with steel.
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There are 15 Replies

the practice of enforcing your will onto physical reality is a fundamentally satisfying thing.

This is very true. I had the opportunity last weekend to cut a steel bracket using rusty iron tin snips. This was some very challenging work and required all my strength (and then some) to pull off.

Posted November 9th by Xhin
Xhin
 

It's worth pointing out that your body will adapt to whatever physical work you continually throw at it. If you truly want to reap the benefits of exercise you have to continually challenge yourself, try new and different things, or otherwise keep your body from ever adapting.

Posted November 9th by Xhin
Xhin
 

I think the greatest mental benefits come from a socialogical perspective. If you're hawt AF, people treat you in ways that gives that helps you be much more productive, which in turn cycles.

Posted November 9th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak

I think the greatest mental benefits come from a socialogical perspective.


It's possible for some. My experience isn't every experience. I can easily assume that there are people out there who are far more social and thus gain a larger social benefit than I do.

Edited November 9th by nullfather
nullfather

That goes with everything and everyone. In theory, someone out there who focuses on physical health (especially weight control) could end up in a situation where it causes them to get killed (say, a bouncer). So, it seems most logical to talk in a more universal scenario. Something we do know is that social aspects have huge impacts on how successful one is at pretty much anything, so anything that can improve you socially without significant consequences is a net positive in your overall success, which in turn will benefit you mentally on a very, very substantial level, especially for those who may or may not be in some need of therapy or something: that confidence success gives you is strong.

Posted November 10th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak

I do gain a social benefit from being more fit, yes. I don't necessarily believe that the sociological perspective is the greatest mental benefit for me, though. I guess it depends on how vaguely you interpret "sociological". If I anticipate that I now have more potential to do something for someone and thus have a higher personal value, does that count as a "sociological" perspective, even if I never do anything that requires that fitness for anyone and no-one actually gives me recognition for that value?

Posted November 10th by nullfather
nullfather

I do gain a social benefit from being more fit, yes. I don't necessarily believe that the sociological perspective is the greatest mental benefit for me, though. I guess it depends on how vaguely you interpret "sociological". If I anticipate that I now have more potential to do something for someone and thus have a higher personal value, does that count as a "sociological" perspective, even if I never do anything that requires that fitness for anyone and no-one actually gives me recognition for that value?


You're simplifying what i'm saying. The idea is, your ability to get resources and support from others is highly influenced by your social health. This is why "networking" gets you jobs, promotions, etc. We like to pretend it isn't true, but it really is "who you know" for the most part in life. If you can be competent or better at what is offered to you, you'll get it if you have the higher social power. Now, enjoy the reasoning why

1. I was working a kitchen job that has horrible hours with horrible pay, it's part time, schedule not guaranteed, and it's incredibly difficult to find people who would be willing to work that position for those hours.

2. The guy that got the position was a friend of the company's, and had contract work while working for his previous company that involed the company i worked for. The company even admitted this, to me.

3. I was respected for being able to do what i do from the position I was at. I had excellent standing both among the coworkers at my level, as well as the customers (it was a nursing home). I was able to bridge the gaps between the various departments and stop alot of the interdepartmental warfare. After being outspoken about the issues (that people just plain had trouble relating to each other, and that people didn't know what was who's responsibility [and in some cases, the managers didn't know, and this much was confirmed independently and objectively]) during meetings about interdepartmental warfare and how it had a negative effect on the customers. Needless to say, this threatened certain individuals which then turned into situations that were out of my control (literally, they'd assign tasks to me that when finished, they could in turn go around and investigate the work after others may have interfered with it [given the nature of the task, it was incredibly likely that someone would try to undo the work i did, since the task i was asigned got in the way of normal operations of another department]) leading to writeups. Since i didn't know any better on how to handle this, i signed the writeups (when i could have just refused).

Official reasons:

1. No certification.

2. No paperwork (experience in a professional setting).

3. Other candidate had those things.

4. Large disciplinary record.

5. Reports that I do my work only when i feel like it (source unverified).

Frankly, the situation was complicated, and it could've been avoided simply by more intelligently networking, by focusing on pleasing the administrators, rather than pleasing the customers. And that wasn't even the end all reason i left the place.

Now, the more interesting aspect is that certain people who focused on being buddy-buddy with the higher ups managed to migrate up the chain of the command by the time I had left. Mind you, these people i'm not critical of in the least, as they just prioritized their social skills in a smarter way. I was just the idiot that believed that hard work and effort would lead to the better positions.

Posted November 10th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak

tl;dr

Ceta, this thread is here to continue our conversation. Any other questions?

Posted November 10th by nullfather
nullfather

Thank you for the thread! I'm going to give you a better response tomorrow, when I'm not trying to meet a deadline. (Master procrastinator strikes again!)

Posted November 10th by Cetasaurus
Cetasaurus
formerly KM8

Yes, both in the sense that my cardiovascular health increased, allowing me to think clearer and have more energy to do things...

I definitely follow.
...and in the sense that finding out that I can do really hard things and how good it feels to push myself to the edge leads me to try that in more contexts than the physical.

This also makes sense, but a part of me feels like this particular effect could apply to any accomplishment you push yourself toward. In other words, pushing yourself in any area of your life, not necessarily the physical, will lead you to push yourself in other areas as well.

I agree with your second paragraph about the fit body being a product of work, not a natural gift. (P.S. I love that you put the dash in no-one; more people should use that IMO... Not that I do.)

You can rewire yourself to recognize and actualize your own potential by the ritual of iron. When you exercise yourself, your body structure changes, your brain chemistry changes, your psychology changes. Your mind starts learning new patterns, possibly overwriting old ones.

I was going to play devil's advocate again and try to say that, while the ritual of physical exercise worked for you, other people may find other rituals that help them rewire their brains and overwrite destructive patterns (and it's true; I can think of some empirically validated methods). But honestly, involving the physical body truly is an important component of mental health, so, I would say that you've convinced me.

Learning this through physical training gave me the visceral counterpart to the intellectual encouragement that we may remember as words but not as action.

Makes sense.

It is one thing to be told that no-one is good at drawing or writing or what have you at first, but it is quite another to be a living power that embodies that concept. You begin to realize that there are things that you can do now that you couldn't before. With that pattern established, your mind begins to fill in the future, to project the continued ascension. You begin to visualize a brighter future, at least in one facet.

But here again, I would argue that a person could pursue these effects through means other than exercise. I can imagine, for instance, a random nobody practicing drawing again and again, starting to see their progression manifest on the page, realizing they can fulfill the image of an artist through their own dedication, re-wiring their brain to believe in their capabilities, etc., etc.

...the practice of enforcing your will onto physical reality is a fundamentally satisfying thing.

Sure enough.

This is what is known as "the ironpill".

Fascinating. Poetic. I do apologize for kinda picking bones in my response. I tried to prod your statements for weaknesses, but I think in the end, I generally agree with your conclusion.

Thanks again for the in-depth post and for sharing your experiences/philosophy.

Posted November 10th by Cetasaurus
Cetasaurus
formerly KM8

Of course, this is my experience and I don't claim that everyone would have the same experience or that this is the only path to that experience. As you agree, though, physical health is a component of mental health. Ideally, one would pursue all methods of self-improvement.

Posted November 10th by nullfather
nullfather

Of course, this is my experience and I don't claim that everyone would have the same experience or that this is the only path to that experience.

Understood! My bad for replying as if you thought this way. I didn't actually think you did, but I guess my brain just replied that way anyhow...

As you agree, though, physical health is a component of mental health. Ideally, one would pursue all methods of self-improvement.

Ideally haha. I have a giant bruise on my butt right now! From trying to exercise! Screw this noise! (No, it's fun though.)

Posted November 10th by Cetasaurus
Cetasaurus
formerly KM8

Yeah, there's going to be times when it hurts or it's draining as hell. Maybe even times when you fuck up and hurt yourself. Just be careful and don't do silly meme exercises like crossfit.

Hell, I hit my shin with a sledgehammer a couple of weeks ago. Tought me to pay more attention.

Edited November 10th by nullfather
nullfather

Thanks haha, I won't.

EDIT: Ouch! That sounds painful. :(

Edited November 10th by Cetasaurus
Cetasaurus
formerly KM8
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