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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

How to End a Relationship the Right Way

Robert Manni - Friday, April 18, 2014


Getting dumped can suck, but most guys are used to it.

We’ve either been or known the guy that’s been blindsided and dumped by his lady. It’s not fun, but guys usually dust themselves off and dive back into the dating pool even if the pain still festers inside. I would be easy to take out our frustrations on the next woman we date. But what does that accomplish? Instead I suggest walking a few steps in a woman’s shoes and consider how she feels after a guy she really digs throws her to the wayside. To make a better world someone needs to take the high road. Here are my five Guy’s Guy tips for manning up for a break up.

1. Be mindful before making your move.

I’m referring to how to bring closure to a relationship. I’m referring to cutting the cord with a woman you’ve dated for at least a couple of months. She’s offered her body in intimate ways and you know damn well she’s interested in being more than friends with benefits. So if you’re just not feeling it, let her down gently and move on. That means no more booty calls. Let her find someone who wants to be with her for more than one more night of rumpling the sheets.

2. Break up in person in a suitable location.

That means no disappearing or dumping her by text or phone call. Pick a public location, preferably outdoors with lots of people in motion. I suggest avoiding sitting face-to-face in a crowded restaurant unless you want to risk seeing what her radicchio salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing looks like on your shirt. Pick someplace like Central Park where you can sit side-by-side watching good-looking people run, walk, and bike past you. This will remind her that the world keeps turning and is filled with potential new partners. 

3. Be direct without placing blame.

Okay, she’s a great girl and you enjoy hanging out with her. But, you’ve given the relationship a chance and now you’re just not feeling it. That’s okay, bro. Over time you’ll become more adept at qualifying your partners early on so you don’t waste each other’s time or needlessly hurt their feelings. Every situation is different, so I can’t suggest the words for you. Once you’ve decided that things aren’t working take a deep breath and tell her how you feel without blaming her or getting into the weeds with details, even if she farts in bed. The bottom line is that you don’t see the potential for a long-term relationship. So it’s not about you or her. It’s about ‘us’ and ‘us’ means two people. 

4. Be kind.

No woman likes being rejected, especially after she’s shared her body and bared her soul with a guy. Once a woman opens up her emotional windows, she’s understandably vulnerable. So be mindful and choose words that avoid hurting her any more than she feels you already have, even if in the long run you’re doing her a favor. And when it’s over, that’s it. Again, no slinking back for a little something something every time your inner horn doggie wants a treat. Let her go, amigo.

No matter how bad you may feel if her tears start to flow, ultimately no woman wants to be with a guy who isn’t totally into her. And trust me, if she is as cool as you think she was for dating you, after you leave she’ll move on faster than you’d expect. And ultimately, that’s a good thing for both of you.

When it's time to call it quits, will you show some class when delivering the news?

 

This week’s Guys Guy of the Week is Jimmy Kimmel for remaining friends and still doing some comedy bits with ex-girlfriend Sarah Silverman.

A Guy's Guy is a Friend's Friend

Robert Manni - Friday, April 11, 2014


Friendship is at the heart of being a Guy’s Guy. 

The frenetic pace of the modern life can get in the way of maintaining long-term friendships. The world has gotten smaller and as a result we spend so much of our time working or managing our complicated lives that we sometimes forget about the importance of having real friends. We make friends throughout life—in grammar school, high school, college, at work and through meeting friends of friends. Our bonds grow deeper with some of them than with our siblings, while many disappear like ships passing in the night. We grow out others of like old sweaters. Friends get married, start families and move away. And as our lives and values change, some old buddies may no longer fit our lifestyle. Throughout it all there are a few individuals who withstand the test of time and circumstance and remain our friends. It’s important to protect and respect these precious connections as they become more rare over the passage of time. 

Most of the Guy’s Guys that I know can count their real friends on their fingers. I fall into this category. Here are a few thoughts about the importance of friendship and how to manage the challenges of making and maintaining friendships throughout life.

You'll have to make an effort to maintain your friendships.

All but a few friendships will fade away off over time. This is not a bad thing. It’s just a function of the speed of modern life. Time flies and before you know it you’re hearing abut former classmates who have passed on. It’s called life, amigo, so don’t sweat it. And if your friendships are important to you, sometimes you’ll have to be the one who reaches out. Let’s face it; people are so busy that many of them see life through a “out of sight, out of mind” filter. It’s understandable.

If I like someone and we haven't connected in the past year, more often than not, I pick up the phone or shoot them an email or a text. More often that not, I get a response, Because I enjoyed a positive high school experience, I made sure to attend another high school reunion. It would have been easy not to go. But it was great seeing so many good people that played a role in my early life. For one night, it was like nothing had changed, regardless of who now had the big money or powerful job.

You'll outgrow some of your old friends.

Don’t take this as a put down of your old chums. It just means that over time and through experience, your values and lifestyle evolves. You may have moved away from the town where you grew up and the cast of characters that you ran with back in the day.  So pounding beers at the local pub may not be as appealing as it had been years ago. That’s okay. You can still cherish the time shared with your old buddies. And if you do run into them, why not have some fun? Never look down on your old town. Whether you like it or not, you are a product of the environment and community where you grew up. Respect.

You are never too old for making new friends.

Have you ever thought about your inner circle of friends and how they came about? When I asked myself that recently I realized that more half of my current friends were not from my high school or college years. That reminded to keep meeting new people. As quickly as our old acquaintances fall away, new people who are more in line with our current energy replace them.  I like that.  And it in no way undermines our valuation or appreciation of those former friends.

Don’t poach from your friends.

We’ve all had a crush on our buddy’s girl or wanted to get it on with his sister, but think twice before you do something that yields short-term benefits at the risk of losing a long-term friendship. Of course every situation is different, but you get the picture. Right, amigo? 

A friend in need.

Being a good friend is easy when everything is going fine. But this is rarely the case. We all run into bumps on the road of life, whether it’s illness, job loss or the passing of family or a friend. That’s why friendship is so important. Part of the responsibility of being a good friend is checking in on your buddies when they are up and more importantly when they are down. I lost a good friend a few years ago and was dismayed at how so few of his many friends showed up to visit him when he was ailing. Ask yourself how many times you’ve reached out and called someone you know who is sick or out of work, just to chat for a few minutes and show your support? If you’re a real Guy’s Guy, you are also your brother’s keeper. 

Are you a good friend?

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is my old friend, Bill James; we’ve maintained a friendship that began in Little League, throughout school and over the course of our careers. We have never argued and or not had a great time when we get together.

 

The Guys' Guy's Guide to a Good Night's Sleep

Robert Manni - Friday, April 04, 2014


According to the National Sleep Foundation, 43% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep.

Of those bleary-eyed folks, 60% claim that they have trouble sleeping every night. This is an alarming trend for our country’s restless masses. But sleep is as natural an act as breathing or eliminating waste so here are my Guys’ Guy’s tip for scoring a good night’s rest.

Hydration.

Believe it or not, your water intake has a major impact on your ability to sleep. A lack of adequate hydration explains all that seemingly endless tossing and turning in the middle of the night. But you are not alone. Studies show that to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. If you're concerned about making too many trips to the bathroom over the course of the deep, dark night, consider drinking water throughout the day instead of chugging a few big glasses before hitting the hay.  And remember that alcohol and caffeine are contributors to dehydration and those restless feelings.

Your sleeping quarters.

Your bedroom should serve two primary functions— sleep and sex. Watching television and in particular violent shows about zombies or depressing news does not create a restful, relaxed frame of mind. So don’t watch TV in the bedroom. But the real eye-opener is your phone. Studies have shown that over 83% of young adults sleep next to their cell phones. That’s no way to get your much needed shut eye.  

The equipment.

Everyone has their own personal preferences, but a firm mattress and a few buckwheat husk pillows have worked wonders for me. Buckwheat husks conform to the curvature of your neck and believe me, this makes a major difference over the course of the evening. They’re also cheaper than conventional pillows. If you feel like your body changes temperatures a lot, I'd suggest using blankets made of natural fibers in layers. This way you can shed or add them as you need and the natural fibers breathe better than synthetic materials.

Napping.

I was never a napper until I reached my thirties and realized that I was no longer Superman. I decided to pay more attention to my body and grab a few winks whenever I felt the urge. Naps rejuvenate the body and mind without concern that a short siesta will prevent you from getting a full night’s rest.  And the National Sleep Foundation agrees.

The power of your mind.

When all else fails, consider working with your subconscious. After all it, makes sure you sleep and breathe and most other things you do without having to be reminded. When I turn in I’ve found it helpful to lay on my back and softly tell myself, “I fall asleep easily and I sleep soundly”. If you need more examples there are hundreds of websites that are chock-filled with affirmations that could help you get the rest your body and mind need.

So don’t relegate yourself to a life of insomnia. There are many factors that contribute to your ability to sleep. After all, you spend a third of your life in bed so you might as well use all the resources at your disposal to make the best of it.

Are you doing what’s necessary to get a good night’s sleep?

5 Things to Consider Before Moving in With Him

Robert Manni - Friday, March 28, 2014


Guys are creatures of habit.

You can bet that if you stop over his place and more than once you find him lying across the couch watching sports, this is a reflection of how he lives. Small tells like this can be critical guideposts when deciding to take the plunge and share living quarters with your guy. This isn't to say that all guys are like jungle animals who hunt, eat, then lay around until they get hungry again, but men have their own rhythms when it comes to their mancaves and their idea of cohabitating with a woman. As always, your Guy’s Guy is in your service, so without further adieu, here are my five suggested considerations for women before shacking up with a dude.

The Big Picture.

While channel surfing recently, I stumbled upon a reality show about professional wrestling divas. The stars were two lovely twin female wrestlers who were dating two big time male wrestlers. While commiserating about their relationships, one twin stated that her boyfriend was fine with her moving in to his palatial home but told her in no uncertain terms that he would never marry her. He said her loved her and that he’d be faithful, but his stipulation was that marriage was 100 percent off the table. She decided to move in anyway.

Ladies, if a guy ever positions your relationship like this, run. If you agree, he’s going to have his way with you sexually until he gets bored. Then he'll replace you. (Please don’t shoot the messenger. Being your Guy’s Guy means sometimes sharing the occasional ugly truth and it’s not always an easy task.) The point is, find out the parameters of what the relationship is and can be before agreeing to live with your boyfriend. Of course, all things being equal,  you can always play the role of the male wrestler.

It’s the Money, Honey.

We all know how important finances are to a successful relationship and how many breakups happen due to the issue of cash, or lack thereof. Talk things out in advance and make clear who will be responsible for what. My experience is that once you’re living together, patterns form fairly quickly. The rent, mortgage or monthly maintenance fall into place relatively easily, but who pays at the grocery store, or for the utilities and cable, or dinner, the movie theater or the dry cleaner? The list of transactional possibilities is endless and I’ve found that once someone pays for something a few times, they own it until further notice. Have that talk before you sign the lease or you may be in for a few surprises.

Clean Machine.

When it comes to a tidy living space, many guys fall short. Of course this is a generalization—there are plenty of women who let the dishes pile up and leave the laundry in a big ball on the floor, too. That said, I suggest taking a good, long look at your guy’s bathroom, sheets and floors before sharing a space. I read somewhere that on the average men only change their sheets about five times a year, so that’s what you're up against. Unless they have a cleaning service, the same is probably true for how often they get those scrubby bubbles going in the sink, shower and toilet.

Friends and Family.

Have  you noticed how often there are a bunch of dudes hanging out at your boyfriend’s crib? Or if his brothers, sisters and other relatives seem to always be around? This is worth keeping in mind. He may not be a happy camper if his buds or brothers are not as welcomed as often as they were in the past. Again, this is about men being creatures of habit. Be gentle, but be firm when dealing with friends and family. It’s always a delicate topic and many guys take it personally when they see their life evolving. 

Party Time!

A man cave is also where dudes enjoy throwing back a few cold ones. So if your guy’s lifestyle is different from yours, be aware. Maybe you’re a night owl and he’s an early riser. Maybe you’re a social butterfly and he’s a lone wolf or maybe he likes to fire one up on Saturday night and you’re allergic to smoke. Whatever the case, we’re all individuals and we have our own lifestyles and behaviors.

The bottom line is that moving in with someone is a big decision and we’ve all seen friends that rushed into what was from the outside an obviously a bad fit. It’s because everyone wants love and there is nothing wrong with that. But let’s look before we leap so we make our relationships the best they can be. Asking a few important questions can go a long way to building a successful live-in arrangement.

Are you asking the right questions before moving in with your man?

Guy's Guy's Dating Basics - Part 1

Robert Manni - Friday, March 21, 2014


The more things change the more they stay the same.

Every day, month and year guys make the same basic errors in their efforts to woo a woman. With the advent of more and more technology, sometimes guys don’t even have to speak with a woman before “hanging out” with her in the hopes of getting some you know what. It’s a sad state of affairs that I felt compelled to tackle this post, but a Guy’s Guy does what’s necessary in the service of his fellow men and women. Because in a Guy’s Guy world, men and women win when they can both be at their best. So listen up fellas, and ladies, let me know how you feel about these five basic rules for men who are dating.

Respect.

You treat your best buds right. You split the last beer in the six- pack. You spring for the pizza delivered to your crib during the game.  But when it comes to women, you send them photos of your junk when you need a booty call. Not good. A rule of thumb is to treat the woman you are with, whether she is your girlfriend or someone you just met, with the same courtesy, generosity and respect that you do to your very best male friend.  She is a person, and an equal, who in most ways is just like you. And in most cases she’ll start off on her best foot by putting your needs before hers. Now of course not every woman fits this bill, but the women you want to be with do.

Call Her.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, pick up the phone and give her a call. It doesn’t matter if you’re set up a time to get together or confirming the location of your date. Notice, I said date, not hanging out. Women like hanging out, but they want to date a real man. So take a break from all the texting and call her. If your call goes to voicemail, leave a message. Don’t hang up assuming she’ll see your number and call back. And whatever it was that you wanted to talk about, make sure you tell her that you wanted to hear her voice. And if that’s not the case, why the hell are you seeing her anyway?

Be On Time.

See point one. Being on time is a sign of respect. Being late without a damn good excuse means that her time is not as valuable as yours. Women know this and do not like it when guys leave them sitting and waiting alone at a crowded bar or restaurant. If you make a habit of being late for your lady, other guys’ll hit her on, and eventually she’ll  consider the dudes who have their game on. That brings us to our next point.

Never Take A Woman For Granted.

So she really digs you and you’ve rumpled the sheets with her in every position imaginable. That does not mean she should be taken lightly or for granted. In fact, you should be treat her even better for all the things she’s done for you in and out of bed. This is an easy trap to fall into.  I’ve been there myself a few times before being dumped, and deservingly so.

Let Freedom Ring.

Being possessive or controlling is a sign of insecurity. Too many guys get their hackles up when another male takes a look at, or God forbid, says something to the women they’re with. Hey, I do not condone hitting on someone else’s date, but let’s keep things light and friendly. Not every guy is looking to jump your lady’s bones. And if you are that concerned about it, what do you do when she’s at work or out with her friends? My advice is to be confident and secure in that she chose you. Now it’s up to you to keep her interested and not screw things up.

The list of dating tips for guys goes on and on. Frankly, I’m just getting warmed up. If you take one thing away from this pointed rant it’s to treat others the way you want to be treated. And when it comes to a woman, treat her twice as well as you treat yourself. You’ll get lots of dates and the word will get around that you’re a guy who “gets it”.

Are you taking care of the basics when getting your dating game on?

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Finding Inner Peace

Robert Manni - Saturday, March 15, 2014


This week alone, a building in Harlem collapsed, a jumbo jet airliner vanished into thin air, and a major superpower parked its tanks and warships in it’s neighbor’s yard.

Yes, we live in a high-octane, turbulent world that keeps surging forward. And inner peace is an important topic that requires more insights than a down and dirty blog post can address. But in true Guy’s Guy fashion I’ll share a few tips to help get you started on a path out of the chaos and into that snuggly happy place inside your consciousness. Here are my Guy’s Guy ways to tap into your inner peace.

Gratitude.

It’s easy to take things for granted, that is until things are taken away. Many guys, including this Guy’s Guy, has been the lead actor in that play where we don’t pay attention to our partner before she blindsides us and tells us she wants out. Ouch. Part of paying attention is being appreciative of our blessings, big and small. Just waking up, hopping out of bed and inhaling a deep breath is cause for a minor celebration. You’re alive, you can stand on your two feet and you’ve been gifted with yet another fresh start. It’s that simple. For the past few years, and no matter how bad things may have seemed to be at times, I’ve done my best to say, “thank you” upon awakening each day and again before falling asleep at night. This sets up and ends my day up with a positive vibe and I’ve learned that I really am thankful for each day on this beautiful, crazy planet of ours.

Forgiveness.

There are a lot of people out there who behave like total a-holes. Surely we’ve all come in contact with the person who cuts in line at the movies, cuts you off on the highway, steals your food from the company refrigerator, or does things a lot worse. The media subjects us to so many movies and TV shows with messages seeded in retribution and revenge that it’s easy to let these poisonous emotions take control of our thinking. We just have to get that person who screwed us back. Now I’m not saying you should be a doormat, but it is possible to forgive the bad behavior of others while insuring that you getting your due. Focus on rectifying the situation while leaving the punishment to karma and the universe to deal with at the appropriate time.

Meditation.

Acknowledging how crazy busy our lives have become and how we are constantly tethered to technology, it’s important to find ten minutes a day to center ourselves and quiet our minds. This can be as simple as a brief walk around the block after lunch, even if you ate another tuna sandwich at your desk while checking in on your fantasy teams. If you can discipline yourself, set aside five to ten minutes in the morning or before turning in to sit calmy, breathe deeply while slowly while watching the thoughts from your monkey mind drift by. I repeat Om Namah Shivaya, which is basically a bow to the inner self as being part of the divine consciousness, to myself throughout the day. It’s non-denominational and helps quiet my mind.

Diet.

Yes, I know that we can never get enough bacon, but you really are what you eat. Over the past six years I’ve eliminated beef, lamb, pork, poultry and for the most part, fish. I’ve lost some weight and really don’t miss the meat. I gave up both caffeine and alcohol for New Year’s and surprisingly I have never felt better. Anyone who knows me knows I love a glass of pinot noir or a top shelf cocktail. Still, it’s good to give your body a break now and then and after the first time out at the bar with friends, ordering that first club soda with lime is not such a big deal. The tricky one is caffeine. You drink coffee to wake up and then it keeps you awake at night. So you wake up tired and need more coffee. Thank you, Dunkin Donuts, for keeping us going. Bottom line, what you consume impacts both your mind and your body, and that means your inner peace, too.

Exercise.

The older we get the harder it is to work out and maintain a high level of fitness. And that makes it easy to find excuses to forgo exercise for a cold beer. I find that working up a sweat clears my mind and keeps my body as strong as it was twenty years ago. A long run in Central Park is a great way to get with nature and break down whatever is bothering me. I constructed each chapter and the plot for my novel, THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE, during my runs and I’m working on another book now as I do my six-mile runs. Again, exercise slows me down in a good way and quiets my mind.

There are so many ways to find your peace. I’ve just touched on a few that have stood out for me. But even thought we’re all connected, everyone has their own style, ways and means of chillaxing and finding their inner zone. The key is making the time to find yours. Peace out, amigos.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Thich Nhat Hanh, author and spiritual leader who said, “Smile, breathe and go slowly”.

The Guy's Guy's Guide to Staying in Shape (Without a Gym)

Robert Manni - Friday, March 07, 2014


There are workout classes now for pole dancing, trampoline, twerkshops, Vikings and Valkyries, hula-hoops and even “voga”—a mash-up of yoga and vogueing.

But for this Guy’s Guy, nothing beats an old school workout and classic exercises for peak fitness and a sculpted physique. I realize that working out is a personal issue so for context, I wholeheartedly endorse any regimen that gets you moving and burns calories and any fitness regime that includes yoga for stretching, breathing and healing the body from the inside out.  Now that we’ve gotten the disclaimers out of the way, let’s get on with it.  Most of us lead fast-paced busy lives. A lot of well-intended people either do not have the time or the money to join one of our high-tech gyms that charge thousands for a membership and real cash for a class. With that in mind, here is my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to working out on your own. Most of these moves require less than an hour’s time and little, if any, equipment.

Push Ups.

This old school exercise pits you against your body weight as it works your delts, pecs, triceps, biceps, forearms and abs. I’ve built my fitness life around this core move. I’ve pounded out one set of anywhere from fifty to seventy-five push ups almost every morning since I was twelve years old. If you don’t believe me, ask my Mom, roommates, girlfriends or my wife. This basic move has done wonders for maintaining my strength, a decent upper body, self-confidence and discipline. You can do push ups almost anywhere and they require no equipment. Towards the end of each set I hold the plank position and slowly counted to two hundred. Then I squeeze out another ten push-ups. If you only have time for one exercise per day, look no further. And that includes the ladies. It’s tough for women to build upper body strength and shape with many women concerned about bulking up from weights. Push-ups give you strength, tone and shape and they don’t cost a dime.

Jumping Rope.

Okay, you need a good rope that will run you about $15 bucks. I suggest a rubberized rope to get that whip action going. You can jump rope outside or in any room with a ten-foot ceiling. Boxers are probably the best-conditioned athletes and they all integrated the rope into their workouts. Jumping will get you heart rate soaring while melting blubber around the midsection. It’s also great for maintaining your coordination.

Jumping Jacks.

We all half-assed our way through short sets of these babies in high school gym class, but when done properly in high reps this is a great exercise for cardio conditioning and shedding pounds. Think they’re easy? Do one hundred using perfect form. Actually, make that two hundred and then get back to me. You’ll see what I mean. And you can do them almost anywhere. They are not fun, but they work.

Running.

As we age a lot of us either lose their interest in running, trade in their runs for bike riding, or experience physical problems in their knees, shins and joints. I’ve completed three marathons, but I’m done with the 26.2 miler. During my third race it felt like every single tweak and twist I’d ever experienced was reappearing and telling me in no uncertain terms that this would be my final marathon. My meniscus was scraping. I had cramps in my calves and my hammys were tight. I took some time off before getting back on my horse and running along the Hudson River Park and the boards at the Jersey Shore. Now that I live near Central Park I’ve returned to that hilly 6.2 mile run around the outer loop and I’ve never felt better. Maybe I will consider one more marathon. Running clears my mind, trains my legs and keeps my weight in check. And it’s therapeutic to work out in nature and the elements instead of indoors on a treadmill. You’ll need to invest about $100 a year in a good pair of running shoes, shorts, a top and some sun block.

Dumb Bells.

I always keep a set of twenty and ten pound dumb bells in my room. This way I can squeeze out a few sets of Arnold presses or basic curls whenever I get the urge. This is pretty basic stuff, but throwing the iron around helps maintain strength and muscle tone. I’ve recently switched to a body bar, a great piece of equipment that costs about $20 that can be used for a number of different moves with high reps and high intensity. If you want to go big, then by all means invest in a bench and a barbell. 

Guy’s Guys stay in shape and who doesn’t love a fit woman? So regardless of our busy lives and financial constraints, it’s still important to look good and treat your body with respect. You only get one body and if you take care of it, it will serve you well for many, many years. And what could be wrong with that?

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Hershel Walker, former NFL running back who at age 49 began a new career in the MMA and does 1500 push ups every day!

Are you making time to work out without breaking the bank?  


The Guys' Guy's Guide to Keeping the Weight Off

Robert Manni - Friday, February 28, 2014


It’s one thing to diet.  Keeping the weight off is something else. 

Like so many other determined, hopeful men, I’ve made numerous resolutions, promises and proclamations to myself about shedding a pile of unwanted pounds. And I’m usually successful. But this isn't, “Yay me”—there’s a rub. After shedding the weight, how can guys prevent those pounds from insidiously creeping back onto our manly frames? It’s a problem a lot of guys have, so let’s tackle this bloated issue together.

This year I made yet another New Year’s resolution. My goal was dropping twenty-five pounds over the course of 2014.  Almost two months in, my plan is off to a good start. As mentioned in an earlier post, I began my journey by organic juicing the first week of January. I’m not a big fan of leafy green vegetables like collard greens, the omnipresent kale, Swiss chard or the bitter bite of dandelion greens.  Granted, when juiced you can hold your breath while chugging the murky liquid and remind yourself that this is act of detoxification is also one of self-love. So I kept at it and dropped almost a dozen pounds in the first week. The new challenge was taking the process to the next phase.  Now I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I can share what has worked for me. It’s important for guys to take stock in their food and beverage intake as they age. It’s for your health and it becomes more and more difficult to lose that gut. Which brings me to my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Managing Your Weight.

Foods to avoid

Truth be told, I gave eating beef, lamb and pork six years ago. Last year I eliminated poultry and this year I’m trying a vegetarian lifestyle. This is a day-to-day challenge.  Fortunately, over the past six years I’ve discovered that you can unlearn old habits and that change is possible. Even so, after a week of juicing, I was ready to chow down. But keeping the larger goal in mind and knowing the pain of starting over if I started gorging myself, I fought the desire and made a mental list of foods that would remain off limits. Drum roll please…. No ice cream, cake, pie, candy, pizza, pasta. alcohol (sigh), white bread, processed foods while also limiting carbs and gluten. That has made a big difference. The toughest thing to give up was caffeine. That said, eschewing caffeine has provided me with deep, satisfying sleep without missing a beat in terms of mental alertness.

Keep moving

It’s a cold, icy, dismal winter in the Northeast so I’ve put my running gear aside until the temps break freezing and hunkered down on the elliptical machine on a regular basis.  After each session I add an exercise like crunches, curls, push downs, or jumping rope.

The power of choice

When you think about it, everything you eat is a matter of choice. The sour cream or the Greek yogurt, the diet soda or the glass of water, the veggie burger or the turkey burger, the beer or the club soda with lime. It’s a never-ending series of decisions. I’m like a lot of dudes who pull up a chair and wolf down whatever is put in front of me. But it’s not necessary to eat everything in one sitting. So I make another choice to eating slower and more mindfully. I take my time and enjoy each bite of just one satisfying portion. Then I push away from the table and wrap up what’s leftover for another meal. Good decision.

Timing

I start each day with a large glass of water with half an organic lemon squeezed in.  This helps your alkaline and PH balance while also keeping me hydrated.  I’ve also limited my food intake to between 8am and 8pm. No more late night snacking or sips of chilled vodka (sigh).

Consistency and perspective

Dieting needs to be viewed as something good for you, not as punishment for a life of gluttony. I remind myself of my goals every day to make as many better choices as I can. That’s really all anyone can do. And it’s okay to “cheat” once in awhile. But if you are like me, once in awhile can turn into every day so I’m really careful these days.

The results to date are promising. I’ve lost eighteen pounds and I feel fantastic. I have more energy, I look better, my clothes fit comfortably and I sleep like a baby. What’s not to like? I’ve got a long way to go to reach and maintain my goal, but my early success is encouraging.  This is how Guy’s Guys roll, so come on fellas, take stock of yourselves and get healthy. And I promise you that you’ll look and feel a heck of a lot better once you get rolling. It’ all about taking that first step and making the right choices. You can do it, amigo! You’re a Guy’s Guy!

Are you another casualty of yo-yo dieting, or do you set your course and make it happen?

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia, who over the course of two years has lost forty pounds.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting Back Into the Game

Robert Manni - Friday, February 21, 2014


The most important person to know in your life is yourself.

Yet so many people spend the majority of their time reacting to what’s going on around them. Before they know it, each new day has turned into a Xerox copy of the previous one. And there’s no other area than dating that demonstrates this repetitive, redundant behavior where we too often rush into a new situation without considering what we want and need to be happy. They say the heart wants what it wants, but we can be swayed by the conscious mind and exterior world into believing someone is right for us when they really aren’t.  Since we’ve just begun a new year, let’s address our dating goals like a good investigative reporter and ask a few basic questions before hopping back on the dating merry-go-round. And of course, we’ll approach it Guy’s Guy style so everyone can win.

Who?

There is no better place to begin than by asking who we are at this point in time. Many daters are not in touch with themselves and as a result they continually chasing after people they think will make them happy. If we take the time to slow down and explore our hearts we might find that we have been putting our emotional eggs into the wrong baskets. If you don’t know who you are and what makes you tick how can you really know someone else that you want to give your heart to? This is the critical step for finding the right partner. In advertising terms, it’s called knowing your brand.

What?

This is another critical question to ask before beginning another dating cycle. Many women have a list of criteria they expect in a man. Maybe it’s money, a certain occupation, a physical look, style or even a specific attitude. Nothing wrong with having parameters, but instead of simply asking ourselves what we want, let’s consider what we have to offer a potential partner. Men make this mistake all the time. I know a lot of guys who expect the women they date to have a stripper bodies and razor sharp minds. Unfortunately, a lot of these guys are just regular dudes who spend too much time on the couch watching the game with a Bud in their hand. If we ask ourselves what we have to offer, we’ll be more realistic about the type of person we can attract.

Where?

I recently read a book by a prominent dating coach to help women find and meet men. I was amazed that this had become such an issue. There are guys everywhere and a simple smile will usually get their attention.  The bottom line is to fish where the fish are. If you want to meet men, you may have to hit some bars, ball games, ski slopes and gyms. You can also meet lots of cool dudes in wine tasting or cooking classes, tech stores, libraries, the museum, the laundry mat, book stores, running clubs, and on and on. Guys are omnipresent and usually approachable. Meeting them is more a function of your attitude.

When?

Nowadays we’re all so busy with our career nowadays that we say we don’t have time to invest in dating. Okay, but just like anything else in life, you get out what you put into it. So if you are seeking a partner, you’re going to have to meet new people and that takes time.

Why?

Hey, Guy’s Guy, between all the circumspection, knowing my brand and fishing where the fish are, this dating business really does takes up a lot of time. Why am I doing all of this? A-ha. That’s the magic question. Go ahead and ask yourself.  And then ask yourself who, what, where and when before jumping back into the dating pool. Hopefully you’ll be more prepared to meet a partner that’s right for you.

Are you asking yourself the right questions when it comes to dating?

Making Valentine's Day Work for You

Robert Manni - Thursday, February 13, 2014


Valentine’s Day is a holiday that most of us dread.

It’s commercial, pressure-filled, exploitive, and most importantly—forced and unromantic. But there are two ways to look at V-Day as it gets pitched our way each and every year. Whether it’s chocolate, flowers, jewelry, vibrating panties, weekend getaways, etc.—you name it and they’re selling it in fire engine red. Here are a few suggestions for how to not only cope, but to have fun and share the love. And that’s the point. Valentine’s Day should be about celebrating heart-felt love. Your Guy’s Guy suggests that the best way to make this a special occasion is by personalizing it. That means making it all about your partner…and not about you.

If love is in the air and you want to fan the flames.

If you’re a guy and you want to get intimate with a woman for the first time the tendency is to buy her lingerie, hoping that she’ll wear it for you on Valentine’s Day. Don’t do it. She is more than aware that you want the show. If you consider my suggestions and it’s meant to be, the show will open to rave reviews... and it will go on and on.  Chocolates and flowers and cards and jewelry are always welcomed, but a Guy’s Guy adds intimacy to her gifts that empower them as expressions of love. So instead of doing the expected and buying a printed card at Walgreens, buy her a card that allows you to craft your own special message to her. Remind her of all the things she does that make her special and why you want to get to know her better. Pay attention to the details the way a woman does. Believe me, she will notice and you won’t have to buy her red lingerie. She’ll bring on the black when the time is right and when she does you’d better fasten your seat belt. Other things to consider are attending events together like a sake tasting or a Broadway show that she mentions in passing. Sharing brings couples closer together.

Want to keep those fires burning?

Again, it is all about personalization. If you buy her jewelry, have it inscribed with a special message. A former paramour once bought me a silver necklace with an understatedly elegant pendant. Nice. When I looked closer she inscribed the underside with, “Love Slave”. Talk about marking your territory. It worked. Of course when my next girlfriend took one look at it, it came off instantly. If you show some effort to personalize your gift when you are in a long-term relationship or marriage, it makes your partner feel appreciated. How about writing down the twenty things she does that make her so special. Why is she so important to your life, what makes her sexy, funny, etc? Make her feel special. That is intimacy.

Wild Cards.

If you’re going down the sexual path remember to make it all about your special someone. That’s where the lingerie and crazy stuff like vibrating panties and sex toys come into play. All good. That said, you want to make sure that there is as much giving as receiving so that the festivities go all night long. A real Guy’s Guy wants to make his woman happy. It’s not a race to the finish line; the goal is to arrive at the same time so everyone wins. Remember that Valentine’s Day is all about your partner, so have fun. And play safe.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Paul McCartney for writing all of those wonderful silly love songs.

Are you making Valentine’s Day all about your partner?

 

 


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