Happiness is Metabolism Health and Strength

A thought:

I am happiest when my metabolism is strong!

For example:

  1. When I don’t sleep enough, I feel miserable (‘unhappy’)
  2. When I get food coma during the day, I feel shitty. I’m happiest when I am sharp, awake, alert (intermittent fasting during the day).
  3. I am happiest when I have maximal alertness, physical strength, and muscular strength. Going to the gym, lifting weights, going outside and walking, thermal irregularities as essential for happiness/health/metabolism.

Life is metabolism

We all will die. Why do we die? Human metabolism has a limited-shelf life. We can only have so many heart beats before we die. It is combination of our biological size, our metabolism, heart rate, etc which contributes to the maximum human life ~122 years (+/- who knows how much)?

The theory is humans can perhaps live to be around ~140 years (assuming we can dodge all heart disease and cancer). But still — we humans (even with all the scientific innovations) cannot live to be 100,000 years old (would we even want to?)

Personally, I will strive with the best of my knowledge to be 140 years old in excellent health. I want to live the biological maximum of human beings; but not anything further. Please do not upload my consciousness to the cloud, or insert my brain into some flesh-like receptacle.

What can we control right now?

Right now it seems we can strive to maximize our personal happiness (metabolism, physiological power) everyday.

I think perhaps the best way to think of yourself as an athlete.

Tom Brady sleeps at 8:30pm every night. Many football players and pro athletes sleep 10-12 hours a night (sleep as the ultimate ‘performance enhancing drug’).

Physiological strength and health is 1000x more important than being a trillionaire. If a genie told me:

I can turn you into a trillionaire, but you will have the physiology of a morbidly obese individual, who is 300 pounds of (primarily) fat, I would give a hard NO.

I’d rather be poor and have a 6 pack with a 500 pound deadlift, than rich and fat.

Why I don’t like the bodybuilding mentality

Selfie while in Hanoi, around 2017

I used to be more of a ‘bodybuilder’ type in college, but I’ve realized that I hate this approach.


Too much focus on eating ALL THE TIME: Eating all the time during the day will fuck up your metabolism. If you desire to have a zen-like focus and calm throughout the day, you cannot confuse your body’s metabolic system by having so many meals a day.

Can you gain muscle and strength while not eating during the day?

As of late, I’ve NOT been eating breakfast or lunch (only a massive dinner). This confuses people.

For example, we are suckered into thinking that

In order to get really strong and muscular, I need to eat 5-6 meals a day, with correct proportions of “macros” (protein, fats, carbs).

I am the human guinea pig

muscle flex
Selfie, about a week ago

I say this is false. As an ‘ectomorph’ East-Asian (Korean to be specific), I have been able to have GAINS (muscular skeletal mass and strength), by NOT eating protein powder, NOT taking supplements, and NOT eating breakfast or lunch (or snacks throughout the day). I can tell you — I have unremarkable genetics (my dad is a skinny frail guy), and I have thin wrists. I’m around 5 foot 10, with relatively narrow shoulders, and a ‘smaller build’ in terms of my skeletal system.

Deadlifting 420 pounds (four 45-plates on each side, with a 2.5+5 pounder)
Deadlifting 420 pounds (four 45-plates on each side, with a 2.5+5 pounder). About two weeks ago

Yet, I have been able to become 172 pounds (mostly muscle mass, with less than 10% body fat, as I can see my abs), while having strong lifts (430 deadlift, 340 pound squat) at the age of 31.

Powerlifting while fasting

Closeup my hand and calluses
Closeup my hand and calluses. Long live deadlifts!

Another truth I’ve discovered:

You don’t need to eat or consume anything before lifting heavy weights in order to maximize your lifts.

This also shocks people. To explain:

  1. The night before, I have a massive meat-heavy meal (fatty pork, eggs) with some leafy greens (collard greens, kale). No carbs.
  2. The day-of, I wakeup, have lots of water, and black coffee (no sugar, no cream).
  3. I go to the gym (around noon-5pm), and I attempt a new PR (personal record) of a ‘one rep max’.

I’ve been able to follow this simple regimen for almost 2 years, simply adding 5 pounds to the bar every week, to attempt a new PR every week. I don’t always achieve a new PR every week, but on average, I’m able to achieve a new PR in deadlift and squat every 1-2 weeks.

Why metabolism?

When I feel ‘happy’, essentially my body is in excellent and supreme physiological health. I don’t think happiness is a mental thing. Happiness is a signal from your brain which SIGNALS that your body is in excellent health.

Once again to clarify:

Even though I have tons of money in my bank account, and I am succeeding in life, if I only slept 2 hours the night before, I’m going to feel shitty and “unhappy”.

Or in other words: happiness is physiological health and strength!

Why Physiology?

The notion of ‘physiology’ has fallen a bit out of vogue.

Note this Google N-Grams chart — ain’t nobody really use the term ‘physiology’ anymore.

The etymology of physiology goes back to the ancient greeks. It literally meant ‘natural philosophy‘.

Phusis‘ (physis) comes from the notion of growth (phuo). So in some sense, physiology is the study of growth.

And us being humans, to study physiology is most interesting when we study human growth (human biology). Ultimately all philosophy goes back to the human being.

Humans are king.

Why study the physiology of plants, birds, and animals? To better discover deeper truths about human beings. Ultimately we don’t care for plants, nature, or the external things — we care for human beings. We care for human thriving, human excellence, human grandeur, and continued human existence (it is also my personal wish that humans live for another 100 billion years+).

Conclusion: Focus on your personal happiness, physical strength, and thriving

Then share your findings with others! Super simple.


Philosophy by KIM

Dictate your meaning and purpose in your life with ZEN OF ERIC:

Philosophical Essays

Masters of Philosophy »

Personal Philosophy »

Stoicism »

Zen Philosophy »

Life Lessons »

Learn more: Start Here >

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top