Lose 20 Pounds in a Week…Or Better Yet, DON’T!

October 24, 2012

Writing this column for ThePostGame that was on Yahoo’s front page was quite an experience.

My initial focus was to explain how to lose weight quickly. If you need to drop weight for an event, there are 6 tips on the smartest and most effective way to do so.

The more I researched, the more I learned what a horrible idea it is. Beyond the immediate perils of amphetamines, there is so much evidence that starvation diets make it HARDER to lose weight in the long run. I’ve always know that Yo-Yo dieting is a bad idea but now I know why.

It slows your metabolism, decreases muscle mass and messes up your hormones. The column gives you more detailed information and cites clinical research and experts in the field.

Please share your experiences with me.


Talking About The 5 Love Languages on Radio Show

October 11, 2012

Life coach and author Greg Dinkin and dating coach Tripp educated Planet Love Match Radio listeners on how couples can better communicate at any stage of a relationship.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 10, 2012

Planet Love Match® Radio recently hosted dating coach Tripp from TrippAdvice.com and life coach Greg Dinkin to deliberate on how couples can improve their communication with each other.

According to life coach Greg Dinkin, if partners do not understand what makes each other feel loved they may as well be speaking different languages. “The five love languages are physical touch, words, gifts, acts of service and quality time,” said Dinkin. He told listeners that these are ways to show love, and that each type of gesture will resonate differently for different people.

Greg Dinkin is an author and life coach who has written three books, including “The Poker MBA,” which explores the ways that poker and business are alike and helps people read expressions, interpret body language, and intuit what others may do. “The five love languages” were described in the book by the same name written by author Gary Chapman.

Dinkin told listeners it is important for people to make the kind of loving gesture that is most likely to be valued by their partners. “My brother…he’s totally acts of service,” he said. “He’s married; he’ll come home and he’ll do the dishes, he’ll take care of the kids, he’ll do everything. And that’s great, but his wife likes words. Come in and tell her how beautiful she is!”

“If you’re giving these amazing gifts to your partner, and they’re saying ‘why don’t we go on a picnic,’ what they are saying is ‘this doesn’t land on me; quality time is my love language,’” Dinkin said.

Building on this, well known LA dating coach Tripp provided an example from his own life of what makes his girlfriend feel most loved by acknowledging she is most touched by acts of service. “She loves it when she comes home to a really clean house and all the dishes are done,” he said.

The hosts highlighted how communication of love languages is key in successful relationships. “I talk a lot about how poker skills can help in business because you want to keep information close to the vest. You don’t want to reveal anything, you want to get information,” Dinkin said. “But it’s a bad strategy for dating and life. In dating, I feel you want to be direct. In life, just ask” if you want to know how to best care for someone.

Tripp began hosting the popular dating advice podcast “Dudes Talking About Chicks” in 2010. The show was so popular he decided to expand into personal dating coaching. He now counsels men throughout the LA area on how to improve their understanding of women and attract women to them naturally. Tripp advises that when a person first starts dating someone, they should try to observe what sorts of actions their new friend appreciates the most. He asserts that showing affection in this manner can help cement the new relationship.

“If you can pick up on those signals that’s huge,” Tripp said. “Imagine if you could really tune into someone’s love language. That would be amazing.”

Dinkin further notes that gestures do not have to be grand in order to be loving, particularly early in a relationship. Having a plan such as walking on a beach together could be a well-appreciated date idea that conveys interest and affection. Tripp added that what was important was that the date idea was creative and fun.

One of the ways that Greg Dinkin started to truly understand the importance of love languages came from talking to friends who were divorced. “Everyone I know who’s divorced, I ask them what was the love language of their ex,” he said. “And they can’t tell me.”

Why ‘Experts’ Are Wrong About Health and Weight

October 9, 2012

You would think that the more I study nutrition, the more answers I would have. After reading yet another book, Gary Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat … And What to Do About It,” I am back to searching for the “truth” about weight-loss and nutrition.

This reminds me of when I was a student at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN)…

Read the rest of my column at ThePostGame:



Why Eating More Helps You Lose Weight

October 4, 2012

Do you have a lot of discipline but still can’t lose weight? Do you get frustrated when your results don’t match your willpower?

Maybe the answer is to eat more. It’s counter-intuitive, I know, but there’s plenty of logic and evidence to show that it works.

I’ve tried every diet under the sun. I fasted for 15 days. I ran a marathon. I gave up soda. And while I did manage to go from 287 pounds to 187 pounds., I found my way back to 240 and fought every step of the way.

I finally figured out that the secret is to eat more. And eat more frequently.

I didn’t buy it either at first. After lots of research and understanding the why behind it, I made my way below 200 pounds again and, even better, get to enjoy that unrestricted feeling of eating as much as I want.

To find out the 5 reasons to eat more, check out the entire column on Yahoo’s ThePostGame:


Did NFL Replacement Refs Drive You To Drink?

September 28, 2012

What do Tavaris Jackson, a beer funnel, NFL replacement refs and Roger Goodell’s dismemberment have to do with author Martin Seligman and Yale professor Susan Nolen-Hoeksema?

Find out in my latest column for ThePostGame and learn 4 helpful tips to avoid depression.


Strahan, Anthony Davis Flip Liability Into Asset

September 25, 2012

A nagging injury, a stutter, a birth defect, or an addiction — these are things that I refer to as an “It.” “It” is something, real or perceived, that we think holds us back from maximizing our potential. For better or worse (which one is up to you), it is also often how we gain identity.

Read the rest of this column on ThePostGame to see how to turn your IT into your THING.



R.I.P. Amarillo Slim: 20 Best Slim-isms and my Obit in Grantland

May 1, 2012

Brilliant. Engaging. Controversial. And definitely the greatest raconteur who ever lived. I feel lucky to have known him the last 10 years of his life. Check out my story in Grantland. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7874833/www.gregdinkin.com

Let’s honor the man with the gift of gab.

20 Best Amarillo Slim-isms: The Language of a Cowboy Road Gambler

  1. You can shear a sheep many a time, but you can skin ’em only once.
  2. If there’s anything worth arguing about, I’ll either bet on it or shut up.
  3. That boy couldn’t track an elephant in four feet of snow.
  4. If it was raining soup, he’d be out in it with a fork.
  5. He’d taken the bait like a country hog after town slop.
  6. That boy is lighter than a June frost.
  7. I never go looking for a sucker. I look for a champion and make a sucker out of him.
  8. I knocked that off like a dead limb.
  9. Warmer than a widow woman’s love.
  10. Very seldom do the lambs slaughter the butcher.
  11. All trappers don’t wear fur caps.
  12. As pretty as a speckled pup under a red wagon.
  13. That ain’t worth nine settings of eggs.
  14. That’s stronger than Nellie’s breath.
  15. He couldn’t swallow boiled okra.
  16. I’m closer to that boy than 19 is to 20.
  17. What he smelled cooking wasn’t on the fire.
  18. I had so many chips that a show dog couldn’t jump over it.
  19. Enough hundred-dollar bills to burn up 40 wet mules.
  20. I’d put a rattlesnake in your pocket and ask you for a match.


Did the Film Wanderlust (and my Life) Have to Go That Way?

February 26, 2012

(or) Why Stereotyping is as Ineffective in Films as it is in Life

I wrote a screenplay based on my experience at Spa Samui, a holistic health/detox spa in Thailand. Thus, I was excited to see the film Wanderlust, produced by Judd Apatow and starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston. I laughed a lot and enjoyed many moments. It’s one of those films where you are pretty sure where it’s headed, so I’m not too worried about spoilers (though stop now and read this after you see it if you want to keep the suspense).

The film starts by showing us two versions of the miserable life you get when you focus on stuff and status—first in a New York City micro-loft and then in a suburban Atlanta McMansion. When our heroes head to the commune, it seems like a welcome respite. We see all that’s good in the world about sharing, living off the land, minimalism, free love, and connecting to nature. Your typical viewer might think this is all too good to be true, and the film-makers don’t disappoint. Sure enough, we learn that the leader turns out to be a conniving fraud and that the founder sneaks off weekly to a diner to gorge himself on meat. This perpetuates the stereotype that nobody really likes being a vegan and that the ideal of communal living is only an ideal.

I could criticize the writers if only I didn’t use some of the same conventions in my own script. The fact is that there are many people living their bliss in cramped studios in the West Village and sprawling McMansions in suburbia just as there are many vegans who actually dig wheatgrass and don’t crave meat. In a film, in part because there is so little time, it’s often most convenient to go for the stereotype. Yet in doing so, it sells the film, and more importantly, its audience short.

When Jennifer Aniston’s character starts to evolve and come into her happiness on the commune, it’s a beautiful metamorphosis. For the first time in her life, she feels a sense of purpose and bliss. So why must it end? Why, in the front or back of our minds, are we thinking that you can’t actually live here? Where will you send the kids to school (even if you don’t have any)? What about your 401k? What will you eat on Thanksgiving? And how will you explain this to your friends and family living in the “real” world?

This hits so close to home for me because I lived a version of this fairy-tale. I left New York City in December of 2006 for a two-month vacation. After spending three weeks on the island of Koh Samui–twelve days of which I fasted–I came back to America, sold my half of my literary agency and moved back to Koh Samui. I was there for six months straight (and more than a year in all) and everything fell into place.

I wasn’t living in a commune. It was more of a little town that had everything from million-dollar homes to $6/night A-frame bungalows. It had all the great things you associate with a commune (nature, yoga, healthy food) and yet also had all the conveniences (wireless Internet, air conditioning, a thriving economy). I lived with a woman I loved (monogamously) in an amazing house that was a two-minute walk from a spa on the beach with a world-class restaurant, a steam room and an infrared sauna, a book and video library, and a great mix of travelers, businesspeople, students and healers.

With the exception of the bedroom and living room, which had doors that locked, our entire house was outside. There was no front door, and I always laughed about how anyone could steal our pots and pans. I would get a world-class massage almost daily for $9 and then drink a fresh coconut that had just been knocked off a tree. I got in the best health and shape of my life, honed my guitar skills, and made incredible friends. And while a part of me enjoyed it and savored it, a part of me never really believed this was my life.

Watching for the catch? So was I, if only because I never could have imagined that life could be this awesome. You may be looking for the hole in the story, thinking that this all sounds great if you have a trust fund (which I don’t). Even though I was on vacation, I met authors Hajjar Gibran and Jon Gabriel and sold their books to imprints of Simon & Schuster. I could have stayed and lived a country club existence on a tropical island on $900 a month and had plenty of chances to earn income. If I wanted to, I even could have put some of those commissions in a retirement account.

As for the healers and health practitioners, I learned they were human. Some of these hippy-dippy types drank, smoke and wolfed down cheeseburgers. This only made me love them more. While we typically portray people who are health-conscious as preachy and hypocritical, keep in mind that none of these people were teaching anything that they didn’t believe in. You may hold the stereotype that a yoga teacher shouldn’t smoke, eat meat or road-rage, but of the dozens I know, I still haven’t met one who holds out him or herself as perfect. In fact, I never felt more accepted and loved for who I was. Most of my friends didn’t even know my last name, much less where I went to college, and affection came based on personality, not pedigree.

I’m still trying to figure out why I gave it up all to come back to a more “conventional” life in America. Now that I reflect more on Wanderlust, it’s not the film-makers’ stereotyping that bothered me. It’s my own. I’m sure my friend Mark England would remind me that it’s all my own projection. And I would agree. Because just like most viewers of Wanderlust were likely thinking that living in bliss would be too good to be true—that you have to come back to earth and live in the real world—I thought the same thing. And sure enough, I came back down to the real world and haven’t felt that awesome since.

I’m ready to feel that way again. I’m headed to Costa Rica tonight, Northern California in late March, Thailand again in April and North Carolina in June. Who knows where I may find that bliss?

When I do, this time I will know that I am in the real world.

And since I’m the director of my own life, I don’t need to follow stereotypes for the sake of brevity or convention.

When I find that bliss, I can, and will, choose to live in it.


Unexpected Lessons from Improv

February 14, 2012

(or) Use it or Lose it Also Applies to Feelings and Emotions

Ten years ago, I was knee-deep in writing The Poker MBA and took a rare break to go on a first date. I mentioned that I played poker and was working on a book that showed how to use poker skills in business. Thirty minutes into what started as a promising evening, the woman said, “So what came first—the poker or the poker face?

I had become so adept at keeping my emotions to myself that this woman had no idea what I was feeling or thinking. She might as well have been having a drink with a robot. Since I write and talk so much about how emotion is the enemy to sound decision-making and negotiating, I had perfected this learned behavior. Particularly at the poker table, letting emotion get the best of you is a drain on your wallet. Moreover, showing those emotions gives your opponent an edge.

People who meet me now are surprised that I was a hyper-active and hyper-emotional kid. I would cry whenever my team lost a game. I would yell and scream a lot. I acted the way I felt, as opposed to the way I thought would be effective. There was tremendous honesty in the way I lived.

As life became more strategic, I learned to smile through the face of adversity. Integrating lessons from sports, poker and business, I developed skills to never let ‘em see me sweat. Part of it was practical. Another part of it was a defense mechanism, especially with women, when I wouldn’t want to let them know I was feeling hurt.

Words like stoic, balanced, unemotional, solid, unhinged all seem very positive in the context of poker and negotiating. When I don’t show my feelings, it’s a version of acting or hiding. It’s living strategically, rather than from the heart. What I learned on this date, and really uncovered in my Improv class, is that hiding emotion is a horrible trait for performing. And can often be just as bad for life.

I signed up for a 6-week Improv class at Westside Comedy to become a better speaker and workshop leader. I figured it would help me to think on my feet. I did what most of us tend to do—I chose to work on my strengths. I’m already skilled at knowing what to “say” when I’m on the spot. Finding the right words, in just about any situation, is easy for me. What I uncovered in this class is that I still have work to know how to feel.

The key to an Improv scene is emotion. Figuring out the who, what, and where is the easy part. It’s the why that really matters. We would do exercises in which we had to act sad, without using words. I struggled. At times we were told to act anxious, worried or surprised—without words—and I was clueless. Then it dawned on me that I had become so proficient at not showing any emotion that I almost never did. Like a muscle in which you must use it or lose it, I had lost it.

The other thing I uncovered is that I’m terrible at “space work.” We were given one minute to demonstrate a routine task without speaking, and I chose to make my morning smoothie. To do it well, you need not only to remember to open doors and jars, but also close them. It’s simple if you are grounded enough to reflect on something you do every day. And there again, I learned that I’m often so in my head that I don’t take the time to actually observe what’s going on at ground level.

Other great lessons that apply to both Improv and life:

-If you get stuck, say the truth.

-Look your partner in the eye.

-Listen. Pay attention.

-Say yes…AND…

My final class was last night, and I’m grateful for all that I learned. Our performance is this Friday, February 17, at 7 p.m. at the Westside Comedy Theatre at 1323-A 3rd Street Promenade–in the alley between 3rd & 4th. There’s no doubt I’ve become a better speaker. Time will tell if I’ve also become a better person.

I’ll know I’m on the right track if my next date forgets she is with a poker player.

And remembers she is with a human being.

Acting As If

February 8, 2012

(or) Teaching What I Need to Learn

I’ve moved so many times that my mom loves to ask me if I knew where I was when I woke up. If I was feeling the blues from a dreary East Coast winter, I’d decide sunshine was my savior and pick up and move. Then when I was living in warm weather (take your pick: Phoenix, Atlanta, Las Vegas, San Diego, L.A., Florida, Louisiana, Thailand), I would feel disconnected from my family and friends and pick up and move again. On the downside, I’ve learned the hard way about the proverbial: wherever you go, there you are. On the upside, I’ve learned to trust my instincts and feel lucky that I’ve been able to explore so many places, deepening my understanding of the world and of myself.

If you’re familiar with my 5-step model, you know how much emphasis I place on awareness. By definition, we can’t see our own blind spots, which means it requires extra attention to spot our own patterns. Having a coach or trusted friends to check in with is another great resource.

Just a few days ago, I found myself in a funk and reverted to some old, familiar tools. Feeling stuck and disconnected in L.A., I pondered geographical solutions. Then I distracted myself with life’s logistics. I shopped online for the best flights and ran a cost-benefit analysis on extending the lease on my house and keeping or selling my car.

As I’m sure you’re aware, most people teach what they need to learn. I’m no different. The first step in the model that I teach “others” is to focus on feeling. I urge you to ask the question: how do I want to feel? With the help of my friend and co-workshop leader Mark England, I’ve taken this to this next level by adding the word because after describing that feeling. Then after doing John Kehoe’s Mind Power course, I added the layer to act as if you already feel that way. When you say I want to feel, there is longing and desire. When you say it as if it’s happening, you tap into that vibration and energetically start to live it.

As life tends to go, just as I was thinking about the idea as if, I spoke to my coach about the plans for my geographic solution. When I told her that it looks like my days in L.A. may be numbered, she suggested to act as if they were. Then it dawned on me that when we know something is coming to an end, we savor it more. Think about people who have a terminal disease like Randy Pausch. Or think about your summer camp or holiday romances that you knew had a finite time. There is an ease, a natural desire to live in the moment, unburdened by the future. That feeling is available to us all the time.

There have been several books on “Last Suppers” on death row. Whenever my mom indulges in a decadent meal, she’ll smile and say that there were people on the Titanic who passed up dessert. Of course that very statement points to the pragmatic side of why some of us “think” we can’t live every moment as if it’s our last. We may associate living for now with being destructive. We’ve been taught that our choices for food are either tasty and bad for our long-term health or unappetizing and good for the long-term. And therein for me lies both the disconnect and the answer. There are amazing foods that are both delicious and nutritious. For lunch I made organic sweet potato fries cooked in coconut oil. If I knew it was my last meal, I still would have chosen them over McDonald’s fries. Whether I knew I was going to die in an hour or in a century, I’d play basketball or guitar rather than go on a drug binge.

Sometimes we (read: me) need to be reminded of life’s sanctity. Acting as if can be a great tool for creating urgency and it did, indeed, propel me into action. I re-connected with three great friends over the past three days. I saw my friend and physical therapist Dr. Yvette Flores sing at the Viper Room. I savored my Improv class that much more and said yes to an invite to see a comedy show after. I’ve been wanting to visit a friend in Oregon and that trip is now on the books. My friend Adam and I have been talking for years about attending an NBA game and we’ve penciled in a date. I’ve felt bad that my godson has never been to L.A. and we haven’t bonded enough. He flies in from Boston in ten days.

Thankfully I recognized my patterns of seeking geographic solutions and distracting myself with logistics. When I started acting as if, suddenly it didn’t seem to matter so much where I live. Because after all, wherever I go, there I will be. And since the only certainty is that I am here now, I choose to feel grateful, happy, connected, and loved…simply because I can.