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After winter workouts indoors, April entices you outside to show off your results in splashes of bright color 

 
This month’s fashion spread features photography by Gastohn Barrios and clothing by Modus Vivendi’s Active Line. The full set of pictures appears in our print issue, but for online we decided to share the ‘Making Of’ video to whet your appetite. Enjoy, then scroll down for more information about the shoot and how to buy the gear. 

CMI_Survey_Digital_Male_300x250Clothing
Modus Vivendi Active Line: e-modusvivendi.com 

 Photography
Gastohn Barrios  
gastohn.com 

Model:  
Leandro Verteramo 

Styling: 
Agustín Koroluk 
Matias Santos 

Spring sets the stage for switching things up in each area of your life.
By Mike Fleming

No other season spells transition quite like spring. As gay Atlanta dusts off its winter survival mindset for patio parties and Sunday fun days, it’s time for a paradigm shift, and not a moment too soon.

We’ll help change up your fragrance in the pages to come, but to make way for all aspects of Newly Budding Springtime You, let’s clear the cobwebs in other areas as well.

Don’t worry. This is the kind of spring-cleaning you won’t mind doing. When it comes to your closet, table, gym, and even your love life, a spring change will do you good.

Change Clothes

Literally. Move your heaviest sweaters and coats into storage – not that you were able to wear many of them in gay Atlanta’s warmest winter ever – and break out the windbreakers, tees and maybe even shorts. Moving your freshest looks to the front of the closet is an instant switch to your mindset. Now you’re ready to freshen the rest of your spring spaces.

Bye Bye Bye >>>>> Hey Hey Hey!
Say-Something Beanie >>>>> Statement Cap or Fedora
A Well-Tied Scarf >>>>> The Perfect Tie
Burgundy, Navy & Forest >>>>> Coral, Sky & Seafoam
Wool, Tweed and Plaid >>>>> Cotton, Seersucker and Stripes
Leather Jacket >>>>> Silk Bomber

Cuisine Conversion

Even if you’re not one for dietary ‘cutting’ and ‘shredding’ to hit Maximum Abs, that winter weight must go. Trade soups for salads, and forgo hearty hearth-made helpings for pleasing portions of protein plates. Maybe you indulged since the holidays and never really got back on track. Now’s the time.

Exercise Exchanges

The season for bulking – a term you may have used too loosely lately to allow for extra poundage – is over. Replace resistance with runs – at least some of the time. We won’t take your lifting away, but bro, do you even cardio? Your swimsuit will thank you.

5 Full-Body Cardio Moves
Jumping Jacks
Rowing Machine
Mountain Climbers
High-Knee Runs
Knee Smashes

Relationship Replacement

We’re not saying you need an upgrade, and we’d never take you from the love of your life. Still, if that guy was just keeping you warm as a placeholder, say sayonara and make room for that park candy and funday fare. You’ll both be free to acknowledge, appreciate and move on.

Best Outdoor Places to Meet Men This Spring
Piedmont Park
Atlanta Beltline
Anywhere you find the gay jocks of Hotlanta Softball, Flag Football League of Atlanta, Bucks Rugby and Rainbow Trout

Swimsuit season is closer than you think, so we solicited the help of an expert to help get bootylicious by Memorial Day.

By Mike Fleming
Photos By Russ Youngblood

Even as you stack on layers against the winter chill this month, it’s time to think about what’s underneath if you’re going to show it off this summer. That means training now to reach Optimal Swimsuit Level before summer.

Yes, really, says Atlanta fitness guru Christian Aguirre, who trains his clients at Urban Body Fitness in Midtown.

“Now is a good time to start, because it takes about 8-12 weeks to notice any changes in weight, health and appearance,” Aguirre tells Goliath.

When it comes to your backside, Aguirre says there’s more to great glutes than looking sexy from behind.

“Your glutes are one of the biggest and strongest muscles in your body, so by strengthening them you can improve your posture and make lifting heavy things easier, therefore reducing back pain,” he says. “Having strong glutes also helps with athletic performance so you run faster, jump higher and can lift more.”

Aguirre and the other trainers at Urban Body Fitness are set up to help you maximize your potential, he adds.

“UBF is equipped with an extensive array of strength machines, free weights and cardio equipment,” he says. “We offer a variety of classes to fit your fitness goals and have personal trainers on site with years of experience.”

Like the best workout time he recommends – any time you actually do it – now’s a good time to come see what the gym has to offer.

“Come try it out for seven days,” Aguirre says. “UBF is a clean gym with courteous staff and knowledgeable trainers. You can find your trainer by visiting UBF and meeting them in person, or by visiting our website.”

And to prove he’s not all talk and no action, Aguirre leads by example. Check out his favorite workout sets to target your booty.

Find Christian Aguirre at Urban Body Fitness, urbanbodyfitness.com. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook at ITPfitness.

As December indulgences lead into January promises to yourself, here are the most popular New Year’s Resolutions and how to finally stick with them this year.

By Mike Fleming

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. And when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, we’ve all been there. And back.

Goliath gathered its gays to determine the most common New Year’s Resolutions, as well as the corresponding pitfalls that lead so many guys to break our January promises to ourselves as early as February.

To break the chain of breaking our resolutions once and for all, we went about finding easy ways to keep one foot in front of the other as the going gets tough. Then we uncovered some reliable resources to help you stay on track as the year progresses.

As you look toward your own 2017 and all its possibilities, take a few tips from our journey of discovery.

resolutionshealthBody Conscious
Stick To It: Whether you’re pledging to hit the gym more, join a gay sports team, or add a spin class, break your goals down into weekly, even daily, steps that are manageable, and reward yourself for each one.
Beat Temptation: Schedule your fitness time the way you do work meetings and meals. Rather than trying to fit it into your day on the fly, decide when works best in advance, prioritize it, and block off the time.
Resources: Expertise goes a long way. Consult the professionals with our preferred gyms and trainers at Gravitee Fitness (graviteeatl.com); Renkema Fitness (renkemafitness.com); and Urban Body Fitness (urbanbodyfitness.com).

resolutionsvicesVersed in Vice
Hang in There: If you are trying to cut down or quit addictive behaviors like smoking and drinking, stop binge shopping, or lose weight on a diet, consider a system of accountability, including groups or professional counseling.
Beat Temptation: Environment is the most likely distractor when forming new habits, not willpower or self-control. Deliberately change your situation to avoid temptations, and don’t “white knuckle” through them.
Actively re-channel your thoughts. Think not about how it would feel to take a drink, but about how you acted the last time you drank. Think about what an extravagance those shoes are instead of how pretty they are.
Resources: Call the Centers for Disease Control’s LGBT Smoking Quitline at 800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669), and consult the gay-specific Health & Human Services program at thisfreelife.betobaccofree.hhs.gov.
Gay men can find other counseling and caregiver resources like Atlanta’s Brett Rozen (brettrozentherapy.com); statewide gay advocacy group The Health Initiative (thehealthinitiative.org); and for HIV-positive patients, Positive Impact (positiveimpacthealthcenters.org).
Find gay substance abuse meetings in Midtown including AA, NA, CMA and ACA at galano.org.

resolutionstravelGo Global
Get Up, Get Out: Committing to “travel more” doesn’t get you to the airport. Set aside time to plan your trips for the year, including setting dates, determining costs and logging savings deposits to get there.
Making it Happen: Excuses are going to crop up. You’re busy. Things at work are crazy. Finances are tight. Those things will always be true. Force yourself into it if you have to: Make reservations, even put down deposits and buy flights way in advance so that you can’t back out. When the time comes and you’re setting sail or lifting off, you’ll be glad you did.
Resources: Start your gay and gay-friendly vacations just clicks away. For cruises, consult Atlantis Events (atlantisevents.com) and RSVP Vacations (rsvpvacations.com) with Atlanta-based agents, or try the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association for destination-specific travel agents (iglta.org).

Debt Relief
Become Solvent: The pledge to save more and pay off recurring debts is the second most common New Year’s Resolution after fitness and dieting. Makes sense, but it makes longterm stability sense too. Commit to small steps instead of fat stacks.
Doable Goals. Make specific budget-friendly rules rather than overarching commitments. Eat one dinner out a week, take a sack lunch to work most days.
Shop around for the best price on everything from cars to underwear to insurance, and actively bargain for lower interest on credit cards or switch to one with lower rates.
Have a percentage automatically taken out of your check and put into savings. Can you spare an extra $50 or even $20 a month toward savings, mortgage or other loans? They add up.
Resources: Financial planners are all over the internet with advice, from Atlanta’s favorite son Clark Howard, to gay and gay-friendly accounting firms that will help you manage your money, like the Robby Group (therobbygroup.com).

New Attitude
You & Improved: New Year promises to “be less stressed” or “learn something new” are understandable, even admirable. The problem is they are too amorphous to do you much good. Set goals you can visualize to attain the so-called “new you.”
Be Specific: If you’re looking to reduce stress, take up a hobby that requires creativity and contemplation and takes you out of your normal headspace. Find classes or online instructions on video. Commit to meditation, and seek out training or advice on how to do it best.
Want to learn a language? Which one? Which method will work best for you? Buying Rosetta Stone? Taking a class? Find it and do it. Schedule the time each day or week and prioritize it for yourself.
Want to spend more time with your boyfriend or partner, or your family? That’s nice. When? Will it be a monthly gathering? Will it be dinner? Game night? How will it look, and what needs to be done to make it happen?
Volunteer work strike your fancy? For whom? Call them. Today.

Great looking complexions are more than skin deep, and fall foods can maximize your inner beauty.
By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Good skincare that works solely on the surface of the skin is only half the battle. If you really want to have great-looking skin, you need to consider what you eat as well as how to take advantage of the season’s natural bounty

When it comes to your appearance, taking advantage of the autumn harvest can be good and good for you in multiple ways.

After all, your skin is your body’s biggest organ, so it makes sense that what you eat is reflected from the inside all the way to the outside. With these fall foods to eat as well as foods to wearyour healthiest look gives “feeding your face a whole new meaning.

GreensLeafy Greens 

Spinach, kale, turnip and mustard greens, as well as salad mixes are excellent sources of Vitamins B, C, E. They also boast the more rare Vitamin K, which prevents and heals bruises and marks on the skin, and are rich sources of antioxidants that help prevent damage from sun exposure and pollution.

 

 

NutsGo Nuts 

Nuts are masters at providing fatty Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids, the building blocks that help skin retain moisture. The protein in nuts also stimulates hair follicles for a fuller, stronger mane. Walnuts, pecans and other tree nuts are better than legumes like peanuts or cashews.

 

 

OilsOil It Up 

To ensure elasticity and bounce by supporting the skin’s collagen fibers, the best oils are pure, not processed, so go for anything cold-pressed or “virgin.” Olive and coconut oils are rich in nutrients for the skin, and Avocado is a miracle fruit with fatty Omega-9 acids that closely mimic the oils naturally occurring in our skin. Also consider fish oils rich in Omega-3.

 

 

BerriesFruits & Berries 

High levels of Vitamin C keep the skin firm, and berries pack antioxidant power to prevent skin destruction on a cellular level. Blueberries and cranberries are the most super SuperFood berries, and while you’ll want to keep your apple a day routine, add more exotic fruits like kiwi for even higher antioxidants.

 

 

PumpkinsFood to Wear 

While eating right can help you look beautiful from the outside in, foods from the autumn harvest are also great in homemade fall facemasks. Here’s a recipe for one that moisturizes and leaves skin silky

Ingredients: 
tsp Steamed, Baked or Microwaved Pumpkin
2-3 Large Grapes
Tbsp Grated Apple
Tbsp Honey
1 Egg Yolk
Sprinkle of Oat Flour or Oatmeal

Blend everything except oats in a food processor or mash with mortar and pestle. Add only enough oat for consistency. Apply and leave for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water. You can also apply to eyes only with cotton pads and rinse after about 10 minutes.

Adapted from AlkalineFoods.net. For additional masks for your specific skin type, search recipes that use peas, carrots and rosehips, all more plentiful during autumn. 

Trending on your face right now are medi-spa treatments for summer that go beyond ardent skin care.
By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Gay men want to look our best at any age. An increasing number of us are accepting a little help from non-invasive beauty treatments that are a far cry from full-on surgery with a less intimidating requirement of just a little pinch or poke.

You want others to admire your great skin and youthful appearance, not your overdone or frozen face. Think of the summer-skin rejuvenations like tequila shots: Only the ones that are right for you, because after too many, you start looking nothing like yourself!

Botox
Botox – jokingly called ‘brotox’ for men – is by far the most common treatment for guys this summer. The method is proven and effective. A few precise injections make your facial muscles release their hold on wrinkles. Be careful, because it’s easy and much too common to overdo it. Less really is more.

Rethink what you thought you knew. Fillers are much more than a Kardashian pout. Most guys have no need for enhanced cheekbones or lips anyway, but fillers can plump sunken areas and smooth deep lines, like at the corners of the mouth or on your forehead.

CoolSculpting
It’s all the rage because it painlessly melts away unwanted fat from problem areas like abdomen, lower back and lower chest. The treatment works by freezing fat cells, which then crystallize and break down through your digestion process. CoolSculpting results aren’t instantaneous, but by the end of summer, you can up to 25 percent fat reduction.

Lasers
Beauty zap! A laser beam directed at your skin fractions into many smaller beams that burn microscopic holes. Your skin reacts by kicking into healing overdrive. The result looks more even and smooth, and even better, the effect improves over time because extra collagen is produced to protect the skin.

Ultherapy
A lift without going under the knife, Ultrasound stimulates deep skin layers to produce collagen that reactivates the springs in your skin’s mattress. It’s great for jowls and chin, and can be used on droopy eyelids or neck skin. Now, while ultrasound sounds nice and relaxing, it’s fairly painful, so ask for painkillers before you start.

IPL
Intense Pulsed Light is perfect for someone with pigmentation spots or visible capillaries. The light catches the dark spots and burst blood vessels and diminishes their appearance. Each pulse feels like a quick, moderately painful pinch in the skin followed by heat, but the results are instantaneous.

DIY Beauty Mask
IlluMask is an at-home treatment that uses red and blue light to reduce redness and inflammation. Yes, you will look a little like Iron Man, but that’s kinda cool actually, right? The company is currently revamping its site so you can buy the lit up mask online, but you may also get lucky in Walgreens or Target. illumask.com.

Gay Atlanta’s own Urban Body guru serves up tips to get would-be fitness buffs started.
By Shannon Jenkins

For some gay men, exercise can be intimidating. Longtime Atlanta fitness master Rad Slough offers words of wisdom for beefy beginners who want to get in shape.

“Start with what you’re eating,” says Slough, who owns Urban Body Fitness in Midtown’s Amsterdam Walk. “If it’s green and it was once alive, you can eat it. I don’t care whether it’s Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, or green beans, or salad. The catch with salads is that’s a salad with dressing, not a dressing with salad. … Also, eat your proteins appropriately.”

And sorry, cocktailers: Slough considers booze to be hollow calories.

“If you’re not doing anything to burn those extra calories off, that’s just weight going to your waistline,” he says. “If you do continue to drink, it’s going to slow that progress down a lot.”

Then it’s time for exercise. Slough lays out seven basics that help put getting started in perspective.

Start Slow

“Don’t jump into weights,” Slough warns. “Start with cardio. Build that stamina up a little bit for at least a couple of weeks. Work out three or four times a week.”

A simple way to start burning calories is to walk as much as possible.

“Don’t go to the grocery store in the car,” Slough suggests. “If you’re within a half mile of the grocery store, get you one of those folding carts. If you eat out a lot, walk to the restaurant.”

Get Moving

Slough also suggests finding an active interest or hobby. Rock climbing, bicycling and hiking North Georgia’s miles of scenic trails are just a few ideas.

Home Remedies

When you can’t get to a gym on a given day, Slough recommends online video workouts from Men’s Fitness and Men’s Health, which usually offer alternative moves based on your fitness level.

Attainable Goals

Urban Body’s head fitness guru encourages beginners to set realistic goals, accomplish them in small chunks, and reward yourself each time you meet one.

Don’t Overdo It

The best advice is sometimes the simplest: Don’t overdo it.

“Don’t start out so hard that you’re so sore that you don’t want to lift again,” Slough says. “I had never lifted before, and I did a full-body workout. I had to hold my arm up to brush my teeth. I used a hairdryer at the time, and I had to put my elbow on the wall and move my head back and forth. I was so sore.”

In the Zone

Once you’re working out with weights, ask an expert. Even if you got started off alone, or work out on the road, professionals like the 24 available at Urban Body Fitness can guide you in using the proper form to avoid injury.

Variety is the Spice

Don’t do the same exercise routine for more than approximately a month,” Slough recommends. “Take classes along with your weight workouts to vary what you’re doing so you aren’t bored.”

Urban Body Fitness, 500 Amsterdam Avenue, offers classes including spinning, aerobics and bootcamp. Urban Body Studios does yoga, pilates and TRX, and Urban Body Spa & Salon offers a full range of services. Visit urbanbodystudios.com

 

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Wouldn’t it be cool to be the guy looking his best as the sun gets hotter, the days get longer, and more skin is revealed? Kick the season into gear by updating your skincare regimen, and that guy could be you.

Just like working out and minding your calories works wonders for your summer beach bod, you can also help your look along the way by adding just a few products and simple strategies to your skincare routine. Your skin and hair will be well-prepped and looking its very best when summer sets in.

spring_fashion_crop_250 - 4Your AHA Moment
AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) chemically peels in a safe and gentle way to reveal new and fresher-looking skin. Using a product with AHA will increase the sensitivity of the skin, so it’s best to stay entirely out of the sun.
Nutra Luxe MD CE A Ferulic Serum, $39

 

Front Runner of Vitamins
Vitamin A – or retinol, the chemical compound version of the vitamin – does wonders by actively smoothing skin and making it more even-looking. Vitamin A is very light sensitive, so always use it at night for best results and avoid prolonged exposure to direct sun.
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, $21

 

spring_fashion_crop_250 - 3Smoothing
Using a mild scrub on a regular basis does wonders when it’s time to bare more skin in the summer heat. As with any scrub it only works on the surface, so be gentle to avoid irritating the skin.
Kiehl’s Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap, $15

 

The Road to No Bumps
If your skin tends to break out either in dry patches or bumps, it’s likely due to an imbalance. A body lotion helps re-balance and re-create the natural barrier of the skin.
Baxter of California Hand and Body Moisturizer, $18

 

spring_fashion_crop_250 - 2Good Hair Days All Summer
Think of each hair strand as a glass Midtown high-rise. If all the windows are open, air and pollution can blow in and out, but when closed the building can withstand anything. Shampoo and conditioner are great, but you want to really nourish the hair before you expose it to beach life, pool parties and sunshine. The occasional hair mask will do wonders and even repair your hair if damage is already done.
Rene Furterer Karité Intense Nourishing Mask $47

 

Moisture-Loading
Kind of like carb-loading for strenuous exercise, your skin can benefit from extra moisture before the warm weather sets in. A facial oil is beneficial – even if you have oily skin – as long as you go by the less is more rule. Mix only a few drops in with your daily moisturizer.
Aesop Fabulous Face Oil, $57

 

March league openers are just another reason that it’s good to be gay in Atlanta.

By Mike Fleming

In an era when gay athletes are coming into their own, Atlanta stands out as a rare city to offer multiple sports options for gay and gay-friendly jocks. Other metropolises have gay rugby, softball, flag football, volleyball, swimming, or tennis. Our fair city boasts all of those and more. Call it another reason that it’s good to be gay in Atlanta.

The gay sports scene emerges rejuvenated each spring after an off-season that lasts only a few cold months. Local gay jocks are known for camaraderie, and for welcoming all skill levels without the shaming that gay players may remember from adolescent sports.

Three of the most popular groups kick off this month with plans to play hard on the field and off. Here’s a sneak peek.

Hotlanta Softball League

With 35 years under its belt, HSL is home base for more than 500 members on some 35 teams in four divisions. There’s something special about softball that draws so many people, says HSL board secretary Jay Malloy.

“Softball is a game that you can play with very little skill and learn fast from your fellow teammates,” Malloy says. “This allows you to be as good as you want to be. We make no judgments on ability and include everyone.”

Every year, top-flight HSL teams compete in the Gay Softball World Series, and Atlanta hosts the national Big Peach Tournament each Memorial Day Weekend. On the lighter side, look for events like the fun Mr. and Miss HSL pageants. In the end, it’s all about community, Malloy says.

“I am so proud of all of the women and men who make up our league,” he says. “I would have never met so many great people without joining HSL.”

Hotlanta Softball League throws its first pitch on March 20 and plays Sundays thereafter at Metro Sports Complex. Each game day is followed by an Extra Innings Beer Bust at various venues. hotlantasoftball.org.

National Flag Football League of Atlanta

The men of NFFLA kicked off the spring season at their annual Super Bowl party. Now it’s time for the league’s teams to face off each week to find a champion. Plus, there are myriad opportunities for players beyond the games, says Brent Baur, NFFLA president.

“The NFFLA provides a social sanctuary for those looking to meet new people,” he says. “We have a draft every season, which provides a better opportunity for players to meet other players on a yearly basis. If you are nervous joining as a new player, we allow you to be on a team with another new or existing player that you already know. The love of football is an excellent reason to join us, too!”

But it’s not football and forget it. These are the same guys who let their masc4masc veneers down for Ladies of the League. The drag-tastic fundraising pageant that puts the men into heels and wigs to see who comes out on top.

“My favorite thing about NFFLA is the friendships I’ve made over the years,” Baur says. “Doing that, playing the best sport is even better.”

National Flag Football League of Atlanta plays a pre-season scrimmage on March 5, with Opening Day on March 12. They then play each Saturday at Boulevard Crossing Park. nffla.com

Atlanta Bucks Rugby Football Club

One of gay Atlanta’s most beloved sports teams is known for its burly boys, rough-and-tumble games, rowdy parties, and big ol’ hearts of gold.

“I joined the Atlanta Bucks because I wanted a sport that I thought would challenge me,” says Gary Durden-Oswalt. “Rugby does that, but I stayed because the people in this club grew to be my family.”

The Bucks play gay rugby clubs from other cities, as well as predominantly straight squads. Their schedule also includes a big tournament with a global reach.

“This club has taken me places that I probably otherwise would not have gone,” Durden-Oswalt says. “The Bingham Cup [named after gay 9/11 hero Mark Bingham], which is held every other year, has been held outside of the US three times since I joined the Bucks, those being Dublin in 2008, Manchester in 2012, and Sydney in 2014.”

In addition to their matches, the guys also host monthly bar nights, the fun annual Purple Dress Run through Midtown, and the raucous Miss Ruck N Maul drag pageant.

The Bucks wrap the regular season in Atlanta at the end of April, then they head slightly north for the Bingham Cup. The tournament kicks off closer to home this time, in Nashville on May 27.

Atlanta Bucks Rugby Football Club hosts its Home Opener against the college jocks of Georgia State on March 12. atlantabucksrugby.org.

You might also look into the gay sports groups Atlanta Team Tennis Association, atta.org; Hotlanta Volleyball, hotlantavolleyball.org; and Atlanta Rainbow Trout Swim Team & Water Polo, atlantarainbowtrout.com.

By J. Hancock

As the Big Peach drops and we roll into 2016, we all know what it’s time for: crowded gyms, rampant resolution posts on social media, and dreams of getting skinnier, richer, healthier and finally finding (or keeping) the perfect man.

Change isn’t easy. We all have busy lives, but how easy is it to make changes and stick to those pesky resolutions?

According to www.positivechange.com, 40 to 45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. The top New Year’s resolutions are: losing weight, exercising more, stopping smoking, managing finances, and reducing or eliminating debt. As for keeping the resolutions, only 71% of people make it past the first two weeks, and by the end of six months that number drops to 46%.

Should we even make resolutions?

Goal setting and visioning for the future is always a good mental exercise to engage in, and setting resolutions is no different,” said Josh Noblitt, Minister of Social Justice at Saint Mark United Methodist Church and candidate for Georgia House of Representatives, District 59.  “Though new goals can be established at any time, the beginning of the year is especially a good time because it represents a new start.  You can look back over the previous year, examine what worked and what didn’t work and learn from those successes and struggles.”

Goliath Atlanta is here to help you navigate the Resolution Highway. Here we offer some tools, tips, and expert advice to help you on your way.

Stay away from the haters, put down that dating app, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s go. Your journey awaits.

When it comes to fitness resolutions, we went to the experts to find out what it really takes to be successful. What gay man doesn’t want to have a great physique?

Fitness in general is something that you always have to work on, especially the older you get,” said fitness expert Andrew Johnson of Gravitee Fitness. “Find something you love and do it, whether it is a spin class, yoga, weight lifting or anything else you enjoy as long as you are active.  Fighting the mental game is where New Year’s resolutions fail. It’s important to tell yourself that you’re never too old to start. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, and do not get lost in fighting the scale.  The biggest of all issues for gym newbies not to be embarrassed to sweat or look silly.”

Goliath Atlanta: What’s your general opinion about making New Year’s resolutions? 

Making resolutions to improve some aspect of yourself is a great idea, but why does it have to happen on an exact date or time of the year? Resolutions, as they pertain to diet and exercise, take a tremendous amount of discipline, dedication and effort. The amount of time that goes into meal planning and exercise alone can be overwhelming; it’s no wonder that most people continue to push back doing this until the New Year. It sure isn’t easy or fun – especially trying to make multiple changes at the same time. Setting realistic goals and expectations is the best way to accomplish any resolution.

For example, rather than trying to make all your changes at once and expecting fast and unrealistic results, it would be much easier to create a timeline with well thought out points in time to make changes. On Jan. 1, I would make a commitment to do three days of weight training a week, and once you have done that for six weeks in a row, add another goal of incorporating some cardio into the routine.

Once both of those goals have happened for six weeks in a row, it would be a great time to start working on a diet. Too many people try to make too many changes at once and don’t realize how difficult it is to make major life changes, let alone multiple changes at one time.

Don’t wait. It doesn’t get any easier as time passes, and you’re likely to lose motivation the longer you wait. Start that resolution now, and make some improvements before the New Year. You’ll be much more likely to accomplish your goals by setting realistic expectations and making that commitment to change, one step at a time.

Aaron Pols, APCPT, Gravitee Fitness

GA: Why do people fail at their fitness-related New Year’s Resolutions?

Ever noticed how we always want to start our new, healthy lifestyles on Monday, on the first of the month, or at the beginning of a New Year? That’s because putting them off is a comfortable excuse, an “easy out,” and is actually why you’re in need of making a resolution in the first place. This procrastination, along with setting vague or unrealistic goals and not seeking expert help, is the biggest reason most people fall short of achieving their fitness expectations in the New Year.

First, in order to be successful with your resolutions, you must understand that a healthy lifestyle is a habit, and habits take time to form. Continuing to put off starting a gym regiment or diet program is just enforcing your old bad habits. Start your New Year’s resolution now.

Make it a yearlong resolution starting immediately, not a New Year’s resolution starting weeks, or even months, from now. And once you’ve formed good habits, maintain them year round.

Second, be realistic when setting your goals, and seek the help of a fitness professional in doing so. The quickest road to failure is to set a goal that is too lofty, failing to meet it, and quitting out of frustration.

For example, some people want to lose 20 pounds in a month, but they may only lose five. Obviously, they think it’s impossible to change, so they give up. Instead of this self-defeating approach, seek advice from a professional who can help you set smaller, achievable milestones along the road to your ultimate goal.

It’s recommended to lose one to two pounds a week in order to develop healthy habits and keep the weight off permanently, which means you may need to work consistently for two and a half to five months to drop 20 pounds.

As I tell my clients all the time, “You didn’t put on the weight (or lose the muscle) over night, so you’re not going to reverse it overnight.”

So no more waiting on the New Year to start the journey to a healthier, happier you. Seize the day, choose to be strong, and conquer those goals for good!

Rick Twombley

Rick Twombley Fitness, Gravitee Fitness

GA: Why do some people succeed at fitness goals while most do not?

The people who succeed are the people who just show up.  We fitness experts are there to guide you and help you make the right choices towards your fitness goals.  We understand that you’re exhausted from a long trying day, and the last thing you want to do is go to the gym; however, we also know that after you get done with your workout – whether that be 10 minutes or 30 minutes – you will walk out the front door feeling energized, relaxed, and accomplished knowing you are one step closer to your goals.  That feeling of accomplishment is what drives success, and I guarantee you’re going to leave with a smile.  You did it! You made that commitment to come into the gym.  You will succeed.

Michael Wido, Southeast Bodies CPT, Gravitee Fitness

GA: What is your advice – should people even make fitness-related resolutions?

Vowing to lose 20 pounds, tone your arms, and get yourself a six pack are great fitness resolutions for the New Year. It’s good to commit to being a better, healthier you.  The challenge is that people go in with the wrong intentions – looking for that quick fix. They over train, go on fad diets, and then crash and burn by February when they don’t see immediate results. 

Fitness resolutions stick only when you make a healthy lifestyle commitment.  That means skipping unrealistic goals like, “I’m going to lose ten pounds in a month” or  “I’m going to have arms like the Rock by March.” 

Instead, focus your energy on eating healthy, and make consistently good decisions about how you will take care of your body.  The best way to do this is to get help.  A good trainer will put you on the proper track to get fit responsibly, leading you on the way to do it correctly.  This includes not only exercise, but also nutritional modification and can lead to a major change that will happen gradually and become long lasting.

Cliff “Hollywood” Boyce Celebrity and Fitness Coach, Hollywood Fitness IFBB Pro, Gravitee Fitness

GA: If someone is not a “gym rat” but wants to get into shape for the New Year, why do you recommend the gym? Can’t it be done on your own?

If you’ve never really worked out, it can be very intimidating to sign up at a gym, but working out a gym has its advantages over working out at home.

You can absolutely get a great workout at home, but staying motivated can sometimes be difficult. Going to a gym gets you energized to work out by being surrounded by other members who are in the same boat as you.

Another advantage of the gym is that you will also have access to great trainers and staff who can teach you proper form and get you on a plan to reach your specific goal. Last but not least, if you like groups and working out with others, there is usually a class for everybody, from spinning and kickboxing to TRX and yoga. 

Just remember: everybody in that gym had a “first day.”  Remember to have fun. 

Henriette Steffensen

BetterBodies, Gravitee Fitness

Of course, fitness isn’t the only common resolution going into 2016. Another major resolution is improving finances. For some gay men that means buying fewer weekend cocktails or spending less on new clothes. For others it means getting a new job or an extra job. Sometimes it means getting rid of debt or and sticking to a budget. It’s no secret that as gay men we’ve been known to drive up uncontrollable amounts of debt.

This is not a game,” said author and financial expert Dave Ramsey. “Debt has become a part of who we are. It’s become that spoiled child in the grocery store with their lip stuck out: ‘I want it. I want it. I deserve it because I breathe air.’ And, well, that’s an uphill climb in our culture right now, to go against that and say, ‘Hey, let’s be grownups here. Let’s be mature, learn to delay pleasure, save up and pay for things.’”

For more information about Dave Ramsey, go to www.daveramsey.com.

Josh Noblitt, who is also a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice, has taught Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University classes and has some advice when it comes to making financial New Year’s resolutions.

GA: Why do people fail at their financial New Year’s resolutions?

Josh: There is a tendency to take on everything at once, or to establish unrealistic expectations for change.  For example, if I resolve to pay off all of my debt by the end of the next year, but I don’t have a clear plan on how to achieve that resolution, I am more likely to ditch it altogether after not seeing the progress I might want to see.  We live in an instant gratification culture right now, and it is easy to give up when we don’t see instant results. 

GA: Why do some people succeed?

Josh: Those who succeed in achieving their New Year’s Resolutions are often motivated not just by the arrival of a new year, but by additional motivating factors.  There was a time in my own life when I was not achieving the financial goals I set for myself.  I got tired of spinning my wheels over and over, so I took a financial class that offered help in coming up with a plan.  It broke the goal down into much more manageable pieces and thus I saw a lot more success. 

Whether or not you set New Year’s resolutions it up to you. Whatever your resolutions – fitness, finances, or something else – going into the New Year with a plan is smart.

I encourage everyone to have at least once resolution for the coming year,” said Noblitt.  “It gives you something to look forward to.  Manage expectations on the front end and pick resolutions that are realistic.  Come up with two to three specific and achievable resolutions with a clear plan and specific deliverables.  Share your resolution with another person and invite them to be an accountability partner to help you stay motivated and focused.  It is much easier to ditch the resolutions if nobody else but you knows.  Celebrate small victories along the way.”

 

 

 

By Chris Brennaman

For 20 years Pride Medical has been an iconic fixture in Atlanta’s fight against HIV/AIDS. On Dec. 14, though, one of the leading clinics that has been a go-to for HIV-related treatment for many in the area’s LGBT community closed its Howell Mill Road doors and began to transition its practice to join forces for a partnership at Buckhead’s AbsoluteCARE Medical Center and Pharmacy.

While the closing of Pride Medical is the end of an era, AbsoluteCARE isn’t exactly a stranger in serving Atlanta’s HIV/AIDS population. Founded in 2000 by Dr. Joel Rosenstock, AbsoluteCARE not only provides treatment for the illness, but also offers services like nutrition education, mental health counseling and social worker access.

Rosenstock himself has been working with HIV/AIDS patients for 26 years and serves as Medical Director of AbsoluteCARE. He said his practice could prove more comprehensive than potential new patients are used to getting.

We have a multidimensional model that looks out for all stressors in people’s lives,” said Rosenstock. “We do outreach and we have many partnerships in town with 501(c)3s. I’m extremely proud of the work we do.”

Still, change can be hard, especially for patients in treatment for HIV and its related illnesses. The bond developed between a patient and doctors, nurses, and other staff members at any medical provider is often deep. Fortunately for patients, there will be more than a few familiar faces for former Pride patients at AbsoluteCARE, including two doctors and about six other full-time staff members.

However, Rosenstock said a broader scope of care and familiar faces shouldn’t be the only things for new patients to expect when they arrive at AbsoluteCARE for the first time. They should also expect a lot of diversity.

Patients coming in from Pride Medical are going to be sitting next to people who are not only gay males, but from all walks of life and backgrounds,” Rosenstock said. “Many of our staff members say one the most exciting things about working here is that you never know who’s going to be behind the door when going in to see a patient.”

Rosenstock said some Pride Medical patients have already made the transition and, so far, are happy with their new provider. But for those Pride Medical patients who’ve yet to set foot inside of AbsoluteCARE’s facility, Rosenstock is confident they’ll be won over as well.

Pride has had that niche of knowing that, if you’re a gay man in town and had a health problem, you could go there and feel very comfortable,” he said. “Pride has done great work. But we actually served more gay males than Pride in our practice since before they joined us, and I think people are going to be impressed with the opportunities and resources we can provide here at AbsoluteCARE.”

AbsoluteCARE is located at:

2140 Peachtree Road NW, Suite 232

Atlanta, GA 30309

For more details, visit them online at www.absolutecarehealth.com

By Stefano Patton

In October 2015 BLUE Men’s Clinic, a division of BLUE MedClinic, opened its doors in Midtown. With its innovative programs the men’s clinic is dedicated to improving the quality of sex life for Atlanta men but also offers “the best in medical aesthetics to help you look and feel younger from the inside out,” with an abundance of wellness offerings, said John Stupka, CEO of Blue MedClinic.

If you’ve driven through the gayborhood at all in the past year, Blue might seem familiar. There was once a BlueSpa on Tenth Street, but the familiarity halts there. Blue MedClinic differs from its predecessor by helping each patient create his own “personal blueprint” that will guide him to the best treatment options to look his [or her] best [and operate his or her best] at any age.

We can help younger patients in their twenties and thirties with preventative options to reduce the onset of age with Botox, lasers, peels, and other nonsurgical services,” said Stupka. For patients in their 40s, 50s and beyond there are more advanced treatments for both aesthetics and sexual function offered through the BLUE Men’s Clinic.”

One specialty for Blue MedClinic is treatment for erectile dysfunction. There are lots of myths out there. According to webmd.com one myth is that ED is just a normal part of growing older and men just have to learn to live with it. Another myth is that ED doesn’t hit younger men because it’s only a problem for older guys. BLUE Men’s Clinic recognizes these myths are prevalent, and with the help of a board certified urologist, who has been treating issues like ED and PE (premature ejaculation) for over 20 years, BLUE is enhancing the sex life of men of all ages.

BLUE helps rejuvenate its many diverse patients, but the business itself has also had a facelift. Stupka admits that the recession was a difficult time for what was BlueSpa.

The real estate market actually impacted our business more than anything as well as me personally with the location we started in,” said Stupka.

Ending BlueSpa and revamping the business as BlueMed Center was a strategic and conscious decision. Stupka is grateful for the “many supporters in Midtown and in the Atlanta community who have continued to support BLUE through its evolution.”

Stupka decided not to simply re-launch the spa, because “the community [had] perceived us as just a spa and didn’t realize all the more medical and surgical type offerings we have.”

What some naively may deem as vanity procedures (invasive and non-invasive) BLUE is on the cutting edge by realizing that beauty, sexual wellness, and health are all intertwined.

As the population ages and people live longer, many of us feel great on the inside, but what we feel like doesn’t match what we see in the mirror,” said Stupka. “The BLUE brand is very focused on preventative treatments that you can do to restore confidence and self-esteem.”

Today is World AIDS Day.

If you didn’t know, maybe you should.  Sooner or later its effects touch us all, gay or straight.

There are an estimated 34 million people living with HIV or AIDS worldwide, according to www.worldaidsday.org. The virus was first identified in 1984, and since then more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS.

Huffington Post writer Bruce Ward’s touching blog today is something you should take time to read:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-ward/remember-their-names-worl_b_8684368.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

 

By Hyde Walker

Fall is finally upon us. This translates to hot drinks, cool boots, long hours by the fireplace with your favorite guy, and unfortunately, dry skin.

Our skin is our largest organ, and although it’s singular, it actually varies in sensitivity all over. Some parts are thinner than others and the most fragile is facial skin – not south of the border, contrary to popular belief. When the temperature drops, protecting it becomes even more of a necessity if you prefer not having flakes, acne and redness – hot and bothered is not a term you want associated with your mug.

Summer is very forgiving with humidity that doesn’t irritate, so you’re able to get away with doing little more than washing your face and applying sunscreen. However, vacation’s over! Now is the time to prep for a double shot of extreme cold air outside and hot air inside that will zap all the moisture skin naturally produces.

Whether you’re trying to keep it sexy for yourself or the fella who keeps you warm at night, the key is to be gentle and use products that are nourishing and calming. Ingredients are everything; think essential oils, botanicals, plant extracts and oils. Avoid harsh additions like alcohol, synthetic fragrances and chemicals. Leave that for happy hour and brunch on the weekend.

Taking simple steps every day to cleanse and moisturize effectively will leave your face in a gorgeous, touchable, and kissable state come Christmas. Get ready with these basic essentials.

 

Malin+Goetz Facial Cleansing Oil – 4 oz. / $42

Grooming_Malin

All skin types can benefit from this simple cleanser. Using oil to get clean may sound strange but it works just as well as soap or regular cleansers without the dryness. It gently lathers to clarify and nurture with grape seed, olive oil, and avocado oils. Antioxidants from vitamins A and E help speed up skin’s natural repair system from the effects of pollution, sweat, and grime.

 

Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence Treatment – 6.8 oz. / $45

Grooming_Kiehls

The star in this lightweight moisturizer is Iris Florentina root extract, which is not only super hydrating, but also merciless on fine lines and the early signs of wrinkles. Gentle exfoliators and humectants like lipo hydroxy acid and sodium hyaluronate smooth out roughness and bumps, while drawing in moisture from the air. Use daily for a healthy glow.

 

Lush Five O’Clock Whistle Shaving Smoothie – 3.1 oz. / $12.95

Grooming_Lush

For the closest shave ever and zero burn, turn your shaving routine into an indulgent treat. This ultra-moisturizing shaving cream is laced with some of the best skin loving ingredients known to man with almond and olive oils, lavender, murumuru butter and Aloe Vera powder. Slather it on and realize it doesn’t get better than this where your razor blade is concerned.

 

Korres Vetiver Root Aftershave Balm – 4.41 oz. / $16.50

Grooming_Korres

Naturally scented with Vetiver and Cedarwood for such a sensual fragrance, you might be tempted to use this aftershave as cologne – no shame in that, gentlemen. It’s light yet creamy enough to hydrate thanks to sunflower oils and Aloe to soothe any unwelcomed rash, redness or dryness from shaving. Therapeutic Calendula flower extract and green tea cool down skin and impart a tranquil effect on your mood.

 

Burt’s Bees Mint Cocoa Lip Balm – 0.15 oz. / $3.30

Grooming_Burts

If you’re a chocolate and mint lover, then hurry up and get your hands on this limited edition classic with a delicious twist – it has cocoa fruit powder, which smells like a Starbucks specialty drink and even tastes sweet on your lips. Coconut oil, beeswax, and Shea butter all work to heal chapped lips and further protect them from wind and cold.

 

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