Rise Above: 7 Strategies to Crush Adversity – Intro & Sample Chapter

Guys gals, and pals, its no secret.  I’m not the greatest marketing dude.  That’s why I now work with publishing partners on my book projects, hahaha. Turns out my ol’ upload, publish, and pray to the 4-winds strategy doesn’t always work in the real world, that is if you want to have a dime to pay the rent.

But to be honest, the “marketing style” I am most comfortable with is to just let you read a little bit of my latest work, and then decide for yourself whether it is something you are digging, and think can be of benefit to you at this point in your life. I only want you spending your time and money on shit if it is actually going to help you, not because I suckered you.

In other words, my style is to give you a little taste of the latest Miyaki piece, and then see if you want more, and more, and more… Perhaps you never, e-e-e-e-e-ever want it to stop?

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 3.01.26 PM

Anyways, bad and immature joke aside, every time I deviate from that approach, I feel like a scumbag.

So on that note, I thought I’d just post up the intro section and a sample chapter from my latest book Rise Above: 7 Strategies to Crush Adversity (cough cough – an Amazon #1 Best Seller in two categories – cough, cough. See, I am at least trying to get a little better at da marketing thing).

If you dig it, the book is available both on Kindle and in paperback version. I hope it helps.

Rise Above Kindle Edition

Rise Above Paperback Edition

*Note: the format and layout were professionally done for the books, and are much nicer than in this technologically-challenged blog post.

Here we go.


You are facing some uphill battles in your life. You are enduring tough times. You are looking to find the strength necessary to persevere through it all, and the tools to conquer your challenges no matter how insurmountable they may seem.

So there is no time to waste with lengthy, self-serving introductions. The messages are more important than the messengers. There is no time for intellectual pontification, mysticism, or riddles. You need simple, straightforward, and actionable strategies that you can apply immediately.

No credentials, professional praise, or testimonials. You must decide for yourself whether the strategies are useful in your world. Despite what gurus will proclaim, what has worked for some will not necessarily work for you. You must apply these strategies and assess whether they pass your own real life tests.

What good is listening to other people’s success stories if you are not also writing your own?

There is no time for a feel good, feeling out process. We must get straight to the heart of the matter, so you can make it out of hell, alive and well. Anything else is just procrastination, a useless endeavor indeed.

Let’s dive right into the deep end so you can start digging your way out.


*Note: I chose to post the following sample chapter because over the last 15 years, I’ve seen this strategy be applied successfully in almost every area of life.

I get that this is a fitness blog, so I should start with saying that I’ve seen it applied to busting through plateaus, winning titles and championships, completing amazing physique transformations, and to people achieving things they never thought were possible.

I’ve also seen it applied to even more important areas of life like battling cancer, building businesses and careers, fighting drug/alcohol addiction, overcoming personal challenges, being a better family member, and just being a better dude(tte) overall.

In short, it’s the most powerful strategy I know of. Hope it helps you in some way.


One must edge forward like the inchworm, bit by bit. The gods and Buddhas, too, first started with a vow.”—Hagakure.

Top of the mountain or down in the dumps. What does it really matter where you are at today? How do you get through tough times, or reach the top of the mountain if things are already rolling for you? The answer is the same. Simply put one foot in front of the other and keep walking every day, regardless of the circumstances.

Or you can sit, shout about your problems to a world that doesn’t care, and get nowhere.

Kaizen translates to “constant and continual improvement.” However, it’s really more than just a word. Kaizen is a life philosophy — the idea being to somehow improve just a little bit every day. How are you better today than you were yesterday?

Whether consciously or subconsciously, the best athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, and businessmen use this strategy. And you can certainly pull yourself out of the depths of hell with it. There may be no other way.

From day one to the time you’re done, if you just focus on getting a little bit better every day, you can’t stray too far from the way.

1. Fight daily battles

“If a retainer will just think about what he is to do for the day at hand, he will be able to do anything. If it is a single day’s work, one should be able to put up with it. Tomorrow, too, is but a single day.”—Hagakure.

Do some work for the day, make a little progress, and then be done with it. That’s a good day for anyone, regardless of his or her situation.

Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, those are all battles for another day. Right now, it’s today that counts, and everyone is mentally, physically, and spiritually strong enough to do whatever he or she sets out to do for just one day.

Narrow your focus to the most important task at hand. You can achieve anything in life, if you tackle it one task at a time.

2. Focus on the individual steps you need to take, not the final destination

“Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never-ending.” – Hagakure.

Remember from the last lesson that you already have everything you need, Nonetheless, we all want the extra things in life. We want money, a nice car, a job promotion, a perfect mate, a lean body, etc. Those “wants” don’t become “haves” unless we figure out the exact steps we need to take to get them.

Everyone has a plan or an idea for everything, but it’s the implementation of that plan that truly matters. In other words, you can’t just think and analyze, you must do.

Imagine taking a road trip, and all you know is the final destination. That’s not enough. You’ll wander around aimlessly hoping to just stumble across it. What you need is the directions. You need to take all of the proper roads, turns, and exits, if you expect to get there.

The directions tell you each step you need to take, in successive order, to get to your final destination. In fact, once you head out on your trip, the destination goes to the back of your mind. What comes to the forefront is the next street you are looking for, or the right or left turn you need to make.

If you focus on the details – the small steps you must take to reach your goal – achieving that goal will take care of itself. If you focus only on the final destination, it will overwhelm you, and you’ll never achieve it. You are more likely to get lost along the way.

3. Break your bad habits

When we leave important decisions to choice, we often stay within our comfort zone and take the easy way out. We take the most convenient path, whether or not it is the right path. We get lazy, and promise ourselves that we will improve tomorrow, next month, next year, or some other time down the line.

Discipline is finite and fleeting. So why leave self-improvement to something that is so unreliable. You need to make it automatic.

Human beings are creatures of habit. We become fixed in our daily rituals and patterns, and once they’re established, they’re hard to break.

If your habits are currently sending you down the wrong path, getting into the game and making that “U-turn” can seem almost impossible at first. Large amounts of force and leverage are necessary to change direction and travel down a new path. This is where most people become stuck and give up.

The key to remember is that once you work hard and get over the hump, it does get easier. The steps you need to take seem impossible because you’re currently traveling in the opposite direction. Once you put in some effort and start making positive changes, those ideas and actions won’t seem so unrealistic.

Here’s how you power through the transition phase:

1. Dive in head first: Don’t sit back and over-analyze about how difficult making the needed change is going to be — that’s a waste of your energy. Instead, just start the process.

2. Start strong, then coast: Once you do start, just understand and make peace with the fact that the process is going to be difficult in the beginning. Power through, and remind yourself that the process gets infinitely easier if you just keep going.

4. Ride the wave of momentum

Inertia: in-er-tia. Noun. The resistance of an object to a change in its state of motion; tendency of an object in motion to remain in motion, or an object at rest to remain at rest, unless acted upon by a force.

Inertia is the most powerful force that acts upon our daily lives. Surely you’ve felt its impact at some point in your life. You know the time where you just couldn’t get started on something or make a change in your life, no matter how badly you wanted to or how hard you tried. Or the time where it felt like things were rolling, everything was clicking, and you were blasting through all of your goals.

Both of these demonstrate the power of inertia, and you can accomplish a lot (or a little) in your life based on how you use it.

To form positive habits, you must harness this power of momentum, and then use it. Change is an upward spiral that becomes easy when backed by good momentum.

All of those weekly tasks you need to complete in order to improve will first be a nuisance, but with momentum, they become second nature.

It’s like surfing – paddle hard, fight to gain your balance, and stand up. Once you do, ride the wave of momentum to keep propelling you forward.

5. Turn good momentum into a permanent habit

Making things automatic separates those who achieve so-so results for a short period of time from those who achieve outstanding results permanently.

Most people constantly struggle with choices in every area of their lives. When habits aren’t automatic, you leave things to impulse. That’s a hard enemy to overcome. How many of us make the best choice? And how often do we make that choice? For those just trying to wing it, life can become a constant struggle.

Temptation, distractions, obstacles, and laziness are always in your face. It becomes easy to give up. You feel like you always need to have superhuman willpower. You feel like you constantly have to give things up, deprive yourself, and sacrifice. You begin to resent the process of self-improvement, and eventually you quit.

For the most successful people in a wide variety of areas, it’s not a constant struggle because they’ve made the positive path so automatic that they don’t even have to think about it. They don’t want to struggle with choices every day. They don’t want to fight battles against impulse, laziness, or any other formidable foe. They want the process to be easy. The only way to truly make it easy is to make constant improvement as automatic as possible.

If there is a way to victory in anything in life, it is surely found in our habits.

self-help books

click on the pic to check out the Amazon preview sections

An Apology About a Humorous Misunderstanding: I Said Hobo, not Homo, Hahaha

I already apologized for this misunderstanding privately, and we’re square, but it was an important enough issue to me that I wanted to do it publicly as well, just in case anyone else might have heard or interpreted what I said in the wrong way.

Dude, I’ve lived in San Francisco since ‘97, one of my brothers is gay, and half of my friends are gay. So I’m the last guy who would ever use the term homo with derogatory intentions, or to portray someone, something, or certain lifestyle characteristics in a negative light. I just ain’t down with that.

The word hobo, on the other hand? Well, I probably shouldn’t have used that term to make fun of myself either. But I guess I thought that if you actually are one (and I am), you have a little bit more leeway with the word, even in a public forum. Who knows though man? I’m not the most PC guy around.

Anyways, I recently received the following email about my latest podcast appearance. Keep in mind I actually said hobo, not homo:

Hello Nate, as a Facebook follower and intermittent feast customer, I was stoked to listen to your interview on the Move Smart podcast.  It was a good interview until around minute 26.5 when you say in response to comments about your gym attire “what are you fucking saying, I’m a homo or what”…

It was disappointing to hear that type of language in the interview…it made me wonder, gee -maybe I shouldn’t be taking advice from someone who appears to be nonchalantly vilifying ‘homo’s’ … (Yes I am a gay man, not that that should matter) … I always think the best of people and want to chalk this up to bro-talk … But wanted to let you know (in email versus publicly posting this) that you do have gay (probably straight too) listeners like me who were taken aback by the short comment.

Thanks for listening, and keep up the good work.

What a classy dude. Even when he thought I insulted him, he was cool about it.

Anyway, as you can see, this was just a total misunderstanding. Quite funny on the surface, but with a serious enough of an undertone to fully clarify what actually happened.

The host Sean was talking about how he always sees me around the gym in my raggedy work out clothes. We were just taking a break from the fitness action and joking around about how I kind of have a surfer dude/hippie mentality. And I said, “what are you fucking saying, I’m a hobo or what?”

See what happened? I just wanted to clear the air.

More selfishly, I don’t want my future political aspirations to be ruined by this misunderstanding. When I’m done with the fitness and writing thing, my plan is to run for mayor of San Francisco on the following gay-straight public relations platform:

Some of us prefer juicy melons. Some of us prefer long bananas.  That’s just the way it is. But we can all still shop in the same stores together and be friends.

I may just be too much of a “lets all be happy hippie” when it comes to social issues, but I’ve always thought that the people who care that much about who someone else is “doing” (as long as legal and consensual), well, 99% of the time its just because they ain’t getting any good action themselves. Do you really care that much about anything after really good sex?

All joking aside, like I said, one of my brothers is gay.  We grew up in a different time and place, were raised under religious creeds and dogma and so forth. Being an openly gay man just wasn’t quite as socially accepted as it is now. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for him, and maybe what that did to his psychological development, confidence, and sense of self-worth during his formative years in life.

Shit from our childhood sticks with us, whether consciously or subconsciously. Of that I am sure.

Unfortunately, that’s one of the reasons why I think he turned to drugs as a coping mechanism, and is still battling that demon to this day.

So now you understand why I just can’t stand for being associated with that kind of bigotry or hate, even if it is by way of being misheard or misunderstood. I talk/write authentically and without much of a filter, and I joke around a lot because that’s my nature, so if I’ve ever said anything on the fly that offended you, or made you feel bad about yourself, I apologize.  That is never the intent with any of my content. It’s always to:

1. Educate.

2. Share strategies (mostly fitness, but some philosophy) that have helped me, and I believe will help you.

3. Share a laugh or two along the way. Sometimes I may take this one too far. I apologize again up front.

If there is ever any doubt of where we stand, here’s part of the intro section to our blog:


I am half Japanese and half Irish, grew up in a town full of surfers and rednecks, went to a college filled with geniuses and hippies, and live in one of the biggest “melting pot” cities in the world. I have no business being prejudice against anyone.

Kalai is even more of an ethnic mutt than me, and grew up in a culture that treats everyone who visits their shores from across the world like family.

So we don’t care who you are, where you’re from, who you pray to, where in the world you’re hanging, who you’re banging (as long as legal and consensual), etc.

If you’re down with fitness, physique, warrior strategy, or Da Beach mentality, then we’re down with you.


I was originally going to post about the contents of the podcast, but I needed to get that off my chest first. Hopefully, we are cool. And hopefully it doesn’t overshadow the awesomeness of the interview.

Move Smart Podcast

The actual show covered a ton of valuable stuff.  Here is some of what we talked about:

  • Intermittent feasting vs intermittent fasting
  • Aligning meal timing with biological rhythms
  • Why meal timing is completely flexible for most people
  • Mixing science and experience for optimal food choices
  • Finding an eating pattern that works for you
  • Why eating your biggest meal at the end of the day may be a smart choice
  • Nutrition fundamentals (that never change)
  • When and why you should eat quality carbs
  • The power of macronutrients in getting lean
  • Avoiding “overcomplication syndrome” and hacking away the unessential
  • Why Nate eats Paleo + Starches
  • How to approach supplementation

If you’d like to check it out, da show is available here: http://wellroundedathlete.net/category/podcast/

Rise Above Has Risen to #1 on Amazon: A Special Thanks To You


That’s the title of Chapter #3 in my new book Rise Above: 7 Strategies to Crush Adversity. Here are a few snippets from that section:

We expect everything for nothing, and we wanted it yesterday. We take things for granted. We’ve lost the ability to appreciate what we have. Instead, we focus on what we do not have. If nothing is ever good enough, you will never have enough.

Quit whining and pining. If you’re reading this on a Kindle, found it through Facebook or Twitter, and are sipping on a gourmet coffee drink, etc., you are not doing that bad.

There are people in this world who wake up to bombs, don’t have clean water, and go to bed starving. Be grateful for what you have while you are trying to get more. Most of us are living in luxury, yet think we are lacking.

– Nate Miyaki, Rise Above: 7 Strategies to Crush Adversity.

Yes, I did just quote myself. Isn’t that frickin’ awesome!

You have my full permission to do the same. For most it will probably just annoy them (with the hippie bullshit and whatnot), but it might just help a few. Who knows? I certainly hope so.

And damn man, although I do grow tired of myself often, I gotta listen to myself more often. That’s what I want to do right now. There is nothing worse than a writer or coach that talks one way, but lives another. It’s an out of control plague that may eventually lead to the downfall of modern Internet society.


So man/girl, I just wanted to say thank you so much for supporting this book, and over the years, for supporting my writing career.

We did it my friends. Because of you, Rise Above has risen to #1 on a few of the Amazon charts. Even if just for a day, I can now say that I was once an Amazon #1 Best-Selling Author.

Now that’s total egotistical bullshit, image-projection nonsense, and PR-spinned marketing material to use for later on. But that’s not the point. The end goal of any good writer, artist, craftsman, or coach seeking personal fulfillment should be to help people get the results they are looking for regardless of rankings or social status/praise. I hope that’s what my content, writings, work, and ramblings are somehow doing for you.

HOWEVER, there are a lot of people who have made sacrifices along the way to allow me to do what I do – my wife Kalai; my Fab 5 brothers and one bad-ass sister, my late and great parents, my super cool step-family; and all of you, spending your hard earned dollar to hear what I got to holler.

I am forever grateful. But the truth is that my bro hugs, or real hugs with my patented “accidental” cheek squeeze, are just not enough of a thank you this time around. You need to know that your support is really paying off.


Read the rest of this entry

Nate’s New Book For 99 Cents: A One Day 8/13 Sale


Sometimes life can throw you some curveballs. Every once in a while, it lands a freakin’ haymaker right on your chin. If you don’t believe that, you haven’t been alive long enough.

Adversity. We all face it my friend.

In our sports, or our health and fitness endeavors. How can you overcome the odds and succeed against great challenges or competition? How can you stay on track in a world full of temptations and distractions? How can you come back from failed game plans, devastating losses, or unexpected injuries and setbacks?

In our business or career pursuits. How can you merge passion and personal fulfillment with professional and financial success? How can you keep fighting on if your first attempts fail? How can reach your goals while sticking to your core values, and without burning out, breaking, or giving up?

In our personal life and relationships. How can you best support those that are suffering and struggling around you? How can you deal with your own baggage and bullshit? How do you find some peace of mind and clarity amongst the modern chaos?

Life can be full of challenges. Instead of running from them when they do arise, staying in bed to hide, burying your head in the sand to procrastinate, or drowning your sorrow in drugs to escape; you are better off developing the right mindset to roll with it all, whatever may come.

Because one thing is for certain: you can’t change the reality of the challenges you face no matter how much you wish things were different. You can’t let every surprise or setback make you snap. Otherwise, you just might end up giving yourself a heart attack. Then what use will you be?

But what you can change is your reactions to your challenges; your actions to overcome them, and your everyday state of mind in order to better deal with them.


The most profound lesson I’ve learned in over 15 years as an athlete, coach, consultant, and fitness author is this – The human body is strong. The human spirit is stronger. Both can persevere through almost anything. It is our weak minds that ultimately bury us.

The 4th quarter, the 9th inning, the final period, the championship rounds, the last 100 meters, the last set, the last rep, etc., it is mental strength that separates the champions from the rest of the pack.

And it may be the most important thing you need to get through the greatest game you will ever play in – the game of life.


self-help books

That’s what Rise Above: 7 Strategies to Crush Adversity is all about. It takes principles from sports psychology, “street” psychology (from 15 years of working with people from all ages, abilities, and walks of life), some samurai philosophy, and a little bit of surfer dude mentality; and narrows it down into some actionable strategies that can help you tackle any obstacle that may come your way.


I am honored that Rise Above was selected to be a part of The Best Life Book Event. This event includes some big dogs and best-selling authors. Since Rise Above was written by little old me (A.K.A Little Shiitake), I am assuming that means the content itself stood out on its own.

The overall goal of this event is to get different perspectives on the tools you need to overcome your challenges and succeed, in whatever your pursuits are in life.

All books are on sale for $0.99 for today only – Wednesday August 13th, 2014.  I honestly have no idea what they will cost after today. That’s in the hands of the gods (the publishers).

You can check out the event here: The Best Life Book Event

I hope my new book — or any of the other books – can help you out in some way. Regardless, I wish you the best in whatever battles you are facing in life. My thoughts are with you my friend.

5 More Reasons to Track Your Food Intake, Calories, & Macros

Computer screens don’t laugh at your penis and poop jokes.

That’s the main reason I still work with clients in da gym, and don’t spend all of my time writing online.

A second reason is that there are some hot chicks that work at my gym.

A third reason is that you get to learn about some of the real problems people face in their fitness efforts, try to come up with practical solutions, test and assess and refine your methods, and see how the advice you are giving (both online and off) ultimately impacts people’s real world results.

Some of the writers who devote their whole day, career, life, and afterlife to pontificating about fitness just don’t know what is going on in the Suit-to-Spandex Streets baby.  Off the glossy magazine pages and outside academic circle jerks, busy professionals are struggling to find sustainable fat loss plans.

One of the biggest obstacles people face is figuring out how to integrate an optimized fat loss diet into an overall lifestyle plan. In non-geeky terms, how to get and stay lean without becoming a crazy obsessed fitness person that freaks out if they can’t get tuna or protein shakes every 2.5 hours.

This dietary dilemma on top of career craziness is leading to frustration, struggle, poor results, and people laughing less at my above mentioned penis and poop jokes.  Here’s a quick test to see if you are over-stressed.  Does this photo make you laugh, or sit there stone-faced?

what can your poop tell you

Maybe you’ve grown up too much my friend. Take it down a notch.


While its cool to TALK about living like a caveman, or to HAVE a calculus looking, bio-hacking diet strategy, its even cooler to TAKE the real-world steps necessary to actually reach your physique goals.

And bat shit crazy stuff can work in the short-term, but it rarely sticks as a long-term plan when you have one of those meaningless things called a life.  You know, social shindigs, a significant other, business dinners, hobbies, travel hassle, etc.

So a few weeks ago – damn man, time’s flying – I posted up an article and video about food, calorie, and macronutrient tracking.  I talked about who I thought should do it, when it is useful, why its not just for crazy fitness competitors, and how it can help beginners get started making more informed food choices, etc.

If you missed it, here’s da original post: When and How You Should Track Your Food Intake, Calories, and Macros.

Since that time, I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations with a few of my friends and private clients.  Once they stopped whining about doing something useful rather than looking for the next magic pill, they were stoked about what tracking taught them about implementing practical weight loss strategies in the real world.

They were even more stoked when they discovered that gaining a little nutrition knowledge, empowerment, and a tool to increase dietary flexibility yielded some pretty quick physique results.

Here are five fantastic reasons you should get on the rails of a tracking train: Read the rest of this entry