Review of Four Keys to the Natural Anabolic State

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Cara Wilding
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Review of Four Keys to the Natural Anabolic State

Post by Cara Wilding »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Four Keys to the Natural Anabolic State" by William G. Alston.]
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5 out of 5 stars
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What if I told you that after reading Four Keys to the Natural Anabolic State by William G. Alston, you might believe that things like disasters, war, failure, aging, fear, laziness, disease, and lying could be good and that such things as peace, abundance, exercise, health, spinach, success, and honesty could be bad? Would you be interested in finding out why and how this is possible? You can either ask me about it or take matters into your own hands and read the book yourself!

In the preface, the author wastes no time in making grand promises to lead readers towards improved health, greater peace, and peak performance. Even if these assurances sound trite to some readers, the author is clearly committed to fulfilling them. In the realm of science, he delves into the art of attaining a natural anabolic state—a biochemical condition that optimizes the mind and body's performance. If true, this will surely be a damper for the sale of black-market steroids!

Alston starts with a discussion for all those "worry warts" out there on how worry triggers both stress and anxiety. Next, he delves into the fascinating world of the human stress response system, exploring the different types of stress and the crazy cocktail of chemicals that flood your bloodstream. He notes that a person's thinking plays a significant role in defining the type of stress and anxiety they experience. When a stressor is perceived as a threat, they get a debilitating chemical cocktail dropped into their blood supply; however, when they perceive a stressor as a challenge, they get something short of superpowers.

Of course this begs the question of how we deliberately change our mindset. The following chapters answer this question and transport you into the interface of your conscious and subconscious minds. It's like stepping into the movie "Matrix" and being faced with the iconic choice between the '"red pill" (the unsettling truth) and the "blue pill" (blissful ignorance). He ends the book with a treatise on faith and some interesting ways to align science and religion. He further acknowledges that much of this information is not new; nevertheless, the academic community still needs to agree on some definitions and a basic framework on this topic (both of which the author provides).

I appreciated that the book was written in a conversational tone, and the suspenseful buildup in the structure was totally unexpected for an academic read. He used a variety of entertaining sports stories, anecdotes, and a plethora of research to bring his concepts to life. I respect that he's not telling readers to find the "right" mindset, but rather the one that is useful, adaptive, or helpful for each of us personally. He is persuasive in that stress is neither good nor bad and that it mostly depends on how you see it, think about it, and ultimately perceive it. It made me think and even evoked change and action in my recent behaviors.

One thing that could have been improved in the book is the author’s choice of language. The use of provocative terms to describe leftists may potentially alienate a significant portion of the book’s broad readership. He self-identifies as "old as dirt" (at 82 years old), hardheaded, and opinionated. He is unapologetic in how he feels about the political left, if not unnecessarily harsh. I didn't quite see eye to eye with his portrayal of Israel's continued existence as some sort of "miracle," as there were plenty of other important geopolitical factors I felt were conveniently overlooked.

Readers can find evidence for or against anything presented in this book; we could argue and debate about it for eternity. This is not a perfect book, but it is perfect in its impact, and for that reason, I give it 5 out of 5 stars. While I may not agree with every idea, I must admit that the science is solid. It is cleverly organized, forcing us to put our thinking caps on, and I can't ignore the impeccable editing. This book will make you carefully examine your own mindset about not only stress but also people, your job, your relationships, nutrition, exercise, life, and most importantly, yourself. Get ready for some self-reflection! While this book is focused on a Christian audience, I would encourage students, teachers, athletes, coaches, parents, and anyone who is interested in personal growth and living a healthier life to read this book with an open mind.

******
Four Keys to the Natural Anabolic State
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Marina Flisvou
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Post by Marina Flisvou »

Thank you for the detailed review. Your intriguing introduction and comprehensive breakdown of the book's content has certainly captured my attention. It's fascinating to learn about the interplay between mindset and stress, especially the potential positive outcomes when we perceive stressors as challenges. Your well-articulated review has undoubtedly piqued my curiosity and interest to delve deeper into this read.
Marina
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Post by Terry Kimble »

Although I feel I have gained some wisdom in my many years of life (and self-introspection), stress is still my Achilles' heel! This book sounds as if it may help assuage the physical discomforts of stress. I am eager to read lessons learned from an octogenarian!
Thank you for this illuminating review! :tiphat: This book is going straight to my bookshelves, do not pass go...!
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Cara Wilding
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Post by Cara Wilding »

Marina Flisvou wrote: 26 Oct 2023, 01:14 Thank you for the detailed review. Your intriguing introduction and comprehensive breakdown of the book's content has certainly captured my attention. It's fascinating to learn about the interplay between mindset and stress, especially the potential positive outcomes when we perceive stressors as challenges. Your well-articulated review has undoubtedly piqued my curiosity and interest to delve deeper into this read.
Marina, thank you for stopping by and leaving me thoughtful comments! I think this book is a bit of a hidden gem, a reader will get quite a bit more than they bargained for in more ways that one. I put some of the practices to use recently and there was a significant change in my performance (I am a competitive master's "old people" olympic style weightlifter). I was genuinely surprised at the outcome as I felt pretty silly employing some of the practices. I would definitely encourage you to read it if you have the opportunity! Again, thanks for taking the time to read my review and leave me kind words!
:tiphat:
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Post by Anaïs Quesson »

What a comprehensive review. Thank you again, Cara, for all the thoughts and efforts you always put into your work! I am intrigued by this book's teachings. When you're anxious, deliberately changing your mindset is very hard, so I am intrigued by the author's take on this. And I like the Matrix reference!
I'm also happy to read in the comments that this book was helpful to you. I might give it a try :)
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Cara Wilding
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Post by Cara Wilding »

Terry Kimble wrote: 26 Oct 2023, 06:25 Although I feel I have gained some wisdom in my many years of life (and self-introspection), stress is still my Achilles' heel! This book sounds as if it may help assuage the physical discomforts of stress. I am eager to read lessons learned from an octogenarian!
Thank you for this illuminating review! :tiphat: This book is going straight to my bookshelves, do not pass go...!
Terry, I feel the same as you - stress is still a massive problem despite years of practical experience! This is what initially appealed to me about this book. Although, I found that I was in for much more than I bargained for! "Octogenarian," now there's a word I haven't heard in a long time! Thanks to "you" for taking the time to read my review and leaving your own thoughts and feelings on the topic. Collect that $200! :lol:
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Post by Ohmy Book »

The cover looks scientific. Lol
Okay, wow, your first sentence itself grabbed my attention.
I never enjoyed studying basic science in secondary school, but I just seem to have a lot of fun reading non-fiction books like this one. I love learning about the workings of the human body and mind, especially the latter.
I love your use of the words "chemical cocktail." XD It makes the subject light.
Okay wow?! There are discussions on the subconscious and conscious minds, along with suspense?! I am convinced that this is going to be a great read for me!
I love this review! I don't understand anything about politics and geopolitics. I just want to read this for the scientific part. You are extremely clear about why you liked this book and why it deserves the high rating you gave it. I am in awe of you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
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Cara Wilding
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Post by Cara Wilding »

Anaïs Quesson wrote: 26 Oct 2023, 15:20 What a comprehensive review. Thank you again, Cara, for all the thoughts and efforts you always put into your work! I am intrigued by this book's teachings. When you're anxious, deliberately changing your mindset is very hard, so I am intrigued by the author's take on this. And I like the Matrix reference!
I'm also happy to read in the comments that this book was helpful to you. I might give it a try :)
Anais! I missed you! Yes, you're so right - it sometimes feels impossible to deliberately change your mindset! The connections this author has made in terms of how we think about the stress is very straightforward and easy to understand. I've been working specifically on his notion to approach everything with a "playing to win" attitude rather than "playing not to lose." I keep catching myself thinking about not making mistakes/errors, but that goes back to that playing not to lose mindset. It is still really hard to stop the thought in its tracks, but now that I'm aware that I'm doing it - that helps! I hope you do give it a try, it's very short and easy to read, and I think it has quite a bit of value for anyone who stresses (I guess this means everyone on earth!)... :lol: I'm primarily using it for athletic performance. Thank you for always taking the time to read my reviews and comment, I appreciate your feedback so much! Until next time...
:tiphat:
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Cara Wilding
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Post by Cara Wilding »

ohmybook__ wrote: 27 Oct 2023, 00:33 The cover looks scientific. Lol
Okay, wow, your first sentence itself grabbed my attention.
I never enjoyed studying basic science in secondary school, but I just seem to have a lot of fun reading non-fiction books like this one. I love learning about the workings of the human body and mind, especially the latter.
I love your use of the words "chemical cocktail." XD It makes the subject light.
Okay wow?! There are discussions on the subconscious and conscious minds, along with suspense?! I am convinced that this is going to be a great read for me!
I love this review! I don't understand anything about politics and geopolitics. I just want to read this for the scientific part. You are extremely clear about why you liked this book and why it deserves the high rating you gave it. I am in awe of you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
When I saw the title and cover, I was expecting a purely academic read. Nonetheless, I do enjoy the sciences so I was happy to read it. I was quite surprised at everything else I got in addition to the science! This is immensely focused on the workings of the human body and the mind, so I think you would love this. This book covers how you can access your subconscious through your conscious mind and it reveals how over time. Knowing that the next "step" is about to be revealed, and the topic of what it actually is keeps you turning the pages.

Sometimes these academic topics can be off-putting to many, so I like to try and make it a little more fun to read about. While I'm reading the books, my brain is always connecting to what I already know (whether it is a movie like the "Matrix," a song, a podcast, or even other books), and I try to throw those references in there because they usually serve as good recognizable analogies! I'm so glad you enjoyed this review and thank you for taking the time to always engage with me! Until next time...
:tiphat:
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Post by Anaïs Quesson »

Cara Wilding wrote: 27 Oct 2023, 10:41 I've been working specifically on his notion to approach everything with a "playing to win" attitude rather than "playing not to lose." I keep catching myself thinking about not making mistakes/errors, but that goes back to that playing not to lose mindset. It is still really hard to stop the thought in its tracks, but now that I'm aware that I'm doing it - that helps!
It does sound like good advice, indeed! I enjoy the slight difference between both concepts, thank you for sharing this! I will try to think about it more often. And I will definitely give this book a try. You convinced me ahah, I could benefit from an old man's wise advice :lol2:

Also, I missed you too! I swear every time I come across your profile on the forums, you always have a new review to comment ahah. Sorry if I miss some of them, you're too prolific for me, and I can't keep up the pace :lol2:
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Post by Bettny Andrade »

What a great review. Enjoy reading it.

This book seems promising, ignoring the points you raise about the author's political inclinations. Overall, it seems to have great content, as well as educational.
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Post by Ohmy Book »

Cara Wilding wrote: 27 Oct 2023, 10:50
ohmybook__ wrote: 27 Oct 2023, 00:33
When I saw the title and cover, I was expecting a purely academic read. Nonetheless, I do enjoy the sciences so I was happy to read it. I was quite surprised at everything else I got in addition to the science! This is immensely focused on the workings of the human body and the mind, so I think you would love this. This book covers how you can access your subconscious through your conscious mind and it reveals how over time. Knowing that the next "step" is about to be revealed, and the topic of what it actually is keeps you turning the pages.

Sometimes these academic topics can be off-putting to many, so I like to try and make it a little more fun to read about. While I'm reading the books, my brain is always connecting to what I already know (whether it is a movie like the "Matrix," a song, a podcast, or even other books), and I try to throw those references in there because they usually serve as good recognizable analogies! I'm so glad you enjoyed this review and thank you for taking the time to always engage with me! Until next time...
:tiphat:
Thank you for giving me the details. I would love to read about the workings of our minds. It is so interesting. I am adding this to my To-Be-Read list.
Yes, your reviews are really fun and I love your recommendations. Thank you, too! <3
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Post by Omneya Shakeep »

This is a detailed and well-analyzed review. I enjoyed reading it very much. I'm curious about the author's approach to relieving stress. However, adding his political opinions dampened my enthusiasm for it. Thanks for this amazing review and recommendation.
"Those who feel grateful, and are eternally generous, experience life at its richest."
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Cara Wilding
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Post by Cara Wilding »

Bettny Andrade wrote: 27 Oct 2023, 19:03 What a great review. Enjoy reading it.

This book seems promising, ignoring the points you raise about the author's political inclinations. Overall, it seems to have great content, as well as educational.
Bettny, thank you! It really had quite a bit of good information and I've been able to easily apply it to many areas of my life - with positive outcomes. I'm glad you enjoyed reading the review...thanks so much for taking the time to do so! Have a great day!
:tiphat:
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Cara Wilding
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Post by Cara Wilding »

Omneya Shakeep wrote: 28 Oct 2023, 16:03 This is a detailed and well-analyzed review. I enjoyed reading it very much. I'm curious about the author's approach to relieving stress. However, adding his political opinions dampened my enthusiasm for it. Thanks for this amazing review and recommendation.
Oddly, even his political opionions had a connection to the overall ability to employ this process. It might not have been presented the way I would have done it, but they were in fact relevant to the discussion and material. I would hope people would not be discouraged to read it considering how impactful it could be, without having to enact every "key" to see positive outcomes! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review and leaving me thoughtful comments! Until next time...
:tiphat:
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