My names is James and I say “fuck” a lot.
It is possible for me to not swear. I was a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune for many years. I think the LA Times let me get away with “hell” twice. I’ve also been a columnist for Chatelaine and AskMen, and written for TIME Magazine, the Guardian, NPR, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, and many others. You can see a sample of my published articles here. Additionally, I’ve had countless radio and TV appearances and never uttered a profane word a single time. Go me.
I began as a health and fitness writer and have published two books. The first is Lose it Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind published by Random House Canada in 2014. The second is about the science of the life-changing epiphany titled The Holy Sh!t Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant published by St. Martin’s Press in 2019. Yes, I wrote a book with a swearword in the title. Both are heavy on the science, containing no bullshit, and can be found here.
I also have a popular blog that has millions of readers where I have written on a wide variety of subjects that include fitness, diet, and motivation, but certainly isn’t limited to that. The blog is very sweary. Here is my recipe for “motherfucking lasagna.”
Covid-19 changed my career arc.
I have a master’s degree in history (and an MBA, but never mind that). Long ago, I wanted to do a PhD and become a history professor, but upon realizing I would need to regularly uproot my family in search of a tenured position, including asking my family physician wife to start a practice over again and again, I couldn’t do it, and so I got the MBA and became a marketing executive. Later, I became a fitness writer because I enjoy both writing and fitness.
And after a dozen years of that the pandemic had me evaluating my career choices and I had one of those holy-shit-moment epiphanies that I wrote an entire book about. I realized history was my first love (in terms of writing) and I desired to return to it. On April 19th, 2020 I decided to write an “on this day” history piece and post it to my Facebook page. And it was popular, so the next day I did another. And that one was a lot more popular. So, I kept doing them and titled the daily column “On This Day in History, Shit Went Down” and in the first month there were over a million readers. By the fourth month the views were double that.
As the title of the column implies, there is often much swearing.
Now I’m writing the daily column and working on history books, but I still dig fitness. I just don’t write about it anymore. If you want to read my history column, follow my Facebook page.