Skip to content

🚲 Tam's Jam: The "Perfect" Body, 80,000 Hours and Not Just Bikes (September 2021)

Tam Pham
Tam Pham
4 min read

Heyo! In this issue, we have my new article on building your "perfect" body, an epic career guide for people who care a lot about making a difference, and an exploration into beautiful urban planning.

Let's dive in.

💪 How to Build Your Perfect Body Without Needing To Look Like a Model

A lot of fitness influencers or celebrity chefs try to pitch you some new secret to build your perfect body.

But in reality, we already know 80% of the things we need to do to live a healthy life.

  • Eat more nutritious food
  • Eat less junk food
  • Lift weights
  • Move around a lot
  • Sleep 7-8 hours

Reduce/prevent stress, drink more water, get natural light, and so on...

Instead of buying a new shiny Peloton, I believe most people should focus their energy on mastering the fundamentals.

I wrote a new article on how I focused entirely on the 80% of things we should do and ignored everything else. No more calorie counting, fancy gyms, or measuring anything.

It covers exactly what I eat, how I work out, and most importantly how I lowered my expectations on having a "perfect" body in the first place.

➡️  Read the article

📍80,000 Hours: Find a fulfilling career that does good

This is the most in-depth career guide that I've seen on doing meaningful work.

"You have 80,000 hours in your career. That’s a long time. Spend one or two of those hours on this guide, to help you work out how to use the rest. We believe you might be able to find a career that is both more satisfying and has a greater positive impact."

I have referred this guide to several readers and friends throughout the years who want to make a bigger impact on the world.

Make some coffee and devote a day to think deeply about your career. It will be worth it. ☕️

➡️ Read the guide

🚲 Not Just Bikes (YouTube Channel)

It's easy to blame an individual for why they're fat or lazy or lonely or [insert whatever label you want].

But what if I told you that a big reason why people behave the way they do is because of how urban planning?

When I visited my family in LA, I needed a car to go anywhere: a park, grocery store or any restaurant really. There is always traffic and a million freeways that I need to manage just to go somewhere a few miles away.

When I walk around the neighborhood (I'm grateful that it is safe to do so), the sidewalks cut off in the residential areas and I have to suddenly walk on the street. When I walk out to the main street, the cars are loud, the sidewalks are empty, and the view of so many empty buildings is quite depressing.

There are no or very few bike lanes so it's dangerous and often impractical to bike long distances. So when I am too lazy to drive, what do I (and many other Americans) do?

I default to staying home and watching TV. Kids stay glued to their smartphones. Parents get too lazy to leave the house after commuting for two hours roundtrip.

Compare this to my current experience in Toronto where I have two beautiful parks within walking distance. There are several cafes and restaurants nearby with people flowing in and out. The main streets are full of life with people walking around at any hour of the day.

There are multiple bike lanes throughout the city. We have easy access to streetcars and subways that actually work. Kids can knock on their friend's homes and freely walk around our neighborhood to grab ice cream together.

No city is perfect (NA cities can learn a lot from Europe) but having a safe neighborhood with things to do and people to see seems like an obvious thing that every town should have.

This is why I am so fascinated with urban planning: how we design our environment is how we live.

Life wasn't always this way in America. But new zoning laws, car companies lobbying, and a variety of other factors have shaped our reality.

I'm happy I discovered Not Just Bikes, an amazing YouTube channel on Stories of great urban planning and urban experiences from Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

If you're curious about exploring more, I'd start with these videos first:

➡️ Why City Design is Important (and Why I Hate Houston)

➡️ The Ugly, Dangerous, and Inefficient Stroads found all over the US & Canada

➡️ Why We Won't Raise Our Kids in Suburbia (and moved to the Netherlands instead)

Once you've lived in a well-designed city or traveled to one, it is difficult to not to look back at your city and ask: Why did we design our community like this?

What can we do to fix this?

👇 Below the fold

🙂 Final Thoughts

My hope with Tam's Jam is that you (1) learn something useful and (2) live a happier and more meaningful life.

If you dug this, I'd love it if you shared this issue with a friend. You can forward this email or send them here to sign up for the next edition.

As always, let me know what you're reading (or watching). I'll share my favorites in the next issue of Tam's Jam.

With gratitude,


Tam's Jam

Tam Pham Twitter

I'm a writer and bachata dancer currently bouncing around Latin America. Trying to make the most out of my one wild and precious life.

Related Posts

Members Public

🏘️ Tam's Jam: Living at home sucks

In this issue: car-centric suburbia, American poverty, the US-Mexico border, strong passwords, walking away from the NBA, and more!

🏘️ Tam's Jam: Living at home sucks
Members Public

🚐 Tam's Jam: The life I left behind

Heyo! I’m celebrating Thanksgiving and my bday with family in San Diego. ✌️ I wanted to shoot this month’s issue of Tam’s Jam before the holidays. Plus share a Black Friday deal on a Spanish course that I took this year and highly recommend. In this issue: resources

🚐 Tam's Jam: The life I left behind
Members Public

😌 Tam’s Jam: How to Sabbatical (Oct 2022)

Heyo from Los Angeles, CA! I just came back from an unforgettable Europe trip. It was both amazing and totally exhausting... Planning to hibernate for the rest of the year. ✌️ I’m back with this month’s issue of Tam’s Jam: my curated collection of resources and lessons around

😌 Tam’s Jam: How to Sabbatical (Oct 2022)