Philip Wildenstam
was @Sweden (2015-03-23 to 2015-03-30)

Listen up. My name is Philip Wildenstam and I’ll be your life coach today. Take my hand and we’ll journey into a world of grown-ups, gourmet food, wine, whisky, cigars, strength training and powerlifting.

I was lucky enough to be born in the free world. As a free man in love with the written word, I’ve built a career in the advertising industry, working as a copywriter for almost 15 years now. And that’s about as much as I’ll talk about advertising during my week as Curator of Sweden – because we’ve got more pressing matters to discuss. (There’s a pun right there about bench press, but I hate puns.)

On a good day, I might tell you about growing up in the beautiful Swedish province of Värmland, becoming a hipster, falling in love with a judge called Ronja, moving to Stockholm – where she spends her days sending people to prison – discovering powerlifting and replacing my hipster status with a body mass index that has its own gravitational pull. But that’s only if my fellow citizens decide to behave this week in particular. If they act like children and try to ruin the party for the rest of us with another paternalistic tax, ban or law, I will use my time to remind you about the virtues of liberty, personal responsibility and squatting 500 lbs.

We got a deal? Good. Now please let go of my hand. I don’t like to be touched by strangers.


Want to follow me when my week is over?
Twitter: @Wildenstam
Instagram: @philipwildenstam

@Sweden mars 27, 2015 15:12

What shapes my view of the world, other than libertarian ideas? A belief in secular humanism and scientific skepticism.

@Sweden mars 27, 2015 13:51

Slashing taxes? Forget about it! Too many people depend on made up jobs in the public sector. We need our revenue stream.

@Sweden mars 27, 2015 13:51

No one is proposing big changes, not even while in government. Just different degrees of good ol’ social democratic practice.

@Sweden mars 27, 2015 13:50

Most Swedes have a hard time grasping that even Swedish right wing parties are guided by what is basically left wing principles.

@Sweden mars 27, 2015 13:32

Without putting on a racist or tin foil hat, I should add. There’s alternative news sources out there – all of them shockingly stupid.

@Sweden mars 27, 2015 13:32 is a liberal-conservative daily newspaper, one of few in Sweden that present contrarian views to the left wing majority.

@Sweden mars 27, 2015 12:54

Cigars and single malt have been shown to drastically increase quality of life. The scientific community has reached a consensus.

@Sweden mars 27, 2015 06:27

Still warming up the squat. My history of knee injuries makes me take this part seriously. Never just put plates on the bar. Ramp up slowly.

@Sweden mars 27, 2015 05:43

Still on my way to the gym. Will be there in 15 minutes. Just hoping I’ll get my hands on the brand new powerlifting barbell.

@Sweden mars 27, 2015 05:42

The plan for this squat session is to work up to weights close to my personal best (240,5 kg). We’ll see what happens.

@Sweden mars 26, 2015 19:43

This explains more than a few knee-jerk reactions to me curating for a week, from fellow Swedes. Contrarian views must not be heard.

@Sweden mars 26, 2015 19:38

This account follows so many Swedish tweeps identifying themselves as communists. You are welcome to your own conclusions.

@Sweden mars 26, 2015 18:35

My wife is doing the cooking tonight. Asked her what wine she wanted with the food. ”None, we’re not drinking tonight,” she said.


@Sweden mars 26, 2015 17:39

Alright. We’ve cooked, strength trained and gotten drunk together. My week as curator is halfway done. Any suggestions for tonight?

@Sweden mars 26, 2015 12:39

The strength training community is my favorite part of Twitter. Everyone’s helpful and tweets are read with a generous mindset.

@Sweden mars 26, 2015 11:09

”Life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness” is not Sweden’s guiding principles. We’ve adopted ”State, regulations & the pursuit of taxation.”

@Sweden mars 26, 2015 08:52

Our Prime Minister, Stefan Löfvén, known for being a fierce negotiator, has also sent a fan letter to the cast of Vikings. Awaiting reply.

@Sweden mars 26, 2015 07:58

If you spend your life allowing yourself only to hear things you agree with, do you know what you’ll end up with?

The mind of a child.

@Sweden mars 26, 2015 06:54

I will also do incline dumbbell presses and heavy dumbbell rows before the workout’s over. Will spare you further details, though.

@Sweden mars 26, 2015 06:51

Did 20 kg x 20, 40×10, 65×6, 85×4, 102,5×3, 112,5×2, 120×2, 130×1, 135×1 and 120×5. Now it’s time for 3 sets of close-grip bench press.

@Sweden mars 26, 2015 06:25

I don’t know what’s worse for Sweden’s image: our trainee government or me posting workout videos.

At least I’m not wearing spandex.

@Sweden mars 26, 2015 05:38

Regarding bench press. Of the three powerlifts, it’s by far the weakest link of the chain for me. So I train it the most.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 20:56

Calling this a night, going to be. Tomorrow we’ll talk about other stuff. Swedish Elvis impersonator Eilert Pilarm, perhaps.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 20:53

The barber shop scene put a smile on my face. Then I remembered that I’m angry. And not close to drunk enough.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 20:52

Just watched the season finale of Looking. Apparently only a special episode left of the show, since HBO decided to cancel it.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 19:52

I command you to watch every damn episode of Looking, then go demand a third season from HBO. Brilliance like this doesn’t come along often.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 19:43

HBO canceling Looking is a moronic decision. Sweden does not approve will call back its diplomats from the US.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 19:10

A chef at Bastard in Malmö said it best: ”Frying up a carrot and putting it on a plate doesn’t mean you have a dish.”

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 19:09

Sweden never really stood a chance. New Nordic Cuisine is finding its rhythm, but it’s still overly simplistic.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 19:07

Top three restaurants for me 2014 was:

3. Le Pigeon, Portland
2. Bestia, LA
1. State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 19:05

I eat out way to often, by the way. Last year I tried 106 restaurants, not counting my everyday lunch places and fast food joints.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 18:58

You’ll get good burgers at Flippin’, Phil’s, Bun Meat Bun, Lily’s and Svenska Hamburgerköket. Pizza? Not so much, no.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 18:56

Someone asked me about restaurants in Sthlm. My favorites in Sthlm right now (all affordable) are: Lilla Ego, Nook and Shibumi.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 18:00

Decanting (and slightly chilling) a bottle of 2009 Chateau de Lugagnac. The wait is the boring part of loving wine.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 17:34

Apparently you’re not supposed to make fun of rich people thinking the world is coming to an end because their kids tried cigarettes.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 13:44

Won’t cook for you tonight. Instead I’ll drink a bottle of red wine for you. That’s how much I care about y’all. Taking one for the team.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 13:17

On a side note I actually own to pairs of pants that fit. This is decadence in a nutshell. You ever only need one pair.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 12:37

Had me a vegan for lunch once. Didn’t taste so good. Sort of funny, though, since grass-fed beef usually tastes just fine.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 12:31

Had the most decadent lunch possible. A baguette filled with meat, cheese fried onions, sauce and a large portion of fries.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 11:44

Waiting in line to buy lunch, sharing my private space with passive aggressive Swedes. No one says a thing, but body language says it all.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 09:59

I seldom get the chance to visit Värmland, but two summers ago I went back to get married there, at Sillegården, Västra Ämtervik.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 09:58

I live in Stockholm, but I’m actually from this small place called Hammarö in Värmland, a truly beautiful county.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 08:56

Today we are celebrating the Waffle Day in Sweden. I’ll have my waffles with a cold lager – hold the waffles.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 07:12

Standing next to one right now, actually. I know you’re not supposed to feed them or anything, but I soooo want to.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 06:49

Best gym in Stockholm must be Sundbybergs TK, an athletic club that dates back to 1931. Home of some truly strong boys and girls.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 06:42

Built more than 60 years ago. Still has dumbbells from the 50s. And a cat. The gym has a cat that shits all over the place.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 06:25

At Sats Hötorget this morning, the gym closest to work. Hate it here, but only doing accessory work today so It’ll be OK.

@Sweden mars 25, 2015 05:33

Have to leave the Swedish Minister for Public Health, Gabriel Wikström, off at daycare first.

As curator, this is a responsibility of mine.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 20:30

Wednesday’s are usually rest days for me, but lately I’ve been going to the gym just to do the stuff I never get around to otherwise.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 20:14

Next up I’ll reveal the true story behind floorball – how Sweden tried to convince the world that child play could be thrilling.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 20:11

Someone asked me about hockey.

Just to clarify: Sweden was just joking, world. We pretended to like hockey as a practical joke.

Ha! Ha!

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 19:53

Hey, it’s one hour ’till bedtime! Anything you want to know before I tuck in? *hoping for questions on strength training*

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 19:42

My next order of business would be to replace our anthem with the beautiful song ”Runke Ball” by national treasure Eddie Meduza. Google it.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 19:35

This ”curator of Sweden” title should really come with more benefits. I want to rewrite some laws (ie most of them) and abolish taxes.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 18:57

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. Eat it to become one with the universe.

(Sorry ’bout the lighting in my kitchen, btw.)

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 18:49

Your kitchen will smell amazing right about now. Pour half a cup of pasta water in the pan to stop the garlic from burning.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 18:04

This is a quick dish so I will get things started now, then I’ll come back and show you what I did. Wish me luck.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 17:59

Ha! It’s Tuesday. Which reminds me: Start by poring a big glass of red wine for yourself. It will make me seem less confused.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 17:58

This dish is almost vegetarian, by the way – if you leave out the parmigiana reggiano. Which would be a silly thing to do.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 17:55

I will cook for you today. Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is on the menu, the perfect pasta for an ordinary Wednesday.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 17:27

If you want to do one thing to drastically improve quality of life, don’t put on a pair of running shoes. Find a barbell, pick it up.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 07:33

But at least I’m the right kind of asshole. The kind that wants you to have more freedom in your life, not less.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 07:29

People always think I’m an asshole because I lift. Such a silly assumption.

I was an asshole way before I started lifting.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 07:03

As you see in the video, I face away from the mirror deadlifting. This is the correct way to do it. The mirror is not your friend.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 06:22

What does powerlifting has to do with Sweden? Not much, I suppose. Just trying to show you life outside the skinny jeans norm.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 06:12

Even the strongest powerlifters will start their workouts with an empty barbell, slowly ramping up to their top sets for the day.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 06:09

Warming up for a lift is important. But a good warm-up isn’t running on the treadmill. Do the lift in question instead. Ramp it up.

@Sweden mars 24, 2015 05:44

Yeah, this is what our mornings together are going to be like. I’ll be lifting and telling you all about it.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 20:46

But he’s strong as fuck so there’s that. And he loves single malt. So if he brings a bottle he shall be fed.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 20:44

It’s the craziest thing. This dude doesn’t eat sauce. Regardless of sauce – he won’t touch it. The same with tomatoes. o.O

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 20:42

I’m having a friend over for dinner on Saturday, him and his girlfriend. But he eats like a kid so I’ll have to adjust.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 20:41

I actually know my way around the kitchen quite well. Wish I had the opportunity to show you during my week as Sweden, but it’s not to be.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 20:25

Letting Al Green play this evening out. Don’t forget that we’re going to the gym together in 9,5 hours. I will wake you up.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 20:14

Bed time is fast approaching. Finished my cigar, had a couple of sandwiches, oppressed some socialists. Not a bad evening.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 19:01

Now a socialist is yelling angry stuff at me because I don’t want to ban smoking. You can always count on socialists!

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 18:53

The surgery was a failure and six months later I still had troubles walking. So I picked up a barbell and started squatting.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 18:49

So, about this thing called lifting. I’m actually quite new to it. Started basic barbell training three years ago, after knee surgery.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 18:39

Enjoying a smoke on my balcony while I still can. In Sweden we have a lot of intellectual weaklings lobbying for a ban. How I despise them.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 18:13

Tomorrow is deadlift day. I feel a small hangover makes you stupid enough to lift heavy shit.

Total broscience, but it allows me to drink.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 18:11

I will spend a couple of ours now talking with you guys. And smoking a cigar. And drinking.

To be honest, mainly smoking and drinking.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 17:59

What else have I yet to tell you? You know, key facts. Like that I’m married. To this super smart, bad ass judge names Ronja.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 17:54

(I go to sleep at nine on workdays, and I wake up at five in the morning. 8 hours of sleep is my religion. Eat, sleep and barbell.)

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 17:53

This is me in a good mood, btw. I’m ready for my first night as President of Sweden. Unfortunately I have to go to bed at 9 pm. But still.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 17:51

Weighing in at around 120 kg/265 lbs sure has it advantages in crowded spaces. Like having strangers stuck in your armpits.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 16:44

A lot of Swedes are confusing low-fat quark with food. This is nothing but a cry for help. So help us, world. Send foie gras ASAP!

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 14:07

I once was asked about my burpees pr, btw. It’s zero, if you must know. Only fools mistake burpees for exercise.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 14:04

Three more hours, then we can finally get this show on the road. Extra credits if you can guess why I chose a pic with a licorice pipe.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 12:08

For instance, I’m heading to London in April. Six restaurants in three days. Then Copenhagen and Noma in June.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 11:47

I actually hit a nice pr this morning, in one of my worst lifts: military press. 93 kg/205 lbs for one rep, after one hour of bench press.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 09:39

Alrighty then. I’m actually at work right now so I don’t have the time for you guys. Gotta pay the bills and whatnot.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 09:38

And liberty, we’ll definitely talk about liberty. A subject Swedes tend to know a lot about in theory, but less in practice.

@Sweden mars 23, 2015 09:38

I’m soon-to-be 34 years old and a copywriter by trade, but I won’t talk much about the latter unless you ask me.