Monthly Archives: September 2015

Fitness Specter 33: Progress Has Come

So, I complain once about absolutely nothing happening despite the amount of exercise I’m getting and I lose weight the very next day. I’m still down and I finally get a “rest day” at work, though I’m still AT work, but I’m hoping that things will work in my favor and I don’t need to do massive amounts of exercise… because I’m going to get a lot of that done tomorrow when I hit up my first, though a small, comic con!


The Mr. Olympia competition is happening right now and I didn’t do a big build up this year. I wanted to make that a theme every year and of course things got derailed. There are a lot of little details that popped up in the last couple weeks that made me wonder what the hell was going on in the Olympia but we’ll see how that all falls when the competition ends tonight (as I write this, there is 11 hours until the finals start).

I use the Olympia as inspiration to get off my ass and start lifting weights again. There is a plan, just not a quick one.

When I started lifting weights last year, I was waiting until I dropped to a certain weight so that I wasn’t toting around all kinds of extra pounds that would hinder my ability to move freely. Well, I’m well over the weight that I was when I was lifting and I had the mindset that I need to wait again until I get under a certain weight to start lifting again. Muscles being built burn calories, especially the bigger muscle groups, so I am going to be getting back on the wagon starting tomorrow.

“Tomorrow never comes.”

Well, this tomorrow does. I am going to be lifting weights starting tomorrow. I want to start burning calories at a much higher rate than I currently am and I’ll be trying to get back into the running again once the “walk fest” at work ends. I’m putting on 10 or more miles a day following around the people I’m supposed to be following and that has worn me down quite a bit.

I don’t want to write so much I get off topic, so this one is going to much shorter than normal. I wanted to check in and say what’s been happening and let you know I got a little break from the non-stop work walking and hopefully that benefits me rather than hinders me (since my steps will be less than half of the last few days individual totals). We shall see.

What should you expect for the future of the Fitness Specter? My individualized workout plans. Milestones to be set and goals to be achieved. I’m going to go through with what I mentioned I was going to do a long time ago: I’m going to game-ify working out. Why not? What’s more likely to drive you forward? Working out to hit a certain look or number on a scale or a series of badges that will also show you progress and can be displayed online? Small steps.

Let’s get this party started.

Fitness Specter 32: Something’s Wrong

I’m crying foul here. This is bullshit.

I am walking more steps than ever at the moment. I’m moving around more than ever. I’m eating as good as I ever have. So a question must be raised, then: why the fuck aren’t I losing weight?


Aside from starving myself at this current moment, I don’t see any other way to lose weight. I lost two pounds the day I ran and walked for nearly 25,000 steps and even though I got 18,000 steps yesterday, I managed to gain a pound. I’ve walked more steps in two days than I did most of last week and I gain weight?


My feet are killing me right now, I won’t lie. I have to walk another 15,000-20,000 steps today and probably up a lot of hills and steps… I’m guessing that will result in a 3 pound weight gain because why the fuck wouldn’t it, right? The only way I could be getting more steps than I am right now is if I remove all seating from everywhere and walk in place while I’m running all my stupid reports on the computer… I should also chuck my couch out of the window because why would I need to sit at home, either? Hey, why don’t I also just stop sleeping because that is valuable time I could be using to get more steps in.

I ate a moderate sized bowl of cereal yesterday. I ate a Cesar chicken salad for lunch with a Gatorade and a Mojo bar. I had 50% vegetables in my buffet that I’d taken my wife to and I didn’t get a third of the stuff I normally get at a buffet PLUS there was an entire plate full less than what I’d normally eat there.

What the actual fuck is wrong?

I told my wife last night that after this week, if I’m not significantly down in weight that I’d probably need to seek some actual medical help for this. Right now, that percentage of chance that is actually going to happen went up from 50% to 75%. If I had the time right now, I’d start booking the appointment but I can’t get a day off from work other than Sunday because someone somewhere thinks I’m an incompetent boob. “Make a mistake? Well, it doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do, we’re sending you to do what is part of the problem.”

This isn’t about fitness anymore, so I’m going to go back to that topic.

I will pay close attention to how many steps I take today. I’ll be walking with someone a little faster than yesterday because I need to have my heart rate up for HealthKit on my watch to register 30 minutes of exercise. That didn’t happen yesterday, I’d be surprised if I was in double digits. I needed a lighter day with what happened on Monday. I need to get back on the wagon and start moving vigorously.

Monday morning I ran and haven’t ran since. Yesterday I was nursing an injured foot and today I was just trying to scrape out 8 hours of sleep. Tonight I’ll be doing the same because I know sleep is an important part of all this process.

It’s just a damn shame that work has to be such a drag when it comes to actually having any sort of free time. Think I’m going to answer my phone on my week off that’s been approved? Fuck that. I’m off.

Time to cut this one off… I’ll report again later this week.

Fitness Specter 31: One Small Step

Am I tired? Hell yes. Did I run? Hell yes. Would more sleep have been better? Well, one could say that the tiny bit of sleep I skimped on was the reason I woke up heavier than yesterday, but then again, one could also say the reason I woke up heavier than yesterday was because I didn’t eat as well as I could have… and that stops today. I’m here to get the healthy on.


So, I sit in my living room about two hours before work starts and I’m writing this column actively sweating. I didn’t know if I’d have extra time in the mornings to do this and I just learned that I’m up a little earlier than I need to be (as long as how long it takes me to get to work is as long as I think it is). Since I have the time, I thought I’d put up an update as to what I have just done.

I ran. Yeah, sorry for the big build up and then the two sentence update. I ran for 1.37 miles according to RunKeeper but I actually walked a small stretch of that due to the enormous hill on the route I wasn’t aware was present until just this morning. I would have tried running up it but it was way too big for that and my legs were already screaming from the sudden activity before the sun was even beginning to peak.

That’s something else I wanted to mention: the sun was at least on the rise when I did my last run… no sun to speak of this morning and I can’t see any sign of it yet as I write this, either. Windows would obscure the ability to see some of the faintest light, yes, but I’m attributing this morning to cloud cover… at least I think that is what I’m seeing outside.

Running before the sun comes up is nicer than I thought it would be because the lack of people and lack of traffic (mostly) is nice and calming. Getting up at 4:00 AM in North Dakota to go to Gold’s Gym was exhausting but worth the time, I just don’t need to get up that early here yet because the run is a set distance and I will be fine running that and stopping. The runs will get longer, too, but the two beginning routes I’ve mapped out are both right around 1.36 miles each. There are other things I can add to the routes to make them a little bit longer but I’ll stick with 1.3 miles for the time being. I have yet to finish a run without walking at all, after all.

I’ve done two separate routes. Both begin and end at where I live and of the two, I think I liked today better than the first one. The reason for that is that traffic is a little worse on the first path and the hills are a little worse, too. If I can run more than I did last time (which I did today), I’m thinking the “hillier” route should be for when I’m a little more advanced and can finish the run without stopping to walk for 300 yards.

As I’d mentioned before, I now have to go get ready and do an inspection today, which means I’ll be walking (at a decent speed) with someone taking me on a route. The routes are normally between 10 and 15 miles (give or take) and while I don’t have to walk with them step for step, I’m still getting a lot more exercise than I would normally get. That means I ran, exhausted myself, and I’m about to go and walk another 10 to 15 miles with someone and get even more exhausted. I’m a glutton for punishment, I guess… which is partially true because I’m really, really, really tired of being fat. I want to look down at my scale again and not have to shake my head.

I’ll go ahead and kill this one here. Get up and move, folks.

Fitness Specter 30: Ugh

Something isn’t right. I’m not doing something I should be doing. What that thing is I cannot say but today starts the really dedicated research and learning that I need to do in order to accomplish a goal. I’m about to become really dedicated to a minute few items and really push forward to succeed. Unfortunately, fitness isn’t the only thing that I need to do this with… it’s time to read more about the Fitness Specter.


I ran a couple of days ago and I’m sore the few days later. This was to be expected. I said I was going to run the next day and I didn’t because I had to get up much earlier in order to get to work, so I opted to not run. The day after that, today, I should have gotten up early to run, too, but opted to sleep in because I’m not sleeping long enough. I have a rest problem and I’m not making any progress.

I am entering into a time in my life when I am trying to accomplish a few things that need complete focus. This means I need to play less Madden NFL 16. This means I need to watch less TV. This means I need to watch less movies. This means I need to buckle down and start making logs of things, writing things, and getting laser focused on making myself better. I will succeed because I am going to push hard to succeed.

In the month of September, Top Cow Productions is holding it’s annual (well, they’re taking a year off after this, but it still is technically annual) talent hunt. I am going to participate. That was going to be my major focus but because I’m constantly tired of being fat and no matter what I seem to do I can’t gain any traction, I’m going to SPLIT my attention because I am interested in being less flighty and more dedicated. That means I have to be focused on two things.

Is my problem how much I’m eating? I know what I’m eating isn’t the problem because I’m eating healthier now than I’ve ever eaten. I even make smarter choices at restaurants than I used to (eating a salad instead of the biggest, greasiest looking thing on the menu). I thought I was eating less, too, but maybe I’m eating the same amount as I always have… I have had a portion control problem but how long do I feel hungry in a day before I start not feeling hungry between normal spaced times between meals?

Next week (starting tomorrow), I start walking along with people each day as part of my job. I’m doing an inspection, to put a term to it, and the people I’m inspecting will be doing 95% walking because that’s what they do. The last time I did one of these inspections I walked over 10 miles… because they walked over 10 miles. Despite knowing that I’m about to get more walking done in the next 6 days than I normally get to in an entire month, I’m going to make a decision to get up early tomorrow (and every day) to run. I will run every morning, except for one, every week.

Does this mean I need to be cognizant of what time I’m going to bed? Does this mean that I need to understand that I’m going to be super sore and super tired for the next six days, at least, and probably longer? Does this mean that I need to make super smart food choices, restricting my intake to make sure I’m eating only what I need to in order to make it through a day? Does this mean I need to stop whining and start winning?

The answer to all of those is “yes.”

Step up or step off. This is the week that makes or breaks me. This is the week that will either get me completely back on the fitness wagon or this is the week that I close this column down and start closing my mouth and realize I’m going to be a fat ass for the rest of my life. It’s time to put up or shut up.

I’d like to say that I’m going to write a Fitness Specter each day in order to report my progress but I can’t promise that. I’ll surely write at least once in this week to make sure I’m reporting some kind of progress (or lack of progress) but I can’t promise if that will happen more than once.

This is either the last time I make bold and progressive statements about making oneself better or this is the first of many columns that will track actual progress.

Last year, I lost 97 pounds. I’ve put all but 10 pounds of that back on (as of this morning, I’ve put all but 11 pounds back on). I was down 3 pounds two days ago and I’m back up as of this morning. Did I overeat? No. Did I move less than normal? No. What was the reason for this weight gain? I don’t know, but I’m going to punish my body, my muscles, and my diet for not doing what needs to be done.

I’ll let you know what I discover. I’ll chronicle the types of things that I’m eating. I’ll give regular (as I can) updates on my level of physical activity. I will move forward or I’ll shut up completely because I’m a hypocrite and unable to accomplish the things I set out to accomplish.

This is the longest Fitness Specter I’ve written this year. It’s time to do this more and start doing other things less. I need to be more active and if I’m unwilling to change the things I do, I can change the things I do while I do those things.

All this will be told in the future posts. Hopefully I’m not just writing this to write something. I will win.

Want to win with me?

Fitness Specter 29: The Longest Run Ever


This morning I ran. I got up an hour early, I went outside, and I ran. As the title of this column indicates, this was a hard run. I worried that I wouldn’t make it halfway before walking and I’m glad I made it almost a full mile before I had to start walking (the incline of the sidewalk and the throbbing of my legs, in combination with the tightness in my chest and difficulty breathing). I did run here and there afterwards but the point is that I got up and did something.

I’m tired of being tired and fat.

Evaluating my nutrition over the past few months, I’ve noticed that what I’ve been eating isn’t bad… in fact, most of what I’ve been eating are things I would have chosen to eat on a diet… meaning that there is something else causing my issues with weight gain.

I want to be accountable, so I’m going to tell you that this morning I was 314.6 pounds and that is the lightest I’ve been in almost a full month. That’s really sad but the only thing I knew that was different was my environment. I’m in a place, now, with the best healthy options I’ve ever had exposure to and more options than ever before…

The decision to run was a long time coming. I don’t have a gym here, I haven’t really found one that I’m interested in… plus I am not entirely sure I want to hit the gym again, yet. I had to decide whether or not what I’m doing is about weight loss or about gaining muscle. I have decided that what I want at this point is weight loss.

Tomorrow, I’ll get back up and do this all over again. I may choose a different route but I am going to run. I want to lose weight, I want this heavy belly I have hanging off of me significantly less prominent (gone, ideally).

Sorry about how short this is, but I’d rather have a short column than wait days to talk about this. I’m working on podcasting (just found some software to test) and fitness will definitely be part of that.

Get up and move.

The Emerald Specter 7: Welcome to the Site


You’re probably looking around and seeing a whole lot of new stuff. New graphics, new design, new animated website… all kinds of stuff. You’re also probably wondering whether you’ve liked the new stuff or hated it. Well, I’m here to tell you to give the site a shot… I am.

On the main page, when you click on one of the four “apps,” you’ll get taken to one of four pages. Those four pages each have their own unique background and I’ve learned that the site design has a couple of quirks in it that may not allow you to see those backgrounds if you go directly to the blog first… I’m working on that. From there, though, you’ll be able to click on a number of things, read a number of things, and see that I’m about to start posting a number of things on this site.

I’m also preparing to draw myself a unique “Emerald Specter” instead of using the Space Ghost with my colors on him. There’s going to be more stuff going on here and I’m looking to make the site as interesting to look at as it is to use and read. I’m also pushing forward with the Specter Show as soon as I carve out 15 to 30 minutes to record the first show. After I record it… I’ll need to edit it.

Let’s not get into the tedious bit of explaining how things work, though… let’s enjoy the site for what the site is: something different and special to look at… and maybe, just maybe, the site will grow on you.

Time will tell, of course.