Tag Archives: Bodybuilding

Everything about shaping the body.

Fitness Specter 36: Dance With the Girl That Brought You


Dance with the girl that brought you… it means you should always do what you were supposed to do to achieve your goal by doing the things that helped you get where you were at in the first place. In the case of my own personal fitness, that means I need to go back to doing the thing that got me thinner before: walking.

I know how to lose weight. I know how to keep that weight off. Yet, here I sit writing this with the belly that is nearly the full size it was when I started my journey over a year ago… almost two years, now. I’m eight pounds shy of being where I was at when I said aloud that I was tired of being fat. I’m writing it here: I’m tired of being fat.

My diet is healthy and I just need to keep up with what I’m doing on that front in order to get things moving. I need to really jump back on the street and start walking again.

When I got here, I was diligent in getting between 10,000 and 15,000 steps a day. That slowly waned and slowly got lower until I’m not overjoyed when I get 5,000 steps in a day… I haven’t had to work at going over 5,000 steps in a day since I started this moons ago.

I live in a place without a true winter… it’s a “rainy season.” During the rainy season, I’ve not done a lot of walking… most of my walking gets done at work. When its raining, I won’t walk the parking lot. Well, that isn’t true, I *haven’t* walked the parking lot… but I’m going to start doing that again because I want to see 10,000 steps a day, then eventually start working towards 15,000 steps a day.

This should help me lose the weight to the point where my clothes start fitting better or start getting too big. This should help me get the energy to start working out again and since we’re in a place with many, many more options for “gyms,” I’m guessing I can find one really close to home. Then I start working on the weightlifting again… but small steps.

Everything I’m doing is a small step forward. First I need to start with the 10,000 steps a day… and then I can start thinking about the future, when I get back to the point I want to be at…

Who’d like to see the return of WAFFLE? I would… it’s a fitness goal competition (with yourself) to attain realistic, yet challenging, fitness goals. I’ll explain more when we get there… and maybe I’ll rename it and maybe I won’t.

Let’s get healthy again… let’s get to stepping. Today, I’m going to walk as much as I can and get closer to 10,000 than I have been in the past few weeks. One doesn’t go from zero to 10,000 without some small advances… or, small steps. See what I did there? Heh…

Let’s get healthy again… see you next time.

Fitness Specter 35: Life Specter


I sit here, at 7 AM on a Sunday, wide awake since 4 AM this morning thinking: what should I do to pass the time while I wait for everyone else to wake up so I can do something more productive than sitting here in front of my computer typing? Well, that’s what I can do.

It also occurs to me that this column should also be called “Life Specter,” because I don’t even know how much of this contains information from my actual day to day…

The reason I named the column Life Specter is because that sometimes life gets in the way. You have a job that suddenly wants you to work more hours, complain about the hours that you work, and then say you’re a piece of garbage for working so many hours because you shouldn’t have done it in the first place… when they asked you to. Sometimes you can’t just sit at home and not think about work, or that asshole that cut you off in traffic, so you’re distracted and your focus is all over the place. What I’m saying is that mental health is as much a part of physical health as the proper diet is to effective exercise.

Damn… that sounds philosophical.

Sleep is one of the biggest components to healthy living. Ideally, for those of us wishing to lose some weight, sleep is the best time to do that because guess what you aren’t doing while you’re sleeping: eating calories. You can’t sleep too much, otherwise the body goes into some weird “hibernation mode” and then it starts storing fat because you’re not eating. It’s a delicate balance.

As you can imagine, sleep is foremost on my mind at the moment. Hint: it’s because on the sole day that I have to sleep in, I’m wide awake and typing up a column before the NFL playoff game I am interested in seeing starts. Talking about sleep, now that I’m not getting it, makes me realize that I am going to be suffering from other issues today, hindering any progress I was planning to make.

Let’s talk about what I was expecting to do today.

First, I was going to have the NFL game on in the background and be cleaning up the kitchen from the wonderful meal my wife made the night before… I was also going to tidy up the living room because that’s where I planned on doing some weight training while the game was on. While I still have a niggling little back issue, I was planning on doing weight movements that didn’t require a lot of my lower back (or would help strengthen it without sending me back to bed with a strained muscle). I was highly motivated to start getting that done and then the mental issues started, which lead to me being up at a stupid hour, which leads me to being tired (fatigued), which will probably lead to me not doing as much (or as correctly, if I still do these things… which I’m still planning to do) as I was going to do.

In short: my mental state is not where it should be and that is why I’m writing.

You have to be honest with yourself. I tend to dwell on things, I just can’t help myself, and that leads me to end up getting angry about possible (or past) events that I have zero control over. Let’s say I have a confrontation at work with someone, for however long I’m bothered by that incident I’ll mentally dwell on what happened and what could have happened until I’m so exhausted that I can’t even think anymore… that isn’t healthy. Distraction becomes an important part of getting through these things and believe me I’m trying to distract that crap outta myself but it isn’t working. That’s why I started writing.

I need an outlet for my mental state and since the normal distractions aren’t working, I’m going to try doing something different today than I have in the past: I’m going to use the workout AS the distraction. I’ll let you know how that goes.

As an update, since the last column I wrote, I am down 4 pounds. I was 316 this morning and it’s time to start locking into the eating pattern that got me down so many pounds before… which means that I’m going to be eating a lot of home cooking and that also means that my wife has motivation to start coming up with new and interesting combinations of food that will keep things on track. Her idea, not mine… though I’ll take it.

We have not eaten out since Tuesday (today is Sunday, as I said), and there is no plan to eat out before this coming Tuesday. I have cravings now and then and when we eat out, I normally need to fill that craving instead of making the smart choice (like having a salad like I should). I’m working on that but first I need to get back into the swing of working out again… that starts today.

I leave you now letting you know I am about to eat my first food of the day. I have a Peanut Toffee Buzz Cliff bar and a banana. I’d just eat the Cliff bar but the bananas are sitting there calling out to me, so I figured they’re healthy enough to be listened to… and I’m probably going to be a lot happier for the choice, too. I am also taking some supplements from GNC, supplements that helped me lose all the weight before. Since taking them, I’ve been consistently lower in weight (the fluctuations don’t go as high, either) than I was before I was taking them. My current goal is to be under 300 before the end of February. I’d like to say January but I want to set some realistic goals, and ones that don’t require a lot of stress to achieve. I have enough stress at work.

Until next time…

Fitness Specter 34: Diet


I have a friend on Facebook (shocking, right?) that is attempting to lose weight, he and his wife, and that they have success with certain things but not others. Their goal is simply to lose weight and both of them, if I’m correct, don’t eat/like to eat certain types of foods. Most of my advice in this area is usually to switch to, or away from, certain foods… then I stopped for a moment, held my fingers from hitting “post” on a comment, and really thought about what got me to where I am right now.

I suppose that I should first explain where I am right now.

My work sucks. The hours and the stress are terrible and I would really like to do something different in life. Since I currently can’t, the stress and hours have held my weight steady at over 300 lbs. Yes, I’ve still got most of what I gained back by coming to this utopia of eating (yes, Portland is really a utopia of food options). I eat lots of veggies (beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes) and fruits (pineapple, strawberries, bananas), I don’t eat anything (mostly) with high fructose corn syrup in it, I eat out far less than I used to, and I’d say that aside from my portions I couldn’t get any healthier on the eating (unless I cut out the eating out). This was not always the case.

I’ll say that around 2010 or 2011, I acquired an allergy to dairy. I say it that way because it really just started happening and I’d get violently ill whenever I had something with dairy in it. No cheese, no bread (most breads have dairy), no “white” sauces, etc. I was living with a terrible affliction that really hurt whenever I didn’t pay attention to what I was eating.

During that horrible phase of my life, my wife and I found many alternatives to foods that ended up being super healthy options. Want some cheese flavoring? Nutritional yeast. Need some filler for a meal that you aren’t getting from a cheesy or dairy product? Start eating vegetables. Want pizza? Have them leave the cheese off and just give you meats, veggies, sauce, fruit, etc on it.

In fact, my entire palate changed. I was enjoying broccoli when I hadn’t previously. I was eating fruits on a regular basis that weren’t just bananas. There were all kinds of things we were doing differently.

Then the allergy stopped. I don’t know exactly when it stopped but all of a sudden I could eat dairy again. For 3 or 4 years, I was completely dairy free and all of a sudden I could eat the dairy again. Pizza never tasted so good. I went, almost completely, back to the way I was eating before.

Now we get to the part where I am right now.

One morning, literally (used correctly, I literally did this), I sat up in bed and said, aloud: “I’m tired of being fat.” I am still tired of being fat now, too, but we won’t talk about that quite yet. I made a declaration and all of a sudden I was pushing to lose weight in the biggest way.

The research began. When people use the word “diet” they’re usually talking about a temporary change in the way they eat in order to lose weight or make a change. In every single case, if you stop doing something to lose weight and return to doing that thing after you’ve achieved your goal, you’ll gain the weight back. Why? Because you eliminated something and returned to doing it.

When I use the word “diet,” as with many medical professionals, I mean what you eat… period. Weight loss is a lifestyle change, not a fad, not a quick fix, not something that can be temporary. If you want sustainable weight loss, you need to do something and do that something forever. How can temporarily changing something result in a permanent solution? It can’t and there isn’t a dietician, doctor, or fitness expert that wouldn’t agree with me.

The first thing I did, before making any other change, was I eliminated all high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). None. My wife and I read so many labels (and still do) that our eyes were falling out. I won’t get to eat a lot of my favorite things anymore because they contain HFCS. No soda, no ketchup, no bread, no cereal, no sauces, no Cloverdale meats (they’re a North Dakota meat packing company that puts HFCS in their meats), and if it had any derivative of HFCS it was also out (high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, etc, etc, etc). I didn’t eat anything for a long, long time with HFCS in it. I only do so in “treats” now, and then only minimally.

I’d guess I lost 25 pounds just eliminating HFCS alone.

With my changed palate, my wife and I started eating things we hadn’t eaten a lot of before. I was not a “sweet potato” lover by any stretch of the imagination and now we eat the shit out of them. Most of the meals we eat contain a large vegetable side dish (made easier by the steamer bags that they come in so we don’t occupy another burner on the stove cooking them). We use only real butter (margarine and some other butter alternatives are terrible for the human body). We were eating so differently that my wife started her own food blog with everything we eat on a regular basis. You can find that here. The new one is here.

Along with this, both of us started walking. Every day. Every single day. We set realistic goals for steps, we used FitBits and now use the Apple trackers in the phones and watches. Getting to 5,000 was killer at first and now I can have that done most of the time before noon. Once I’d gotten my weight down to 275-ish, I started going to the gym to work out. Pounds fell off there, too. In total, I’d lost 91 pounds (from 328 when I started to 237). Life was looking up.

I realize that after thinking about what I was thinking about way back up at the top of this column that I’d really had help getting to where I am at. Well, I’m 320 as I write this and the only thing that is really different is that I don’t get the exercise in that I used to… and my portions are out of control again. At least the portions are made up of healthier foods.

Anyway, what got me to where I’m at was a food allergy and a wife that loved making food we both love to eat to achieve a mutual goal. As I write this, I’m going to start the walking part of this again to make sure I get over 10,000 steps a day again… that’s when the experts say weight loss really starts (if you change nothing else).

I’m not going to write directly to the friend I referred to earlier. I’m not going to tell them this whole story… instead, I’ll link this column from my personal Facebook account and maybe he’ll read it. If he does (or she, his wife is also my friend), then I’ll give some advice that will hopefully work out for the better.

The advice is: simulate a food allergy.

Maybe you don’t want to do dairy, that’s fine. That was hard on me but I survived and it helped change my palate, as well as forcing me to look at other food alternatives. Maybe you want to try simulating celiacs, how about an allergy to red meat? Honestly, vegans are the healthiest eaters I know and they don’t have weight problems (at least the ones I know don’t).

I’m not saying “do this for the rest of your life.” I’m saying to give it a good 12 to 24 months of not eating a specific food type… and make sure that food type is a large enough group to force you to rethink your food choices entirely. Dairy is in a LOT of stuff, that’s the one I recommend. Skirting the dairy thing will guarantee your palate changes. Once you’ve done this avoidance for 12 to 24 months, introduce it back into your diet as part of the meals you’ve already switched to eating. There will be a change, a noticeable change, in what you “like” and don’t “like.”

One last thing: cheat meals are important. A single meal, once a week, that you can eat anything you want is important to success. One meal and one meal only. Eat whatever you want, but eat it with portion control in mind. Will you lose weight that day? Almost never, but at least you’ll not set yourself back so far that you need to start completely over.

I’m going to be jumping back into this column with both feet. I’m going to lose my weight and start working out again. I’m going to walk 10,000 steps a day because I need to get my fat ass off the couch, out of the chair, and out moving around again. It’s time I re-applied my changes to achieve my goals and I’m tired of being fat. I’m so tired of being fat.

Will you join me?

Fitness Specter 34: Recovering From Injury


It’s high time I write a column about fitness again. It’s also high time I explain why I haven’t written in so long, and talk about something on the forefront of what’s been going on lately. It’s high time to stop saying high time. Go.

First and foremost, I’ve been busy as hell lately. I’ve been working so many hours at work that I’m unhealthy and starting to have problems with all kinds of other things… like sleep. Anyone who is reading this should know by now that sleep is an important part of the entire fitness regimen. Well, I’m working on getting more sleep and that leads me to what’s been happening with me (or the topic in the title).

One cannot properly work out if one is injured. Some things can be worked around but there is one injury that really kills all of the abilities to work out: lower back injury. Guess what I got recently? Yep.

So, almost two full weeks ago (as I write this), I was lifting something to help get something done at work and “pop,” there went my back. I could barely stand and for the time since I’m having trouble moving without pain. I’m back to the point now, at least, that I can sit without needing to be rigidly sitting upright with something behind my back for proper posture. That excites me, and I’ll explain why later.

For the first few days, I had to have help putting on socks because I couldn’t bend over. I had to get out of bed in a very specific way, otherwise I couldn’t get out of bed. At work, driving to work, at home, driving to home, etc… I had to be sitting straight, with something behind my lower back giving me “proper posture.” I couldn’t sleep in my favorite position all night (I’m a stomach sleeper), and I would also have issues in staying asleep because I’d be shifting and thrashing all night long.

Just about the time I hurt myself I was ready to jump back on the wagon of lifting and exercising… then I had to wait.

The problem with injury is that when you’re recovering, there is little you can do with a lower back injury to recover quickly. I think I’m really close to the clearing of the injury, which means I can put my money where my mouth is… and that leads me to why I’d be excited.

Since I can actually lift weights again (i’m 95% sure), I am going to be able to start back down the track of losing weight in the vein I was losing weight before: leaps and bounds. My cardio will be the focus at first but once I’m back down under 275, the weight lifting will be the focus and I’ll be building the mass that is good mass instead of holding on to the mass that I’m interested in getting rid of… it’s time.

It’s time to get off the couch and start doing something again and it’s time to start being smarter with how I do things in general life. I won’t want to hurt myself again soon and I’m looking forward to actually succeeding with my efforts.

Lift with me, bro.

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.

Fitness Specter 28: Establishing a Pattern


There has been a lot of things going on lately and I wanted to check in with another Fitness Specter for a brief, yes brief, little snippet about what I’ve established and how this will help me move forward.

I’ve been working overnights for the past 4 nights and in a place that is almost completely opposite of what I’m used to: non-stop movement. My friends on FitBit will notice how my steps skyrocketed over the last few days and how that number will plummet after I get back out into the regular job again, sitting on my ass most of the day again.

In this constant state of motion, I’ve been unable to shovel food into my face, which is part of my eating problem. I have had three, sometimes four if I don’t sleep in long enough, meals that are very precise and healthy. I’m hoping to continue this pattern now that I’ll be back and able to shovel food into my face again. I will be in a different part of town and I’m hoping that opens up some healthier eating options nearby because my old station isn’t positioned in the best location for healthy eating.

Well, there was my brief check in and I look forward to posting more now that I’ll be back to a regular human schedule again (days). Side note: I did apply to work those hours permanently, so we’ll see how that works out.