Tag Archives: Weightlifting

Journal of the Emerald Specter 51: Battles and BuJoRPG

Another Journal entry is being made and you’re here to read it, for which I am thankful. There is another dose of this and that, with some larger pieces of the puzzle being more prominent, I’ll still be covering a plethora of topics.

As a note, I’ve seen my traffic dip even further down. I knew that things would taper off but I was hoping that some would come here to see all kinds of stuff, not just come here for a singular purpose. I’ve got a lot of interests and I guess I was hoping that there would be “something” that would keep readers coming back. Maybe what is contained within this article will help with that, at least in a couple of the subjects.

I’m starting out with the one thing that has kind of dominated my week. As I write this, I’ve dove deep into the game to get my mind working in the direction I need in order to grow my chess.com rating from the meager “mid-1100s” and back into growth. I’d like to be back up to the “mid-1200s” pushing to get over the 1300 hump again, and that means playing games and studying.

I’ve joined a number of chess clubs on chess.com, some of which were because I was looking for regular players to play against (without the randomness of just opening up a game). This includes my continued membership in the Team USA, US Veterans Chess, and Team USA: Northwest groups. I’ve added World League, Chess.com Chess League, Rose City Chess, Chess.com iOS Club, Knights of the Square Table, Knightmares Finest Chess, Chess.com League, and the PRO Chess League.

That last one is the one I’d like to expand this article into… a little history needs to be dropped, first.

In 2005, the United States Chess League (USCL) was formed to be a United States “nationwide” organization for team chess play. The league expanded over the course of 11 years to include 20 teams, running in a similar fashion to the other sports leagues of the United States.

I say 11 years because in 2016, the USCL announced a change to include the entire world worth of teams, and changed its name to the Professional Rapid Online Chess League, or PRO Chess League.

In 2017, the PRO Chess League ran 48 teams through a seven week chess season, ending in a five week playoff season to crown the St. Louis Arch Bishops the 2017 PRO Chess League Champions. The biggest development in the PRO Chess League over the USCL was the inclusion of some of the biggest names in chess today competing, including World Champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway Gnomes), Wesley So (St. Louis Arch Bishops), Hikaru Nakamura (Miami Champions), and Fabiano Carauna (Montreal ChessBrahs).

The 2018 season is going to be organized in a different fashion due to the confusion of having 48 teams. There will only be 32 teams for this second season, 24 automatically qualify to participate, and the other 24 will battle for their chance (along with any new teams that may spring up) to be one of the final 12 teams to compete in the 2018 season proper. This is as close to a “promotion/relegation” system that PRO Chess League will get, though I will be very interested to see how this format works.

Along with the analysis of my own personal games through this column (perhaps a separate column in the future), I have approached someone about being a co-host on a PRO Chess League podcast. Depending upon how that contact works out, I would be interested in making the podcast the “official” podcast, then be able to have access to official video, commentary, and interviews with the stars of the league.

If this approach ends up not panning out, I’ll still attempt to do what I’ve stated above, just as a solo host, and I’ll still try to get the podcast labeled official. The thing I lose without the co-host is the analysis of someone who knows what they’re doing at a much greater level.

I do have other option, I just really want to work with this person.

No game to analyze this time, I have several games going at the moment and I’ve earmarked a specific game for analysis (which, as I write this, is still underway). Stay tuned.

I haven’t been into the UFC as much this year as I have in the past. There was a long run of the past four or five years where I was actively watching matches, following certain fighters, and making sure that UFC was “appointment viewing.”

In 2017, I’ve only watched two UFC events and I’m a little sad about that.

Writing about the UFC is something I enjoyed doing, following the UFC has been much more interesting than following boxing (for fans of mine who don’t know my history with boxing, I used to be a devout follower of the sport… until hugging and terrible matchups started ruining the experience). I want to dedicate myself to at least commenting on the UFC a little as I work my way back to following the big fights and upcoming superstars.

So, onto a little commentary…

UFC 214 was a nice way to break back into the UFC for me, allowing me to see some of the best fights in a while. Cyborg beat the hell out of an undeserving Tonya Evinger (I have a column about my disgust with her shell of a victory in Invicta over an opponent by the Missouri Sports Commission rather than getting it done in the ring)… good job Cyborg. Woodley defeated Maia in a match that was mostly boos by the crowd but I understand why that one turned out the way it did. Finally, the main event of the evening was the much anticipated rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, something that has been scheduled at least twice before but failed to happen. This will be the focus of this segment.

Despite seeing what Cormier has done against opponents as the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, I really considered Jon Jones the champion since he never lost the belt… he was stripped of the belt. Having no Jones in the UFC has been an experience that I don’t want to experience again… but the problem was Jones’ inability to stay clean or out of trouble, which is all up to the man I considered the champion going into this fight. The closer this fight came to happening, the more I worried that one of these guys wouldn’t be able to fight due to an injury, something that has happened to Cormier a lot in his reign.

With the win of Jones to regain his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, we return to the situation we were in before Jones started having “out of ring” issues. I look forward to seeing what else Jones can do now that he’s back with gold around his waist.

The event, overall, was epic.

The biggest traffic getter on EmeraldSpecter.com is, by far, the BuJoRPG that I released. I continue to test, expand, and bullet journal. The traffic drop off that has been steadily declining is the traffic coming to the site for bullet journaling specifically. I can’t argue that I made a good move developing the BuJoRPG, but I’d like to keep the hits coming…

Testing and development in the BuJoRPG system has been changed in a slight way. If I tested the way that I tested the first time, you wouldn’t see another BuJoRPG release until almost the end of 2017. I don’t want to wait that long, as a result, I’ve modified how I’m testing things to be able to develop the BuJoRPG system a little faster.

I don’t know why I didn’t do things this way in the first place.

I’ve modified the Quest system, breaking it up into long and short term lines. XP varies for each of them and I think that I’ll be fine leaving the system the way I am currently using it (as of this writing).

A promise of bringing in “gear” has caused the biggest delay in the next release. I am doing a “real time” test of the money system (RPG money, not real money) to be able to acquire the gear because I want to see if the acquisition of the initial items is realistic and gives you something to shoot for… and I’m liking what I am seeing so far.

With the response I’ve gotten and what I see others using the BuJoRPG system (with or without modifications), I am seeing if there is anything else I’d like to include as I stray closer to putting together the next edition of the system. I’m working with version 1.8 at the moment, so I think that I may be releasing “2.0,” whether or not the changes are significant enough to call it “BuJoRPG 2.”

I think using the version system, I can leave the door open for “sequels” in the way I just used that… Ver 2.0 vs BuJoRPG 2…

Things are definitely looking good and I’m excited to show you all what I’ve got coming out.

I stalled in starting working out when I said I was going to start. Work hours ramped way up on me three days before I wanted to start and I was freaking exhausted when the actual day rolled around. I really wanted to have something specific to report, but I guess I’ll just pass along what the plan is for the start of the next week.

My week starts on Saturday. This keeps my postal week, bullet journal week, and workout week all on the same rotation. I don’t want any confusing day changes just because a “traditional” rotation for working out starts on Sunday. My workouts, my week.

The plan for the week looks like this:

Saturday – Legs
Sunday – Rest
Monday – Back and Biceps
Tuesday – Chest and Triceps
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Legs and Abs
Friday – Shoulders

Friday is going to be a rest day until my shoulders stop hurting. I have an impingement in both shoulders, with my left shoulder being exponentially worse than my right, I don’t even think I could do half the exercises that I ned to in order to work them out… I’m not super worried about my shoulders being worked out right now, since I’m no longer working for a “swole look,” I’ll just be making sure most of the groups even up.

If you’re wondering about cardio, that is an interesting topic. I am a letter carrier for the post office and I basically have cardio going on all day long on days that I work. I’ll be doing some form of pre-workout cardio in addition to all that, but I am leaning heavily on my job to provide the majority of the cardio as I start back out on this journey again.

The other important part of this journey is getting back to clean eating. Due to my wife locking down the spending in our house (we maintain a specific dollar amount in the checking account as we put regular amounts in savings each paycheck), we started going back to eating at home more often than not.

Several years ago, when I had issues eating dairy in any form, my wife and I started eating much better. My working out was accompanied by even better eating and we haven’t stopped eating the quality foods that we switched to (when we eat at home), allowing us to see weight loss on days we eat at home (for me, at least).

Any diet is a lifestyle change, if that diet is to work. As soon as you go back to eating the garbage you were eating before your “diet,” you’ll start regaining all your nasty weight again. This is something most people aren’t aware enough to understand. This is why most people fail at their weight loss goals.

All in all, I’m eating out far less… the money constriction is a blessing in disguise. I just need to lay off the sweets now and I’ll be back to eating completely clean.

Baby steps, I guess… baby steps.

I’ll close this column out with the storytelling header. This won’t talk about the serial fiction, though, this will be about the BuJoRPG.

Wait, what?

The base system for the BuJoRPG will be without a storyline, but the templates won’t. I’ve said this before and I’ll continue to hint at the possibility for EVERY template to have a story.

The one I’m most interested in is the Wuxia template, though. I’m going so far as to release the title of this next version of the template… that title will be the Rise of the Iron Garden.

Interested in learning why? Well, that is also allowing me to elaborate on the initial Wuxia template story, then I can properly build up each successive expansion.

This is short, but I hope it was interesting.

Journal of the Emerald Specter 50: Welcome to the Journal

Since this is a journal of everything I’ve been doing, want to do, and will speculate about, thus begins the old “Emerald Specter” column in the new “Journal of the Emerald Specter.” You are not incorrect when you see “50” behind that, because this is the 50th edition of this column (even though it has a new name).

I whipped up a “graphics package” for this column and as you can see, I’ve decided to begin with the “aged paper/olde timey log book” look. If I decide to switch up the look, I’ll just go ahead and do that without any further “big announcement,” because aesthetics aren’t worthy of a big announcement (unless it’s for the whole website).

So, since we’re here on a new column pushing forward with a new format, let’s see what we have involved with our headings that applies for today.

I sit and write this column before my attempt to finish out “episode 2” of the serial fiction that I’m working on. My third editor has actually received episode 1, and much to my delight, has already begun reading what I sent. That has encouraged me to move forward and get episode 2 done and work towards the ending of season one.

In the world of No Man’s Sky, I’ve been playing randomly zipping through the galaxy while I wait for the update 1.3 (Waking Titan) to drop… and I’ve really gotten enthusiastic about my game again. I played for six hours over the course of the last two days and I’m looking to really push into the game again today to see what else I can accomplish. The storytelling elements for the narrative are still falling into place, too, as I work out the bugs of where the story will go. I can only do so much on that front at the moment, though, because without knowing what will be added to the game, I don’t want to plan an air tight story that can be upset with the slightest “new shiny” being added to the game.

While the next storytelling piece technically belongs under this heading, I’ve determined that it needs to go under this one, instead:

I have been testing out the processes of the new things I’m working on, and even though I am really, really early in the testing process, I think this is going to be a good development. Knowing that things are going as well as I think they are, this will bring me to what ties this segment into the above segment.

As promised, new releases of the BuJoRPG would be accompanied by “story elements” to build up a narrative that anyone using the system can participate in. The “base system,” or the system without a template, won’t get this story element but I have begun working on the barest of an outline for the BuJoRPG: Wuxia template and the Untitled BuJoRPG Space template… yes, new template for a new release.

Do you have a template idea you’d like to see? Well, there are two ways you can see that come to fruition for future releases… the first one is to create the template yourself and send the link to me so that I can share that with the world (full credit to you). The other is to email emeraldspecter.com@gmail.com and float the idea at me, giving me something to consider for future releases.

The return of SpecterFit! As prophecies many moons ago, I have resurrected the column in the form of a segment in the “flagship” column of the whole site. I had a hard time filling up my personal column size requirement (periodically) before, so now I’m going to do this as large as it needs to be as part of THIS column.

Starting yesterday (as you read this), I began working out again at home to get in a weight loss mode intending to lose another 15 to 20 pounds before deciding on a gym in my area.

In North Dakota, where I came from, there was a Gold’s Gym that was on the way to work. That made going to the gym before work super convenient and I was energized to go because I had no excuses for missing.

In Oregon, I don’t have access to a Gold’s Gym in a reasonable travel distance. I am searching for other gyms in the area to visit, before work preferably, and that will allow me to get the workouts done before draining myself for a long day of delivering mail.

One thing that I realize is that I didn’t really know what my focus for going to the gym was… was I going to gain mass muscle and get “bigger?” Well, yes… was I going to lose weight and get slimmer? Um, yes… and there lies the problem.

Weight loss is all about making a number shrink to achieve a poundage that fits with the body image that makes me healthier in general. The simple way to achieve this is to lift weights for toning and load the rest of the workout with cardio (the primary means of burning the fat).

Trying for muscular gains is a whole different ball of wax. Muscle weighs more than fat, and so if I’m both trying to lose weight and gain muscle, I can’t really concentrate on the number that shows up on the scale. I wasn’t thinking like that in North Dakota and now that I’m thinking about that here, I really need to decide which one I really want.

While I would love to be bulked up like professional bodybuilders, I think that the shedding of the weight and toning up the muscles that I already have should be my primary focus. That means I’m not looking to lifting the heaviest amount of weight I can as often as I can to build impressive looking muscles. I have gained some mass in my arms and legs, but not nearly what I hope to gain in the process… and I’m sorely lacking in “an ass.” Like a lot of males in the modern day, my glutes have shrunk in the absence of my cross country running from high school to zero running for anything other than a cardio boost before lifting.

What I’m saying is that I need to shape some of this body and once I attain that short goal, maybe then I can look at bulking if that is still something I’d like to do in the future.

Unless you’ve never read anything I’ve ever written on this website, you know that I love the game of chess and follow the professionals in a casual way. That means I know who Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Vishwanathan Anand, and Hikaru Nakamura are, where they generally fall into the hierarchy of modern professional chess, and which tournaments that they participate in but I am not so much into following the “break down every game” of the tournaments they play in.

I am, however, going to start seriously investigating my own games and seeing if I can present them in the way that I think pro chess can be presented to the world at large for a larger audience.

That leads me to ask you all who are reading that play the game: would you like to play a game or two of chess with me?

I am a member of chess.com and I have a paid account, meaning I can play quite a few games at a time. You only need a free account to play me and I believe you can play at least a couple of games at a time without worrying about needing to play more than that. I invite all levels of player, and at the time of this writing, my current chess.com rating is 1191 (I’ve had a bit of a dip due to several losses in mini-tournaments that I was one of the lowest ranked players in… I usually run between 1175-1300).

The reason I would want to “play a couple” against you is to analyze both a game where I play white and one where I play black.

Finally, I end with one of my favorite sports: sumo.

The Nagoya Basho ended with Hakuho winning his 39th Yusho (tournament victory) and setting the all time win record at 1049. I’m happy for him and I’m also interested to see whether or not he’ll retire now (since he’s accomplished so much) or if he’ll wait until he starts doing worse in competitions just so he can make that win record so high it’ll be hard to top?

Time will tell.

I wanted to include a bit about this, even though there isn’t a basho going on right now, because if you have any interest in sumo at all, NOW is the time to start watching. There are several new, young sumo wrestlers (rikishi) that have entered the top division (Makuuchi) in the past three months that are worth your attention.

Ura and Ishiura are the two “little guys” really making waves right now, and even my wife comes to the TV to watch Ura’s matches with me (because he does some wild moves, things I’ve never seen anyone else do, much less at the frequency with which he performs them). Ishiura does some wild stuff, too, but he’s seemingly struggling to stay consistent as Ura is as far as competing at the high level he started out at.

The next tournament is in September and I would suggest you check out Kintamayama’s YouTube Channel for the “daily digest” releases (for those of us who can’t see anything near a live feed or an all encompassing “recap” of the matches). He’s the best.

* * *

I should have a “breaker” graphic for the finale of the column, I’ll work on that for next time… and as NFL season starts up I’ll talk about football, as Premier League season starts up (same season) I’ll talk about that football, and so on… if it interests me, it’ll probably be in this Journal of the Emerald Specter.

Toodles.

Emerald Specter 25: Round Up

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I embark on the 25th Emerald Specter column without a specific topic, but I’ll be doing a lot of writing… so strap yourself in, this ride is going to be all over the place.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought, lately, to covering topics on a regular basis on the site. I have seriously toyed with doing a political column/show on the site and it was only this morning that I have decided that would consume an enormous amount of my time to produce, so I’ve decided not to cover that. However, I will be posting a political thing here before Trump’s inauguration… specifically dealing with the promises he made on the campaign trail and we’ll revisit those when his term as President is over. Everyone who supported him supported those things, as well as his misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, and racism… we’ll see if the ultimate liar holds up to his promises or buckles under the weight of actually being the President.

Along with that topic, I’ve also been considering covering the sports that I enjoy watching as a reporter… specifically the UFC, One Championship, the NFL, sumo, the Barclays Premier League, MLS, and professional chess. Once again, that would eat up an enormous amount of my time but that is still on the table. I don’t need to report all the injuries, the play by play, or anything like that… covering sports is different than, say, politics, but I’m still not committed to doing that, yet. Starting out small would be the preferred way to do that, obviously.

Dude, you’ve talked a lot about nothing so far and you’re already almost 300 words into this column. 

Yes, I am, but I’m far from done.

My SpecterFit column went into the 40s for numbering and then just suddenly stopped. There are a couple of reasons for that but I’ll concentrate on the real barrier first: free time. SpecterFit requires that I put a little more effort into it than just a regular column and since I’ve gone back to delivering mail rather than supervising, I am finding it hard to squeeze all the things in I want to do in a day. This column, the Emerald Specter column, has been written ahead of time for the past month or so and as I write this I’m only a single column ahead (where I was four ahead when I initially got this thing back up and running). The other thing that stalled out the SpecterFit was my attempt to resurrect WAFFLE in the SpecterFit form… something I just don’t have time to organize and run like I did before. SpecterFit will return with less soul crushing “dictating from on high” and will morph more into a “tips and tricks” type thing. I’m also probably going to go with the “Nerd Fitness” type thing where I relate fitness to something you can geek out about in the process. Time will tell.

In the world of comics, I collect myself some titles. Spider-Man (the Miles Morales one), Moon Knight, Harbinger: Renegades, and I’m looking into a few others. Yes, that’s two Marvel comics and a Valiant. I really, really want to review comics and whatnot but with me only having three titles, and DC not really having anything that interests me at the moment, I don’t think I’d be doing the medium a service. I also don’t believe that many people would follow that, so I’m going to hold that on the back burner… the WAY back burner.

Where does all that “I’m not doing this” leave us? Well, it lets me cover the items I am doing and explain what is probably coming down the pipe in the near future.

Obviously, the Emerald Specter column is living and still breathing, so I’m going to go ahead and say this is safe to stick around for the future. This would be the only column that is currently running regularly and I’ll surpass the SpecterFit column in numbering before I pick that one back up. I think the self titled stuff should all be higher numbered than the other stuff, don’t you?

The three year running Greatest Show is doing just fine, too. We’ve just finished episode 102 as I write this and we’re going to be entering some non-typical shows into the mix so that we aren’t exhausting our discussion topics weekly. Episode 103 will be a Greatest Show Fight Series event (GSFS), which will be all of us in the UFC 2 game simulating a fighting event. I’m talking about this in the “coming soon” tense but you’ll have already seen it because we needed to take a week off for Thanksgiving. We will have more shows like that, some that are different in nature, some that will happen between discussion episodes, and then there is what we discussed on our last episode that will be likely helping us through the next 100-150 episodes (at least).

We are going to start roleplaying on the air.

In episode 102, I ran Bob and Metal Jesus through character creation for a game called Green Team, which is utilizing the White Wolf Storyteller system and is a story of my own design. Metal Jesus and Bob will also be running stories but mine will be the first one. The likely format of this bad boy is probably going to be a three hour show, beginning with a half hour (or solid hour) or witty banter, followed by two hours of roleplaying, then either just ending the show or finishing with another half hour of witty banter as a “wrap up.” While my story will be the one pushing the first few episodes like this, I’m hoping a rotation of games will fall into line so that if I don’t feel like running the game, I can certainly play instead.

Moving right along… the Specter Show.

I’ve been talking about doing this damn show for over a year now. I was going to launch the show in January of 2016 and as I write this in late November of 2016, you can see not one episode has been produced. I am going to launch this show, I am just trying to figure out when would be a good time. The topic will be whatever the hell I want to talk about, some will be longer, some will be shorter, but I’m aiming for a 30-60 minute weekly show to start things off, with the intention of running five episodes a week (Monday through Friday) as if I was on the actual radio. I’d like to be on the actual radio, too, so that is part of why I’m angling the show to be what I’ve just said. Wouldn’t that be fun?

And now for something completely different: the ESPL. I’m going to run the ESPL, expanding the depth of the league, for at least 10 years. That will be 10 seasons of the characters gaining specifically assigned positions, the league growing to be at least the two tiers I’ve already announced, and hopefully attracting others that want to be involved. Ideally, I am interested in knowing if anyone out there wants to jump in and take the reigns at some point in the future. I’m not depending on this, I’ll certainly just close the place down when I’m done running the thing, but I am enjoying the logo design (kits are coming in the future, too, kids) and running the simulations. Running this has also encouraged me to run something else I’ve been interested in running for some time…

An MMA simulated league. Unlike the ESPL, though, which is designed to basically be a simulation of realistic teams in a realistic scenario that is completely plausible… and the ESPL was specifically designed to be a way for me to create logos and practice my graphic design skills, the MMA league would be different. I’m going to change the MMA simulation to be more embracing of the digital nature of what I’m doing. That means instead of Heavyweight, Middleweight, Lightweight, etc for weight classes, I’m going to base them more off of digital denotations like Gigaweight, Megaweight, and Kiloweight. These will be “digital fighters” and I’ve already been setting up the framework for what is about to blast onto the scene here at Emerald Specter.com. As with the ESPL, the digital MMA will be an outlet for my graphic designing in the form of the “fight posters” for the events. The ESPL limits me to logos for specific clubs, where the MMA league will be about drawing attention to a more general design for posters and whatnot. If you saw some of my WAFFLE posters, you saw that I was heading into a beautiful era of graphic design… unfortunately, I’ve not had the outlet that I did before.

I want to simulate sumo, too, though I don’t have a graphically specific reason for doing so. As I write this, I realize that the other two leagues were for a specific reason (as would an American Football league, if I decided to launch one of those). I’ve also toyed with another racing league (NASCAR-esq, I have the groundwork laid but I haven’t been driven to design anything for it yet) but that is on the back burner.

Finally (what, finally?), I’d like to talk about the writing that I’ve been trying to get to forever. I really want to write novels, short stories, comic scripts, movie scripts, television scripts, and whatever else but I’ve stalled out consistently and that has left me in a bit of a scenario where I’m not really sure how to accomplish what I’m after.

NaNoWriMo is almost over and I’ve written a grand total of just under 6,000 words, which is 44,000 short of the 50,000 word goal. I need to set up a time and place to write and I need to write a specific amount of words or pages in that time in order to be allowed to move on. If I took a Sunday, for example, and woke up at 8 AM, wrote until I got 5,000 words done and then shifted into the Specter Show, after which I went into simulating the ESPL and the MMA leagues (or designing that which needs to be designed, as that is mostly the point of why I’m doing them), and then finished the day with whatever else I wanted to do, that would be a nice schedule. It shoots one entire day out of the water for doing much of anything else, but with NFL season running right now I’ve not really got a lot planned on a Sunday other than watching a game or two and staying home. No harm, no foul… I just schedule a bunch of other stuff in there and make it a productive day.

If you’ve read this far, then you’re a trooper or you really wanted to know what the hell I was going to write about. Thanks for sticking with this as long as you have and I’d like to tell you that I’m almost double my normal column word count… I try to write about 1,000 words and this sentence is in the 1,800 range, which is pretty sweet. I won’t keep writing, though, I’ve got more to do and writing isn’t going to help get that done.

Until next time, think on it.

SpecterFit 43: Um, What?

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The SpecterFit 1 event is out. I’m needing to start things over, in my personal life, and I’m going to stop treading water with this column and start writing more about things that will help. I don’t want to preach or act like I’m all “mightier than thou,” which I sometimes felt was what I was writing before…

Time to drop some knowledge.

I’ve lost 91 pounds within the last five years. I’ve regained almost all of that weight because I stopped doing the things that got me there. There’s something that I know because I’ve lived it. There is the number one reason why diets don’t work, as soon as you go off them you regain the weight. Change has to be a lifestyle change, not a “three week diet.” That doesn’t work.

Portion control used to be my only Achilles heel… but I’ve been eating out, a lot, lately and that makes me realize that I’ve stopped looking at what worked to get me thin. Making food at home, concentrating on the good proteins, low fats (the bad ones), controlling the portions, and eating more of the good foods in general (like fruits and vegetables).

Let me not forget the other part of the equation: exercise.

My wife and I used to walk 10,000 steps a day or more and when we moved out to Portland, that stopped happening as often. In fact, the walking we do doesn’t happen consistently and while we don’t often walk a lot while we are “off work,” my job changed drastically enough to where walking wasn’t much of an option. The bosses would tell you differently, but the percentage of office work to “being on the street” is easily 80/20. Twenty percent of walking or exercise to everything else was not really happening.

I’m going to be getting back to basics.

Eating out is “once in a while,” or less than everyday. Walking will be included in that, and since my sole focus at work currently involves lots of walking, I’m already started. My job will be changing soon, too, to mostly walking, therefore I shall be doing MUCH better. The weight will be coming off and if I just curb my terrible eating habits (that I’ve fallen back into), then the weight will be coming off much faster.

I’m aiming for 100,000 steps a week. I use the HealthKit on my iPhone, I use my Apple Watch, and I want to set some goals. With the 100,000 steps, I want to have my activity rings on my Apple Watch to be complete… every single day.

Who is with me?

SpecterFit 42: The SpecterFit January Event

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For those interested in the SpecterFit January event, this column is almost exclusively about that… if you’re not interested, I’ll see you next week. If you’re still reading, then let’s talk about January and SpecterFit 1.

Up to this point, I’ve been teasing the idea of subtitling the events. Just like the previous WAFFLE stuff, I did still want to keep SpecterFit numbered events around but I think that some subtitles would be nice to help kick things off AND hopefully motivate some folks into jumping on board. Then another idea struck me and I thought that maybe we can have both.

First, without further dancing around the damn tease, here’s the SpecterFit 1 “cover” photo:SpecterFit1

The first idea I had was to name SpecterFit 1 “Genesis,” but I decided to go a different direction and use the word “Origin.” Genesis has a more epic ring to it, but Origin is still the beginning. There will be more epic titles to these events, and that’s where I want to go next. Subtitles and numbered SpecterFit events.

Let’s say that we get through 2017 with 12 SpecterFit events and we’ve subtitled about half of them. Other than Origin for 1, I’ll invent Fitacular for 3, Fitnado for 5, and FitForce for 7. Anymore than that, I’m stretching myself to come up with dummy names. Anyway, let’s look at the lineup.

We’d have 12 SpecterFit events with (in my example) four that have subtitles. We’ll say that 2017 is over and for 2018, we go with SpecterFits 13-24 and add the extra four events that no longer are subtitles but actually named events. So, Fitacular with either be Fitacular 2 or Fitacular 2018. The idea would be to grow the SpecterFit events to keep people moving and getting fit. Interesting?

Anyway, SpecterFit 1: Origin will be from January 1, 2017 to January 31, 2017 and I’ve mentioned that you can get a badge for participating in the event, but you can also get badges for accomplishing your goals. An example of this would be:Origin_Badge

Is this the actual badge for walking? It could be… I’m working on concepts and I whipped this one up in order to show you what kind of badge designs I was toying with. The SpecterFit 1: Origin badge will have a unique design and can only be earned by participating in the event. In fact, all SpecterFit events will have a unique badge.

So, I need some feedback. What kinds of badges do you want? Weight lifted? Walking? Running? I can make all of those, and they will be progressive (win it the first time, it’s bronze, second time it’s silver, third time it’s gold, for example). Those three will be created, and probably flights climbed will be in there for the stair steppers… so, what else do you want to see? Post the ideas in the new SpecterFit forum.

Get fit.

SpecterFit 41: Cardio

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If you’re paying attention, SpecterFit 41 has skipped a week and now I’m setting a precedent of only having three columns per month… or perhaps, one column short of the full month. Time will tell, but I say all that to say it’s time to talk about the next step of getting fit and moving forward: cardio.

The myth about cardio is that you have to run. Bullshit. Running, while a cardiovascular activity, is not the only method of cardio. In fact, as long as you’re doing something that gets your heart rate up for over 20 minutes counts as cardio. If that is dancing, running, walking, karate, parkour, or whatever, as long as the heart rate is up for at least 20 minutes, you’ve attained cardio goodness.

End of column.

Okay, just kidding.

Nothing you do with your health, short of the eating portion, will be highly effective without cardio. None of your workouts should be considered complete without cardio. Hell, you should both start and end your workout sessions with cardio, something I used to do a lot and now almost never do. Yes, do as I say and not as I do because I’m about to start doing these things again to make my point.

Oh, and I’m 306 as I write this. You’re hopefully starting to notice the downward trend in the number, even though that number isn’t rocketing to the bottom of the scale as fast as everyone would like to see. Why don’t I show you something?HealthBar

This is a screenshot of my actual Health Kit from my iPhone today. I weigh myself every day, which doesn’t mean you should also do this, but because I do I get to observe trends in how I lose weight over long periods of time. Note: there is almost no cardio at all in this trend here, I posted this to show you a little something to talk about before returning to cardio.

My weight does this when I’m losing weight. I’ll have a few “peaks and valleys,” then I’ll have a stiff dip before a slight rise and the peaks and valleys will return. All of this happens on the downward trend.

I can tell you which days I didn’t eat like I should have been eating. You’d think all of those would be the peaks but they aren’t. The body needs a random, unhealthy meal now and again to jump start things. The last unhealthy meal I had on this chart is the third to last dot. Before that, the last peak before the big valley was a cheat meal day. I concentrated on walking a higher number of steps each of the days afterwards and despite my best efforts, the weight will rebound every time before a new trend begins.

Let me get off on a slight tangent.

The experts in fitness say you shouldn’t weight yourself every day. I ignore those experts because I realize that no matter how hard I try, unless I stop eating entirely, I’m going to have peaks and valleys. I weigh myself every day in order to establish these patterns and trends so I can use them to my advantage. When is the next time I should have a cheat meal to keep moving in the right direction? If you look at my chart, you’ll see when I start coming out of that big valley because it will help reestablish the next trend. After today’s dot, I should see another downward slide for a few days before a rebound will occur and I should consider another cheat meal.

I am not discouraged by weight gain because I know that what you see above will happen all the time. If you can understand that about yourself, then you should weigh yourself daily, too. I weigh myself before I eat, drink, shower… I want to get out of bed, hop on the scale, and get my number. If you get into that habit, watch the trends, and you can start moving in the right direction, too.

Thus endeth my tangent.

My knees aren’t in the best shape in the world. I use walking as my primary source of cardio because at my current weight, running just isn’t plausible. I don’t really do a lot of dancing, I don’t want to do aerobics in my living room, and that leaves walking. When I walk, I try to walk to get my heart rate up (and I usually succeed). If you’re bigger, walking is your key to jump start your cardio.

Way back when I started my initial weight loss, I was 328 pounds and I used FitBit to track my steps, weight loss, and caloric intake. Now that I know how to eat, I don’t need to watch my calories so much. I use Argus as my step counter now, and FitBit doesn’t work with Apple’s Health Kit, so I don’t use FitBit nearly as much as I used to… and my goal for steps each day is a minimum of 7,000. Ideally, I’d get at least 10,000 but I’m satisfied with 7,000 per day. The last three days I’ve gotten 8,000+, though I can tell you I’ll have less than that today (unless I go for a walk). I’m wanting to walk because I want the trend to return and cardio helps that.

Cardio gets the blood pumping and gets your body burning calories because your metabolism is heightened. If you want to lose weight, diet is import (diet, not A diet, but your lifestyle of eating), but cardio is second in line. Get moving. Walk a few steps every day. Set yourself a goal and beat that goal. Get more steps. Set a new goal. Beat that goal. Keep moving. You’ll melt off the weight without killing any part of your body. If you sit around on the couch all the time, you aren’t getting cardio done. Cardio is an important key.

I’ll talk more about fitness (and cardio) next time. Hopefully I’ve inspired you to get up and walk. Start with 5,000 step goals and move upward from that. Don’t try to go from 5,000 to 10,000, but at least start with 5,000 and beat that consistently before moving up 1,000-1,500 steps. You’ll love the results.

Get fit.

SpecterFit 40: A Look At Calories

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Welcome back to SpecterFit, the 40th Edition. This is the first edition where I’m going to state that the “weekly” part of this column may not always mean that there will be a column every week. Having said that, though, I’ll be putting together as many of these without a break as I can because I’d like to have a weekly column rather than a sporadic one.

This will also be the first column I don’t drone on about SpecterFit 1.

There is a lot of people who will look at a food, or even go so far as to look at the nutritional information, and think that what they’re eating isn’t that many calories. Well, more often than not, those people are wrong and more often than not, those people are overeating in a big way.

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The image above is what 200 calories looks like, depending on the food in question. If you click on the image, you’ll get a fuller sized image to look at but why I wanted to include this was to give you an idea what 200 calories, JUST 200 calories, looks like. You can see the tiny burger, the Hersey’s Kisses, the M&Ms, and french fries… compare that to what I’m actively choosing as snacks for myself (the broccoli, for example). If you haven’t eaten three eggs, that’s a lot of eggs. What about the overflowing plate full of celery.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I have a healthy thousand island I dip my broccoli into, and that means I don’t gob the stuff on the broccoli, either. I lightly dip the broccoli, just enough to make it “wet.” I’d do the same if I ate celery on a regular basis. I’m a person with a healthy bent on what I eat (most of the time), so I need help with the portion control. A picture like this helps.

Am I still talking about food?

If you look back at my columns, I give a percentage of kitchen to working out… that percentage is where weight loss comes from, and I’ve probably even used different percentages for that illustration. The point is, you’re going to be far more effective at losing weight using your kitchen than you are lifting weights, running, or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, those things will definitely help, but if you’re running five miles a day but eating terribly, you’ll only lose as long as you’re still running. Change your eating habits, you’ll continue to lose weight as long as you don’t stray from your habits.

This is a shorter column, one that will probably be the last talking about food for a while. I wanted to stay on the subject before moving on but you should never forget that the kitchen is the place where weight loss occurs most, not the gym. Be active, but eat better.

Get fit.

SpecterFit 39: Drinking the Calories

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There is a deep meaning to the title of this one as I want to address several things that most people do not pay attention to, so I wanted to concentrate on food once again as we enter into the 39th Edition of SpecterFit Weekly.

The title is the concentration here: drinking the calories. When you read that, what immediately comes to mind? Alcohol? Sugary drinks? Sodas? Orange juice? Lemonade? Some combination of them?

I am actually referring to all of that. Unless you are a highly active individual (working out six to seven times a week, once or twice a day, etc), then drinking calories is a stupid, stupid thing to do. A can of Coke is about 140 calories per can, to say nothing of the sugar that the soda is made out of being a terrible choice. That is 140 calories less that you shouldn’t be eating if you’re trying to lose weight.

Juices that are from concentrate are also terrible to be drinking, from a “get healthy” standpoint. If you think that Kool-Aid, Hawaiian Punch, Gatorade, or anything like that are better, you’re probably reading this blog at the right time. While Gatorade is better than the rest of what I mentioned, water is the beverage you should be partaking in the most. If you’re drinking sugary drinks, then you’re drinking calories that you need to eliminate from what you are eating.

Have an app or a website that tells you how many calories you need to stay under in order to lose weight? Well, if you look at what the calorie count is (let’s just use 2000 per day as a good, even number) then if you drink three cans of Coke a day, that’s 420 calories already off the top of your 2000, leaving you only 1580 calories left for your day. Eat a Big Mac with one of those Cokes and you’re looking at only about 1000 calories left to eat for a day… that’s JUST the Coke (can) and a Big Mac. If you eat the french fries, or alter the size of your Coke (to be a large fountain version), then you’re looking at far less calories for the rest of the day.

Stop making terrible choices.

We also don’t need to calorie count, if you’re eating smart. But there is another bane to weight loss, getting fit, that no one pays attention to that contains boat loads of calories (and empty calories, at that): alcohol.

A can of beer (I’ve chosen Bud Light) contains 110 calories. If you can drink just one, that isn’t so bad, but I don’t personally know anyone that doesn’t have at least four, putting them at 440 calories. At a bar, the glass is bigger than a can, so that means you’re drinking more than 110 calories. There isn’t anything beneficial in those calories, either. They’re wasted, intoxicate you so you don’t really want to be active, and generally cause you to want to drink more (so, you can literally drink your entire caloric intake in our example above in a single drinking event).

That’s insane. Why drink your calories?

Water is what you should focus on when you’re drinking liquids. Sure, the occasional drink isn’t harmful, but in places where the weather makes working out and being fit prohibitive, drinking tends to be the extracurricular event of choice. This is a reason I chose to move somewhere the weather is nice 90% of the time.

Drinking calories is never a smart choice, but if you’re going to drink them, at least make them nutritional. Drop the soda. If you point back to my last column and say “but you drink sodas,” you missed my point in that column. I drink them occasionally, and then only the diet variety. I’m conscious of how many calories I’ve drank and monitor myself to keep the calories for the day at a somewhat reasonable level. I don’t drink my calories. If you can’t also do this, then you shouldn’t be trying to justify your bad behavior.

There’s another thing I’d like to tangent on for just a brief moment. If you point to someone else’s bad behavior as justification for your own, you aren’t making a solid case… you’re making excuses. This blog is about getting fit and getting rid of excuses. One person’s terrible choices are not a justification for you to make terrible choices. Let that other person lounge in their squalor and rise above it. Thus endeth the sermon.

Fruit juices, especially the kind you squeeze yourself from that actual fruit, are the best non-water options you have. In fact, if you’re eating right, the sweetness of (for instance) a strawberry should actually be a little too sweet. I once found strawberries a little on the sweet side, meaning that my sugar intake was exactly where it should have been… and I was happy about that. I’m working back towards that. Water is still better, though.

The whole reason for what I wrote here was to get you thinking about the crap you’re putting into your body. If your body is a temple and you shovel chips, beer, and sugar in by the handful, then your temple is definitely in a state of disrepair. Why be broken down when all it takes is a little self control?

SpecterFit 1 will have badges, as I’ve mentioned last week. In the next month or two, I’ll reveal what those badges will look like but I wanted to mention them again because EmeraldSpecter.com is the place that will hold which badges you’ve “officially” won. I’d like to personally see some participation and that’s why I’m choosing to keep the official records here. I’m doing this in the hopes I can feature someone in future SpecterFit events.

Speaking of future SpecterFit events, I’d like to hint that the February event will be another SpecterFit title event… yes, SpecterFit 2 will be February 2017 and there will be a chance to earn another event specific badge, possibly even two. There may also be a “title” to the event, like something catchy to reference (i.e. SpecterFit 1: Genesis). Time will tell and look to this column to hear the announcements.

Get fit.

SpecterFit Weekly 38: The Beginning

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Welcome to the new and improved “Fitness Specter,” now known as SpecterFit. The numbering remains, but the the focus is now on solid and consistent improvement. SpecterFit Weekly is going to be about motivation, tips, tricks, and ideas to help get yourself fit. Welcome to the 38th Edition.

As stated in Fitness Specter 37, there is a SpecterFit event on the horizon. SpecterFit 1 is slated for January 2017 (the whole month) for you to accomplish a fitness goal that you, yourself set. In addition to this fitness goal (which will earn you a medal if you complete the challenge), you can participate in the SpecterFit 1 event medal: StepMaster. This is a medal that will be specialized and will be unique to this event. So, if you’re keeping score, you can earn two medals in January 2017. Medal designs will be revealed later this year, but prior to the event itself.

Now, on to the column…

I’ve written about this before but I need to reiterate the point because of just how important the point is: 75% of your weight goals can be achieved by doing nothing more than eating correctly. If you eat right, you’ll lose weight. Fitness isn’t just about losing weight but for those of us (myself included) who are looking to lose weight while getting fit, this is an important factor. Thus, diet is important.

Not a diet. Diet. The act of eating correctly. The act of changing your lifestyle. Sustainable weight loss is only achievable through lifestyle change.

Have you tried jumping on fad diets and seeing success, only to regain all that weight once you’re off the diet? Cutting out certain foods to lose weight means you can’t go back to those foods (at least not in a regular basis situation). Atkins, for instance, puts the body into ketosis by eliminating most carbohydrates from your meals… which works, no doubt about it. However, if you want to keep that weight off, you can’t just jump back into the carbs when you’re at your target weight. You have to avoid those carbs forever.

Lose 50 pounds by avoiding McDonalds for a year? Awesome. If you go right back to eating McDonalds on a regular basis again you’ll just gain the weight back. Juice diet to lose 15 pounds? Once you return to solids you’ll gain the weight back.

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Most people out there are kidding themselves into believing that this or that diet will work and keep them lighter. They’re insane. Stop thinking that you only have to fast, juice, or cleanse for a little while to get those pounds off… its a bandaid for the bigger problem that is your food choices (and portions).

There’s another point I’d like to touch on: cleansing. So many diets talk about “cleansing” and about getting rid of the ick in the body in preparation for an actual diet. Most of these are paid programs you have to sink cash into in order to even know what to do to cleanse in the first place. Cleansing does nothing for you (long term) unless you always “cleanse.” It’s ridiculous to believe that drinking a special juice for a couple of weeks will rid your body of the bad you’ve been inflicting upon it for years.

Bodybuilders are the smartest nutrition and diet specialists on the planet, yet most of the world makes fun of them for being stupid because they have muscles. Think about what they do, every day, every week, and every year to obtain all those muscles. There is food preparation that happens, portion control, they closely monitor what they eat, they work out specific muscles in specific groups to grow them in specific sizes. The foods they eat contain no unnatural substances, they are low in the wrong kinds of fats, there is very little “sugar” in them, and they avoid condiments that will add calories because of the very same things they are avoiding in actual foods. How many bodybuilders eat high fructose corn syrup on a daily basis? I’d say that the answer would be “none.” Bodybuilders know you need a “cheat” meal now and then, but they are disciplined, very meticulous, and they are smart about what they eat.

Now who’s the meathead? The bodybuilder competing at the highest level of “human sculpting” or your fat ass?

Nutrition starts in the kitchen. Stop eating steak six days a week. Stop eating processed ketchup with your “potato side.” Stop eating the “potato side” more than once a week. Stop eating junk food. Stop binging on the couch with that bag of chips. Stop eating dessert as if it were a separate meal. Stop drinking soda (regular OR diet).

Start eating vegetables… lots of vegetables. Start eating fruits (fresh, not the canned stuff). Start eating super foods like almonds, fish, and chicken. Start drinking water, regularly, and with the intent of making sure you stay hydrated. Start snacking with portion control in mind and with foods that are healthier than what you’ve been eating.

I’d like to finish this column off with a little anecdote about me, personally.

In 2013, my wife and I started to completely change our diet and start moving because I woke up one day and literally told myself I’m tired of being fat. I started at 328 pounds (the morning I made that statement) and lost a total of 91 pounds by walking, eating better, and lifting weights. I got all the way down to 237 pounds. Then life hit me with some hard challenges and things started to slide.

First, I stopped going to the gym on a regular basis (from six days a week to once or twice). Next, food stopped being as accessible (we were prepping for a move, so meals became a lot more about convenience and less about nutrition). The weather hit and so that took out my primary source of exercise: walking. Once we moved in 2015, we were in a place where food (although tons healthier) is in abundance, so I ate myself back up to 322.

As of the morning I write this column I am 309, which is a steady decline for the past two months of not snacking uncontrollably, allowing my wife to prepare the meals we know are healthier for us, and making sure I’m walking as often as I can as far as I can.

That’s where SpecterFit comes in. When WAFFLE was in full swing, I was working out and losing weight like a madman. I had goals to shoot for, I could “train” to conquer my challenges and advance. Without that, I’m just sort of gliding through this weight loss journey without a clear goal of anything other than losing weight.

My progress starts in the kitchen, though. The very beginning is the kitchen.

I don’t have HFCS in our kitchen at all. I don’t drink sodas more than a couple times a week, and only then with the diet variety to eliminate the HFCS in the regular ones. If there is a soda made with real sugar instead, I’d definitely choose that over the HFCS variety. I eat chicken nearly every meal, and as a result, my wife and I have found plenty of recipes that allow us to mix things up with the tastes so we don’t enter a meal going “dear lord, chicken again?”

Where can you find most of the recipes? My wife’s site: food.madebytricia.com. If we eat it, it’s up there. We don’t post stuff we don’t like and everything we make eliminates a bunch processed and “bad for you” ingredients.

Shop smarter, cook smarter, lose weight, get healthy.

I started ramping up my walking in the last couple of months and the weight is slowly coming off. I am plotting a 4 to 5 mile walk daily soon, to a course near where I live and back. When my weight gets down to a better and more healthy level, I’ll start poking around for gyms in my area. The home workouts will begin well before that but my size makes working out (at the moment) difficult. That won’t be a problem soon.

Check back for more information on SpecterFit 1, the next SpecterFit Weekly, and motivation and support for attaining your own healthy goals.

Get fit.

Fitness Specter 37: The Dawn of the New Age

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This is a different Fitness Specter, this is a new age. I’m here to let you know a little history, that changes are on the horizon, and that this is the move towards the future.

In 2014, I founded an organization called WAFFLE. The “pun” acronym stands for World Association of Fitness Fanatics Love Exercise and it was designed to be the “UFC of self improvement.” The logo was this:

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The idea was that you signed up for a fitness goal (conquer a certain number of steps, run a mile in a certain time, walk up a certain number of flights of stairs, etc) and you’d get a “win.” There were weight classes, championships were on the horizon, and everyone was on an even playing field… leading to eventual “person vs person” competitions, all promoting the health of everyone involved.

Due to popular request, I was busy creating “term events” that would last longer (a month, a week, etc) and would reflect an “iron man” style event… becoming WAFFLE Iron… yes, another pun. There were 4 events (all WAFFLE events) with a 5th on the horizon… and the beginnings of a WAFFLE Iron event…

What happened? Well, that’s the funny thing. There were two regulars competing with WAFFLE events: myself and my wife. We added two friends to the mix, and they both competed exactly once before there formed a rift. One of them moved. The other said something that can only be called stupid, and then there was work that started to get unruly. The WAFFLE events were going to be continued but as with my own personal fitness, things started to slide because of moving across the country and work stress.

The biggest problems with WAFFLE, at least from the perspective of recruiting, were multiple. No one wanted their weight out there in the open (the weight classes had a range, they weren’t exact… but there was a roof and using that roof you could guess about how heavy someone was). The idea of “competing” against a goal in a single, specific day became difficult for some to participate in (and thus making competing at all something they couldn’t do on those specific days). The joke title seemed to create animosity for the endeavor, thus making participating in WAFFLE something to be avoided. Those were the major reasons, and those were the reasons that I let WAFFLE lapse… intending to restart the organization again but then I started to think about other things.

That leads me into the writing of Fitness Specter, of which you are reading the 37th edition, that has been my “here’s what I’ve done, here’s ideas for you” style column. I will not be dropping the writing of the column, but the column will be changing slightly. Let me not let the cat out of the bag, just yet.

It’s no secret that I’ve gotten into the UFC. I’m a long time (former) professional wrestling fan and since that form of entertainment has been leaving me behind (as each generation gets left behind by the “new shiny” version that follows it) I started looking to “real sports” as an outlet. I followed boxing for a long time, too, but because the fights started getting less interesting while the “belt” of the trunks kept rising (I believe it is currently just under the nipple), I needed something else. From a personal tragedy, I started watching the UFC and started enjoying it…

The UFC has the storylines like the WWE, but they’re less manufactured. The WWE held pay per views to “end the storyline” in my day, and because the UFC doesn’t have that many rematches, that is essentially what happens when a UFC event ends. The parallels are there and I, as a wrestling fan only, didn’t see the close connection. As a UFC fan, no longer a WWE fan, I absolutely see the parallels and also see that the UFC is doing a better job of what the WWE has been doing for decades. I like the UFC and the presentation. I wanted to do something that had that style of showmanship.

Thus I created WAFFLE. WAFFLE is dead, though, but I still want to pair fitness with an event like atmosphere. Since I’m already writing a fitness column, I’d like to roll everything into one…

I’m now officially announcing SpecterFit. Instead of a pun acronym and joke aura, I’m creating the same vibe without the tight restrictions but still promoting fitness in a semi-competitive manner. As an extension of the column, which will also take the name SpecterFit (numbering to continue from this point on), the events will be entire months in length and be goals for personal improvement rather than  promoting a competitive atmosphere.

Starting with the next column, you will be reading SpecterFit 38. I’m intending to write a weekly column again, but I won’t rope myself into stating the exact date that will start. I will rope myself into announcing the first event of the SpecterFit series: January 2017.

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To participate in SpecterFit 1, all you need to do is email a personal goal to emeraldspecter (dot) com (at) gmail (dot) com. The goal can be a step count in a day, week, or month. The goal can be running a distance in a day, week, or month. The goal can be lifting a certain amount of weight, biking, climbing flights of stairs, in a day, week, or month. What will accomplishing this goal get you? Badges. Instead of championships, instead of weight classes, you’ll earn badges. The most important part of what you’ll get is healthy. Lose weight, get fit, join others.

SpecterFit is a revolution. SpecterFit seeks to glamorize fitness, health, and nutrition, and the column will reinforce the lessons I’ve learned that I can pass along to everyone else out there. SpecterFit the event will help you accomplish and set goals, along with others who will achieve their own milestones. Interested in learning more? Email me, I’ll tell you about it

Win.