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Updated: Dec 23, 2020


Point #1 - Net Calories

Over the next 16 posts I will give an outline for THE FITNESS LIFESTYLE MASTERPLAN. I will start with net calories even though all 16 points work together synergistically and are equally important. Though some points may achieve aspects of fitness, for an overarching lifestyle of health, ideal body composition and anti-aging you can not take any point out of context from the 16 point approach as a whole.

Basically, net calories are the amount of calories a person needs to consume on non-exercise or in other words - on regular activity days. All activity over the baseline of regular activity days needs to be eaten as additional calories.

How to calculate your net calorie for fat-loss:

Older person / Sedentary person: 7-9 calories per pound per day

Average activity level - 10-11 calories per pound per day

Fitness level - 11-13 calories per pound per day

Athletic level - 13-16 calories per pound per day

Example: Joe is a 180 pound, 48 year old software engineer and sits 8 hours per day. He goes to the gym 3 times per week to do some weigh lifting and 20-minutes of cardio. This would probably put Joe into the category of average level. However, because he sits 8 hours a day his metabolism is negatively stimulated so his calculation would most likely fall on the lower end of average = 10 calories per pound per day.

Joe's initial calculation for fat-loss: 180 pounds x 10 = 1800-400 (calorie deficit) = 1400 net calories per day.

1400 kcal is what I would recommend for Joe as his daily net calorie. What does that mean? That means that if Joe wants to lose fat, on a day where he does regular activity, he would eat 1400 kcal. If he burns 200 calories from cardio and 100 calories from weight lifting Joe has a total added calorie burn of 300 kcal. On this day, as an example, he MUST eat 1700 in order to not end up in starvation mode and in order to stimulate his metabolism to BURN FAT instead of reducing muscle.


Women should aim to not go below 1000-1200 calories net per day. Men should aim to not go below 1400-1600 net calories per day. Starvation/famine mode begins below these ranges and results in fat storage and muscle loss.

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Point #2 - The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) concept was introduced by Jenkins et al. (1981) in the early 1980s as a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their immediate impact on blood glucose levels.

There is a two-fold reason why GI is so powerful for both fat-loss and anti-aging.

First, by consuming lower GI foods we release insulin slower and to a lesser degree. This is important because the less insulin that is in our system, the less of a message the body will receive to store fat. Among other things, Insulin is a hormone. Hormones are messengers. One of the messages that insulin conveys is: Store Fat!

Secondly, by having less insulin in our system, we have more room remaining for fitness hormones and their effects. The effects of certain fitness hormes is fat mobilization and muscle enhancement and anabolism.

One of the main fitness hormones that can be optimized with reduced insulin levels is Growth Hormone (GH). GH can enhance muscle development, improve skin texture, heal damaged tissue, add energy and mobilize fat. GH and other fitness hormones are literally our internal fountain of youth. Women in menopause and post-menopause can reap amazing benefits as much of estrogen's protective attributes can be replaced by GH. I will speak more of GH in upcoming FITNESS LIFESTYLE MASTERPLAN blogs. But for now it's important to note that eating low glycemic foods is a key to getting the most out of our hormonal health.

What does it mean to eat low glycemic? You want to eat foods that are 55 or below in the GI chart. Here is a great resource:

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Point #3 - Activity Calories

There is a magic number where the metabolism kicks into a higher gear for fat-loss and vitality.

That number is 2000 calories of activity over and above your baseline of movement (this varies from person to person). Actually, the ideal range of calories from added movement over the course of a week is between 2000-3000 kcal.

Anything under 2000 usually isn't enough for consistent fat-loss and anything over 3000 has a margin of error built in and might also be an unnecessary strain on the body, which releases stress hormones that store fat. So the ideal range is between 2000-3000 kcal per week. This range of calorie expenditure should be divided between low intensity and high intensity movements, such as power fitness training.

This measure is also a valid gauge for longevity and overall health practices that slow the aging process. According to centenarian studies in cultures where it is more common to live past 100 years of age, activity levels are consistent and range within 2000-3000 calories. Centenarians who live in blue zones around the planet, zones of high longevity, seem to be consistently active, walking more, gardening and in the case of Sardinia, walking for miles a day herding sheep. The key to a longer life seems to lie in the micro-circulation. And although other factors contribute, consistent exercise and movement are undoubtedly an important factor.

Just to hit the minimum daily suggestion comes to 285 calories per day. This is about 2.85 miles walked per day....very reasonable at only about 45 minutes. However, this 45 minutes should be divided throughout the day for even greater benefit.

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Point #4 - 60/40 Rule

We've all heard the aphorism: "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."

This saying has been in existence for a very long time and for very good reason. There is wisdom in the old ways. Unfortunately, the demands of modern society along with technology have altered our sense of healthful patterns of behavior when it comes to eating. Most people love to starve themselves throughout the day in order to pack it in at night. I get it. That's my comfort pattern as well....I am, after all, a child of the modern age. So what is the good reason to have your smallest meal at night?

The main reason is hormonal. The 60/40 rules refers to eating 60% or less of your daily intake before 4 pm and 40% after 4 pm - unless you work overnight shifts, then you have to flip your times.

Just as an example, let's say your daily intake (important: Read point #1 for more info on net calories) is 1500 calories. That means you should eat 900 or more calories before 4 pm and 600 or less calories after 4 pm. Don't worry you won't starve! Even 40% is still substantial enough to keep you satisfied.

By reducing caloric intake after 4 pm you will have a slightly reduced blood sugar level by bedtime and this results in a better condition for the utilization of growth hormone while you sleep. Sleeping is one of the best times of the day to take advantage of the benefits of growth hormone, leading to reduced body fat, more toned muscles and protein utilization that enhances all physical healing.

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Point #5 - Power Fitness / Strength Training

Now that you understand the benefits reaped at the 2-3000 kcal range of movement/activity (if not, please read point #3), it's time to get more specific on my suggestion for "quality" of movement.

Think of it as "CREATING THE DEMAND." When you sit for prolonged periods you are actually creating a demand. You are demanding that your body shut down systems that are required for greater energy output and physical strength. The body is ALWAYS trying to adapt to whatever circumstance you put it into. If we put the body into a circumstance where greater energy output is required in a short period of time, it will adapt to this as well. That is the definition of Power Fitness...generating high levels of physical energy in concentrated periods of time. What this does is tap into deeper muscle fibers increasing strength while building cardiovascular capacities so that VO2 max increases. Increased VO2 max is the body's enhanced ability to absorb oxygen. The metabolism and micro-circulation functions better when the body utilizes oxygen more easily. And fat is more easily mobilized with improved oxygen consumption.

Micro-circulation is the body's ability to transport nutrients all the way down to the cell. It is literally our life force. Studies have shown that people in "blue zones" around the planet who live beyond age 100 have totally efficient micro-circulation.

As we age, Power Fitness training becomes even more important than cardio or strength training. With age power diminishes even before strength. However, with power training strength is enhanced as well! It is recommended to do 2-4 power fitness workouts per week, depending on your ability to recover.

Total body Power Fitness training is the key to enhancing metabolism and micro-circulation. The Circuit of Life routine is a good example of Power Fitness training. For information on The Circuit of Life, please refer back to my posts on The Circuit of Life, starting November 24th.

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Point #6 - No Grain Type Carbs after 4 pm

Now that you understand the glycemic index (if not, read point #2), you know what types of carbohydrates will be more beneficial for building health and minimizing body fat storage signals.

Let's take it one step further. If you want to lose body fat, refrain from grain-type carbs after 4 pm. This means even though you can eat sprouted grain products, quinoa, whole grains and amaranth, you should only eat these foods before 4 pm. After 4 pm you can still have vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts etc. So you can get creative! For example, after 4 pm you can still have pizza but it will have to be cauliflower pizza. You can still have pasta but it will have to be some form of bean pasta. You can still eat avocados so if you want a luxurious chocolate pudding, you can still make chocolate avocado shakes or puddings AND put whipped cream on them.

Never deprive yourself! There are always options.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE HORMONES: The reason we cut grain type carbs after 4 pm is so the blood sugar is in a reasonable range for when we sleep. In this way we can get greater benefit from the release of growth hormone as we sleep. Growth hormone mobilizes fat!

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Point #7 - The Problem with Alcohol

Even though alcohol is not high glycemic, I put it into the same fat-increasing category as high glycemic foods. There are multiple reasons for this.

1. In my 23 years (since 1997) of weight-loss coaching I have consistently observed that any alcohol consumption tends to lead to body fat gains in most people.

2. Alcohol consumption leads to an increase in insulin release in many individuals thus the added signaling for the body to store fat.

3. Alcohol is calorie dense with about 7 calories per gram. And in addition, consumption of alcohol leads to the lowering of inhibitions which usually leads to more food calories being consumed; so people who are looking to end up in a calorie deficit might not do so.

4. Research suggests that alcohol can lead to increased periods of wakefulness during sleep cycles. This broken sleep cycle can result in less GH being released for the benefit of fat burning.

5. Long-term alcohol consumption may also have deleterious affects on the brain, nervous system, heart, liver and pancreas. It is also now associates with cancer risk.

Either way you pour it, if you are seeking to lose body fat consistently, alcohol consumption needs to be considered and disciplined.

I do not recommend regular alcohol consumption for health in general. However, observations of centenarian communities show regular moderate alcohol consumption in the form of local wines. It has been determined that these wines are higher in anti-oxidants than commercially available products. IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Centenarians do not typically have low body fat! However, their overarching lifestyle of plentiful physical activity, supportive family and community, locally grown organic food and the presence of a protective protein in their systems are key reasons for their long-life success. The jury is still out on how certain alcohols may not have typically damaging effects when combined with factors such as those existing for people in the 'Blue Zones." Remember: These are people who have excellent micro-circulation! So unless you are confident that you meet all the criteria that Blue Zone centenarians fulfill, I would abstain from imbibing - keep it to special occasions!

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Point #8 - Meditate

Believe it or not, this point and the point about drinking water are the two most challenging points to live by. Why? Because it requires being consistently mindful!....And, taking time out from our already overly busy day, on the surface, does make us happy. But - the results that can be reaped from including both of these practices are well worth it and ultimately can enhance our wellness and happiness.

I think the word meditation has also gotten a bad wrap as something that takes a certain kind of studying to achieve. I'm here to tell you that it is actually the most natural and easy thing to do. Let's call it centering instead!

First rule - there is no perfection. There just IS.

So many things in life are vying for our attention - social media, friends, advertisements, work, our negative thinking etc.

What centering eventually helps us achieve is the ability to call upon the sensation that we have in our centering practice - at will - whenever we are confronted with a decison or if we're psychologically thrown of balance somehow. All we have to do is remember our centering practice - go into that space...what I call THE ANCHOR...and re-boot our approach. If we can associate a sense of peace with our anchor then all of life can eventually be seen from a peaceful perspective.

I go into more detail at the following link:

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Point #9 - Water Consumption

The general rule to follow is:

Minimally, 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day for non-exercisers or on non-exercise days.

On exercise days this should be doubled to 1 ounce per pound of body weight per day.

I know, I know, You don't even come close....I have a challenge with drinking that much water too. However, whenever I do meet the target I notice more consistent energy. I've listed 7 powerful reasons below to hit your 'pure' water consumption each day.

1. Fatigue

Dehydration leads to fatigue and fatigue can be one of the first signs of dehydration. When the body is dehydrated the blood becomes thicker, your blood volume level decreases and your heart has to work harder to circulate oxygen. You may also feel hungrier when all you truly need is more hydration.

2. Mood, Headaches and Brain Function

You can reduce mood swings by upping your water consumption. Dehydration may also cause headaches. The brain shrinks slightly when dehydrated negatively affecting electric signals and communication from it to your body. Think of the brain as a sponge - keep that sponge plump! The brain is a fatty organ and requires plenty of hydration to function properly. You can judge your hydration by the color of your urine. Pale yellow urine means well hydrated and dark yellow signals dehydration.

3. Constipation

If you are not properly hydrated your body will pull water from your stool to make up to maintain hydration. When this happen, you stool becomes more solid and harder to pass. Larger meals require more water consumption.....but not with the meal. Hydrate 1/2 hour before or after a (large) meal.

4. Fat Loss

Water BOOSTS THE METABOLISM increasing the rate at which we burn fat. It also helps break down fat cells more efficiently.

5. Detoxification

We detoxify our bodies through urine, perspiration and the lymphatic system. All these method of detoxification require water! The lymphatic system circulates important bodily fluids and defends against infection. When the lymphatic system is out of balance it can lead to disorders and cancer. You can think of the lymphatic system as the body's drainage system. What flows through the lymphatic system is called lymph fluid and this fluid requires adequate hydration to cleanse the body effectively. When we are dehydrated this system can get clogged and disease may manifest. When we are well hydrated our organ can function with greater ease, helping to BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. Thus, staying well hydrate is a great way to prevent illnesses and infection.

6. Preventing Cramps

Adequate hydration can help your muscles stay elastic and keep your joints lubricated. You are less likely to experience muscle cramping if you work out frequently and stay well hydrated.

7. Healthy and Youthful Skin

Water hydrates the skin by improving blood circulation through tiny capillaries. Plenty of water helps your body fight skin damage as well - antioxidants in your body fight the damage caused by free radical molecules. In order to do this well your body needs adequate hydration. As old skin cells die they are eventually shed. Fresh skin cells that are developing in the epidermis need to be well hydrated for healthy cells to develop. If you want healthier looking skin.....moisturize from within!

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Point #10 - Flour-based Products

We already understand that eating foods which are low-glycemic have great benefits for longevity and fat reduction. Now let's delve deeper into a specific detail, sort of a sub-category of the glycemic index. This is the idea that the more processed a food is, such as ground-down flour from a grain source, the easier it is to break down and thus, simulates a high glycemic index.

You will notice that many grain flour-based products claim to be low-glycemic. And whereas many of them are categorically low-glycemic, if you are looking to reduce body-fat somehow these products stifle results. Remove flour-based products, and certainly all "white" products from your diet and you will notice astounding improvements in fat-loss. Examples of white products are: rice, pasta, regular commercial breads, etc.

Acceptable flour-based products are from nut flours. Ground nut flours have enough oil and protein in them to make them successful low-glycemic options.

Also, sprouted grain breads and products made from sprouted grains are effectively low-glycemic because they are nutrient-dense and have a higher protein content.

Once you have attained your body fat goal you can add in regular grain flour products for maintenance. Certainly, the more active your are, the more your body will maintain it's body composition even with grain flour products.

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Point #11 - Affirmations

If you want to travel from wherever your are to, let's say, Fiji, or if you're already in Fiji (lucky you!) and you want to go to Bristol, U.K., would you make a plan to go to Moscow?

I don't think so. I think if you wanted to go to Fiji or Bristol, you would make plans to go to those places and not elsewhere. Otherwise, you would probably not end up at your chosen destination. This is basically what affirmations are. They are instructions to go in a certain direction.

Affirmations magic! But the first thing to do is get yourself out of the way. Here's a saying that I love: "STOP CHEATING ON YOUR FUTURE WITH YOUR PAST. IT'S OVER." This is the idea that hold us back from having powerful affirmation experiences.

We are drawn to negative thinking and associations that limit our self-belief. So the first step will be to establish your "anchor" in order to turn the volume down on negative thoughts. Please go to point #8 for more information on centering and creating an anchor.

Once you are able to go to your anchor at will, it's time to build your affirmations. It's helpful to post reminders around your home to keep attention on your prize. Pin up pictures, change your screen saver into a visualization tool by using a picture of your goal or a statement that appears every time you turn your computer on. Start a journal and write your statement at the top of each page.....just get creative with your reminders. These will be helpful because many other things will try to take you away from achieving your aim.

Affirmation formatting: An affirmation must be in the present tense, idealistic and must ignite an emotion in you. You MUST have passion behind the words. Ask yourself: Why do I want this? What does it mean to attain this goal? Imagine what your life would be like once you achieve your goal. Also imagine your life if you wouldn't achieve it....connect with emotions! You have to really want it!! Affirmations are not just words. They're emotions represented by BY words. Here is a random example:

"I am extremely strong with endless endurance, mental stamina and clarity."

This example shows the correct format: present tense and idealistic. That affirmation might not push YOUR emotional buttons but they do push mine. Everyone is unique in this way.

Taking it one step further: Add clarity to the affirmation. Get specific about what you want. If you want to go to Fiji, say Fiji and not just a tropical island. Get clear....go there!

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Point #12 - Fueling the Metabolism (Eating Frequently)

There are so many approaches and schools of practice when it comes to eating. Here yet is another one for you. However, these ideas are based on the overarching lifestyle that is presented in the 16 points. These suggestions are mainly for the person who is following my recommendations for exercise and activity - including power fitness training.

The body has built in mechanisms to protect itself from starving the brain. When the body feels a threat of insufficient calories, it is forced to pull energy from muscle instead of body fat, since it takes substantially more energy to maintain the muscle than it does to maintain the fat. Thus, the body insures a consistent source of energy for the brain. It's all about keeping the brain well-fed.

By consuming a full-spectrum of macro-nutrients and calories every 2-3 waking hours, the body develops food security and in turn allows itself to burn fat and build or maintain muscle. When we go more than 5-6 hours without food intake, mini-famine modes can kick in switching metabolic gears toward fat-storage and muscle catabolism.

Fasting is built in to most people's daily routine. By observing the 60/40 rule (point #4) we already have reduced calories after 4 pm. If we are done eating by 7 pm (example), maybe with a small snack a bit later, then we have a naturally built in 11-12 hours where we are fasting overnight before breakfast. This is ample time for the body to rest, digest and heal.

Eat frequently within your net calorie range for more consistent energy, to avoid the exercise blues (low blood sugar) and to increase the metabolism.

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Point #13 - Protein at each meal and snack

You are what you - You are what you metabolize!

A good example is, as an example, if you need to consume 100 grams of protein per day and you ate it all at once, you wouldn't get the full value of the 100 grams because on average we can consume about 30 grams of protein every one to two hours.

Protein contains nitrogen. In protein studies participants who consumed more than 30 grams at a meal had a substantially increased nitrogen content, indicating that the excess protein was not metabolized. It was wasted!

It is suggested to eat anywhere from 1/2 gram - 1 gram per day per pound of body weight. The upper range is for body builders and power fitness athletes.

To be on the safe side of metabolizing protein make protein your first consideration at every mean and snack. Build your meals around your protein choice and you will most likely end up metabolizing and reaping the muscle and health building benefits of protein as opposed to overconsuming at any one meal or snack. As with most things in the world of fitness, consistency is KING AND QUEEN!

For more information and to join the FITNESS LIFESTYLE MASTERPLAN please DM me or go to

Point #14 - Sleep (10 Ideas for Better Sleep)

This is HUGE! We release growth hormone up to three times per night as we sleep. The body also re-builds proteins during the sleep process. Adequate and regular sleep is crucial for fitness. The average range of quality sleep should be anywhere from 7-9 hours. But sleep is an elusive artform, especially as we get older. Do you go to sleep totally tired only to wake up three hours later not able to go back to sleep for a while? It's time to try some things from the following list....

If you have trouble sleeping:

1. Do your workouts earlier in the day in order to not overstimulate the sympathetic nervous system at night.

2. Stick to the 60/40 rule.

3. Do not have grain type carbs after 4 pm. Minimize fruit after 4 pm.

4. Practice "anchor' meditation. This will help you to get your mind off racing thoughts that might come in the middle of the night.

5. Keep your sleeping time regular. The body loves habits and cycles.

6. Increase your bright light exposure during the day. Go for walks outdoors.

7. (As I drink my afternoon cup of coffee!) Don't consume caffeine in the afternoon after 3 pm.

8. Consider the following supplements:

Melatonin, Ginkgo biloba, Glycine, Valerian root, Magnesium, L-theanine, Lavender

9. Don't drink alcohol.

10. Make sure your sleeping room temperature is comfortable.

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Point #15 - Eat More Vegetables (Especially Cruciferous Veggies!)

Reason 1: If you are a Power Fitness exerciser you will want as many anti-inflammation tactics under your belt in addition to doing the Fitness Corrective exercises for musculo-skeletal alignment. Low glycemic, (non-nightshade if allergic), vegetables that are either raw, boiled or steamed contain phyto-nutrients that are very effective anti-oxidants and healing agents. In addition, these veggies help alkalize the body and reduce inflammation. Many major diseases that plague society—including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, arthritis and Alzheimer's—have been linked to 'chronic' inflammation. Eating more vegetables will help enhance your body's ability to reduce inflammation.

Reason 2: Increased vegetable consumption is a great way to increase your hydration, especially if you have trouble consuming the amount of H2O that your body requires each day - which can be quite a bit!

Reason 3: Fiber! Want a flat tummy? Keep things moving along with ensuring that you consume enough fiber. Veggies are the best natural way to do this.....carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, swiss chard, artichokes - and the list goes on.

Reason 4: The longest living cultures typically have a higher concentration of vegetables in their diet even though they do eat some meat. Wanna live longer? Eat more veggies (organic as much as possible). It can make your plate very colorful too! Enjoy....

Reason 5: Vegetables, especially cruciferous veggies, boost metabolism efficiency. 'Nuff said.

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Point #16 - Who's to Say?

Stress is the number one killer. The American Medical Association has noted that stress is the basic cause of more than 60 percent of all human illness and disease. We are all exposed to stressors in life - things that don't go as planned or accidents or challenging circumstances involving other people, for example. Having stress management tools is crucial. The following information is based on an ancient Chinese story. It has helped me vastly to change my perspective of everything. I wrote a poem/song (lyrics below) because it moved me so much and I wanted to have a permanent 'anchor' to this concept of ACCEPTANCE.

Here is a statement from Alan Watts:

“You never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune; or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.”

-Alan Watts

Below my lyrics is a link to an Alan Watts video where he tells the same story in other words and with minor differences. I hope you check that out too. Enjoy! May this bring you a sense of freedom and openness to the wonder of life and the ability to ride that fine line between achieving goals and accepting what "is.".


by Andre Turan

In a distant land, long ago

Lived a wise old man

His horse ran away

Old man worried not

Is it bad the horse ran away?

Old man said: who’s to say?

Three days past

The horse returned

Old man wasn’t phased

Did good fortune come his way?

Old man said: who’s to say?

Sometimes life is just not how it seems

As we all try to find our way

Maybe bad luck can lead to our dreams

Maybe good luck is bad

Who’s to say?

Old man’s son rode the horse for fun

Fell off and broke his legs

Blood was flowing red

Now he’s laid up in bed

The king declared

All men to war!

Many sons were lost that day

But old man’s boy got to stay

Yeah, you know: who’s to say?

Maybe if we just do what we can

As we all go about our day

Sometimes bad luck is a better plan

Maybe good luck is bad

Who’s to say?


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