Day 2071 “My Arms are Tired” Edition

I lifted a lot today.
It’s hard to type. My arms are tired. The Rock is a jerk. I’ll explain in a minute.

Breakfast: I kept it simple (and ordinary) and had a waffle with peanut butter. 9 points

IMG_1004Lunch: I had to make a TJ’s run for work so I went ahead and picked up my favorite frozen meal…well…only second to Amy’s Enchilada Verde. SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD!!!!! Anyway, lunch was only 9 points. Yerm!

Pre-workout snack: I had a piece of Dave’s Killer Bread with peanut butter and raspberry spread. 7 points. 




Yeah…I have some work to do.

Workout: The other night, Megan showed me this crazy blog where this guy named Mark C. Webster challenged himself to not only eat like The Rock but work out like The Rock for 30 days back in February. While The Rock’s meal plan is flat our koo koo bananas, his workout plan is pretty awesome! Tonight, I decided to start his workout plan. I’m not going to make a challenge out of it or anything but I think it’s a good way to kick start my weight lifting regimen. Tonight, I did his chest workout which was brutal. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and then started to lift. I am pretty wiped. Anyway, my Underoath Pandora station got me through it. Thanks, band that got me through my teenage angst!

FullSizeRender (1)Dinner: Have I mentioned that my wife was a culinary magician? Tonight, Megan transformed a 39 cent box of mac n cheese into something that would make any hipster restaurant incredibly jealous. Thanks to the magic of Tillamook Cheddar, bacon, panko bread crumbs, pickled jalapenos, and love, Megan made one killer batch of mac n cheese. It was soul foodtastic. Yep, my wife is a stud. (Oh yeah, I had some pineapple juice too.) 31 points. 

So today I had about 55 points. Not too shabby! Overall, I’m feeling pretty good about the week. I have surpassed my Fitbit goal every day so far and I’m drinking my share of water. It’s been kind of a hard week having this blog as my #framework has really kept me on track. See ya tomorrow.



The FFK’s Official Review of the Mizuno Wave Rider 18

MizunoThis post is sponsored by Mizuno and Fitfluential, but the FFK tells it like it is. All opinions are my own.
Here at the FFK, I don’t review as many products as I would like. Usually because when I apply to review something like a new running water bottle or accordion, I usually get passed over, (much to the chagrin of my accordion instructor). So when I first found out that I was selected to field test a pair of the brand spankin’ new Mizuno Wave Rider 18’s, I was thrilled!

One day after work, Santa Shoes had dropped off my new pair of running shoes. The first thing I noticed…they were orange and blue. AKA UF colors. At first (he said facetiously) I wasn’t sure I would be able to wear the color combo that has clothed the likes of other loser athletes like Tim Tebow and Ryan Lochte. HOW WOULD I LIVE WITH MYSELF?

Then…I tried them on. It was like wearing pillows downed with angel feathers and puppy fur. The Wave Riders not only felt good, they helped me gain about an inch in height. Oh yeah, they’re light too. I mean, help you levitate on the pavement light. As soon as I laced them up, I was ready to pound the pavement and break them in!

While I do have some issues with pronation, I knew that the Wave Rider is a neutral so I was curious to see if I was going to have any issues when I ran. In that regard, I could feel a difference between them and my other running shoes but it actually helped my running stride!


With my old shoes, I would feel everything I ran over, from rocks to the cracks on the concrete (but I usually try to avoid those because I don’t want to break my mama’s back). The cushioned bottom creates a tire-like layer of protection between the food and the ground. Simply put, it is what other “shock absorbent” shoes try to be.

When I’m shopping for a shoe, I want something that will work for me. Meaning I want the shoe’s output to enhance my running ability. Running on asphalt is almost effortless with the Wave Rider 18. While your foot is securely in place in the shoe, your foot flows flawlessly with your stride.

You really feel the output of the shoe when you run uphill. Here in Tallahassee, it always feels like you’re running uphill no matter what. I was immediately navigate up the concrete mountain with no problem thanks to the design of the shoe. Usually after a long (5+ miles) run on that many shifts in elevation, my ankles and feet would start to ache, but the supportive design addressed that. In fact, I was ready to tack on a few more miles!

So fresh and so clean...

So fresh and so clean…

So my final thoughts on the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 are pretty simple. For $119, they are the perfect road shoe. I say road shoe because I need a shoe with that little more grip and traction on trails.  I’ve never owned a pair of Mizuno’s (except for a pair of Mizuno baseball cleats in Little League) but I can’t wait to check out the rest of their line of shoes! Especially for trail shoes!


Want to learn more about the Wave Rider 18? Click here!


Day 50: French Cooking and Other Awesomeness

The Amy’s Baking Company episode of Kitchen Nightmares. Wow.
I know that I’m a year late, but still…it’s awkwardly magical.

Anyway, let’s talk about food and stuff!

So this weekend was our sixth anniversary. Not only have I been incredibly blessed to be married to my best friend, I have had the best supporter and encourager in the entire world. Megan MacDonald, you are the cat’s pajamas. I love you.

After six years of wedded bliss, we have taken up cooking as couple. It has been quite the delicious pastime. So when we were trying to decide on how to celebrate, went decided to try to tackle the holy grail of cooking: Boeuf Bourguignon from Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking with a dessert of crème brûlée. Now, we knew this wasn’t going to be an easy feat. In fact, it was going to be a six-hour ordeal. But we knew that it was going to be totally worth it. And holy Moses, it was. Think about the most tender roast beef, add a richly delicious wine sauce along with carrots and pearl onions and you’ll have a a pretty good idea of it. Oh yeah, and the crème brûlée tasted like angel’s wings.

Here are just a few photos of the awesomeness!
image_3 image_1 So tomorrow, I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled blogging! That is, UNTIL FITBLOGGIN’ THIS WEEKEND!!!! AAAAAHHHHHHHHH I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!

See ya tomorrow.

Trying to Get it All Aligned

“When the mooooooooooooon is in the seventh house
and Jupiterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr lines with Mars…

Wait…that’s not what I mean…

You hear it all the time “get fit in the gym, lose weight in the kitchen.” While I have fought with this notion for a long time, I’ve seen how true it really is through out my weight loss journey. With that, it’s been easy to have one component of that statement down and have the other one completely lopsided.When I lost my first 100 pounds, my eating was at the forefront of this journey. Sure I worked out, but making smart decisions helped peel off the weight. Some time after that, I lost sight of that. I got caught up in the fitness side a little too much and it seemed to throw me off because I didn’t know how to refuel properly with my eating. Then, I started training for my first half marathon which kind of put my weight loss dead in the water because, contrary to popular belief, you don’t always lose weight when you train for long distance races like half marathons. So right now, I’m not training for a specific race. I’ve put on about 15 pounds since December so I want to get that off ASAP to get my weight loss momentum going.

Since I’ve been working out regularly, usually a combination of running and circuit training classes 3-5 times a week, I feel awesome and actually strong for the first time in close to forever. In the past, I’ve been quick to beat myself up when I want to go work out in the “bro den” (the part of the gym that has free weights, benches, awkward grunting) because I don’t feel like I belong. But how can I make progress if I don’t work out in there? (I’m going to talk about more on that in a post I’m working on. Stay tuned.) Anyway, the point is that good things are happening. After working out regularly like this for the past ten weeks, it would be really hard to stop. I just love it too much!

So now that I’m in such an awesome place with my fitness, I’m really working to change my eating. I’m eating fruits and veggies like they’re going out of style and I’m incredibly intentional about drinking water (#alltheclearpee).

But I’m not perfect…
Can I still pound down a bag of potato chips? Yessir.
Do I hoard candy sometimes like those spoiled brats in Willie Wonka? Sure do.
But…Do I immediately regret it? Now more than ever.

I really hate that feeling of regret after a mini-binge, so I’ve been trying to combat that with just abstaining as much as I can. I tell myself that I won’t miss it in 5 minutes because all they are are just impulses. For example, we walked by a cupcake store in Tallahassee and I thought I really wanted one.

I knew I had two options:
1) Keep walking and go on with my day
2) Go in, spend money on a dessert that I’m generally kind of ambivalent towards, and then sulk because I could have spent those Weight Watchers points on bacon.

So, I’m making progress with my eating! I really feel like I’m on the verge of everything lining up for some serious weight loss awesomeness.

Speaking of weight loss…

I lost 2.8 pounds this week! After losing 3 pounds or so two weeks ago, I gained it back last week. (Between kidney stones and traveling, the MacDonalds have been a little cray…) This week, I wasn’t perfect at all. In fact (and if you try to troll me on this, so help me…) I had McDonald’s for the first time since we’ve lived in Tallahassee. I drove to Jacksonville twice this week and I really needed some coffee and breakfast. So, I had an Egg McMuffin and a hash brown. It was 12 points. I counted it and I moved on. I also ate at Hardee’s for breakfast one day and I counted it too. So I wasn’t perfect, but I counted my points and I exercised to bring balance to the Weight Watchers force. This past week was once again proof that when you count regardless and exercise, everything will fall into place.

Count all the points


Day 1,171 Sunday on Track

It has been kind of a whirlwind of a Thanksgiving week. So much so I’m not really sure where to begin…

This poor sap has no clue...

This poor sap has no clue…

weird routeLet’s start with a bitterly cold 15k on Thursday that was unforseeably miserable. This year’s Turkey Trot was easily the coldest one I’ve ran in. In fact, it was the coldest race I have ever ran in. It was in the low 30’s at the start of the race and I didn’t know how my body was going to respond to the conditions. Well, as usual, my body surprised me in an awesome way. I started off the race with an amazing pace of 9:00/mile. Now usually I start to taper off after the second mile and jump up to about a 10:00/mile, but I consistently conquered the first 5 miles with a 9:00ish/mile pace! I was on the way of destroying my 15k time from last year! I was soooooooo stoked!
Then, I had to poop.
Out of nowhere, my body started to scream “find some bushes” which was impossible since a) I was in the middle of a subdivision and b) there were way too many runners that I knew to do something weird like that. And of course, thanks to the way this route was laid out, I was literally the furthest away from the finish line (for those of you who have ran the 15k, I was around the turnaround on Biltmore at the bottom of the giant hill). I’ll avoid being graphic, but I was in physical pain to the point that I could only run a few steps without having to stop. With about 2 miles left, I was close to a community center that I had been to that had bathrooms. I deviated from the course by about 100 feet to get to it. Doors are locked. I see some people and I ask them if they have access. They didn’t, but they pointed to the Southwood Clubhouse which was another 200 feet away off the route. Thankfully, they were open. I went it, used their facilities, looked incredibly out of place, and got the heck out of there (and no Alex, I didn’t ask any of the caddies if they knew you. I didn’t have the time to make small talk 🙂 ). Anyway, after that I was back on track and I finished the race while tacking on an extra .65 miles on to my run. The thing was, I wasn’t too far from the finish line, but I panicked and didn’t know what to do. It was something I’ve had to deal with during a race. It was miserable. I’m planning on running a 15k in December (anyone doing the Magnuson Holiday Fun Run in Seattle on the 21st?) so I’ll have to redeem myself then. Anyway, other than that, Thanksgiving went off without a hitch!

So let’s skip to this weekend, shall we?
I also had an amazing Weight Watchers meeting where our leader Dee encouraged us to re-think about why we are trying to lose weight. I opened up about my weight loss journey (something I hadn’t talked about with the group before) and how I have been at the same weight for the past almost 2 years. I explained that I’ve been comfortable both physically and mentally in the 230’s because I haven’t been at this weight since…elementary? This weight has allowed me to run 10 milers on a whim and keep up with my compadres in my workout classes. That’s so awesome to me! Now, I want to take it to the next level. I don’t want people to look at me and not understand how I’m such a fast runner (my response is “yeah, I don’t get it either”). I want my outside to match my inside while both becoming more fit. One of the biggest roadblocks with this is fueling my body right after a big run or workout. I think that looks like more water, more protein and just staying within my points. Once I get that in line (which I have been researching. Any suggestions are welcomed.) I know that I’ll be back within striking distance of getting below 200 pounds for the first time in decades. 

So that’s about it. Today, I was well below my points and was super full. I even weighed out my leftover turkey on our food scale before I turned it in to a delicious BBQ turkey sandwich. It was magical. See ya tomorrow.

One more thing…
Don’t forget to donate to Movember if you are a Stachetastic Run Sponsor! (I know a lot of you are still reeling from the weekend, but don’t forget!) I have provided super easy setp-by-step instructions here!





Seriously, someone call a scientist.

Where was I?

Oh yeah…


Confession: I wish I was a Muppet puppet master. My in my next life…

Okay, let’s get back to it.

Hi! Life is going swimmingly for the MacDonald Crew. Feels so good to be back to eating healthy. I already feel better! Huzzah for good decisions! 

Here’s how the day went:

We’re not ones to really sleep in on Saturdays (we like getting up pseudo-early like some goody Folgers commercial) so Megan and I went for a run before the beautifully horrible combination of humidity and heat drained our life force into oblivion. It felt good to run, but we’re back to the fun of running in the heat. Joy.

Speaking of running…
New KicksBack in April, I won $50 in gift certificates (yes, actual handwritten gift certificates) from Shaw’s Athletic during a raffle at the Run for Boston run in Tallahassee.  So today I finally put it to good use! Recently, my old New Balances have been killing my feet. My toes have been bruised and black under the nail since February and I’m pretty sure my big left tow is now deformed (but not like I’m growing a sixth toe or something. I live in Florida, not Arkansas.) Anyway, I finally got a new pair of awesome, not on clearance, running shoes! The worker at Shaw’s watched my walked and analyzed my running style. I found out I have a bit of a collapsed arch and some issues with pronation (where the sides of your feet roll out when running.) So he suggested a pair of Brooks. When I ran with them in the store, I thought “this is what running feels like?” I am so flippin’ stoked to try them out! I need to find a special trail/track in Tallahassee to break them in. Suggestions? 

Later that day…
Cajun Chicken Pasta
So then other stuff happened, and now we’ll move to a delicious part of the day (SPOILERS: we are making some delicious recipes this week. Stay tuned.) When you change your diet, you want to find lighter options of your favorite recipes. When Megan and I are looking for a different alternative, we usually turn to Skinnytaste! Tonight, it didn’t fail us.

One incredibly unhealthy dish we all know and love from Chili’s is their Cajun Chicken Pasta in all of its disgusting 1,460 calories and 75 grams of fat glory. Tonight, Megan and I made the Skinnytaste version of it AND IT WAS FLIPPIN’ DELICIOUS! Click here to check it out!

S0 that’s about it for today. More to come! See ya tomorrow.



Day 872: Half Marathon Recap

I woke up at 5 am the morning of the race. I sat on the couch with my feet propped up, drinking a cup of coffee. I sat there and asked Megan if she ever thought we would get this far. I thought back to our old, 400 square foot apartment in Abilene and thought about how uncomfortable my life was. How getting off the couch was a chore, how no shirt every really fit well no matter how much I would try to stretch it. I realized how those burdens aren’t holding me back any more. That’s when I started to cry. It was just an overwhelming feeling of joy to reinforce that freedom. When you’re morbidly obese, your life is restricted whether you know it or not. Now that I know this freedom, I will never go back to that old way of living, because that wasn’t living.

Yes...there were a few other runners.

Yes…there were a few other runners.

Becky and Erin came by the house and we made our way to FSU. It was a beautiful morning. A little cold, but we had all ran in worse. The crowd was huge, but still not as bad as the Turkey Trot in November. Everyone was ready to book it.

The sirens blared. It was time to run. Feet, don’t fail me now.

The first mile: piece of cake!
Second mile: hey…this isn’t so bad!
Third mile: what a beautiful day
Fourth mile: I’m actually running with some athletic-looking people!
Fifth mile: just kidding…the real athletic people just passed me because they have already reached the half way point.
Sixth mile: WHERE THE @#%#$ IS THE HALF WAY POINT???


I cropped out the marathon runner in the background.

I cropped out the marathon runner in the background.

Then on the ninth mile…misery. I hit a physical wall like you wouldn’t believe. My toes were forming a blister for the first time, my IT bands started to get sore, then the calf cramps kicked in, which never (and when I mean never, I mean even when I was 357 pounds and running 5 miles) ever happens when I run. I had thrown my body into confusion. Mile 9 is when this Sunday morning race turned into a battle.

My mantra became “I will finish…I will finish…I will finish.” Every other step was a struggle. A normal stride followed by a cramp, a normal stride followed by a cramp. Along the way, I met some nice people like a first time half marathon runner like me who was struggling. We talked, I cramped up, he kept going (I somehow still beat him though. We met up after the race.) Then there was the girl who ran up next to me, put out her first and said “pound it!” So I did, followed by me stopping to stretch out.

Before I knew it, I was already at mile 12. The miles had just peeled away. I could see Doak off in the distance, but I knew I wasn’t out of the woods yet. After throwing down cups of Gatorade and packets of GU, (which were interesting) I kept going. Every motion forward was a struggle, but I knew I was closer to the finish.

Still not sure how this photo came out so well.

Still not sure how this photo came out so well.

Finally, I reached the track. The last little chunk of raceway left. After running on miles of concrete and asphalt, running the last almost quarter mile on a rubber track felt incredibly wonky. It was like running inside of a bouncy castle. I could hear all the cheers, my race was finally drawing to a close. I felt amazing.

Final time: 2:11:50.59. I was 434th out of 728 runners. Fastest time? 1:13:40.43. Next half, I’m breaking the 2-hour barrier.


Check out my groundhog bling yo!

Check out my groundhog bling yo!

I hear a lot of people who’ve lost a lot of weight, both bloggers and even people on The Biggest Loser, say “I did it to prove everybody wrong! I’m doing this for all of the people who said I couldn’t do it!” While I thought that way for a while, I realized while I was training for this half that I shouldn’t be looking at it like that. I should be doing this not for the people who said I couldn’t, but for the people who said I could. I did this race for every one of you who have liked my hundreds of running statuses, who have dropped me a line telling me how proud you are of me, and for all of those who tell me how I have inspired them to change their lives. I was able to do this race because of you. You, dear reader, have been my fuel to carry on. For that, I thank you.


So much to talk about!

First of all, I went to an amazing presentation on social media by Inside Higher Ed writer Eric Stoller tonight. Mind. Blown. Check him out.

So at this point, between that, other crazy social media things I have been working for work and for the FFK if you will, I am about to reach cerebral critical mass.


In lieu of talking about my food, here is a photo of me eating a sandwich.
SamwitchOkay… #FFKPLANKADAY TIME!!!!!

I have to start off by saying this is not my original idea. I know plenty of bloggers who put on PlankaDay challenges, but I thought it was time to bring it to the FFK community!

Here are the basics:

What is PlankaDay? 

Every day in the month of February, you are challenged to hold a plank position for as long as you can. Your first one might not be a great time, but it’s your starting point. Your launching pad to greatness if you will. Each day, you’ll begin to see progress as you get stronger. Did I mention that a plank is amazing for your body? It works almost all of the major muscle areas! (Search for a video on YouTube if you need instructions on how to do it.)

Since I am a social being, I want people to post their times, their feelings, their success and their issues. I’ll be posting photos and Tweets and posts about it all through out the month using the hashtag #FFKPLANKADAY AND YOU SHOULD TOO! I’ll be collecting the creative posts and putting them in my Wordless Wednesday posts!

Go to the event page (
Attend said events page
Get planking!
It’s as simple as that!

Any questions? Comment below. GET STOKED! See ya tomorrow!
planking hurts so good


Day 778: Reflections on New Orleans

So unless we aren’t friends at all on any social medium, you may have noticed my awesome amount of statues from New Orleans this week! Megan had a conference in the Big Sleazy so I had to tag along for the ride. It was ridiculous on multiple levels. I had a blast walking around the town, checking out the street art on Jackson Square, exploring the little stores in the French Quarter…and then eating. So much eating.

Here’s what I learned on my trip…

Beignets and I have got a groovy kind of love. I ate them three times this trip…every morning. It’s hard not to just go down there and just soak up that quintessential New Orleans experience. There was something so calming about walking around a city before it wakes up, before it becomes the tourist trap that it kind of is. It was a delicious decision every morning to get powdered sugar all over your clothes while reading the local weekly newspaper and slowly drinking a cafe au lait in hopes that you wouldn’t sear off your tastebuds.

I’m more adventurous with food now than I have ever been. Although I think it helps that I was actually somewhere that deserves the label “a foodie town” (unlike Tallahassee…no offense Tally.) I tried some pretty exotic stuff from head cheese (Wikipedia it and the first sentence involves the term “meat jelly”) to rabbit jambalaya. Oh yeah… and smoked duck quesadillas, pork belly sandwich, pancetta mac n’ cheese and even duck confit ravioli. Like the beignets, it was hard not to just go nuts and try everything and anything that sounds rich and delicious.

Working out in a new city and while on vacation is a lot of fun! I’m going to do a big post about this later this week or so, but I still put 30-40 minutes in to exercising a day in to the hotel gym and running around the city this morning (although there is seriously nothing grosser than taking in a deep breath while running and inhaling the stagnant scent of last night’s vomit.) Granted I needed to spend about an hour or so more in the gym, but I still easily walked a good 5 miles a day around the city.

I have some awesome fans in Austin! I met up with Megan’s best friend Bethany who goes to school at UT which is where I met Heather. Come to find out Heather and her awesome co-workers at Capstar Parkers are big fans of the blog and have been doing their share of SAWSing it up and losing weight like ballers! It was so encouraging to know that I am hopefully helping people out there in the blogosphere! It really makes me want to be a more consistent blogger and to be more accountable because that’s what this blog is about. Thanks for reading Heather and gang! The next time I’m in Austin, let’s go for a run!

So I have no disillusions about how my weigh in is going to go on Tuesday. It’s going to be rough. But I learned from this trip about the importance of “treating yourself” when it is warranted. I truly feel like I would have missed out on a lot of the New Orleans experience if I hadn’t tried the local food which in this case is rich and delicious. On the other hand, eating stuff like cookies and a whole bag of chips isn’t treating yourself, it’s cheating on your diet and cheating yourself out of a healthier life. This trip made me want to be good so I can explore and try unhealthy stuff like on this trip. See ya tomorrow.

Day 693: Gaining Confidence


I can’t flipping wait for college football. It’s only a few days away and it feels like flippin’ Christmas morning.


So sorry about not post the last few days. We went out to beautiful St. George Island for the annual Musicology beach trip. We swam with dolphins, ate delicious food and hung out with great friends.

Yesterday I was going to post, but then I fell asleep while watching an episode of Doctor Who. On Sunday, I had a massive non-scale victory. Our church is putting together a softball team for a city league and our first practice was yesterday afternoon. The last time time I played softball, I was embarrassing and when I say that I mean I felt embarrassed when I was playing. All during undergrad, I was the intramural team joke. I had fun and I made people laugh, but in all reality I was a waste of a player. The last time I played softball, I went to swing, I farted in mid-swing and struck out. I uttered “I hate my life.” While I meant it in a humorous way, the reality was that I was in a dangerous position. I was on the cliff of my life taking a turn for the worst. Sure, I was a pseudo-active 350-pounder, but I knew I was one injury away from gaining a lot of weight because that’s what happens when you’re that size.

As I was saying…so yesterday, I was a little worried about how it was going to go, but I that all changed when I went up to bat and clocked it. In our scrimmage, I was 5 for 5, had an RBI and had 4 runs. I was whipping around the bases like crazy. It felt awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I’ sore as all get out today, but I feel awesome. Earlier this week, I thought about what would happened if I did gain a significant amount of weight from just being laxed about food. After being actually competitive in sports affirmed the doubts I was having. This work is paying off, I won’t lose sight of that again. See ya tomorrow for a weigh in that could go either way.