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!


Vacation Recap and Being Back on Track

Hello! I’m back!

It always feels like the week after a vacation is crazy and somehow even more exhausting the the trip itself. It’s nice to be back to normal…for a while at least!

So let’s talk about what I’ve been up to, shall we?

Vacation to Texas
We spend a about a week and a half in Texas seeing family and friends. It was nice to be somewhere that didn’t have humidity. We spent all of the 4th of July out on my parent’s porch and I didn’t even break a sweat! We also got to see our friends Scott and Tabitha and their new adorable baby Cora in Austin!

With all the fun in Texas came a lot of eating. At the beginning, portion control was the name of the game. When that started to slide, I added some movement to my days with walking around my old neighborhood for an hour or so each night. I wasn’t moving to undo my calories, I was doing it to at least get my metabolism going and to get some steps in!

When we were flying home, we got stuck on the tarmac in DFW for about an hour and a half. We had a pretty short layover in Charlotte so we knew it was going to be a race. The plane landed in CLT at 10:05 and our flight was leaving at 10:30. Oh yeah, did I mention that our gate was clear across the airport? So we Home Alone’d it like a boss and we barely made it. They had even taken the Tallahassee sign off the board at the gate. Being the ridiculous social media dude I am, I aired my grievances with US Airways. And they won the internet with their response.
US Airways WorkoutSo we got back to Tallahassee around midnight and it was exhausting but it felt good to be home!

This Week’s Weigh In
I wasn’t sure what the scale was going to say the next day, but I wasn’t feeling hopeful. Somehow, I had only gained 6 pounds which really isn’t that bad. You can gain that easily after a night of sodiumtastic Mexican food. Plus, I’m pretty sure it was 4 and a half pounds of brisket and a pound and a half of kolaches. Anyway, Megan and I went back to the basics of eating and I did some serious exercising every day. When I weighed in on Sunday, not only had I lost everything I gained on the trip, I weighed less than before the trip! So I weighed in at 254 pounds and at this point, I’m just glad that the scale is going in the right direction. I’m really ready to get out of the 250’s and to make some killer weight loss progress!

2015 Disney Enchanted 10k!!!!
A few weeks ago, Megan and her cousin Chelsie talked about running one of the Disney Princess races in February 2015. When they decided on the Enchanted 10k, I wanted in on the awesomeness! So…WE ARE OFFICIALLY RUNNING A DISNEY RACE!!!! Running a Disney race has been a pretty big bucket list item for me. I really want to run the Disney World Marathon on my 30th birthday since my birthday is always during my birthday weekend. But I want to reach my goal weight first before I do that. Thankfully, I still have a few years to go (3 to be exact…)

Guest Posts!
Finally, I’ll have some awesome friends stopping by the FFK next week! More to come!

So that’s all I got for tonight. I’m so glad to be back on the weight loss wagon. We’ll talk soon!

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 885: Back on Track Like a Boss


Last week was kind of nuts. We had made plans to prepare our food at the beginning of the week, but it just didn’t happen. Which resulted in eating out every night and making just bad decisions.

Then, we went to Disney World this weekend. While you walk a ton at Disney, you can also EAT a ton at Disney. I made an pseudo effort to make healthy choices, but sometimes something would pop up. For example, I posted on the FFK FB page about my healthy breakfast one morning: a massive bowl of fruit inside of a hollowed-out half of a pineapple and a bowl of oatmeal at Kona Cafe inside the Polynesian (we didn’t stay there, but we dreamed that we did by going there everyday because it’s our favorite. By the way, I’m a massive Disneyphile. Have I mentioned that before?) Anyway, so we were finishing up our delicious breakfast, and then they brought us out two of the most sinfully delicious chocolate cupcakes we have ever eaten. Yes…they brought them out…for breakfast. They were bringing them out since it was our sixth anniversary of us being together. The old-point-counting-sticking-to-his-healthy-guns Nathan wouldn’t have eaten it. Well, I did. Along with a lot of fantastic food that weekend because Disney is delicious. (I mean, I don’t really know if Cinderella’s Castle would taste good if you bit in to it, but I’m pretty certain it would be.) I know that some people think that vacation is a time to splurge and I can understand that. But for me, vacations have been my downfall for a long time. I’ll come back from a trip and have gained/retained like  crazy. I am working on being better about that. I think it goes back to not surrounding what I do around when or what I eat, which is really easy to do on vacation. Time to work on that.

So during this what felt like a gorgefest of a weekend, I felt down on myself. I left for Orlando on Friday morning weighing almost 240, a number I haven’t seen in a long time. It started to scare me. I felt like I was losing my grip on my weight loss. I was worried that this was the point where things were going to start to unravel for me. That this whole weight loss thing was just a phase in my life. It scared me. It really scared me.

How did I handle it? Not really that well. I still ate pretty bad on the trip. The worst part was that at each meal, I felt a little guilty about what I was eating because I knew that I was making a wrong choice at every turn. This all lead up to Sunday when we were getting ready to leave the parks.

DL PhotoThis is my Florida driver’s license photo. It was issued to me in August 2010.

Like I was saying, on Sunday I was still feeling pretty crummy about my weight. My jeans were a little tight, my shirt was pulling in certain ideas, I just felt fat. When I left the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney, that all changed. I was in line to pay for a pin lanyard (oh yeah, I collect Disney pins. Don’t hate.) but the line was painfully long, so I went to another register. I paid for the lanyard, and the lady asked to see my ID. She looked at the photo, looked at me, looked at the photo, and looked at me again. “You need a new photo!” she said. “You’ve lost some weight!” I thanked her and began to tell her my story. She told me that she always makes an effort to say something to people that look like they have lost weight from their photos. From them on, my view completely changed. Yeah, I’ve been far from perfect with my weight loss, but no one is expecting me to be. I shouldn’t get down on myself each time I make a bad decision. I need to move on and learn from it. I’ve come a long way from that photo, both physically and mentally. I know that I can keep on keepin’ on to reach my weight loss goal. It’s going to happen, it just might take some time. And you know what? It truly is the journey and not just the destination. See ya tomorrow.

Day 649: The Time I Met a Biggest Loser Edition

There were about twelve different ways that I wanted to start this post. Some were funny, some were emotional and some were like the opening of the first episode of “The Newsroom.” Sometimes when you write, you wish you could just visually reenact a moment rather than having to describe it in words. Today was just one of those days.

It feels like I am about to start my weight loss journey all over again which is an excerifying (exciting and terrifying combined) feeling. Today, I got to meet one of my favorite reality show contestants of all time (except for Colby Donaldson in Survivor Season 2. He was the Chuck Norris of reality show contestants.) The 11th season of The Biggest Loser had one of the most diverse casts that a weight loss show could ask for: an olympic gold athlete, a 5’5″ 500-pound stud, a Biggest Loser Fangirl from the Midwest and a pair of sisters who no one betted on from the start.  Little did anyone know at the start that Hannah Curlee and Olivia Ward would wind up in the No. 1 and 2 spots in the finale that year. Since Megan and I love a good underdog story, we rooted for Hannah and Olivia almost from the get go. So when we heard that Hannah was going to be speaking at a women’s wellness event in Tallahassee a few weeks ago, we started to flip!
Hannah’s story is a lot like most of ours: she had done Weight Watchers off and on for years and every time she would lose on weigh in day she would go celebrate with more eating (which I am super guilty of,) she also chased every fad diet and would buy every As Seen On TV weight loss miracle available. Between a severe back injury and surgery, Hannah started to rapidly gain weight until she couldn’t fit in to booths and the other awkwardnesses that go along with been extremely obese. Then she started in on the many adventures of The Biggest Loser. How Jillian is insane but awesome, how much of a dump the Biggest Loser Ranch was (the exercise room didn’t have running water nor did it have real walls) and how she awesome it is to have that fraternity of Biggest Loser contestants. It is always interesting to hear about the reality of reality shows. The funniest thing she said about the Biggest Loser was that everything was either mic’d or had a camera hidden in it from the grass to the bathroom. It made me glad that I never ended up trying out for the show (but I thought about it a couple of times. In fact, Megan and I almost drove to a casting call in Dallas for the couples edition in 2010. Safe to say it all worked out regardless.)

So after Hannah spoke, she opened it up for questions. A lot of questions about calorie intake, how many times to weigh a week and a whole bunch of other good questions to ask a weight loss guru like her. Now as most of you know, I have been in a slump this past year. I lost 100 pounds in under a year and have been struggling ever since because I have been just running out of steam or if I take a few steps forward, I take more back. I wanted to know how to get passed this halfway block that I have created for myself. I started out with “hi! I am halfway through my weight loss journey and…” then she stopped me and asked me how much I have lost. I told her 117 pounds and then she said “that’s awesome! Let’s give him a hand!” Then she came over and shook my hand. Now, I get star struck when celebrities even just Tweet me. I was dumbfounded at this point. Anyway, I continued with my question “I know the points and the calories of stuff, I get the formula, but I need that push to get out from being stuck. What should I do?” The first thing she told me was that I wasn’t stuck and that being able to maintain that weight loss was a big deal (which I haven’t really thought about it in that context until then) and then she gave me three awesome tips that are absolutely applicable to anyone who is looking or is trying to lose weight.

Change Your Food. I have been eating the same breakfast and have been eating the same lunch almost all summer (pb and toast for breakfast and a Smart One of lunch) so this was good to hear. The only change I have been doing is going from making healthy choices to eating a lot of bad things and then immediately regretting them. After the event, Megan and I went on a crazy healthy shopping spree at Publix and bought some delicious stuff that you will see next week!

The next thing was to Mix Up Your Workout Routine. Since I haven’t really had access to a gym this summer, I have done a lot of running and swimming which has been about it. Luckily, since I’m about to start a new job at FSU, I’ll have access to Leach again and all of its awesome classes. She said to find out what workouts your friends are doing and ask to join. If you are doing some awesome workout, sport or any type of exercise, let me know and I’ll be happy to join you! 

Finally, Hannah said to Tell Your Story. Yeah, I have this blog and yeah, most people who know me know my story, but I could still be more of a weight loss evangelist than I am right now. This might even just mean being a better example to those around me. It’s just hard because you don’t want to be that “oh hey! I have a blog! Have you read my blog? I was just talking last night on my blog that…” guy. With that being said, I want to help people and reach out to those who I know who are struggling so telling my story through my actions is going to be my goal from now on.

After the Q&A, Hannah had a meet and greet so we stopped by and said hi. She remembered that I had Tweeted her earlier this week which was really cool. We talked about the importance of a support system like the one Megan and I have and how important it is to have everyone in the family on board which is so true. We left the event feeling rejuvenated and even convicted about our weight loss. It truly was what I needed. Tomorrow, I might not lose any weight. In fact I’m pretty sure I have gained this week. But I feel like I’m back at that first step all over again where I got on our scale and realized that I didn’t want to be 357 pounds any more; that this wasn’t the life I was suppose to have. It’s time to get over this halfway point and finally reach the top of Mt. Fitintoskinnyjeans. See ya tomorrow.

Day 558: Thursday and Stuff


I love all of you. There, I said it.

I still can’t believe my Facebook Page got to 200+ Likes last night!

This week I was feeling a little sluggish and lazy. Luckily I was able to pull myself out of it and have an awesome day! Good things. Alright, let’s get at it.

Breakfast: This morning, as per usual, we went to Atomic Coffee before class and school and stuff. I just had a bagel with butter and a little honey. It was fantastic and filling. Awesomeness.

Lunch: Today I had to go to a luncheon for a class. I walked from campus uphill both ways (yes, like your parents did when they were kids) to the downtown Double Tree. The menu had a lot of awesome healthy choices, but I was still thinking about getting something a little heavier. That was when my friend Andrew (the Edward Cullen lookalike) told the whole I was his dietician and then asked for a healthy option. It was the conviction I needed to make a much better decision. I ended up getting a grouper sandwich and instead of fries I got a salad with honey mustard. It was delicious, but it was also hard to conceal my picture taking ability in front of a bunch of strangers. When I got home I had a 100 calorie Klondike ice cream sandwich that was awesome. Then I ate two servings of chips.

Awesome Non Scale Victory: So today I was organizing my old fat clothes in order to sell them online (anyone want size 54 khakis or some really nice XXL polo t-shirts?) and then I found these bad boys. I bought these plaid shorts a few weeks before I started grad school. It was like folding up an American flag. Those things are huge. I was huge. Anyway, I held them up, thought for a second, and then got in one of the leg holes. They fit me in the waist. I know I’m not half them man I used to be, but I am making awesome progress. It was seriously the motivation I needed to get focused on losing weight. It also made me proud because this kind of picture is usually in an infomercial for some weight loss cookie or some shake that tastes like ground up chalk. This is proof that all you need is a healthier diet, a good pair of running shoes, a little patience and a persistent attitude. Oh yeah, and a bunch of awesome supportive friends doesn’t hurt either ;).

SAWS:So after that moment of NSV clarity, I decided I needed to keep it up so I can no longer fit in my current clothes and went to the gym. It’s kind of sad because it was one of my last times working out at Leach. I’ve burned a ton of calories in that place. Anyway, I wanted to keep up the same intensity I had when I was working with Joe so I went after it. I divided my hour into three 20 minute segments. The first 20 I did a circuit that involved stairs, burpees, box jumps, jump squats, push ups and running up and down stairs. It was awesome. Then, I got on the ARC Trainer and did 20 minutes on the weight loss setting which was a hill climb pattern of awesomeness. Finally, I did 20 minutes of abs. Elevated sit ups, this weird leg lift row and then holding a plank position. I felt like I made really good use of my hour, I did what I came there to do: sweat through my shirt.





Late Night Dinner: After staying on campus to try to get some work done, Megan and I went through the drive thru at Jimmy John’s (the only thing faster than their delivery dudes) and had a Turkey Tom sans mayo and a nice layer of avocado spread. Not to mention their classic pickle. The healthiest drive thru around.

So that was my day. Not too shabby. Although I didn’t write them down, I’m definitely back in the mindset of counting points and being better about what I eat. I was looking at an older post and I realized it took me 4 months to lose the last 15 pounds to break the 100 pound mark. It was because I was kind of a slacker and wasn’t strict with my points. With my new-found love for weight lifting, sticking with my points should be the perfect recipe for some serious weight loss. If anything my body would feel better, and isn’t that what it’s all about? See ya tomorrow.


Day 365A: A make up post

Sup my meowtastic munchies! (Wait… what?)

So I haven’t blogged this week because it was the workload from the hot place (and I don’t mean Houston) and I have gotten progressively sicker through out the week. I’m still holding on to the belief that it’s allergies, but we’ll see. Any home remedies? Anyways, I’ve been keeping hydrated like a boss because if I don’t I get super dried out which is a terrible feeling. (Someone said we should get a humidifier, but I refuse to do that on principle since I basically lived in the desert when I was in middle school and we didn’t have one then.) So this post is going to cover Wordless Wednesday (just act like this paragraph isn’t here) and then photos from yesterday which includes dinner at our friends Emma and Stacy’s house. They introduced us to their awesome taco soup recipe with ground turkey. It was flippin’ fantastic! (We introduced them to the awesomeness known as Little Big Planet, it was a sight to be seen!) Well, I’m going to stop talking now. Enjoy this post, and check back later tonight for more blogging awesomeness. (Alright! Double Prizes!)









































































Day 304: Disney Recap Yo!

I’M BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you miss me? Because oh me oh my did I miss y’all!!! It was a crazy week of vacationing awesomeness involving many miles walked, mounds of delicious food consumed and plenty of annoyed tourists. My family and us had a blast hanging out again and I miss them already. When Megan and I go to Disney, we usually don’t eat at too many of the restaurants, but since we were with my family we ate at all the awesome places. We also snacked a lot this trip as well which was good, but it meant that we needed to watch how much we ate.

Anyways, one advantage of Disney is you get your steps in. We walked 54.24 miles this week which was mostly done in flip flops (bad idea) and in high humidity (also a bad idea) so it didn’t quite offset our calories, but it helped I think. I’ll put up the pics on Wordless Wednesday so get stoked for that!

Breakfast: I had a waffle with some peanut butter and then we went over to my parent’s hotel and had some pretty good oatmeal. (Well… good for a hotel.)







Lunch: Before my parents headed out of town, we decided to hit up Jimmy Jonh’s for some subtastic awesomeness. I had the Beach Club which had turkey, sprouts, avocado spread (is that the same as guacamole?), and other great veggies. I should have held the mayo, but I forgot. Oops.






Dinner: We were planning on eating chili for dinner, but then were invited to Sonny’s for dinner. I had the Big Salad (yes… that’s what it’s called) with chargrilled chicken. I was going to have ranch dressing but Megan didn’t like her honey mustard so I traded with her. It was better on my salad so it worked out. I really liked the crasins with candied pecans on it. So awesome.


So today was a pretty good food day. I don’t know how weigh in day will go. I’m not going to lie, I did overindulge a lot on this trip, but we will just see how it goes. See ya tomorrow.