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. 

 

 

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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.

 

 

My First Blush Notions of the New Weight Watchers System

As a graduate student, I became fascinated by the process of introducing new innovations and the consumer response and their adaption rate to said innovation. When our amazing Weight Watchers leader Jodi started to drop hints that big things were on the horizon, I was stoked. All I could think was “GAAAAAHHHHH CHANGE MANAGEMENT AND DIFFUSION OF INNOVATIONS!!!!!”

If you think about it, the idea of changing someone’s eating habits is a herculean task. How do you retool a system that’s been implemented for nearly half a decade without hacking a few people off? (PointsPlus came out the first year I started losing weight. It didn’t affect me because I was doing the old system on my own.) Don’t believe me? Just ask the lady who got up in the middle of my Weight Watchers meeting this morning and yelled “this pisses me off!” Or…ask a Weight Watcher how many points are in a tablespoon of peanut butter (3ppv) or a square of dark chocolate (2ppv). They know the point value of their staples down to the number. But what happens when you know the point value of everything? You know where the loopholes are, too.

And this is why I am looking forward to the new Smart Points system. In the previous incarnations, you could easily cheat the system to your gain (pun intended). With Points Plus, you only had to calculate fat, carbs, protein, and fiber; in the older system, you only had to track calories, fat, and fiber. While those are significant numbers in the world of macro nutrients, they don’t tell the whole story. Think about a nutrition label. What are you missing from that equation? Think about sugar and saturated fats and folic acid…wait…OK not the last one but you get the idea. The new system finally addresses those blind spots that we knew were there but just avoided. But if I’ve learned anything while losing weight, it’s that you have to confront the unpleasant bits if you want to grow. It’s like opening the envelope of a bill that you know you need to pay but for some crazy reason think that if you don’t open it, it’s not due. I learned early on that it’s never nearly as bad as we think and that it will get easier with time.

I thought a lot about the head-in-sand concept during my meeting this morning. This week, I didn’t eat really well. I made some smart decisions, but I also indulged a bit. Enough to decide to quit counting because I felt guilty about how bad I was doing. During my weigh in, Jodi asked me how my week was. Softening the blow for a gain, I told her “not great. I was sick all week and I just sucked.” “Well,” she said. “You lost 3.4 pounds!” “WWWWHHHHAAAAATTTT!” “Yeah! You know, you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. It’s never as bad as you think.” That idea really resonated with me, especially considering how well it ties in to the new system and its focus of eating the right things for your health and loving yourself in the process through positive affirmation and fitness. (I could talk about excited I am about the new emphasis on fitness, but that’s another blog post.)

The new system will be an adjustment. No bones about it. For the first time, chocolate is more points than chicken and white and whole grain pasta is the same amount of points. I also have less daily points and weekly points. From the discussion in the meeting room, it seemed like most men got less points and women actually got more (if that’s the case for you, comment below!) But I think if we want to improve and lose weight as a community, we have to throw a wrench in the system every once in a while. It was time for an update and I’m ready for the new adventure.

What about you? What do you think of the new system? Any crazy stories from your meeting? Comment below! 

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!

BUT LET ME TELL YOU HOW THE MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 18 BLEW MY OTHER SHOES OUT OF THE WATER!!!

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!

MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 18 FTW!!!!

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

 

Slight Program Change

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Television is a funny thing.
In a media where the objective of a network is to optimize advertising revenue; the original purpose of a channel, to create entertaining programming, is sometimes lost in the shuffle. I mean, how else could the cast of “Friends” make over a million dollars an episode in the early 2000’s? They weren’t producing a tangible product like a Ferrari or a mining for a precious commodity like oil; the only thing you could say they were creating was a few sarcastic Chandler zingers and the most frustrating couple in the history of television. (Sorry Ross and Rachel, “we were on a break” is not a great argument in a relationship. Also, how the crap did Ross, the loserest of losers, even finally land the ridiculously fantastically awesome Rachel? Or Maurice the Monkey for that matter?)

But I digress…

Because of this monstrous ability to generate revenue, shows will get rearranged, or even cancelled, if a another show is more likely to make more moolah in a certain time slot. That’s why “The Big Bang Theory,” another show where the main characters are making about a million an episode, is getting moved back to Monday night from Thursday night to make way for network’s new Thursday Night Football. Not only does the NFL rake in a serious amount of viewers, the price tag for an ad for a football game dwarfs the amount companies pay for that time slot when a sitcom is running. CBS is taking advantage of a situation to better their corporation and chances of making more said moolah.

Enter: the point of why I’m even bringing this up.

For the past two weeks, the number on the scale when I’ve weighed in has been inflated since I treat my Saturday like a cheat day.

My weekly schedule looks like this:
Monday-Thursday: Stay really strict with my eating and go on some seriously intense, yet gratifying, dates with Henrietta the Kettlebell.
Friday: Indulge with a nice, but sensible, dinner while still exercising
Saturday:
Cook out, let loose with some friends, tailgate, celebrate not working, etc.
Sunday: Weigh in and feel absolutely terrible about life for most of the day, only to weigh in again later in the day to see that my morning weight was actually 4 pounds less than the number I put in earlier that morning.

This has been cycle of hell for a long time. While I have fun on Saturday, I spend my whole Sunday thinking “why did I even go hang out and eat anything at all yesterday? I feel like such an idiot. I should have just stayed home, eaten crackers, and slept until my Sunday morning weigh-in.” And this isn’t even when I go out and do wild and crazy stuff. This happens even when I eat at a place like Subway. I kind of wish this was all hyperbolic, but it’s not.
I love being social and that’s what makes this all so hard. I love hanging out with people and enjoying this time in my life. What I hate is how I treat myself after I’ve overeaten. I need a few hours of feeling “normal” to balance out how hard it is for me to stay on track the whole week. I’m sure that might so crazy to some of you, but that’s my life. I have to work hard to avoid gaining back all my weight and the longer I go on this journey, the harder it is not to let the rope slip through my fingers.

I have been thinking about this for a while and although this isn’t a complete solution, I am going to give this a try. I think it’s time for me to move around my regularly-scheduled programing to optimize the profits of my life. Starting this week, I’m going to change my weigh-in day to Thursday. I want to see what happens when I weigh in during the week and not in the middle of when I might eat something with a lot of sodium in it. I want to see how that will affect my attitude towards the weekend. This doesn’t mean I’m going to be able to just YOLO my whole weekend. This means I’ll have to actually count on the weekends instead of like now where I don’t count and throw a mental pitty party on Saturdays. I know it might sound crazy, and that’s fine. We’ll see how this all goes together. So on Thursday, I’ll be weighing in. Here goes nothing.

Rewarding Myself With Delicious And Sweaty Things

I love my job, but it can get, how do I say this, a little sporadic at times.
You see, the role of a PR/Marketing coordinator for a program at a university means you are a Jack of all trades and a master of…one? Maybe? You help support your co-workers and their programs because when they succeed, the office’s brand succeeds.

This week, our office is putting on a seminar for a select group of AWESOME incoming freshmen who are learning about leadership, service and diversity and what it means to create positive and sustainable change in the FSU community. It’s an amazing program.

But back to the utility player point…

So I have been promoting this program all week along with volunteering to help with random odds and ends.

So this was my schedule today:
7:15 am-pick up doughnuts for students
7:30-7:45 am-interviewed students for a press release
7:45-8:15 am-took group and individual photos for the program
8:30-9:45 am-answered emails
10:00-10:15 am-took some staff photos for our website
10:15-10:25 am-drove to the food bank where students were serving
10:25-10:40 am-took photos as students were wrapping up
10:40-10:50 am-drove back to campus
11:00-11:40 am-created an outline for release while trying to figure out why Word was freezing every time I tried to copy and paste
11:45-1 pm-gave up and went to lunch
1:00-2:00 pm-wrote and edited press release for publication
2:00-3:00 pm-edited photos for news story
3:00-4:30 pm-answered more emails and planned for tomorrow
(not included in this timeline: drinking multiple cups of coffee and talking to a few co-workers about fitness. Because my office is awesome like that.)

If we really broke down our days, we have little time to ourselves. We work hard and sometimes so hard that we just become unproductive. When we get home, the last thing we want to do is think, work or be active. Instead, in my case anyway, we justify ordering terrible food and doing nothing but plopping ourselves down on the couch for a five-hour marathon of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. For some warped reason, we think that’s how we are supposed to reward ourselves for a day of work.

I’m here to say that if you are doing that, you are doing life wrong.

(And yes, that sentence was directed towards yours truly as well.)

As an overweight society, we see exercise and healthy eating as some kind of punishment. That we are depriving us from YOLOing up our lives when in reality our YOLOing is just being lethargic and heavy. Today, I realized that these things aren’t tasks that I am forced to do; rather, I am rewarding my body with a better and longer life.

Selfie With DoakSTEAK

 

 

 

 

 

Today I rewarded myself two ways: running and eating steak.
Yes, steak.

Now for most, the idea of running three miles in the swampy south with a heat index above 100 degrees sounds brutal. That’s because it is. It’s not pretty, there is a lot of sweat but running around a place you love always helps. With all the hectic scenarios I was in today, I focused on my running reward because it’s something I love and something that I know I’m good at. When I run, the day (and the calories) just melt away. But it’s not just a reward because I love it, it is a reward to my body for sitting at a desk for 8+ hours. It is also a reward because I am challenging my body to do amazing things. How is that not a reward for your body? It’s not a punishment. It’s a privilege.

So about the steak…
When I went to lunch, I had to go to Publix to pick up a few items for said lunch. As usual, I ended up in the meat section. That’s when it hit me, “after this already crazy day, I deserve a steak.” So I bought a New York strip and it became another point of focus to get through this day.

Now like a lot of you out there in the weight-losing community, the idea of rewarding yourself with food is generally frowned upon, and I usually agree. But this wasn’t about food. This was about rewarding myself with the beautifully methodical task to cook. This was about doing something beyond the standard plopping on the couch and watching TV. Like running, I rewarded myself with doing something I love. And it didn’t feel like I was rewarding myself with the food because I made sure it was within my points for the day. In fact, I avoided a lot of snacks and treats today because I knew that if I ate something I shouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have the points for steak! Then, I didn’t even finish the steak which is a whole other win in itself.

While we are all busy, it’s important to make time for yourself when you can. Try to reward yourself each day with something you and your body will love. It will have a ripple effect on the rest of your life.

What will you do to reward your body this week?

Well what do you know…

hard work does pay off!

So, like most weigh-ins, I really didn’t know how this was going to go. Recently, I’ve been having weird weigh-in dreams the night before. Last week’s dream involved eating pizza. And then I gained.
Coincidence? I think not.

My take on the scale this week was simple: it won’t tell the whole story. The scale wasn’t going to take into consideration my extra steps, my 64 Activity Points, or how I resisted potentially hazardous eating situations. It wouldn’t take developing awesome habits into consideration either, which was what this week was all about. A lower number would just be an added bonus.

Soooooooooo I LOST 5.2 FREAKIN’ POUNDS!!!!!!!

Which means…

I CAN OFFICIALLY SAY I’VE LOST 100 POUNDS AGAIN!

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I actually got on the scale twice to make sure that was right! Throughout the week, I could definitely feel and see that weight come off my body. My stomach is already starting to deflate and shirts are starting to fit a little better.

But I’m not out of the (Randy) woods by any stretch of the imagination.

Which brings me to my next point…

I can already tell I’m going to need some patience during this rebuilding phase
While some clothes fit better, some clothes still don’t fit at all…and that really bothers me. Earlier this week, I thought “OK…I ate well and worked out today. WHY DON’T I LOOK DIFFERENT ALREADY???” I had to talk myself off the ledge a little bit and remember that this is going to take a while. Eating well and exercise are the solution, but they’re not magic either. While I’m happy and uber proud of my weigh in this morning, I know it will be hard not to get frustrated when I lose half a pound. But I am, and always have been, in this for the long haul. I’ll just need a reminder of that in a few weeks. Regardless, I am ready to keep this healthy lifestyle up and the extra amount of work that it takes!

Speaking of extra amount…

I need to prioritize my goals with fitness
When it comes to exercise, I’m one that tends to take too much on all at once; which leads to me crashing and burning and not falling through with much. Aside from training for my first half marathon, that has been my issue most of my life. Instead of focusing on one or two things, I try to dabble. Which is where I kind of am right now.

When I trained for that first half, all I did was run. I didn’t cross train at all like I should have. I was already getting my cardiovascular health in a good place, why not the rest of my body? So as I begin to plan for half training which will most likely be in October for the Tallahassee Half and Enchanted 10k, both in February, I have been trying to figure out what I should do to torch some serious fat to make running easier on my body. There are so many things that I want to do and try, but I have to remind myself that I am only one guy. I can’t do everything right this minute.

Not to mention that whole have to make time for working, eating and paying bills, thing.

So right now, I really want to actually maintain a regular schedule of strength training at the gym. I have yet to do that during my weight loss journey. I have either been too nervous to work out in the Bro Den at the FSU gym, or I have just gotten bored with it. I know that I can get the results that I want by lifting because I did it in high school. I definitely wasn’t ripped, but I could set a new max every few weeks. I just haven’t tried to be disciplined with it. I’m thinking about signing up for a personal trainer at FSU and focusing strictly on strength training this semester. I know I would be more comfortable with that foundation too.

The other thing I’ve been wanting to try for a looooooong time is a kettlebell workout routine. I have used KBs a ton of different ways over the years and each time I fall in love all over again. They are like no other workout I have ever done. I also see and feel some killer results with them too. One thing I really want to do is the 90 day Daily Burn KB program (if you haven’t checked out Daily Burn, GO THERE NOW!!!!) because I could do it at home before or after work. A lot of the KB workouts require a strong core which I don’t have but want to gain.

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH SO MANY DECISIONS!!!!!

Well, regardless, my plan is to run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and then hit the gym, wherever that may be, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There are about a 1,000 other classes and workouts that I want to try (spinning and Zumba, just to name a few), but I don’t know how or where they fit right now. During the year, I am considering just trying one class a week and then make Friday a makeup day. The issue is, FSU Campus Rec is just too awesome and has too much awesome stuff!!!!!

Soooooo that’s about it. Life is awesome. And I’m dang proud of this past week. This upcoming week will be a challenge because it’s essentially the first week back for FSU (or at least for faculty and staff anyway). Time to make awesomeness happen.

Here’s to an awesome week.
And remember…

the best is yet to come

The Art of Losing & Gaining Control of Your Life

It’s so funny when you have an idea for a post, but then don’t know how to weave it in to your blog and then fate helps you out…whether you like it or not.

You see, I had this idea for a post about how the app Timehop can inspire someone to appreciate how far they’ve come along in life. I’m not just talking about fitness either. I look back at some of my old posts and think “wow, I’ve come a long way in four years…” (Grad school, marriage and a big-boy job will do that to you I guess.) But when I looked at my photo from a year ago, I had a complete inverse reaction.

photo 1A year ago today, I weighed 225.8 pounds. Essentially my lowest weight. At that weight, I felt fit. I felt comfortable. I felt normal. When I got on the scale this morning, I weighed 261.8 pounds. I have roller coastered my way up 36 pounds. Now granted, I haven’t been this heavy for the whole time. In fact, I was down to the 233 in January. But with vacations, an inordinate amount of stress this summer, and high level of complacency, I am letting the rope slip out of my hands as I am watching it all fall apart in front of me. I feel sick about that number. For the first time in three years, I am out of the “century club”. I will have to lose at least 5 pounds until I can say I’ve lost 100 pounds again.

After I got off the scale, I went through the stages of grief, but I didn’t pout and sulk for too long. You see all summer I’ve been out of whack. My eating has been the best it has ever been (I can make an epic low point salad) and then it was Obese Nathan bad (thirds on desserts, anyone?) My exercising was great and then lethargically terrible. Frankly, this past year has been a season of feeling just lost emotionally, physically and spiritually for me and I hate it. I somehow lost my focal point amid my new job and everything else. And maybe that’s been it, I have just been too busy to lose weight. When I say that, I say it knowing good and well it’s because I’ve replaced that time with eating out and binge watching TV, not counting points and going on long runs.

Whew, now that I have that inner-dialogue therapy session all written out…

photo 3After I got off the scale, I took freakin’ control of my life. I had a sensible breakfast, went to church, and came home and organized my life. For the first time ever on my own, I made a meal plan for the week. I didn’t give myself any wiggle room. I know I have at least two variables in my week, but that is it. Then, I went to the grocery store and bought everything I needed for the week. Again, nothing extra. I always get caught up by extraneous purchases because usually they are carbtastic so I binge the crap out of them. So since I can recognize my triggers, I need to set myself up for success by just abstaining from chips and crackers and other stuff like that. Anyway, I got home and cleaned up the kitchen so I can’t use the ol’ “oh no, there are three dishes in the sink. The kitchen is too messy to cook. Time to order a pizza!” excuse. Then I just cleaned around the house so I would have control of my spaces, instead of feeling helpless in my own house (I’m going to do the same thing with my office tomorrow.) Even those simple actions reduced my stress enough for me to feel calm and relaxed.

photo 5So here’s the deal. I’m going to try something a little different this week. A loooooong time ago, I used to track and post my points on the blog everyday. While that was awesome and helpful, it definitely got stressful and tedious for me because sometimes a screen is the last thing you want to see when you get home. So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to take a screenshot of my Weight Watchers app every day this week with my total points and post it to my Instagram account. It will help me actually track and it will hold me accountable to you, dear reader. Here is my tracker for today. For those of you tracking at home, I have modified my points down to 43 daily points because 55 is too many. When I made the transition from old to new, I went from 28 daily points to 54 so trust me, I’m not gaining because I’m not eating enough…

I kind of feel like I’m starting over again with this, but I really am. At the very beginning, I told myself that if I could pass the 6-week mark of tracking, then this would stick. Consider this week one. See ya on Instagram.

 

 

 

[GUEST POST] Top Threeve Things I’ve Learned From My Weight Loss Journey

Hey Kids!
This FFK is still on vacay, but I have another awesome blogging treat for you!
Dani from Weight Off My Shoulders has one heck of a success story! She is a Weight Watchers LEGEND and when she’s not leading a meeting, she’s probably running, triathaloning or drinking chocolate milk. She’s pretty fantastic and this post is hilariously epic. Be sure to check out her Facebook page too!
Take it away, Dani…

Top Threeve Things I’ve Learned From My Weight Loss Journey

Did you know a serving size of Cheez-Its ISN’T the entire box?

I am going to give you a minute to process that.

Mmm Cheez-Its.

tasty-cheez-it-crackers

Who starts a blog post talkin’ bout Cheez-Its when there are no Cheez-Its being offered.

Cheez-Its.

cheez-its

Okay have you processed the original question?

Have you forgotten the original question?

Did you know a serving size of Cheez-Its ISN’T the entire box?

Shocking, right?

Well this was one of the FIRST lessons I learned after starting Weight Watchers. Not that I have truly “learned” the lesson … there was the great Cheez-It incident of May 2012 where I proceeded to eat the entire box in less than 20 minutes. But hey, I did go for a 12-mile run the next day. That my friends is progress.

This was my first and hardest lesson learned so far in my weight loss and weight maintenance journey.

It makes me grumpy, but I accept it.

Now I can share the rest of my Top Threeve Things I’ve Learned during this amazing weight loss journey of mine.

***

Numbero Dos: When starting an exercise/workout/getting your booty off the couch routine … pick something you can have fun with!

fun

I know I should’ve gotten more into it, but really running a marathon through Disney World can just be so blah-zay! 😉

Since starting this crazy journey, I’ve attempted to bust a move in a hip hop class at the gym, tripped over my own feet during Zumba and managed to not sprain an ankle in step aerobics. All experiences led to more calories being burned laughing at myself after the fact, but I wouldn’t change the experiences.

And if that doesn’t work find another form of motivation!

wine

***

#3: The “D” word may no longer be spoken in my presence.

lifestyle

Yup, I’ve done this a time or two or seventy. Sorry random lady in the bathroom at that place that time. My bad!

The “D” word makes me think of deprivation and that just doesn’t fly in my world. If you tell me no more Cheez-Its, I’m making my way to the next CVS to clear out their entire stock. Knowing I can fit my vices loves into my plan, make it worth it!

***

Four – Part A: Learning to love the then.

For too long I looked angrily at the then photos. I would scream at the “old” me wanting to know why I let it get to that point. How could you let yourself get to 235 lbs? Why couldn’t you love yourself enough to stop earlier? Why didn’t you have control?

But, the more I hated on the prior – the more critical I was of the current.

beautiful

Next time you look at your prior/before/then take a moment to adjust your thought process to one of positivity and love. You will never truly love your now if you don’t accept the then. Just sayin’!

***

And last, but certainly lost least, the threeve-th and most important tip I have learned since starting my lifestyle change…

It’s really quite simple. Through the up and the down … the good and the bad … the happy and the sad …

Always remember that you are:

awesome

AWESOME!!!!

***

No matter how long the journey takes, no it is worth it. Hang in there. Have your grapes two ways: in a bowl and in a wine glass. But, just make sure you…

finish what you started

[GUEST POST] Doctor Who and Living a Healthy Life

Why yes, this post is ridiculously epic….
Hey kids! I’m taking a blog vacation for a few days so I have some of my favorite bloggers posting on the FFK blog!

When I was at Fitbloggin’ this year, I officially my blogging buddy Jill from the Year of the Phoenix! We both have quite the nerdy side, so when she told me about her guest post, I audibly squealed in my office at work. Definitely give her blog some love and like her on Facebook!

Take it away, Jill…

Hi everyone! My name is Jill and I write over at The Year of the Phoenix and I am so thrilled to be here guest posting for Nathan! As soon as I told him my topic idea he jumped at the chance, as I knew he would. This is actually a post that is part of my own archives but I wrote it over a year and a half ago and decided it was time for an update and this was the perfect opportunity since, like me, Nathan is also a big Doctor Who fan!

As my regular readers are aware, I like to do these Healthy Living Lessons From…posts, usually pulling from popular culture like Orange is the New Black and Pixar movies. Doctor Who is a British show about a time and space traveler known as The Doctor who travels in his TARDIS, fashioned after an iconic blue police telephone box. I started watching it a few years ago and was instantly hooked. The new season starts up soon and I AM SO EXCITED.

So! With that, let’s GERONIMO our way into the Doctor’s world.

Keep Your Companions By Your Side

By his nature, The Doctor is a rather singular character. All of his family and his entire species of Time Lords are gone. He’s the last one. He’s also 900 years old so he’s going to outlive every person he meets (and, being 900 years old he’s going to meet a lot of people). Personal connections are difficult and while different regenerations of The Doctor handle this personality quirk differently, the one thing he always knows is that he can’t do it alone. He needs assistance on his adventures and they come in the form of his companions: the men and women (mostly women) who travel with him in the TARDIS and help him save the world over and over and over again.

Likewise, it’s impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle without support from friends and family. You need people you can go to when you’re struggling. People who will help you and motivate you to keep going. The other week I was having a bad body image day and I immediately reached out to my friend Kelly for support. Texting with her allowed me to figure out what had triggered it and gave me an opportunity to learn from it for the future. Without having my network, I would probably have just ended up wallowing which would have only made the bad body image worse.

You also need to know that your own personal companions aren’t going to sabotage your efforts, whether it’s intentional or unintentional. This means understanding that you may not be going out to eat as often or not drinking as much or that your workouts sometimes have to come before your social life. They not only need to know about these changes they have to support them. This means no guilt tripping you or encouraging you to eat something you know you shouldn’t under the guise of “just one won’t kill you” or any of that bullshit. If someone isn’t supportive of your healthy lifestyle then they aren’t supportive of you.

Takes a Lot Of Heart

Or, in The Doctor’s case, two hearts. (No. Really. He has two of them.)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is not easy. As this saying goes, if it was easy than everyone would do it. And I’m not just talking about losing weight, be it 10 pounds or 135. I’m talking about balancing a healthy lifestyle. I’m talking about giving your diet an overhaul or building up a fitness routine. It takes passion and determination and motivation. You aren’t going to wake up one day and say I’m going to lose 100 pounds or I’m going to run a marathon and then expect it to magically happen. You have to work towards that goal. You have to put in the time and energy over and over and over again. You have to continually be putting in the effort. Because, truthfully, the race that is healthy living, there is no finish line.

Don’t Blink

Those stupid f*cking Weeping Angels, man. I don’t know about other Whovians, but as soon as I even just think about the Angels I start blinking uncontrollably.

Whatever healthy living change you are trying to make, don’t blink. Don’t take your eye off the ball. Be it losing weight or adding in new exercise routines or just eating better, don’t ever forget why you want the change to happen. I carry Before pictures around on my phone as a constant reminder of what I don’t want to be anymore. It’s not even just about not wanting to look like that but not wanting to weigh 311 pounds and having no energy, no life, no happiness. That is what keeps me motivated to keep going.

Bow Ties Are Cool

As are Converse sneakers. Or a striped scarf. It always sort of kills me whenever I read people (usually on stupid internet message boards) complaining about stores like Torrid because they see them as encouraging obesity, as if fat girls should be stuck wearing mumus for the rest of their life. As if forcing them to wear ugly clothes will someone force them to lose weight. I always want to yell You don’t really understand how this works, do you? Emotional eaters eat because they feel bad about themselves. They gain weight and need bigger clothes. If those bigger clothes make them look and feel like crap then they are going to continue to eat crap. So, in a way, you are encouraging obesity.

Look. Wear what you want to wear and stop worrying about the number on the tag. The clothing industry is ridiculous in that there is no sizing consistency across labels and brands. I can wear a 12 in one brand and in another it’s a 16. I could let it bother me but instead I buy whatever size makes me feel confident and happy. Trust me, people, wearing a particular size out of vanity isn’t going to do you any favors when the pants are so tight you are uncomfortable and everyone can see the muffin top.

Spoilers!

My absolute favorite Doctor Who character is River Song. The woman is a fucking bad ass and tends to wear femme fatale noir clothing. I mean, really: what isn’t there to love about River?

One of the coolest things about River is how we are introduced to her: in her very first episode, The Doctor has no idea who the hell she is but River knows all sorts of personal information about him. Including events in his life that haven’t even happened yet (side note: the relationship between River and The Doctor was partially inspired by The Time-Traveler’s Wife, one of my favorite books). River carries around this blue journal that looks a lot like the TARDIS and in it she has a whole history/future  of Doctor adventures only she refuses to tell him about any of it. Whenever someone mentions the journal she’ll just give that smile of her’s and say “Spoilers!”

We don’t know how our own stories are going to end. We don’t know what’s up ahead. We may lose more weight, we may gain it all back, or we may stay exactly where we are. There’s just no telling what life has in store for us, but that’s part of the beauty of the journey. When I first wrote this post back in March 2013 I had lost 135 pounds. Since then, thanks to life and stress and bad coping, I’ve regained 60 pounds, which I’ve always been completely honest and transparent about.

But that is soooooooo not what I saw coming for my future. But it is what it is and at this point I don’t know where I’ll be in another year and a half. Maybe I’ll be down, maybe I’ll be the same. But do you wanna know what else I didn’t see coming? The fact that I’m currently training for my third half marathon and this past Sunday I became a certified to teach spin classes. Oh yeah.

Yes, it’s scary not knowing and it would be so much easier if I could see in the future and know that twenty or thirty years down the road I’ll still be maintaining this weight and running more races and all of that. But I don’t know that and I won’t know until I get there. All I can really do is just take it one day at a time here in the present.


Bigger On the Inside

The Doctor travels in a time and space machine known as The TARDIS. It’s disguised as a big blue old-fashioned public telephone box. The running joke with the TARDIS is that it’s bigger on the inside. Like, way bigger. Swimming pool and multiple bedrooms and all sorts of timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly bigger.

We’ve all heard it before, that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but in the case of the TARDIS it really is true. And it’s true for all of us, too. Because the TARDIS isn’t just a blue box and you are not just the number on the scale or your dress size. So never let any of those things define you or your sense of self. Eleven rocks his bow ties and Fez hats and doesn’t care what anyone thinks because he knows he has so much more to offer the world. Like, y’know, saving it.

There Will Always Be Daleks to Exterminate

No matter how many times The Doctor saves the world from the Daleks or Cybermen or whatever, they are always coming back for  another fight. Healthy living — and weight maintenance in particular — is very much the same thing, because it’s a constant battle. A battle with yourself to find the motivation to wake up early and workout. A battle at the grocery store or restaurant.

Maybe battle is the wrong word as it sounds too negative. My point is just that you have to be aggressive and get after it. You can’t get lazy and allow yourself to fall back on old habits or a false sense of security, because as soon as you do that’s when the threat returns. I learned that the hard way, but it’s okay because I feel armed with my electronic screwdriver and I’m ready to do battle again.

Can Always Regenerate

So The Doctor that will be gracing television screens across the world in a few weeks is the same character as the one who was in the original 1963 premiere. Because there is only one Doctor. There just happens to be different versions and incarnations of him. That’s why they are each given numbers. Like, say, the upcoming Twelve. It’s a unique feature of the Time Lord species that allows the dying or wounded Doctor to stay alive by transforming into a new body (which often also comes with a new personality). It’s how new actors are introduced into the role (and probably how it’s managed to stay on the air for 50 years without the lead jumping the shark).

For us this means that there is always an opportunity for reinvention. A chance to try again. So you  overeat at the family reunion this past weekend. Monday morning you get to wake up to a fresh day with new choices. So your most recent race time wasn’t the best. Sign up for another race and go for that PR. You fell while trying to do a headstand in yoga class. Shake it off and try again next week.

We are always a work in progress and have all the advantages and opportunities to constantly better ourselves. Don’t ever take that for granted

Wordless Wednesday Fitbloggin Edition

#alltheselfies
#seeyouinDenver

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Dinner with blogging friends!

The FFK and Arian Foster

Oh yeah…I met Arian Foster

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AAAHHHH it’s Fit and Free with Emily!

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Holy Crap! It’s THE Steve Gray!

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A fuzzy me and an awesome 300 Pounds and Running

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Run Bang Run, 300 Pounds and Running, and the FFK

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The Fitbloggin mastermind Roni Noone

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It’s No Thanks to Cake!!!!

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Our marathon training session selfie!

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ERMAGHARD!!! IT’S FAT GIRL VS THE WORLD!!!!

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Sarah from Losing Weight and Having Fun!

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Oh yeah I FREAKIN’ MET MICKEY!

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Alan from Sweating Until Happy!

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Brooke "The Stud" Not On A Diet!

Brooke “The Stud” Not On A Diet!