Day 2068 Meowtastic Monday

Before I get started thank everyone for your love and support over the past 24 hours. I have the best readers on the interwebs. You all rock! Now, back to your regularly scheduled blogginess.

Breakfast:  Peanut butter and two waffles. Keeping it simple. When I got home from work, I had another waffle and a little peanut butter which is a pretty big win on its own. I still have issues with post-work eating. It’s hard not to eat all the things before dinner.
14 points 

burgerLunch: Today was the first of a two-day photo shoot with a professional photographer on campus. We trapezed across campus and took photos of hundreds of students (trust me, I have all the waivers to prove it.) Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before, Edmonds Community College has an amazing culinary program which means our campus grill is fantastic! I ordered a cheeseburger with fries. Everything is was made in-house down to the bun. Go Tritons! 19 points

workoutWorkout: After work, I had a date with Senorita Elliptical and it was magical…and by magical I mean painful but awesome. When I was done, I had three Starbursts which was 3 points. 

 

 

 

zombie cupDinner: Tonight, we had an FFK classic: UNCLE JIM’S CHILI!!!!!! Nothing like an amazing bowl of yuminess to finish the day. 20 points. 

Dessert: Megan and I are desperately missing Disney so we made pineapple ice cream float in our favorite Disney cups. I went with my zombie cup from Trader Sam’s. GAAAAAHHHH I miss Disney. 10 points. 

 

(FFK 101: If you’re new to the FFK, 90% of this blog of me taking weird selfies. This is my reality. Enjoy.)

Anyway, I had 66 points which is a lot but didn’t feel like a lot. If anything, I think that’s telling about how much I’ve been eating sans counting. The past two days have already been a pretty big eye opener in the best way possible. It feels good to have my life back on track. See ya tomorrow.

Extracurricular Living

Throughout my academic career, I was a pretty average student. Sure, I won the Taylor Elementary Geography Bee in 1998 because I knew that soda was made with corn syrup and is one of the top commodities produced by the US, but I wasn’t always the top of my class…or…ever the top of any class. In fact, Mrs. Lewis, my AP US History teacher in high school, told me one time that I was a B student and I always would be. (The wonderful faculty of Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Texas, ladies and gentlemen.) Now granted, I had some pretty awesome teachers as well like Mrs. Walters, who thought I was a pretty strong writer, and Mr. Davis, who helped me build a deer blind (which was big enough to be considered a tiny house by today’s standards) but overall, I was still just a funny fat kid who was always ready with a ridiculous joke or a comedic fall-out-of-the-chair routine in Ms. Tirey’s class that would have made Chris Farley proud.
Then…I got to college. A fat kid’s time to shine.
Artist rendering of Nathan MacDonald as an adult

Artist rendering of Nathan MacDonald as an adult. Not to scale.

Growing up, everyone told me that college is where you become the person that you’re going to be for the rest of your life. I was ready to finally flutter out of my cocoon and become the awkward butterfly I was born to be. Before I knew it, I was a part of the Freshman Action Council, I was singing in the college choir and eventually, I was pledging a social club (basically a fraternity at a Christian university. Same amount of weird pledging activities but with Bible verses) oh yeah, along with a social life, a part time job and a full load of classes. (Sing Song was thrown in there somewhere too. But that’s for another blog post. Here’s what I’m talking about. Yes…this is a thing. And yes, that is Megan directing. And yes, that is me as an obese Mickey Mouse.)

 But, to paraphrase Uncle Ben, with great time-sucking activities, comes great drop in GPA. I wasn’t a stellar student in college either; it was almost as if that Mrs. Lewis had accurately predicted my future. I left college with a lot of practical experience, but with a transcript that resembled a terrible pick of letters in a game of Scrabble. No vowels (or A’s) to speak of. I wanted graduate school to work, but I knew it was a long shot.
When I finally got in to grad school at Florida State, I flourished. I was on top of my assignments, I worked on group projects with brilliant colleagues, and for once, I was successful at this whole school thing. Consequently, I began my weight lost journey and lost 50 pounds in about a semester.
Why the sudden change, you ask? I didn’t let my extracurricular activities get in my way. I had spend my entire academic life focused on the wrong things. If I had put half as much effort into studying as I did at buying weird CD’s at Hastings, I would have been a pretty great student. Instead, I let the inane obligations of my college life take charge because they weren’t studying, which was hard for me. Up until grad school, that was my life in a nutshell: I didn’t want to work hard towards something because if I failed, it would have been a waste and I would be embarrassed like the time I broke a chair in the fifth grade in front of Brianna Allen, my elementary crush and my friend, Isaac Bray. Trying hard had gotten me nowhere. Why start now?
For the past year, I have let extracurriculars get in the way of my life. I worry about work instead of working out, I eat out to suppress my stress about finances and I watch TV instead of blogging. I do everything I can to avoid eating right and working out consistently and I have paid for it by gaining 30 pounds over the past year. Since October, Megan had I have been eating a heavily plant-based Nutritarian diet (I’ll talk more about that in another post soon) and at one point I had lost close to 15 pounds in about a month! Instead of continuing that momentum, I let my extracurriculars get in my way like not making a healthy choice while eating out or skipping a work out to go to a happy hour. Before I knew it, I was back to where I started and then some.
When I let my extracurriculars build up, I become lethargic and I just become numb and aimless. Losing weight and getting fit is a lot like a race with a finish line, you have a goal in mind so you train for it with purpose. Recently, I’ve been like a boxer beating the air.
So this week, I have re-framed my way of thinking and have created more of a structure for my life. Next week, I’m going to start for the Seattle Rock n’ Roll Half in June and for another awesome half in October (more on that soon!) Last night, I did interval training with a group of awesome friends for the first time and I’m going to use that as the anchor of my training this time around. I’m also going to start riding my spin bike when I’m watching TV, something that I used to do when I was at my lowest weight (not a coincidence). Finally, I have retooled my view on food. While I am going to Austin, the food mecca of the world, next week for SXSWedu, I’m not going to go all YOLO every meal. I am going to indulge, but I’m going to balance it with healthy meals too, along with a few runs thrown in.
I know I have been quiet on here for what feels like the last year, and I’m sorry. I haven’t made time for the FFK because frankly I have been embarrassed about how things have been going. Now, I know I’m not going to be perfect, but I am going to strive to write something ridiculous like this post once a week from now on. I’m still going to post my weigh in’s on the FFK Facebook page and I’ll throw in a Wordless Wednesday here and there. Thank you all for being amazing readers, supporters and friends over the years. You are all amazing.

The Art of Conquering Your Old Fears

When I was five years old, I took swimming lessons at the local college pool. After weeks and weeks of swimming in the safe shallow end of the half-Olympic sized pool, it was time to venture out into the dark abyss known as…the deep end. I was scared. Granted, how could I not be? There could be sharks and giant squids lurking in the briny deep! I patiently waited as my fellow seafarers to make the journey. Then, it was my turn to swim..err..doggy paddle…my way towards the deep end. I took a deep breath and started swimming.
3 feet.
4 feet.
5 feet.
6 feet.
12 feet.
I was doing it! I vividly remember looking up at the pool deck, seeing my Mom in the crowd of parents, and making some sort of exclaimed yelp. I was pumped! I HAD CONQUERED THE DEEP END! 

Sadly, this was the most daring feat of Nathan MacDonald as a minor.

For most of my life, I was what you would call…a scaredy cat. I didn’t like heights, I didn’t like getting hit in football, I didn’t even like sliding in baseball because I thought it might hurt. I didn’t take chances with my physical self. (Emotionally, I was a wrecking ball of silliness and attention grabbing.)

When I was in 7th grade, my class took a field trip to a ropes course. Now like I’ve said before, I weigh less right now than I did back then. I was awkward and chubby. So when it was my turn to do the trust fall, and have all my classmates catch me, I froze and adamantly said no. As the day progressed, I slowly began to muster up the courage to get on the course. At that point, everyone else had tried it except for me. When I went to climb up, the guide asked for another adult to help support her. You know, in case I fell off and, thanks to the science of a pulley system, pulled her up as I crashed to the ground. After I watched her ask for assistance, I slowly and sheepishly climbed back down.

Even though this episode happened about 14 years ago, I still remember how my weight took both my confidence and my fears hostage. At times, I still get uncomfortable and uneasy when I am confronted with a something like heights. Like last Monday.

I'm only half joking in this photo.... Photo credit: The Amazing Laura Osteen

I’m only half joking in this photo….
Photo credit: The Amazing Laura Osteen

So I work in a pretty awesome office with an even more awesome boss. When I heard that our office was invited to try out the new challenge course at FSU’s Rez, I was excited but slightly terrified at the same time. I figured “well, the Rez is gorgeous. And they’re going to need a photographer….” so I decided to go.

When it was time to put on a harness and go over the safety instructions , I started to panic. Really panic. I started to fumble around with the equipment and go through swings of making weird jokes and comments to being deathly silent. At this point, I felt like I was already behind everyone else. Then, my harness didn’t fit and I had to get a bigger one. So at this point, not only am I behind everyone else, I’m having to get special help. My fears and feelings from that experience in the 7th grade started to creep back up.

After a few more instructions, it was go time. I had already told everyone that I was going to stay on the ground…where it was safe. When it was our groups turn to climb up the webbing to first platform, I said “screw it. Let’s do this.” and I went up. I didn’t over analyze it. I just went for it.

Our first obstacle.  Photo credit: Joe Deer

Our first obstacle.
Photo credit: Joe Deer

The first obstacle was about 20 feet of the ground. I kept looking down and kept thinking “Welp. Time to die.” Then, like Indiana Jones, I took a step out on to the wire. “Okay…this isn’t so bad,” I said. “Actually, this might be…fun?” I got across without any problems. On to the next one!

On the next obstacle, I tried to step on a little unstable piece of wood that was a part of a shortcut to get to the other side. I tried to step on it…and I fell. But because of the multiple safety mechanisms within the course, I was fine. I pulled myself up and kept going. From them on…I was fearless. I finally knew the consequences of my failure and it was recoverable. So like my voyage to the deep end, I kept going.

The final obstacle of the day for me.  Photo Credit: Joe Deer

The final obstacle of the day for me.
Photo Credit: Joe Deer

My classic "Silently Screaming" face. Photo credit: Joe Deer

My classic “Silently Screaming” face.
Photo credit: Joe Deer

When we reached the last obstacle of the lower level of the course, I figured I had done enough for the day and called it good. As I was climbing down to the ground, I felt elated. I had broken my own mold. Even after years of testing my body and my limits during this weight loss journey, I still have fears of failure that I haven’t conquered. I still feel weird in the gym so I sometimes run instead because I’m better at it and I avoid playing some competitive sports because I don’t like letting my team down. But like that first step on to the wire, it’s sometimes scary to push yourself out of your comfort zone. But when you do, you can unlock your full potential.

 

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!

 

First Thursday Weigh In

Hello kids!

So The Biggest Loser started tonight and it’s…wait for it…

ALL FORMER JOCKS!

That’s right, after a season that ended with a crazy, and incredibly controversial, twist, this season is deviating from the average joe troupe to former athletes. This is going to be interesting for a lot of reasons. I guarantee there will be a lot of bruised egos, some annoying contestants, and some AWESOME transformations. I’m curious to see how this season goes and how it’s received by an audience who, from anecdotal and personal experience, were possibly bullied by people like them. (Again, I realize that comment might be a little general, but as a kid who was bullied by jocks, I don’t think I’m completely off base.)

Alright…Shifting gears.

On Sunday, I decided to change up my weigh-in date for a few different reasons. Namely, I didn’t think the number on the scale was telling the whole story (not that it ever really does. At the end of the day, it is just a number.) So on Sunday, I weighed in at 262 pounds (tailgating took its toll, y’all) and I knew that it was a little inflated. When I got on the scale this morning, I didn’t think I was going to lose even though I had worked out almost every day and had incorporated a lot of fruits, veggies, nuts and beans, into my diet. This morning, I weighed in at 255.6 so I lost 6.4 pounds! HUZZAH!!!!!!

https://i1.wp.com/media.giphy.com/media/XHsnuaGQsSuPu/giphy.gif?w=584

After that loss, I’m really ready to hit the ground running. I wasn’t perfect today, but I still ate an amazing salad for lunch and I walked a ton around campus for work! I’m definitely making some headway. I know this might sound crazy, but I feel like if I can string together two weeks with losses that I will mentally get through this funk I’ve been in. Henrietta and I have been had some killer wins thanks to Daily Burn, but now I just need a few wins on the scale to tie it all together.

Here’s to another awesome week!

Slight Program Change

http://envisioningtheamericandream.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/television-x-scan_pic0044.jpg?resize=357%2C303
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.

September Goals and Stuff

Because...owls.

Because…owls.

The semester has begun.
Hang on to your butts.

Now that September is finally here, I’ve realized that I want to end this year (because January will be here before you can sing “Let it Go”) with an epic bang. I really feel that I have put myself in the position to finally be done with this extra weight. Between my love affair with Henrietta the Kettlebell and tweaking my eating habits, I know that the weight will start to drop and my body will start to tone. Trust me, I’ve already see some great results thanks to Daily Burn’s 3-month kettlebell workout.

Sooooooooooooooo…
Here are a few goals I have set for myself this month to keep me on track. All of them are incredibly attainable…if I just push myself a little.

And yes, my September photo is ridiculous. I just googled “September” and owls popped up. It was a no brainer.

155Drop 10 pounds
It’s no secret that I have some extra weight that I am ready to get off. I am tired of being in the 250’s and sometimes the 260’s. I am doing the work to get out of the 250’s, but I let my bad eating get in the way on the weekends. (More on that in a second.)

HenriettaWork out 23 times in September
I have been pretty consistent with my exercising for the past few weeks…probably more consistent than it has ever been. For those of you who don’t know, Daily Burn is an app that sends you a workout every day that’s a part of a specific program. Like I said earlier, I’ve been doing the DBK workout almost every day. While some days are 50 minutes long, some are just 15 minute yoga sessions so the program is safe and includes those much-needed rest and rebuilding days. With essentially 27 days left in September, I’m aiming to work out 23 times by end of the month. I’m giving myself 4 rest and/or mulligan days because some days there’s just not enough time to work out. That being said, I will work out every time I have the time. That’s a lot of dates with Henrietta…

blog-clipart-blog_clip_artBlog at least once a week
(Seriously, Google has some awesomely weird clip art…) My goal is to write at least a weigh in post and one other post through out the weak. It might not always something epic, but it will be (hopefully) readable.

The Pretty Boy, The FFK and The Wolf walk into a tailgate...

The Pretty Boy, The FFK and The Wolf walk into a tailgate party…

Control my eating in social situations (i.e. tailgating)
I feel like this is the goal that will determine the success or failure of losing 10 pounds in September. As the most wonderful time of the year, college football season, begins here in Tallahassee, so does tailgating season. Because there is really nothing more fun than cooking, eating, playing ladder golf and watching your team tear through the ACC in the swamptastic days of summer disguised in fall clothing. A combination of poor eating and excessive heat on a Saturday does not successful weigh in make on Sunday. While we won’t tailgate every weekend in September, I am going to cook some healthy takes on tailgate favorites when we do and grill all the deliciously healthy stuff while I’m at home!

So like I said, these goals aren’t crazy, but they will take some work. Regardless, it will all be worth it this time next month.

HERE’S TO AN EPIC SEPTEMBER!!!

One more thing…
If you live in the west, you have to watch Extreme Weight Loss tonight! It features the awesome Rod Durham from Tallahassee!!!!!

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?

My Top 5 Takeaways From Fitbloggin’

Oh man…so much to say…along with so many feels and ideas and challenges and thoughts and other awesome stuff.

So this past weekend, I finally got to do something that I’ve wanted to do for the past four years: attend Fitbloggin’. Even though I haven’t been able to go for one reason or another in the past, I have never really pushed to make it happen because I didn’t feel like I belonged. I mean, only blogging juggernauts who make it rain off their AdSense payouts attend blogging conferences, right? So for years, I have been fighting off that feeling, only to find out that I was the only one holding myself back.

I’ll never forget walking into the conference and having some of my favorite bloggers like DubyaWife and Alan from Sweating Until Happy come and give me a hug and then meeting some of the bloggers that I have followed ever since the beginning of my journey like Robbie from Fatgirl Vs. the World, Brooke from Brooke Not On A Diet and Kelly from Curvy Fit Girl. It was this beautifully weird sensation of embracing people that I’ve never met in person but I’ve known for the entire part of this new life. Simply put, Fitbloggin’ truly is the cat’s pajamas. (No, there was no feline nightwear involved at Fitbloggin.)

So without further adieu, I present…

My Top 5 Takeaways From Fitbloggin’

1. If You’ve Been to Savannah, You’ve Stood on a Dead Person.

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Photo Credit: carriedphotography

Half of the fun of Fitbloggin’ was being in the swashbucklin’, old south, and gorgeous city of Savannah, Georgia. Being originally from Texas, it is rare to be in a place with such beautiful 18th century architecture and being in a space that was a part of the original 13 colonies.

But with that kind of historical impact comes a lot of dead people. Lots of dead people (the kid from the Sixth Sense’s head would have probably exploded if he had lived in Savannah. Which is kind of funny since Haley Joe Osment was the little kid in Forrest Gump and he lived in Savannah. Weird…)

Anyway, so due to building over old cemeteries with urban sprawl and some rampant pandemics of yellow fever, a lot of today’s Savannah is built on stacks of dead people. Then there were the scores of poor souls that never made it into the city from Fort Jackson, the gateway into America, thanks to a red light district that was actually a front for a SAWS-like Thunderdome of mutilation that even turned sick people into chum for fishing boats (insert obsolete HMO joke here). I know all of this thanks to the AWESOME ghost tour we went on the first night. Yes, we rode in hearses and no, we didn’t see any ghosts, put others did!

2. I Flippin’ Love Zumba!

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DubyaWife and me about to party like it’s 1985.

You all know how much I love to try new workouts! Well, I finally got to do one that I’ve wanted to do for a long time: ZUMBA! One of the sessions this year was a Zumba class with an 80’s flare! There were fluorescent legwarmers and side ponytails (along with Monica from Run Bang Run‘s AWESOME Jaws shirt) as far as the eye could see. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I did expect that I would be very uncoordinated and fall down numerous times. I surprised myself and made it through the whole class without completely embarrassing myself :). The energy in the class was amazing and the sweat was abundant. It felt nice to do a class and just work out and not care about how ridiculous I (most likely) looked. While I love working out at FSU, it really is weird being the only guy (and an older and awkwardly shaped guy at that) in a class of pretty fit folks. I tend to get pretty uncomfortable so it was awesome to just let loose and shake it like a salt shaker!

From that class, which was awesomely taught by Simplifying Sam, Mrs. Fatass and a few other instructors, I realized that I really want to get certified and teach something, whether it be Zumba, Tabata, spinning, or really anything. I want to motivate people and burn some calories while doing it! I think I would do really well with people who are just starting on their journey too!

3. The Number on the Scale Isn’t Everything, but Living Your Life is

One of my favorite sessions was about what is like after you reach your goal weight, which was led by my buddy Kelly, but it also had some weight loss rock stars like THE Roni Noone and Sarah, who has lost 200 pounds! The session quickly turned into a call for a paradigm shift on how we view the “after” stage of weight loss. Sure, there is a honeymoon stage, but life doesn’t end there. It’s as if you take on a new identity. Thinking about it now, I definitely feel like I already have a new identity from the life I used to have. I used to be the person that was going to die early and was close to becoming immobile and now I’m the active half marathoner who has shed more than 100 pounds off of his body. With that being said, I am ready to reach my goal of getting to a healthy weight. Which means I’m not chained to the scale like it’s the Biggest Loser or something like that. The true end goal is to be healthy. And I’m absolutely on the right track.

4. Bloggers Are Even Cooler In Real Life

Seriously, can we all run together all the time now?

Seriously, can we all run together all the time now?

I have to admit that I do tend to have some issues with hero worship which can sometimes lead to becoming very disappointed after meeting said hero. Like the time I met the bands Relient K and OC Supertones.

Both bands were kind of jerks. And it made me sad.

So really, I didn’t know how Fitbloggin’ was going to go in that regard. We all have our online personas that sometimes contradict our real selfs. Well, that wasn’t the case at all! I know that sounds kind of weird, but what I’m saying is that I met some of the most genuine, sweet, and awesome people who are dealing with the same issues I am dealing with. Really, my favorite part of the whole conference was running a 5k through Savannah with some awesome people! Like Zumba, it was fun to just let loose and be silly and not have anyone judge how good or bad you are doing. Especially when you decide to yell “WE’RE FAMOUS ON THE INTERNET!!!” at innocent bystanders and they don’t think you’re a jerk, just an awesome weirdo like the rest of them!

and finally…

5. Some of the Best Takeaways Happen After You Leave Fitbloggin’

As we were driving back to Tallahassee from Savannah, I was mentally gleaning through the weekend and trying to pinpoint the definitive takeaways. I left unsure about how I truly felt about my weight loss progress. A while back, I made the declaration to lose 75 pounds by next June, and I was trying to decide whether or not that was a good idea. In one of the sessions, DubyaWife talked about how she needed a goal in order to get laser focused with her weight loss and that definitely resonated with me. Like her, I need that attainable goal to use as a framework for my actions.

When it came time to dinner, we threw dietary caution into the wind and went to Cracker Barrel. All I wanted was a giant plate of chicken n’ dumplings, macaroni n’ cheese, mashed potatoes with gravy, and green beans. Almost immediately after I ordered, I panicked. “WHAT DID I JUST DO???” I thought. “I’M COMPLETELY UNDOING EVERYTHING I’VE LEARNED THIS WEEKEND!!!” Like I was in some weird time vortex, I could forsee the consequences of my actions: overeating, feeling sick, getting angry. Then the food came and I ate. But halfway through my meal, I was full. Usually, I just suck it up and keep eating. But this time was different. I told my body that I was done. It was like the fork in my hand had some electromagnetic connection to the rest of the food, but I resisted. It physically hurt to not eat the rest of my food. Finally, the server walked by and I told her that I was done. And then I sat there and started to tear up. This was the first time I have stood up to food in years and it has set the tone for the rest of my week and really my life. I feel like that I will look back at the time I stood up to food at a Cracker Barrel in Jacksonville, Florida as a pivotal moment in my weight loss journey. That it was the moment where the finish line to this race was finally in sight. That is, and will always will be, the biggest takeaway from Fitbloggin’ 2014.

Getting Real About the Scale and Vacations

Why hello!

So after a weekend full of ridiculously delicious food, I could feel my body say “okay kid, you’ve had your fun. Now it’s time to get back to business.” I haven’t checked the scale since Saturday morning, but I now that I am back on track so there’s no real reason to. It’s really really really easy to treat the scale like some life raft that I hold on to for some sort of validity instead of being a compass that is guiding me in the right direction.

The issue is that I won’t be able to do official weigh ins for the next few weekends because of fitbloggin and various vacations in July so I won’t have that pressure to be good (which is a bad way to look at it, I know). I guess I wouldn’t feel so clingy to the scale if I wasn’t still in the 250’s. Frankly, I am terrified of getting about 257. If I got above that, I would be out of the Century Club.
Scumbag-WeightWhile my weight has fluctuated a bit over the past year, I can still say that I have lost 100 pounds. I’ve been able to say since August 14th, 2011 and I’m incredibly proud of that. I know that if I slip up when I’m on vacation and things like that, my weight could go crazy. So I’m going to have to challenge myself to be as strict as possible. I know it’s possible to lose weight on vacation because I’ve actually done it multiple times. It’s really easy to get caught up in the joys of pigging out on your hometown foods, but I know that I have an ultimate goal laid out to lost 75 pounds by next June. I can’t afford to spend time undoing what I gained on a vacation. I have a lot of weight to undo already! The other thing is that I’ve been making some killer strides in my eating and how I look at food so I don’t want to undo that progress as well.

So that’s kind of where I am mentally right now. I had full intention of doing a post full of food from my day, but sometimes I need just need to get some thoughts on to paper…er…screen. See ya tomorrow.