The post where I need your help…

I have always been a fan of 90s Christian music. Steven Curtis Chapman’s Heaven in the Real World album to Jars of Clay’s self-titled album have formed not just my faith but my childhood. There’s something pure about that genre that reminds of a simpler time in my life. Now, I’m not going to get into escapism or its musicological ramifications (I’ll leave that to my wife…the one with the Ph.D. in the topic) but I’m sure a lot of us could dig up defining memories and tie it to a specific theme or medium, be it Darkwing Duck, Punky Brewster, sparkly parachute pants…you get the idea.

When I think about the FFK brand per se, I can pinpoint a portion of those defining moments, some of which are refreshed by reading my older posts. But unlike a has-been actor in my own digital life, I tend to forget just how amazing that part of my life was.

That said, I do remember this: This blog shaped me. It made me a better person. It literally transformed my life. And I’m ready to move on from this boring part of the Lifetime movie that is my life (starring James Van Der Beek in a fat suit as me) and move into the third act where I’m not [as] worried about my health and the size of my waist.

So at this point, I’m sure you are wondering “what does this have to do with anything? Why am I reading this? Isn’t the Wheel on?” Hang tight. I’m getting there.

(Fair warning, I kind of buried the lede in this post)

This March, I’m returning to Abilene Christian University to give a TED Talk at TEDxACU. While this is an absolute bucket item that I am incredibly stoked to cross off my list, I still am working what idea I have that is worth spreading. The title “Repetitive Forward Motion Keeps You Moving” harkens back to a defining moment when I was on a rough run while I was training for my first half marathon. While I think back to times like that and wonder what would have happened if I took my own advice and kept moving forward, I think even more about the context of those times and how I felt about myself.

So…here’s where the title of this particular posts enters in.

I wanted to avoid qualifying/apologizing for this request since it might sound self-serving. If you feel that it is, then just don’t respond ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I want to hear why you read this blog. Why did/do you follow it? What was it about me or my weight loss journey that kept you reading? Not only do I want to know so I can keep creating content that you’ll enjoy, I want to remember why that was such a defining time. You can text, call, FB message, email or even comment in the box below. Let me know. And in the meantime, I’ll keep crafting my idea worth spreading.


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 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!


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!!&text1=boomshakalaka&text2=&text3=

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.


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

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.


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!


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.

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


Meeting Bart Yasso and Tallahassee Half Marathon Recap


Can you believe that it’s already February? It really puts in to perspective that time flies when you’re having fun whether you like it or not. January had a lot of high points, along with a lot of low points. But I’m not going to get in to that right now. The important thing is that I’m back on the upswing and I’m making slow progress on a lot of levels.

And with that, let’s talk about this epic weekend.

The last time I had ran before the Half on Sunday was Jan. 4th. Almost 30 days. I had done a lot  of cross training, but not a solid run. So needless to say I was pretty nervous about this race because I knew I could have easily A) injured myself B) not finish or C) Both…because I had spontaneously combusted. I had every intention of running, but I didn’t make the time for it like I should have.


Bart talking about a crazy race where he was tied to a donkey. Yes, that's a thing apparently.

Bart talking about a crazy race where he was tied to a donkey. Yes, that’s a thing apparently.

That leads us into Saturday, the day of the race expo. Even though I had been to the race expo last year, I felt incredibly insecure like I didn’t belong. Fun fact: sometimes fit people terrify me. Since I’ve gained this extra weight, I have felt incredibly uneasy at times and it’s been frustrating. All I knew was that one of my running heroes, Runner’s World’s Bart Yasso, was going to speak at the expo. A while back, I read his book My Life on the Run and it was incredibly inspiring to see the life-changing impact the sport of running had made on his life. It was oddly relatable to me because even before I started trying to lose weight, I loved running. My true journey really began on the treadmill at Anytime Fitness in Abilene, Texas. I remember going for an hour on it at a solid 3.5 mph while watching the Texas Rangers on the TV. It was hard, but I kept at it. Soon, I started running outside and then eventually, my first 5k. You see, your transformation doesn’t always start when you think it does. Sure I got my eating in order on 9/18/10, but I had already started to build a foundation of fitness about a year prior. For Bart, it was the transition from being addicted to drugs and alcohol to becoming a runner whose new drug was marathons and evangelizing for the sport of running across the globe.
Anyway, Bart got up and started his talk with three consistencies of the successful runners he knows/works with. They slow down on their long runs, go easy (surprisingly easy) on their easy runs, and they avoid injury at all costs (which I know some a unavoidable like tripping and running into parked cars, but you get the idea) which really all of those make a lot of sense. He went on to talk about some of the crazy races he’s ran like a marathon in Antarctica, a naked run in Spokane, Washington, and even the insanly baller Badwater Ultra in Death Valley that actually finishes on the top of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the Lower 48. He finished his talk with “never limit where running can take you” which is absolutely true. It was amazing just to hear him talk while staying incredibly humble about it all. It was truly inspiring. After his talk, I went up to him, asked him to sign my book, and took a photo with him. Pretty awesome guy. He actually ran the Half too and I shook his hand again after the race. Pretty awesome guy.


Brian and I at the starting line. Too excited for our own good.

Brian and I at the starting line. Too excited for our own good.

So like I said earlier, I was pretty worried about this race. My game plan was to just go out there, set a reasonable pace, and let instincts do the rest. I knew that a PR was lofty so I was going to just enjoy the run.
The morning was foggy, but cool. In Florida, foggy usually means an incredibly humid day, which meant this race could really suck. Luckily, my buddy Brian was also running the race so we ran together. I’ve kind of been a lone wolf when it comes to running, so it was nice to have some company! The race started promptly at 7:30 am and we were off. Last year, I started off waaaaaay too fast. My first mile last year was a blitzing 8:39. This year: 10:03…and it definitely played in to my favor. We kept a really solid pace for the first 4 miles together. We kind of did our own thing from then on. I saw a lot of work friends and friends from church along the course which was really encouraging. Around mile 10, I felt awesome, but I did the math in my head and figured that I probably wasn’t going to PR. So, I just enjoyed the last couple of miles. It turned out to be a beautiful morning on one of my favorite trails. That all came to a halt in the last half mile around campus. My legs started to feel like lead and each step was harder than the last. I finally reached the last .1 that went around the track where the finish line was. That is when my calves started to cramp up a little, which was awesome because last year they started cramping around mile 9.
I finished at 2:20:59 which is still a pretty awesome time. I felt waaaaaay better at the finish line compared to last year. I actually enjoyed this half. Why, because I paced myself a lot better this time. I kept thinking about that scene in Home Improvement when Tim and Bob Vila raced their muscle cars. Tim had the opportunity to beat Bob if he had pushed his car a little harder, but he know that if he did, the car that he had been working on for years would blow up. Instead, he held off to race another day. I thought a lot about how I essentially stopped running until October last year after burning myself out on such a brutal half. After a much needed rest day today, I could definitely run a few miles tomorrow and be okay. I’ve learned a lot from this half and I’m ready to start training for another one soon!

Here are a few more photos from the weekend. Enjoy!


And here's something to haunt your dreams tonight.

And here’s something to haunt your dreams tonight.

It Feels Like Day 1 All Over Again…


Welcome to the beginning of something great.

I woke up this morning with purpose. This was the start of a new chapter of my journey. And I’ve never been so excited.

Welcome to Day 1…again.

Let’s start at the beginning!

A White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Clif Bar that actually tasted like a doughnut! (Or maybe it did because I wanted it to so badly…) 7PP

3 tbsp of almonds which was perfect for a snack with my straight-black coffee around 10 am  3PP

I had a 8PP Lean Cuisine Parmesean Baked Fish with pasta. It was surprisingly delicious! I also has two servings of Chick-O-Sticks which was 4 PP. For a pre-workout snack, I had a 3 PP serving of peanut butter with celery!

So excitedExercise!!!
I know…I love ridiculously insane in this photo. I think I was just that excited to work out after work! Today, I did 15 minutes on the row machine until my arms starting spelling out words with my veins under my skin. After that, I went over and climbed the Empire State Building on the Stairmaster. No big.
When I got home, I drank all the water and ate two peaches (which were no points!)
9 Activity points!

Megan cooked up some delicious rotini with some spaghetti sauce and these awesome chicken sausages from Sam’s Club. Oh yeah, and A LOT of broccoli (also no points!) For dessert, three little Chick-O-Sticks which were just enough sweetness to feel like actual dessert. 15 PP

So today I got to 40 PP today which is 11 under my goal. I’m not really hungry because the fruits and veggies keep me so full! I might have a little something later, but right now I’m good! Awesome first day!

Now…about the weigh-in situation

A lot of you had a lot of opinions and suggestions and I thank you all for commenting!
After thinking it over and talking to Megan (always ask your best friend for advice!) I will officially be weighing in at our Saturday morning Weight Watchers meetings. The more I thought about, the idea of having multiple weigh in’s every week would get incredibly annoying and ridiculous. I have committed to Weight Watchers and this new chapter in my weight loss so I need to give it all over to it which includes weighing in. I’m also going to avoid getting on my scale through out the week. There’s no reason to do that to myself (thanks for helping me realize that Brooke!)

So here is the skinny of it all. Yesterday’s weigh in is my weigh in for the week. I was 237.8 which means I was up 11.4 pounds from the Tuesday before last (yikes…) Saturday is my new weigh in day so expect a weigh in day post this Saturday, the start of a new weight loss week. See ya tomorrow.

Have a question for the FFK? Ask me in the comments below! I have a feeling tomorrow’s post will have a video… 🙂 


Who is the FFK?

I am a lot of things…

I am…
a Canadian-born Texan who now lives in Florida.

I am…
a proud graduate of Abilene Christian University and Florida State University

I am…
a Brother in Frater Sodalis

I am…
Megan’s husband
Brittany’s brother
Nancy and Glen’s son
Molly the Dog’s best friend

And since September 18th, 2010, I have been a loser. 

Prior to that date, I didn’t let my weight define me, but it was defining my future.
You see, my whole life then was about my weight in some way or another. Conversations with strangers would eventually lead to it within just a few comments. While I was as incredibly charming and ridiculous as the man writing here today, most people still saw my weight first. Like I have said before, I was letting my whole life pass me by.

For the past three years, I have been working hard to lose this weight and it has hit a score of snags along the way. I have been blessed with minimal injuries and other physical setbacks even when training for the Tallahassee Half. With that, there has been little to no reason why I don’t go out every day and kick my weight loss in the nards. I don’t do it because I have made other things in my life top priority. One of them is my career, but in a lot of ways that makes complete sense <no job/no money/no food/no internet/no means to show readers what I eat>. When in a lot of other ways it doesn’t make sense because I have the means and the constraints to make better decisions with my health (not to mention racquetball being a useful cathartic device after work). For the past year, I was slowly sinking into a hole of listlessness with my blog and other aspects of my life. I needed a jolt, because these weren’t things that defined me anymore. I wasn’t the same legalistic (in a good way) weight loss evangelist I had been and it made me sad.

Then, Fitbloggin’ took over my newsfeed. Last week, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and essentially every blog I read was inundated by this amazing conference. And I was jealous. Ridiculously jealous. I wanted to be there so bad because not only was it in Portland (#Dreamtown) it was the revival that my weight loss could have used. So instead of becoming inspired from photos like this and blog posts like that, I sat at home and sulked…while holding a slice of pizza like it was a newborn made of cheese and pepperoni.

(I am well aware of how weird that analogy is. Let’s just move on and act like it never happened. Unless you thought it was funny and dark and in that case continue to laugh, Julie Dow.)


After days of my pity party of one, I have made some fantastic self realizations. The biggest of them being that  I have a new job where being incredibly passionate about what you do and the causes you believe in is job 1!!! I work with people everyday that want to make this world a better place! In my interview, I told my now-boss that my dream job was to work somewhere that promotes good, which is hard for someone to find in PR and Marketing. His response was “well…that’s what you’ll be doing.” That’s when I knew this was the beginning of something great. Now that I have been there for a few weeks, I have had to let it all sink in a little. And I realized that it is time to invest my heart and soul into this position because it is what I’m being called to do. When I made that decision to fully invest in this job, the spark to continue my weight loss journey was rekindled.

Now, the journey continues and I control my future. I have worked way too hard to plateau the way I have for the past year and half. I have been resting on my past victories for too long. I’m ready to post some new victories and go into unchartered weight loss waters.

So what does that mean for the blog?

Well…that’s a good question.

You see, I like writing these long self-reflecting essays about my life, but I have been trying to do that with every post. That’s not feasible for a daily blog (yes…this blog used to be daily.) I like writing them because it’s the kind of thing I like to read, but it’s not the best for me as a blogger because writing 800+ words a night gets exhausting.

So the new blog layout until further notice is the following

Monday, Thursday and Friday: Entries with points with a little reflection. It might now always be interesting, but I need that kind of accountability right now. I’m brining back the food journal side of the FFK.

Tuesday: Still my Weigh-In Day. I’ll reflect on how I feel and how I can do better.

Wednesday: Still Wordless Wednesday. Get stoked.

Saturday and Sunday: A post like this one. More reflective on the week, along with other cool things like giveaways, reviews, guest posts, and more!

It feels good to be back. See ya tomorrow.