Weigh-in Saturday!

Hey, kiddos!
You’ve read that right, it’s weigh-in day! I haven’t written one of these in years and I’ve really missed taking time out of my Saturday to reflect on how my weight loss journey is progressing. Currently, my plan is to update you (yes, you) and my other lovely readers on how things are going. Transparency is something I’ve lost over the years, not because I’m ashamed of how I’m doing, far from it. I just haven’t made being transparent about my journey a priority, much like my health in general.

So…with that, I would like to introduce you to the new Saturday weigh-in format! Every week you’ll see these questions along with any other nugget of randomness I can throw in.

Here we go! [insert “The Final Countdown” synthesizer tune here.]

The Rundown
How did I do?
This past week was a little out of the ordinary. My 31st birthday was last Saturday (hooray for being a fully functional thirtysomething!) and my parents were in town! Last time they were in Seattle it rained the entire time. This time: the weather was perfect. So we walked a lot and enjoyed allllll of the deliciousness Seattle has to offer from Duke’s fish and chips to drinking chocolate at Fran’s. While I didn’t stay on the healthy eating path the whole time they were here, I was back at it for the rest of the week. So this week I actually lost 2.8 pounds this week! I’ve started tracking using the MyFitnessPal app (don’t tell Oprah!) because I’ve gotten pretty lazy when it comes to tracking everything. Personally, it’s been pretty easy for me to stay complacent when tracking because there are soooooo many zero point options now. It’s easy to fudge your tracking (and by fudge I mean you eat more fudge) and forget that just because those foods are zero points, they are still calories…and fat…and carbs…and sodium. (WW folks, how do you like the new Freestyle System? Let me know in the comments!) Anyway, between tracking and hitting up the gym four times this week, I was stoked with that loss.

Current Weight: 268.6 pounds

Total weight loss: -88.4

Favorite meal last week:
By far and away my favorite meal of the week was on my birthday at Flintcreek Cattle Co. in the Greenwood neighborhood in Seattle. Their menu includes an array of delicious western ranch-raised meats along with game like boar and venison. I had the 12oz ribeye topped with a glorious compound butter. I was a huge fan of not only the food but the awesome vibe and that it’s tucked in one of my favorite understated parts of the Emerald City. Definitely, go check it out!

What went well last week?
I’ve been a lot more intentional about treating food as a strength trainer rather than a counselor. I don’t rely on food to make me feel better. That’s what exercising is for!

What will I work on this upcoming week?
I’m super excited to hang out with two awesome sets of friends tonight! I’m so happy that we’ve found these pockets of awesome people wherever we lived. From Dim Sum in the International District to a 90s pop dance party in Belltown, it should be a fun night!

(Stay tuned this week for a post about my peeps!)

Overall, I’m really happy about the momentum this new year has brought. I’m also really happy that this blog is back in my life. I can’t wait to see where this journey goes from here.

Stay awesome.







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.


Figuring it all out

Looking Forward

“Why, hello. Haven’t seen you here in a while…”

I don’t know why I haven’t posted in so long. I’ve opened this blog page, tried to type, came up with some solid draft ideas, and then lost steam. I kept trying to come up with some epic post with Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mac” blasting from the heavens as I return to my blogtastic glory.

But life doesn’t work that way.

The blog has been such an important part of the past almost decade of my life. Not only did it serve as the trailhead of my weight loss journey, it shaped my skills as a writer. I also hoped that it would help encourage others to become healthier. Not out of any selfish hope, but because I knew how much better my life was inside and out once I made that change in my own life.

“So…why did you stop blogging, Nathan?” 

I think I stopped writing because I was ashamed of gaining some weight back. When I weighed 225, I dealt with some dark stuff. I hated how I looked. With a capital “h” hated. I felt like I was this rubber band that was stretching myself out to new links, but deep down I knew that I would snap back one day. And it did, but it could have been way worse.

Somehow, I think that stunted my weight-loss growth. I think instead of confronting some of those issues (you know…when you realize that you feel feelings that aren’t always happy) so I resorted back to food instead of confronting them.

What I’ve realized this week is that you really don’t truly grasp the concept of self-preservation until you’re 29 and a half. Whether you like it or not, you figure out that you have to watch out for yourself. Whether that’s your job, your friendships, or your health. I’ve pushed myself really hard in my late 20s and it took its toll on my health. I was really hard on myself. In fact, that has been on every job evaluation I’ve ever had. I wasn’t trying to be perfect, I was trying to do it all. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I did because I got to work on some amazing projects with some amazing people, but I’ve finally realized that it’s OK to take a step back.
Not every fight is my own.

“So…what now?”
Well, I am going to start writing again. I still wear the FFK moniker as a badge of honor. I love inspiring others. I feel that it’s what I am called even at a spiritual level. If every day of my life isn’t spent helping others, then what’s the point?

For years, I have pushed other people to embrace and promote the personal brand they want others to see. I haven’t been doing that. For the past three years, I’ve been this weight loss has-been. Now, it’s time to practice what I preach. It’s time to keep moving forward.

Day 2071 “My Arms are Tired” Edition

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

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

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

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




Yeah…I have some work to do.

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

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

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



Day 2069

Why, hello! Let’s get this going!

(Oh yeah, tomorrow is Wednesday. Get stoked for…wait for it…WORDLESS WEDNESDAY!!!!)

Breakfast: Waffles and peanut butter. Nothing new. 12 points.
Today was day of our photo shoot at work so I took the photographer to our college’s cafe. Now, the College Cafe at Edmonds is not your average, run of the mill, World Famous Bean. No sir, our cafe has table service and everything is made by our students! I had the pesto pasta with seared shrimp and red peppers. It was magical! I had one of their delicious chocolate chip cookies for dessert. YERM!
24 points 




Exercise: After work, Megan and I went for a walk around Greenlake, the best walking trail in Seattle! The weather was perfect and the puppies were plentiful. We even saw a few ducklings! Nothing like a long walk with your boo after a long day/week/month/year.





tofu tacosDinner: Since we were down in the area, we stopped by Shelter for dinner. And no, not a homeless shelter. Far from it. Shelter is this super trendy restaurant with massive windows and a spectacular view of the lake.  I went with with the fried tofu wanton tacos with cilantro slaw. Megan and I split an order of their avocado fires which are just as indulgent as they sound. Dinner was about 20 points. Give or take a few points.


So today I had about 56 points which wasn’t too shabby! While I only have 10 weekly points left (not counting my activity points which are still a thing…I think?) I am learning something new about my eating decisions and why I pick certain foods and how much. It’s only the third day in but I’m feeling great. See ya tomorrow.

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.

Day 2067


I’m not going to act like I haven’t posted in four months. I’ve wanted to blog about all the things from Game of Thrones to eating to the Biggest Loser study to how I have struggled with this whole plate spinning adventure that is my life. While living in Seattle has been a hard adjustment at times, it has provided me with some amazing opportunities in other parts of my life which has made it all worth it. But now that the honeymoon is over, (well, whatever honeymoon comes after a hellacious six-day trek across the country anyway) I am ready to get back this part of my identity. I miss being the FFK. I miss my fitness tribe. I miss losing weight. It’s time to get that part of my life back. So, why now start from the very beginning? It’s a very good place to start!

Weigh in: So I’m not going to sugar coat it…I gained 5.4 pounds the week before last. Spring is a crazy time in higher education which leads to a lot of stress eating. Last week, while I still didn’t eat super well, I made smart decisions and drank a lot more water. Plus I had some more time to reflect on my life which really helped my stress levels. I lost a pound this week which was awesome! I’m ready to get the rest of that gain off!

(To avoid any confusion, I am not in the 220’s like this photo that recently circulated around the interwebs. I’m not there…yet. I weighed in at 263.6 this morning. That’s still a 93.4 lb loss for those playing at home. So yeah, I’ve still kept that much off since 2011. That’s an amazing win on its own! Anyway, where was I? I’ve missed these parenthetical rants.)

Breakfast: Megan made this delicious crustless quiche with asparagus, mushrooms and gruyere. It was only 16 points. 

FullSizeRenderLunch: This afternoon, Megan and I went to the Starbucks Roastery for some Serious Pies. Yes, the Roastery is so epic that is has its own Tom Douglas restaurant in it. While we usually get our own pizzas, we decided to share one and got a salad too. We split this insanely scrumptious oil-based wood fire pizza with smoked mozzarella, garlic, chive blossoms and this some cured pork that I can only describe as Bacon’s hipster cousin. Half the pie was about 15 points. 

Snack: My coworker brought me a few bags of ketchup chips from his recent trip to Canada. Sooooo good, eh? I weighed out a few grams to make sure I was eating an actual half serving. They tasted like childhood. And ketchup. 4 points for a half serving.

After some serious spring cleaning, I had a 4 point piece of Dave’s Killer Bread and 2 points of peanut butter.

We also went to the Lake Forest Park farmer’s market and I had a kona coffee popsicle from the Seattle Pops stand. It was about 5 points. (There was supposed to be a selfie of me and an alpaca here but it won’t upload properly. I’ll post it to Instagram. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that there was an alpaca at the farmer’s market. Because…Seattle.)


Check out my strong neckbeard game. And my strong fat neck game.

Dinner: Last night, we made some halibut fish tacos with this cabbage slaw with cilantro, lime and purple onion. Since we still had some slaw left, we made them again! Halibut is not only in season right now, it’s only one point for three ounces. Score! We lightly breaded the fillets with flour, egg and panko. Add some avocado and sour cream? Money. Anyway, four tacos was 21 points. Not too shabby!

So today I ate about 63 points which is over my 52 point daily allowance. I dipped into my weekly points which was definitely worth it.

Well, there it is. More to come. 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 is on the Move

So I realized that I haven’t talked about it here on the ol’ bloggy blog, but I have a pretty epic announcement!


Seattle Bound

Space Needle not to scale to human person.

A few weeks ago, I was offered the marketing manager position at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Washington! My first day is August 3rd and we are moving next Friday. (Yes…as in seven days from today. Holy Moses.) Ever since our wedding day, we have wanted to move to Seattle. It’s been a dream of ours for so long and now that it’s finally here, I still haven’t completely processed that it’s actually happening. It will probably hit me when we’re driving through Colorado or something.

It’s weird because while I am still in pseudo-disbelief, I’m doing everything I can to remain present in this moment. My time in Tallahassee has been so pivotal both as a professional and as someone who dramatically changed his life by losing more than 100 pounds. It didn’t, but a lot of times it feels like my life began in Tallahassee. It’s when I took on this new identity of a fitness blogger who runs half marathons and names his kettlebell. Over the past week, I’ve passed certain parts of campus and I think back to these key moments in my life and all I want to do is write about it. But I’m pretty sure that would just end up with me bawling on my computer which is not good.

It’s also weird because it feels like Megan and I have been in Tallahassee over three acts: Act One) Graduate School
Act Two) Working at Admissions
Act Three) Working at the Center
While we have had some of the same close friends over the past five years, we have also been close with others who have come and gone. Specifically my close friends in grad school and from our church when we first moved here. That cast in Act One were there from the very beginning of my weight loss. They watched me slowly shrink into a completely different person and supported me the whole way through. I can’t thank them enough. I couldn’t have done it without them. But Act One feels so far away now. Since then, I feel like I’ve gone through all these other incarnations with other awesome supporters along the way.

I am starting another Act One next week. A new chapter in my life where people don’t know my story and that I wore a size 60 suit to my wedding. It’s a fresh start and that’s kind of refreshing. For a long time, I thought about taking the “1” off my weight loss number to see if that would motivate me to lose more weight. It was easy to get complacent when I could say “I’ve lost 130 pounds.” But I knew that wasn’t possible if I was in the same place where I weighed 357 pounds. While that first 100 pounds is still a part of my identity, I can now think of my current weight as my starting point. Recently, my feelings about my weight are very similar to how I felt when I first started: I know I need to lose weight or it could get ugly fast. So this new phase is kind of like American Horror Stories or True Detective: it’s different characters with the same theme under the same title. Either way, I’m incredibly excited for this new adventure and what it means for my journey up Mt. Fitintoskinnyjeans. See you soon.