Moving Across the Country and Other Adventures

Moving is hard.
If anyone tells you otherwise, they are liars. That, or they had professional movers.

(I’ll get to that in a minute.)

For the past month or so, I have tried to put my finger on the proper word of the year for 2015 because it truly was the tale of two years. I started off the year by running the most exhausting trail run I’ve ever taken on, the Swamp Forest Half in Tallahassee, where I relied on salt tablets from strangers and the shear will to survive (and shower) to make it through. In a way, that race was some weird metaphor of the year itself with its unexpected adversity and with my hobbling away knowing that I would eventually race another day. After a few other awesome races with friends throughout the year, we flew up to Seattle to take on the Seattle Rock n’ Roll Half and coincidentally (as in I got off the plane and the HR department called me to asked me set up an interview) interviewed for the job that would have us back up in the Evergreen State less than a month later. That time, we packed a little heavier.

Back to my opening line, moving across the country took every ounce of marital fortitude and luck we could scrounge up. At this point you’re thinking “but Nathan, it’s just driving a truck! How hard could it be?” Well…it’s not just driving a truck. It’s driving a GIANT truck with your car attached to a trailer that’s held on by a few chains with all of your worldly possessions inside. It’s also the getting stuck on an abandoned road with a locked gate at the end of it in Monroe, LA and you have to back the truck up 100 yards with no shoulder and with the help of Monroe’s finest all because you tried to take a shortcut to Cracker Barrel thanks to Google Maps NOT ONLY to get your truck stuck at a gas station 5 hours down the road in Canton, TX. It’s the getting through the 75 mph winds on a two-lane stretch of stretch of interstate in Wyoming for nearly 200 miles. And it’s the driving into a new town and your bank freezes your account because you are trying to pay for your first month’s rent with it and then you spend all night moving everything up the stairs with no A/C during a freak heat wave. (Shout out again to my brother-in-law Andrew, cousin-in-law Darby, and my in-laws Mark and Pattie for helping us get everything in the apartment.) Then, your wife flies to ENGLAND the first week of living in this new place and you have to figure it all out pretty much on your own. So yeah, it’s not the driving that makes moving across the country. It’s everything else.

Now I’m exhausted from just writing that. Someone get me a Powerbar.

Where was I?

Like all moves, those first few months are hard. Everything changes from a new phone plan, to where you run on Saturday mornings, to where you get takeout, to who you hang out with, to dealing with a new job. I simply spent August through November trying to establish some semblance of normalcy in my life. Thankfully, I have an amazing wife and live in a city that I absolutely adore. And while I was trying to get back to normal, I ended up scaling back on the other facets of my life that make this blog interesting. You see, blogging, running, and healthy eating are all these muscles that you have to continuously work on to get stronger and to make them easier. 2015 essentially gave me this trauma-inducting atrophy that affected all of those things. While I’m nowhere near back to square one (square one was almost 100 pounds ago) it surely feels that way.

So now we’re here in 2016. I’m 29, have a new job, live in a new city, attend Weight Watchers meetings with some truly amazing people, and am slowly easing my way back into this fitness identity that I have missed dearly. This blog gets me out of my head. I can be open about my life and hopefully inspire others during their own fitness journey. Expect a lot more from the FFK this upcoming year.

Call it FFK: Seattle.

YEEEEEEOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!

[Insert some weird The Who and Soundgarden intro music mashup here]

 

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! 

One piece at a time

Growing up, I was obsessed with this one up and coming artist who got his big break by playing a space coyote on The Simpsons. His name…was Johnny Cash. Have you heard of him? Anyway, while ol’ JC had plenty of classic hits, one of my favorites is the song “One Piece at a Time.” The song is a story of an auto worker who steals a car part every day for years. Thanks to the advancement of the automobile, by the time he had all the parts for said automobile, it was one weird looking jalopey. But hey? It ran! 

What does this have to do with weight loss, you ask? Hang tight, I’m getting there. 

This week was the first time in a loooooooong time that I actually tracked what I ate. For the past two year or so, I have tried anything to lose weight from eating almost completely vegan to joinging classes to halfway training for a half marathon. I did everything BUT track my points. You know, the way I lost 100 pounds. 

My issue was that I was overloading myself with an insane amount of things that have worked for other people instead of what worked for me. You see, after I lost 100 pounds, I tried to keep the momentum going by trying other things instead of being patient and let the process work. Before I knew it, I was completely bogged down with trying to do way too much when in fact all I needeed to do was listen to myself. That’s when I decided to take a sabbatical of sorts from weighing in and just caring. I knew that that one added stressor on top of my incredibly stressful summer would have put me over the edge (and trust me, I was already there.)

So this past week, I kept it simple: I tracked most of my points, I talked myself through the multiple work dinners I went to, I ate when I was hungry and didn’t when I wasn’t, and I ran because the weather was awesome yesterday.  

I focused on me this week. 

I have a lot of emotional scarring from the past year and I needed some healing. While I still have some work to do on that front, I needed to get back to the simple things that taught me to love myself and my health when I started five years ago. I feel like losing 6.6 pounds this week is just an awesome byproduct of that time, love and tenderness. 

Eventually, I will join a gym, maybe the join the running club that meets by my office, and maybe even join the Seattle Curling Club. But for now, I’m going to just take it all in one piece at a time.   

 

A Fresh Start

“So I can delete your old account information and your weigh in of 269.4 pounds can be your new starting weight. Would you like to do that?”

“Yes. It’s time for a fresh start.” 

Moving across the country takes a lot out of you. From getting stuck on a dead end road and having to back a moving truck with a car trailer attached back 1000 feet with the help of the Monroe, LA Police Department, to driving with crosswinds of 60+ mph in Wyoming, it’s safe to say that I ate my feelings hard during those six treacherous days. 

But now we’re here in Seattle. And it feels like home. I want to live here forever.  

The blessing and the curse of a new city is having a million new restaurants and eateries to try along with the new-to-you offerings from other ethnicities (we even have a Nepalese place next to our apartment. Seattle is awesome.) Like when we moved to Tallahassee, we wanted to eat anything and everything. I’m pretty sure I was eating the equivalent of six vats of a lard, butter and gravy concoction each day. Thankfully, the gorging stopped when we decided to start losing weight. 

I would like to say that wasn’t the case when we got here, but it was. It’s too deliciously easy to order REALLY GOOD Chinese food out here! Ironically, I got on the scale about a week into living here and I had actually lost weight since the last time I weighed in Tallahassee. Of course, I got cocky and thought “well I can eat anything! I AM INVINCIBLE!” But like poor Borist in Goldeneye, I too was frozen in liquid nitrogen (wait, what?) I mean, I too got my comeuppins and gained a significant about of weight in a matter of days. Megan and I both knew it was time to take control. So this morning, that’s what we did. 

The opening conversation happened when we went to Weight Watchers meeting for the first time in two years. Today, we signed up for a new membership. A fresh start to match our new adventure here in the northwest. When I attended meetings in Tallahassee, I had a weird feeling towards them. I had lost around 130 pounds “on my own” but I had stalled and I had hoped it would help. Instead of taking in the information, I just sat there and stewed over my gain. It probably wasn’t what I needed then, but it is what I need now. I need that weekly tribe of folks to grow with and a weekly weigh in that will hold me accountable. Like when I first start my weight loss journey almost five years ago, I’m desperate but I’m not going to overthink it and I’m ready for a healthy life. I’m incredibly excited for the meetings, to work with the WW leader, Jodi, who also went to FSU (because this world is tiny), and I’m ready to explore all of the healthy foods and activities that this amazing city has too offer. I am ready for this fresh start.  

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!

WE ARE MOVING TO SEATTLE!!!!

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.

 

Introducing #FFKFitby30

For the past few weeks, Megan and I have binged watched the entire series of Game of Thrones. You know, that show with the dragons, ice zombies and Peter Dinklage. The show is simply amazing and I can’t believe it took me this long to finally watch it. Anyway, while we were watching the fifth season the other night, I thought to myself “wow, I wonder how old Kit Harington (John Snow) is. He must be like…37 or something.” So, like any good TV consumer, I went to IMDB to look for his age. Aaaaaaaand he’s 18 days older than me. That means we graduated high school at the same time, we were in awkward puberty at the same time and we probably secretly even loved Nickelback at the same time. When I told Megan, all she could say was “we’re old.”

While this might mean that I’m just not good at guessing the ages of people, it just reaffirms my false belief that I’m younger that I actually am. (At this point, I’m waiting for some red head to come up to me and say “you know nothing, Nathan MacDonald.”) The reality is that I am an adult and life his happening right now. This all kind of came to a head when I realized that as of June 13th, I am a year and a half away from turning 30. My twenties are almost gone. And I’m kind of sad about it.

At this point, I know you’re ready to comment with a remark like “ummmmm…you’re not that old. Stop whining!” or something like “dude! 30 is the new 15!” But for me, it’s more than that! I’m seeing that 3 number as a finish line for goals that I set nearly a decade ago. (Yes, the FFK is turning 5 years old this year.) I need to think of my journey in those terms so I mentally keep going. More importantly, I need to breath new life into this journey.

With that, I would like to introduce you to #FFKFitby30.

Below is a manageable list of goals that I will conquer before January 13th, 2017 (you know…when I turn 30). Some are serious, some are silly, and others are just plain cool. My plan is once I complete one goal, I will add another! So here we go!

  • Exercise for 30 minutes four times a week.
  • Complete a marathon
  • Run a race every month
  • Do a pull up (yes, one pull up. I can do a tenth of one right now…)
  • Weigh in below 200 pounds (199.8 lbs totally counts!)
  • Get certified in a fitness program like TRX of kettlebells
  • Track my food six times a week

So seven reasonable goals that all benefit one another in some way! I’m going to start tracking food tomorrow in a food journal on my phone and Megan and I also started Insanity Max 30 (check it out! It’s awesome!) last week! I’m ready to begin this journey to 30 and using these goals as my map!

Here. We. Go.

Why I’ve Gained 30 Pounds

I’m having a rough night and I need to talk about it.
#realtalkwiththeFFK

For the past two years, I have slowly gained 30 pounds back from my lowest weight of about 225 pounds. Want to hear the weirdest part? I didn’t know why until tonight.

So yes, two years ago I did start a new job and I thought that was why for a long time. But today, I finally realized what happened that first week of work that created this mess.

Dear reader, it’s weird…

Here we go…
In my office at work, I have two screens: my MacBook Pro laptop screen and my 24″ Apple monitor which is perfect for Photoshop and other design programs. A few weeks in to my new job, I turned off the monitor and I saw myself, my 225 pound self, in the screen. Then a voice that was essentially non-existent in my life, or at least one that had been silent for years, popped into my brain. “Holy crap! You are still fat! You know that, right?” It was like years of suppressed negativity crashed through my mental fortress of positivity. At that moment, I stopped loving myself. From that moment on, I saw a fat version of myself in that screen and any other reflective surface for that matter. I even saw it today and told myself the same thing. It felt like after that day, instead of working harder in the gym (which still wasn’t the right answer), I ate my feelings and essentially lost any amount of self-control I had.

I know this doesn’t make any sense. Please don’t try to explain how the image I see in the screen is a refraction so it’s larger. I knew that then and I know that now. Sadly, none of that matters to the part of my brain that controls my self image. All it sees is a fat Nathan. I think the reality of it is that I hadn’t confronted a lot of the serious body image issues I had dealt with all my life. I guess I kept them in check by losing weight and exercising. Eventually, those successes wore off and my guard was down. This is a lot of the reason why I’ve been silent on the blog for the past few years. I haven’t valued my success myself the way I should.

So now what? Now that I’ve figured out this possible root cause, how do I make this gain just a slight detour in my life? To be honest, I’m not too sure. I do, however, feel like a small proverbial weight has been lifted off my chest. I know it will take time to lose those 105,000 calories, but I’m ready to get back in the right direction.

More importantly though, I’m ready to love myself again.

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 Disney Enchanted 10k Explained Through Star Wars: The Force Awakens GIFs

So last weekend, I checked a pretty epic item off of my bucket list: I finally ran my first Disney race! I guess I should back up a little bit…Last year, Megan’s cousin Chelsie asked us if we would be up for running a race at Disney with her, something we have been wanting to do ever since we moved here. We decided to do the Enchanted 10k since it was less expensive than the half marathon that weekend and a little more challenging than the Frozen 5k (which ironically had below freezing temperatures this year.)

Chelsie flew in to Tallahassee on Tuesday night and we went down to Orlando after work on Thursday. On Friday, we went to the awesome race expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex where I met one of my favorite Biggest Loser contestants Danni Allen! (There isn’t a GIF to describe how awesome that experience was.) After walking around the expo and a few hours at Downtown Disney, it was time for bed!

Now as you all know, I’m a quite the Star Wars geek. (There’s something about a spacecraft that can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs that just gives me the vapors….awe lawdy!) So when I was trying to think of how I was going to effectively and creatively describe just how awesome this actually was, I turned to the only other thing that was as awesome in my mind: the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer! AAAAHHHH! IT’S SO GOOD!!!! So without further adieu, I present to you the weirdest/funniest, to me at least, race recap I’ve ever done….

We got up early…REALLY early

You know when you wake up super early and you wonder why you even went to bed to begin with? Yeah, it was that early. At 3:30, my first phone alarm went off. (There is nothing worse than When You Wish Upon a Star playing at full volume. I thought it was going to be inspiring since we were running at Disney. I was waaaaay off.) Before I knew it, I was chowing down on a peanut butter and banana bagel sandwich (my pre-race breakfast of choice) and it was time to make our way to Epcot. It was funny to watch the combination of drivers in Kissimmee who were either going home after a night of partying or were part of the convoy of cars with 13.1 stickers on their way to the race.

Then, we waited in our corrals…forever

While I knew the race was big, I didn’t think it was going to be 12,000 racers big. The Epcot parking lot was packed! We knew we had some time, so we waited in the nice warm car for a little while before trudging our way over to the race pavilion. The race’s starting line was in one of the many Epcot parking lots which is smart because there is so much more space to work with. Anyway, Megan and I were in the D corral which was second to last. We didn’t realize that we were going to have to wait for about 45 minutes to finally run after the first corral. It was a weird adjustment for my body because I was so jacked and ready to go and then I had to stand around waiting for our turn. That just happens when you run a big race like that!

Then, it was our turn to run!

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Our corral was finally called and we were up! The race MC’s counted down and the fireworks went off! Time to conquer some miles!

 

 

 

 

The first few miles…

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

We didn’t start running until 6 so it was still pretty dark. It felt even darker because we ran away from the lights of the park onto the highway. The first mile felt like a cakewalk because my adrenaline finally kicked back into gear. Then, it started to snow!!!!
Well…kind of.
Anna and Elsa were on top of an overpass with “Let it Go” blasting as loud as possible. The ice royalty waved at the runners and at one point they asked if we wanted to build a snowman which led to a resounding “NO!” from the crowd. It was pretty hilarious. (Side note: I may or may not have done an interpretive dance to “Let it Go.”)

Bathroom Break

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Around mile 2.5, Megan and I both realized that we both needed a bathroom break. The lines were pretty long so we kept going. Then, there were two random port-a-potties (well…not random. They weren’t phantom port-a-potties.) with a pretty short line…or so we thought. We ended up waiting for a good while which made me antsy. (So I admit that this GIF doesn’t really have anything to with port-a-potties. That is unless you call the bathroom the dark side? I don’t know. I got nothing. All I know is that I’m ridiculously stoked for the new lightsabers. I don’t really care what the rest of the Internet says. They are epic and I want one!!!!!! Oh yeah…where was I?)

Rolling through Epcot!

Cruising through epcotBefore we knew it, we were approaching the backside of Epcot! We ran by the outdoor part of Test Track and and eventually made our way into the World Showcase between China and Norway. It’s weird because you think there would be more behind the pavilions. It was basically just a parking lot and a loading dock full of beer kegs. Anyway, we stopped for a few pictures since it was finally sunrise. Running around the countries has always been a dream of mine and was definitely my favorite part of the race!

All the High Fives!

high fiving(Obviously the Millennium Falcon and the TIE Fighters aren’t high fiving, but you get the picture….) We eventually made our way through the International Gateway towards the Boardwalk loop. There were other people running towards us which led to multiple high fives and loud cheering. There’s really nothing more encouraging during a race than runners cheering other runners!

The Finish Line is in Sight!

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

We finally made it around the loop (an old man was giving out cookies. It was one of the few times I’ve taken food from strangers.) and we ran behind the Land and the Imagination pavilion. After a selfie in front of the giant ball, we kicked it into high gear and finished the race!
AND WE DID IT!

we did it!WWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We felt awesome! We crossed the finish line, got our medals and found Chelsie! It was nice to enjoy the experience and not worry too much about our time. Overall, I would definitely run another Disney race. They are pretty pricey, but they are extremely well organized and I mean, come on, it’s Disney! One of my goals is to run a marathon before I turn 30 and the Disney Marathon weekend is on my birthday in 2017. I think that might be it!

So congratulations to all of the Disney Princess Weekend runners! You all totally rock!

Stay tuned next week for pictures of us (not just Star Wars GIFs) during the race!

Proud Jedis

(I know this isn’t a part of the trailer, but who cares?)

A blast from the past…

Why hello, lovely blog reader! As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I am a pretty big fan of the app Timehop. As a weight loser, it gives me perspective on how far I’ve actually come and where I could be if I put my mind to it. Today, I opened that silly app with the blue dinosaur and found one of my favorite FFK posts. It was about my digital buddy Stephen Pagano and his astounding 300-pound weight loss journey. When I posted this a year ago, I was at a low point in my weight loss journey. I was close to losing hope that I would reach my goal weight someday. It was Stephen’s grit and no nonsense approach to weight loss that inspired me to keep going. His story challenged me to rethink my eating habits and how I could do better each day. So without further adieu, I ask you…

What Would Stephen Do?