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.

 

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! 

Allons-y…

AllonsyWhile Olivia Pope is kind of my spirit animal (or should I say spirit professional) ever since I got hooked on Scandal over the summer, a new amazing show has taken over that  9 pm Thursday timeslot in my TV heart: Gracepoint. An American version of the British show Broadchurch, Gracepoint follows Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn and the Doctor himself, David Tennant, through a murder investigation in a quiet seaside California town. As the cliché goes, not everything is as it seems…or something ominous like that. Tonight’s episode peeled back some of the layers to the crime and you can tell things are about to get interesting. In a weird way, it sort of reminds me of Twin Peaks, except Dale Cooper is a little more chipper than the constantly-pissed-off Emmett Carver.

So why “Allons-y!”?
Well, as most of you know, (based on my marketing research analysis, my readers are young professionals who are equally as awesome and goofy as I am. However, 95% of my views still come from my Mom…) “Allons-y” was the catchphrase of sorts for the Tenth Doctor who was played by, you guessed it, David Tennant. It is a french term for “let’s go” and is actually the name of a song in the upcoming Pink Floyd album. (Well…Pink Floyd Sans Roger Waters. Not sure if that still technically constitutes Pink Floyd. Can you really be a band if a key member who was the mastermind for your most popular album isn’t a part of the band anymore? It’s kind of like Ringo Starr revamping The Beatles on his own even though Paul McCartney is still alive. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, Allons-y…) So the Doctor usually said “Allons-y” while he was heading into possible peril in his trusty TARDIS and you never really knew how it was going to all turn out.

That’s kind of how I feel right now.

On Tuesday, I signed up for my first trail half marathon. Oh yeah…and it’s in flippin’ January. The first week of January to be exact. AKA: 12 weeks from Saturday. My previous halfs have been flat, on asphalt and in pretty decent weather. The Swamp Forest Trail Half is going to be hilly, on a mixed media of gravel, rocks and roots, and is during the coldest month in Tallahassee. While I am pretty stoked, I have a lot of work to do. I’ve just gotten back into running and while it’s been going pretty well, doing even 10 miles at this point sounds almost impossible. Thankfully, I do have a lot going for me: I have trained for halfs before, there are plenty of long trails in Tallahassee and it is slowly cooling off. One other random benefit is that training is going to keep me honest during the holidays since the race is essentially a week after Christmas. What can I say? I love a good challenge.

So, I have my weekends planned for the next 12 weekends:
Run.
Rest.
Watch football.
Hydrate.
Sleep.
Repeat.
(Oh yeah, and go to Tristan and Catherine’s wedding extravaganza in Durham, North Carolina! #TristCatWedFest)

Finally tonight, I do have some other really cool news…
I LOST 1.8 POUNDS AGAIN THIS WEEK!
I haven’t really talked about my eating on here, but it is in an amazing place right now. I’m eating so many more fruits and veggies and I feel better than I ever have. I’m finally back to sustainable weight loss. No more of this lose 5 pounds one week and gaining 12 pounds the next week. I am just staying patient and knowing that the weight will come off. Not water weight, actual weight. In the meantime, I’ll keep running, eating salads, lifting Henrietta and being awesome. Allons-y!

First Weigh In Post In A While

Soooooooo…

This used to be a thing. Back in the days of yore when I would post daily in a food journal format, I would also post my weigh ins on Sundays. Since I’ve made some changes to the format (call it, FFK 2.0) I have stopped doing that. Why? A healthy cocktail of laziness, poor time management and just being exhausted sometimes. I really liked posting weight (no really) because it gave me some accountability through out the week.

Then…life got cray.

We joined WW in July and after that, I had my weight in my app for internal keeping. I would post it occasionally, but it wasn’t consistent. Then my new job also got cray and my weighing just went on the back burner. Going in to Weight Watchers on Saturday mornings to find out I had gained was like a guiltier version of church. At WW, it felt like I had to care that I was gaining and losing, but I was just too exhausted to care. But that’s all in the past! Now, I’m back to my trusty scale that has seen me through it all. I finally feels like my weight loss is aligning back to how it once was.

So on to this week…

So this week, I was pretty good! I tracked the majority of my points and I exercised a lot. For the first time in almost ever, I was smart with my snacking! I packed low point snacks and was sure to throw in a lot of fruits and veggies too!

I wasn’t sure if it was going to translate on the scale, but I realized that there was no use worrying about it. Regardless of the number, I knew that I has established some great habits that are serving as a foundation towards successful weight loss!

#FFKWIN

#FFKWIN

 So it all paid off!

I was shocked this morning when I got on the scale! I mean, yeah I was good for most of the week, but I also ate a lot of pizza on Monday night and on Friday night we made massive burgers topped with poblano peppers and guacamole (#yum) so it easily could have gone another way. But the rest of my week was in check, giving room to actually use my weekly points for what they are intended to be used for!

So today I was a little over my points. Megan and I made some delicious red beans and rice (check out a delicious NSFWW (Not Safe For Weight Watchers) photo here) that wasn’t entirely WW friendly, but the rest of our week is planned out. No matter what the scale says next week, I’m definitely on the right track!

In other news, my bracket is…

broken

fractured

busted

demolished

shattered

disintegrated

mutilated

eviscerated.

How about you?

FFK March Madness

What Would Stephen Do?

I’ve never met Stephen Pagano.
I don’t know his whole life story or what his voice sounds like.

Like most of the fitness bloggers and personalities I “know”, I’ve taken bits and pieces from posts, Tweets and Instagram photos to craft what I know about them.

But when it comes to Stephen and his story, the numbers say plenty.

A few years ago, Stephen weighed 600 pounds and was only 5′ 6″. Like a lot of us, he had struggled with his weight for the majority of his life. In a 2013 Huffington Post article about him, he felt that his breaking point was when he started riding an electric cart around the grocery store. That’s when he knew he needed to make a change and then decided to change his approach to food.

Stephen's MilestoneEventually, Stephen decided to join Weight Watchers and this weekend, he hit a pretty epic milestone…After running the Gasparilla 5k in the Tampa area on Saturday in under an hour (a goal of his), he weighed in on Sunday at Weight Watchers and recorded a 5.6 pound loss, which not only put him under 300 pounds, he hit the milestone of losing more than 300 pounds!!! He is officially half the man he used to be! HOW FREAKIN’ AWESOME AND EPIC IS THAT???????

 

 

After I saw his post yesterday, I was thrilled, inspired, proud and myriad of other emotions all at once. All I could think about was how much determination it took for him to make such a dramatic change in his life. I also thought about all those little changes he had to make to get to where he is today. All the tracking and all the smart decisions that he might have seemed menial at the time, but they added up to something spectacular.

When I was working out yesterday, I was thinking about doing some cardio even though I was pretty tired.
When I was walking towards my locker, it hit me…what would Stephen do? I thought to myself “Stephen would probably do a little more work.” So I did. And now I have this mantra, this personal reminder, to keep the main goal in focus at all times.

Today, I avoided the candy jar in my bosses’ office (sorry I’ve been eating all of your candy, Antron.)

During my group exercise class after work, I pushed it harder than I have in a long time and I did extra reps each set.

I yelled “GET BEHIND ME, SATAN!!!!!” to a Girl Scout trying to sell me cookies.

(Okay, that last one didn’t happen…)

Even my grocery basket looked different when I went shopping! I picked out healthy snacks that are zero points with Weight Watchers like oranges and carrots instead of chips.

In a day, I have had a more positive outlook on my weight loss journey than I’ve had in three months! All because I thought about Stephen Pagano, a person I’ve never met.

I have no clue if Stephen and I will ever meet. But even if me viewing his weigh-in post is the only interaction I have with him, it has made a massive impact on my own journey when I truly needed some inspiration. And that’s what makes this online weight loss community so amazing.

I know this isn’t the end of his journey, but I hope he knows he has another cheerleader rooting for him who he inspires to think about the little things in during his journey.
Thanks for being awesome, Stephen.

 

Back to Sunday Basics

First, I want to thank you all for the love and support you showed me for after my somewhat cathartic and emotional video I posted last week. Sometimes, it’s just easier to talk it all out in a vlog in one take than to hide behind editing my thoughts. I have been quite the emotional wreck about my weight for the past month or two so talking it out that way helped me arrange my thoughts better. Now, I have a much better vision of where to go from here.

Which leads me to my next announcement…
Megan and I have decided to switch to eTools exclusively. We are now longer going to go to the weekly Weight Watchers meetings. While we liked our meetings, we have really benefited from the eTools and how resourceful it isOne of the issues we had was that the only meeting that worked for us was Saturday morning…which never really worked. Saturday mornings are really our only morning to rest during the week. That was also when we would do the majority of our long runs for training. Finally, we travel a lot on the weekends so we were missing a lot of meetings (aka losing money). And I have an amazing support system that was more powerful than any meeting: I have my readers and my friends. You all have been here from the very beginning and I love the support I get from you all.  This decision took a lot of thought, and we weighed out the pros and cons thoroughly, but we both felt that this is the right course of action for the time being. Please note that this isn’t against our local Weight Watchers branch. Dee and the group at our Tallahassee WW branch is awesome, but this is just what we need to do right now.

So with that change, we have made a change back to a classic original. We are back to weighing in on Sundays. When this all began, we weighed in on Sundays on my scale. The special scale we had to buy because I wouldn’t fit on a regular scale. Even when we started WW in July, I was hesitant to not weigh in on my own scale…even though it was fairly accurate to the WW scale. There was just a comfort to it, and I could react how I wanted when I lost…or when I gained.

So today’s weigh in went…well it’s going in the right direction. I have lost 2.6 pounds this week. I’m down to 244 which is still high, but again, it’s in the right direction.

As far as tracking goes, I’m getting there. Today was an awesome day that even included a little indulging into some delicious cookies. I tracked them and moved on.

And that’s that. Another post full of big changes back to basics. I’ve spent too much time trying to expedite this process with different tricks, while in fact the basics helped me lose 120 pounds.

Time to get tracking.

See ya soon.

Vacation Reflections (So Far)

Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” -Matthew 9:17

Since I have gotten off the plane on Wednesday, my inner foodie has been released like a gluttonous kraken. “YOU CAN AND SHOULD EAT ALL THE THINGS!” said my inner gluttonous  foodie kraken. “YOU ARE ON VACATION SO YOUR BODY IS IMPERVIOUS TO CALORIES AND WEIGHT GAIN!”

This past weekend, I ate a lot. My meals were as followed:Friday: three meat plate of greasy BBQ
Saturday: greasy Mexican food from a place that I haven’t eaten at in four years
Sunday at lunch: even more greasy BBQ
Sunday at dinner: a fantastic burger with bourbon bacon onion jam and other greasy topping
Monday morning at 3:39 am: vomit central

I ended up getting food poisoning from one of these items. My guess is the medium-cooked fantastic burger. (I haven’t eaten a medium-cooked burger in a long time. I usually avoid undercooked ground beef unless it’s organic. Even then I’m a little leery.) But to me it was more than that. It was body saying “this is not you anymore. You can’t abuse me like that any more.” For most of my life, I lived with the consequences of becoming physically ill from food as long as it tasted good when I ate it. I wasn’t just addicted to food, I abused my body with it. That’s not me anymore. I’m not the guy that can clear a buffet, I’m the guy that tries to count his Weight Watchers points and makes healthy decisions. I’m the guy people don’t recognize anymore (that happened multiple times in Abilene). I’m the guy who has friends tell me how proud they are of me. I’m a new wineskin.

Day 1,172

SEAHAWKS!!!

Okay…now that I have that out of my system…

So today was full of random eating, but I counted it all which is important! I used a few weekly points and that’s okay! Here’s the breakdown of the day:

Breakfast: A 5 point Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich. An easy breakfast choice when you’re on the go.

pepperoni pizzaLunch: So I usually try to come home for lunch, but today I stayed on campus. I was planning on just getting cheese pizza from Papa John’s. I even put it in to Weight Watchers before I went to lunch to make sure I didn’t deviate. Then when I got there, they were swamped and out of cheese pizza (I guess that’s possible…). Anyway, I ended up with pepperoni pizza which was just a few more points per slice. Not idea, but it is what it is. 18 points


cold stone MoesDinner:
Tonight, we ended up at Moe’s for some burrito deliciousness. I accidentally ordered the wrong thing which sucked, but was delicious (go figure…) I didn’t order the jr. size and I didn’t realize it until as I was plugging it in to their nutrition calculator. Lame. So with chips it was 31 points. Oops.

Dessert: The Moe’s was next door to Cold Stone and Megan and I both felt like a little cold treat. The last time I had been inside a Cold Stone was when we lived in Abilene. I remember going in there and getting a Gotta Have It calorietastic sugar bomb of craziness on a regular basis. I also remember the first time I tried Weight Watchers back then and getting their sinless sweet cream. It was like eating poison to me back then. I felt so robbed and horrible. My body and my taste buds were sick. Anyway, I gave their Like It sized Skinny Vanilla with Oreo and Heath mixins. It ended up being 12 points (6 of that was the actual ice cream which isn’t that bad) and it was waaaaay more ice cream than I’m used to. It was just a reminder of how far I’ve come.
So today was kind of a bizarre day and it had its share of issues, but that’s just the way the process goes. I racked up 66 points which is a lot, but I tracked it and that’s a huge thing! It was worth the extra points. I’ll shoot to be better on Tuesday. That’s all I can do. See ya tomorrow.

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