So it has been a crazy week on the interwebs for me! First, my weight loss story was featured by the awesome blogger Reinventing Danni, then I have helped raise $130 for prostate cancer through Movember (which there is still times to donate here!) and today, my interview with RetroFit Ministries came out. For those who don’t know, RetroFit Ministries was created by the awesome Biggest Loser duo Austin and Ken Andrews (they were on Season 11 along with some other awesome folks like Courtney Crozier and Hannah Curlee who I met this summer! I’m working my way up the Biggest Loser social ladder!) Anyway, a few weeks ago, I had written something about my journey on Austin’s wall and then after a few exchanges, he asked me about being interviewed for his website! It was such an honor! Here’s the interview. After you’re done check out the other amazing stories! If it doesn’t make you want to do push ups and go on a kale cleanse I don’t know what will. Check it out. Thanks again for the awesome opportunity Austin. See ya tomorrow.
THANKSTORIES: THANKFUL NATHAN
Nathan MacDonald Sheds some light on his story of becoming healthy. I have to be honest, I have had an enjoyable time hearing his story, and he has described it in a pretty amusing way! It has been a pleasure to hear Him describe his journey, and I think you’ll enjoy it as well!
AA: Nathan- When did it hit you that you were obese?
I wore XXL shirts in 5th grade
NM: Kindergarten? Lol I was always the fat kid growing up. I wore XXL shirts in 5th grade and I am actually a smaller jean size now than I was in middle school. My weight was always a constant struggle. Sometimes I would get on the right track and it felt like I was really going to make a change, but then something would happen like moving to a new school or something like that.
AA: How would a school change affect you moving forward?
NM: Well being the new kid always came with its own issues. Being an overweight kid made it even more fun lol.
AA: I love the sarcasm! Ha! You struggled all through school, but you never hit your point of not return- when did you hit that tipping point of change?
NM: The tipping point for me was right before I started graduate school at Florida State University in 2010. I had to buy size 54 khakis for orientation. That’s when I realized that it was time to make a significant change, or just accept the fact that I was going to die at an early age.
AA: Do you look at your childhood and think, “My weight makes sense,” because people or bullying?
NM: I was always bullied in elementary, and although I was bullied some in middle school, I was able to deflect a lot of it by playing the “funny fat kid” card that most overweight kids know all too well. I did have two dear friends who died when I was in college and that really took its toll on me. I turned to eating a lot during that time.
AA: You took to eating when your friends passed away?
NM: It was what I was use to. Food had always been there for me so my initial reaction was to eat my feelings. It was much easier to eat over talking out my feelings to my wife and to my friends. It was a truly hard time.
AA: What do you look to for that same feeling if you hit a hard time now?
NM: Well now it’s a lot easier to work out my frustration whether it’s running or an aggressive game of racquetball. I burn calories instead of eating them lol.
AA What happened to give you hope that you could change?
NM: I have been blessed with such an amazing wife, Megan, who has always been there ready to cheer me on when I decided it was time to change my life. It’s also been awesome to have friends from across the world sending me Facebook posts encouraging me. It has really held me accountable and has given me the strength to keep on keepin’ on.
AA: When you discovered that change was possible, how did you decide on what path to become healthy?
NM: Well I had tried Weight Watchers a few times, only to quit a few weeks later. It wasn’t until I really bought in to the system (like counting, calculating, researching restaurants, etc.) that I became successful. I also always liked racquetball and running, so that became a huge part of my cardio which melts the pounds lol. I still do a lot of both now, but I have taken it to a whole new level. I was just happy to finish a 5k, now I want to place in my age bracket and I am training for a half marathon. Losing 130 pounds changes your prospective so much!
AA: Speaking of perspective, I have called this blog series ThankStories, because we are in November and thankfulness is big this time of year- What are you thankful looking on your journey and future?
NM: This year, I’m running in my first 15k. I’m thankful that I have been blessed with a body that can take all of the abuse I have given it from one extreme of being obese to the other by testing its limits every week through working out lol. I’m incredibly thankful for my community of friends and readers who have been with me through thick and thin. It’s been so encouraging to have friends even from elementary comment on the blog telling me that they’re cheering me on. It’s been an amazing journey so far!
AA: Given that you have lost 130 lbs, are you Finished? Is this the end of your journey?
NM: Not even close. I am still a good 50-70 pounds away from where I want to be and I still have struggles with food. Although I still have a ways to go on this journey, I’m loving every minute of it. The hardest days on my weight loss journey are still infinitely better than the days of being 357 pounds. This journey has been such a blessing and it’s not ending any time soon.