Robert Hennessey

Breakout Blue Team

Hi, my name is Robert Hennessey, Age 45.  I'm Married with 4 children ages 4-19.  I'm originally from NYC and have lived in Fort Wayne 2.5 Years and love it.

I love to read, ride motorcycles and spend time with my kids. 

Follow My Blogging Journey


It's finally over...  And it's not :)

Sure the 15 week journey has come to an end.  I am so grateful for everything and so eager to put into practice what I have learned.  

Thank you to Rick, Tina, the Sponsors and everyone involved.  If you are thinking about doing it - do it!  If you are afraid, don't be - you are surrounded by a new family every step of the way.  Yes it's the hardest thing I've ever done but it also might be the most rewarding.

All my love, gratitude and respect,





What an amazing week!  To start it off we had an incredible dinner at Eddie Merlot's - a dinner I would have thoroughly enjoyed even before finding my way but now with the knowledge that this was also healthy it made the enjoyment of it so much greater!  And being able to share in a meal with my new family just topped it off.  Everyone looked so beautiful and handsome but most of all confident and secure in their demeanor.  Thank you to Chef Edwin Mateo, to Eddie Merlot's and to Rick and Tina for making the even possible.

Followed up with another consistent weigh-in.  It's a little frustrating to never have those big snowmen some of my awesome teammates have had, especially last week considering I really felt I had put in the extra work at the gym as well as having my meal balance be totally on point but frankly I am so excited about the total number that as Rick says consistent good numbers are good too.

CiCi's work out had me tossing and turning for a week but I found that with the help of my teammates and Tina's support (it felt like she was right near us the whole time even though other teammates at the opposite end said the same thing) I found it super rewarding despite the challenge.  That workout along with EJ's circuit have been among my favorite - AFTER they were done :)

I'm sad I missed the pool day - my daughter had a concussion in the middle of the night night and I had to miss out on my favorite day of the week.  Tina was so supportive and understanding and shared my situation with the whole family - it really meant a lot to me that she did and the support others sent me throughout the day.  We were nervous because she had one last year that was more severe and kept her out of school and soccer for a time but it's all ok now thank fully.  

Saturday was AMAZING!!!  Our run went very well - I was really excited about my overall time, especially once I got a kick in the pants from you know who to get going faster.  To think when she first started working on my walk I could barely go beyond a stroll and now I'm pacing in the 14's with regularity.  The break in between races felt weird though - I actually think the day was harder than our 10 mile day; for the first say 1/4 of the race I was so tight and sore.  After a bit though my competitive nature came out and I started trying to keep up with my teammates as much as possible - every single person in the group puts out such a maximum effort all the time that unless I did the same I had no hope - it was so much fun!  It did startle me to hear my name as I passed the finish line :)

SO nervous about tomorrow's weigh-in!  I'm so close to being under 250 for the first time in more than eight years, maybe even 10.  I've lost more than 50 pounds which is great but to be in the 240's again will be very special.  This truly is a re-set button, a do-over on our lives and 240 something was the last time that I felt fit and capable.  I know I have a lot of work to keep doing both in weight loss and fitness/capability but we've been taught what to do and have a support system in place.  I'm sad and apprehensive to see the season come to an end but I am also eager to put all of this into effect on my own as well.


Rough week for me mentally - I feel like I am consistent and really learning.  Sonja is a real help though.  My teammates support has been tremendous this week as well - helped me get through some tough moments.

Saturday started terribly.  On the walk I got off to a very slow start.  My feel felt like harpoons were shooting up it so I was a little bit slow getting out of the gate, trying to work through it.  Tina has eyes like a hawk though and from 500 feet away I could see her staring at me as she hustled down to check up on me.  First thing she said was something like "what's up".  I tried to play dumb and just return a greeting but she KNEW something was wrong and pushed me to tell her.  Out of concern for my health, she immediately sent me to see Andreas who said that I likely have a bone spur and/or planer fascitis.  I couldnt get back to the 6 mile run but did make it in time for the Vision Walk, which was amazing to say the least - totally inspiring.  Our team raised more money than even corporate.  I had pain all week and communicated it to Tina, who of course was very concerned.  We worked together to try to get through it but it manifested itself too much on Saturday morning.  It was very depressing, especially since I was trying for a sub 14 minute pace (My previous was 14:125).  My ankle and heel are still in a lot of pain, but Tina has altered my program with Ashley to get me healthy and safe - I'll be doing the Ellipitcal for the first time tonight while my teammates run.  I've never done one before but we will see :)  As frustrated as I am not being able to do something that I thought I was making great strides in it's awesome to see how much they are really paying attention to everything.

I'm half way done with my challenge for the week - double jacobs instead of sleds was BRUTAL but I felt energized afterwards.

My daughter surprised me with a VERY last minute invitation to Orientation at IU next week - on WEDNESDAY!!!  No way I can miss CC's "hardest workout ever" though so I had her postpone it and take her mom instead.  She understands though, and I'm always the one to do that kind of thing with my kids so it will be good for my wife.


So I didn't get to my 4.6 target weight loss for last week - I came in at 3 instead.  I know it is a solid, consistent pace but I'm disappointed because I really worked hard last week.  But this week is full of exciting things so it was easy to re-focus.

First off we had our Germanfest 5K this week.  It was so much fun meeting with the team in the park - it almost felt like a picnic, till we got started on our warm-ups and then all business :)  It was my first night incorporating running back in, at the instruction of our Physical Therapist Andreas, and I did and was able to shave off quite a bit of time from my previous pace.  The next day my achilles was on fire, but thankfully it was a pool day so while pool day can be even harder than regular days it does not have the impact on my heel that land exercises do.  It was still painful later that day though so before attempting our challenge for the week I reached out for advice which I received speedily and helpfully.  This morning after workout I was going to start with the challenge but my achilles just killed me on the short part of the sled, which to my untrained eye seems to put more strain on it.  I love sleds so I'm going to figure this out with Rick and Tina's help.

I am extremely excited though - today I pulled out an old suit just for fun and t actually fit!  I bought it 10 years ago and it was my favorite and it fits perfectly, along with a great shirt.  Seems like I have a whole new wardrobe :)  Now hopefully the stuff is still in style :)


Excited about tonight as it will hopefully get me closer to one of my goals... I don't want to jinx anything but if I lose 4.6 pounds I will be the same weight that I was when I moved from Erie, PA to NJ and if I lose 5.6 pounds I will be the same weight I was when I left NY 9 years ago.  I don't expect to lose that much but I'm at least close enough that I'm really aiming for it.  From 2008 to 2012 I gained ONE pound.  From 2012 to 2017 I gained FIFTY.  I was going to list the reasons but frankly they are just excuses that I'm not even thinking about anymore.


EJ's games today were a lot of fun but a great workout too - thanks for coming up with a great way to capture our attention!

Thanks to Josh for sharing with us!

Excited about tomorrow's 8 MILES!!!


Biggest test of all for me so far - my daughter's high school graduation party...  My wife made her famous buffalo chicken dip and baked ziti; there was also a taco bar and cake, cupcakes and even home-made macarons (NOT macarOONS) and even more food.  My sole contribution came in the form of chicken kebabs.  One tray was Tina-ready, but even the other five tins were only slightly less healthy because I had basted them in a sauce.  But even that sauce was far different that what it used to be and I'm glad I provided a healthy option for everyone to enjoy.  Most of the kids had my kebabs and everything else too, lol.  Anyway I feel good about what I made and what I ate, plus I resisted the lure of soda, which hadn't really bothered me up until last night.  Maybe it was the heat and seeing everyone drinking them.


Today's swim workout was FAWFUL!!!  As I may have said before that means FUN and AWFUL at the same time.  I'm sore but in a great way - I love the way it reminds me that I have exerted myself.  Saw Andreas today, our wonderful Physical Therapy sponsor who is right there in the SPIECE building; he gave me some stretches to help with my neck and they worked right away - thank you Andreas!!!


LOVED today's extra credit and workout.  Rick showed us these new sit-ups; I can't remember the name but they were like reverse sit-ups where you contract quickly and release as slowly as possible. He only made us do 3 at a time which showed how hard they would be but they felt great - I can still feel them now and I'm sure I will feel them tomorrow as well. 

CiCi's workout was awesome as well - really challenging but fun and I love it when we leave drenched!

I keep thinking about Tina's words Monday - sure all the contestants were there on a holiday - but WE are the ones getting the tangible benefit from all of this.  The trainers, nutritionists and Rick and Tina were there and all they ask for is our respect and effort - they gave up their holiday for US, not to mention the hundreds of other hours over the program.  Thank you to all.  I'm sorry if it's repetitive but it will continue to be said and still never be enough.  My 5 year old told me when we went for a walk during camping that she loved "Smallest Winna" because I would never have taken her on a long walk to the river and around the whole campground before.  That's why I'm doing this, that's the end result for me - to live a meaningful, healthy life and to impart what I've learned to my kids.


Last week I sent my Blog out Sunday - this week I'm a couple of days later because I went camping for the first time in forever.  We rented a camper and originally had planned on staying down in Indiana so I could be close to the gym, but because my vehicle was unable to tow the camper they had for me we were forced to switch locations and stay up in Michigan.  This threw a wrench into my workout plan as I'd figured out where I was going to go but I improvised by getting in my running and calisthenics in between the rain.  Very excited to go to extra credit today, especially upon hearing we would be doing sleds.  I feel like sleds are part of what hurt my Achilles initially so I approached Rick about how better to do them and he gave me some great tips.  Not only was I pain-free after doing them for extra-credit, I also was able to get in my first attempt at this week's sled challenge done today after cooling down a bit from EJ's awesome workout this morning.  It was pretty funny actually.  There I was doing my sled, thinking the extra weight was the heaviest thing in the world, and then this guy comes along and loads his up with about a dozen times the weight.  Not really but a lot more, lol.  It's all about the journey though and he is simply further along, but it reminded me of how hard the sleds were without any weight back when I first tried them, and where I was today.  I realize one day I'll be right where he is and I still won't be done.  Maybe I'll want to do them longer, or fast or even - gasp - with more weight, but one way or another everyone in there is looking to improve themselves and their efforts and it gives me great hope for the future.  With what we've learned we've got all the tools we need to continue along the path.  Thanks Rick and Tina.


Hot dog shaped turkey tenderloins weren't my idea - a buddy back East is thinking about using them and shared the idea with me last week.  But they really give the satisfying feel of eating a hot dog, especially if you load it up with healthy choices like tomatos, avocado, corn and onions.


Yesterday we did 7 miles - so inspired and grateful to have accomplished that for the first time in years.  Still was feeling down about walking as opposed to running because of my nagging achilles, but Tina worked with me this week and has me on a walking pace that is actually faster than my jog was.  Best part is that it's helping me build strength and endurance but didn't hurt my achilles at all.  In fact my achilles is actually pain-free today for the first time in almost a week.  I also really appreciate Britney and LaToya for being right there with me, quietly and vocally inspiring me to go further.  And it also feels really great that so many of our faster teammates take time to wait for us at the end of the line.  Even though our immediate team is BREAKOUT BLUE I feel like everyone on every team helps everyone wherever and whenever they can.  I don't know if that was common to the other years but I feel really special about all of our teams and the alumni.

And as always, thank you to Rick, Tina and all of the others that make this journey possible.  A special thank you to one of my two amazing nutritionists, BEV, for really helping me this week by holding me just a little extra accountable.  This is the middle of the journey and that kind of help will keep me strong I pray.


Wow we are so fortunate that Rick, Tina and the trainers come in even earlier than usual to give us "extra love" workouts.  So far this week Rick has set my abs on fire and today made me crawl around like a bear, and I LOVE the pain I feel from the exertion.  Normal days are really hard as it is, and this makes them harder but there's also this HUGE sense of accomplishment and gratitude.  They could certainly be squeezing in a few more Zzz's so we owe it to them to really use this opportunity.

I feel like my meal balance is a lot better, mixing in more veggies and grains.  Andreas our PT also gave me the green light to start testing my back and achilles, so I'm looking forward to tonights run.

We are praying for our teammate April to make a speedy recovery - she's our energy and we need her back :)


Another small week; I have to focus and push even harder.  My nutritionists have already given me the key - better meal balance.  It's a small milestone to get your calories right, and then you have to eat better as well.

Last night's weigh-in was almost a way out for me.  Half-way through the info session I'd made up my mind to eat a cheeseburger and fries after the meeting, or a Grandma's Breakfast at Cracker Barrel, or Pizza.  Something that I would have loved while it was going down and kicked myself for the next few days or weeks.  Two things saved me - the main thing was my team talking about meals and sharing recipes and excitement over our weight loss, and the second was actually getting a Facebook ad for one pan honey balsamic chicken.  Instead of going off course completely I adapted the recipe to fit within our guidelines and made myself a fantastic healthy dinner that actually felt like a splurge it was so good.  The worst part was I had already planned to bring the food home so that no one would see me eat it in my FWSW shirt, but then was worried about what my kids would say.  My littlest will always ask if I'm allowed to be eating something on my "Fort Wayne Winner" and I didn't want to lie to her.  This is the second time I've felt this way, last time was during last week's meeting as well, but thankfully that passed too.  It just reminds me how easy it was to get to the point when I started this program; bad choices stacked on top of each other.  I'm happy about my weight loss, 27.8 pounds so far, but to put it in perspective that's just 11 pounds lighter than I was when I first moved here almost three years ago.  Sure it's hard to make the right choices but it's even harder to be fat, to suffer ridicule both perceived and real, to not be able to do things you want to do or used to be able to do.  Before the program I had to sit to put on my socks.  Yesterday my wife noticed my putting on my socks while standing at the bathroom counter and commented - that felt really great.


They keep say keep saying "Trust the process" and oh boy are they right - I did my first ever 5K this weekend with the team and it was AMAZING!!! I walked with Joy and she supported me the whole way, plus CiCi and Tina and other trainers coming to check up on us was amazing as well.

I'm really excited to feel so much better this week too, thanks to Andreas our amazing physical therapist who volunteers so much time for us and to Tina for keeping me from pushing too much and from not pushing enough. My back feels a ton better and as I'm doing my stretches every day my Achilles feels a lot better too.

I'm so inspired by what Tamika wrote in her blog. I believe it's how each and everyone one of us feel. It makes me especially grateful to have young men and woman in the program for whom this can be a salvation BEFORE they have a lifetime of being heavy, and to hear her talk about her fear of not seeing another day I really understood - until just my last week I felt every night like I was kissing my daughters goodnight for the very last time every single night. Now I'm sleeping better, feeling better and just loving this program and the people that run it.

That's another thing. Our trainers and support staff are giving so much for us. Time, effort and emotion - support and love as well. Even when CiCi is pushing us so hard to do things I understand it's because she is so dedicated to transforming us, she is basically giving us extra years on our lives, extra days with our children and loved ones; all of our trainers are and I - WE - are so grateful for that. When I walk down the aisle with my four year old daughter I am going to quietly thank CiCi, Ashley, Josh, EJ, Mari, Katelyn, Bev, Christy, Abigail, Jenny, Jen, Collen, Amanda, Stephanie, Michael, Jonetta, Sonja, Lennart. Anthony, Jon, Katie, April, and of course Rick and Tina (And everyone else that sposored us making this possible and that works to help us unseen) for getting me there.


Really bummed today - sent home due to being sick.  Lost my voice, bad tummy, up all night coughing (fell asleep some time after 2 A.M. for a 4:30 wake-up).  I feel like I'm being a nuisance to Rick and Tina, with my foot, my back and now being sick.  And I miss my team too - they are my backbone even when they aren't there.


Wow!!!  5.8 pounds!!!  So far I've lost over 20 pounds.  Trust the process!  Pool is just as intense it just doesn't feel as intense until you are done.  My foot and back are feeling much better too - I'm ready to get back to the land workout - just need to make sure to bring my gloves lol...


Foot really bothering me, and lower back as well.  Saw Andreas, the awesome physical therapist that volunteers his time for us, and he found some heat (?!?) and inflammation on my Achilles tendon and tension in my lower back.  He gave me some great stretches but also :( restricted me from running.  Tina, in her relentless concern for our safety, took me out of the regular program immediately and put me in the pool for evaluation after Monday weigh-in - really nervous about replacing the normal CiCi relentless workout with the pool but safety first...


First off, Tina is right (again) and this morning that oatmeal really helped me have a lot more energy, not just through the workout but through the day.  On the downside I forgot my boxing gloves in the car and CiCi gave me a well-deserved running session to help me remind me that not paying attention to my gear doesn't just let me down, it lets my team down as well.  Had a rough time after that, especially on sleds and that malaise followed me through the day, and I slipped on my meal plan for dinner.  Very disappointed in myself so I reached right out to my team and my nutritionists and they were all right there to support me and continue forward.  I was grateful that despite the bad meal I still was under my calories for the day and got right back on track.


Really learning to follow the process.  I thought I was doing great with my food but my awesome nutritionists let me know that I still needed to make sure I had the right balance of veggies, protein, starch in each meal, not just overloading one or the other at different times.  Also I've been sooo out of energy half-way through workouts; Tina gave me a great pep-talk and some specific advice on adding oatmeal and eggwhites to my breakfast.  I'm going to try that tomorrow  morning.


Wow what a journey so far...

I'm tired, sore, achey and I've never felt better.  I'm already sleeping better at night (exhaustion is a big help there) and while the workouts are back-breaking the trainers, nutritionists, Rick and Tina and the whole team lift your spirits the whole time and make you want to be that better version of yourself.

But the key to all this is the camaraderie and support from my team, Breakout Blue.  Each of them is an inspiration to me, they help me when I think I'm going to fail and cheer me on when I am succeeding.  Even with our meals that we do when we are not there to actually encourage each other they are supportive and encourage me to do just a little bit better.

I'm grateful to Rick and Tina for leading this charge and for all of the volunteers and Sponsors and our wonderful facility, SPIECE FITNESS - and their supportive members - for making this possible.