Shawn Kinzer

Octane Orange Team

Hello, my name is Shawn Kinzer, and I am so excited for this opportunity! I am the proud father of my 3 year old son Kendrick and also the proud husband to my gorgeous wife Brooke. I love playing sports, especially golf and basketball. I love to sing, rap, and be onstage. I love the Green Bay Packers! My family and friends are the most important part of my life, and I couldn’t do this incredible journey without their love and support.

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7/2/17 We did it!

wow we did it!!!! I cant believe that we all just ran a 1/2 marathon! It was an awesome day and it felt great to finish the race. I was so happy that my family and friends were there to support me and it was a very emotional day for us all. I actually slept well the night before and the day before that I slept GREAT. We went to bed at 7:30pm on Thursday night and got about 10 1/2 hours of sleep. It was much needed. This week felt strange not having as many workouts in but as we have always done all season, we trusted the process, because the goal was to have a full gas tank at the start line on Saturday for the race. I felt great Saturday morning, I woke up ate a whole wheat bagel with some peanut butter then just rested for a little while longer. I got up, got ready, put glide all over and then ate a Gatorade Fuel bar, and I was ready to roll. I arrived to Deer Ridge at 5:59am on the dot and they were already taking pictures. To be honest that put me in a bad mood as I felt like I was late and I hate to be late. So, I was a little annoyed at first, then I thought get over it! We have worked so hard and today was the day so NOTHING is getting in my head. I was focused, like an athlete before a big game I was just ready to go! The time before the race felt like forever with a lot of just anticipation, and eagerness to get the show on the road. Soon enough it was time for the race to start. Howard was going to be running with me today and I have to tell you he was an awesome running partner. For those that know me know that I'm not always a talker when I run, and when people run with me I fell the need to talk because I don't want to be rude, but Howard was the MAN! he talked when we needed to or when he was giving me awesome advice, but most the time he let me just jam out to my run mix and stride along. He was a great partner and really helped me throughout the race. The 1st 6 miles felt amazing I was coasting and feeling strong. Howard then gave me some advice on the last lap that I really felt saved me. Our plan was to take the next 6 miles one at a time as there was water station on every mile. It gave us something to look forward to. I did not stop running for the most part ( water station and all) the 1st lap but I knew that I would need to walk some the second lap so, Howard said to walk through the water stations take a few deep breaths and then pick it up. I had been training that way but he made sure we did that. It saved me! Miles 6-10 felt great too I could not believe that I made it 10 miles and I was feeling that good, but I could tell that the last 3 miles were going to suck.  Miles 10-13 were just HARD. I was barley moving and Howard kept saying don't worry about pace just keep moving, and that's exactly what I did. Once we got back on Illinois road it was a mental game. I pushed through and made it to the corner of Illinois and Scott and that's when all my pain went away. I saw Brooke, I saw Kendrick, and my friends and they were cheering me on for that last little bit. I could see the finish line and as I approached my family, Brooke started running with me and she was the reason I finished so strong as this journey has not only been for me but also for her, for Kendrick, and my family, and friends. Kendrick ran with me too! He was running after me because I picked it up and finished strong! My best friend Brooks as he was holding Kendrick running along side of me and then he let Kendrick run with me and we all finished together!. They were all right by my side as I and down the home stretch and it was a moment I will never forget. I could now see EVERYONE it was so special. My heart was full my gas tank was empty but I did it. Having my wife run by my side is something I will always cherish because it symbolic of the support she has shown me throughout this journey. I love you Brooke and I cannot thank you enough for the sacrifices you have made for me so I can change my life and that has lead to me being a better and healthier husband to you. I crossed that finish line and it was like a feeling I've never had, I was emotional, exhausted, excited, relieved, overwhelmed, accomplished, and just so happy. Seeing everyone finish was also special and I made it a point to hug as many of my fellow teammates, contestants, trainers, coaches, volunteers, and people involved in the program and tell them how much I loved them and thanked them for everything! What a day, what a race, what a feeling.... and sadly there is only one week left. Week 15 lets do this!!!

6/30/17 - Next Stop....Half Marathon!!!

Holy smokes, tomorrow is the BIG day! The day that we all have been training for and looking forward to crush…that’s right it’s the FWSW Half Marathon. I am so excited to run this race; I am prepared and ready to kill it. Ashley said the other day that we ARE READY, and if there is one thing I know for sure and that is to trust the process and trust these people who have helped us for the last 14 weeks. We ARE ready and we are all going to kill it. I feel it! I feel the excitement from my teammates and our nerves are kicking in, but we ARE ready! For the last 14 weeks we have ran every Monday, every Wednesday or Thursday and every single Saturday. Now all we have to do is run that race. Once I cross that finish line, it’s going to be an amazing feeling and something I will always remember. I can’t believe that I am running 13.1 miles tomorrow and looking forward to it! Who would have thought? This program has really changed me and the way I think and I love every minute of it. And guess what?! Brooke is running too! She is doing the 10k and I am so happy that she will be there for support. She has been my rock this entire way and I love her very much. Also, my friends will be there too, Brooks, Christina, Atticus, and Callie! Not to mention the man the myth the legend Mr. Kendrick Philip Kinzer. He will be there as daddy finishes the race ready for a sweaty hug from pops!!! Feeling good and feeling strong. Also, I’m feeling sad that this is all coming to an end. I’m looking forward to the challenge of doing this on my own because that is when the true test begins. I’m going to miss this group as this is my family and I love them all. I’m going to soak up every last minute of this and share with the world about this wonderful program and these wonderful people.

Can’t wait for tomorrow!

6/25/17- I did it!!!

I cant believe the transformation that has happened to me. I'm like a new person and I'm finally starting to realize the changes. My wife this week had sent me a few pictures of me from January when I was almost 400 pounds and I could REALLY see the difference

Brooke and I Vegas 2017
This was me in January at 378 pounds
Me at the 5k run for a hero
This is me today 102 pounds lighter...I'm the one on the right... 

As you can see I have came a long way and I owe it all to this program!  I LOVE FWSW and I am so happy to have gone through this. I know that these people will be my friends and family for life. I love everyone and we all get along and encourage each other. It's simply amazing. I'm getting kinda sad that this is all going to be over in 2 weeks. What am I going to do with myself? Well, I know one thing I am going to keep up the hard work and continue towards a healthier life. The tools this program has given me will allow me to be successful and I have NO excuses to go back to how I used to live my life. Why would I want to go back? I LOVE my life now, and I realize I can do things without unhealthy food and having to have a drink. This is awesome!

I also set what is called a PR ( personal record) at the Run like a Hero 5k as I did my best time ever. I did it in 33 min which was 1 min faster than the German Fest 5k I did a few weeks ago. I am super excited for our half marathon coming up NEXT Saturday! I cant believe it's here! I'm going to really soak in and enjoy these next few weeks with theses people.

Smallest Winners, Trainers, Coaches, Alumni, Volunteers, Rick and Tina.......... I LOVE YOU ALL and thank you!

6/15/17- 100 Pounds, here I come...

I have to tell you, I am feeling really good these past few weeks. After the GermanFest 5k I was really tired and I thought to myself, “there in NO WAY I can do 10 more miles of this.” But after these runs we have been doing, I can really start to feel the conditioning that we have done and the training is working! Now when I run I feel GREAT, I get in a zone and just chug along like the little engine that could. I would have never thought that I would feel this way about running. I often reflect on what my life was like prior to meeting Rick and Tina and I now understand the importance of my health. I was in a dark place and I had every reason to make a change and improve my life not only for me but for my family. Instead I chose liquor, food, and being comfortable. What I now realize is that my comfortable before was actually very uncomfortable. I couldn’t buy clothes that fit right, I was embarrassed to tuck in shirts, I couldn’t fit in booths at restaurants, seats in planes, rides at amusement parks, I couldn’t tie my shoe comfortably without it being an event, and I couldn’t do things with my family because of my size. Everyone had to make accommodations for me not only because they loved me but also because of my size. I thought I was comfortable, but I was really miserable. I used to just look forward to eating the biggest and best food and I would plan my day around that. I would look forward to drinking when I got home so I could “relax”. What I know now is there isn’t a cheeseburger or a Martini that tastes as good as I feel right now. Nothing is more important than your health and I understand that now and Rick and Tina have given me my life back, and along the way their team has given me so much information and guidance that is irreplaceable and life changing.  I will be able to use this information for the rest of my life and I am VERY grateful for that. Before this program I tried all the diets in the world…. Low carb , liquid, atkins, south beach, Military, etc. I know now that those are short term fixes and the real way to lose weight is through tracking your food, making correct choices, meal prep, exercise, and a little will power, that is the key to success. Thank you FWSW for teaching me that. I will never do another gimmick diet again.

On an important note. If I lose 2.6 pounds this week I will hit a HUGH milestone for me personally. I would have lost 100 pounds in 6 ½ months. January 16th 2017 I weighed a whopping 378 pounds.  Fingers Crossed and I’m hoping for the BEST.  So many milestones have been broken in this short program. In 1st 9 weeks I did something that I could not accomplish in 15 years and that was to be under 300 pounds! At week 12 I’m at 280 pounds! How did I do this? Why am I so lucky to be a part of this? Let’s talk a little about this program and how much all the volunteers give back to people. THIS IS A FREE PROGRAM!!!!!!!!! I repeat FREE!!! WHAT!?!? I can’t do justice putting in words how I feel about this program, but I am working with the BEST people in the world. They are caring, selfless, kind, supportive, motivating, compassionate, reliable, and most importantly they love each and every one of us. Two people had a vision and look what it has become. It proves that dedication, motivation, and the want to help people can lead to anything. I love you Rick and I love you Tina. I love all the volunteers ( trainers, dietitians, running coaches, etc) You all have a huge part of my success and a huge part of saving me. This has made me a better person, a better father, a better husband,  As you know the MOST important thing in my life is my Family and because of you I can be around to enjoy them and be active and LIVE.  I love Life, I love FWSW.

6/11/17- They say stressed I say Excited!!!!

This week was CRAZY!!! .....and the weeks to come are just going to get more CRAZY. As far as how I feel however, I feel great! Long story short from now until mid July, work for me is nuts. I have a ton of deadlines and responsibilities to get completed and along with running the largest team at Lincoln my days are jammed packed. I still get my daily second workout in at the Lincoln gym, but that is my only escape. This week started out just like all the others. I had a good weigh in lost 5 pounds and I am 7 pounds away from hitting 100 pounds lost since January of this year. I'm hoping to hit that this week.

Because of my schedule I had to find time to do the challenge this week which was 200 flights of stairs, 25 sleds, and 1000 feet on Jacobs ladder. I'm sorry but I had no choice but to complete them in the 1st 3 days of the week. I got the stairs done Tuesday afternoon, but since Jacobs ladder and the sleds are only at spiece I didn't know what to do because I didn't have much time. So on Thursday Morning I got to Spiece at 4:50am and the doors were open. My man JD let me in and I started the Ladder...DONE! then I took a 15 min breather and crushed the sleds! Then confessed to Rick and I'm glad he wasn't too upset with me and appreciated the effort.

Saturday Morning around 1am I woke up out of a dead sleep and had some BAD chest pain and I was panicking. Brooke is a nurse and she assessed me and we decided to go to the ER, but 1st we stopped at walgreens and got some medicine because I thought it may just be heartburn. But I've had heartburn before and it was nothing like this.  I ended up taking the meds, then I got nervous and I threw up in the ER parking lot. I decided to not go into the hospital because I was feeling better but still not 100%. I just wanted to go to sleep and go home. On the way home I was feeling better and was able to finally sleep at 4am. I woke up at 5:30, ate , and headed to the Saturday Morning run. I talked to Tina about my situation and she strongly suggested that I go get checked out. I understood after awhile, but the competitor in me was upset. Good news was that I went and they hooked me up to an EKG, gave me an XRay, and took my labs and I was 100% OK YES!!!! I guess it was just REALLY bad heartburn. Then they told me that it was caused because of stress and anxiety and that I have GERD. This is exactly what Brooke said it was! I'm VERY lucky to have her.

The problem was that I missed the 6 miles Saturday and I was going to be gone all weekend on a family adventure. We were going to Cedar Point! Jess from my team and her husband David told me about a 10k at Cedar Point during our Vision Walk Saturday. So I looked into it and signed up so I could make up the time I missed. It was awesome!!!! I met Snoppy and Charlie Brown was very proud of myself. I completed the quarter marathon in 1 hour and 18 min with an 11:55 pace. I ran the whole time and felt GREAT! The run was through the park and along Lake Erie and was a beautiful morning!!! This week.... yes it may have been packed with work, and deadlines, but if we put our minds to what we want we can accomplish anything. Make no excuses and lets get it!!!!!



6/4/17- Oh no! The birds are MAD!

Two weeks ago I wrote about killing two birds with one stone and I accomplished it. In the same weigh-in two weeks ago, I finally got under 300 pounds for the 1st time in 15 years, and I hit the min 50 pound goal for the program at week 8. But, I think those birds are mad, but I will come back to that a little later. First, let me talk about this week and the amazingness that it was. It started with the now usual extra love and there is nothing like starting you week with pushing sleds. I got GOT a few times as I had to do about 4 fire drills ( down AND back), looks like it was my turn to get it from Rick. But, it felt great and I cant imagine NOT doing extra love from here on out, like my good friend Parker says it's free money. In fact 6 out of the top 7 were in extra love this week and the competitive juices are flowing. Due to the fact that this competition is so close, me along with all the other are picking up their workouts. This week I went hard on the runs and on most days I did 3 workouts, I cut my calories down to between 1250-1500 a day ( I typically was between 1500-1600). My days this week consisted of starting my day with Extra Love, then the 6-7 workout with the group, then everyday from 12-1 I workout at my work gym. So, right there is already about 3 workouts. Then when I get home from work, my family and I go for a walk, or I have to push mow my yard, and sometimes we do a family workout video. I'm hoping to see the results this week on the scale. I'm SOOOOO close to hitting a HUGE milestone for me personally. I started this competition at 351 pounds but what most people don't know is that I lost 27 pounds before it started. Brooke, Kendrick, and I went to Las Vegas to visit my Mom and Dad in January and when I got back from vacation I was REALLY heavy tipping the scale at 378 pounds. I needed to make a life change and that's when I heard about FWSW and applied. But, even if I wasn't selected I needed to do something so I started my weight loss journey in January. I was losing control of my life, eating, drinking, smoking and just not living a good lifestyle. This is why I say that FWSW saved my life. I was lost and I was hopeless. I had all the support, but until you make the decision for yourself it doesn't matter how much support you have until you decide enough is enough. I had enough! I started working out and eating no carbs and dropped a little over 25 pounds from Jan-March 2017. Then, I heard the life saving news that I was selected for this program and I was so excited. Actually I was SO nervous because now it was REAL and I had to do this. A half Marathon?????!!!!!! ARE YOU CRAZY?! Now, I love to run, it feels so good and rewarding. So back to my personal goal...... Currently, I am at 290 pounds so, I lose 12 more pounds I will hit 100 pounds lost in 6 months! 73 pounds of that will be from FWSW. To get in the 100 pound club for the competition I need to be at 251 pounds and I really want to hit that. However, in 12 pounds I am going to  hit a goal that is a great accomplishment. However, I'm kind of embarrassed about it too. How did I let myself get like that? Brooke was showing me pictures of me to show how much I lost and I hate those pictures. Don't get me wrong I'm excited that the weight is gone, but I'm disappointed in myself that it took this long for me to realized what I know now. But, I know going forward my life is going to be healthy and I'm going to feel great. I've said this before and I'll say it again and again, but Rick and Tina saved my life and I am forever grateful. Needless to say the past few weeks have felt amazing and people are noticing. I got a new free wardrobe, thanks to Anthony, Shane, Mike, and Robert. I'm looking fly in their old clothes! LOL ...But back to my Bird story....... On Sunday I went for light run/walk along Illinois road and as I was passing the bridge I was attacked by a bird!!!!! Karma? or coincidence?  I did kill two birds with one stone two weeks ago. Was this a relative to that bird? I'm guessing coincidence. Then Monday we had to do 50 min of walking 3 and running 7. So I did the same course on Illinois road. Guess who was back? THE BIRD! It came at me again!!!!! Dive bombing and everything, flying right by my head and squawking like a crazy bird. Ok now I'm thinking Karma... Then later in the week Brooke, Kendrick and I took a family walk after work and the birds was back AGAIN! Brooke didn't believe me until she saw it for herself when it tried to take her head off. It was so funny as we ran threw that because we were scared LOL. So, Saturday we had 8 miles and on our course we were going to be passing my new nemesis. Lenny was with me the majority of the time and when we hit Illinois road I told him about the bird and that it was attacking me all week. Then perfect timing happened.... Scotty B was ahead of me and I could see he was about to enter the danger zone. I told Lenny look that's where the bird is. At that very moment there he was, the angry bird. He flew up in the sky and started dive bombing Scotty B!!!!!! I said Lenny Look I told you!!!!!! aww man we were laughing so hard because you should have seen Scotty running out of there checking his head, and wondering if this was real or not. Lenny and I made it threw without any trouble from the bird and we caught up to Scotty B. We told him the bird story and He said he didn't know what was going on and at 1st he thought it was one of us messing with him until he realized it was just the crazy ass bird. We had a good laugh and finished the 8 miles like a bunch of bosses. Next week is 9 miles and we are all ready to roll. We got 1 month left and it's go time!

5/28/17- My Hips Don't Lie

This week flew by, come to think of it this whole program has really flown by as I can't believe we are already in week 9 WOW! It seems like yesterday we were doing pour 1st mile and now we are running close to running 15 plus a week. I said something this week that really surprised me and I had to do a double take......what did I just say? I was looking at our binder ( the one that tells us what we are doing for running this week) and I saw that we had picked up the times from 50 to 60 min on our Wednesday or Thursday run, but then I also saw that we are doing 5 miles Saturday. I literally said, ohh were ONLY doing 5 miles. WHAT!?!!! Did that just come out of my mouth? I would have never said that 9 weeks ago. The fact that I thought 5 miles was a little break shows how much we are accomplishing in this competition. I mean we did 7 last week and 6 the week before, so 5 is a little break right? In fact, there are a lot of things I can do now that I could not even come close to doing 9 weeks ago. I have made so many improvements to myself and to the things I do. I can do 2 min wall sits, run and talk at the same time, Run comfortably for 10 min straight, 150 floors in 1 setting, Jacobs ladder, crab crawls, etc. One of the coolest things was that I am no longer the sweaty guy! Now those that work out with me are probably saying, " umm not true dude, you sweat like a banshee," and to that point you are correct, after the FWSW workouts I am drenched and my shirt is always all week from top to bottom, but I have stopped sweating just walking around at work. I would come into a meeting and just be sweating, I would sit down and just be very self conscious of it and I would try and wipe my brow when others were not looking. It was embarrassing how little activity would make me sweat like I was pumping iron. Now I just am like a normal person. People at work have noticed and it wasn't till my colleague at work pointed it out that I really even noticed. I was like "yeah, I guess I don't sweat anymore, pretty sweet!!!"

Workouts this week were awesome. We seem to pick it up more and more and that is awesome because we can push ourselves to next levels. I really like that feeling when you start moving to the next level on things. Like using 1 foot on a wall sit, one leg on a plank, pushing it to the next level on your last two minutes of your run cycle, setting the elliptical to the hard setting as your base, and adding in new things that challenge you. This week during extra love with Rick ( I love saying that) we were doing planks and he some of us do a plank with one leg behind the other. However, it started out where he was just asking certain people to do it. I was waiting for my name because I felt like I was ready to take it up a little bit. He said, Whitney, Dan, Anthony, Shane, Miranda...... however, he never said my name. Maybe he forgot, so we did a min plank and went to our next set of walking with weights and curls. Extra Love was about over and we had 1 more set of planks to do. This time Rick said he wanted people to put a weight on their lower back, this will kick up the plank intensity a little more. Sweet I'm excited to see what this is going to be like! But there it was again..... no name call. I was just doing a regular plank so I decided to do the 1 legged plank for myself, but I was now thinking why wasn't my name called to be apart of the group that could put weight on their back? It really bothered me during that 1 min we were doing planks. Just let it go I said... Just let it go.. I couldn't I had to know, what it a mistake, was it intentional, was I in trouble, is someone mad at me? ( as you can see I'm a little paranoid and overthink a lot) So, I build up the courage and approach Rick and say, " Out of curiosity, why didn't you ask me to put a weight on my back for the plank?" Rick simply said, "your hips are a little high on your planks. "  That's it?! I', not in trouble, I wasn't forgotten, no one is mad, it's just I have to lower my hips. Challenge accepted!!!!! Setting new goals every week and you better believe that weight will be on my back next week!!!

I chose the title " My hips don't lie" because of that story above and that way you can see the mind games that go through my head. I could have also gone with "Sorry Birds" because last's weeks title was called, " 2 birds with one stone" and guess what I DID IT. Yep! It's official under 300 pounds for the 1st time in 15 years and I've lost over 50 pounds in 8 weeks. In Fact, I've lost the most weight at 56 pounds! I am proud of that. I cant tell you how emotional the last weigh in was. It was awesome and the support I had from everyone was amazing. I truly cant thank you all enough and that will be one of the best memories of my lifetime. The other title I could have had was " There is no I in Team" and that would have been about my Double O squad. Octane Orange is where it's at! This team is amazing and I could not do what I do without them. They push me, motivate me, comfort me, support me, challenge me, and love me! We all have a bond that is second to none. To show their support for me and achieving one of my early goals of the over 50 lbs. under the 300 mark in 15 years, they surprised me with gifts! I got some bad ass running socks, a running fanny pack, gift card to iTunes, and Best Buy! How freaking lucky am I?!!! I love this group and they mean the world to me and I know we will all be life long friends.

This week was my favorite week so far in the competition. I am starting to develop some really great friendships and I don't know what I'm going to do when this is all over. This is my new normal, this is my new life and I need them! I am starting to feel like I can really live like this and have fun still and enjoy life. Before I needed Alcohol, lots of food, and more alcohol to have a good time. But, honestly I haven't missed it. The food I have to admit is sometimes hard and is the hardest piece for me. But, moderation is the key to success and I'm starting to see when this is over how I will be able to have fun in places where there will be food, and drinks. I know this program had given me the tools to make smart decisions and still have fun. Last night we went to the Harris Wedding and it was so much fun! and guess what I didn't drink any Alcohol ( also that is impressive as it was an open bar) I didn't cheat on my food choices. I brought my own food just in case, but I was able to eat some of the items at the wedding. They had a ton of veggies, so I got to eat and I had a blast enjoying everyone's company. It was cool to feel like I could be with my group at the table and not sneak off to go eat my food. I danced and enjoyed the time I got to spend with Brooke and I even thought of CiCi when I was on the dance floor! I don't dance very well but I will dance ALL night so I started feeling like I was on the stepper from Wednesday, also I was marching in place from time to time, but honestly the cool thing was that I could dance for a long time, no sweat, no having to go sit down to catch my breath, or find a towel to wipe my sweat. I could just dance and do my best Shakira, Shakira imitation because even though my hips will not let me get my weight from Rick....YET, they still allow me to have some fun on the dance floor, so I guess it's true, My Hips don't lie!


5/21/17- 2 birds with one stone?....hopefully..

Wow, I cant believe that we are half way done with this competition. It's sad to think that this will all be over soon, as I absolutely love this group of people. This week seems likes it has lasted a long time because I have two goals hanging over my head and I'm so nervous about hitting them. So far in the competition I have lost 49.8 pounds! Rick wants everyone to at least get 50 pounds by the end of the competition so I'm ahead of that pace for sure and I am proud of that number to date. However, I still have a long way to go to hit my person goal of at least 100 pounds! I know I will get there, but I may be difficult to do another 50 pounds by the end of this on July 8th. But, better believe I'm going to do everything I can do hit that! The part of this that make me nervous is that last week I lost 9.2 pounds. I could not believe it! I am so close to being under 300 pounds that I've not stopped thinking about that feeling for a week straight. I'm at 302 pounds and I want more than anything to kill 2 birds with one stone this week. I want to hit the 50 pound mark and also be under 300 pounds. But, what makes me nervous is that I had a big week last week and I'm afraid that even though I killed it this week and stayed true that I will stand on that scale and it will say 300.2 or something like that.  There is a trend that when you have s BIG week then the next week tends to be small. Now I know that eventually I will hit both marks and this will be a mute point, but right now that's how I feel. I haven't been under 300 pounds in about 15 years and I'm just ready to say goodbye to that number forever! Lets do this!

5/12/17- 5 Years Strong

This week I felt really good! It was my favorite week so far. It actually stated last Friday night. I went and got a haircut from my sister-in-law and ended up with something new and exciting just like this program. It’s basically a Mohawk, I was really nervous about it at first but people seem to love and I’m getting a lot of complements on it. I kinda look like this guy from Wreck it Ralph minus the facial hair, because I cant grow any! It's literally been 3 months since I've shaved :)




Anyways, back to this week… So, I got my hair did! Feeling good about life and on top of that Friday was my 5 year wedding anniversary with my beautiful wife Brooke. Friday after my workout, work, and haircut, I came home and Brooke and I had a great evening. Just chill the two of us and we exchanged gifts for each other. Earlier in the day I had went home and decorated the kitchen with chocolates, roses, Starbucks, and personal letter from me to her. She wrote me this letter that absolutely rocked my world and it something that I will cherish forever! I also got some bad ass shorts for workouts and a coffee grinder and some coffee to wake me up in the morning for the workouts. It was an awesome night! The next day I got up for our run and rocked the 4 miles! I can honestly say that running is getting easier and enjoyable. After the run Brooke and I had a date day. Kendrick was with the in-laws and we had the day to ourselves. No kid, no responsibilities, no problem! So you know what we did!?! You guessed it…. Cleaned the freaking house LOL! To be fair it needed it and we had a good time doing it with loud music and some occasional dance breaks in there!  If our jam comes on you better watch out! After our cleaning session, we clean up ourselves and headed out for a date night. We decided to go to see Beauty and the Beast at the Regal with the reclining chairs, but 1st we stopped at The Olive Twist, because a few weeks ago Jessica from my double O squad got me a gift. I got an empty bottle that I could fill up with anything in the store! It was Brooke’s 1st time at the Olive Twist and she loved it. We sampled a few vinegars and I ended up filling up my bottle with the classic balsamic ( 10 cal per tbls)  Great for Chicken!!!!!! Then we headed to the Movies and really enjoyed the flick. I brought in my own popcorn LOL and drank water. Orville Redenbacher makes 100 calorie bags or kettle corn with almost no sodium. No brainier!  Afterwards, we wanted to have a nice dinner together, but I can’t go out to eat so we headed to the Fresh Market where I introduced Brooke to isle 6 where they have all the wraps that Tina raves about. We bought like 4 bags and also some Flat-out Pizza Crusts (AMAZING) . We also got some of that chocolate coffee Rick was talking about and it was awesome! For dinner Brooke got some sushi and I bought a sashimi tuna steak and cooked it at home. We had a very nice evening! It was cool to prove that I could still go out enjoy myself without indulging in bad food or alcohol. Thank you FWSW!

Monday was our weigh in and I was pretty happy to see 5 more pounds come off! 40.6 total in 6 weeks!!! However, I did go from a solid 3rd place to either 6th or 7th this week, but that just means that a lot of people killed it last week. I’m happy about that and I’m never upset with losing 5 pounds! It is what it is and I will trust the process and continue to work hard. I do want to win this, but ultimately I have already won, and I have learned so much in the short time I’ve been blessed to be a part of this program. So I’m just going to keep on going!

 I volunteered for Extra Love with Rick this week again and I love it! I don’t think I will even not do it because it’s only going to help me. My favorite day was Rick’s Crab Shack Day! Rick was talking to Kaitlyn as she came in with her smelly eggs and said that it was zoo day! As he said this we were doing Crab Claws, so he said “Look we got Crabs”. As you can imagine with our immature minds we all giggled and gave rick some crap about it. So basically, for the morning he transformed us all into zoo animals and made us demonstrate how they get around. We did Bear Crawls, crab crawls, Frog Jumps, Bunny hops, and by the end I was tired tortoise.

 I feel good about this week and I’m hoping to see a BIG number on Monday. I have picked up my second workouts to another level and been staying pretty strict on my diet this week, cutting back on a few small things. We will see what happens, but hopefully I can put a respectable number up and get right back into the hunt of the Season 10 smallest winner! Saturday we got 6 miles to run….. Bring it on!!!

5/7/17 - Hello Jacob

To say the least this last week and a half has been crazy for me, but I made it through. There were a lot of things that I had to take care of, from work, to family, to MORE work! It all started with last week my wife Brooke got really sick and was out of commission for a few days. She had something really nasty, a viral infection in her throat that just was not getting better. Two trips to the doctor, lost of medicine, sleep, and rest and she is finally starting to feel herself again. Kendrick and I were chilling all week sleeping on our second bed ( the air Mattress LOL) and making sure mommy was feeling good, we got through it, all of us, together! Then at work I had so many deadlines to meet and I was struggling finding the time, but I had to get through it and get it done and I did. This week for FWSW I did my second tour of Extra Love and was fining the struggle getting up in the morning and the struggle of going to bed so early to get up in the morning, but I made it through the week. I got introduced to Rick's good friend Jacob and he kick my you know what. Jacob's ladder is a machine that uses your weight and act's like a fireman's ladder where you basically climb a ladder. It is self paced but the goal is to stay in the 70-75 range for speed. Rick says if you can make it 3 min on this machine then it's a good day. 3 MINUTES!!! That is easy Rick!!!! 3 MINUTES lol... did he mean 30 min? You cant get a workout in 3 min... DUH! Nothing happens in 3 min, this had to be a mistake. But rest assured it was 3 min! Ok, no problem I got this . Here I go..... I get strapped in the ladder and started climbing. The 1st 30 seconds you are just getting used to it and moving along. but then, something happened, my heart rate was "climbing" and it was getting harder and harder. I was only 45 seconds into this!!!!!! What the heck is going on here! About a minute and a half in I thought I was going to have to get off, I was DONE!. I was pouring sweat and my heart felt like it was out of my chest. About 10 min before this, Parker, Berg, AJ, and I did our sled challenge and completed 12 times down and back in 17:48. My legs were on fire. Back to the ladder.... I'm 2 min in and then I think to myself I can do anything for a minute! I just zoned in and pushed through and got it done. Wow what a workout in just 3 minutes!!! I then realized that my week was symbolic to everything else. This week was overwhelming, but I got through it. I pushed through it and got it done, and it makes me feel good to know that If I just get out of my head and think positively, try not to stress, and believe, then I can do anything. If you would have told me in January that by the beginning of May I would be running 3 days a week on top of working out 12 times a week all while, not drinking alcohol, soda, and staying under 1600 calories, I would have said you are CRAZY. Well, it's not so crazy, it's my new life and I love every second of it. There are times when I want to quit, and I want to sleep, and I want to eat, and drink, and just say I'm done. But, I look at the ultimate prize and that is being alive, healthy, and with my family. There is nothing that is more important than that. I let myself go for the last 15 years and every week in this competition I feel better, stronger, and full of life. I don't need alcohol, soda, and fast food. I have learned what I need and how I can live and be happy. Rick and Tina I owe you my life, I thank you and my family thanks you. I will forever be in your debt and promise to pay it forward everyday! 

Date 4/29/17- Extra Love?

This week was full of first for me. Rick challenged everyone this week on the stair stepper and we must do 100 floors before we quit in 1 setting. We have to do this two times. I used the stair stepper machine for the 1st time ever and I did 100 floors and let me tell you, it was no joke! It killed me J . I used the stair stepper at work and I’m not sure if that is set differently or maybe the stair stepper is not for me, but it took me 35 min and I was drenched in sweat! It was by far the best workout on any machine I have ever done. Some of my friends in the competition did theirs in less than 23 minutes. So, either I need to “step” up my game or the Machines at Spiece are a little different. I plan on doing my second attempt on Monday before the week 5 weigh in. Wish me Luck! Another 1st was I briskly walked/ran 3 miles 4 days this week at lunch. I followed the 7:3 ( 7 min briskly walking and 3 min running) to start, but by the end of the week I was doing 6:4. I never thought I could do all that during my lunch break. Thank goodness the Lincoln Gym has showers. I also did 5 miles on Saturday with the group. We actually did that at a 5:5 ratio. It was awesome and felt great. In fact Shane from the Super 7 alumni team was right there with me today and he was motivating me to keep going and he really pushed me to the next level. In fact the last quarter mile he said we should run and he wanted me to beat him to the finish line. So, we started sprinting, umm bad idea for me…..about 10 seconds after I took off I was already gassed, but he kept encouraging me to finish strong and keep going so I ran and ran. I was so close to the finish line but I got in my own head and stopped running about 100 yards from the end. I let myself down, but Shane was still encouraging me, and being super cool and supportive, and even though I felt slightly embarrassed because I quit so close to the end, I’m still proud of my 5 miles today, and going forward I will always finish strong.  I also got my 1st taste of “Extra Love” with Rick. ( sounds kind of silly when you say it like that)….. but what it entails is a workout before the workout. We do an hour every Tuesday – Friday, so this is a intense 30 min workout before that on those days. In a nutshell, one of our teammates was assigned extra love this week, and we are one on Octane Orange, so, if one of us has extra love then by golly we ALL have extra love. We wanted to show support and be there for our teammate. We are a team and a family and we stick together. So, Tuesday morning we all woke up at 4:30 in the freaking MORNING so we could get to the gym by 5:30. At 5:30 we started” Extra Love” ( EL)! Day 1 was awesome as we got to push sleds with the yellow weights on them. It started nice and easy, but then it got good! We were doing fires drills (down and back) and by the end of the workout we were all tired and ready to go home. Oh shit…… we still have to do the 60 min workout with the group! What did I sign myself up for!?!? LOL anyways, after that we had our normal group workout from 6am to 7am. I was at 11,000 steps by 7:30 am. The second day of EL ( Wednesday )  we did stairs, pushups, jumping jacks, squats, and did curls with dumbbells into shoulder presses as we went around the track upstairs. After that for the group workout we did stations with CiCi and that is always intense. But Wednesday was a very special day. After we workout we typically get together to hear from the trainers and Rick and Tina. Today Kaitlyn shared a passage of a blog from Tamika who is an alumni from the super 7 and also one of my favorite people in this competition. The words that Tamika wrote and that Kaitlyn shared touched me so much I cried on two separate occasions, I related so much to what she said  and the way Tamika wrote it just hit home to how a lot of us feel. I encourage everyone to go the Alumni tab and read her blog as it will make you cry too. Then after that, CiCi shared a VERY personal story about what this program means to her and how she feels about all of us. She said we are all family and I thank her for sharing that story. I have so much respect and love for her.

Friday was here and it was our last day of EL with Rick and he did NOT disappoint. Today was the 1st day in the competition where I felt inadequate. We did sleds again and he pushed us to the MAX! This time the sleds had a Yellow, Green, and a 35lb dumbbell on them. We were split into 3 teams and did races where we had to go down and back. I was with Shane, Jordan, and Dan P. They killed it. I started pretty good, but towards the end I thought I was going to collapse. Down and back counted as 1 and the 1st team to 15 won. Our team did very well the 1st time around and won by a good margin. The second race was a different story. I was beat but I didn’t want to let my team down so I pushed as hard as I could and made it down twice there and back. On my 3rd attempt I still hadn’t caught my breath from my last round but it was my turn so I pushed that sled! I made it down to the end and on my way back I honestly felt that I could not move this sled anymore, but Rick was right there encouraging me and saying,” good job” “you got this” “ “come on” He also said  “long strides,  you got this” it was then when I dug deep and finished pushing it. However I still had one more time down and back, Needless to say I made it but I was not moving very fast at all, but I kept pushing. I was so exhausted and thought I was going to collapse, but I kept walking and eventually caught my breath and felt my legs underneath me. Thanks to Rick I pushed myself harder than I ever have in my life; I will do EL any day of the week if I can feel that accomplished. Thanks Rick!! The BIG workout was intense too as after sleds we did MORE stations…. Jumping Jacks, Planks, punches, leg kicks, and squats. In between each round we ran/jogged a lap around the gym and then finished the workout with 2 wall sits. WHAT A WEEK!!!!!  

I also want to take a quick shout out to EVERYONE who had read and/or commented on my blog. You motivate me to keep going strong, your words of encouragement mean the world to me and I look forward to hearing what you all have to say. I am honored that my words and thoughts can potentially have an impact on people and hearing those things touch my heart so much. I absolutely love each comment and again Thank You for all your support I love you all!

Date 4/21/17 - I can see my Feet!!!!!

Wow! A month in and I feel so much better already! Who would have thought that I could do what I’m doing? I haven’t had a drink in over a month, McDonalds, or anything fried!!!! For those that know me that is a huge deal! I’m ready to keep it up too! I am also starting to celebrate the little things that I’ve noticed since FWSW started saving my life. No longer am I out of breath as I tie my shoe, I can fit into the normal stall in the restroom instead of the handicap penthouse sized apartment stall, and I’m able to wear some of those shirts in my closet that still have tags because people gave me the benefit of the doubt when buying clothes for me and said, “ He couldn’t be over a 3XL right? Well, they don’t make 4XL at this store so this will do!” I mean all this stuff is worth celebrating!! So, how do I celebrate? I treat myself to a nice portion of Fruits and Veggies and take a walk! These small wins are only the beginning to what I want to accomplish not only in the competition, but for the rest of my life. I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg and I have a long way to go, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be excited about some of the changes right? I mean, I can see my feet!....... and they look awesome! My belly used to get in the way of everything, and even though I’m only down almost 26 pounds, I can tell a difference in my clothes already and I’m starting to hear people say they can tell I’m losing weight. I’m super pumped that I can wear the shirt with the buttons without fearing that when I sit down one of those bad boys will pop off and hit someone in the eyeball! It’s Great! I can now go into DXL ( FKA Casual Male XL) and say sorry guys, but I think I may be able to start shopping at a normal sized person store now. We had a good run and yes I will miss the people in your establishment ( Stan, Travis, Jewels, and Sally) but It’s time I move on and try seeing other clothes. Pretty soon I may be able to buy a normal belt instead of the stretchy fabric one I’ve had for the last 2 years! I’m excited for the day I can walk on an airplane and not have the flight attendant hand me the “extender belt”. I’m also super excited to be able to ride on the kids ride with my 3 year old son at Cedar Point! Last year we went and I had the unfortunate experience to have the person try to pull down the lever and realized that I was going to have to get off the ride as I was too big. We are going in May so I’ll let you know how it goes this time. I am also excited to go to Lambeau Field and not take up two bench seats! I look forward to the day that I’m not the BIG person anymore. For so long that has always been me, the BIG funny guy. I used being BIG as a way of life, and I just accepted it. I shorted myself all these years, by making bad decisions and not really caring about my health and well-being. But, something magical happened in the afternoon of April 1st 2014, my son Kendrick Philip Kinzer was born, and even though it took me 3 years after that to realize that there is a whole lot more in life than, drinking, McDonalds, and fried chicken. It was time to make a change. I want to see this little boy grow up, I want to grow old with my wife, I want to live and take this experience and help people like me understand that YOU CAN DO IT! I see all the alumni in this program and I think to myself that's I want to do. I want to help people and encourage people and let them know they are not alone. This is HARD, no Joke, but it’s worth it. And even though we are only a fraction of the way complete for FWSW season 10, I can already see positive changes in me and in my life. All I needed was that push at the right time. I think people need to understand that all it takes is a little push. It may not happen now, it may not happen in 3 years, but when and if it happens hold on to it for as long as you can and invest in yourself. I’ve said it before , but this program has saved my life. I was going down the path of no return and there wasn’t anything anyone could say to me to get me to change, until one day it just happened. I looked at Brooke and saw here new life style, and I  knew that if I kept on that path then my future would not be what I wanted, I looked at Kendrick and realized that he needs me, and I need him. I was tired of making excuses as there weren't anymore. I wanted my life back! This program has saved my life in so many ways, from my relationships with family and friends, my ability to work harder in life, work, and love, my health, and it’s given me a joy that I haven’t felt in over 15 years. Plain and simple Thank You.




Date 4/11/17 - F&%# Ribs!!!

I was feeling good going into the 2nd weigh in. Last week I put up 13.2 pounds and was hoping to match that this week. I was a little off my routine because of the funeral this weekend, but I prepared and brought my meals with me and had access to a gym at the hotel, so I was ready. The only thing I didn’t really do was drink a ton of water as I usually do. If I drank the regular amount of water I would have had to stop 7 times on the way to Wisconsin to use the restroom. What I wasn’t ready for was to have to cook for my family that was in town. However, this is one of my favorite things to do. I grew up in the restaurant industry working every job from dishwasher to General Manager. A lot of years were spent in the kitchen cooking. From age 15-28 I was working at a Restaurant. In 2008 I had the opportunity to help open a Restaurant with my dear friend Mark. We opened Moosewood Smokehouse. It was awesome! We were known for Ribs, smoked wings, pulled pork, and even gave all patrons complimentary corn bread and greens when you came in. So, needless to say I am no stranger in the Kitchen. I know how to cook, prepare, order, and as you can tell EAT FOOD! So, my family says to me, “We (meaning them,) will just eat out, don’t worry about cooking for us because we know you can’t have any of that.” I thought to myself there is no way I’m going to make my family go out and eat because I can’t control myself, this is a me problem not theirs. I really enjoy cooking so I need to learn to cook family meals and not give into temptation if they are eating differently than me. This was going to be a good test for me. Typically in the past when I cook I also eat. I probably eat the equivalent of a meal before I eat. I remember my mom saying don’t eat before you eat. I never really conquered not doing this habit, so this was my test.  One of my signature dishes is Ribs. My family loves ribs and so do I, but it’s time ribs and I starts seeing other people. I got the kitchen ready, had the dry rub applied, the grill was on and I was ready to roll. I did it! I made the entire meal and I didn’t cheat. I had to tell myself that I will not let this get me down. I love to cook, and in order for me to do what I love, I need to be able to control myself during times where I’m cooking for others.  Flash forward to the weigh in Monday Night. It was a good night I lost 8.2 pounds for a total of 21.4 for the 1st two weeks. During nutrition class, Sonja (our behaviorist) asked if we needed to discuss Easter. I shared my plan for the upcoming Holiday. I was going to be spending it with my in laws and they typically have a pretty good spread for the holidays. I shared that I would be bringing my own Easter dinner. Then, somehow I got on a rant about what had happened over the weekend and how I offered to make Ribs for my family. Since this journey started I have had a new weird perspective where I get mad if I see the food I used to eat. I think Sonja called it a grieving process because you kind of are breaking up with food. I didn’t really realize this inner anger, but it came out on Monday at class. Yikes! I started talking about the ribs and how I looked at them and thought to myself F- You Ribs! You are the reason that I got this way! I don’t need you anymore! So, in class I let it out the F bomb. I simply said a word that started with and “F” and ended in a “UCK” and it was not Fire truck if you know what I mean. I said F___ Ribs! I started thinking about breaking up with food and I think the grieving stage is very accurate. Think about back to a time when you broke up with someone. At some point you probably have an issue with them and say something to the effect of F___ Ribs right? I actually think I may get a shirt that says that! Or it could be the theme for Season 11? Well, it all makes sense now I guess I’m going through a breakup. Goodbye Ribs, good riddance and I wish you nothing but the best, but it’s time we split up.  The good news is that about 2 weeks ago I’ve started seeing this new food and she is fantastic! I think I may have found the one. They say when you know you know and I think me and this new food are going to be in love before you know it!

Date 4/9/17 - The Ring

As many of my friends and family know recently I lost one of the most important people in my life, my Uncle Ted. Saturday was his burial in Wisconsin and it was an amazing service to be a part of. How does this fit in with Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner? It does and it doesn’t but I still feel that I want to share for therapeutic purposes and reflection. So my journey to go see Uncle Ted one last time began with the Friday morning workout. They said bring your boxing gloves Friday because we are going to use them, and we sure did. I thought EJ was the nice one! We lined up at the wall and started with a nice easy punch, then hands back to the chin, then punch again, alternating left and right. My heart rate is up just from that when he says, “Ok Now go fast, punch hard!” So my friend Frank Murphy pops in my head again and I think I need to go 100%. So, I start hitting that wall harder and harder, faster and faster. My heart rate was so high and I was feeling the burn in my arms. After reps of that and other exercises, it was by far the best work out of the season! After workouts we always get together and hear from the trainers, Rick and Tina, and we pray. It was Tina’s turn to talk and she took the time to tell the group about my Uncle and that I was going to be traveling to Wisconsin. She asked that we keep me and my family in people’s prayers. That meant a lot to me, more than you know. It’s special when you have a group like this that shows you support, not only during workouts, but on things like this as well. I am completely in love with this program and the support they show me.

We drove to Wisconsin a few hours after the morning workout so we could spend some time with my family. I was going to see my Mom and Dad! They recently moved to Las Vegas so seeing them is rare these days. They have always been my biggest fan, and I love spending time with them. I also was super excited to see my Uncle PL and Aunt Sara who I am equally as close to as my Uncle Ted I love them both VERY much. The Kinzer family is a tight one! We had plans to see them over Christmas, but unforeseen circumstances put a hold on that, then again for Kendrick’s Birthday, but with Uncle Ted passing, that was on hold as well. I love seeing my family and because we are all splattered around the country and the times we do see each other regardless of the amount of time, means the absolute world to me.

Kendrick, Brooke, and I were on the road and after 3 potty breaks, traffic Jams in Chicago, and 20 bucks worth of tolls, we finally arrived in good ole Beloit Wisconsin! We got in our Hotel room and my mom, dad, Aunt, and Uncle came over to see us. Before my Aunt and Uncle arrived, my Mom and Dad (who had the room right next door) came over and I noticed that my Dad had a little bag with him. There it was, The Ring. My Uncle Ted always wore this beautiful diamond ring, that I was fascinated with as a young child and even more so as an adult. I remember as a young boy asking him to see it and I remember him saying that it will be mine one day. Every time I saw Uncle Ted I asked to see it and he gladly let me look and admire it. It was actually my grandfathers and when he passed away my Uncle Ted wore it. Uncle Ted wrote in his will that Shawn would get the ring. My Dad took it out of the bag and gave it to me. That moment was very emotional for me; I knew at that point that this whole thing was real. Part of me didn’t want it because I wanted My Uncle back; I wanted him to be there with us. The other part of me and the part that I feel now is I’m so honored to have this to remember him. Now, every time someone asks me about this ring I can tell them about my Uncle Ted.

My Aunt Sara and Uncle PL arrived and it was so good to see them. We sat in the room and just caught up and they asked me some many great questions about Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner. They were following the journey on Facebook and the website. I love talking about it and everyone I tell they are saying what a great program this is. I am so thankful for this opportunity and I love the fact that family and friends can follow our journeys through various avenues. After a great time catching up through conversation, it was time to start thinking about what we were doing that evening. I told my family that I had to get a second workout in before anything. They were super supportive of that and completely understood. Now, my wife is my rock and a rock star and she is one of the biggest reasons I am able to do this. She motivated me! Over the past year, she has had quite the transformation herself. She decided one day a little over a year ago that she was tired of being overweight. So, she did something about it. Now, she has and always will be the most beautiful woman that I have ever laid eyes on, so to me I love her in all sizes! BUT she lost over 70 pounds and looks amazing! You know what, she did it all on her own too.  I was still being stupid with my food choices and she was strong and committed to making this life change for her. I am proud to say that she has kept the weight off and she is even doing HIT workouts (High Intensity Interval) with a personal trainer.  I think what she did was harder that what I am doing now because like I said she did it all on her own. She didn’t have Trainers, Nutritionist, behaviorist, coaches, and 40 others that are in the boat with you. She was in the boat by herself paddling towards a new healthy lifestyle that she has maintained and conquered. So, going back to the second workout my PIC (partner in crime…Brooke) joined me for a nice little husband and wife workout session. Our Hotel had a fitness center and we decided to check it out. It wasn’t the biggest or the most functional, but it had a treadmill and an elliptical and that’s all we needed. We hit it hard for about 30 min and then went outside where we ran and walked for about 30 more. The second workout was finished and it had been awhile since Brooke and I got that opportunity to work out together and I loved it.

Now it was Dinner time, but what was I supposed to do? Rick and Tina specifically said no eating out! So, you know what? I brought my own food. Thursday, I bought some really lean ground turkey, and I diced up onions, jalapenos, peppers, and mushrooms made turkey burgers with all those fixing inside the burgers. I grilled them up and that was my dinner for the evening and made extra for my trip. We went to Beloit’s finest Applebee’s for dinner and I was happy to say all I had was water and lemon and one small bite of my wife’s 6 oz. sirloin. That night we came home and decided to take a dip in the indoor pool where I showed all my family my new workout pool moves from FWSW Thursdays. So, I kind of got a really small 3rd workout in, but most the time I was playing with Kendrick, who just got a new puddle jumper life vest. He was kicking harder than Daddy on Thursdays!

The next day was hard; it was the burial for Uncle Ted. It was great to see the turnout, as we thought it may just be us Kinzers in attendance, but all sorts of people showed up, which was surprising because the BIG ceremony will be later in June in Arizona at the Funeral Home convention, where they will honor his life during happy hour (see 1st Blog titled “This is for US Uncle Ted”.. Uncle Ted was the real deal in the Funeral Home Business and the life of the party). My cousin Rich was there too, it was so great to see him. I grew up with him, looking up to him, and he is one of my favorite people on this planet. The ceremony was amazing! It was a Military funeral with the firing of the guns and the playing of Taps. During this time, tears running down my face, I looked down at the Ring. It was then I realized that he was gone and I would never see him again. I would never hear him sing his funny songs, tell funny jokes, tell me he loves me, or see my son grow up. But, I checked myself, and remember that he is and will always be one of my guardian angles guiding me through life. I know that he is looking down on me and I pray that I am making him proud. I am doing this not only for him, but for Brooke, for Kendrick, for Angela (sister), for Steve (Dad), for Jeanie (Mom), for PL, for Sara, for all My Family (Mom’s side and Dad’s Side) and finally for ME!  I wear this Ring as a reminder of my Uncle Ted and also the reminder to bring it every day 100%. I realized how much support means, whether it’s Brooke supporting me every day through this journey and helping me get through this, my Aunt and Uncle supporting me through my journey on Facebook, My friends and coworkers supporting me asking about my days and “what did you guys do today”, or “How was the weigh in”, My sister and Parents supporting me on the phone as I talk about my days, or my FWSW support that I have. Support is amazing, and I am so thankful for all the love and support you all have shown and from the bottom of my heart thank you!

I will end with one last thing… Tell the people you love that you love them. Tell them what they mean to you, let them know how much you care, and live life every day to the fullest because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Date 4/3/17- The Dreaded Weigh in

Monday night was the official 1st weigh in for Season 10  and let me tell you I was a nervous wreck!!! Seriously! Was the hard work going to pay off? All I could hear was Rick in my head saying, “ the scale doesn’t lie”. I was feeling the pressure going into the day and as time went on it was getting worse and worse. Why was I feeling all this anxiety? I’ve stayed true, I’ve pushed myself, and I followed everything to a T. Confession: It’s because I did something really stupid and decided to weigh myself earlier in the week. It was after Pool day Thursday, I got home from work and decided to get on the scale just to see right? WORST IDEA EVER!!!!! Little did I know that the next morning Rick told the group that we should NEVER weigh ourselves because it will play mind games with us. Wish I would have known that! yellI was thinking, oh no! It’s too late, it’s in my head already! However, I stayed to the plan, did my workouts, stayed true to my 1400-1600 calories and trusted the system. My scale at home said I was down only 0.6 lbs., so you can only imagine what I was thinking going into the week 1 weigh in. I said to myself, "If I step on that scale and it’s a low number I’m going to feel really defeated. “My brain is going nuts at this point, but I am going to listen to the experts and keep it going. I know now that I will NEVER weigh myself again unless it’s on a Monday Night in front of my new family. So, 6:00pm Monday came very quickly, and we were about to step on the scale. I had done two workouts this day and I was as ready as I’ll ever be. Drum roll……… Our team CRUSHED it! I am so proud of them. We averaged 10 pounds per person and had a really great night. Dan and I actually tied, we both lost 13.2 pounds week 1 and we felt very good about that. Latoya, Jess, and Parker all put up great numbers as well, it was a special moment for our team. I am excited for the weeks ahead as I already feel different and I am loving this journey whole heartedly.

Date 4/1/17- CiCi is comming for us!

Well, our first week is in the books, and I have to tell you that I'm addicted to this! The support, camaraderie, encouragement, and friendship that is in the air is awesome! I do have to admit I'm very sore, but it's a GREAT sore! There were a lot of highlights this week for me, and for Octane Orange. Thursday was our first pool day and was VERY challenging. Trainer Josh brought the fire and kept us all moving and motivated. Team Double O brought it Thursday. We pushed ourselves and had high intensity and tons of love for one another. It's a strange feeling to do the water workout, and I now understand when people talk about full body workouts in that water because I think we all felt it after Thursday. Thursday night, I had my first Thursday night run with the crew under the amazing Leadership of Frank Murphy.  It's our first one and little did I know I was about to start some serious competition. Frank said the day I met him to, "give it 100% effort, 100% of the time." That stuck with me......We stretched, and boy did I need it because my right leg is acting a fool after my pool session earlier in the day. After stretching, I was feeling good so I really wanted to push myself on the 30 min walk and give it my all. I had about a 4.0 mph pace and started passing people. As I passed, they would say words of encouragement and THAT is what kept me going! After, about 15 min I realized there were two people I hadn't see yet, Parker and Anthony. Anthony was ahead of me and I was yet to pass him, and Parker was on my heels trying to pass me. We had ourselves a little triple threat speed walking competition! Parker, was coming fast and I was going for AB, and the great thing about it was the each of us were pushing each other! It was a great 30 min workout and I loved learning some new stretches with Frank too. 

Friday was this weeks last group morning workout at Spiece, and I knew that Double O was feeling the pain. We have a group text that we often communicate throughout the day on and it appears that I wasn't the only member who thought pool day was challenging. But, as our dear CiCi says "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you" and "if it was easy, everyone would do it" CiCi was in her normal form pushing us trying to make us better and better, and we all appreciate her passion when training. She can be in your face one minute pushing you hard, because she knows you can do it, and the next minute she can be saying great job and make you feel great! I have the upmost respect for her and her style. I feel she is really going to push us, and I trust her. We did various boxing exercises, arm exercises, floor exercises, speed walking laps, and lastly the dreaded wall sit ( only 1 min this time) It was great workout! Afterwards, Anthony, Parker, and I decided to continue after the workout and just shoot some baskets! We all love to play, and we decided to have a little cool down and shoot some hoops. Little did we know that Tina would come over and video us saying "We were in the over achievers club" laughing and then she posted it on Facebook and tagged CiCi! All in good fun Tina says, " CiCi looks like these guys have a lot of energy still after your workout." Come next week ,we don't know what we are in for. In fact we saw CiCi this morning, and she let us know that next week she is coming for us, and you know what? I cant wait!!! Like I said I love this, and I know days are going to be hard, I know I'm going to be sore, I know I'll want to not give it 100%. But I'm always going to remember what Frank said about 100% effort 100% of the time and also remember, if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. If it was easy ,then everyone would do it! Great first week, looking forward to what next week holds.

Saturday, my son Kendrick turned 3 years old and we had a lot to do today. I stated the day with a 30 min walk with the FWSW Season 10 crew and Parker and I pushed each other again. We made it to the mile marker and back in 30 min. After the walk, I went home and helped get the house ready for the party.  We were having a Toy Story themed party because Kendrick LOVES toy story especially Buzz Light Year! I knew what I had to do today, I needed to stay away from the Pizza, Cake, Cookies, dips, etc. Challenge accepted! Yes, we had all those things and we even incorporated Toy story themes with our spread. We had Pizza Planet Pizza, Alien Cookies, Toy Story Cake, Buzz's blast off punch, etc. Needless to say Daddy stuck to the Peas-in-Pod Veggie tray section, Rex's Herbivore Salad, and Buzz's fruit rockets! Today my baby boy turned 3 and everyday I fall more in love with him. He along with my wife Brooke are my entire world and I'm doing this so I can be with them both till I'm grey and old! Lastly, Kendricks birthday was awesome and he loved every min of it. Thank you to everyone who came and wished him happy birthday today it means so much to me and my family.


Date 3/29/17- Blood, Sweat, Tears.........and Throwing up?

Needless to say these 1st two days have been amazing. Yesterday was day one and the energy was high for Octane Orange. It's so great to have a team like this! We have the best nutritionist on the planet... Jen Hollman you Rock! Jen is right there with us every step of the way, encouraging, guiding, and supporting us. We started the day with some stretches and we all felt muscles we have never felt before, and by the end of this we will all look back at these stretches and remember our first day where we literally looked like fish out of water gasping for air trying to replicate these stretches smile. Also, during these stretched we quickly noticed I'm the Sweaty guy on Octane Orange and I definitely needed a couple of towels. I have a feeling that I'll be dealing with slipping a lot during these 15 weeks.  After stretching, team Double O ( Octane Orange) was ready and we lined up and did next maneuvers across the gym. We did side lunges, high knees, punches, etc. We all cheered each other on and in true Double O fashion we were loud, and very encouraging! I thought it would be a "great" idea to make some extra noise and in pure excitement and adrenaline, I slammed the metal wall and said LETS GO!!!!! Well, here comes the blood part.... yep cut my finger. Didn't realize it till I gave Parker a high five and he said, "Are you bleeding?" ...Sorry Parker. Now, I don't know if it was because I was working out and my body was flowing, but that little cut sure bled a lot and I had to get a towel, and clean up my mess. I quickly ran to get a band aid and in no time I was back on the floor without missing a beat. Before I knew it Day 1 was over. I thought, wow that was fast, that was FUN, I'm sore, but this is so awesome!!! 

All 25 contestants, alumni, trainers, nutritionist, running coaches, Mike, Lenny, Jo Netta, Rick, and Tina all gathered for a word and prayer. BUT.... who was this other person?....... It was a young girl by the name of Michaela who bravely shared her story about her battle with a rare disease she has, where she eventually will go blind. When Michaela started taking and said that sharing this information with all these people makes it real for her, she started to cry and couldn't get the words out because she was filled with so much emotion, I lost it myself. I was tearing up, I looked around at the ones close to her, the Trainers, Rick, Tina, and I saw that emotion in them, and then it really hit me too. This person who just met all of us just made a VERY brave move.  To speak to all of us strangers and sharing her story is something I will always remember. Good news, there is a way that we can all help and that is to participate in the Vision Walk June 10 2017 and the proceeds can help people like Michaela. If you want to know more please visit

What a first day right? It actually reminded me of Coach Jimmy Valvano when he said, " If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day!" I felt as if that was a heck of a Day and It's only Day one. I laughed with my new team, I also thought ( we learned so many things), I bled, and I cried. Heck of a day I tell you and I cant wait for Day 2!

Day 2- Today was Double O's turn to do the dreaded timed mile run! I got this right? I just did a 5k in February, carried my son the last 200 yards across the finish line and finished with a 12:30 pace and under 39 min. So, I'm shooting for a sub 11 mile today!!!! Boy oh boy was I wrong. I gave it my all and I ran the entire time, but finished at 12 min flat. I decided to sprint the last half lap and Jen was right there by my side running with us all. I finished strong and was waiting to hear "11 min Shawn good Job!" But, I cant hear anything, all I can hear is my heart beating and me breathing VERY hard. People could have been talking to me and I would not have know, it's all a blur. Then it hit me...... I'm going to get sick. My body is saying I over did it. It's like, "Dude what are you doing to me?" My response is, "I'm saving my life!"  Now, I tried my best to not get sick on the second story of a gym with paying customers below me so I walked a lap and I was struggling. Maybe I needed water? I later found out this was a Bad Idea!!! I grabbed my water bottle asked for my time and found out I was actually a 12 min mile and immediately went downstairs found a trash can and lost my Breakfast and the water I just drank! I learned three things as this was happening. One, Spiece empties their trash nightly because this trash can was empty. Second thing, even though I didn't get to where I wanted to be, I know I gave it EVERYTHING I had today, and I am proud of that number because I know when this is all said and done, my time just like my weight will get less and less. And lastly, I learned that I will not be having greek yogurt with oats for breakfast anymore!!!!


Date: 3/27/17 - This is for US Uncle Ted

I am so excited to be a part of this amazing adventure. Today was our official weigh in day and I'm happy to say this is the last time I will ever weigh 351 pounds. Tomorrow is our 1st workout! The beginning of the journey has been hard for me as last week I lost one of the most important people in my life unexpectedly. My Uncle Ted passed away last Monday. I didn't know what to do as far as missing time, workouts, etc. I did know one thing, and that was Uncle Ted would want me to do this and give it everything I have. So, I am officially dedicating this amazing journey to my amazing Uncle Ted. One of the last things he said to me was, "when it comes to all parts of your life Shawn, you always work your ass off, your job, being a husband, being a father, being a great person, you always work your ass off!" Then he paused... " Will you do me one favor please?..... and literally work your ass off!" ( implying to lose weight) Uncle Ted was one of the funniest guys I have ever met and we had that type of relationship, where I knew what he meant and he just wanted me to be healthy and happy. He truly cared for me and I loved him very much. This is exactly what I need. Rick and Tina and all the volunteers are saving MY LIFE. I cant express how much this amazing opportunity means to me and what it means to my family. Your saving my LIFE and from the bottom of my heart I thank you. Uncle Ted wont be able to see this journey in person, but you better believe I have the most kick ass guardian angel with me every step of the way! This season is for you Uncle Ted and I'm ready to finally work "My ass" off! I Love you and I miss you and THIS is for YOU or better yet US.