Parker Watts

 Octane Orange Team

My name is Parker Watts, I am 22 years old and I'm excited to be a contestant of FWSW!  I have a passion for fishing and golf so if the weather is nice that's where you'll find me. I'm here to change my health and developed a new life style. 

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Obviously my blog this week is going to be focused on our half marathon that took place yesterday, July 1st, a day i'll never forget.  It started on friday night.  That anxiousness was starting to kick in around 7 P.M. I knew I would have a hard time sleeping because I was so amped for Saturday morning.  But soon enough Saturday morning came and there was magic in the air.  Looking around at my fellow teammates I could see the same nervousness and excitement on faces.  We all knew that the run was going to be a hard and grueling, but what was waiting at the end was so much sweeter. Fortunately, I had an endless supply of love, encouragement, and support to get me to the finish line.  First, Steve Rose, thank you from the bottom of my heart for running with me and pushing me to do my very best.  I will never forget the look you have me before mile 9 and the way you told me "we aren't going to do this shit".  I will hold on to that and use it as motivation for the rest of my life.  I enjoyed every minute of that race with you and can't wait to run some more with you in the future.  Next, everyone running the race was blessed to have all of the alumni, volunteers, trainers, and supporters stationed across the course to let us know that we were not alone, and that we could do it!  It is the love that you give back to us that makes me want to come back more than anything next year to return the favor.  You all are truly inspirational.  Jen, from day one you have set me up for success, thank you for the countless hours you put in to prepping us for the event and making sure my body was ready for it, you ROCK!  Ashley, I will never forget the look and words of encouragement you gave me as I passed my first loop.  That was a special moment that I will hold on to forever.  You did such an amazing job directing the race yesterday.  Seeing you greet every contestant with the same smile and look of pride when they crossed the finish line is what true leadership looks like, and ill speak for everyone when I say we love and appreciate you.  Rick and Tina, it has all started with the two of you.  Thank you for believing in all of us and aspiring to dedicate your lives to chaning others for the better.  All I hope is that I have made you proud. As we have talked about, this program is so much more than a weight loss program, instead it offers individuals the change to grow spiritually, mentally, and physically. Once again with an everything I have, thank you!  Mom and Dad, from day one I have tried to be the man you have raised me to be.  There is nothing I could ever do to repay to you both the love you have given me.  You are both my biggest heroes, and I hope you are proud of the young man I am becoming as well.  Dad, you have been my coach since day one, on and off the field, and there was no one else I wanted cheering me on yesterday than you.  I gave it my best "spunk".  Mom, I hope to grow up to be as kind, compassionate, and loving as you.  Im proud to be a mamas boy because I truly have the worlds best mom.  You both have taught me what hard work and dedication can do, and lastly to never give up on something you believe in.  Here is to you two on your 29th anniversary!  To close this emotional blog, I lastly want to say that I am going to miss every one and every second of this journey next Saturday. But I am so excited on the adventure and journey that us contestants are about to embark on.  May we go into the world with hearts as big as people like Rick, Tina, Cici, Mari, Katelyn, Ashley, Lennart, Michael, EJ, and all of those who have shown us how to make a difference, and may we find our own way to make a difference in this world.  Hats off to season 10, the best ever!




Things are getting really exciting here at FWSW! We have about 7 contestants who are all withing a couple pounds of taking home first place!  This makes things fun and exciting.  However much I want to win, I can't wait to cheer on all of my teammates who have changed their lives.  The main thing I want to talk about this week is how amazing it felt to run on Saturday.  We started off with 3 miles in the morning. It felt great to finally have an early morning run with the group were it was continuous running. The best part was what came shortly after that run.  As a group, we ran in the Run Like a Hero 5k.  This was such a neat event to be apart of.  Our entire group was laughing and having a good time.  These benefits we are apart of feel more like family gatherings rather than events.  There is so much camaraderie and support and seeing everyone cross that finish line is priceless.  I had my best 5k time with 25:35 and it felt great! I was so fortunate to have running coach Ashley to help me through the entire thing.  I can honestly say I have never felt so good crossing a finish line before in my life.  Knowing I left it all on the run was gratifying and makes me want to push even harder this coming Saturday.  There is no doubt our crew has prepared us for this half marathon and all I have to say is BRING IT!!!!




I want to take the time to talk abou thow special this season is to me again.  As many of the people who read this blog know, there is a special place in my heart for the contestants, Rick and Tina, and all of those involved in the FWSW program.  Along the way everyone has been encouraging and supporting to those who need it, and i'm telling you right now, I NEEDED it on Saturday.  Saturday was a rough morning for me, some personal stuff happened that was eating away at me.  The first thing I did was walk up to TIna with my arms out and start crying. Dan P was so sweet, he just calmly walked away as Tina pulled me aside to talk to me.  As the morning went on, I continued to cry and struggle with my 10 mile run.  I think this is when a lot of people started to notice that something was wrong.  As I finished my 6th mile, Ashley pulled back to check on me and was kind enough to walk 3 miles with me and talk with me.  As people started to pass me, I never once felt that they were judging me for not running, instead I felt the kind hearts of everyone who kept saying "great job" and "way to push".  I just really think this is special becasue this program is not only about the grueling physical journey, but the mental journey as well.  Fortunately, I was surrounded by people who care about both, and understand that somedays we need support mentally more than we do phsyically.  Tina, thank you for being my security on Saturday morning.  You are so loving, caring, and wise and I thank you for giving all of your love and support to me and everyone else on a daily basis.  To Anthony, that moment at mile 4 when you put your hand on my shoulder was comforting and felt like a big brother saying, "its all going to be alright".  Ashley, your wisdom and support was second to none.  Dan P, you witty one liners and jokes were just what I needed to keep my smiling :) Shawn, thanks for the phone call, you are like a brother to me.  To everyone else, I just can't say how much you all helped get me through my morning, and many of you continued to check on me through out the day and even today as I write this.  I am so blessed to have been put in this program, each and every one of you hold a special place in my heart.  Saturday was just a reminder why God puts people where the need to be at the most difficult times, and I know I was where i needed to be.  




Not going to lie, this week a little bit of frustration set in.  First, i've been battling a cold, sore throat,and allergies for my fourth week now, and its starting to annoy.  Second, I set the wrong alarm on Thursday and was 25 minutes late to the pool workout.  You talk about a walk of shame, I was so embarrased! And finally, I felt really slugish on our run this Saturday.  Although mentally I am feeling the best I ever have, phsyically, my body is a little drained.  However, I thre are far more amazing things going in my life that keep me from getting down and giving up.  We all go through pain and hardship, and this program has taught me a lot of perserverence in the last 11 weeks. Even though I felt a little slow this week, I still think I am going to have a decent weight loss.  My diet has stayed consistent and Rick and Tina always say that's 80% of weight loss.  Secondly, Rick and Ashley helped me make up the 25 minutes that I was late on Thursday, and finally, instead of drinking alcoholl at a wedding I was in on Saturday, I drank about three pitchers of water to help my body re-hydrate and flush out the bad stuff.  Another accomplishment that happened this week came when my AMAZING mom took me shopping for some new clothes for the rehersal dinner.  I am now down to a size 34 pant and i'm wearing large dress shirts, some even slim fit!!  I can't describe how amazing that felt, and the confidence I have gained back. It was also nice standing up on the altar with one of my best friends and feeling like I belonged with the other groomsmen becasue I was not so overweight. For onece it felt great to nearly blend in with the rest of the crowd!  I think the most special part of this week was being with the FWSW family and walking in the vision walk for Michaela Smith.  Michaela inspires me everyday with her attitude, smile, and kindness that she shows all of us contestants.  She truly overcomes adversity everyday, and is a prime example of how not to give up.  I'm proud that we as a group, and her family raised the most funds in our category, I believe nearly $20,000!!!!!  And im not sure how we lost the t-shirt contest but i promise if they saw me wearing my womens cut tank top they might have changed thier minds lol.  Overall, every week there are just not enough words to describe the generosity, love, kindness, and commitment that FWSW crew, contestants, and specifically Rick and Tina give to all of us.  Spiece is starting to feel like home, who knows, one of these days when im tired ill probalby end up there without even thinking becaseu its starting to feel like second nature.  P.S. Chuck, i'm coming for YOU now!




When I first started this program, people would ask me how much I was hoping to lose in the 15 weeks. I told them that everyone's goal is to lose at least fifty, so I definitely want to lose that, but my real goal is 60 lbs. People would often respond with, "do you really think you could lose 50 lbs. in 15 weeks.", or they would look at me kinda funny, like yea right. I'm here to tell you that after this week, I'm hoping to hit the 50 lb mark in just 10 weeks! This eeek felt great, my diet was on point, extra credit went smoothe, and the run on Saturday felt amazing! Not going to lie, my body is the sorest it has been yet, but no pain = no gain. My favorite part about this week was the relays we did on Friday. I'm a little competitive so it was fun to finally compete against everyone else. My team killed it but most important,y everyone worked super hard. Dan Harper, it was fun to see you run so well with the med ball. You have come so far since week one and I'm so proud of how hard you have worked. It's been said a million times but this season has been the best 10 consecutive weeks of my life. Everyone continues to amaze me with the love and support of one another. Hoping week 11 is even better that this one. 




Well I just logged on to re read the blog I wrote this morning and I'm sad to say it isn't there :/ I hate trying to recall what I wrote because I really try to write in the moment, but here goes.  I'm a little nervous for weigh in this week because I haven't felt good all week, and I kind of feel like my body went into survival mode. I did not go to extra love with papa rick because I woke up Tuesday morning with what felt like a cinus infection.  So I'm also worried i won't lose as much for that reason.  However, although I felt horrible all week, I never once quit or told myself that it was okay to slack off. Instead I laced up the boots and persevered all week.  Even as Cici kicked my butt on Friday, which I loved that workout, I always felt better after leaving the gym. I must say that this running thing is still pretty freaking awesome. I could tell Wednesday running in the gym how far my body has come in only 8 weeks! I also realized for the first time how running on the hills and outdoor courses really makes running on a flat surface easy.  I really want to give a few shout outs this week. First, Chuck, you freaking inspire me every day. You are tenacious and work so hard, and I want to thank you for always leading by example and never expecting anything from it!  Dan P and Berg, you guys are killing it on the runs and keep pushing me to run faster! Chantelle, thank you for the support you bring every week but especially on Saturday's. Ashley, thank you for teaching how to push ourselves and for making running enjoyable and interesting. Rob and Shane, your Witt and jokes keep every day fun and entertaining. Cici, thank you for pushing me, i know it means that you care! To my teammates, Jessica, Dan, Shawn, and Latoya, your caring and love for one another inspires me every day. Not only do you keep my spirits high, but you have helped me grow on so many ways, you all are my rock. Rick and Tina, thank you for believing in me and helping me to become healthier physically and mentally, and for passing on your wisdom every week. Even if I do not lose much weight this week, I am still a winner because I'm one step closer to a healthier life! 




To be honest, as I sit here reflecting on my week, I am not sure what to write about without being redundant  I try and keep  blog full of new things, but as week 7 is coming to a close, I guess my habits are just starting to take place for good. I still get up every morning excited to see everyone and to start my day off with the most wonderful people. Running is still my favorite times of the week. Wednesday was interesting, as a competitor I always want to push myself, and I was told that I needed to bring it down a notch. This  was a little frustrating because I felt great and I was excited to see what my accomplishment was going to be, but after some thought I have complete faith in all of our running coaches and trainers. They are the professionals and they know and want what is best for us to complete the half marathon. I know I would be devistated if I could not run in it due to an injury that came from overworking my body. On a more exciting note, getting dressed is starting to be fun. I continue to fit in clothes that I saved because I told myself I would fit into it someday. It feels great to feel how my body has changed in just seven weeks. Also, all of the other contestants are so kind and keep telling me they can see how much I have changed. People are so supportive and that is what makes this journey easier and easier. I just can't say enough for how much I love this program.




I'm going to do a little segment today that have to do with "little big things".  I'm sort of stealing this idea from my big bro Shawn, but I thought it would be a cool idea none the less. These 
little big things are all certain stuff that may be small to others, but are huge accomplishments or changes that make a big difference in my life.  The first one that amazes me is the fact that I have not had a headache since I started this program.  I used to take tylenol nearly 5 times a week due to headaches. I have yet to have ONE!!  Next, I always had blackheads on my nose that bothered me. Thanks to water and being hydrated, poof, those are gone to.  I ought to be on a loreal commercial or something because my nose is silky smoothe :).  Antoher one that I noticed this week is sort of a two parter.  First, I fit into a button up shirt from Banana Republic for the first time in 3 years! Also, when I sat down, the button areas did not spread apart showing that pack of bud light i'd been hiding.  Next, for the first time in over 3 years, I am in the 220's.  Forever it seemed that I could not break the 230 mark, and now that I have the sky is the limit for where I want to go!  Something else that I have noticed is the fact that I haven't eaten for the pleasure of it in over 6 weeks! Also, I am not out of breath as I climb 3 flights of stairs to my girlfriends appartment.  Sidetracking for a second, I took a 35lb sack of kitten litter up to the appartment last week, and I was like, can you believe that I was almost carrying this much weight everywhere I went 6 weeks ago?  It felt so good to be able to visualize and see just how far i've come in 6 weeks!  Getting back on track again, I look forward to the healthy food I eat now.  Obviously heatlhy pizza is a must, but the chicken, bison, and turkey that calls my name when I get home tastes great without salt, and pack plenty of flavor.   Finally, i'm starting to gain my confidence back.  Although weight does not define who someone is, it still feels good to walk around knowing that I am working towards a healthier me every day, and that someday in the near future I am going to hit the biggest goal that I have ever set for myself.  All of these accomplishements I have touched on are the little things that keep my driving every day.  They make me hold my head up high and be proud of the person I am becoming, and they make the next day easier and easier.  

To close this blog, I want to thank everyone who is supporting me one more time for the love, time, encouragement, and support that you have given me.  I am truly blessed to be on this journey, and I cannot say enought just how much I love FWSW and everyone that surrounds this program.  We are truly blessed.




Today I am feeling proud of the new me that is taking shape.  First, during last nights run, I felt invincible. Although we were only runnin 3 minutes at a time, I felt comfortable with a 9 minute mile pace, graciously provided by our wonderful photographer Lennart.  I must say, I'm really enjoying this running stuff. This guy is actually looking forward to Saturday's run!  Huge shout out to Tina for working with me on my form and teaching me how to stay loose! Having such wonderful support and coaches that we do is invaluable!  I can't wait for the half marathon in July!!  

Now that I'm done backtracking, today was a huge accomplishment for this guy!  I woke up at 4:40 because I had to pack up my boat to take to my brother near Effingham Illinois. I had planned to take it to him right after workout, and fish with him for a few hours as well. I rarely get to see him, because he lives in St. Louis, so I was excited to say the least.  Then I get a text that morning workout has been cancelled. Now I'm like shit, when am I going to get this workout in...  So I called Tina and told her I was going to go to a different gym, and hop on an elliptical machine for a while to get my workout in not knowing if I would be home I'm time to get to Spiece. Tina really wanted me to get to spiece to get on a stairmaster, so the new Parker was going to make sure he did just that.  After driving for more than 8 hours round trip, and fishing for 5 hrs, I made it home at 7:50 and found myself done with 100 flights of stairs by 8:45.  I completed my 100 flights in 21:38! i proved to myself that no matter how long, tiring, or emotional of a day I've had, there is always time for my health.  And now, I feel better than ever! I love that new habits keep taking place, and my tenacity for my well being and fitness grows stronger every day! 




TORTILLA PIZZA, I s my new found food love from week 4. I had 4 of these little bundles of joy this week! In all seriousness, it is kind of fun building your own mini, healthy pizza. Last night Shanna and I make a chicken, onion, pepper, and cottage cheese pizza with organic pizza sauce and a whole wheat tortilla!  We had fun making them and we really enjoy this meal.  I am so fortunate to be surrounded by a mother and father who support me through and through, but I am also so blessed by the love and support from my girlfriend Shanna. The love and support you have given me the last month has helped me far greater than you know. Even as your life is so stressed, you still manage to eat healthily with me, and find time to go to the gym. Thank you for  all you do for me ?. On a final note, people keep asking are you tired of everything yet? Are you exhausted? Hell no! We're just getting started baby, and I love every minute. Yes, the morning are early, and second workouts are tiring, but victory never comes without sacrifice.  Every day I look forward to FWSW and the chance at bettering my life, and that is a habit I'm starting to enjoy! 




Unfortunately I lost the blog that I wrote on my birthday.  I'm not going to try and recreate it, because I like to write in the moment, but it basically thanked both of my families for all of their support.  I also mentioned how no cake, candles, or party could give me the feelings that I am feeling now.  I am truly blessed to have my family, along side my FWSW family to be there to celebrate that day with me.  Today, thanks to Rick, I felt the best I ever have after morning workout.  This was because I had my OATMEAL!!  But for real, I'm starting to finally see how my body is changing physically and mentally.  I feel like I finally comprehend what this "lifestyle change" is all about.  I was up every morning tired, but excited to see what this journey will bring that day.  I am honestly the happiest that I have ever felt in my life.  All I can say is that I am so blessed to have been chosen for this amazing program, and it was the greatest gift that has ever been given to me.  


P.S.  Dan, I'm proud that you are in first, but I'm coming for you ?



Well as I sat at home reflecting on my week, I realized that I hadn't blogged all week.  Well, here goes.  I must say that the start of my week was somewhat disappointing.  I only ended up losing 1.4 lbs. when I stepped on the scale. To be honest, I was very embarrassed. I worked my tail off, ate well, and came out with little results. Fortunately, I have a great team and support system to pick me up and I just kept pushing.  I didn't lower my head and give up, rather I strapped on my boots, went to the gym, and hit it hard every day.  On a bright note, one thing that I'm starting to enjoy more is running. It's fun to push myself to better times and distances, and every week I can see the progression I am making. Also, I can see my physical body start to change. I fit into a sport coat the best I ever have this morning at Easter Mass.  Hopefully tomorrow night brings a better weigh in. I know I did everything the right way, so let's see what happens!



So our second week of workouts is over, and my body is finally starting to get used to the exercise and fatigue that it encounters on a daily basis.  Although i'm sore, it "hurts so good".  It is exciting to see changes that are already starting to take place in just two weeks.  One of the biggest differences I feel is being better hydrated and not drinking pop.  Right now I cringe at the thought of a coke, instead, I'm trying to drink between 150-200 oz. of water a day. Workouts this week were about the same, that is until Friday came along.  We put on the boxing gloves and went to town.  I finally started to feel nauseous, which actually got me pumped.  Those kinds of workouts are what i've been waiting for.  Those workouts make you feel empowered when you complete them. They make finishing the day out with good eating habits easy. Every week there seems to be another person that pushes me to do my best.  But its not like the other people go away, the only way I can describe it is like everyone starting to hop on the bandwagon.  This week Anthony Berg and Rose Murphy seemed to push me to walk hard.  It is because of people and teammates like this that I truly believe makes this program so successful.  The last characteristic I want to share is the faith in the Lord that surrounds FWSW.  We conclude every day with a prayer, and it is beautiful to hear different contestants lead us in prayer.  We truly are so fortunate to be with one another on this journey to a new life, and there are people out there that are fighting battles far greater than we can imagine. So we end by asking for strength, courage, and health. Once again, we are one big family on a journey to a new life. 



Huge shoutout to my teammates Latoya Williams and Jessica Creekmore for pushing me to get out of bed at 4:30 this A.M. and take my first ever spin class.  I definitely did not do as well as I thought I would, but as our trainer CC would say, "if it were easy, everybody would be doing it".  One thing is for certain, that I'm one step closer to achieving my goal.  For anyone who might be reading this, thinking "I Can't", I challenge you to take the first step and do something that makes you uncomfortable.  If you need some encouragement, find a individual who cares about you and ask for help.  If all else fails, give me a call, 260-414-9288. No one is ever alone in this program, even the people following our journey. 



As week one is coming to a close, I wanted to touch base and share with everyone how my eating habits are starting to change.  First, I am astonished at how much food one can actually eat when it is healthy and non processed.  Right now I am struggling to make my 1200 calorie mark.  For my first week I tried to keep it simple with a pre-workout banana and an egg beater omelette paired with Greek yogurt and a fruit and vegetable. Mrs. Dash seasoning has been a must because we are not using salt whatsoever.  Also, I sometimes pair healthy whole wheat toast with avocado as the spread.  Then for lunch I take my meal prepped chicken, throw in a 1/2 cup brown rice, fruit and vegetable and maybe cottage cheese and I'm loving lunch.  For dinner I try to make a healthy romaine salad with boathouse farm dressing, fresh bell pepper, green beans, and some fruit.  But the key to all of this has been no pop, no sugary drinks, and just a lot of water.  Right now I am drinking between 145-200 oz. of water a day. Lastly, I want to finish by saying how proud I am of team Octane Orange.  All of us are working hard and pushing one another.  My team continues to amaze me with their tenacity and will to work hard day in and day out. Octane Orange is going to bring it Monday night at weigh in!



Our second day of morning workouts is in the books, and man, what a program.  All I can say so far is the level of camaraderie is palpable.  Today, something really stuck with me.  As we ran our first mile, everyone was encouraging one another in our ups and downs. As I passed a couple of individuals, they each told me "great job" and "keep going".  Although there are prizes, and although we all have different personal goals, one thing is clear, that we will stop at nothing to help one anther along the way. And the true prize is helping one another achieve a new lifestyle and make it to the finish line. I wouldn't hesitate to say that many of us, if not all of us, have attempted to travel down this weight loss journey multiple times.  What will make not only myself successful, but hopefully everyone else, is the comfort and security that every other contestant, alumni, trainer, nutritionist, and staff member will be there every step of the way.  I know it is only day two, but we are already family.