I Love the Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 15 Running Shoe

I used to buy the running shoes that looked the coolest to me, and I didn’t really look into much else.

This was a problem, because I’ve got wide feet, and most running shoes don’t have extra wide sizes. So, I’d forsake comfort for fashion.

That was pretty stupid.

But one day I was noticing that my shoes were only wearing in certain areas and other parts were virtually untouched. I went to a local running store, and they put me on a treadmill to run a bit to do a gait analysis on me.

They determined that I was an overpronator. Pronation is the way the foot rolls inward when you walk and run to help the lower leg deal with shock. But overpronation is when the foot rolls in excessively, or at a time when it should not, and this was causing the uneven wear on my shoes and body.

After the store determined this, they suggested the Brooks Adrenaline running shoe. Not only did they come in wider sizes, but that particular shoe would balance me better as my feet strike the ground.

I was skeptical, but I bought a pair and started using them. And they worked. I started seeing even wear on my shoes and my body felt better.

Since then, I’ve always gotten the Brooks Adrenaline, and I keep two pairs now: indoor on treadmills and outdoor shoes. As the outdoor running shoes wear out, I shift the indoor shoes outside and get some new indoor ones.

Looks like I am due soon for the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16’s.

If you’ve been buying your running shoes by looks, instead of utility, head over to your local running store to get their advice. They don’t charge extra, and it could make things easier on your feet, knees, hips, etc.

Atkins Diet Week Three: Slow and Steady

The third week of the Atkins Diet was mostly at home – just one short roadtrip to go see the University of Maryland men’s basketball beat Illinois in their final home game of the season.

I managed to stay low carb on the trip by eating meats and salads. On the way there, I got a salad with chicken at a Burger King, and while it was pretty low carb (I only used a third of the dressing), it was nasty tasting.

A bowl of wilted lettuce and some sort of chicken pieces.

Roadtrip salad

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

On the way back, there were a lot of options at the Maryland House rest area, but I was hungry and wanted something quick, so I could get back on the road. Some Boar’s Head cold cuts did the job.

Some meats and cheeses at the Maryland House while roadtrippin'

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

Overall, I lost three pounds for the week, and now I am down 14 since I started. I will be at the SXSW conference over the next couple weeks, so that will be lots of restaurant meals and nights out, so I will need to plan and be disciplined, so I don’t blow this all up.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 219

The Withings Scale is Great for Tracking Your Weight

I heard about the Withings scale a few years ago, when Scott Jangro of Shareist.com spoke about it in a presentation (How to Create a Content Creation Habit), and I’ve been using it ever since.

As the name sort of suggests, it connects to Wi-Fi (and Bluetooth) to upload a record of weight and BMI, and then you can monitor your weight trends over time.

Their Health Mate iOS app and site enable you to see your historical data and set goals, and you can have multiple users all tracked separately. And sometimes a rogue weight ends up on the scale and Withings doesn’t know who to assign it to.

This was happening for a while at my house every week or so. I finally realized that the cleaning lady was checking in on her weight. I bet she never imagined that I was on to her.

I have one of the older models, the Withings Wireless Scale WS-30, and the new one includes additional features, such as body fat measurement and heart rate measurement (through your feet?), as well as continuous indoor air quality tracking (I guess that’s cool).

Withings also sells a line of watches that track activity, similar to the Fitbit wearable. I used one for a while for steps, sleep, etc., but stopped, because I don’t really like wearing a watch. Neat concept, though, and freaky to see sleep patterns.

I am surprised that the scale has lasted three years, and if/when it stops working, I’m planning to get the newer version.

Atkins Diet Week Two is Less But More

I spent week two of the Atkins Diet on the road with a trip to Fort Lauderdale, FL for work. Hotel life for a few days.

That presented a couple of roadblocks for me: there were challenges with eating as healthy as I would at home, and I ended up with three days of no exercise.

Even with the disrupted week, I managed to drop three more pounds, though I had anticipated it would be a bigger loss.

Then again, it was not a complete surprise, because I had some bourbon, which does not have carbs, but it still slows down weight loss.

No carbs = no beer. So a Jim Beam and Diet Coke it is. #atkins

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

Also, while I think I ate healthy, sometimes there could be hidden carbs in restaurant food.

Either way, I am home for the next week, so I can exercise on a regular schedule and eat homemade meals.

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 222

Walking 39.3 Miles to Fight Breast Cancer

I have some exercise events I plan to do this year, including 5k’s and mud runs, and for the fourth time I will walk 39.3 miles in a weekend to fight breast cancer.

I’m signed up to participate in the Avon 39 – The Walk to End Breast Cancer, which is a 39.3 mile fundraising walk through New York City in October 2016.

This will be my fourth walk – I completed my third AVON 39 in NYC this past October, as well as in 2012 and 2014, and I can’t wait to return to take on this inspiring challenge.

We’ll be walking up and down and all around Manhattan over the two days – we’ll pass through the Upper West and East Sides, Greenwich Village, SoHo, and Chinatown, as well as crossing into Brooklyn over the Brooklyn Bridge and then back across the Manhattan Bridge.

AVON 39 2015 Map for the NYC Walk
AVON 39 2015 Map for the NYC Walk

The money I raise will be managed and disbursed by the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade to help provide access to care for those who most need it, fund educational programs, and accelerate research into new treatments and potential cures.

I’ll be just one of thousands of people who will walk up 39.3 miles over two days, and your help would mean a lot to me.

I plan to raise $20,000 (or more)! I hope that I can count on your support – I would be grateful for anything you could spare.

If you’re interested in doing the walk, please contact me with any questions.

Week One of Transitioning to Low Carb

I was traveling for half of the first week that I decided to go on the Atkins Diet, and that was a challenge.

But I stayed pretty strict throughout the week, and was happy to see the results on the scale this morning – a week one loss of 8 pounds.

I combined the Atkins Diet with exercise, which I am tracking on DailyMile. While I was away, I went hiking and did a couple of days of a Couch to 5k training app.

In the past, I’ve run plenty of 5k’s and a couple of 10k’s, but with the recent weight gain, it was a whole lot more challenging when I went out to run. So, I figured I’d start from scratch and rebuild my stamina.

This week I plan to make more meals from scratch, because I relied heavily on the bars and frozen meals from Atkins on week one. I went out to restaurants two times, and while there were some vegetable carbs, there was not any bread or alcohol.

I had an Ensalada Tacodeli with Sirloin one day at lunch. It consisted of a bed of romaine lettuce topped with guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, onion, tomato, and sirloin.

And one of my dinners was a big plate of crawfish at Sam’s Boat in Austin with mushrooms, andouille sausage, corn, and potatoes.

Crawfish at Sam's Boat in Austin
Crawfish at Sam’s Boat in Austin

This coming week I am traveling to Florida, so I think I will need to make some stone crabs a priority.

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 225

I am a Rugged Maniac

I like to exercise in a variety of ways – jogging, walking, cycling, hiking. But I also like participating in unpleasant physical challenges.

Last year, I completed both the Tough Mudder and Rugged Maniac obstacle races, when they took place in Austin, TX.

After each one, I was sure I would never want to do them again, because they are sort of unpleasant. The Tough Mudder was a whole lot more rigorous, but I especially did not like getting shocked at the end.

On the other hand, the Rugged Maniac was a fun kind of torture. While the Tough Mudder was around 12 miles long, the Rugged Maniac was a 5k. Both had dozens of obstacles, but the fatigue really set in with the Tough Mudder with all of that ground work.

Getting cocky after cruising through a Rugged Maniac obstacle
Getting cocky after cruising through a Rugged Maniac obstacle

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind covering crazy miles. I am signed up to complete the AVON 39 this October in New York City. This will be the fourth time I walk 39.3 miles over two days to raise money to fight breast cancer.

But anyway, I think I am one and done with the Tough Mudder, and I will have a look into doing another Rugged Maniac in 2016. Who’s with me?

Trying Out the Atkin’s Diet

I love carbs, and I love them a lot. Breads, pastas, cookies, pretzels, IPAs – they are all great, and they are all adding up like crazy on me.

So, I am going with the Atkin’s Diet for now to change up my eating habits and get this weight loss going.

This isn’t the first time I have tried Atkin’s. Back in the end of 2002, I hit an all time high of 242, and I went strict on the Atkin’s Diet in 2003 to lose weight.

It was effective back then for a loss of about 50 pounds by the end of the year. I loved the changes I was seeing, and I stuck with low carb for a while, but over time I settled in to around 210 pounds. It was 20 up from my Atkin’s low, but still 30 down from my all time high.

Now that I am pressing on that all time high again, I want to see if I can duplicate those results.

It’s tough to live on bars and shakes and salads, but I do love the eggs and bacon and steaks and chicken and vegetables.

Plus, in the years since I was steadily doing Atkin’s, they’ve added a large line of frozen meals, which makes it easier to have a variety of quick lunches and dinners. They do have breakfasts, too, but they are easy enough to make fresh each morning.

Food carbs are a challenge to drop, but I love beer, too, especially the calorie rich IPAs. Those will be gone for now, and after I get the weight loss going, I will gradually bring some back in moderation.

Time to make some eggs and bacon.

I am Shawn Collins and I am a Mess

Hi, my name is Shawn Collins, and I am starting a journey to fix myself. After a poor diet for too long, I am focusing on getting my act together.

I woke up today and got on the scale and it said 233. I can’t remember the last time I was that high, but after many beers, burgers, nachos, and all sorts of junk, I’m just too damn big for being six feet tall.

So, I will be working on eating better and exercising to lose weight and get healthy, as well as to just feel more comfortable.

Fatblog.me is a new site chronicling the journey of fat to fit with all of the setbacks and victories.

As you may imagine, Fatblog.me is an affiliate site, and I will be experimenting with various ways to monetize it.

So, if you’re interested in hearing about working towards running 5k’s, diet, new sneakers, health trends, gadgets related to getting fit, and stuff like that, come along with me here.

Starting weight: 233