Introducing Rick -- Co-Host of the Simply Human Podcast and Guest Writer

Welcome, fellow humans! I'll introduce myself a bit for those (most) who don't know anything about me. My name is Rick and I'm the goofball voice you'll hear on the podcast. I've known Mark for 20 years. We grew up together, went to college together and worked together in the TV and radio sports journalism business before I did a total 180 and decided to become a police officer. I've been a cop for about 8 1/2 years, five of those assigned to the SWAT team at my old department. I made the move back to the DFW metroplex about 18 months ago and am starting out as the "oldest new guy ever" at a different department. I'm married to a wonderfully patient and perfect woman and have two awesome boys.

My journey to fitness began in 2007 after a night of some adult beverages and a bet with a friend of mine. I had been working night shift for about a year and had swelled to my all-time high in weight at 225. That would be a great number if I was a professional football player, but alas, I was not. And my friend was not exactly built like Michaelangelo's "David,' either. We decided on a three-month weight loss bet. Like many people seeking to lose weight who don't know much better, I went on a 1500 calorie per day diet and increased my running. I lost 40 pounds and got down to my (then) all-time low weight of 185 and I won the bet (he gained 5 pounds...AND NEVER PAID UP!). I was pretty proud of myself. I've always been a rather "husky" fellow, so I was pretty pumped. But I was hungry. Very, very hungry. So I did what humans do when they feel like they're starving to death: I ate more. Well, I kept running a lot (believe it or not, I was actually one of the faster guys at my old police department already, despite not looking at all like Steve Prefontaine), but I started eating more. Over time, that went from "healthy" foods like lean meats and whole grains to pretty much the "see-food" diet ("I see food, I eat it').

Fast forward about 3 years to my 30th birthday. My weight had steadily risen back to 210. I had to exchange my work pants for some 38" waist ones. And those were getting a bit snug. For some reason, that 38" number was the turning point. I had been a 38" for pretty much my entire adult life (and before I had initially lost the weight, the 38's were seeming too small). After the 2007 contest, I whittled myself down to a 36". But it never really hit me that it was all coming back until I was staring at the abyss of going to a 40".

Around that time, I found a old high-school buddy on Facebook. He and I had always been built fairly similarly, and I was really surprised to see him looking super thin and super fit. I talked to him about it, and he was a P90x devotee. I decided to give myself (and my wife and my kid(s)) a 30th birthday present: I bought the DVDs and started to hit it hard. But more than the exercise, I got REALLY strict on my diet, still stuck in the mode that the only way to lose weight was to severely restrict calories and work out non-stop. Every morsel was weighed and counted and documented. I followed an 1800 calorie per day regimen with 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% fat macro-nutrient breakdown. Within a matter of months, I melted away to 175. I was proud. But I was hungry. Very, very hungry. Again. But I managed to keep my weight in the 175-180 range.

And here we are, nearly 4 years after I decided to really buckle down and my goals have evolved. I've always stayed in touch with Mark. In the early part of 2013, I decided I wanted to run a marathon. Knowing that Mark was super endurance athlete nutrition man, I sought some training advice from him. Well, I came really really close, but in the end, injuries (namely some SUPER painful IT Band issues) got the best of me and I had to bail about 3 weeks until the race. Mark suggested I change the way I eat. He started telling me that I should read all these books (BOOKS?!?) and think about cutting out grains and sugars. No carbs?!?!? That sounds NUTS!!!! But I listened and tried to keep an open mind. And slowly my ideas changed. I read "Why We Get Fat" by Gary Taubes (READ THIS BOOK, HUMANS!) and I decided to give it a try. 

Initially Mark asked me to record some "Humans Being Human" segments, but now he's brought me on as a real-life co-host! I thoroughly enjoy the insight he and the guests bring. I'd like to say I'm 100% compliant with the "Human" way to eat, but it's probably more like 65% of the time (which leads into my next post about my New Year's Resolution), but most importantly I'm remembering what it's like to enjoy real, actual food again that isn't from a box or a freezer ("Butter? IN MY COFFEE?!?!) without feeling guilty about how much I'm eating and getting as big as a blimp.

Welp, that's me in a nutshell. I promise my other posts aren't nearly this long (the TL;DR version is that I'm just like a lot of you people out there in Internetland...I've struggled with weight and health and nutrition but I've finally found what I think is the right path). Things you'll read about from me in the future are honest musings about the struggles and triumphs that I'll experience from trying to live more like a human. And I won't have as many "here's the time I pooped in my pants" stories as Mark. Probably, anyway.