Firefighter Spouse, Mother, Business Owner, First In Family: Erin Rains


It may seem scary or overwhelming to try something new like this but if you put the effort in the results will come. I promise. Don’t stop. Don’t let other people talk you out of it. There is no quick fix, diets don’t work long term. This is long term. I’m three + years in with no end in sight.”

Tell us a little bit about yourself... ​

My name is Erin, I’m 38 and from Vero Beach, FL.

My day job is an insurance agent for our family owned agency.

My 24/7 gig is a domestic engineer as wife to Nick and mom to Memphis (age 9) and Sloane (age 6).

What brought you to the First In Family initially?

I met Jonathan and Anne through my gym and we were friendly due to gym gatherings and such.

I knew many people that were doing nutrition with them through their previous company and we initially started with them at that previous company.

When they formed First In, I chose to go with them. No hesitation. They knew me from week 0 and they are who I am most comfortable with.

Tell us a little bit about your background and history with food.

I don’t think I really had any issues with food until I was in my late 20’s. Prior to that, I ate what I wanted with zero guilt or second thoughts.

At some point that shifted. It shifted to me analyzing everything and really thinking about food ALL the time.

If I wanted a piece of pizza, I would think about how many extra miles I “had” to run to justify the pizza…I would think about it all day long.

It got to be all consuming. I want this treat so I have to do these 5 miles of running to “deserve” the pizza, ice cream, cake…insert anything other food here.

What was the turning point in your life when you realized you needed to make a change?

I’m not sure I had a real turning point, but more of a gradual shift due to just being mentally exhausted by obsessing over how “bad” the “good” food was to eat.

I was tired of it, and I had kids at this point and I did not want to turn them into me in regards to how they see and treat food.

What was the journey like and what changes did you make?

Honestly, for me, the changes haven’t been too crazy.

I still eat a lot of the same things I ate before, but now I eat them differently. I eat pizza but without the guilt because I know I have planned for it and it’s easy. I can balance my food for the day to incorporate whatever I want.

Around the same time I started working with Jonathan, my gym changed up their programming too. We were doing a lot of cardio in the form of wind sprints (which I loved actually), running laps, ladder/agility work, etc. but they shifted to a lot more weight lifting centric workouts.

I found that my body responded well to that and that I really enjoyed lifting weights. Jonathan kept fueled me for that shift in training and things progressed from there. 

How do you feel after making those changes?

A little over 3 years into this, and I feel so much better physically. More than that, it’s a huge mental relief for me.

I know that if I get sick and miss some work outs, that I’m not going to turn into Jabba the Hutt. Seriously, I was so hard on myself about working out or running that I worried about getting “fat” overnight.

Now I know that First In has given me the ability to control my mindset by keeping my food in check. 

What did your friends/family think of your transformation?

I wasn’t overweight when I began, but I like to say I was “skinny fat”. A low number on the scale, a small waist size, but I didn’t look like I had much in the way of muscle. I was just gooey.

My transformation physically has left me just the opposite as I started, I’m more lean and toned than I ever was!

As far as my family, they still give me some crap about weighing my food, especially things like cucumbers (“You know there are barely any carbs in that, right Erin?”) or alcohol (“Are you seriously weighing how much wine you’re putting in your glass?”). But, only a few of them really knew about my issues with how I saw food prior to this and my negative cycles of working out to try and “erase” what I was eating.

Other than that, my family is pretty used to me bringing my own snacks, meals, scale at this point. They ask questions and are still curious but they just carry on.

One of my favorite sayings is “People that matter, don’t care. People that care, don’t matter.” I try to use that in all aspects of my life.

Were you active or did you workout during your journey?

Yes, I’ve always been active. Being active in the gym lifting weights or group training, or out on the pavement running, keeps me sane…and everyone around me safe.

What does being First In mean to you?

Being First In has become my way of life.

It’s a judgment free place to be.

I know that if I have a day or two of fun (namely, my bi-annual Epcot trips), I can jump back in full force with no judgment from my coach or peers of First In. Jonathan keeps it real with me and I will always appreciate that from him.

To me, being First In each day means being able to control this one part of my life without much effort or analyzing anymore.

First In feels like food freedom!

What was the biggest challenge or change when you started with First In and how did you overcome it?

Weighing and measuring was the biggest challenge at the beginning.

Thankfully my husband started at the same time and helped me figure it out. I honestly thought “This is too much thinking and work. I don’t have time for this”.

It takes some time to get comfortable with weighing and measuring, but in the end it’s totally worth it and the First In Family is here to help.

What’s next for you and where do you see this journey taking you in the future? ​

My journey is ongoing.

I want to amp it up in the gym and I am did a half marathon at the end of February and want to do some more long runs this year, so we’ll see what my coach thinks about that.

Right now, I’m in a crazy season of life with family and work and all the extra stuff so my immediate goal is to just keep swimming and work on being a little better everyday. 

What are your top 5 "secrets" for success?

1- Don’t give up.

2- The weighing and measuring gets easier.

3-Eat the same few things for a meal or two at the beginning. Then add in the fun stuff.

It’s much easier to get a “base day” down and add the cereal into that day.

4- Get more than one food scale. We have two at home and one at the office.

5- Pack your own lunch, dinner, etc for your day at the office or on your shift. At least at the beginning…especially at the beginning. That way, you can minimize the pressure of trying to fit stuff in or not.

People may talk smack but who really cares?


any advice for someone thinking about getting started?

It may seem scary or overwhelming to try something new like this but if you put the effort in the results will come. I promise.

Don’t stop. Don’t let other people talk you out of it. There is no quick fix, diets don’t work long term.

This is long term. I’m three + years in with no end in sight.


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    Testimonials were given freely and service members did not receive any preferential treatment, discount, or other benefit due to the nature of their service, rank, or position and in no way are the views or beliefs of any branch of the armed forces or uniformed services.