Firefighter, business owner, father, First In Family: Nick Rains


Being able to control my food means I can put my focus on positive change in other areas. I feel like having control over my food/nutrition gives me freedom to work on other areas I would like to improve.”

Tell us a little bit about yourself... ​

Nick Rains

Vero Beach, FL

Owner/Agent for a small insurance agency, volunteer firefighter/EMT and currently in paramedic school

Married with 2 kids ages 10 and 6

Former professional baseball and college football player

My workouts are programmed by Anne so I do a little bit of everything weekly. Weight lifting, plyo, cardio, etc.

I play golf, pickleball, baseball, softball, etc. and do some coaching whenever I get a chance.

What brought you to the First In Family initially?

Jonathan was my coach with another company and when he branched out I knew I wanted to stay with him. I already had great results and was really comfortable with his process/style so I knew First In would not be any different.

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

I have always been really active and pretty much ate everything in sight without much of an issue.  If I was around there were not going to be any leftovers for anyone. 

I had the mindset that I could workout extra or do more cardio to offset all the overeating as that had always worked for me in the past.

As I have increased in age I could tell this was not working for me anymore. It takes a lot for me to get that full feeling and I could see what direction I was headed if I didn’t make some drastic changes.

I had tried many different styles of eating: “healthy eating”, intuitive eating, etc. but was not getting any results or making any progress. I also had no idea what I was doing and needed some direction, accountability, etc. 

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

Once I started to get serious about weight lifting and wanting to make progress I knew I needed to fuel my body appropriately in order to make more progress, feel better, and have more energy.

There was couple months right before I started where I was not feeling great, ended up in the hospital with some health issues, got diagnosed pre-diabetic, etc. that really motivated me to take my health and nutrition seriously as I wanted to be around for my kids and able to be active with them. I knew I didn’t have the knowledge to do this myself.

Seeing Jonathan at my gym regularly, having conversations with him and some of the other trainers who were already participating in the nutrition program, inspired me to take the next step.  

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

Honestly not much changed for me initially except cutting back my alcohol intake and forming the habit of weighing, measuring, logging, everything I ate. I still ate most of the same foods just in different proportions (not always smaller ones either) so that I was staying on track to progress accordingly.

This opened my eyes quite a bit as to what I was actually putting into my body and I was hooked on the logging pretty quick.

Now, after years of logging, I feel like I “need” to know everything I am putting in my body almost compulsively because it has had such a positive effect. I am always learning in the process which is a great feature. There are so many tips and tricks that you learn with staying consistent.

As I have progressed over the years my focus has changed a few times with my goals which makes it great to have a nutrition that can help you adjust. If I didn’t know exactly where I was with intake daily (calories, macro-nutrients, weight, etc.) then it would be real difficult to make any competent, well informed changes.

How do you feel after making those changes?

I feel informed and way more competent in taking an active role to ensure progress towards my goals. Whatever they happen to be at any given time.

I have definitely changed physically, I have leaned out, increased my muscle mass, and I have abs now which have not been there for a long time.

Mentally my energy levels are way up, no more pre-diabetic issues, performance in the gym is great, and no guilt about what I eat.

Obviously there are more factors/variables that come into play but being able to control my food means I can put my focus on positive change in other areas. I feel like having control over my food/nutrition gives me freedom to work on other areas I would like to improve.     

What did your friends/family think of your transformation?

Initially, most of my friends and family thought I was crazy for weighing, measuring, logging all my food but the more I progress physically the more they start asking how it works.

Were you active or did you workout during your journey?

Definitely active to varying degrees during my journey. I stay consistent in the gym at about 3 days a week. I usually walk for 20 min a day if I am not hitting up the gym or doing any other activities.

I play as many sports as I can to stay active as well. Having some fun, a little competition, and getting activity in works well for me.

I will say there have been some injuries, setbacks, months where I was in school and couldn’t workout, etc. but I learned keeping my food consistent helped me not to go “backwards.” 

What does being First In mean to you?

For me it just means leading by example and finding positives wherever I can.

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

Biggest challenge for me was not eating everything whenever I wanted to or “felt” hungry (which is like all the time for me).

Still struggle with this daily but having goals and seeing all the progress I’ve made keeps my from giving in to those urges. I have learned throughout the process and continue to be able to add tools in my toolbox that combat these feelings. 

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

Current next goal is finishing paramedic school and transitioning from a volunteer firefighter/EMT to a career firefighter/paramedic.

I doubt I will ever be finished setting goals and taking them down. Feeling good and having control over my food gives me the freedom and confidence to tackle new goals.

What are your top 5 "secrets" for success?

1- Everyone is different so do not compare your journey or success to others. Your pace is “your” pace and as long as you are moving forward it does not matter how slow it is.

2- Stop looking for quick fixes or “magic” pills. Real progress takes time.

3- Stay consistent and everything gets easier over time. Before long you will not want to eat or drink anything until you know what’s in it and how much it weighs.

4- Start simple and uniform with the food types and add complexity once you are super comfortable.

5- Drink lots of water! Flavored sparkling water is my favorite way to take down my hunger meter.


any advice for someone thinking about getting started?

Find your motivation before you start.

This is not something you should “try” but be ready to actually commit to for the long term if you really want to make sustainable positive change.


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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.