Fit Nomads Jed Billings and Tim Key came together to see the world … and now see less of themselves

Like so many other couples before them, a few years into their relationship, the once-thin pair of Jed Billings and Tim Key found themselves transformed into two self-proclaimed “fat and happy” fellas. Contented with their coupledom, workout routines had slipped away in favor of pizza night in front of the TV, and the pounds had started to pile on.

But motivated by a love of travel, that feel-good feeling that comes with a beach-ready body and a commitment to help others achieve the same goals, the duo formed The Fit Nomads, a travel and fitness agency. Today, they help others achieve a balanced sense of body, mind and spirit all while pursuing the trip of a lifetime.

We asked them to explain how they got off their own asses in the first place.

To learn more how The Fit Nomads combine fitness and travel, visit

— Jef Tingley


Names and ages: Jed Billings, 42; Tim Key, 51.

Occupations: Owners, The Fit Nomads.

Length of relationship: More than 11 years.

Exercise regime: Both: Depending on the time of year, we rotate through a variety of home-based workouts: programs like P90X, Insanity and 21-Day Fix (especially the last 21 days leading up to our next trip). It’s all high-intensity cardio usually paired with some strength work and topped off by yoga day once a week.

Most memorable athletic goal accomplished: Billings: Not keeling over dead in Marine Corps Boot Camp and finishing the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS, a two-day, 150-mile bike ride.
Key: Finishing P90X as a “new” former smoker.

Upcoming fitness goals: Key: I want to learn how to snow ski. I have to get my body ready, and I’m training with that in mind right now.

Least favorite exercise or piece of gym equipment: Both: Burpees!

Favorite spot in North Texas to exercise outdoors: Billings: River Legacy Park in Arlington. It’s a great place to ride our bikes.
Key: Klyde Warren Park for the Group Insanity workout.

Favorite spot to exercise indoors: Both: Our living room. We just pop in a DVD and get it done.

Ways you stay fit or workout together: Billings: We both work from home both in our day jobs and as The Fit Nomads, so we meet in the living room to watch a workout DVD and just hit it.
Key: While on vacation, we love to rent bikes and ride along the beach or take adventure tours like jungle hiking or zip-lining to keep ourselves on track.

How do you reward yourself for a great workout or accomplished fitness goal?  Billings: New clothes or a great trip. I used to associate rewards with food, a nice dinner out without thinking about the calories, but that lead to food shame.
Key: An awesome vacation like a long weekend in wine country.

Favorite healthy/low-cal snack or meal:  Billings: We are creatures of habit and ease, so we prep about 80 percent of our food for the week on Sunday. This greatly reduces the “what’s for dinner/Oh, I don’t know” trap. Right now I am hooked on these super simple breakfast egg muffins. They are totally customizable to the veggies and protein you like and are good with eggs, egg whites or a combination, which is how we make them. (The recipe is available at

What are your words of advice for people trying to work fitness into their lives?  Key: Whatever you can do,  do it! It’s not about being your “goal weight” or your ideal “after picture” on Day 1. And it is vital to have an accountability/success partner who will help you tremendously along the way.

What’s your favorite song or playlist to workout to?  Billings:  Anything fast and loud! I have a Carmen Electra dance mix — no judging — from that I love.

How does your partner motivate you to work out?  Billings: He doesn’t put up with my B.S. Period. End of story.
Key: He keeps me grounded in where we were and where we are now. And he reminds me of our goals.

How do you motivate yourself to workout?  Billings: I keep my “before” picture hanging on my office door, and I see it everyday. It makes me think about the 115 pounds we have lost as a couple and the goals we have for the future.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 10, 2015.