Firstly, can you start with a little bit about yourself?
Hi! 😊 My name is Dean Tanglao and I was born and raised in Southern California. I graduated from university 5 years ago with my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I have worked in the medical field largely since then, practicing in fields ranging from hospital and neuro work to sports and orthopedic rehabilitation. I love understanding how the body works mechanically and have special interest in prosthetics and prothesis development.
I consider myself fairly active, but I’m also a major foodie (I physically cannot say no to pizza or food in general haha). In 2017, I started a clothing brand (Kinda Fit Kinda Fat), in hopes of sharing a message of self-empowerment, positivity, and community within the fitness industry. @broteindean
Can you tell me more about kinda fit kinda fat?
Initially, I created KFKF in an attempt to combat my personal body dysmorphia with humor and positivity. I was a “fat" kid growing up. In high school, I had a body fat percentage nearing 50%. It wasn’t until college that I began to take fitness more seriously. In spite of my initial motivation, however, I would only go to the gym maybe 2x a week at most mainly due to fear and simply not knowing how to achieve my goals.
I eventually moved on to become a physical therapist. I met a number of wise people ranging from personal trainers and chiropractors to your every day office worker who enjoyed fitness. I became obsessed. I meal prepped religiously, went to the gym >6x a week, and took whatever supplements that promised me beautiful gainz. And it worked. I put in the time and the dedication and was FINALLY able to see my abs for the first time in my life.
Even after achieving these goals, I still wasn’t happy. I frequently said no to my friends who wanted to eat the latest food they saw on Facebook or Instagram. I sat quietly drinking my sugarless teas. My body was “fit,” but my heart yearned to be “fat.”
Needless to say, that lifestyle didn't last long. I kept my gym routine and ate out more regularly. My abs slowly faded but my strength remained intact. Was I sad to say goodbye to my abs? Of course. But I was able to find a way to live my life in the moderation that was enjoyable for me.
I started Kinda Fit Kinda Fat to remind people, including myself, that it is ok to not have the “perfect” body all the time. We are constantly bombarded on social media with “perfection” and its easy to feel inadequate in this digital world. I created KFKF in hopes of de-weaponizing the term ‘fat.’ You don’t have to beat yourself up for grabbing some ice cream or pizza with your friends every now and then after you hit the gym. Am I supporting complacency? No. I believe that we should ALWAYS pursue to better ourselves, whether that be fitness or other aspects of life.
KFKF is a reminder that no one is perfect. And from my experience, the best changes in life come from the ones that arise from positivity versus self-loathing and negativity.
What is your vision for your brand?
My vision is to shake up the fitness industry and let others know that they aren’t alone. You don’t have to have washboard abs or have to be a size 0 to enjoy fitness or to be confident in yourself. There are plenty of strong and athletic people who don’t fit the stereotypical ideas of fitness. My vision is to create a strong community of positive individuals from all ranges of life, helping each other grow mentally and physically.
What have been you greatest challenges?
The hardest part for me is running the logistical part of the business. I have no background in business (purely medical prior) let alone the apparel industry and diving into this realm requires a laarrrrrggeee learning curve. Along with the logistics, its been a challenge being able to lead a team (of whom are all my close friends). I learned early on that I had to resolve my personal detrimental habits and behaviors in order to help guide the company in an optimal path.
Also legal stuff… There’s a ton of companies out there that are copying and violating our trademarked brand and its important for me to constantly be on top of things there. If you’re starting a brand I HIGHLY suggest you trademark and copyright your ideas immediately. I luckily did that and have been able to protect the KFKF Brand thus far.
Your instagram feed literally cracks me up how did you decide to get in the bath covered in donuts?
Haha well the idea came from the fact that we had to market the company but didn’t have any apparel at the time. One of my good friends had this really beautiful tub and I thought it would be pretty funny if I got in it with some donuts and took some photos. Luckily I have very supportive friends who are down to help me execute some of my ‘strange’ ideas :D
Tell me about Donut Bytes Media?
Donut Bytes Media is a sister company to KFKF that we launched late last year. The company’s focus is to utilise our marketing team and help others build their own brands and small business by assisting them with creative content.
What have been some of you challenges on this journey?
The biggest road block on my journey in all actuality has been myself. With the large goals I have, I have to constantly fight the limits that I put on myself. I have to learn and constantly teach myself that I can do the tasks that are presented before me.
What inspires your creative vision?
My creative vision is inspired by humour. I like making people laugh and smile so much of my content and vision is fueled by that.
Do you have any current projects you are working on?
Yup! I have a show, BroteinDean Bakes, in the works where we interview other inspiring individuals while attempting to bake random things (PSA: im a terrible baker). KFKF is also working on quite a few projects this year including working with The Drift League and expanding into other sports and activities.
Finally do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Believe in yourself. Know that the only limit is the one you set for yourself. Always be humble and work with other businesses who inspire you. Create a supportive network of people around you and help others as others have helped you.
Find out more about Dean and his team :