Tuesday, March 24, 2009
In the beginning
No weight loss story is complete without a before and after picture. That's me in 1997 (don't be upset about the cat, she didn't mind). And that's me posing as Tarzan in a black and white photo.
I was a "big" guy. Not incredibly big, as it helps to be tall, but big nonetheless. It all happened pretty gradually. I couldn't gain weight all through high school. Then I went to college and gained 40 lbs in about 3 days. Mind you, that weight was about 30 lbs less than what's in the "before" picture on the left. In hindsight, I would attribute having more than one chin to the cumulative effect of a multitude of bad food choices (Chinese food isn't low calorie! It has chicken in it.), beer and a sporadic (generous adjective here) exercise regimen.
At the time, I was working for Pepsico. I viewed product sampling as an important part of my role, even though it technically had nothing to do with my job.
I don't know that I cared all that much about my weight. However, in 1999, my doctor read me the riot act when I had my physical. High cholesterol. High blood pressure. A lifetime of prescription medicine awaited. And I had too many chins (my diagnosis, not hers).
I was a male Weight Watchers member
I had an opportunity to leave PepsiCo, and take a job at the newly formed startup, WeightWatchers.com, Inc. It was a great opportunity to help envision the Weight Watchers concept in an online environment. When I accepted the job, the thought was in the back of my mind that I might be able to lose a few pounds in the process.
In an effort to learn a little more about Weight Watchers, I started going to Weight Watchers meetings. One of the few proud men in my meeting, I started diligently following the program. I learned about a whole range of interesting and foreign foods like fruit and vegetables. After about three months, I noticed that I had lost about 25 pounds. My health improved measurably, and medicine was no longer necessary.
I went up and down in weight a few times over the next 7 years, but in 2008, I decided to try to lose the weight permanently.